Nick’s Notes March 2015

On Sunday 1st March we welcome Andrea Robinson from the Bible Society to both churches. Andrea will be, accompanied by her husband Alan & from the website we learn that “Bible Society exists to offer the Bible to the World. Set up in 1804, the Society’s Patron is HM The Queen & President is the Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres. We make Scriptures available where there are none. We work to help the church engage with the Bible more effectively. And we endeavour – through the arts, education, media & politics – to make the Bible available, accessible and credible in our culture”. (www.biblesociety.org.uk/). Andrea recently gave an excellent  presentation to Churches Together in Matlock.

Easter plans and possibilities:

In Holy Week there’ll be opportunity for us to draw aside for an hour or so and have what I’m again calling Easter Devotions. The afternoons will be at St. Mary’s and the evenings at Holy Trinity. On Maundy Thursday you are invited to Derby Cathedral for the Blessing of Oils Service at 11am where the Clergy and Readers renew their vows. See the article from Bishop Alastair in the Notices

As for Good Friday certainly for this year it may be best to keep our service and Walks of Witness as previous years. This is a morning service and Walk at Holy Trinity and afternoon at St. Mary’s. The Walk would include giving out tracts, stopping to witness to people, and also giving out Easter Eggs and/or hot cross buns.

On Tuesday 24th March at 7.30pm, the week before Holy Week, I’ve agreed with a request from an organisation called Jews for Jesus to host an evening led by one of their members, a lady called Kata Tar. (Her profile is in the Notices). The idea is that we come together from both churches to learn about how to celebrate the Passover meal, and the following week on Maundy Thursday do it ourselves. I’ve asked some members to organise and lead this. I’m asking that there be no evening Home Groups w/c 23rd and 30th March. Quoting from www.jewsforjesus, ‘We exist to make the messiahship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people worldwide’.

I’m in agreement with Pat (Russell), Marsha, and Brian and Maureen Newton that the churches in general neglect the importance of Israel. It is a difficult subject and lots of grace is needed when giving attention to Israel’s place in God’s plan. It’s a huge area of spiritual warfare and contention in and between churches. Indeed worldwide there’s heat and conflict generated about Israel. Val & I have spent some time with representatives of CMJ (Churches Ministry among the Jews), Peter Dargavel’s Home Group looked at the CMJ material ‘Putting People on the Moon’ and local CMJ members are waiting for me to confirm preaching dates for them at both our churches sometime after Easter. The timing of this will depend on two things. Firstly our MAPs (Mission Action Plans) & secondly our prayers, discussion & decisions arising from our series based on Acts chapter 15 which we are calling ‘Apostles, Elders, Church’ – we’ve done two and have one more to do on Sunday 8th March.

Acts 15 Apostles, Elders, Church – has been absolutely fascinating to lead with Richard (Maltby) and to do with both congregations. How different St. Mary’s and Holy Trinity are, yet similar in being the Church, the Bride of Christ. We have different ways of doing things yet the same heart to be followers of Jesus Christ and reach out with the Good News. At St. Mary’s on Sunday 22nd February we agreed to meet weekly to look at the Scriptures and to pray in different homes on a rota basis. It’s not only for ourselves, we are also encouraged to invite others from the Parish to it. A     marvellous example of the church using initiative and expectation and fun is that Gill (Housley), Elaine (Bradley) and Linda (Webb on placement) have negotiated with the owner of Huntley Green café in the Market Place, Cromford to have a regular event called ‘Tea for Two’. (see the advert). At Holy Trinity we looked at where we itch & had opportunity to write down where we need scratching ‘church wise’. These feedback forms have been collated, will be distributed and also put on the HT website.

A key verse for us at the moment is Acts chapter 15 verses 28, ‘it seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us’. It’s an exciting if scary process listening to the Spirit in the different ways He speaks, praying, listening and talking to one another. I find myself way out there, walking by faith not by sight, needing to lay aside treasured experiences and ways of doing things.

The Safeguarding training evening went very well with good numbers attending, our thanks to Sheila for organising and to both her and Sue for the refreshments. Alastair Langton, Diocesan Youth Advisor, was very good in teaching and stimulating discussion. Copies of his presentation are at the back of church, & on the website.

MAPs (Mission Action Plans) are due to be reviewed as I’ve mentioned in previous Notes. Please keep the evening of Thursday 16th April free for either Lee Townend (Diocesan Mission & Ministry Department) or a senior staff colleague will visit us.

Tim and Kate Lees have sent a wonderful letter (in the Notices) of thanks for our prayer and financial support for Jigsaw Ministry in the Philippines. They also have a very interesting response to my invitation to Skype with them in the Philippines.

The Church School Easter Services are as follows:

Holy Trinity : Thursday 26th March with a brew in Church from 9am, service starts at 9.30am. The school are having an Open Day and I’d like us to have an Open Church to encourage school parents to visit. There’ll be a sign up list at the back of HT church in hour slots for those able to be there. I thought we’d have the ‘official’ Open Church purple signs that explain pulpit etc, offer brews, have a quiet place for prayer as well as offering to pray with folk.

Cromford : Easter Service is in the school on Friday 27th March at 9am.

Pastorate: Thank you to all who came to HT Church for the Pastorate – for some this meant attending for two nights in a row.

It was an amazing evening and difficult to summarise. I think we were captivated by what Kerry had to say, better put what the Spirit was saying through Kerry. We’ve a lot to mull over in prayer and discussion. Though Kerry didn’t speak from notes he did use a power point presentation which I will ask him for and circulate. I’ll also ask him for some notes to go with it.

Would all who were at the Pastorate please send Caroline (in the Office) your reflections/comments/hopes/questions arising from the evening? Please be very honest

At the end of the evening it was wonderful to receive personal prayer for my joining the Church Army Mission Community from those gathered. The time at Church Army in Sheffield went very well. We’ve had parts 1 and 2 of ‘Apostles, Elders, Church’ on Sunday mornings and during part 3 on Sunday 8th March I’ll share, amongst other things, more about my journey to the Church Army and it’s effect on us all.

Every Blessing

Nick