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WITHAM URC

CHURCH MAGAZINE

JULY 2020

PASTORAL LETTER

 

Dear Friends,

 

This year we’ve had so much sunshine that it would be a good summer for having solar lamps in the garden. They absorb the sunshine and then, when it’s dark, they shine brightly. Or at least, they shine in proportion to the sun they have been exposed to. Just like us! We absorb and then radiate God’s love in the proportion in which we have absorbed it.

 

This reminds me of some verses in John’s first letter:

 

Dear friends, let’s love one another with the love God has given us. Those who don’t love as God loved don’t know him. God has shown us what love looks like by sending his only Son into our world to give us new life through his death. So love doesn’t start with us but with God. He took the initiative, sending Jesus to take our place on the cross and suffer the penalty for sin which should have fallen on us. How can we not love one another when God has set such an extraordinary example? When we love others as God loved us, we make him visible – people look at us and say, ‘so that’s what God’s love looks like!’ In this way God’s love achieves its full purpose in us.”

 

So if you’ve never thought of yourself as a lamp shining with love, God’s love, then now is a good time to start doing so!

 

Having said that, it’s not easy, in fact it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to love everyone unconditionally especially those we don’t know and with whom we have no shared experiences. The challenge is not to love our family and friends, which can be difficult enough at times, but to love absolutely everyone.

 

When we love someone we care about their well-being. We don’t knowingly allow them to be mistreated. This which is why so many of us have been shocked to find our eyes opened to the enormity of the racial injustice that goes on in our own country.

 

The Bible is really clear - not only that people should live in community but also how that should work in practice. Hence laws evolved to ensure the powerless and vulnerable were not oppressed but would be given justice and cared for by the rest of the community.

 

One of the beatitudes is: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Recently I read an excellent explanation of the meaning of the word ‘righteousness’:  right-way-ness. Doing things the right way. Which explains why righteousness is translated as justice in some versions: God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.

When we emerge from this lockdown many of us will have made changes, some significant, others minor, to our lives, our working life, our family life, our leisure and so on.

Society will have changed around us as will our community and so we pray that some changes will become the new normal, like the way so many are actively helping not just their friends but those they don’t know. I pray that heightened awareness of the Black Lives Matter campaign will also lead to lasting change for good.

 

May God bless and empower us as we seek to do everything the right way, with love and grace. May He bless us as we seek to be instruments of change in our society until doing things the right way, doing the right thing in the right way, becomes our new culture.

 

With love and prayers for you all,

 

 

Lorna

 

Background to Pastoral Letter - Lorna

 

As a result of lockdown I am currently reading daily Bible notes that are dated 2012 simply because that was the year that had Easter in the same week of April. I am convinced that this is an example of God’s amazing timing because, although you may not instantly recall it, 2012 was the year after the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James’ translation of the Bible. In the notes was a short article about the huge impact that the Bible has had on British culture, literature, politics and indeed every area of our life. It was very interesting and a pertinent reminder of how the Bible has shaped our nation and culture.

 

Two principles struck me as relevant to contemporary society.

 

The first is that regardless of social status, power, wealth, education or anything else, each and every person is subject to the law. This is the principle established in Deuteronomy 17. This idea took root very early in British history. Apparently, in the eighth century an Anglo-Saxon scholar named Alcuin warned King Ethelred ‘you will have him [God] as a judge".

 

I think that to this day, when a British monarch is crowned, they are presented with a Bible. The principle of being equal under the law extends to politicians and wealthy business people and every single person living in our country. We are all of us subject to the law and there should not be anyone who considers themselves above the law. The news recently has shown that perhaps this principle has been forgotten by some privileged people.

 

The second principle that the Bible established actually follows on from the first. Equality before the law leads on to the principle of equality itself. ‘All human life is equal’ is actually a revolutionary statement as even a cursory glance at history shows. When this was first asserted it was extremely unpopular in certain quarters. However, in the fullness of time, the idea of equality as found in the Bible and the gospels, led to the abolition of the slave trade and then, in British dominions, of slavery itself. Clearly, the very fact that slavery needed to be abolished in those Christian territories is a salutary reminder of how far behind Christian standards Christians had fallen. The fact that International Justice Mission (IJM) is still rescuing children and adults from bonded labour (effectively slavery) and sex trafficking shows that modern day slavery exists in a different guise and that Christians have not yet overcome evil with good. Sadly we have to acknowledge that slavery isn’t just part of our history - it’s part of contemporary society - and that we are complicit in many ways especially through our lifestyle and shopping choices which I mention simply because they are areas over which we individuals do have some level of control.

