Seasonal Greetings to all of you from members and friends of The Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K.  We sincerely hope that you and your family may enjoy a great time this festive season. Perhaps the greatest Christmas song ever recorded was the song made famous by Bing Crosby; ‘I’M DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS’. People in some nations of the world place bets on the chances of snow falling on Christmas Day. For them this would provide the perfect backdrop with which to celebrate their festive season.

Christmas is clearly a time in which family and friends come together to exchange gifts with each other. It is particularly great to watch as our children open their presents and to witness the joy on their faces as they unwrap the gift of their dreams! In the midst of this, we must always remind ourselves of the real reason for the season. For the Christian believer, it is the time of the year in which we celebrate the greatest gift ever given to mankind; the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Paul, the New Testament letter writer, in referring to this glorious event, describes the coming of Jesus as ‘GOD’S INDESCRIBABLE GIFT’! The Babe in the Bethlehem manger represents this great act of love by God in sending His Son; Jesus to be the One who would bring peace, freedom, healing and forgiveness into a broken world. This message is not just a dream it is a reality! Right at the heart of the message of Christmas is the statement; ‘FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE’……………

Whatever our hopes and dreams may be this festive season, my prayer for each and everyone of you may be that you experience the power and presence of our God and Saviour; Jesus Christ. I close this by quoting a line from one of the Carols that many will sing this Christmas time:-

‘THE HOPES AND FEARS OF ALL THE YEARS ARE MET IN THEE  TONIGHT’.

Have a great time, and may the joy and hope of this blessed season be yours this Christmas tide.

Greetings, and welcome to the web site of Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K. Sunday the 11th of November will be Remembrance Sunday, a day in which millions of people here in the U.K. and in nations of the Commonwealth, will participate in acts of remembrance, honouring those who have fought and laid down their lives in the two World Wars and other conflicts. Their noble and courageous sacrifice has served to provide for us the freedom we enjoy. It is right that we honour those who have served their country with such bravery and self sacrifice.

This year marks the centenary of the end of ‘The Great War’; the First World War, that was so cruel that it was initially referred to as ‘The war that would end all wars’! Millions of lives were lost in the mire of Flanders Fields and the Western Front. Sixty thousand British soldiers were killed in one day at the Battle of the Somme. Sadly, twenty one years later, the world was once again plunged into the terror of a second global conflict resulting in over 55 million deaths!

In remembering these great acts of sacrificial courage, we reflect upon the greatest act of love and sacrifice our world has ever seen; namely the death of our Lord and Saviour; Jesus Christ. He willingly offered Himself through His death on the cross of Calvary, to atone for and to break the power of mankind’s greatest enemy; sin! War, terrorism, and all acts of human barbarity are symptomatic of this condition of sin that blights the human spirit. Mankind, in and of himself, is unable to remedy this problem, but Jesus has made a way through which this power can be broken bringing forgiveness, peace, and hope.

As we remember the heroics of those who gave their lives in the cause of our freedom, Christian believers daily thank God for sending His Son Jesus Christ to provide the path to spiritual freedom and security.

Honesty and the simple exercise of telling the truth seem to be at a premium in the days in which we live. We read of corporate greed in the market place and of business leaders rewarding themselves with exorbitant bonus levels bringing upon themselves negative reputations of greed etc. Multi-nationals are often accused of tax avoidance and failing to pay the right levels of tax in the countries in which they trade. As I write, the news media in America is dominated by the Senate and Congressional hearings that are being conducted as they hear accusations made against a Senior Judge who has been nominated by President Trump to be a life long member of the Supreme Court. Such hearings are replete with salacious rumour and accusation. There seems little prospect of getting to the actual truth, and all of this played out before a global T.V. audience!

The failure to establish the truth and the rank dishonesty on display reminds me of the story of a dentist who sought to be truthful with his patients as to the exact nature of their treatment. He sought to model deep candour:-

‘HE BENT OVER THE PATIENT WITH A HYPODERMIC NEEDLE IN  HIS HAND: YOU MIGHT FEEL A LITTLE STING. ON THE OTHER  HAND, IT MIGHT FEEL AS THOUGH YOU HAVE BEEN KICKED IN  THE MOUTH BY A MULE’!

