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Welcome to Open Heaven
Welcome to Open Heaven
Open Heaven is a thriving and growing community, where you can encounter God and develop many good friendships. We are an active, passionate and contemporary church with a specific call to make disciples in 21st century culture.
Whether you are studying or working in Loughborough, or you are a searching for answers to some of life’s questions, you can find an authentic and relevant community here at Open Heaven Church.
- Sunday Gatherings this week (Sunday 27th July)
Joint Gathering: 3pm at St Peter’s Centre, Storer Road, Loughborough, followed by a picnic at Cumberland Park.
Welcome to Loughborough!
We hope that you’ve survived the first few weeks of freshers and that you’ve made it at least to a few of your lectures! Uni is such a key time in your faith and at Open Heaven we’re really passionate about supporting you in this! We are active and passionate about student mission and have a heart for seeing God move on campus.
Are you racist? Or sexist? Or any other ist? I realised this week that I’m a little bit more of all of these things than I care to accept, thanks to a game of superhero snap with my 4 year old son.
Before us was a set of pictures of undeniably superhuman characters. I recognised Batman, Spiderman and a couple of “baddies” but there were many I hadn’t seen before; so we tried to work out the superheroes from the super-villains. Without really thinking too hard we went about forming 2 piles, which on reflection contained a concerning distinction. All the goodies were a bit like us; people shaped, good looking with nice suits and all those we’d labelled as villains were, you know, a bit funny looking, perhaps had strange features, odd coloured skin.
Perhaps musicals aren’t your thing and you didn’t go to see Les Miserables at the cinema. From the trailer you’d probably think it’s about the French revolution, a love story, Russell Crowe singing; really this is all background fluff to a powerful story of a response to grace.
Early on in the story, Jean Valjean, a recently released ex-convict turns up in town and finds he is despised and rejected at every turn, his reputation going before him. Why would anyone want anything to do with him? Leave him out in the cold, make it clear he’s not welcome and he’ll surely move on.
As we get back into the familiar routines of life, let’s not miss the moment that a New Year brings to recommit ourselves again to the first and most important relationship in our lives: Christ the King. If you have not yet taken the chance to renew your allegiance to Him and to His cause for this coming year then stop reading right now and tell him: “I belong to you”.
Cast your eye over the coming days, weeks and months ahead and just notice whether your allegiance to Him comes through in what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. If any of your life/work/family rhythms have changed recently then just assess how you are going to maintain and invest in your connection with him. Over the last couple of days I’ve written into my calendar regular time to be with Him. It’s the only way to ensure it happens regularly! I plan in my time with God just as I plan in anything else that’s important to me.
Get Ready, Fast: 1st Sep – 10th Oct 2012
About 6 weeks ago I was speaking at a 2 day conference in Liverpool, at Frontline church and was staying in the home of Dave Connelly, one of the leaders there.The conference went well and on the Saturday I was about to get a lift back to the train station from one of the interns, when Dave Connelly stopped me and said he wanted to drive me to the station instead. We chatted generally about Open Heaven and then he said: “I couldn’t sleep last night. The Lord kept me awake and gave me a word for Open Heaven that I’ve been praying into and thinking about how to share it with you.” That got my attention!
We are really looking forward to meeting and hearing from you if you are coming to Loughborough this September!
Students have been at the heart of Open Heaven since it began over 18 years ago and we are so excited to meet you all and invest into you for the next 3 years. Student life is great and will be the most amazingly fun, busy and crazy time that will shape you for years to come.
Many of you know that after living with Pete & Miri for 3 months, God provided an apartment for us to move into via an old man called Claude! He had checked his Facebook account for the first time in about 6 months to find a message from that "nice young Englishman" at the exact same moment that he put down the phone from his brother-in-law, who had asked if Claude could help him to fill their mother-in-law's two-bedroom apartment in Annecy.
This all happened at the same time that church prayed for us at the Weekend Away in February.
The world’s premier sporting event - the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics is coming to the UK!
It’s not only coming to the UK but Loughborough will be hosting Team GB and the Japanese team in their preparation for the games. This is a once in a lifetime experience and an amazing opportunity for churches to be at the heart of the celebrations.
We’ve just started our new series on the book of Acts. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Acts is probably one of the most important books of the New Testament. If we did not have it, then apart from what we could deduce from Paul’s letters, we would have no information on how the early church started, and then grew from a little known corner of Palestine, to sweep across the known world and reach Rome, the capital of the Empire- all within about 30 years.
Acts was written by Dr. Luke who in Colossians 4 v14 is called ‘our dear friend Luke, the doctor. He was the only Gentile writer in the New Testament, a companion of Paul and a gifted writer. It is in fact the same Dr. Luke who wrote Luke’s gospel and most scholars think that Luke’s gospel and Acts were written as 2 volumes of the one story. Rather than Acts being called ‘Acts of the Apostles’ (there are only 3 apostles mentioned!) it could equally be called ‘Acts of King Jesus Volume 2’ as the living presence of the risen Christ invades the whole book of Acts.
A little while ago I attending a social event where most people were strangers. It was a weekend away and I turned up to a venue I didn't know, to a roomful of people who were new and felt like I was with friends I just hadn't met yet. The atmosphere, the welcome and the warmth of everyone I met was unusual and put me at ease right away. Here was a bunch of people who would be my friends its just they hadn't had the opportunity to get to know me before.
It left me thinking; could that same atmosphere, welcome and warmth be at Open Heaven gatherings? Yes of course it could! And I am planning on making it so. With a little help from some friends!