Steve writes. . . The Divine Mend

We’re privileged this month to have a visit from Revd David Day and his wife Rosemary. They’ll be here from Durham as David preaches for us on the morning of Sunday 18th March  and the day before leads a morning in the Barber Rooms to encourage preachers (see notice elsewhere). David was a colleague of mine at my previous church, and Wendy and I have known David and Rosemary since we were in their Bible Study group as a young married couple in Nottingham!

Though David has written books on preaching and has spoken to many groups across this country and internationally about communicating God’s word, I want to refer to some comments he makes in his book ‘Pearl of great price – the attractive Jesus’ which was a previous Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book.

Looking at the remarkable ‘hymn’ about Christ in Colossians 1:15-20, David says “Jesus is God in visible form. He is the God you can see and handle, a God handing himself over to be prodded and pushed about. Jesus is God in human flesh, expressed in a human life, in a particular place at a particular time…. So God inserts himself into the creation that he has made, like a life-giving serum injected into the bloodstream of a dying man. Only by coming into the world and working from the inside can he mend what is broken”.

The Colossians passage goes on to say that, through Jesus, God reconciles all things to himself, by making peace through Christ’s blood, shed on the cross. David comments that ‘Christ has absorbed all the hatred of sinful human beings and so made peace ‘through the blood of his cross’. He is the head of a new community, a new race of human beings who will be like his body on earth, living in harmony and love’.

As we continue our journey through Lent into Holy Week and on to the glory and joy of Easter, the living Lord Jesus calls us again to receive what he has done for us – to be reconciled to God and to one another and to be his ambassadors bringing this message of reconciliation to those amongst whom we live.

Here’s a prayer from David’s book that we might like to use this Lent:

O Christ, you stretched out your arms on the cross to reconcile one to another and bring peace in place of strife. Make us men and women of peace. Give us your courage that we may answer the call to be reconcilers. Give us your love that we may be swift to hear and slow to judge. Give us your wisdom that we may know when to speak and when to be silent. Give us your patience to persist until the task is done. Amen.

Yours in Christ,

Steve

Home Group Meetings in March

Home Groups will not meet again until after Easter because of the Alpha Course groups meeting during Lent. The exception is the Wednesday group which will continue to meet – see below.

Day and Dates Time Place Contact Subject
Wednesday 7th & 21st 7.45pm 2 Leamington Gate Barbara Mapley 615 009 “Exploring the Beatitudes”  by Bishop Stephen

 

March Prayer Calendar

Please continue to pray for the life and work of our parishes

Thurs 1st Mission of the Month – Faringdon Family Centre.
Fri 2nd Women’s World Day of Prayer services today.
Sat 3rd St Mary’s Spring Clean this morning.
Sun 4th Worship and music at All Saints’ and St Mary’s.
Mon 5th Meeting of Little Allsorts this afternoon.
Tues 6th Lent Groups continuing this month.
Wed 7th “Life & Mission of God’s Church” prayer meeting this evening.
Thurs 8th “Open the Book” at the Infant and Junior School this morning.
Fri 9th Paul Walker, our appointed Curate, his wife and family.
Sat 10th Men’s Group this morning, breakfast at Sadlers.
Sun 11th Mothering Sunday Saints Alive. United Service pm (Blessed Hugh).
Mon 12th St Mary’s PCC this evening.
Tues 13th Work of Churches Together and the Family Centre.
Wed 14th Wardens, Vergers and Welcomers, Intercessors and Readers.
Thurs 15th “Open the Book” at the Infant and Junior School this morning.
Fri 16th Magazine preparation this weekend.
Sat 17th Morning meeting to encourage preachers.
Sun 18th  Steve, Graham, Helen, Barbara, Dick, John, Max, Paul and Jim.
Mon 19th Bell ringers practicing this evening.
Tues 20th The Wisbey family.
Wed 21st Lynn Treneary in South Sudan and the work of CMS.
Thurs 22nd Work of the Mustard Seed and Seekers Light.
Fri 23rd All who are ill, recently bereaved or in any other kind of need.
Sat 24th For all who help run our Churches.
Sun 25th Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week.
Mon 26th Our Bishops Steven and Colin, and our Area Dean David.
Tues 27th Our witness to friends and neighbours.
Wed 28th For our young people’s work.
Thurs 29th Maundy Thursday services today.
Fri 30th Good Friday service “Reflections at the Cross”.
Sat 31st Flower Guild decorating the Church for Easter.

Meetings for Prayer in March

All Saints’ seeks to have an active and regular prayer ministry with a number of informal meetings during the month to which all are very welcome.

