Update for Forest Row for Sunday, 16th June, 2024

Born from Above

The genius of the Greek language presents us with a word rich in dual meaning: “anothen,” which signifies both ‘again’ and ‘from above.’ When Jesus speaks about the necessity of a new birth, we must understand both meanings simultaneously: Whoever is not born anew—from above—cannot see the Kingdom of God.

Nicodemus plays on this double meaning with the irony befitting his background and education, asking, “Surely one cannot enter a second time into one’s mother’s womb to be born again?” Jesus responds, alluding to this duality with the beautiful poetry of his answer: “What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is Spirit.”

This dual heritage resonates with our experience. It would be a great delusion to imagine that every decision we make is a new creation, something wholly original to that moment – that would be to deny that we are born ‘from below’. However, humanity often suffers under the chains of a materialistic worldview, which asserts that the higher life of beauty, truth, love, and the soul itself nothing more than ‘emergent properties’, denying the rebirth ‘from above’. Every experience of true creativity contradicts this notion.

“Have you been born again?” is a question that serves as a marker of identity for some Christians. Perhaps we need to learn to ask: “Are you open to a birth from above, which comes when you are ready to receive the creative gift of the Spirit?”

– Tom Ravetz

Our rich summer programme continues with Deborah Ravetz’s talk, The Transforming Power of Human Connection on Friday, 14th June at 7pm.

On Sunday, 16th at 4pm we will hold a new event: Living with the Gospels – a Forum for Introducing and Sharing Ways of Enlivening our Relationship to the Gospels. Our intention is to explore different approaches to reading the gospels, including what had been planned a few months ago under the heading of Stepping into the Gospels. It could be useful to prepare by reading Luke 18:35-43

There is an exhibition in the foyer of artwork from our neighbours, the CoE Primary School on School Lane. This is part of the Forest Row Festival. Please leave your impressions in the visitors book. There is also an exhibition of Ukrainian pottery in the Community Room.

A near final reminder- there are still places free for the hierarchies weekend. All details are below.

A lyre has gone missing from the children’s room. Please let us know if you have any idea where it could have gone.

Nataliia will be in Canterbury this weekend.

Tom Ravetz and Nataliia Shatna

In the meeting at the church on Sunday 9th June led by Tom Ravetz, the question was brought to us (often repeated in the past), “How can a loving God allow such suffering in the world, especially to innocent children?”

Well, the fact is, it is definitely not in God’s plan to allow the suffering of children. Long ago, early in evolution, Man, the Cosmic Human Being made a decision not to follow God’s plan. Man was tempted by the adversary powers, and he made the decision. Man decided to go his own way. Since then, all suffering arises from Man’s actions. God cannot be held responsible for it. To say, “How can God allow such suffering?” is to ask the wrong question.

So, is there no hope? There surely is hope. God did not sit back and do nothing about it. God sent his Son Christ, to lead Cosmic Man back to his plan. And the only way back is through Love, that is, recognition that God is Love. And as was emphasised in the meeting, this is possible because of our freedom to decide.
– John Marking

More information is available in the leaflet below.


Support The Christian Community

To make a one off donation or to set up a monthly standing order, please use the account details below

Account Name: The Christian Community in Forest Row
Sort Code 30-92-92
Account Number: 00012363
Lloyds TSB, 1/3 London Road, East Grinstead
West Sussex RH19 1AH

If you are a UK Taxpayer, we can claim tax back on your donation if you fill in a gift aid form. You will find one here, which you can download and return to us (signed and scanned is fine)

You can also donate using PayPal, using a credit or debit card.

Find us

School Lane / Hartfield Road
Forest Row
East Sussex
RH18 5DZ

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Priests of the community: Tom Ravetz and Nataliia Shatna. Contact us on the church email or using the form below.

Gospel readings for 2023-24

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