Who We Are

Hay Hill is a friendly, welcoming and vibrant church in the centre of Bath, with an open and inclusive theology. Our community has a full range of ages, with a high proportion of young families. We have a strong sense of vision, and many who speak prophetically. We passionately believe that we are blessed by God to be a blessing to those around us.

Community Sunday: Love Your Neighbour As Yourself

 

In January's Community Sunday, we were looking at the second part of what Jesus said were the greatest commandments in Mark 12. After last week looking at loving God with everything you are, this week was 'loving your neighbour as yourself'... which is really inseparable from the first part.

John and Mark focussed particularly on a currently much-maligned group of people in the world: Muslims. We had a quiz with the simple question: Bible or Qu'ran? that highlighted that there are difficult and violent verses in both books, as well as very positive, transformational words. It demonstrated the danger of quoting verses here and there with no context, and little understanding of the culture and period of history in which the books originated.


Declan: Contentment

Declan, looks at Mark 12:28-34, The Greatest Commandment, which he belives  gives us a challenging instruction on how to live our lives.  The search for contement is something we all go through in our lives.  Declan believes this commandment, spoken by Jesus and recorded by Mark, is a powerful tool, even the key to helping us in this lifelong search.

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Gaynor: Introduction to Mark's gospel

As a church, we are reading through all the first four books of the New Testament ('the gospels') throughout the first four months of the year, and everyone can join in with that!

In the first teaching Sunday of the year, Gaynor gives an overview of the gospel according to Mark, illuminating the writing style and approach of the book and looking into what the key phrase 'Kingdom of God' means, based upon what Jesus said and what he did.

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Mark - God's Presence: Incarnation

Mark's talk from the Advent season brings the autumn term focus on God's presence to a conclusion by considering the wonderful mystery of incarnation. Mark suggests that incarnation was not a new idea when God "became flesh and moved into the neighbourhood" but that it is the way that God has acted throughout history, and continues to do so today.

What does it say about God's attitute to humanity that He became a man? We consider God speaking through humanity, God's image in humanity, His glory in humanity and His presence in humanity... supremely in Christ, and in Christ in us. Humanity is worth rescuing; worth restoring, and God will stop at nothing to make us believe it.

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Restoring Confidence

Over the last two Sundays, I have introduced Hay Hill to an important growing movement within the church. Many significant public figures have been calling for a better understanding of the Bible, and in particular a change in attitude to what is the right way to read it. At Hay Hill, one of our current three strands of vision is building confidence in sharing faith, and I would contend that it is often a loss of confidence in the Bible, at a time when it is widely dismissed as irrelevant, which can undermine any confidence in sharing our faith with others.

In the US, former pastor and now author, commentator and activist Brian D McLaren is concerned that for many, there are two ways to read the Bible: their way, and the wrong way. He has produced a diagram that I find very helpful, and he talks about it here. It shows the many ways that the Bible can be read by a faithful community, and endorses the formative process of people of different mindsets reading the Bible together and valuing other perspectives.


Dr Ernest Lucas - The Living Temple

Visiting speaker Dr Lucas talks about the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem through the eyes of the prophet Haggai, in the context of the big story of the whole Bible, and with an eye on what we can learn from this story today.

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Nigel Coles - Here Am I

 Nigel Coles, our Area Minister, came and spoke to us.  Hear what he shared here.

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Community Sunday: Risk

In our Community Sunday we looked at the subject of risk and the call to go out given in a couple of different words to the church.  Mark talked about life being risky, but God being trustworthy, the nature of love as being inherently risky, and the words of Paul to Timothy that "women would be saved by child-bearing".

The audio is a selection of different elements of the morning.  We hear from Mark, Gaynor, Dave and a brief quote from Mike.

Bible passages: Mark 8:35, 1 Timothy 2.

Vanstone book that I quote from: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1367877.Love_s_Endeavour_Love_s_Expense

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Presence of God

On Sunday we were pleased to welcome Helen Simpson, a guest speaker from All Saints, Weston.  Listen here to the talk she gave about the Presence of God.  Helen includes some great practical exercises that we can all do to experience more of God's presence in our lives.

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God's Presence in my Present

A talk by Gaynor about the presence of God

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