This has been an amazing week when there seems to have been something happening every single day. It began with an assembly on ‘Respect’ at Low Ash, led by Natalie and I. The same afternoon the Bible Times Exhibition arrived in all its glory for its annual visit (more at that later).
On Tuesday we gathered to discuss our response to the PCC’s decision to proceed with the Places of Welcome initiative. After a short presentation we discussed the practical details and took the names of those were prepared to support it by volunteering. It looks as though we will be launching within the next couple of weeks and there is now a strong possibility that we will be hosting a Lunch Club after half term.
On Thursday we took advantage of the Bible Times Exhibition to enjoy an evening with Nehemiah ably led by John Froud. It was an entertaining and informative occasion and helped to fill in the background to the book we are studying in church and in the life groups. A special moment came when John told us that several books donated by Harry Lycett, now had pride of place in the exhibition – we felt that Harry would be pleased.
Saturday dawned on our Church Vision Day. In the morning the PCC gathered for two sessions of teaching during which we discovered how Paul went from being a man with a mission to the founder of a movement that would enable Christianity to spread throughout the world. In the afternoon w were joined by many more of the church family and we spent some time exploring the values of our church that are expressed using an acronym of WROSE
Worshipping – Reaching Out – Serving – Encouraging
There was a lot of discussion and some useful suggestions which ended with an overwhelming agreement to adopt these values and also our strapline as representing what we see as the being the purpose of our church.
Real People + Real Faith = Real Life
My thanks go to everyone who supported the day and worked hard to make it so successful.
It was our Communion Sunday at both services and we returned to our teaching on Nehemiah. This week it was excerpts from chapter 3 which largely consist of a list of names of those who worked on the walls of Jerusalem. Both George and Lorraine received rounds of applause for their efforts to pronounce all the words and they read the passage at both services. The theme of the services focussed on the need for team work in any enterprise that we are called to undertake for God.
Our Sunday evening Ikon was taken from the liturgies of the Northumbrian Community. It was the Cuthbert Compline which seemed very appropriate for a weekend which included our vision day. It centred on God’s words of protection from Psalm 91.
Late in the evening YG met at the home of Amy Beaumont for a Bible Study and pancakes – the only way to study! During the evening a name change was agreed. From now on YG will be known as Christians In Action or the CIA) – you have been warned! We enjoyed learning some of the material shared by the PCC and as a reward Julie filled us up with pancakes. Next week we are going to Mixenden for a Rock Mass.
Our prayer of the week reminds us that October is the month in which the International Week of Peace is celebrated. So I have chosen two prayers that reflect our hopes for peace in this troubled world. The first is one that is used in schools when peace is prayed about. The second is internationally recognised and used in the week of peace. Take time to be quiet when you say this prayer – give God time to speak to you through these words and may the Lord hear our prayers and bring us his peace.
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
Our globe is nothing but a little star in the great universe.
It is our duty to turn this globe into a planet
whose creatures are not tormented by wars,
nor tortured by hunger and fear,
nor torn apart in senseless divisions
according to race, colour or creed.
Give us courage and foresight to begin this work today,
so that adults and children may take pride
in being called human.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
from death to life
from falsehood to truth
from despair to hope
from fear to trust
from hate to love
from war to peace
Let peace fill…
our universe. Amen