The week began with Natalie and I visited Blakehill School to lead their assembly. We talked about the support that friends can give us, using the story of the four friends and the lame man that they lowered through the roof to see Jesus. We had a great time.
On Wednesday Noah’s Ark welcomed 42 children – this may be a record. Well done to Victoria, Natalie, Pat, Shirley and Iris for making it such a success. This was followed by our Place of Welcome which opened its doors to a good number of people. Some came to craft, some to chat – it was lovely. I think we have something really good developing. The day was rounded off by a trip to Costa to sample their Christmas range with carols from David Wilkinson.
On Thursday we held the second of our ‘Can I Just Say’ evenings. This time will focussed on the theme of Belonging. We had a really interesting evening sharing our experiences of what belonging means. Yashar and Camiar spoke to us about their sense of belonging as refugees and asylum seekers. It was lovely to hear them refer to St. C’s as being like heaven.
On Saturday the pyrotechnic crew were hard at work early doors building the bonfire for the evening party. It was a great evening with about 100 people attending. We were entertained with some marvellous fire swinging by Natasha Glew. This was followed by an excellent barbecue and a splendid bonfire. It was a fabulous occasion.
This Sunday were thinking about the passage in Matthew in which Jesus commends those who help the poor, the lonely, the homeless etc and those who have helped him. Steve preached a great message at the 9.15am Communion service the text of which I have attached to this email.
Cafe Church went on to consider this question further. We opened with the question – if you were sat on a bus next to a world leader, who would you choose and what would be your question? Vladimir Putin was the most questioned leader, closely followed by Barak Obama.
Finally there was another trip to Costa for our Live @ Costa event with music from local band ‘Strid’ which apparently is a village in Yorkshire and come from the anglo-saxon for Battle. It was another good evening.
Our prayer in this week of the US Elections is for our politicians. Maybe you aren’t fired up for changing the nation. Maybe, you would be, if you thought you could make a difference. But you’re convinced you can’t. Or, just maybe, you’ve looked at our political parties, and the people who represent them, and not one of them seems worthy of your trust, let alone your vote. Perhaps you don’t believe our system even works, you wonder if some businesses, organisations, or shady characters, secretly run the show in the background.
So why pray about politics, then? Because the truth is that despite all the potential problems, you and I can make a difference. We can stand tall in the face of that doubt, that negativity, and say ‘Yeah, I’ve heard all of that, but still, I’m going to take this opportunity to get involved, to stand up to change what I see around me, for God.’
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
Father God, thank You, we praise You, for our country.
Thank you that we live with relative peace and security,
and that we have the freedom to speak out against injustice when we see it.
Thank You for all of the good gifts that You’ve given us, for all that we have around us, especially those things we take for granted.
To change our nation, I first ask Lord, that You change my heart towards it.
Father we pray that You would give us a government that loves justice, honesty and truth.
A government that loves to bring healing to those in need,
has compassion on those who are broken,
and acts in our nation the way You would if You were walking around it.
Father we pray that you would give us politicians who have clarity, integrity,
and passion for what is right.
Give them great intelligence to solve problems, but please give them great strength of character, to stay away from anything corrupt,or sinful, as well.
Finally, Father, we pray that you would bring great healing to our nation where it needs it,
bring about a generation who will stand against the tide of cynicism,
to act justly, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with You.
In Jesus’ name, for His sake, and for His glory, we pray.