Newsletter 11th October

Message from our Minister

It was really good to see you last Sunday; meeting together for the first time for worship in the church building since March. Following government guidelines and also having a proper care for one another meant that we all were wearing a mask. However, we did not allow that to stop the joy of being together! Thanks must go to our brilliant Covid-19 Team who made sure that we all entered a safe environment. I know that at the moment it isn’t possible for everyone to come back to the church building to worship. I want you to know that on Sunday you were all in our thoughts and prayers. 

Our theme for October is, ‘encouragement’. I really do hope that, as well as being encouraged, we might be encouragers. Let’s ask God who we might encourage today!

Every blessing,   Rev John Izzard

I read in my Bible notes

(from Linda) I smiled this morning when, just two days after our first non-corporate-singing post-lockdown service at Gunville, I read in my Bible notes that sometimes Christians are concerned that, in some churches, the singing can turn into a concert with people spectating rather than participating! The writer, Jeff Lucas, goes on to write “whatever our style of worship, our response to God should never be half-hearted – and we’re not called to spectate.” The passage he was writing about was in 2 Samuel 6: 14-15 when King David danced and worshipped God wholeheartedly as the Ark of the Covenant (signifying God’s presence) was brought back to Jerusalem.
However, I found on Sunday morning – and maybe you did too – that, in these days when we’re not allowed to all sing out loud together, we really can worship God from our hearts. Maybe we can even think about the moving words of the songs more when we’re not concentrating on our own singing. We can raise our arms, maybe even dance a little (not too energetically or moving out of our own little space!!) as we reach out to worship our awesome, kind, loving, gracious Father and bless Him in our hearts.

“Hear the call of the Kingdom, lift your eyes to the King,
Let His song rise within you as a fragrant offering,
Of how God, rich in mercy, came in Christ to redeem
All who trust in His unfailing love.”

It did feel sad not to be able to gather and chat over refreshments after the service, especially when it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other. But again, maybe we can learn something from this time…..that the most important thing when we go to church is that we meet with Jesus, the King!

MISSING MI–LES

What word will both end the first phrase and begin the second?
Example from last time: Smoking …… ville = Gun

These are all words taken from Songs of Fellowship, Books 1-2 only. Helpful numbers are given.

1. you alone are God …… praise to heaven’s almighty King 145/59

2. I walk by …… fully he bore it 839/32

3. O give me grace to …… the Master 418/174

4. for why, the Lord our God is …… Christian men, rejoice 13/140

5. so free, so infinite his …… to cover all my sin 21/297

6. all ye who …… my prayer 470/423

7. so may we with holy …… to the world 31/314

8. I am the bread of …… of Jesus shining through 200/305

9. songs of sinful …… of sorrows 24/385

10. to receive a …… above all names 32/298

11. spread the good …… of great joy 6/739

12. our glad hosannas, Prince of …… on earth and mercy mild 154/155

What do you notice about the answers?

Lesley    I have kept this letter from our granddaughter, postmarked 2006. It is a gift that warms the heart, worth more than anything money can buy. 

Cards have been sent on behalf of the church to Rev Marcus Bagg and his family on their move to Durham, and to Brian Walker’s daughters, Julia and Sarah, assuring them of our love

Congratulations to Linda and Paul on the recent birth of their granddaughter.  Both mum and baby are doing well

Food for Thought – A Changing World but the Same God  

In this short 10 minute talk, we are encouraged to trust in Jesus who doesn’t change when difficulties arise. He is the same before, during and after the pandemic. His goodness, love and compassion is no different from what we read in the gospels. We can lean on Him because He is steadfast.

Other titles this week: 
Under pressure? Jesus wants you to eat breakfast!
Be strong and courageous! How?

Ellie has provided the following pointers for prayer for this week

Pray for the young people who will be taking exams this year as revision groups and additional support has decreased due to covid guidelines.
– pray for Girl’s Group as we start a new course looking at friendships and relationships.
– prayer for me as a start writing my essays as well as setting up youth groups!

God at Work in the World

‘I was in prison and you came to visit me’

Throughout the coronavirus crisis, prisons have largely been ignored by the media. But an outbreak in one could be deadly. Inspired by scripture, two groups in Mozambique decided to reach out to help protect prisoners from the virus.

These two groups are connected to two of our local church partners. The groups meet regularly to read the Bible and apply its teachings to their lives. They also save money together to help lift themselves out of poverty.

When news of the pandemic reached them, they decided to put their faith into action by protecting some of the most vulnerable people in society.

God-given
Both groups delivered 40 bars of soap and 50 facemasks to a local prison. This gave prisoners the means to better protect themselves from the virus.

It was a gesture marked with love, and it came straight from the Bible. The groups shared that they were inspired to do this because the Bible calls us to remember those in prison.

‘I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:36,40)

Called to love
As uncertainty continues to mount around coronavirus and the measures we must take to help prevent its spread, let us keep our eyes focused on Jesus and what he calls us to do.

‘Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters… Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.’ (Hebrews 13:1,3)

 I AM

I was regretting the past and
fearing the future.

Suddenly my Lord was speaking:

My Name is I AM

He paused, I waited, he continued:

When you live in the past,
with its mistakes and regrets,
it is hard. I am not there.

My name is not I WAS.

When you live in the future,
with its problems and fears,
it is hard. I am not there:

My name is not I WILL BE.

When you live in this moment
it is not hard.

I am here:

My Name is I AM

Thanks to Ruth Colling for this

Please send any contributions that might be published by next Tuesday morning to  Andy