 

In Britain it has been Christians at the forefront of change for the better instituting improvements such as free education, health care and prison reform for centuries. However, as recent events have shown and by the example I cited earlier, there is still a lot more to do when it comes to equality and justice, especially where race is concerned. Again, now in the 21st century, it needs to be those who have received and experienced the undeserved love of God through Jesus who champion the cause of those who are being oppressed.


 

The Wisdom of God- June  Newsletter from Christiana in Kyiv, Ukraine

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Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and instruction.

 

What is wisdom? Where can knowledge be found? Who is wise among us? How do I become wise?

 

 

It is arguable, due to current events, that the wisein the worlds definition are few to be found. Our governments are not wise enough to deal with this global crisis. Police departments and authorities are not wise enough to curb racism. We are not wise enough to protect ourselves from this virus. We are not wise enough to respond in the rightway to the people around us, or the events of the world.

 

We may conclude from this that true wisdom does not exist in the world we live in. Last month I explored what the Bible had to say about wisdom. I had the privilege of preparing and teaching my first lecture on Wisdom Literature'.

 

The word wisdom in Hebrew means Hokmah and is used in the context of an applied skill. For example in Exodus 31:3, Bezalel is filled with the spirit of God and Hokmah. This describes his ability to design and build the tabernacle. So wisdom is not merely intellect, and refers to our ability to complete an action with skill. Proverbs, Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes from the genre of the Bible we come to know as 'wisdom literature'. These books focus on wisdom applied to the ability to make godly decisions or right choices in life. We see this explicitly in Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

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From the Bibles definition of wisdom-we see that wisdom is not wisdom unless it is applied. It's application is in a life lived in response to the Fear of God. I have seen the transformative power of the application of God's wisdom in the last 3

months. I have seen it firsthand in the lives of our students.

Here is the testimony of one of our students from her first 3 months of study (in her words):

 

Rufina from Belarus:

 

I could not expect Ill love all books of the Bible same way because I started to see the harmony of structure, importance for the people that first read it in revealing different aspects of Gods character and aspects of peoples lives. I could feel more of Gods heart of love, also attitude towards sin. I could give many examples from Bible stories and truth with my friends and felt more equipped for it. For me the inductive method study has opened deepness and endlessness of Bible, I felt like Ive born again for Word of God.

 

Every book was a challenge with different obstacles but Gods faithfulness was unchangeable to help me...Holy Spirit gave time distribution ...when I could do nothing I was praying ...and I thanked God for every page done. Also great help to me was acceptance by leaders and assistance (moral and praying ) by them and my friends. Now I see how to support other people.

 

Topic of discipline and self control has been started. I felt like its my choice to do on time and be obedient to God...I wanted to escape on internet but put in time to go deep into the Bible. Afterwards I wasnt satisfied from not healthy and social media and could filter bad and good better…”

 

My self esteem has risen and guiltiness has weakened because I read about different characters with strong and weak features and realised its normal, God was accepting different people and used them. God was always teaching me not to worry (because of failure or success, but to be calm, stable, not care and trust Him. I didnt worry about things I worried about before school....also I experienced how God can help me grow in different spheres and talents.image1.jpg

 

 

Praise the Lord who, by His wisdom is transforming each one of us! I have also had to trust in His wisdom more than I ever have these past few months and have seen His faithfulness!

 

 

 

Praise Points!:

 

      I collected my residency permit yesterday so can now live here for another year!

      Ukraine has opened its borders due to a lessening of restrictions. As a result 3 more of our students have arrived from Belarus!

      Transformation of students and staff-this newsletter is only half of it! God is good!

      My Russian has also  improved from lessons-which I have seen God use. I was able to talk with people when we distributed Bibles in a village outside of Kyiv. It is wonderful to be able to bless our Russian students by being able to communicate on a deeper level with them.

      Our church has been able to meet again! It was strange to see people in masks but a joyful reunion.

      We had a successful staff retreat! We made a 5 year plan for our Bible teaching team.

      The fires and air pollution ended after a few days. We have been able to enjoy 2 months of beautiful weather and clean air.

 

Prayer requests:

 

      COVID-19 cases are rising here due to a lessening of restrictions. Although recovery rate is also rising :-) Pray for healing for the nations, and the nation of Ukraine.

