Lent – Home Group Study

Lent - home group study - Christ Church Jebel Ali

Click on the button below to download the 1st of the Bible Studies for Lent, starting in the last week of January.

There are 4 studies leading up to Lent. Then there will be 5 studies during Lent and 1 study for after Easter. A total of 10. If you don’t want to use the pre-lent studies, no problem. The 6 studies for Lent stand on their own. Don’t be freaked out by the 3 attachments here! Here’s what they are:

  1. The basic Bible study to use the week of Jan. 29.
  2. Leader’s notes for the Bible study with suggestions for leading, preliminary answers and a few bits of important information you can use as mini-teaching points to help your group go deeper in discussion.
  3. Home Group Leader Tips that offer some practical helps to serve you and your groups.

Don’t hesitate to make whatever changes you see fit for the good of your groups. And don’t hesitate to contact Becky on beckydstephen[at]gmail.com if you’ve got questions or input for future studies.

With prayers that we will grow in our love for the scriptures and for the One who’s revealed in them.

Download the study guide

Next Charity Sale

The next Charity Sale being organised by COGs (the Community Outreach Group of CCJA) will take place on

Friday 3rd February
10.30 til 2pm. 

The pre-sort will be on Wednesday 1st February 6pm Hall 6.

Both dates will be confirmed on Monday 30th.

Help from anybody will always welcome!

For more information contact Mairead at portermme[at]hotmail[dot]com

The King James Version – not like it used to be

I didn’t quite make it for the end of the year, but this week, it is finished – I have read the Authorised Version of The Bible, or King James Version. January has given me the familiar shock that Edna is a biblical name – I don’t know why but it always seems strange to read that name there –  Tobit, Tobias, Raphael, Edna. I didn’t know they had Champaign country in Israel (Judith 5.1), or that she had such thick hair – she bound it in a tire. 1 and 2 Maccabees again seems to be numbered the wrong way round and is so gruesome, and confused in its politics that I’m glad I don’t have that in my normal bible reading, though you can’t help smiling at the author’s style at the beginning and end of 2 Maccabees. The politics of religion there seems so odd – who does Alexander think he is to appoint the High Priest of a foreign nation, and why does Jonathan listen? Then Demetrius does the same thing, and Antiochus after him, and by 2nd Maccabees 5 they’re out bidding each other trying to bribe the king to appoint them as High Priest. Politics in our chaplaincy seems a doddle compared to that! What is the role of church and state with regard to each other? Would we rather have the church in control so we get godly government, or the government in control so we get a godly church? The English Anglican Church of course tries to do it BOTH ways together.

I thought that when I got to Hebrews I would instantly love it with ‘God, who as sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son’ except, those aren’t the words I expected. I get the good feeling of nostalgia when I hear, ‘In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son’ – I think it’s the ‘but’ that makes the difference, emphasising that God is about to do a new thing and it says ‘listen now!’. Revelation, one of my favourite books, is a fantastic ending and I encourage you to read it in one sitting rather than getting bogged down in details.

I began this journey through the KJV expecting, as I have experienced with all other translations I have read – now 12 versions – that by the end I would be so used to the language that the style, strange at first, would seem easy and somehow natural and resonating with my heart by the end. I have heard of so many people who ‘swear by it’ that I had hoped I would understand the elegance and beauty of the language as they see it. I finish with a feeling that although I can intellectually appreciate that it was elegant, clear, and a milestone in its time, for me today it is just not so clear, and the language is a barrier to my entering into the intention of the text. The poetry which I find there in abundance comes not from the words but from the ideas within them. I can’t help but think that those who get all romantic about the wonderful language only read small portions of it, which come with past associations (carols services, 1am walks home from Christmas Midnight services and such like) rather than the beauty of the themes behind the words themselves. They say, it’s not like it used to be. Well no, but the message it was trying to get through to us is like it used to be. I can be nostalgic about ‘the old language’, but for me, as I have repeatedly found on this adventure through the King James, what I think of as from the old days is from the RSV – it’s in the cover of my old school RSV I have kept note of what versions I have read over the years, though I never took any interest in it until after I left school. And more often, the portions I know are from songs I sang at university which were from the RSV. Since then of course there’s been a new translation almost every year as booksellers try to reap the profits from people who think they will actually read their bible (and fulfil their failed resolutions) if only they can have it in the latest wrapping. It’s like my keep fit programme – If only I have a walking machine, or a swimming pool, or a gym, then I’ll get fit. Yeah right. Unless I use the apparatus, or sit and open the book, it will not affect me however impressive it looks.

