Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus

Posted on 1st December 2018 by Joy Cowley

Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus

This week we asked Joy Cowley, Children's Ministry Leader at City Valley Church to share a thought on Christmas from a parenting perspective. Look out for further guest posts from City Valley over the Christmas period.   

We have just received the costume instructions from school for the children's Christmas performance and I will admit that my reaction bore more than a passing resemblance to Emma Thompson's character in Love Actually as her children announce the parts they will be playing in the upcoming nativity. ("You mean, there was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus??!") It's funny that we would have to look for Jesus in amongst all the Christmas hype, seeing as it's all about Him in the first place, but maybe no bad thing that we have to make a conscious decision to 'seek first the Kingdom of God' as Jesus tells us to in Matthew 6.   

I did initially panic and start demanding that my eldest explain the real meaning of Christmas twice a day just in case time with her friends or the Christmas episode of Peppa Pig had made her forget. But, I have mellowed over the last couple of weeks, and the new approach seems to be working better. At bedtime the other day, the youngest wanted to sing Happy Birthday as we often sing to Jesus at bedtime. It didn't take the eldest long to point out that Happy Birthday is not a 'Jesus song'. But, wanting to make the most of the youngest's enthusiasm I decided it could be at this time of year, so we sang 'Happy Birthday' to Jesus and chatted about how old Jesus is and how many candles you'd need if you made Him a birthday cake. 

I'm struck this year by the deep desire of people in our culture to create a magical Christmas for themselves and their loved ones. And I am overwhelmed by the fact that I've met the One whose arrival in our world is probably the most mysterious, thrilling and exquisitely beautiful thing that has ever happened. Whatever else might be going on for us this Christmas (and there might be grief, loneliness, stress, and conflict in the mix as well as the fun stuff) we can know that Christmases with Him at the centre have hope and joy in them, because that's what He has come to bring for our world. 

Now it turns out I'm not the first to sing 'Happy Birthday' to Jesus. To get you and your family thinking about how to bring Jesus into your celebrations this year, why not take one minute for a quick watch of this video from 'Parenting for Faith'

Joy Cowley
Children's Ministry Leader
City Valley Church 

Autumn 2018

Posted on 25th October 2018 by Laura Baldwin

Autumn 2018

Autumn is here again and, it seems to have really sneaked up on us. That’s probably because we have had a very busy summer at City Valley. We’ve seen our wonderful leadership couple Stew and Gaynor take a well deserved six-week break and the church didn’t collapse without them! Towards the end of June, we saw our fascinating series ‘Everyday Supernatural’ end. For those of us that missed these talks and/or haven’t yet read the book, it is available to purchase here.

 July and August Sundays saw us delve into the old testament, guided through the book of Exodus by our very own Stewart Morris, Mark Cowley and, Matt Small alongside guest speakers Graham Anns and Stuart Reid.

The end of the summer was marked by a fantastic (if a little wet) time away as a church family at Devoted Festival. What a fab time was had by all! Some fantastic teaching and amazing fellowship not to mention the food cooked up in the City Valley Marquee (Well done team!!) The recordings from the main talks and seminars are available to download now HERE

And suddenly we found ourselves in Autumn and back in the New Testament with Sunday talks following a series on the book of 1 Peter with Dave Nobbs, Mark Cowley, and guest speaker Graham Anns looking at ‘Good Deeds and Suffering'. The series concluded with Gaynor and Stew Morris and their talk 'Strong, Firm and Steadfast'. All this summer's talks can be downloaded via our website on the Podcast page and our most recent talks are always featured on the homepage (scroll to the bottom).  

During this month of October, the new series looking at the book of Revelation has begun with John Wilson. Also, our weekly; Alpha course (9th October), CAP Job Club (22nd October) and of course our home ‘Connect’ groups are in new seasons. Check out the links for further details, you’d be most welcome to join us, it’s not too late!

Very excitingly, plans to see the prophetic words over our church have begun to take shape as our second City Valley meeting was announced and discussed with those ‘counted in’ early in October. The first ‘City Valley Airedale’ meeting took place Sunday 21st October 2018 at a temporary venue of Bradley Village Hall and was a marvelous time of worship, teaching and fellowship. The Holy Spirit was very much with us in a small village hall in ‘God's Own Country’.

Of course, ‘City Valley Shipley’ was still open for meeting with Jesus and both meetings hosted a slow cooker meal after the meeting for the church family to enjoy together. What a wonderful blessing on both our meetings. The ‘Airedale’ meetings will continue monthly into 2019 and will take place at The Hub, Steeton at 4 pm on Sundays; 18th November 16th December and 20th January. Please add the new meetings to your prayers over the coming months.

A big thank you to all those that have stepped forward to serve at either meeting be it for the first time or on a regular rota. From providing a slow cooker dish, helping with the set-up to being on welcome, projector, worship, kids work or any other team, the church couldn’t operate without you and with you, it is a well-oiled machine! 

Our next Engine Room prayer night is Wednesday 7th November, so much to pray for in Bradford, across the Aire Valley and beyond. Let’s join our voices in prayer together.  