Jesus at all times sought to portray honesty and integrity. On one occasion He was asked about paying tax, a question that was designed to trick Him. He asked for a coin, He then asked whose inscription was upon the coin. The people answered; ‘Caesar’s’, to which Jesus replied in response to the paying of tax; ‘RENDER TO CAESAR THE THINGS WHICH ARE CAESAR’S, AND TO GOD THE THINGS WHICH ARE GOD’S’! The people marvelled at His wisdom!

Honesty and integrity should be at all times qualities modelled by those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. This is very much a part of the call made by Jesus to His followers to act as ‘SALT AND LIGHT’ in the midst of a confused and uncertain world.

Greetings, and welcome to the web site of The Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K. What a glorious Summer we have enjoyed here in the U.K. with record temperatures and many flocking the coastal resorts both at home and overseas. September marks a change in the seasons as the early stages of Autumn begin and the nights start to close in. September is always the start of the new academic year with children returning to school and students leaving home to study at University. The start of a new season for many!

I have always looked upon this month of September as the beginning of a new season with fresh opportunities and challenges. As a Church Leader, September marks the beginning of the busy period leading up to the Christmas season. As a Church Minister, one of the great privileges I have is the responsibility to bring teaching to our congregation. As a Team here in Glossop, we regard this as a vitally important part of Church activity. As we approach this new season in the life of our Church, I have been led to focus on the early chapters of the New Testament book; The Acts of the Apostles. This records the story of the explosive growth of the Christian Church from small beginnings, to a movement that spread the message of the gospel to the entire Roman world in less that fifty years. Today, in our world, over two billion people consider themselves to be followers of Jesus Christ, and the Church in some parts of the world is currently experiencing powerful growth.

This exciting story, recorded by the historian Luke in Acts, describes how that a small group of Christ’s disciples received the power of The Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. This became the motivation that launched a great missionary movement that brought the message of the gospel to nations, cities, and communities. The title of this new teaching series will be; ‘THE YOUNG CHURCH IN ACTION’. We shall be looking at this powerful story and seeing how that this same message and this same power is available to the Church today.

Encountering the love and grace of Jesus will always bring a person into a new season in their life and experience. My prayer is that many will come to know this Jesus who has the power to change lives and impact communities bringing peace, hope, and reconciliation.

Rev Alistair L. Cole:
Senior Minister: Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K.

Greetings, and welcome to the web site of Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K. I write this the day following the completion of the visit to the U.K. of President Donald Trump, a visit that has certainly ruffled a few feathers! I do not want to comment on the policies or the person of the President, but I do believe that there has to be respect for ‘The Office he holds’. It is in the interests both of our nation and the United States that a strong bi-lateral working relationship exists in the areas of trade, defence, and relationships with the wider global community of nations. At the same time we need to defend the right for there to be the expression of legitimate and constructive political debate and dialogue.

Some months ago, in the early months of his Presidency, Donald Trump coined the phrase ‘FAKE NEWS’ in response to what he considered to be factually incorrect reporting by CNN in relation to some of his policies. During his visit to the U.K., he was interviewed by the Sun newspaper and made unflattering comments about the British Prime Minister; Theresa May and her policy on BREXIT. When holding a press conference with the Prime Minister, he sought to ‘Row Back’ from some of the comments made in his interview with the Sun and labelled them ‘FAKE NEWS’! Unfortunately for Mr Trump, the Sun newspaper has been able to produce the original sound transcript of the interview!

The word ‘GOSPEL’, commonly regarded as the core message taught by Jesus Christ, has an interesting meaning; ‘GOOD NEWS’ Amidst all of the claim and counter-claim of politicians, the message of the gospel is a message that brings hope and light into situations where there is confusion and despair. At the heart of this message are the words spoken by Jesus Christ when He likened Himself to be ‘THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD’. The mission of the Church has always been and always will be to proclaim and to demonstrate the abiding values that Jesus taught and modelled, values such as forgiveness and reconciliation.  It is the genuine article and not FAKE!

