Nick’s Notes July 2016

The QE 2 90th Celebrations went very well at St. Mary’s on Sunday 12th June, in terms of worship, teaching, hats, carnations & food! Many thanks to those who worked so hard to make it a success. If you haven’t read the book ‘The Queen & the King she Serves’ please do so, it’s very good. Cornerstone may still have some, & there may be some left at the back of the churches.

On 19th June Kate, Tim & Grace Lees joined us at Holy Trinity to share with us their work with Jigsaw in the Philippines. It was very moving to hear of such extreme poverty & the love that produces such hard work to alleviate some of this poverty. Two things remain with me, firstly my & our wealth compared to those Jigsaw serves; secondly the way Tim heard from the Lord about leaving the Philippines after 6 years & leading from this country in   order to empower the Jigsaw Philippines to be responsible for & to transform their own communities. This is the same as happened with Kerry Dixon & Signpost International the Charity he founded. Signpost’s continued work in the Philippines, India & Central Africa works with communities to release them to be responsible & to transform them.

On Sunday 10th July at 4pm in Trinity Hall, there’s a meeting for all current Sunday Intercession Leaders to which anyone who would like to be considered to lead Intercessions or contribute towards the discussion are invited.

Parish Share is now called Common Fund, & there’s an open meeting on Thursday 21st July 7.45pm- 9.30pm in Ashbourne. Please see separate notice. Common Fund is simply our churches contribution & responsibility to the    Diocesan Budget for running of the Diocese, payment of its Officers & Clergy.

Soul Survivor 2016 plans are behind schedule due to lack of youth leader & business of current congregational youth leaders. Sophie is hoping to go on Teams & there are two others interested in going. Prayers please!

Both Church Schools have good websites to keep us informed. Foundation Governors are Tony Jones (Chair) & me at Holy Trinity, at Cromford Julie Taylor (from Cromford Methodist Church,) Louise Good & me. www.mbhtprimaryschool.org.uk/  & www.cromfordcofeschool.com

School leaver’s this year are: Grace Doxey Jacob Paine & Scarlet Hall from Cromford, & Jonathan Brown, Khan Curran, Mayté Ehrenzeller, Thomas Lea, Lily Locket, Molly Taylor, Matthew Waller, Hannah West & Harvey Wolfenden from Holy Trinity.

Cromford Community Centre reopened on Friday 17th June for Celebrating Cromford. We have 3 Trustees, Dave Mitchell, Malcolm Scothon & I as Chair, with a committee of Lyndsey Broadhead (Treasurer), Alan Chatfield & Ali Law. There’s an open meeting on Friday 15th July 7.30pm in the centre to discuss what the Community Centre is for & to approve a new Constitution. That is becoming a Community Interest Organisation. We’ve had lots of excellent help & advice from Councillors Gary Purdy & Joyce Pawley & from the DDDC Officers, for which we are very grateful.

Catherine Truman our Link Missionary with Interserve is with us at both churches on Sunday 3rd July. Catherine is a pharmacist in Velore, India. Her newsletter is available at the back of both churches & online.

Nigel Fletcher: a teacher at Cromford Primary School is going to India, & will be coming to St. Mary’s 10.30am on Sunday 10th July to the Joint Service with Cromford Methodist Church. See his separate article.

We had a very good joint PCC Half Day in June. Main heading was Mission Action Plans (MAPs) & though there are differences between the congregations & Parishes of St. Mary’s & Holy Trinity we have many things in common. HT’s Standing Committee were very helpful when preparing for this Half Day, thank you David, John, Sheila & Mike. The Half Day began with a hearty & mostly healthy breakfast (thank you Sheila). My report on this Half Day is written separately & is headed PCC Half Day & MAPs.

Sunday Service Themes after Easter resumed on Ephesians, I hope you enjoyed listening to them & that the Spirit has produced fruit in your lives. Next we’ll finish our Ephesians series from chapter 6. Sunday 10th is Strength in the spiritual conflict, Sunday 17th Prayer & Final Greetings. Thereafter  ‘Guardians of Ancora!’ See guardiansofancora.com/ explanation below & ask Freddie or Bertie (Hunter) to show you! Sheila too who may be a fan!
We agree that Children & Youth are very important. We have few children & few youth at the moment. On 1st Sunday of the month we have All Age Worship so don’t have Children or Youth Churches. Youth Church meets, holidays excepting, on all the other Sundays. On 2nd & 5th Sunday Children’s Church is Activities in the side of church, & on the 3rd & 4th Sundays, they go out for personal tuition as there are so few of them at the moment. The Activities take lots of preparation & require ‘staffing.’ We already have some artistic stuff going on. We have the flags & sometimes the percussion instruments at Holy Trinity. Most especially artistry is seen in the most wonderful banners we have, & aren’t our buildings & their features works of art? For example St. Mary’s pictures & stained glass. Holy Trinity reredos – the bit behind the Lord’s Table (altar). We also have musicians who exercise their gifts & ministries amongst us. Recently I was very impressed with Toby’s (aka Bryony) painting done during a service. We still have  very good art work from last summer’s Luke Street on display. I’d like this Activities space to be permanent & the congregation have opportunity during (even before & after) services to express their artistic inclinations, however good or rusty, amateur or accomplished. If you put ‘art in worship’ in your computer’s search engine you’ll come up with sites such as www.praise-and-worship.com/worship-god-art

