Nick’s Notes September 2015

Bishop’s Badge: It was with pleasure that I put five members of the Holy Trinity congregation forward to be awarded the Bishop’s Badge which is for ‘people in the community who have shown an outstanding contribution to the community or church.’ They are Anne and Michael, Sheila, John (Ramage) and Judy Crook who have for many years been faithful to the Gospel & it’s practical outworking in church and community life.

Alastair, Bishop of Derby, said: “The Bishops Badge is an important event each year for the Diocese. It’s a moment when we stop to say thank you to people who selflessly, week after week, just get on with doing what the Gospel is about. Nobody can apply for it. You are nominated by your community. It’s a real pat on the back to people who aren’t looking for recognition.”

123 people from all over Derbyshire have been nominated to receive the Badge. The Badges will be presented at Derby Cathedral at 3pm, Sunday 27th Sept, all are welcome. 

Ministry: As in all organisations there are many ‘jobs’ to be done in a church community, we call it ministry, serving with our natural talents & gifts, and using the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It’s wonderful to lead two congregations where so much is done, and done quietly, humbly and efficiently. Have you noticed the increase in those on the data projector? We now have Chris, Mike, Peter, Bob and Allen.  John has joined Jon and Michael doing the sound desk. One of a vicar’s regular prayers is for every member of the congregation to know their areas of ministry, receive training and grow in them.

Please join me in praying regularly for Christians to join us, lay and clerical. Haven’t we been blessed with new people, it’s as though they’ve always been part of our family? At Holy Trinity there’s Jane and John, Barry and Pauline, Irena and Allen, and at St. Mary’s we now have Gwen and John Farmery, Daryl Doxford and Ray Filsell.

So how do people get to exercise their ministries in St. Mary’s or Holy Trinity? One way is to see them in each other and encourage each other to fulfil ministries. Home Groups are great places for some ministries to be seen and safely practised. Apparently Allen (aka Flash) wanted to be on the data projector rota and was only waiting to be asked, he was asked and agreed. Another is to ask, perhaps a member of the PCCs, Warden or me.  Don’t be shy in coming forward and asking to fulfil your calling.

Please keep praying for all areas of the church to be abundantly blessed with people exercising their ministries. It would be good to have, for example, more Children’s Church leaders.

I remember another way to exercise ministry, a wonderful way, it’s how soldiers volunteer in the army, hence us all being on the Coffee Rota at HT.

There are some training events coming up. This Sunday 6th September at 6.00pm in Trinity Hall we are having a meeting for all those who lead Sunday Intercessions at both churches, and those who would like to be involved.

People ask me how long I’ve been ‘in the ministry’ meaning how long have I been ordained (since July 1983). My reply is ‘since I came to faith in Jesus’ which is better theology as we’re signed up to Jesus and the ministries He’s given to us individually and as churches.

Which brings me nicely to . .

Following and Fishing: When Val and I went to an Evangelism Training Day in Buxton we were introduced to Steve Addison and his book ‘The Movement   Jesus Started’. (see also What a Kairos moment!   (Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment – the  supreme moment. This is in contrast to another ancient Greek word ‘chronos’ as in chronological or sequential time). Kairos could be described a eureka moment, or the light coming on. This Following &Fishing day is a part of what I believe the Holy Spirit is saying to our churches. Acts 15 is an important part of what the Spirit is saying to us.

See previous Nick’s Notes for more on this.

Both PCCs and all the preachers have a copy of Steve Addison’s book which we used in conjunction with the Scripture when preaching the series called Luke Street. Previous Nick’s Notes have more on this so please do look back at them – if you have email then they may still  be in your Inbox and they should be on the Holy Trinity website. (The book is well worth reading and can be ordered from Cornerstone, (01629) )

We’ll have mixed reactions to an Evangelism Training Day, from ‘definitely not me’ to ‘yes please.’  It may help to say that it’s designed to encourage us to share our faith simply and non-threateningly, how to start a ‘God’ conversation and how to find people of peace who will have been prepared by the Lord. God is always prevenient, there before us! Jesus says this, among   other amazing things in John chapter 4 verses 34-38 that the fields are ‘white unto harvest.’:  “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.  Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!
They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.”

The labour is that of Jesus Himself in His life and ministry and ultimately on the cross, the work has been done and accomplished, ‘Finished’ as the Lord said on the cross.

It would be so good if loads of us went to the two Following and Fishing events which are from 9.30 am to 1.00 pm on Saturdays 26th September and 10th October at Matlock Town football ground (inside the social club!) It’s led by Andy Astle leader of Church in the Peak Buxton. (see advert in this News Letter.) It would be good leadership for both PCCs to attend, and how about going as a Home Group (it’s safer in numbers), or groups of friends – who you sit with in church? I do know that it isn’t ‘everyone’s cup of tea’ and that we have busy lives, yet please pray about going and be encouraged to attend as we seek to make Jesus known. WE all agree with the proclamation of the Gospel, it’s the when and how and who we are considering.

