February 2019

Toolbox: Sundays 24th February, 3rd March and 10th March @ 6:30pm

The inspiration behind Toolbox is Romans 12:2:

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test
and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will."

At St. Nicholas we want to have our minds renewed so that instead of conforming to the world we can make a difference as transformed people of God. To that end, our Toolbox series each year in the Spring explore the interface between God’s word and God’s world. This year each Sunday evening looks at three different dimensions of that interface.

Equipping our faith for life beyond Sevenoaks: compassion, justice and truth
Each Sunday we look outside Sevenoaks. Janet Phythian will be introducing us to “Farming God’s way” along with David Purdy, to discuss how this programme can help the poor and be a means of building God’s church in Mozambique. The following Sunday Emma Watson will lead a session on Tearfund with their Head of Advocacy, Paul Cook about how God’s call for justice can be implemented amidst the glaring injustices of our world. On the final Sunday we are joined by the Right Revd. Michael Nazir-Ali who will guide us through what is happening within the Anglican Communion so that we can recognise the critical dangers that we face as a denomination. Our world needs Christians to show compassion, justice and stand for truth and these Toolbox seminars link in to these great themes.

Explaining our faith so that others can meet Christ
Each Sunday we will also be thinking about our interaction with our non-Christian colleagues, neighbours and families. First up Gavin McGrath will be joined by Wes Illingsworth from St. Helen’s Bishopsgate to launch an exciting vision about how all our Home Groups and small groups can be involved in a whole range of small-scale, grassroots evangelistic initiatives early next year. The following two Sundays Jeremy Marshall will be leading sessions on two vital areas of apologetics – first, with Simon Collins on “Can we trust the Gospels?” and then, with Christine Brindley on “How can a loving God allow suffering?” If we are to make genuine connections with our non-Christian friends, then these sorts of seminars could be invaluable.

Exploring our faith so that we can be shaped by Christ’s word
Finally, each Sunday we have one seminar especially designed to stretch us in our understanding of God’s word. Martin Davie, the Theological Consultant for the Church of England Evangelical Council has just released his latest book, ‘Glorify God with your body’ which will look at how the Bible engages with issues of sexuality and gender. I will then be looking at the Transfiguration in order to stretch us in our understanding of the Lord Jesus, whilst on the final Sunday Matt Taylor will be looking at The Temptations of Jesus – a fitting subject for the first Sunday in Lent. If we are to stand for Christ within an increasingly hostile culture, then the subject matter within these seminars will be invaluable in order to give us a clearer view of Christ so that we can navigate our way through all the pressures and temptations which we face.

Renewing our minds leads to transformed lives! So please join us at Toolbox 2019! Be prepared to be stretched, challenged and encouraged in your faith.

You should have received an email from the office via ChurchSuite giving you the option to sign up online for your choice of seminar on each of the three Sundays. Toolbox leaflets are also available at the welcome desks across all our congregations. Please do sign up as soon as possible so that we can allocate rooms appropriately.

Angus MacLeay
(Rector, St. Nicholas Sevenoaks)

February 2019