Steve writes: Help FROG leap into action

There are some exciting changes taking place in our children’s and youth work at All Saints’. Our baby and toddler group, Little All Sorts, is now meeting weekly on a Monday morning in the Barber Rooms from 9.30 to 11.00am in school term time. Our primary school age children’s work formerly known as ‘Sunday Special’ is now beginning a new Sunday teaching programme as ‘Junior Saints’.

For pre-school age children, the Lower Asset Room can be used as a creche as there are toys to play with – and parents are welcome to take their children to that room at any point in the service – there is a speaker which can be turned on so you can hear what’s going on in church. It would be great if we had some volunteers to be on a rota to look after creche age children during worship, so that Mums or Dads could leave their child being looked after while they were able to benefit from being in the worship service.

But this month there is also a new group starting for secondary school age children on Sunday September 9th at 10.30am. This is called ‘FROG’ which stands for ‘Fully Rely On God’. Tim Vinall, Kate Crebbin, Deb Pickford and Laura Bond are heading up the new group which will meet at the same time as Junior Saints, i.e. on Sunday mornings at 10.30am starting in Church and then going to groups after the first part of the service – Junior Saints to the Barber Rooms, FROG to the Upper Asset room. On the first Sunday of the month we all meet together for worship in Church at our 10.30am Saints Alive service.

So how can we help FROG to leap into action this Autumn? Please could you think of and encourage any secondary age children you know to come along and give FROG a try. In addition to the Sunday meetings we are hoping that there will also be occasional socials and activities to be involved in at other times – all those of secondary school age are welcome. And if you don’t know any specific children to encourage to come, then please would you pray for FROG to get off to a good start this month – for its meetings to be both enjoyable and inspired by God’s Spirit, for its leaders to be good role models of what being an adult Christian is like and for the members to grow as followers of Jesus through their teenage years.

Yours in Christ,

 Steve

 

Home Group Meetings in September

New members are always most welcome at all Home Groups – please contact the people listed below for more details.

Day and Dates Time Place Contact Subject
Monday 10th & 24th 7.45pm 28 The Pines Bridget Adams TBA
Tuesday 11th & 25th 2.15pm 2 Leamington Gate Barbara Mapley Amos
Wednesday 5th & 19th 7.30pm 2 Leamington Gate Barbara Mapley Abundant Life
Thursday 13th & 27th 8.00pm 10B Coxwell Street Andrew & Clare Sargent TBA

September Prayer Calendar

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

Sat 1st Mission of the Month – Scripture Union.
Sun 2nd Saints Alive All-age Service. Church Prayer Meeting (pm.)
Mon 3rd Bell ringers practicing this evening.
Tues 4th Wardens, Vergers and Welcomers, Intercessors and Readers.
Wed 5th House Groups starting after the summer break.
Thurs 6th Outreach to people in the new houses.
Fri 7th For community activities in Faringdon and Little Coxwell.
Sat 8th All participating in Ride+Stride. Men’s Group this morning.
Sun 9th Junior Saints and FROG starting today.
Mon 10th Little All Sorts restarting this morning.
Tues 11th For continued improvement in Lynn Treneary’s health.
Wed 12th Steve, Paul, Helen, Barbara, Dick, Max, Paul and Jim.
Thurs 13th ‘Open the Book’ in the Infant and Junior Schools this morning.
Fri 14th Flower Guild and others decorating the Church.
Sat 15th Our Bishops Steven and Colin, and our Area Dean David.
Sun 16th St Mary’s Patronal Festival today.
Mon 17th Work of the Mustard Seed and Seekers Light.
Tues 18th  All Saints’ Singers practising this evening.
Wed 19th For all newcomers to our Churches.
Thurs 20th For who have recently been bereaved.
Fri 21st Magazine preparation this weekend.
Sat 22nd Quiet Day led by Jim Mynors.
Sun 23rd St Mary’s Harvest Festival today.
Mon 24th Work of Churches Together and the Family Centre.
Tues 25th All who are ill or in any other kind of need.
Wed 26th The Wisbey family.
Thurs 27th ‘Open the Book’ in the Infant and Junior Schools this morning.
Fri 28th Preparations for the Alpha course.
Sat 29th All who help run our Churches.
Sun 30th Baptism today.

Meetings for Prayer in September

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.

