Newsletter Oct 25th 2020

Message from Mike – Lay Worker

Autumnal greetings to you all! Those of you who know me well, probably know that I am no gardener. One reason is I don’t know a flower from a weed and once dug up Judi’s flowers and left the weeds which seemed prettier to me! Safe to say I am no longer “allowed” near the garden beds, at least not with a fork in my hands. Secondly, I find it too back breaking! So my proverbial hat goes off to all of you who manage gardens and allotments, and are older than me too! But I am assured from experienced gardeners that this is a good time to plant seeds, bulbs etc. and so as we continue to open our churches whilst we can and continue to “plant” seeds of God’s love for everyone, I share this piece about God’s garden with you all.

In growing a healthy, fruit-bearing church try this plan…

Plant 3 rows of squashSquash gossip, squash criticism, squash indifference.

Plant 7 rows of peasPrayer, Promptness, Perseverance, Politeness, Preparedness, Purity and Patience.

Plant 7 heads of lettuce… let us be unselfish and loyal. Let us be faithful. Let us search the scriptures. Let us not be weary in well-doing. Let us be obedient in all things. Let us be truthful. Let us love one another.

No garden is complete without turnips… Turn up for Church (even if you have to book and it’s currently safe to do so!) Turn up for meetings, in prayer and Bible study. Turn up with a smile even when things are difficult. Turn up with determination to worship and serve God.       (Anon)

And after planting, may you grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) and may you reap rich results!

Amen and God bless and keep you all.

PS Look out for the online Light and Bright Party this month!

Another Lockdown Encouragement. Brian Colling

During lockdown I have been encouraged by my brother becoming a Christian after 31 years of praying for him!!! 

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah’s Ark….  Ruth Colling

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah’s Ark….  Ruth Colling

  1. Don’t miss the boat.
      2.    Remember we are all in the same boat.
      3.    Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
      4.    Stay fit. When you’re 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
      5.    Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done. 
      6.   Build your future on high ground.
      7.   For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
      8.   Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
      9.  When you’re stressed, float a while.
    10.  Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
    11.  No matter what the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

Week in the life of Ellie (Gunville student youth worker)

Below is an approximate timetable for an average week as my role as a student youth worker. As times change and the year goes on this timetable will inevitably change, but for the moment this is how it stands. What this timetable doesn’t show is that most mornings I do my essay work for uni and after lunch I spend some time planning groups and doing all the various admin that comes with this role. The young people are so encouraging to be around and love the work that Gunville and YFC provide. Covid-19 and the current world state has provided churches around the world a brilliant opportunity to rethink their missional work and for the current youth work strategy that looks like providing more space for deeper individual connection. The young people love mentoring because it gives them an opportunity to be authentic and to ask the questions that are on their mind. This is why I tend to do 3 mentoring sessions a week because that is 60-90 minutes that we can dedicate to an individual and their personal walk with Christ. The world of school and exams is even more scary than usual for young people across the country, so they need face to face support and your prayerful support as much as possible. I thank you all so much for all your prayers for this youth ministry so far and I ask that you continue to pray for us as a church to know God’s guidance in how to best support all of the young people we can.

I completely love all the work I am doing with the young people and I could talk about it all day so if you’re ever curious how the youth work is going then please feel free to contact me: youthwork@gunville.

Monday:    YFC Team meeting,    Mentoring session,        Rock-Solid 2 (online)

Tuesday:    Girls’ Group (face to face). *Fortnightly*  
Mentoring session *Fortnightly*

Wednesday:   Revision Group (face to face)   Mentoring session,  
Girls’ Brigade 

Thursday:         At University for the day

Friday:    Mentoring session,       YFC Island event e.g. Catalyst (online) or RSTVLive (online)

Saturday: Day Off! Sunday: Church 😊

AMAZING NEW TESTAMENT WOMEN!

God promises 

God promises to be close to you when you are broken-hearted.  What a relief!  When everyone else moves away, unsure what to do about your pain, you can be sure that God is close to you.  He moves in on your broken heart and crushed spirit.   (Based on Psalm 34:18)

From Lesley’s “Happy Book” (yes, a real notebook where she jots down things to remember)

‘Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer’ outside Birmingham gets go-ahead
(Marian informed us about this in her recent talk at Gunville)

Aim of £9.3m project is to encourage prayer and ‘preserve Christian heritage of the nation’

A CGI design for the Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer. The monument will be made from 1m bricks, each representing an answered prayer

An enormous Christian monument, more than twice the size of the Angel of the North, is to be built on the outskirts of Birmingham, fulfilling a vision its instigator says came from God.

The Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer will be constructed using a million bricks, each representing a prayer from a member of the public and its outcome. The aim is to “encourage and inspire people going through the storms of life”, said Richard Gamble, the project’s chief executive and a former chaplain of Leicester City football club.

The monument, which has been granted planning permission with work to begin next year, has three goals: to “preserve the Christian heritage of the nation”; encourage prayer; and “proclaim Jesus for the country”

The £9.3m project will be built on a 10-acre greenbelt site near Coleshill on the outskirts of Birmingham donated by Lord Edmiston, a billionaire businessman, Conservative party donor and evangelical Christian. North Warwickshire borough council’s planning committee unanimously endorsed the scheme.

The Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer will be 51 metres high, dwarfing the 20-metre height of Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North in Gateshead. It will be visible up to six miles away and is expected to be seen from half a million vehicles on the nearby M6 and M42 each week.

