PRAISE GOD IT’S MONDAY!
A WEEKLY ‘WWW (world-wide word) OF ENCOURAGEMENT’
TO THOSE IN MINISTRY

A FREE service, currently connecting with Christian leaders from 3,000 denominations and ministries, in 70 countries.

Issue No: 307     Published: 10 Sep 2007

WORSHIPPING GOD OR THE WORSHIP TEAM?

I love worship! To be really honest, congregational worship is, for me, the biggest magnet to attending a regular church. From my experience, worship is normally the area that proves most difficult in smaller gatherings, whatever name you wish to give them.

I also speak as one who has been involved in worship groups and in leading worship, over the years. So my comments today are as much about myself as about others!

Worship is also the single greatest problem area in most churches. For we all have different ideas on how best to worship the Lord. This is not surprising, for worship is an intensely personal thing. We are all made differently - fortunately you may well say about me! So when we come close to the Lord in praise and adoration, it stands to reason that we desire to do it in a personal way. Your way will be different to my way. Hence the problems that arise.

One of the 'discoveries' or 'revelations' of the Pentecostal church, has been a pattern of worship that serves to bring people into the presence of God. This pattern consists of songs of thanksgiving, followed by praise and finally worship. Of course, the extent of the success of this process in entering the Holy of Holies, is largely determined by the desire and willingness of the people to go there.

The reason I am writing this today, is because of my experience at church this week. For the layout in our church has been changed. Instead of the congregation facing the front, as normal, the centre of focus has been shifted to one side of the stage. The reasons for doing this are very practical, relating to the shape of the building and the placement of pillars within it. So now, instead of our visual focus being on the worship group on the stage, it is now upon the words of the song reflected onto a blank wall.

As I worshiped the Lord I suddenly realised what a difference this made. No longer was I distracted by what the young ladies of the worship team were wearing, or which members of the team were really getting into it and who was just along for the ride, but my focus was fully upon Jesus, without human distraction.

The worship team too, were not under pressure to 'perform', as the congregation were no longer looking with a critical eye, at their every movement.

We could all simply get on with worshiping the Lord.

Having been on both sides of the fence, I fully understand the problem of 'performance' when it comes to the worship team. I am not pulling any punches here! The reality is that many people are attracted to the worship team for the wrong reasons. For reasons of self- promotion, for reasons other than a heartfelt desire to help others worship the Lord well. Yes, musicians and singers often have the egos that are commonly found in the secular entertainment world.

Unfortunately many churches and leaders either tolerate, or even encourage this, in the name of excellence, in order to put more 'bums on seats', through presenting a quality performance. One equal to what you might see in the theatre, on TV, or in the casino, where high quality entertainment is provided free of charge to attract you, in order to get you to spend your money there.

So what is the answer? Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this.

Leaders do however need to be extremely careful to ensure that the motives of their worship team are pure, putting sincerity ahead of talent, no matter what the cost to the apparent quality of performance.

One wise pastor told of his experience in this area, with dancers. (of which I have been known to be one on rare occasions!) He told the dancers they were welcome to dance before the Lord, but please, to do it at the back of the church, not the front. All dancing in the church immediately ceased! Why did he do this? Not because he disliked dancing. Rather, he saw that the dancers were simply performing in front of the congregational audience. Their subsequent reaction proved it!

Maybe you could be really radical and, as an experiment, try turning everyone around, so that the worship team are behind the congregation, and see what difference this makes. You may be pleasantly surprised! And incur the wrath of those in the worship team and the congregation who prefer performance to substance!

My friend (assuming you still are!), I am not being critical for the sake of it. My heart's desire is to see people truly worship the Lord in a more meaningful way. To experience the touch of the Lord in their lives through the medium of worship. With the expectation that as we do this, as we get closer to the Lord in worship, so we will become more motivated to live our lives more fully for Him.

As I complete checking this, immediately prior to its dispatch, I have been watching matches from the Rugby World Cup, the world's third largest sporting event, after the Olympic Games and Football (Soccer) World Cup. Our New Zealand team, the 'All Blacks' are again the favorites to win the trophy, which in spite of our perennial favoritism, we haven't won for 20 years. This time!!!

