City Life is a family of families who love God and Cambridge. Learn more about us, say hello. We welcome you to try out one of our meetings. We exist to help each other, and our city, and see Jesus realised in our communities.
Do you know anyone who’d be intrigued to hear our guest Lucy share her story of hope and loss and pain and joy and heartbreak? This is Lucy’s story, but don’t forget that it’s our story as it’s the Good News, the Gospel of our loving Pappa-God, Jesus Christ.
“Hope is an anchor for my soul” (Hebrews 6:19).
Lucy Mann works in Arbury, North Cambridge and lives in Histon, having spent the majority of the past ten years in Swavesey. Her Daughter Abi is doing a foundation year in Performing Arts at Impington Village College and son Chris is in his final year at Swavesey Village College. Lucy’s other son, Ben, died of a brain tumour in 2009 aged 8.
I invite you to invite a friend, neighbour, relative–to join us on Sunday, February 25th at 3pm at our traditional meeting place of St. Andrew’s Church Hall as we meet with God and each other, sharing important Kingdom stories.
I love worshiping Him by singing. It’s my favourite way to express my love to Him with others. But do you know what’s good about getting out of the four walls of our church meeting place? Witness!
Yes, our lives speak of Him every day. At the school gate in our relationships and at workplace–the respect and value we have for people is a witness to the God we serve and the Life of Him in us–as individuals.
But what about when we get out in the community to serve those He loves? We are taking action to communicate the Gospel to people who won’t hear it in our church gatherings. We are showing His love to those in a way that I think are answers to prayers for His beloved! And we are doing together what we can’t do alone. The Bible verse about a chord of three strings is not easily broken is used as an analogy for husband, wife and God. It can be used for us as His people working together too.
The Chesterton Festival, on June 17th, is a community event where we have can work together to express His unconditional love for unchurched in our community.
Similarly, this Sunday, 30th April, we can meet together at Daily Bread to litter pick the area and pray as an act of worship, being church without walls!
Is this just a time to be somber? Is this a church activity for grownups only?
No! Anyone who calls Jesus their Lord is invited to eat and drink in the way Jesus teaches us to remember His sacrifice for us on the Cross.
It’s sometimes referred to as the Lords Supper, or Holy Communion. People often get serious when then think of Jesus dying for our sins, which is understandable. But on the other hand, we might communion can be a time for us to remember Jesus coming back to life and our freedom–with joy!
Sarah reminding us that we eat bread to remember how Jesus nourishes our soul and we drink wine to remind ourselves how Jesus is the vine and we are connected to Him to get our life.
We are thankful for generous giving of CLCers that will help us to give to people for missionary work in Morocco, fighting sex trafficing in Moscow, church planting in Great Britain, emergency aid around the globe, as well as community needs in Cambridge and supporting Christians in Parliament! Most of all, we are thankful for our generous Father God who gives us every good thing that we enjoy.
We are throwing a party to celebrate 22 years of Tim and Ania’s service to CLC, and to thank them for leading us on this amazing adventure. If you were a part of CLC at any point in those 22 years, we invite you to join us to honour Tim and Ania for the ways we’ve all walked and grown together, wherever we find ourselves today. This will be a party that expresses the values we’ve learned in CLC, so come as you are, come with an open heart, and come ready to enjoy God together as we reflect on the many ways He has blessed us as a church and far, far beyond.
Join us to celebrate the journey with Tim and Ania and send them off in style. Tim has been so enthusiastic and releasing in “sending out” so many over the years. Now it’s our turn to send him!
No worries if you can’t bring any of the below – mostly it would just be great to see you!
If you can, bring:
– Some food to share (ideally something that doesn’t have to be re-heated)
– A musical instrument!?
– A friend! Let’s make it a CLC reunion
It’s twenty-two years on from arriving to start this adventure in Cambridge.
For Ania and I these have been the best and most shaping years of our lives. We’ve shared with you so many memories over these years, from finding ourselves on several occasions leading rather unconventional services in Kings College Chapel, to having the thrill of investing into our patch called Kings Hedges and the Summer Blast, to Portugal Place, to the Citizen Kane Night Club with Sunday mornings and beer-sticky floors, to that thing called Fusion, to those European Prayer trips, dinner parties, baptisms in the Cam, sweaty prayer rooms and having the courage to have a go at almost anything. There is even still a football club in Cambridge called City Life!