      We have 2 students still studying online in Armenia. Pray Armenia would open its borders so they can come and join us soon.

      I am giving my first booklecture in 2 weeks on the book of Joel. Pray that God would use this book to really speak into my life, and our studentslives

      Ministry Opportunities- Pray for our womens Bible study group to develop as teachers.  Also for God to transform the lives of many through our Ukrainian Bible distribution.

 

 

Thank you again for your wonderful support! None of this is possible without you!

I continue to hold you in my thoughts and prayers.

 

God bless you

Бог благословил вас

 

 

 

 

 

 



The mousetrap - A Story for you    Anon

 

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.  Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

                

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

The mouse turned to the pig and told him "There is a mousetrap in the house! " The pig sympathized, but said "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."                                                                                                                                                      

 

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

 

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house - like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever.

 

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock.

To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well; she died.

 

So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

                

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

 

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember: when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another. Each of us is a vital thread in another person's tapestry.

 

I have great family and friends that do this for me.


 

The Pledge - Motivation Freedom  through Mobility

 

 Disability and COVID-19 in developing countries extracts from Anna Reece

 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic reached their countries, disabled people in India and East Africa already faced isolation and fear. But everyday challenges- like discrimination, limited healthcare, lack of wheelchairs, few opportunities for work -now have deadlier consequences than ever before.

 

Our usual services and programmes across India and Africa create opportunities for disabled people to be included in their communities. But the virus has forced us to pause some of our direct services. What does this mean for the disabled people we support?

 

Loss of income

 

In many developing countries, disabled people are less able to work. They and their families are reliant on income from informal jobs. They run small local shops, repair bicycles, tend chickens, or sell produce at markets. With communities in lockdown, they have lost their only source of income.

 

 Limited access to food

                                            

During lockdown, many disabled people face stark choices. Do they go outside and risk infection, or run out of food?  During lockdown, when food is scarce, prices soar, markets are closed and livelihoods have been lost, our beneficiaries fear that they will be at the back of the line for agencies who are providing food.

 

Lack of vital healthcare

 

Another tough decision is whether to buy food, or vital healthcare products? These items can be difficult to source in ordinary times, especially for anyone living miles from a hospital. Right now, the decision to visit a hospital or health centre means the risk of infection.

 

Spread of infection

 

Social distancing is just not possible for the families we support, many of whom live in crowded communities. Wheelchair users will not find it possible to keep distance from the caregivers who they rely upon.

 

How Motivation can help

 

We are finding ways to offer training and support remotely as much as we can. And were are working to ensure that disabled peoples needs are not forgotten in this crisis. Our teams are in touch with beneficiaries and partners by phone and text messages to share advice on:

            access to partners and agencies for provision of healthcare items

            how to sanitise wheelchairs and assistive devices

            care for disabled children who are more vulnerable

            ways to stay mobile and exercise during lockdown

            importance of being isolated from the wider community wherever possible

            good techniques for washing hands where resources are scarce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pledge - Embrace in the Middle East

Faith in Action: our vision and mission

 

 

Embrace the Middle East is a Christian charity with over 160 years' experience helping people of all faiths and none to free themselves from a life of poverty and injustice.

 

Together with local Christian communities we are bringing lasting change to the Middle East through healthcare, education and community development projects.

 

 

            Transform the lives of vulnerable and marginalised people across the Middle East, enabling them to live life in all its fullness

            Strengthen and encourage Middle East Christians as they bring about positive change in their communities

            Challenge injustice, poverty and exclusion in the Middle East through targeted advocacy and campaigning.


 

The Pledge - Fellowship Afloat extracts from their June

Prayer Necessities

 

Limbo … is perhaps one way of describing what it feels like at the moment, we are waiting and preparing.

 

The Psalms of ascent were used on journeys to remind the people that God was with them and that it was in Him they should trust. We are mindful of Psalm 121… “ I look to the mountains… where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord”. On that journey the mountains were the challenge ahead, the difficult route to navigate. Exposed and possibly dangerous, the travellers knew they needed to get to the other side, and to do that they trusted God.

 

So like them we know that the coming months will be a challenge to navigate, but we know the difference FACT makes to thousands of youngsters every year, and we are determined to continue that adventure and this journey and we look to God to guide, inspire and refresh us along the way.

 

The continued uncertainty is really unhelpful for us and our guests, as groups are unsure about whether or not they can come, and their commitments to future bookings is a bigger step for them than usual, and so the spiral of uncertainty continues and hope that the gradual easing of restrictions will be successful and mean that we can get back to what we feel called to do – growing people through community and adventure at Tollesbury.