However, the final match this morning was between Ireland, a country of full time professionals who have been training for this event for the last 4 years, and Namibia. Namibia are a group, primarily of farmers, who took 3 weeks off the farm to train for the tournament. They should not really have qualified to be there. But somehow they did. They should have been beaten by at least 100 points. In a previous tournament, they lost a game by 149 points, the largest ever defeat in Rugby World Cup history.

Okay, it wasn't a complete fairy tale, for Ireland did win on the scoreboard, 32-17, but the moral victory was with the gallant Namibians. The crowd, consisting mainly of Frenchmen from Bordeaux got right behind them. Even the normally one-eyed Irish fans were cheering for them by the finish! You see, the part timers from Africa played with guts and passion, while the Irish professionals with their finely sculptured bodies accentuated by beautifully tailored uniforms, applied technique only, and were made to look distinctly second rate.

A lesson for us all?

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FROM THE WORD

"Jesus replied: ”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”" (Matthew 22:37-40)

"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”" (John 4:23-4)

THE THRONE IN HEAVEN
"After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”"
(Revelation 4:1-11)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

THANKS GIVING, PRAISE AND WORSHIP
629. A true believer is thankful whatever the circumstances.

630. Praise gladdens the heart. Worship strengthens the soul.

631. True worship is reflected in positive actions.

632. Our actions reflect our true worship.

633. Thanksgiving brings forth praise. Praise leads on to worship.

634. With thankful praise, I worship my maker.

635. The freedom to worship is not truly appreciated until it is taken away.

636. God gives us praise and worship so they may be returned to Him.

637. Worship is available to all, but only availed of, by some.

638. True worship is a way of life.

639. Freedom in worship sets us free!

640. Worship is a gift made to be returned to the sender.

641. More worship, worship more.

642. One person’s curse is another’s praise.

643. Praise is an attitude, not an emotion.

644. Praise blesses both the giver and the receiver.

645. Worthy worship works wonders with worshippers wellbeing.

Please feel free to quote these quotes. Acknowledgement of David Tait as the author would be appreciated. There are now over 1300 David sayings for you to view at ...

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON

THE BEAST OUT OF THE EARTH

11 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two
horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 12 He exercised
all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the
earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal
wound had been healed. 13 And he performed great and miraculous
signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full
view of men. 14 Because of the signs he was given power to do on
behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth.
He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was
wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 He was given power to give
breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and
cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 He also
forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave,
to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 so that
no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name
of the beast or the number of his name. 18 This calls for wisdom. If
anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for
it is man’s number. His number is 666. (Revelation 13:11-18)

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

A VISION OF THE TABERNACLE CHURCH

Something completely different as I share a vision the Lord gave me around the time of the millennium.

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LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

***Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused***

*** "Those who can't laugh at themselves leave the job to others." ***

639. TOUCHE!
One day at an old country church, there was to be a double sermon. First, there was a young preacher boy that would preach his first sermon. After him, an old veteran preacher that was well respected in the community was to preach.

All of the "pre-preaching" things took place. There was good singing and nice specials among other things. These all went very well.

Well, as the time for the young preacher to preach came closer, he realized something very dreadful. He leaned over to the old preacher who was sitting next to him and said, "I forgot my Bible, and all of my notes are in it!"

The veteran preacher seemed cool and calm as he replied, "Don't worry son, God will provide. Here, use my Bible. Just speak what's on your heart, and I'm sure God will bless it."

The young man hesitantly took the old Bible, and made his way to the pulpit. Well, this preacher just started preaching away, and had a great time doing it too. The sermon he preached was so great, that at the end when there was an alter call, nearly the entire church came forward. The boy was relieved as he left the pulpit and made his way to his seat.

During the message, the old preacher started to listen to the sermon closely, as it seemed very familiar. After a few minutes, he realized what had happened. The young preacher found the notes that he was going to use for the sermon that he was about to preach. He got very nervous as the boy came down to him. "Now what am I going to do?"

