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THIS WEEK AT AIC
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Dear <<First Name>>, 

We often talk about Jesus setting us free. But what does freedom look like? What are we set free from? Sin? Sorrow? Hardship? Hopelessness? Fear? More importantly, what are we set free for? Why does God set us free, for what heavenly purpose?

Paul's letter to the Galatians, as we've been studying, is about grace, which is intimately related to freedom. Paul writes: "For freedom Christ has set us free," and then urges us to take the freedom of God's grace and use that freedom not for our own self-indulgence, but to love and serve one another.

We have a unique and powerful opportunity to reflect on the meaning of freedom in the coming weeks. Olaudah Equiano, also known as Gustavus Vassa, was an enslaved African who earned his freedom and wrote his autobiography in the 18th century. His narrative, his life and his work were instrumental in the movement to abolish the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Recent research has shown he was buried on the site of our church, and we are now hosting an art exhibit telling his story in his own words. It will be on display in the sanctuary starting this Sunday.

What does freedom mean to you? How are we using the freedom of grace to love and serve one another?


Faithfully,

Pastor Jennifer


P.S. Make sure to allow your e-mail to "display images" in order to see all the news below about upcoming activities.

Summer Choir
 
Summer is a relaxed, informal choir that welcomes all singers. Beginning July 7, we will gather on Sundays at 10:15 to run through a short choral piece and rehearse the hymns for worship. All are welcome.
Our Church: Then and Now
Our site has always had an international dimension, with its pastors, congregants and neighbors having ties all over the world. The founder of the Tottenham Court (Road) Chapel, George Whitefield, was himself billed as the first trans-Atlantic celebrity, travelling across the ocean thirteen times between 1738 and 1770. Around the same period, Matthew Wilks, pastor of the church from 1775 to 1828, was instrumental in the foundation of the London Missionary Society.

Later, Llewelyn Bevan, a Welsh Congregationalist who was pastor of the church from 1869 to 1876, left to serve a major Presbyterian church in New York City (serving as moderator of the New York Presbytery from 1880 to 1882). He then returned to London for four years before permanently moving to Australia to take up the pastorate at Collins Street Independent Church (now St Michael’s) in Melbourne.

During the time of Silvester Horne’s ministry (1903-1914), letters and news from former congregants and others connected to Whitefield’s Central Mission who had moved to the Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States became a staple of the church’s monthly “London Signal” publication. Further, in a late 1920s or early 1930s promotional booklet, it was noted that:

Whitefield’s has achieved a distinct reputation in its scientifically graded Sunday School where in five departments some three hundred children receive instruction. Amongst these children are several nationalities, due to the polyglot character of the neighbourhood—Chinese, African, and European.

As trans-Atlantic travel became easier, it was noted that the church would be filled during the summer with visitors from the United States and elsewhere seeking more information on Whitefield, Augustus Toplady’s grave and Horne’s institutional church. This Anglo-American relationship solidified with The American Church in London moving into the Whitefield Memorial Church in 1972 and taking full responsibility in 1978.

Today, our congregation mirrors the diversity of London: multi-racial and multi-lingual, international and interdenominational, with people from all ages and all backgrounds, and we changed our name to the American International Church in 2013 to reflect this.
 
At various points in the past 263 years, the church has been dubbed a “church of the (ever) open door.” Here is the original artwork for the church’s “The Open Door” publication, originally from 1987. 

 
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American International Church London · 79a Tottenham Court Road · LONDON, W1T 4TD · United Kingdom

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