Hearing from the Lord: On Sunday 17th January at Holy Trinity at the start of her sermon Bernice said something that struck me powerfully, as did something Judy prayed at the beginning of her intercessions. It was a rhema moment, that is as though the Lord is speaking. Don’t you just love how He speaks to us in so many different ways, often gently and quietly at unexpected moments as well as during services? A bit like us really, as we speak to those we love He speaks to us.
Bernice said, “Are we a group of individual Christians who happen to meet together or are we church?” Judy prayed, “Thank you heavenly Father for the opportunity of coming together as your people to . . ”
The common theme here is that though we are individually saved we are added to a worshipping congregation, the local church, the Body of Christ in this place, whether at St. Mary’s or Holy Trinity, called to fulfil God’s purposes together. This is so important not only because it’s true as the Bible clearly says, but also that it’s what I believe the Spirit is emphasising at this time. Psalm 133 verse 1 says “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” And the last verse, “For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life for evermore.”
With all our different personalities, talents, skills, ministries and gifts we have responsibility for all that goes on in our churches of St. Mary’s and Holy Trinity. This unity and corporate responsibility came out in our look at Acts 15 where the church, elders and apostles prayed and discussed before a final decision was announced by James the Lord’s brother and leader of the Jerusalem Church.
Naomi Frost: Naomi has been the organist at St. Mary’s since 1999 and due to ill health has retired. We thank her for her playing, her fellowship and her cheerfulness. If you know of anyone that would like to replace her, either on the organ or the church keyboard, please let me know.
Fasting Together: This is the theme for both churches on Sunday 7th February and is inspired by the Harold Eckert book, available free at the back of church called “Israel, the Nations and the Value of Decision”. The relevant passage is in Appendix 3, pg 133, called “The Power of Collective Fasting” by Derek Prince. Fasting won’t be new to many of us and the Bible and history are littered with examples of fasting and its results.
Please pray for Alwyn & Philip Tew who run Arkwright Stores in Cromford as Alwyn is having continuing treatment and Philip a major operation.
Also pray for The Major, aka James Michelli, in St Oswald’s, Ashbourne on the rehabilitation ward as he may very well go into residential care rather than return home. Thank you to all who prayed for and visited him.
Canon Harold Collard died in Harrogate hospital on 28th January. Harold and his wife Madeline retired to Ripon after being Vicar of Matlock Bath from 1997 to 1992 and a Canon at Derby Cathedral. Please remember Madeline, son Jon and daughter Nancy and their children in your prayers.
Wednesdays in Lent:
Church Prayer Meeting and Following and Fishing Lent Course
From Wednesday 24th February I am inviting you all to a shortened Lent Course for 4 consecutive weeks which is to help us fulfil Jesus command to go and make disciples. The course is designed by Terry Addison and is called “Following Jesus Fishing for People – Getting Started.” It’s a really good course which will help us not only to learn together in a relaxed atmosphere but also to take the fear (well mostly) out of talking with others about Jesus. The sessions are Sharing Your Story, Mapping Your World, Sharing God’s Story, Person of Peace Search, and if time Discovery Bible Story. There’s practical work together and encouragement if not expectation to put what’s learnt into practice the following week.
Steve Addison wrote the book “The Movement Jesus Started” that PCC members and others bought last year.
If you aren’t in a Home Group please come for these four weeks and I’d like the evening Home Groups to close down and come to this course together. This means that they will only meet twice in February and March. These dates are on the 2nd/3rd and and 16th/17th February.
Ash Wednesday on 10th February is the Church Prayer Meeting and we will also close the Home Groups for Holy Week when we celebrate Maundy Thursday together on 24th March.
APCM’s: Advanced warning that these meetings are as follows:
St Mary’s – Tuesday 12th April at 2pm in the church
Holy Trinity – Sunday 17th April, immediately after morning service
Sheila has written an article for these notices, please do pray about who should be on the PCC and who should be the Office holders of Church Wardens, Secretary and Treasurer.
Holy Trinity Church Quinquennial Roof Repairs: David Green and Bob Crabb have both done articles in recent Notices about this and we hope that work will begin soon. Bob is applying for a Grant to help with the cost. The carry forward from 2014 has been used in 2015 in part for general running costs and will be used this year for roof repairs.
St. Mary’s giving, donations and fees: in 2015 meant that we have a carry forward of a few hundred pounds which is very pleasing considering that we anticipated a shortfall. The day of prayer for our finances proved fruitful. We are having another prayer day on Saturday 5th March from 10.00am – 4.00pm, more details to follow. This will not only be for our finances but also for other things such as Mission. We are very grateful for the grace the Lord has provided enabling us to give generously over many years. We need to ask for more grace to give in order to pay our bills and tithe and to have surplus.
The next steps with the Re-ordering at Holy Trinity: At recent PCC meetings we have discussed both ongoing repairs and the next steps with the re-ordering. We agreed to go ahead as follows:
- ¨ Move the data projector to the back of the church
- ¨ Lights to be changed and lowered
- ¨ Levelling the floor in church, replacing pews with chairs and creating additional storage space
- ¨ Car Park to be tarmacked
- ¨ Replace the boiler
The PCC would very much like your feedback on the next steps so please let us know via Mike P (Warden) or myself, either in writing or verbally what you think of the 5 steps outlined. If you would like to be involved in any of these areas then please speak to Mike, Michael, John or myself.
Crèche, Children and Youth Church: we are very grateful for the faithful work done by Nan, Sue (Dargavel), Val, Judy, Sue (Crabb), Birgit, Milena, Allen and Jon with the children and young people on Sunday mornings and Friday evenings. Before Christmas I met with Sue (Crabb) and Judy and the results of this are printed over the page in these Notices.
Signpost: A big thank you to all who gave to Signpost International as requested for my 65th birthday last year. A total £847.50 was given!
Every blessing, Nick