The young preacher calmly said, "Don't worry. God will provide!"

638. TOP COW
The wise old Mother Superior from county Tipperary was dying. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her comfortable. They gave her warm milk to drink, but she refused it. One nun took the glass back to the kitchen.

Remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey the nuns had received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.

The nun took the glass back to Mother Superior's bedside, and held the glass to her lips. Mother drank a little, then a little more. Before they knew it, she had downed the whole glass, down to the last drop.

"Mother," the nuns asked earnestly, "please give us some wisdom before you die."

Mother Superior slowly raised her head, and with a pious look on her face whispered, "Don't sell that cow"

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can now download the book 'Laughing At Ourselves' in PDF format at LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Why do scientists describe cancer cells as
‘immortal’?

ANSWER: Normal cells divide a limited amount of times (usually no more
than 50-60 times) before they die. Cancer cells, however, proliferate
indefinitely in culture. A cancer cell will go on and on doubling, one cell
becoming two, then four, then eight, etc.... Normal cells, when placed in a
tissue culture dish, proliferate until a single layer of cells just touching
each other covers the surface of the dish. Mitosis (cell replication) then
stops. Cancer cells, on the other hand, show no such ‘contact inhibition’.
They continue to divide, piling up into actual mounds. It is this that makes
cancer cells so damaging to an organism. (Too much of a bad thing!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: : What bird migrates from the Arctic to the
Antarctic each year?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

302. CAN'T KEEP HEAD
A cold front travels at a speed of about 30 miles per hour (nearly 50kph) — faster than the fastest person can run — and is able to overtake any warm front ahead of it. The resulting mix of air is called an occluded front. (So our warm fuzzies become mixed up feelings.)

303. PRESERVING THE MOMENT
A ‘fulgerite’ is fossilised lightning. It forms when a powerful lightning bolt fuses the soil into a glass-like state. (Fossilised in a flash!)

304. REAL DEEP
The North Atlantic Deep Water Current is an oceanic ‘river’ that carries twenty times more water than all the rivers of the world put together. (Underneath, unseen, unsung, but unsurpassed.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

ALLURE

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - PAUL

16) Paul had to escape from Damascus using a:

A - Basket
B - Horse
C - Ladder
D - Chariot

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

"""OTHER'S SAYINGS TO ENLIGHTEN, AMUSE, OR BEMUSE"""

!!!!!!! If at first you don’t succeed, call it Version 1.0.

!!!!!! It’s a small world but I wouldn’t like to have to paint it.

!!!!! I’m not cheap, but I am on special this week.

!!!! I used to have a photographic memory, but it was never developed.

!!! Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

!! Analysing humour is like boiling a frog slowly. You can do it, but the frog tends to die in the process.

! If you lined up all the cars in the world end-to-end, someone would be stupid enough to try to pass them.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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MORE BIBLE RIDDLES

Thought we had done all possible Bible riddles in our last, very popular series. However, I have now found some more for you to enjoy, courtesy of Frank Schaefer of javacasa.com

Q. Who was the first canning factory run by?
>
>
>
>
>
>
A. Noah - he had a boatful of preserved pairs.

Lots more riddles found at...

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WHY?

137. Why is the word "abbreviate" so long?

138. Why doesn't "onomatopoeia" sound like what it is?

139. Why do tourists go to the tops of tall buildings and then put money into telescopes so they can see things on the ground close-up?

140. Why is there only ONE Monopolies Commission?

141. Why is it when two planes almost hit each other it is called a "near miss"? Shouldn't it be called a "near hit"?

142. What does Geronimo say when he jumps out of a plane?

143. How can there be "self help GROUPS"?

144. Why are we afraid of falling? Shouldn't we be afraid of the sudden stop?

145. Why is it called a bust, when it stops right before the part it is named after?

146. Why is it a good thing to brush your teeth, brush your hair, or brush your cat, but it is NOT a good thing to have a "brush with death"?

147. Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?