Once a year, here in the U.K., an event is held in which people who have overcome major difficulties i.e. serious injury, injury in military conflict, notable acts of bravery etc., are rewarded for their courage and perseverance. They are usually welcomed to this event by members of The Royal Family and other notable people from various walks of life. Recognition is given to those who have persevered in the face of life changing circumstances, and have gone on to rebuild their lives through determination and courage. This reminded me of the following story:-

When he was seven years old, his family was forced out of their home on a legal technicality and he had to work to support them. At age nine, his mother died. At twenty two, he lost his job as a store clerk. He wanted to go to law school, but his education was not good enough. At twenty three, he was in debt to become a partner in a small store. At twenty six, his business partner died, leaving him with a huge debt that took years to repay. At twenty eight, after courting a girl for four years, he asked her to marry him but she said no. At thirty seven, on his third attempt, he was elected to Congress, but two years later, he failed to be re-elected. At forty one, his four year old son died. At forty five, he ran for Senate and lost. At forty seven, he failed as the Vice Presidential candidate. At forty nine, he ran for the Senate again and lost. At fifty one, he was elected President of the United States. His name was Abraham Lincoln, a man many consider the greatest leader his country ever had. He persevered!

The Apostle Paul, the author of several of the books contained in the New Testament, faced major hurdles and challenges in his life including terms of imprisonment, beatings, shipwreck, opposition, and the daily responsibility of caring for the Churches he had planted. There were times when he almost gave up, but he learned the secret of perseverance. Towards the end of his life, he was able to write the following words:-

‘I FOCUS ON THIS ONE THING, FORGETTING THE PAST AND LOOKING FORWARD
TO WHAT LIES AHEAD, I PRESS ON TO REACH THE END OF THE RACE AND RECEIVE
THE PRIZE FOR WHICH GOD, THROUGH CHRIST JESUS, IS CALLING ME’.

No challenge or circumstance in life is too big for our Lord Jesus Christ. He has promised His peace and provision to all who receive Him as Lord and Saviour, and to all who embrace His forgiveness!

‘HOPE’ is a word that is in common use in everyday speech and is often used in a wide range of circumstances. The dictionary defines ‘Hope’ as follows:-
‘TO DESIRE SOMETHING, USUALLY WITH SOME POSSIBILITY OF FULFILLMENT’.
We may express hope in a number of ways. We hope for advancement, for example, in our career prospects. We hope for good news relative to a medical report. As parents we hope for the best for our children as they progress through their education and find their place in the world of work. We passionately hope that our sports teams are successful in winning trophies etc., the list is endless. The word ‘HOPE’ has a very strong part to play in the understanding of the message of the Christian gospel. During 2018, many Churches here in the U.K. are participating in a national initiative designed to share the message of the gospel; (gospel meaning ‘Good News’), to cities, towns, and communities the length and breadth of the nation. The core message of ‘HOPE’ has to do with the power of Jesus Christ to meet people at their point of need, and to give people hope as they face the challenges of everyday life. Churches are using all kinds of creative ideas with which to share this great message of hope and compassion.

We here at Elim Christian Centre are seeking to play our part with a series of events during the June/July period, including the transferring of our Sunday morning service onto the local Town Square. We are entitling this; ‘Church on the Square’. This will enable us to meet people in our community and to share with them this great message of ‘HOPE’. Our aim is not to promote our Church, although there is always a friendly welcome to those who are visiting us. Our main aim is to share that Jesus is the One who can bring HOPE and help to those who may at any given point be facing challenging circumstances.

Our prayer is, that as a result of HOPE 2018, many folk in all parts of the U.K. may encounter Jesus and find Him to be the One who can give them real HOPE and a purpose for living.