Sunday 2nd 6.30pm Church Prayer Meeting (All Saints’)
Wednesday 5th 9.00am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Friday 7th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (venue TBA)
Tuesday 11th 7.30-8.30pm Julian Meeting (call 244905 for venue)
Wednesday 12th 9.00am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Friday 14th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (venue TBA)
Wednesday 19th 9.00am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Wednesday 19th 10.30-11.30am Prayer for CMS (8 Coach Lane)
Friday 21st 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (venue TBA)
Tuesday 25th 7.30-8.30pm Julian Meeting (call 244905 for venue)
Wednesday 26th 9.00am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Friday 28th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (venue TBA)

Mission of the Month for September – Scripture Union

How can they hear if nobody tells them? (Romans 10:14)

Estimates suggest that 95% of children and young people in England and Wales don’t have regular contact with a church. Scripture Union believes that every child should have the opportunity to explore and respond to the good news of the Bible.

Scripture Union was established as a charity over 140 years ago and now works in more than 120 countries with children, young people and families. The purpose is to encourage people of all ages to meet God every day through the Bible and prayer, with the goal of helping people to grow in Christian maturity and become not only committed church members but also servants of a world in need.

Today in the UK they respond in innovative and exciting ways to encourage younger members of society to explore what a faith in Jesus might look like for them. For example, they organise a wide range of holidays throughout the school break and they estimate that this year over 1400 children and young people will attend – they ask that we pray for them all, and the leaders and volunteers, that they will have fun in a safe environment and feel God’s presence.

Another example of the outreach in the coming months is the annual Light Party, an alternative to Hallowe’en celebrations. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5)

The organisation also offers us suggestions about how to talk to children about Jesus: be yourself, keep it short, pray, stick to your theme, keep it simple and just do it! Good advice for sharing the good news with everyone, not just children!

We can support Scripture Union physically by holding activities or using any of their resources, financially through donations and prayerfully each day. For more information visit their website www.scriptureunion.org.uk

For more information about Scripture Union, contact Kate Butcher

Missions news

News from the Church Mission Society

You will remember that in the July magazine we reported that our Mission Partner had flown back to UK from Maridi as she was not well. Lynn had suffered two bouts of Malaria and also had muscle wastage and stomach problems. Those who have met Lynn know that she is not one to sit down and suffer, no, she has been busy getting tests, scans, follow up etc. But we all know how these take time, however we try to speed them up. Her latest letter, written on 13th August, says that she has still not been passed fully fit, so it will probably be into September before she is able to return to Maridi.

How thankful we all are, that after Lynn’s last visit back to UK, she was able to install the internet connection, so she has been able to keep in close touch with her friends in Maridi. You can read Lynn’s last letter, (August) on the board outside the Barber Rooms. Do pause to read it and pray for her to be completely cured, to be able to return to Maridi, and to be able to have a better diet so that she does not fall ill again.

Meanwhile, the situation in South Sudan seems better., and we must pray constantly that this time peace will prevail. We continue to keep up to date news on the notice board, so up date your prayers each week. I am sure that when we pray regularly, God answers.

CMS staff have been very busy during the summer, with stalls at most of the large Christian gatherings all over the country. It has been very encouraging to see many folk coming forward as they feel that God is calling them to work abroad.  CMS takes care to discuss their call with them, so that together they may be sure, especially as some feel called to work in countries who are not keen to welcome Christians

Christians, worldwide, have been praying, “Thy Kingdom Come”  and despite what the newspapers print, we do see the Love and Forgiveness of Jesus is being believed and accepted across the world.

Those in the UK who feel called to difficult places like the Middle East, parts of Asia and North Africa, go out to encourage and help the local Christians and to worship with them. Their names are not known as it is dangerous and in the weekly prayer paper they are mentioned as R or S, and in some very dangerous places they can only be mentioned with no name, no place of work no country.  These workers need our faithful prayers, and we can rejoice with them when they report that Christians are encouraged to keep going and many people are believing, and accepting, the love of Jesus. The CMS is supporting well over 100 Mission Partners and Mission Associates in 49 countries and around 200 Pioneers in this country.

It is very easy to get discouraged when there is so much in the papers about the failure of Christians and the Church in this part of the world, but we must believe that God’s Kingdom IS coming and pray for that. Make sure that you always pause to read what the various charities are doing as you rush off to coffee after the service. Ask regularly for the magazines that tell you what is happening in the World Church. Constantly read your Bible and the parts that speak of God working across the world. And PRAY. Jesus, when he was on the earth, constantly called his followers to Pray Without Ceasing. Most of us will not be called to go other countries, but our task is to PRAY, not just in church on a Sunday, but at home when washing up or eating a mango from Africa, or eating a curry or booking an exciting holiday abroad! And then, when you read in a Christian magazine of the Church growing in some country, you will feel Jesus saying to you, Well done my good and faithful servant. And what would be more wonderful than to hear that.