148. Why are there 5 syllables in the word "monosyllabic"?

149. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where the train stops. On my desk, I have a work station...

150. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do ... write to these men? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen could look for them while they delivered the mail?

151. How much deeper would oceans be if sponges didn't live there?

152. Since light travels faster than sound, why is it that people appear bright until you hear them speak?

153. If it's zero degrees outside today and it's supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?

154. Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?

155. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?

156. What hair colour do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men.

158. Why do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front?

159. Why is it necessary to check into a hospital to be an out patient?

160. Why does the sun lightens our hair, but darken our skin?

161. Why can’t women put on mascara with their mouth closed?

162. Why you don't ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

163. Why you have to click on "Start" to stop Windows 98?

164. Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavour, while dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons?

165. Why there isn't mouse-flavoured cat food?

166. Who tastes dog food when it has a "new & improved" flavour?

167. Why Noah didn't swat those two mosquitoes?

168. Why do they sterilise the needle for lethal injections?

169. If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

170. Why do people play at a recital and recite at a play?

242 of life's impossible questions for you to ponder here...

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BIBLE TRIVIA

THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.......

is the most notorious in history. Widely, with no biblical foundation, considered to be an apple, likely because of the apple's beauty and taste. Particularly those from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand! Have to get a plug for our regions growers and exporters! All we actually know is this tree was the only source of temptation for Adam and Eve in in the Garden of Eden.

Adapted from: '1001 Surprising Things You Should Know About The Bible' MacGregor & Prys

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OVER 1000 SUDANESE SOLDIERS HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES TO CHRIST

July 18, 2007

(Sudan)—War-ravaged Sudan has seen more than 200,000 people die in the wake of the conflict in the Darfur region, notes a report in Mission Network News, but the Bible League has great hope for the area.

"Even in the midst of opposition, we continue to witness lives being transformed and salvaged from spiritual darkness," said Dr. Mwaya Wa Kitavi, Bible League's associate director of Africa ministries.

According to the report, the group gained access to six army barracks in Southern Sudan, even though the commander was not a Christian. "But God—who is no respecter of any man—gave us favor," said Kitavi. "As a result, more than one thousand soldiers have committed their lives to Christ, and all have been baptized. Praise be to God!"

Source: Mission Network News via The Outreach Files

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

THE HIV/AIDS PANDEMIC IN THE WORLD

In the two decades since its outbreak, HIV has infected more than 60 million people in the world and AIDS has caused the deaths of more than 22 million. The disease cannot be ignored as being a disease that only affects people living in an aberrant lifestyle or in promiscuity. Spouses, friends, tainted blood, etc are infecting innocent people throughout the world. Children are born with the disease from infected mothers, and they can contract the disease from the milk of the mother. There are now more than 15 million innocent orphan children in the world under the age of 15 because of AIDS (orphan being defined as a child that has lost one or both parents to the disease). This number could rise to 25 million by 2010. As Christians, we must offer compassion and hope to ALL victims of the disease, no matter how the person contracted it.

Some countries have recognized that sexual abstinence before marriage can reduce the growing number of HIV/AIDS cases. Our Mission Hospital in India (www.missionhospitalindia.org) requested assistance in preparing a booklet on "the biblical basis for sexual abstinence to avoid AIDS." The booklet was completed in September 2004, and is titled: FOLLOW JESUS, PREVENT AIDS. It is the opinion of the hospital medical staff that if the booklet could be distributed in the quantities needed, the rate of new HIV infections in India could be significantly reduced. There is nothing comparable to this booklet in the entire country.

The English version of the booklet, prepared for English-speaking countries, follows in PDF format. This particular version has been specifically prepared for use in Ghana, West Africa.

The booklet is now available for use by any church, mission organization, or country that wishes to print it. To arrange details, please contact me at the address below.

The magnitude of this project, of course, is enormous and costly. If any reader would care to contribute to this worldwide distribution, you can send your donation to the Mission and Welfare Society - India at the address listed below. Your gift is tax deductible. Progress reports will be provided on a monthly basis to contributors.

Thank you for your concern.