We have some exciting events and speakers coming up; Sunday 11th November is our Remembrance Sunday Service and Sunday 2nd December we are welcoming back Christian comedian and guest speaker Andy Kind (you may remember him from earlier this year at one of our Costa events.) ‘Revive Yorkshire’ is back at Gateway Church, Leeds on the evening of Wednesday 14th November. Follow us on Facebook for updates and events and remember to visit our website to read our blog and listen to any missed podcasts.

So now we are looking straight towards the season that is… CHRISTMAAAAAAAAS!!!! We love all things Christmas and celebrating Jesus (even more than usual) at City Valley, join us and bring along your friends, after all, He is the ‘Reason for the Season!’ Amen! 

June at City Valley

Posted on 10th July 2018 by Laura Baldwin

Firstly, please accept our apologies for the delay in posting our monthly round-up for June. We are a little late this month, thank you for your patience and understanding. The month of June has been incredible from, a very rare, long-standing heat wave to an equally-as-rare, ongoing, triumphant performance in the World Cup. Our church leadership has been finding its feet whilst Gaynor and Stew take a six-week sabbatical and our connect groups and outreach courses have come to a close for the summer. So let's get to it...

You may recall from May's Round-Up post, the new series titled 'Everyday Supernatural' based loosely on the book of the same name by 'Mike Pilavachi' who visited us last year and his colleague and friend, Andy Croft. We began the series in May with the first three weeks and continued throughout the whole month of June with some fantastic guest speakers. 

Everyday Supernatural Week Four; The Armour of God

Our very own Stew Morris led us into June's Sunday morning talks continuing the Everyday Supernatural series with the topic of 'The Armour of God' as read in Ephesians 6:10-18. A great way to start the month! Prior to the talk, the church also laid on hands and prayed for Stew and Gaynor as they embark on a six-week break from the leadership of the church. 

Everyday Supernatural Week Five; Hearing God 

Christ Frost is an Elder with the leadership team at Gateway Church, Leeds. Chris brought us a talk on the subject of 'Hearing God'. Reading from 1 Corinthians 12; 7-8 Chris spoke on 'words of knowledge and wisdom', what they are, what they mean and why they are used. Great teaching for the church as we continue our Everyday Supernatural theme.

Everyday Supernatural Week Six; God's Power in Weakness 

Reading from 2 Corinthians 12: 6-10 Josh Davies explained the church in Corinth was spirit filled and thirsty for gifts of the spirit. In Paul's letter to the church, he encourages them to 'eagerly desire' the gifts of the spirit. As Christians what posture do we adopt? Do we lean on God? Or are we waiting until we are 'perfect Christians' before we let God use us? God has 'Power in Weakness', he wants to use you wherever you are in your journey. 

Everyday Supernatural Week Seven; The Gift of Prophecy 

Returning guest speaker Mike Sprenger from Hope Church Harrogate led us in The Spiritual Gift of Prophecy in a hands-on approach. Individuals were prophesied over and it was a very spirit led time for the church.   

CAP Job Club 

This month we also saw the new CAP Job Club come to the close of its first course. The course itself did run over the original eight-week length, however, the feedback has been amazing with people finding work, finding themselves and finding out more about Christ. The second Job Club course is destined to commence later this month (July) and we are in need of more volunteers and course leaders. If you are able to spare time on Mondays please speak to Mike Betts or contact the church office for more details.  

Alpha Course

Our Alpha course has also now come to a close and a new course is scheduled to take place in October 2018. Should you or someone you know be interested please visit our website or Facebook page or contact the church office for details.  

Alongside CAP Job Club and Alpha, we have also had our Tuesday night 'Foundations' discipleship course and of course our usual connect groups. 

Connect & Send

This season we have had a theme within our connect group meet-ups. Connect & Send meant that as small home groups we met weekly or fortnightly to not only support one another, Study the Bible and worship but this season we have also taken it in turns within our small groups to pray for those we come into contact with on a daily basis. Laying on hands and praying for one person, in particular, every session. We hoped to help our church family members to feel confident and expectant in God's ability to use us all to share the Good News. We prayed for opportunities to advance the gospel with those we love around us. If you are a member of our church family and wish to join a connect group next season, please don't hesitate to contact the church office. 

Revive Yorkshire

The third of three prayer evenings focussing on praying for God to move across Yorkshire, bringing revival, took place on Wednesday 8th June at Gateway Church, Leeds. These Wednesday nights have been a blessed time of worship and prayer. Feedback received from the events included the very tangible presence of the Holy Spirit in the room and a really welcome connection with our fellow Christ Central churches. 

So as you can see it has been a very busy month at City Valley indeed. We are excited to see what July holds (aside from the Football of course). We do have a couple of events coming really soon. Here is a sneak preview...

Fish, Chips & Magic Tricks with Rod Williams

We are hosting another of our popular fish & chip evenings on Wednesday 25th July. Click HERE for details.

Populating Heaven

And finally, we would like to announce that our very own Mike Towle has written a new book, 'Populating Heaven'. We will be sharing details of how to find out more about this encouraging evangelical resource and where you can purchase a copy, via our Facebook page as soon as we have the information. In the meantime, speak to Mike on Sundays to find out more.

And that concludes our June round-up. Apologies once again for the delay this month. We are looking forward to a fantastic summer, together as a church family.

God Bless

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