Friday 2nd 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Tuesday 6th 2.00-3.00pm Julian Meeting (18 Eastfield Court)
Wednesday 7th 9.00am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Wednesday 7th 7.30pm Life & Mission of Church (Church)
Friday 9th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Tuesday 13th 8.00-9.00pm Julian Meeting (call 244 905 for venue)
Wednesday 14th 9.00am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Friday 16th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Friday 16th 8.00pm Prayer for the World (Call 240 509 for venue)
Wednesday 21st 9.00am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Wednesday 21st 10.30-11.30am Prayer for CMS (8 Coach Lane)
Friday 23rd 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Wednesday 28th 9.00am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Friday 30th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Life & Mission of God’s Church (1st Wednesday evening): Steve Bellamy (240 106)
Julian Meeting (Tuesday afternoon): Pat Tylee (241 039)
Julian Meeting (Tuesday evening): Beryl Begg (244 905)
CMS Prayer Group (3rd Wednesday morning): Bob & Joan Plumptre (243 388)
Parish Prayers (Friday am) and Prayer for the World (Friday pm): Graham & Margaret Scott-Brown (240 509)

Mission of the Month for March – Faringdon Family Centre

Faringdon Family Centre is run under the auspices of CTiF with a committee made up of members of all the churches including Mairead Boyce, Maureen Courtney, Val Jones, Mary Valente, Jill Heady & Jeni Summerfield.
It is responsible for running a Breakfast Club at the Junior School with a paid leader, a member of the School’s Support staff and a number of volunteers.
It also operates the local Food Bank, with the support of church volunteers.
The Family Centre should not be confused with the Children’s Centre that used to operate in the Baptist Church until local authority funding was withdrawn in 2017. Work is underway to set up a new Children’s Centre project with assistance from Spurgeons, who were instrumental in the formation of the original centre. This initiative is supported by the Town Council, CTiF and the Pump House Project. We hope to have news of progress in the near future.
For more information about the Family Centre contact Jeni Summerfield (240 912)

Missions News

News About The Church Mission Society and CMS FUNdraiser

News about the Church Mission Society

We have very little to write about Maridi that is new this month. Ceasefires have been signed and then broken yet again. Maridi is still without electricity and regular clean water, the roads are still dangerous. Lynn, our Mission Partner has had an attack of malaria, has recovered , but is not in the best of health. (most expats in  Africa, no longer take malaria tablets as long term it can produce blindness. There are good medicines which cure the infrequent attacks quickly).

The one piece of good news is that the Bishop of Maridi, Bishop Justin, has been elected to become the new Archbishop of South Sudan, (Primate of the Episcopal Church). There has been great rejoicing, though it does mean that a new Bishop of Maridi has to be found. Bishop Justin said of the close election victory that it showed that tribal differences between Dinkas and Equitorians played no part. The church is showing that the tribes can work together without fighting.

March is the month of Lent this year, and CMS is concentrating on Mission. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, where he accepted his calling. He emerged from this time of testing to proclaim that the kingdom of  God is at hand, and that we Christians have a part to play. So we too, are called to use the time of Lent to reflect on what God is calling us to do.

What is God calling you to do?  Some will feel God is calling them be become members of CMS as an organisation.  They make the following affirmation:-

“I’m a member of the CMS mission community because I believe God is still working in our world and I want to be part of this. I want my life to be about mission and I know that mission isn’t about someone else’s job- it’s mine. I want to live for Jesus daily and I realise I need fuel for this journey. As a member of the CMS mission community I desire to help my local Christian community keep mission a priority. I also wish to join other CMS members in regularly renewing my mind and spirit and my commitment to mission.”

We could make a similar affirmation to our church mission here in Faringdon. Did you know that CMS has provided pioneer mission training for more than 200 people who are putting their call to mission in this country?  This is an ongoing course and draws interest of over a hundred each year. Examples of their work are: Nigel, working to build relationships in Bradford between migrants and those of other faiths; Michael, working among Syrian refugees and other migrants in Ipswich; Chris and Anna in Hull, helping to run a breakfast club, a mission house, a community garden and a sewing collective; Ruth in Plymouth running a work club to help unemployed people to find jobs; andLuke pioneering a church for ragamuffins’ for people on the edge of society. Some of these people have full time jobs and some are retired and feel called to help others in this way. All, by God’s grace, want to help to grow communities of Christians who act like Jesus with one another and within their neighbourhoods

CMS has called all Members to practice five minutes of silence in each day of Lent. Listen to God to discern his call to you. At the end of the day, look back, you may well notice unexpected ways in which you encountered God’s call for you during the day. We are not all called to be CMS members, but we are all called to Mission.

As we go through Lent to Easter Day, let us all pray for Lynn Treneary and the South Sudan, that the fighting and hatred will stop and that all can celebrate the victory of Jesus.