Greetings, and welcome to the web site of Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire, U.K. ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ is universally recognised as a phrase taken from the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples in response to their request that He teach them how to pray. In speaking what has been termed as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. Jesus composed a prayer that is prayed by literally millions of people every day of the year. The prayer begins with reference to Father God and the power and majesty of His Name; ‘HALLOWED BY THY NAME’. The word ‘Hallowed’ means ‘Respected or Revered’. The prayer continues:-

‘THY KINGDOM COME. THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN’!

Two years ago, Justin Welby; The Archbishop of Canterbury, felt led in partnership with other Church and Prayer Leaders to invite Christians here in the U.K. to pray this prayer and to participate in prayer events in the ten day period leading up to Pentecost Sunday. The invitation has gone out to people to unite in prayer under the banner of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. What commenced as a U.K. initiative has now gone global, and millions of people will be praying this commencing on Thursday the 10th of May and continuing up to Pentecost Sunday the 20th. The idea is for people to unite in praying for their nation, Church, local community, family, and for individuals. We here at Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, are hosting a United Prayer Service inviting the Churches in Glossopdale to come together in a service of prayer and worship. This will commence at 6.30 pm on Sunday 20th May.

In praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, there is a call for there to be a manifestation of the power, love, and compassion shown by our Lord Jesus Christ during the years of His earthly ministry. Jesus taught and demonstrated the values of The Kingdom of God and sought to reach out to people who were in desperate need. The mission of the Church today is to replicate the ministry of Jesus and to pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ through mission and testimony. Prayer is the most powerful tool at the disposal of the Church of Jesus Christ in her mission to make His power and love known to a hurting and confused world.

During the course of a normal lifetime we are called to make literally thousands of decisions. Some are made without thinking; they usually involve matters to do with the mundane affairs of everyday life. Other decisions we are called upon to make will have a bearing on the future direction of our lives; our life partner, career, major purchases, the education of our children etc. In the making of these decisions we need great wisdom.

In thinking about this, I am reminded of the story of a courthouse that stands on a hill in a Midwestern State of America. The building is so situated that raindrops falling on one side of the roof travel by way of the Great Lakes into the Atlantic, while drops landing on the opposite side find their way through the Ohio and Mississippi to the Gulf. Just a breath of wind one way or the other may determine whether a single raindrop will end up either in the Gulf or the Atlantic. In the midst of the decisions of life, one single decision is enough to determine our eternal destiny. The key factor is whether we acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, or do we reject Him and His offer of grace and mercy. The choice is yours!

On Wednesday the 21st of February, news broke concerning the passing of the Evangelist and Preacher; Dr Billy Graham at the age of 99. Literally thousands of tributes have poured in from world leaders past and present, from religious leaders, and people from all walks of life whose lives had been powerfully impacted by this gracious man. He was a born communicator and possessed a God given gift in fulfilling his call to be a preacher of the gospel. For just over seventy years, Billy Graham had been faithful in sharing the Christian gospel to huge audiences in many parts of the world. He was able to cross cultural and national boundaries and had the rare gift of reaching out to people of all ages. He became the personal confidant of all serving American Presidents from Harry Truman onwards, and brought influence to bear in major moments of American history including the events of 9/11.

He dedicated his life to preaching the simple truths of the Christian gospel. He was passionate in his communication but never overbearing. He based his message on the phrase; ‘THE BIBLE SAYS’. He steered away from expressing individual opinion, he was careful to back up what he said from the words of Scripture. Although supremely gifted, he always acknowledged the help of teams of people who worked with him, often behind the scenes.

He was well known to the British public and conducted major missions here in the U.K. on many occasions. He preached in front of Her Majesty The Queen and visited her on a number of occasions. He would also be a regular visitor to 10, Downing Street when visiting Britain.

We thank God for this humble servant of the gospel, and we affirm the life changing power of the message he communicated to audiences worldwide. Our prayers are with his family as they reflect upon the impact his life made upon so many people across the nations of our world.