 

Please pray for:

 

            Successful easing of lockdown allowing confidence to return

            For the liaison and support for all our guests and groups for 2020 & 2021

            The staff team, volunteers and friends at this time – the wonderful FACT community.

            To give thanks for the recent financial support that has allowed us to cover our costs again last month.


Holdfast Supporters’ Literary Anagrams Quiz

 

Here are the answers to the Holdfast Supporters’ Literary Anagrams Quiz. The answer in each case is the name of the author of a literary work. However, the questions were each built round an anagram of the common (sometimes shortened) English title of that work – excluding punctuation. To help, after each question the number of words in the title of the relevant work together with some general indication of the approximate date of first publication of the work and also the genre to which (in the opinion of the compiler of the quiz) the work belongs were given. After the answer the title of the work forming the anagram is also given.

 

The author (not illustrator) of:

 

Mame? [1 word, 19th century classic]

Jane Austen (Emma)

             

Pent Pear?  [2 words, early 20th century child-friendly play

J M Barrie (Peter Pan)

 

Wind Water Shop? [2 words, 20th century novel appreciated both by children and adults]

 Richard Adams (Watership Down)

             

Howl Fall? [2 words, 21st century historical novel

Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall)

 

Baby Town Done? [2 words, 21st century complete scripts for TV drama

Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey)

 

Alarm If Man? [2 words, 20th century political satire]

George Orwell (Animal Farm)

 

One on a Lord? [2 words, 19th century romance]

R D Blackmore (Lorna Doone)

 

Gull Starves Liver? [2 words, 18th century satire seen by some as a children’s novel]

Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels)

 

Then I Tie Former Menai Chanter? [6 words, late 18th century epic poem]               Samuel Taylor Coleridge (The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner)

 

Mind Childer Things? [2 words, 20th century Anglo-Indian allegorical novel]

Salman Rushdie (Midnight’s Children)

 

Being Upside Throb? [4 words, 21st century historical novel]

Hilary Mantel (Bring Up The Bodies)

 

Mad Tail? [1 word, 20th century children’s novel]

Roald Dahl (Matilda)

 

Real Miss Ran?[2 words, 19th century novel]

George Eliot (Silas Marner)

 

Onion Curses Rob? [2 words, 19th century novel]

Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe)

 

Nod Right Flag? [1word, 20th century science fiction/fantasy]

Anne McCaffrey (Dragonflight)

 

Themes To Noon? [2 words, 19th century contender for first detective novel]     Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone)

Tory Ire Spiked Iron Stall? [4 words, 20th century spy thriller

John Le Carre (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)

 

Arid Sea Plots?             [2 words, 17th century epic poem]

John Milton (Paradise Lost)

 

The Tea Bus from Hell?           [5 words, 20th century mythological novel]

Mary Renault (The Bull From The Sea)

 

Earth Fog Flu? [2 words. 1999 children’s book]

Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo)

 

Handy Three Ply Thread Short A Tallow? [6 words, 21st century final fantasy novel in a series]

J M Rowling (Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows)

 

Frogs Defy Fishy Tea? [4 words, 21st century erotic novel]                                             E L James (Fifty Shades Of Grey)

 

Torn Mosque Enchants [3 words, 20th century trilogy of plays]                                        Alan Ayckbourn (The Norman Conquests)

 

Goatee Itch To Wear Them? 6 words, 20th century children’s favourite

Judith Kerr (The Tiger Who Came To Tea)

 

Chic Four Goal Tome? [4 words, 20th century fantasy humour]

Terry Pratchett (The Colour Of Magic)

 

Team Ran Shot? [3 words (approx), 18th century Scottish poem]                                         Robert Burns (Tam O’Shanter)

 

Melt In Towel? [2 words, 19th century children’s classic]

Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)

 

 

To Hide It? [2 words, 19th century Russian Novel]

 Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)

 

No Dress On Slav? [3 words, 20th century controversial autobiographical novel

D H Lawrence (Sons And Lovers)

             

Moon Jest? [2 words, 18th century English-Picaresque novel]                                    Henry Fielding (Tom Jones)

 

Raw Shore? [2 words, 20th century children’s novel]

Michael Morpurgo (War Horse)

 

Maths And The Ideal? [3 words, 20th century futuristic novel]

Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale)

 