In Africa, Easter is the most important of the Church festivals. Christians dress in their best, often new clothes, children will often gather palms and go around their area singing Easter carols at dawn. There is feasting together, often after a long church service with singing and dancing. This is their God in whom they trust and they worship together with energy and joy.

With thanks to Peter Foot for extra information.

For more information about CMS contact Joan Plumptre (243 388).

CMS FUNdraiser

Afternoon of Tea, Cakes,

Board Games and Fun

Saturday 7th April, 3.00-5.00pm

Barber Rooms

In aid of Lynn Treneary (CMS Link Missionary)

Entrance Free Donations welcome

Worship Review Group Recommendations

As Steve explained on Sunday 4th February, the PCC decided that after Easter we should stop having our current 6.30pm Sunday evening services. We and Steve realise that this has caused some disquiet and are sorry for any hurt or misunderstanding caused.

The PCC decision was based on proposals put forward by the Worship Review Group, a sub-committee of the PCC, which was set up in the autumn and met on a number occasions to consider our current patterns of worship. This group was made up of six PCC members and three others, representing a cross section of All Saints’, and included the three of us.

As a church, our agreed aim is ‘connecting people with Jesus, sharing his love in our everyday lives’. This means connecting our own church family with Jesus, as well as looking outwards to the wider community. Uppermost in our minds was to ensure that communion remains available every Sunday and there will be no change to the 8.00am service. The 10.30am service will also remain in its current form, with a small change to the pattern of baptisms.

Stopping the 6.30pm service in its current format will give us the space and time to pray and discern the way forward, as we take seriously God’s calling to reach out to the wider community. The existing Lead Academy group will report back to the PCC at the May meeting with draft proposals for the future. In the meantime, as we actively seek God’s will, prayer must be at the heart of this discernment and so from May onwards, the monthly prayer meeting will be moved from Wednesdays to the first Sunday evening of each month.

Please do not hesitate to talk to any of us if you have any further questions or concerns.

Katie Foot, Jim McGowan and Helen Wilson

Christian Aid Week

Christian Aid Week this year will be from the 13th to 19th May 2018. Our theme will be “Providing life-saving new homes to poor communities at risk from disasters”.

Christian Aid stands with the most vulnerable and excluded people of the world – both in times of crisis and for the longer term. They give people survival essentials when they are without shelter or refuge, and help them find the strength and resources they need to flourish and protect themselves from disasters. They support people to stand up for their rights and to build stable, secure lives they can enjoy living.

There will be more in-depth information in the April & May issues of the Parish Magazine, but in the meantime we would be very grateful if you would “Save the date” for the following events:

Tuesday 15th May – 09:00 – 11:00am: Street Collection
Tuesday 15th May – 10:30am – 12:00noon: Coffee Morning in the Barber Rooms
Saturday 19th May – 7.00pm: Concert at All Saints’

As well as the Street Collection, we will also be doing the House-to-House Collection during Christian Aid week and it would be much appreciated if you would consider volunteering to help with this or any of our other events. If you would like any further information please contact:
Julie Campbell on 242 589.

Morning for (would-be) preachers

Putting Faces on the Words:
preaching which touches the imagination

The Revd David Day, former Principal of St John’s College Durham, and author of Embodying the Word leads a morning to encourage preachers on Saturday 17th March at the Barber Rooms. Coffee will be served from 9.15am for a start at 9.30am, and the morning will conclude at 12.30pm.

All preachers (of all denominations) and those interested in preaching are very welcome.

If you’d like to come, it would help us if you were able to confirm in advance so we have some idea of numbers, please contact the administrator

Revision of the All Saints’ Electoral Roll

The Church Electoral Roll will be revised by the PCC, beginning on Sunday 18th March 2018 and ending on Saturday 31st March 2018.

After the Revision, a copy of the Roll will be exhibited for not less than 14 days on, or near to, the main door of the Church for inspection.

Under the Church Representation Rules any persons are entitled to have their names entered on the roll if they:
(i)     are baptised and aged 16 or over;
(ii)    have signed a form of application for enrolment;
and either
(iii)             are members of the Church of England or of any Church in communion with the Church of England being resident in the parish or (not being resident in the parish) having habitually attended public worship in the parish during the six months prior to the application for enrolment;
or:
(iv)   are members in good standing of a Church (not in communion with the Church of England) which subscribes to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity declaring themselves also to be members of the Church of England and having habitually attended public worship in the parish during  the period of six months prior to enrolment.

If you are not on the Electoral Roll at the moment you can apply by filling in an application form and returning it to the Electoral Roll Officer, Julia Burn. The forms will be in All Saints’ from Sunday 18th February.

For more information please contact Julia Burn: 240 670