Thank you for your love and care towards us and our daughter Caroline at her recent miscarriage, it’s good to be part of such a loving fellowship. Val and I postponed our holiday in order to support Caroline and her family, and we are now away from Monday 18th October for 2 weeks in Lanzarote.
Following and Fishing: ten of us attended part 1 of this course on Saturday 26th September; part 2 is on Saturday 10th October if you’d like to come. It starts at 9.30am and finishes at 12.30pm and is held at Matlock Town Football Club. Andy Astle leader of Church in the Peak led us very well. There was the strange mix of really wanting to share our faith, do the work of an evangelist, and trepidation! I’m reminded of Paul to Timothy, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and a sound mind” (self-discipline.) 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 7. I often rehearse this verse in my mind when timidity comes my way and I would really like to avoid witnessing! We learned to know our own short three minute testimony, that is our story of God, how we came to faith, and practised saying it with someone we didn’t know. Andy also used a flip chart drawing three circles to illustrate how to share our faith. The first circle was our broken world and sin, the second God and the third Jesus. Andy spends time in Buxton walking around housing estates striking up conversations with the people he meets. He says he’s from a local church and is going round the area and seeks to strike up conversations. One man was fixing his car, a lady was gardening and both of these people were fine with a warm greeting which led to a ‘God conversation.’ It seemed so natural. Yes there are people who don’t respond to a greeting or the conversation doesn’t go Godward.
I had a conversation with the Tuesday evening Home Group that meets in church about the way forward with evangelism for our church, and asked them to consider having their Home Group do the implementation chapters of Steve Addison’s Book ‘The Movement Jesus Started’. We’d invite the ten who went to the training day and open it up to all. What do you think please? Give it some prayer and let me know your opinion.
Bishop’s Badge Service: John, Sheila and Judy were all present to receive their well-deserved Bishop’s Badges at the packed Cathedral Service on Sunday 27th
September. As you know Michael and Ann are out in Spain for a few weeks so will be given theirs on their return.
Joint Service at St Mary’s: Thanks for all that worked very hard at the Service in Cromford last month, we do these things very well and the Bring & Share lunch was a great success.
Church Prayer meeting: The next Church Prayer meeting is on Wednesday 21st October at 7.30pm in Church so there will be no evening Home Groups that week.
Mark Russell Chief Executive of the Church Army: sends a monthly Pastoral letter to CA Officers and Community members such as myself. The one Mark sent in September is called ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ and is stunning! Stunning in that it’s actually the title of Pope Francis’s booklet-in Latin ‘Evangelii Gaudium’. It’s subtitled ‘Apostolic Exhortation on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World’. Stunning too in its content. The booklet is easy to order and costs £4.95. Yes there is some Roman Catholic doctrine that Protestants disagree with, but how about these quotes:
“The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all believers. Those who accept then His offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark on a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Churches journey in the years to come.” This is Francis’ opening statement.
“I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting Him encounter them; I ask you to do this unfailingly this day.”
Through these and other words in The Joy of the Gospel I see the paucity of my faith and joy, and the weakness of my love for the Saviour. And I echo the prayer of the New Testament church in Acts to grant me – and us – boldness to proclaim Jesus.
Weddings: Jo Greening and Simon Puddick are to be married at St. Mary’s on Saturday 3rd October, their marriage was postponed due to Jo’s mum’s illness and death. Please remember them all in your prayers. Some of you will remember Jo and her family from their time at Holy Trinity.
Also we pray for Amanda Smalley & David Wilmott who are to be wed on Saturday 17th October at St Mary’s.
“Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians Chapter 15 v 58