We always did say church is about people and its true, for CLC it is about all the amazing people, each with their own unique stories that have passed through this little community and for this we thank God.
And yet the greatest encouragement for us has been through all our triumphs and mistakes God has granted us such a precious family in Ola, Max and Toby who, now teenagers, love God in each of their own fantastic ways and feel privileged to call CLC their family – through all its shapes, sizes and comings and goings. Thank you for the part you have played in investing into us as a family over the years.
But the time has come to pass on the reins of CLC.
It’s a privilege this summer to be handing on the leadership of CLC to Kevin Cade and a new team heralding in a new day!
Ania and I will be staying based in Cambridge and continue to be big fans of CLC. In August I take up a new role heading up Plumbline in the UK and wider work in encouraging and planting churches, supporting leaders and serving community transformation. So hoping to have more time for coffees with people around the country.
Kevin is already enjoying seeing the new shape for CLC forming that retains our passion and love for Christ and community, while always being open to new things. If you are back in town ever do check in!
As for all of you that had a time as part of this community, thank you. I appreciate the diversity and nuances we all have, but there have been shared experiences and formative times that I hope in some way have shaped for good the people we’ve become.
May we keep on contributing to shaping our culture and society where ever we now are, seeing Christ’s amazing kingdom flourish in not only our lives, but the lives of many others.
One thing that I’ve learnt over these years is to never give up despite what may happen.
Tom shared how we can approach our Father with childlike boldness and freedom. Listen to the audio here to get the stories and relational aspects that help communicate these truths. See some bare notes below:
How do we view ourselves, judge ourselves–specifically in relation to God?
This video shows a very good endeavour to inspire bravery in place of fear of failure. Tackling the unwillingness to take risks due to perfectionism. This is aimed at girls, but maybe they are not the only ones who grow up thinking they need to be perfect:
Can you identify with holding back to avoid mistakes, thinking you musn’t get it wrong?
It’s so difficult to avoid being critical of others. It’s all around our world. When is the last time you heard a news report of a politician or teacher doing a great job?
Whether we are assessing our children’s behaviour or a colleague at work, how gracious are we? What kind of judge am I and what does it say about how I judge myself?
Think of someone who is intensely curious about the world, who loves reading and drawing, seems to have boundless energy, and constantly comes up with fresh ideas. Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali, Leonardo da Vinci, who were artists as well as inventors with great curiosity. Maybe children are even better examples. Creativity flourishes with risks, experimentation, fearlessness.
Jesus said “you must become just like a child to enter the kingdom of God” in Matthew 18:3.
Kids are uncritical
Kids are not afraid to fail
Kids get it wrong all the time
Kids know that someone else is in charge
Let’s remember what our Father God is like. What kind of judge is He?
“Slow to anger and rich in love” (Psalm 145).
Let’s remember what Jesus is like (Matthew 9):
“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
This is God’s grace for us. That He loves us like a Father loves his children. That’s why we need to become like children to enter His Kingdom, because we have to give up the pretence that we’ve got it all sorted. We have to accept that He’s in charge and loves us and accepts us because we know that’s we’re in the wrong. Not because we’ve got it right.
The inspiration for our teaching this term is a book called the Ragamuffin Gospel. It says:
“There is a myth flourishing in the church today that has caused incalculable harm: once converted, fully converted. In other words, once I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, an irreversible, sinless future beckons. Discipleship will be an untarnished success story; life will be an unbroken upward spiral toward holiness. Tell that to poor Peter who, after three times professing his love for Jesus on the beach and after receiving the fullness of the Spirit at Pentecost, was still jealous of Paul’s apostolic success.”
Another quote from Brennan Manning’s Ragamuffin Gospel says, “Often I have been asked, ‘Brennan, how is it possible that you became an alcoholic after you got saved?’ It is possible because I got battered and bruised by loneliness and failure; because I got discouraged, uncertain, guilt-ridden, and took my eyes off Jesus. Because the Christ-encounter did not transfigure me into an angel. Because justification by grace through faith means I have been set in right relationship with God, not made the equivalent of a patient etherized on a table.”
The challenge for us today, whether we’re being asked to judge someone else’s work, behaviour, or just ourselves, is to remember that we are broken, fragile people who need God’s grace. That God is God and I am not. That there is nothing we can do to make us deserve God’s love and acceptance. That we are His children. And he calls us to come to Him,
Without judging ourselves. Unafraid. Without cynicism. Admitting that we get it wrong. Knowing that He is in charge.