A reminder that from September our prayer group will meet on every 3rd Wednesday in the month from 10.30 to 11.30am with coffee at 10.00am. You will be welcome and come when you can. Let me know if you would like to receive the weekly CMS prayer paper. If you need a lift to the meeting, let me know or if you are unable to get out easily but would like to join us from your home, I can tell you what we will be praying for before the day. It would be wonderful to feel that we had a powerhouse of prayer going out to support the work of CMS each month.

Joan Plumtre

PHHHT, PHHHT, PHHHT

I once read an article on Jesus’ parable about the great feast in Luke 14 where there was a scramble amongst some of the guests to get seats at or near the top table.

Jesus saw that this shabby scramble for the places of honour showed they weren’t there to honour their host, but to honour themselves. Then he had a word for his host about giving – giving is at the heart of the Gospel – and is at the heart of Christian life. But not all giving is the genuine article, is it? The writer suggested a story that Jesus might have used to cover this aspect.

A chap called Nicholas, who had a great reputation for generosity, died and went to heaven. St Peter met him at the gate. There he showed him two piles of gold, one small and one large, made up of nuggets of varying sizes.

“What are these?” Nicholas asked.

“They are the acts of giving you performed on earth – one nugget for each act.”

Nicholas’s heart filled with pride. But then Peter said, “I’m sorry Nicholas, sad to say not all giving is true giving. A lot of it is tainted with self interest. So we’ll have to run a test on your acts of giving. By the way, the nuggets in the larger pile don’t count.”

“How come?” Nicholas asked.

“They represent all the gifts you gave to your friends, relatives, cronies, and so on. They don’t constitute real gold. Even gangsters are good to their own.” With a PHHHT the nuggets in the larger pile turned to dust. Peter took a sieve which had large meshes in it, and placed the nuggets from the smaller pile in it. After he had shaken it he was left with the biggest nuggets in the sieve.

“What are you doing now?”asked Nicholas.

“I’m removing those gifts you only gave to get something in return. Such giving is a kind of investment. You get it back, sometimes with a handsome profit.” With that he tossed the nuggets aside, and with a PHHHT they turned to dust. Then he made the mesh of the sieve smaller, put the remaining nuggets into it, shook it and once again tossed aside those that remained. PHHHT

“What was that for?” Nicholas asked.

“That removed the good deeds you did so as to win the praise of others. One can make an idol of oneself through giving.” Peter then made the mesh finer still , putting the remaining nuggets into it. As he did so he said, “Now we’ll remove the good deeds you did simply for the good feeling you got from doing them.”

Nicholas watched him toss the nuggets that got caught in the sieve into the air where with the now familiar PHHHT they turned into dust. Again Peter gathered up the remaining ones an put them into the sieve having made the mesh finer still.

“What now?” asked Nicholas.

“Now we’ll extract all those things you gave only out of a sense of duty.” He shook the sieve, The nuggets that remained were then tossed aside and they suffered the same fate as the others. PHHHT!

“Stop!” Nicholas cried, “If you go on like this, there won’t be anything left. Then how will I earn my passport to heaven?”

“We should go on,” said Peter. “We should look at the cost of your giving. Suppose we removed the things you gave but which you never missed, how much would disappear? And what of the gifts you gave merely because the receiver was someone you felt deserved your gift?”

But poor Nicholas wasn’t listening any more. “It’s a terrible feeling to have gold within your reach, and then have it snatched from you.” He cried.

Peter said, “Or if it turns out not to be real gold but fool’s gold. Ah, Nicholas, real giving is very rare, just as real gold is very rare. To give without expecting anything in return, least of all the great prize of heaven, that is what constitutes real giving. . . . But cheer up, I’ve got good news for you.”

“What good news?” asked Nicholas.

“The Lord is the greatest giver of all. His acts of giving are pure gold. But we’ve talked long enough. It’s time to meet the Lord himself.”

“But I’m empty handed!” Nicholas cried.

“That only means you’re poor,” Peter replied, “But never fear. The Lord gives most generously to those who are poor and are not ashamed to admit it. So let’s go.”

I wonder, is that story relevant to us? It is, regrettably, relevant to me.

Max Young

Canon John de Wit

10th May 1947 – 17th June 2018

Pam de Wit writes: Thank you to all who attended John’s funeral and all who offered sympathy and so much kindness during John’s illness and after his sudden death. Your love and prayers are a great comfort.

