Encouragement: I hope that the summer has gone well for you in whatever circumstances you’ve found yourself. I say this because of who God is over and against our circumstances. God’s love and faithfulness are both constant. In 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 verses 16-18. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Joint Service: Both PCCs agreed sometime ago that we’d have joint services and our next one is on Sunday 10th September at 10.30am at St Mary’s. This works well as Cromford Methodists will be with us too. Cromford Methodists and St. Mary’s worship monthly together as a legacy from when St. Mary’s was closed due to major internal repairs. There’ll be no service at Holy Trinity. (NB: it is a 10.30am start time and not 10.45am). The preacher will be Margaret Strange who is a Methodist lay preacher from Tansley. I’ve also invited the five members of Church in the Peak who live in Cromford to join us with an elder (or two) of theirs’. We have good relations with Church in the Peak, you may remember that they came to Holy Trinity last October to use our baptistery and I’ve been there to preach. Part of the Church in the Peak vision is very similar to our own: how can we be part of and effective in the communities in which we live. As part of their outreach a few weeks ago they hired Cromford Institute on Cromford Hill and provided light refreshments. Val and I went along. One lady called Mary attended and went to their church the next day and got saved. Alleluia. There is only one Church.
Missional Congregation and Home Groups: To quote from my August Notes to both St. Mary’s and Holy Trinity: “We have hearts to be Missional congregations, let’s work at our Home Groups on being Missional, or even more Missional which ever pertains to your Home Group.” I’m hoping to visit all of our Home Groups soonest to talk this through and pray together. I also wrote “I’m of a mind to lead a Fellowship Group, either weekly or fortnightly, on Wednesday evenings in Trinity Hall with the simple agenda of being Missional, this would include worship, teaching and ministry – ministry here meaning using the gifts of the Spirit. What do you think? Do we keep the Home Groups as they are with the same frequency? How do we add to the good things in our Home Groups adding a Missional edge and multiplying with new disciples to our Home Groups? Please reflect on this and give it some prayer.” Due to needing to slow down and the summer holidays I haven’t been able to visit the Home Groups yet. However I’m hoping to do so before Val and I go away on holiday from Thursday 21st September for two weeks. As for me hosting a Wednesday evening group, I’ll wait until I’ve visited the Home Groups.
Mission Style: In the prophet. We are all called to “give account for the hope that is within us” see 1 Peter 3 v 15. There’s an organisation called Fusion who, to quote from their website, “is passionate about student mission. We equip students, serve churches and develop student workers. Student Linkup helps you find a church at uni.” They’ve learnt that some find evangelism easy and some struggle so they have another website at: https://www.missionstyles.org/ which begins with numerous questions to help each of us identify our ‘mission style’ The work they’ve done is excellent. The questions are scored and result in four mission styles: Convince Me, Show Me, Let Me Experience and Talk With Me. Do go on their website and do the exercise, its fun and will help you identify what sort of faith sharer you are / can be and provides material to help. My score was equal between Let Me Experience and Talk With Me. What’s yours? It would be good to do this before or at Home Group.
(Another ministry of office is that of prophecy. In 1 Corinthians 14 verse 1 we are encouraged “to seek the way of love and desire spiritual gifts especially the gift of prophecy.”)
Sermon Themes: Due to my illness the practical part of our recent series on Giving didn’t happen so on Sunday 3rd September there’ll be some teaching on Giving and on 17th September there’ll be opportunity for us to respond. The passages we’ll be using are 2 Corinthians 9 verses 6-15.
At our joint service on 10th September our theme will be based on Acts 11 verses 19-26 along the lines of the grace of God in and through the Church.
On Sunday 24th Richard (Maltby) will preach from the set Lectionary readings at both churches.
Reader Course: your prayers please for Mike (P) and Richard (M) who begin their second and final year of their Reader Course in September.
Retreat: Alas due to family commitments I never made it on retreat last month, a bit frustrating for me although family should be the priority. Salvation: Reinhard Bonnke is a German evangelist who has served the Lord in Africa and now does so in the States. In one of his books he reminds us that the good news that we believe ourselves and proclaim is very simple.
Two verses to prove this.
- Romans chapter 5 verse 8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- Acts chapter 4 verse 12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name (Jesus Christ) under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Bishop’s Badge 2017 and ‘Best New Project’ Award: Congratulations go to Bernice Smith, John Phillips and Richard Ash for being awarded the Bishop’s Badge this year.
Also to our Community Action Group (CAG) who have been successfully nominated for a Best New Project Award. The CAG core group are John (Phillips), Tony Jones, Marie Austin, Jane Entwistle and Sue & Peter Dargavel.
They have been ably supported and by Hilary (Phillips), Sheila Laming, Sue Crabb, Becky Gladstone, Lindsay Steele, John Entwistle, Milena Nutt and Peter (the Elder) Shaw.
The CAG project has been nominated for a special award from the Diocese in terms of creative approaches to outreach and ministry within the parish! The award along with the Bishop’s Badge will be given to them at Derby Cathedral during a special service (for churches in the north of the Diocese,) on Sunday 24th September at 3pm.
Church Prayer Meeting: our August meeting is next week on Wednesday 30th and in September in the last week again on Wednesday 27th September.
Men’s Group: As Paul has stepped down from organising this I am inviting the gentlemen of the Church to meet on Friday 1st September at 7.30pm in HT Church for a Talk and Pray followed by 8pm to The Fishpond in Matlock Bath.
Morning Prayer & Open Church at HT: has been cancelled until Monday 9th October due to my cardiac rehab programme.