To help develop this idea of an Activities space for Sunday mornings I’ve had individual discussion with some members of the congregation & Sarah Brown Diocesan Children’s Advisor. This resulted in Sarah visiting HT recently to meet with Judy, Sue, Pauline, Sheila & myself. Sarah is very good, as are the afore mentioned ladies, with creativity & ideas & indeed with children & youth. It was a very good meeting, helping our thinking, informing us about resources for Church & Parish use – especially for the schools. Some resources suggested are Bible Boxes see www.derby.anglican.org/education/children-2/bible-boxes/ ;  Godly Play see  www.godlyplay.uk/ ;   Gloucester Diocese Publications see  www.gloucester.anglican.org/schools/jumping-fish-publications/  It would be lovely to have more of the congregation sharing the weight with children & youth in the Activities space. If you’d like to help please talk with Sue (Crabb). During a service I encourage you to join in with the activities to help the children and/or for your own benefit. Don’t worry about not being good or experienced enough, it’s not about that. The aim is to have resources which are easy to join in with.

Returning to ‘Guardians of Ancora’ for summer services. As there are no Children & Youth Churches we are in all together from 24th July – 4th Sept I’ve chosen to base our teaching & learning (sorry school staff!) not only from the Scripture (of course) but also around Guardians of Ancora which is from Scripture Union. The activities will be based on this. If you have a tablet – not the ones we have more of as we mature in years – iPlayer or similar, download the Guardians of Ancora app to see what’s coming. See if you can     become as good as Freddie or Bertie & reach the same level as them! A task for you please, we’ll need some chocolate money a la Christmas so see if you have any left – preferably in date, or if you come across some please buy it. The Sunday themes will be: “The Kingdom Game Begins; Jesus Calls the Fishermen; Jesus & the Roman Officer; The Leader’s House; The Crowded House; Fish & Bread; Continue Playing the Kingdom Game!”

Build the bridge while we walk on it is a phrase Kerry Dixon brought to us many moons ago. It comes from the phrase “When we commit to a vision to do something that has never been done before, there is no way of knowing how to get there. We simply have to build the bridge while we walk on it.” This to me is the process we are on at the moment as we struggle “to worship God in Jesus Christ & make new disciples of Jesus Christ” (A quote from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lambeth Lecture that we’ve heard a few times in our churches.) We’re also in the process of other things in church life which the Archbishop in the same lecture calls “important decoration.” For example re-ordering & other building work. Having a permanent Activity space in the Holy Trinity church is something new to us. I really want us to pray & work at the re-ordering so we can use the church floor space differently & better on Sundays & during the week. For example take a leaf out of a Sierra Nevada Vineyard Church & St. Alkmund’s Derby C of E by having a café during a service. Pray to God that we have more community use of the building. On this see John Philip’s Community Action Group item in these Notices. Of course it’s “who we become in the process is as important as the achievements on the ground.” For the Lord is always at work in you, in us. “Philippians 2 v 13 “for it is God who works in you to will & to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

Repetition! You may have noticed recurring emphasise in my sermons, Nick’s Notes in the Notices & on the Notice Boards. These are “Building the Bridge whilst walking on it”, “who we become in the process,” “Creating Cultures of Welcome, Fun, Expectation, Evangelism,” & teaching from Acts 15. I do this simply to help us keep on track, to stimulate our thinking & & to help us understand & agree with our values, aims & objectives. It’s where to the best of my understanding the Spirit is directing us.

Mid-week Church Prayer Meetings have been going well for some time now, thank you to all who’ve attended. At HT Standing Committee we agreed we’d like to develop them further to provide opportunity for both congregations to meet to facilitate discussion & prayer. I will of course bring this to St. Mary’s PCC in early July. Simply put we’d like to have quarterly Church Meetings where there’s opportunity for us to listen to each other, have good discussion & of course with Scripture, be silent, prayer & worship. It’ll be a place where we can be heard properly & listen to each other, agree to disagree, seek clarification on the direction we are going in, & question the vicar on this & that! They’ll all be on Wednesdays with the first one on July 20th, 8pm-9.30pm. Then in October & in 2017 January & April. The Church Prayer Meetings will continue monthly on Wednesdays, see the Notices Calendar.

Euro referendum vote:  I wonder how you have reacted to the outcome of this vote? It’s reminded me of the tensions we have as Christians. 1 Peter 2 v 13 says this: “submit yourself for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the King, as a supreme authority, or to governors…” & 1 Peter 2 v 11 calls us “aliens & strangers in the world”, similarly Paul in 2 Corinthians 5 v 20 calls the church “Christ ambassadors”.

Archbishop of Canterbury’s visit: I was able to go to three of the events, Open to all, clergy & education. What’s left with me is the humble & wise stature of a man of God whose central message is loving Jesus and prayer.

Every blessing,  Nick