Alvar Helmes, President
Mission and Welfare Society - India
20107 NE 107th Ave.
Battle Ground, WA 98604
U.S.A.

Member of the Foreign Mission Board of the
Apostolic Lutheran Church of America
ironbelt@integrity.com

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WAXING LYRICAL

A little fun about a real ‘mans’ problem!

‘GRUTS’
To grandsons this is a most desirable revolution,
As we had feared grannies presents with a passion.
Although we said thank you, and gave her a big kiss,
We are now so grateful, those old ‘Jockeys’ to miss!

Life has become more complicated for men to live,
Colour, style, different sizes, something has to give!
So now when it comes round to clothes shopping,
A man too, has to take his time, forever stopping!

But even more difficult than this, it would now seem,
Is the image we portray, enough to make one scream,
For to look right in the lockers of the gym,
They must portray the right image of him.

I have to admit to once being an underwear skinflint,
The cheapest pair would always do, whatever the tint.
Until I was given a more comfortable pair,
A little more expensive, but I no longer care!

Now I know that our God doesn’t mind the underwear we wear,
Whether we call them ‘daks’ or ‘gruts’, He surely doesn’t care,
For his eyes penetrate far more than skin deep,
So over our underpants, we are not to lose sleep!

More of David's poems at...

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A DAVID MUSING

WAITING (Continues this week - again!)

Wait for a time,
Then a little more,
Seeking a rhyme,
What's it all for!

I want it now!
Not next week!
You do know how!
To me now speak!

God, all is in your power,
Don't let my life go sour!
I already know what is the best!
No need to put me to the test!

Still nothing happens this week!
"Just wait for Me my son,
Rest in Me, let Me to you speak,
One day, all will be done."

Tuesday comes around,
A new deal awaits.
Found common ground,
With Christian mates.

Full of promise,
Full of hope.
Surely can't miss!
Nope! Nope! Nope!

Wednesday now,
Sign a deal!
We know how!
It's a steal!

Then get a call,
Deal does fall!
Lord I give up!
Hand You the cup.

Agony is inside,
It I can't hide.
What now can I do?
But give it to you.

It's Friday afternoon,
Speak to another man,
Another deal soon?
Yes God, you can!

Wait, wait; wait, wait,
No more, bull at a gate.
God, your will be done,
I'm at peace - your son.
-------------------------

Another deal done,
Contract written.
End of the fun.
End of the mission.

Given to his lawyer,
We're nearly there!
Need go no further,
No need to despair.

The lawyer says no,
No place now to go!
It has fallen over,
Home again Rover!

This time peace does reign,
Getting upset is no gain.
It's in the Lord's hands now,
Just needs to show us how!

(To be continued (finalised?!) next week.)

Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: LAUREL

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION': Basket (Acts 9:25)

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ABOUT US

WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES is a non-profit, non-denominational, Bible based ministry located in Hastings, New Zealand. A ministry dedicated to developing discipleship, fostering unity amongst God’s people to achieve the Great Commission, and in doing so, preparing for Christ’s return. It is securely based upon the foundational principles of the Apostles Creed while recognising the wide and rich diversity of beliefs amongst Christians in other areas. In accordance with the Lord’s direction, materials produced by the ministry are available, free of charge, to genuine enquirers upon request. The ministry is solely funded by donations, as the Lord provides. A list of materials available (plus some fun!) is obtainable and freely downloadable from our website
wwj.org.nz or by contacting us as follows.

Walking With Jesus Ministries
290 Flaxmere Avenue
Flaxmere
Hastings
New Zealand

Phone: (06) 8799 911 International (+64) 6 8799 911
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Our role is to bless and encourage those in ministry while promoting co-operation and unity of direction amongst the body of Christ, as emphasised 3 times by Jesus in His longest prayer, immediately prior to His arrest and crucifixion. "… so that they may be one as we are one." (John 17:12, 21, 23-4) Our website is currently being developed to encourage your participation one with another, to share resources, and to enable you to promote events and items of interest to the body as a whole – and have a smile while doing it!

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