I have loved being able to read the Bible at last in the traditional version. It has a wonderful message which I will continue to read, even if it’s a bit weird in places. I will return this particular version of the book now to Holy Trinity Church Dubai where it belongs. and tomorrow resume with my familiar version.

I was wondering about reading The Message bible as a contrast. But not yet.

COGs Sale (6 Jan 2012) update

The sale this week was a great success with a large number of customers. 

Also the lost and found items we had – both in quality and quantity – were much sought after.  20% of what we raised will go to each of our sponsored charities; Arthritis Foundation, Mission to Seafarers and Church Charities.  The remainder is kept for donations – decided on by the committee on an ad hoc basis.  We are also allowing 3 students to complete the community service section of their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award .  We are very grateful to Lola and Maddie at Volunteers in Dubai for their supplying us with 10 excellent volunteers and Iranga, Harreen, Dora, Colette, Hannah, Rukshani, Ruki, Vladka, Emma and Troy for their continued support and assistance.

We supplied 8 bags of clothes, linens and shoes to Ajman via Lynne who raises funds to support 30+ children of families who have lost their breadwinner to attend school.  Mission for Seafarers was delighted to be given a large bag of books in Russian – they were in need of these for the Russian sailors who are stuck in Fujairah port. (They welcome books in all languages; contact; Alexi Trenouth at The Angel Appeal Tel: 04 3576060  Fax: 04 3576161 Mobile: 050 456 1130 or alexi[at]angelappeal[dot]com)

This month we also had donations of clothes from the Arthritis Society (from another hotel) and we are also getting a variety of bags of clothes, shoes and bric a brac from both the church congregation and elsewhere, which is proving very useful.  We welcome this and would encourage you and your friends/colleagues to both collect and donate.  Contact Church caretakers Roydon 050 710 1935 or Jit 050 207 0535 for delivery.  We are also stock piling (!!) spectacles/reading glasses for the day when they can be transported to the Eye Hospital at Christ Church Aden, Yemen – if you have some or know of people who get rid of them let us know.

The dates for next month are as follows, with the proviso that the Sort and Sale will be confirmed when we see the pick up load from the hotel.  Also I would like to add a plea for more help for the Sort evening – we are finding it very difficult to man this – and this is our most fun time as we find amazing unexpected things among the lost and found.

To get involved or ask questions Contact CCJA

Do you have a heart for worship?

Music has played a vital role in formal worship since the beginning of time (Gen 4:2). God has gifted and selected singers and instrumentalists to work alongside priests in the Temple (I Chron 6). Musicians were even used by God to bring about military victories (II Chron 20, Is 30:32)!  As we gather as the Church, God commands us to use music to teach and encourage one another (Col 3:16). And when we see God face to face at the end of time, new songs will be sung by God’s people (Rev 14:2-4,15:2-4).

Music has the power to express emotion, teach truth, and draw people into God’s presence. Musicians in Christ Church have the privilege of leading God’s people in worship alongside the priest, teaching and encouraging the congregation. The praises we sing are used by God in power to accomplish His purposes in us and in this city! But our singing is also a rehearsal for the day when, with all of God’s people, we worship God in His holy presence.

Are you a singer? An instrumentalist? A song writer? Or you simply have a heart to worship? You could play an important part in the work of God in and through Christ Church.

Join us Thursdays 7:00-8:30pm and Fridays 8:45-9:15am for choir rehearsal, and at the Friday 9:30am service. You can contact us using the online form or just show up on Thursday night!