'Hope for the Fatherless,' Rev Craig Sweeney-Essex, 16-9-19

In the USA it is believed that around 20 million children come from fatherless families.[1] A headline in a South African newspaper read, ‘consumed by fatherlessness.’[2] It is believed that over 60% of South African children are fatherless![3] A UK newspaper reported that, ‘Britain is facing a “crisis of fatherlessness” in which almost half of all children born today will not be living with both parents by the time they are 15.’[4] Christian adoption charity, Home for Good, state that ‘every year 40,000 children and young people come into care in the UK’.[5]


As a result of this fatherlessness several negative consequences have been highlighted through several different studies:[6] Poverty, substance abuse, decreased educational achievement, increased involvement in crime, sexual activity and teen pregnancy, decreased physical and emotional health, low self-esteem, a lack of ability to form happy long lasting relationships as adults, increased aggression, and more!


So, it is important for us to think about two questions:


As the Church, what do we have to say into this situation of fatherlessness?

What hope do we have to offer our society, this world, as the people of God concerning fatherlessness?

[1] http://fathers.com/wp39/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/fatherlessInfographic.pdf

[2] https://www.thetrumpet.com/16988-south-africa-consumed-by-fatherlessness

[3] https://www.thetrumpet.com/16988-south-africa-consumed-by-fatherlessness

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/12/fatherless-society-children-in-poverty-iain-duncan-smith--social-justice-thinktank

[5] https://www.homeforgood.org.uk/

[6] These consequences are taken from the previously referenced sources and http://fathers.com/statistics-and-research/the-consequences-of-fatherlessness/


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'Baptism: What's the Point? Part 1'. Rev. Craig Sweeney-Essex, 17-3-19

As part of our commitment to Christian discipleship (one of our four key values) we offer believers baptism to all those who have declared that they have turned to God and placed their trust in Jesus Christ with the intention of living as Christian disciples. Those being baptised are dipped or immersed (the meaning of the word baptism) in water in our baptistery pool. This is located under our stage and is opened up and filled with water on the day of baptism.

We have two baptism services coming up in the life of the church at CBC in April and October 2019. In order to help us to understand more about why a person might receive believer’s baptism we will be exploring some of the key principles behind it over the next four weeks. These principles are helpful to us even if we have already been baptised since they are part of and inform our everyday Christian discipleship.

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'No Compromise' - Sharing the Gospel, Acts 4:1-22

As part of our no compromise series, the springboard of which is Psalm 86:11, we looked at a particular example of sharing the gospel from Acts 4:1-22. The Church is in the early stages of development as the apostles have been called to be witnesses to the gospel of Christ. Today’s passage presents us with a particular method of sharing: public preaching. In response the Jewish religious leaders try to shut down the preaching of the gospel. Hoever, the one thing the apostles would not compromise on was sharing the gospel regardless of the consequences.

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No Compromise: Speak Out. Esther 4:1-17 (Craig Sweeney-Essex, 17-2-19)

We continue to hear from our series ‘No Compromise’ as we look at how we might be a voice for the voiceless in matters of injustice.

'Although it may look different from person to person and church to church, cost comes with following Christ. Christianity and comfort do not go together if we live lives of no compromise. Lives that share the whole breadth of the gospel - salvation moving us into seeing others saved but also speaking out for justice for those who need it.'

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