I Pile Off? [3 words, 21st century Canadian philosophical novel]

Yann Martel (Life Of Pi)

 

Fay Latch Joke Death? [5 words, 20th century thriller]

Frederick Forsyth (The Day Of The Jackal)

 

She Hit By Red Stone? [5 words, 21st century children’s novel]

David Walliams (The Boy In The Dress)

 

Raven Drew Bowl? [3 words, 20th century futuristic novel]

Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)

 

Teeth Fame On Shore? [5 words, 20th century historical murder mystery]

Umberto Eco (The Name Of The Rose

 

 

Mad Master? [1 word, 20th century prize-winning novel]

Ian McEwan (Amsterdam)

 

Violet Writs? [2 words, 19th century classic]

Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)

 

Coops? [1 word, 20th century comic satire]

Evelyn Waugh (Scoop)

 

Than Fit On Some? [3 words, 17th century play]

 William Shakespeare and/or Thomas Middleton (Timon Of Athens)

 

Ming Role Or What? [3 words, 2019 prize winning novel]

Bernardine Evaristo (Girl, Woman, Other)

 

Join Santa? [2 words, 20th century historical play]

George Bernard Shaw (Saint Joan)

 

Throne Hacked Bunch of Team? [5 words, 19th century French gothic novel] Victor Hugo (The Hunchback Of Notre Dame)

 

Gamers Stall Thing? [3 words, 21st century American novel about race and prejudice]

Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)

 

Far Tour Quest? [2 words, 20th century collected edition of four related poems]

T S Eliot (Four Quartets)

 

Non Fire? [1 word, 14th century Italian epic poem]

Dante Alighieri(Inferno)

 

 

Hermit F? [2 words, 20th century legal thriller]

John Grisham (The Firm)

 

 

Shrek Ate Tall Men? [3 words, 20th century popular historic novel]

Catherine Cookson (The Mallen Streak)

 

Surest Iran Deal? [2 words, 19th century adventure story]

Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island)

 

 

Thanks to everyone who took part. Two totally correct entries were returned by the end of May deadline and the winner seleccted at random was Terry Willingham of Sudbury.

 

 

 

 

I am only one - Prayer

 

I am only one, but I am one.

I cannot do everything, but I can do something.

What I can do, I ought to do,

And what I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do. 

- Anon


 

Future Forecourt Sale - Julie Harris

 

Dear all ,

 

I hope you are all keeping safe and well, the lockdown seems to have been going on for a longtime and I am sure we are all eager to get back to Church and normal life.

 

During lockdown, some of you may have used your time to have a sort out of items ready to take to a charity shop or the tip.

 

Times have been hard and a lot of charities have probably been hit hard, I would like to ask please if you could hold onto items ready for when we can hold a forecourt sale, I will be very happy to organise this... I believe the first charity to be supported first half of the year was Holdfast and the second was Mercy Ships I believe.... I have no idea how the money from the forecourt sale would be divided.. I will leave that to the fundraisers to decide, but I am hopeful that maybe we can have a Forecourt sale later in the year and thought I would put feelers out... I dont want to steal anybody elses thunder and am only wanting to raise money , it us not for me to designate where the funds will go .. perhaps discussions can be had... but basically if you have items in reasonable condition could you perhaps hold on to them

 

Many thanks

Plants for sale in aid

of Christian Aid - Julie Harris

 

 

 

 

 

I still have some tomato plants left to sell and I am setting myself a new goal of £200. I would be so grateful if people could please network and put out feelers to anybody who might want to buy some at £1 each and  I am happy to deliver.

 

Please contact: julie127@btinternet.com/01376 517623

 

 

The Church Magazine

 

We are intending to produce the monthly magazine during this unusual period in electronic from.  It would be great to have as many articles from the fellowship as possible.

 

If you know of anybody who would  like to receive a copy of the magazine and church notices via email please contact our Church Secretary at tony.deighton@hotmail.com who will be able to explain how this is done.

 

The deadline for the August magazine is

Friday, 24th July 2020

by email to: bjstibbards@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

These boots are made for walking

Bob Stibbards

 

 

 

 

Soon after lockdown I started to go for longer walks and reached 100,000 steps  in a week.  I am lucky as we live with immediate access to the countryside  and have found some great walks.  For  whatever reason this has become a weekly target and recently realised that I had done this for 10 weeks and hence one million steps about 450 miles and now stand at over 1.2 million steps: how sad I am !