Visitors will be able to use an app to access the stories of a million people who say their prayers were answered. The project’s backers expect it to attract 300,000 visitors each year. The site will hold a visitors’ centre, cafe and bookshop.

Gamble said: “We’re trying to make hope visible and provoke a conversation about prayer. Everyone goes through storms in life, and hope is one of the greatest antidotes to anxiety and fear.”

Richard Gamble: ‘We’re trying to provoke a conversation about prayer.’ Photograph: Snug Architects

He added: “Sixteen years ago, I felt God speak to me and give me the idea. I spent 10 years wrestling with that, then six years ago I said: OK, let’s see if we can make this happen. It’s an audacious project, but I believe God is helping us to achieve it.”

There had been some pushback to the scheme, he said. “Some people think we shouldn’t be doing this, but when you explain it to them, the vast majority of people are more positive.

“We say we’re a secular nation, but most Christian organisations reported a massive spike [in interest] during lockdown and people Googling about prayer. Even though we operate as a secular nation, many of us turn to prayer in times of crisis.”

The cost of the project is expected to be raised from substantial donations from wealthy individuals plus crowdfunding. “We’ve had some fairly hefty donations already, but a lot of it will come from ordinary people giving small amounts,” said Gamble.

The wall, which will take the shape of a loop known as a Möbius strip, was designed by Snug Architects after a competition run by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands, said: “I am delighted Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer has now finally got planning permission and work can get under way. It’s an incredibly ambitious, stunning project and is a landmark for the Midlands.

“It has been a long process, but this landmark will serve as a place of hope for many, and one that will help us remember the Christian heritage of our nation.”

Construction is expected to begin next spring and be completed in the autumn of 2022.

The Story behind the News.  (If you watch the news, you may remember this tragic event from earlier this month.)

Zoe Powell: The Christian creative who pointed everyone to Jesus
Tributes have been paid to a Christian creative and her three children who died in a crash in Oxford. Zoe Powell, 29, from Chinnor in Oxfordshire, her two daughters Amelia, 4, and Phoebe, 8, and her 6-year-old son Simeon were killed when the family’s people carrier collided with a white HGV on the A40 on Monday night. Zoe was best known for designing popular typography cards and Bible devotionals. Menekse Stewart, founder of Cheerfully Given, the company which sells many of Zoe’s products, remembers her

Zoe Powell’s life has impacted thousands of people for the Kingdom of God. This gentle mama-of-four lived for Jesus in so many ways, sharing his life both directly with those she knew, and with many others who enjoyed and purchased her work.
From writing encouragements and creating literature-inspired art in Zoeprose, to her heart for mamas and supporting the mental health of those with young children in The Mama Book, along with setting up Our Creative Isle to highlight and promote UK creatives, Zoe’s gentle spirit has impacted so many lives around the UK.

She is dearly loved by our community and widely celebrated as “one of the most encouraging people I have ever met” by so many who knew her.
In her own words, “I love stories, and I also love how all of our lives and the Bible point to the biggest and best story of God’s redemption…My hope is that through God’s word we can remember both the significance of our own stories and of his story for us and others.”

Cath Sales said, “I loved how she pursued her passions and pointed people to Jesus in such a gentle and beautiful way. Her love for classic children’s literature and her heart to support new mums were also both so wonderful. She will be so missed.”

Her heart for Jesus and encouraging people to look to him shines out of her work. The number of new babies who have come into the world with her scripture cards being read out, the number of mamas who have drawn closer to Jesus because of her gorgeous devotionals, the number of homes where Zoe’s art graces the walls with reminders of our heavenly bridegroom, the number of lives she has impacted with her creative vision and heart for Christ.

Zoe kept her creative business going through baby loss, poorly children, sleepless nights, holidays and through having three children under 3. She came to a creative business retreat when she was 8-months pregnant, and when she, along with her family, experienced a serious house fire in July 2020, she only closed her shop for a couple of weeks until they were settled in temporary accommodation.

In the words of Ruth Young, “She was such a thankful person, but also not afraid to say that life in a broken world is hard.”
When asked in 2018, “What are your hopes and dreams for the future?” Zoe replied, “I just want to be able to continue being creative and being obedient to what God is calling me to do with that. Whether that is pursuing writing more, teaching somehow, creating more intricate collections of bigger weaves, growing The Mama Book to reach more mamas or something else I haven’t thought of yet, I’m excited to see what he has in store.”

Zoe’s entire life was about sharing Jesus and making him known, and we pray that in her death, people would see her faithfulness and look to him. Zoe and her precious children are with him awaiting resurrection life, and while our hearts break at this tragedy, we pray that you will know the hope Zoe had in life and is experiencing in death.Zoe was gentle, articulate, strong, quiet, resilient, artistic. But more than any of that, she is a faithful child of the King. We praise Jesus for her.
One of Zoe’s favourite Bible verses was Psalm 27:4 – “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to enquire in his temple.”                    (from Premier Christianity

Next Sunday 

Next Sunday we will be looking at how we can be encouraged by those living in countries where having a faith makes life very difficult. 

Amazing NT Women!   In the order they appear in the maze:

Luke 10:38                                     Mark 16:1                                     Luke 1:27

Luke 1:5                                         Timothy 1:5                                  Luke 10:39

Acts 9:36                                        Acts 16:14                                    Luke 8:2

Luke 24:10                                    Acts 9:36                                        Matthew 27:56

Acts 12:13                                     2 Timothy 1:5

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