The Faringdon Singers opened the Funeral Service with Psalm 121 (I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills). This was the passage of scripture that John heard read to him by a friend in the moments before he died.

The service brought together more than 200 people from every part of John’s life, to offer back to God a much loved and gifted priest, musician and artist. The first hymn, Angel voices ever singing, was one he loved.

Later in the service the Bakehouse Trio played a favourite piece by Corelli, and John’s cello teacher Coral Lancaster played a Bach suite for solo cello, before the Prayers led by Barbara Mapley. The final organ music, played by Norman Ashfield from Birmingham, was Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in G major.

As John had hoped when he planned the outline of this service, the Word of God’s love was proclaimed in poetry, read by Peter Foot (George Herbert’s ‘Love bade me welcome’) and in a reading from St John’s Gospel (chapter 14, 1 – 6: ‘In my Father’s house are many dwelling places’); and also in the last icon that John painted, which was displayed alongside the coffin and blessed by John’s former Bishop in Birmingham, the Rt Revd Mark Santer.

John’s icon is a copy of the famous Russian icon of the Holy Trinity by André Rublev. There is a place ready at the front of the table for us to come and share God’s hospitality, represented by the circle of love that holds together the three figures in the composition of the painting:

Steve Bellamy in his sermon drew out the common thread in the readings and the painting: ‘John wanted us to look at the last icon he painted and to see the warm invitation of God to each one of us to be a guest in God’s household of love, where we can be held secure through the troubles of this life into all eternity. It is our privilege to hear that message today and by God’s grace to respond to his invitation – and as we remember before God our much loved friend John, a humble and unassuming true gentleman, full of fun, a painter, preacher and musician, a faithful priest and loving husband, it is also our privilege to commend John with confidence to his Lord and to the fulfilment of that vibrant life of God’s household of love, which was always at the heart of John’s life as he followed Jesus here’.

John himself saw the roots of this faith in the Christian life of his Dutch family and the blessing of his married home. His earlier studies in history and art history (including several years working at the Ashmolean Museum when he was in his 20s), together with his interest in theology and prayer, later gave rise to a longing to find visual ways to express the truth of the Gospel. In icons John began to feel he had discovered an ancient way of painting that could also speak to the modern world. As Steve put it in his sermon, ‘ icons can capture us as we look at them, and draw us in to enjoy being with them in the stillness, they are an ancient way of speaking about prayer, about God’s love and about the life of Christ’.

The final hymn, Now thank we all our God, expressed John’s sense of gratitude for his life on this earth, and was a prayer for all of us as we continue on our journey.

Dr Graham Scott-Brown

25th October 1929 – 17th June 2018

An edited version of Graham’s recorded message to the congregation, played at his Thanksgiving Service on 10th July 2018.

“Until 1952, Nepal was a closed country; when it opened up the six missionaries who were waiting in India for many years, two of them for 16 years, immediately went in to do medical work. It was illegal for Nepalis to change their religion and many were put in jail. By 1966 there were less than 100 believers in three small churches. In 1966 God poured out His Spirit on the church in Pokhara – there were conversions, healings, some of leprosy and TB, spiritual transformations and visions of Jesus – an exciting and moving time.

“I came to Faringdon in 1984 so I have had 34 years to pray every day – and often many times a day to see God at work, not in the same in detail, but the same in quality. I’m not always very good at hearing God speak clearly to me, but over the two months recently spent in New Zealand I seemed to learn something about it.

“The following verses are apt, and others, were especially meaningful: John 17:1, Psalm 57:2, John 12:24. Now, I would love people to take up the things I have prayed for for so long: pray that the Father may glorify Jesus; pray that here in Faringdon, many people may turn to Him. That it be a challenge to Faringdon that the fear of the Lord may come upon people.

“That’s it … not very long.”

Margaret Scott Brown

Editor: Graham’s obituary appeared in the August edition of Faringdon Folly.

Food Bank

The food bank has now been re-located to a store room in the Baptist Church. We had to run stock down because of the move from the previous site, but we will be happy to receive donations during the Harvest Service. We are now in need of the following items: instant coffee, tea, sugar, cereals, tinned tomatoes, soups, tinned meals (stews, curries, etc), biscuits, baked beans. Please make sure that items have at least a six-month BBE date. We still have huge amounts of all types of pasta and tins of tuna, so we aren’t in need of any more at present!

Jeni Summerfield