 

I have also recently received a notification from Fitbit that I have now walked 5,500 miles which is about the same distance from Witham to San Francisco, since Jo purchased it as a Christmas present about three and a half years ago and neither of us really thought I would take to it.

 

I tend to go on the walks later on in the day when it is slightly cooler and for much of the time it seems to clear my head and I  just enjoy the countryside. Most people walking or cycling share a polite greeting ( at a social distance) and  it would good to continue after this strange time .

 

I am not sure that I feel much fitter but it has certainly kept the weight off during lockdown!

 

As for Jo after a number of attempts, she has become quite successful at making sour dough.  It really is a labour of love.

 

If you have a story to tell it would be great to hear from you it, will probably me more exciting than mine!

 

The Spirit of Note | The Holy Spirit

Word for the Week Old Testament New Testament

 

 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Genesis 1:1-2

 

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Hebrews 9:14

 

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for Gods people in accordance with the will of God.

Romans 8:26-27

 

I hadnt really noticed many Ford C-Max cars before. Then I got one. And now theyre everywhere. Its amazing what you detect when youre primed to notice.

 

It would be an understatement to say not much happens without the Holy Spirits involvement. Like the other persons of the Trinity, he too has a rather exhaustive job description: ordering the cosmos; empowering the people of God; unifying the church; convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement; delivering the spoils of Christs victory to sinners; confirming our identity as Gods children; making us holy; keeping us on track. And the whole time, hes interceding on our behalf. And you thought you were busy!

 

The Spirit was central to the birth, life, mission, death, and resurrection of Christ. In the New Testament, there are no less than 261 passages in which the Spirit is mentioned. Hes not some bit-part player in the story of Scripture, but central at every point. Its important to notice that.

 

Today, in our hearts, in our churches, in our families, and on our frontlines, he is 100% interested. 100% involved. Sometimes we just need someone to remind us of his presence to give us that oh yeahmoment. Because when we notice him, hope awakens, vision widens, and joy blossoms. We see the hand of God working wonders around us. We remember there is so much more; that lifes not just down to us.

 

If youre already conscious of the Spirits ongoing work in your life, awesome! Keep noticing. But if not, may this reflection act like a spiritual MRI, revealing something of the hidden miracles taking place in your life every day. That might mean being aware of your status as a son or daughter of God when you feel the need to prove yourself. Or becoming more alive to the mission of God, knowing that the Spirit who hovered over the waters, and who rested upon the Lord Jesus, is calling you out into Gods world.

 

You might notice how God is shifting something in the heart of a neighbour, a child, or that person you chat to at the shop. It might be noticing that unnaturalpatience you showed with that customer, and in the delight you experience in your work.

What will you notice this week?

 

Joe Warton

 

 

 

Jonathan Clark's Newsletter May 2020 - Eve Murfitt

 

This family came to our church  some years ago to get support through George and Gwynn.  I have seen their son grow from a young boy to a man and is now training at Hillsong.




Text Box: Minister	Revd	Mark Ambrose	07564 168342
admin@withamurc.org.uk
 Associate Minister 	 Revd	  Lorna Bantock	571757
Admin Assistant to Rev. Mark Ambrose	Mrs	Deborah Robinson	07564 168342
admin@withamurc.org.uk
Youth Pastor	Mrs	Viv Solis	500958
Assistant Youth Pastor	Ms	Tracey Eagling	500958
  Centre Managers	  Mrs	  Rocio MacDonald	500958
	  Mrs	  Ana Martin	500958
Pastoral and Music	Mrs	Gerry Moscrop	
  Pastoral	  Mr	  Doug Sandles	
  Pastoral	Ms	Tracey Eageling	
   Pastoral	Mrs	Maureen Barry	
Property	Mr	 David Wellings	
Outreach and Mission	Mr	Gavin McCall	
Children and Youth	Mr	Keith Meredith	
Prophetic	Mr	Keith Moscrop	
Prayer	Mrs	Maria Anderson	
Church Secretary	Mr	Tony Deighton	500958
 Church Treasurer	  Mr	   Ian Hardie	
Worship and Music	Mrs	Sarah Campbell	
Worship	Mr	  Tunde Biyi	
Discipleship and Growth	Mrs	 Sarah Biyi	
Meeting Point Pastoral Co-ordinator	Mrs	Eve Murfitt	
Prayer Chain 
Co-ordinator	  Mrs	  Rosemary Stinson	
516602
Magazine Editors		Jo and Bob Stibbards