Luke Street to ‘Acts Street’! Following on from the Luke Street theme in July and August sermons we move on to ‘Acts Street’ in September and October. After Jesus has connected, trained, shared, gathered and multiplied its now the joy of the New Testament church to do the same in the power of the Holy Spirit. Quoting Steve Addison, “From beginning to end, Acts chapter 1 verse 1 says “ in my former book of Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and teach”. Notice “began” when the Holy Spirit poured was out at Pentecost that the mission began. Those who knew Jesus in his life time and those who came to faith at Pentecost were ‘building a bridge whilst walking on it’ and amongst all the growth there was trouble and persecution. Yet the movement Jesus started grew and grew and grew. These followers of Jesus “connected, trained, shared, gathered and multiplied.” Look up Acts chapter 8 v 7; 9 v 31; 12 v 24; 16 v 5; 18 v 20; 29 v 30 -31. We will hear more about this over the next two months in the sermons.

Harvest: Kata Tar from Jews for Jesus is returning to lead our harvest celebration on the weekend of 3rd-4th October. Kata should also be taking the two church school’s Harvest Services. Holy Trinity have invited St. Mary’s congregation to celebrate Harvest at 10.30am on Sunday 4th October at Holy Trinity church. There’ll be opportunity to have Harvest lunch together afterwards, as in a Bring and Share. More details in the October Notices.

Kata and I have had some email correspondence about this Harvest weekend and have batted some ideas about without coming to any conclusion. How do we do Harvest for those who don’t yet believe? How do we make present Jesus, at Harvest to the residents, traders and tourists in both our Parishes? The three Jewish harvest festivals are about Jesus. (see below.) Here are some ideas from Kata in question form as to the possible content of the Harvest weekend from Kata based on her experience of doing street witness in Hungary and other continental places, but not in our neck if the woods.

“Can we maybe invite the people to a Sukkot celebration on Sunday? Maybe the tracts we hand out can talk about Jesus who stood up at Sukkot and   invited the thirsty to Himself. We can also offer prayer. Holding up posters with the words of Jesus and reading from the Word is also very powerful. I know your streets are not as busy as in Budapest. But the Word of God is still very powerful. We did it with guitar. It was beautiful as well as powerful.

If we invite people from the street, we can do Hebrew dances (I can teach a few) we can wave the lulav (4 different branches) & explain the significance. Maybe we can build a booth (Tabernacle) and tell the people that the Word became flesh and ‘Tabernacled’ among us. Decoration: the main thing is the sukka (booth) itself decorated with fruit.

– When do you want me to speak?  If we invite people from outside it should be a very simple Gospel message in the context of the Harvest festival, with lots of music and dance and joy. If it is for the church, the teaching can go deeper and longer, but we can still dance and sing joyful songs.”

Do have a look at the links in Kata’s latest email of 3rd September:

“Dear Nick, Here are some thoughts: decoration can be: a sukkah (this link gives a description of the building of the sukkah:

Also, children can make pictures (or postcards or models) of 4 themes: the tabernacle, the Temple, Jesus and a human heart (see attachment as an   example) – to develop the idea how God wants to dwell among and even inside of His people.

Music: Give Thanks to the Lord   

(Psalm 106:1) traditional to sing

Hosanna (any Hosanna song)

Songs with the theme of light and water (Isaiah 12:3) Behold God is my salvation

Greatly Joyful songs

Reading: 4th October happens to be Hosanna Rabba (the last great day of the feast) traditional reading is: Numbers 29:26-34 New Testament reading is: John 7-8 (especially 7.37,38)

Food: no traditional food apart from kreplach see its recipes and other suggestions here:

I like the idea of building a sukkah outside on Saturday. We can do dance and music outside and prayer inside. Can I teach some Hebrew dances to some church members earlier then do it together and involve others on Saturday?   I hope that helps.   Blessings       Kata “

Kata is floating possibilities for us to consider, we may choose to do things differently of course. How do you react to these ideas? Do you have any of your own to share? If so please do tell the leaders and me. There is space on the streets of both villages and there are two rooms at the Grand Pavilion, Matlock Bath, that we can use. May the Lord grant us wisdom and courage.

Schools: Please do pray for the various schools that we are involved with through members of the congregation especially Holy Trinity and Cromford Primary Schools. At Holy Trinity we have two new members of staff, Sally Swain the new Head Teacher and Hannah Pearson Key Stage 2 (Juniors). Tony (Chair) and I are Foundation (Church) Governors at Holy Trinity. At Cromford they are Julie Taylor (Member of Cromford Methodist Chapel),  a parent called Louise Good and myself.

Our love and condolences go to John & Jane Entwistle at the recent passing of his mum.

2 Peter 3 v 18: “..grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever! Amen”

Every blessing, Nick