Have you ever thought about going to New Wine, but didn't fancy the camping? Now's your chance!
Were you put off by the cost? That's not an issue this year!
Were you hoping to go to New Wine this summer? You still can!
For those who don't know, New Wine is a gathering of tens of thousands of Christians from across our nation each summer - for teaching, worship, seminars, networking, friendships and fun. Quite a few from our church have been each summer for years; others have dipped in and out.
This summer, New Wine is 'breaking out' by going online - which means
Many of you will have seen in the news that the government has given permission for churches to re-open for public worship from this weekend.
Our plans to re-open the building have been delayed a bit by the repairs that were needed following April’s fire, but that work is now just about completed. Over the coming weeks we have some weddings and a funeral that will take place in the building.
We will hold a ‘test’ Sunday service in the building on 19th July, which won't be live-streamed. Numbers will be strictly limited and we will follow the detailed Government and Church of England guidance about how such services can be conducted safely (which was only released a couple of days ago). We will give priority to those who have been unable to access our services online. We won’t make any decisions about subsequent in-building services until after our test service.
In the meantime, we will carry on streaming Sunday services from our homes at 10am (including on 19th July), and we are upgrading the tech equipment in church (thanks to some generous donations) which will enable us to livestream from the building whenever we are confident that it’s possible to hold regular public in-building services again. When we’re at that stage, we will produce a video explaining the changes we’ve made and precautions we’re taking to keep everyone who comes safe.
A few people have asked whether the building will be open for private prayer at some point. If you are able to volunteer to go on a rota for a 90-minute slot in a morning, afternoon or evening, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for bearing with us whilst we make these preparations; please pray for those involved.
Our church council are looking to appoint a part-time Assistant Leader. Do you know someone who might be suitable?
The aim of the role is:
• To assist the Vicar and PCC in bringing the church’s vision into reality by effective planning and action
• To release the Vicar from some current management responsibilities, enabling him to focus more on spiritual leadership / preaching and teaching / pastoral work etc.
The sort of person we're after must be:
• A committed Christian who demonstrates our church values (God-dependent, Bible-based, grace-filled, mission-focused, authentic community) and is willing to be part of our church community
• Excellent at working with and managing volunteers
• Good at implementing change
• Able to set out a plan to turn vision into reality
• Able to work independently and take initiative when appropriate
• Able to grasp the big picture and think strategically, but also to give attention to detail
• Able to work closely and honestly with the vicar
• A team player
The full job description is available to download here.
Application forms can be downloaded here and should be returned by noon on Friday 17th July.
Dear all at St James by the Park
I want to thank you for your prayers and most generous gifts to the CMS-Africa Local Partners and their work. You have given over £12,000 so there is enough to make a substantial gift to each of the 17 local partners to encourage and affirm them in their ministry of £350.
Alongside this due to your generosity we can also provide £350 in each community to help provide relational relief to the poorest affected families – something the local partners are keen to do.
Mini-proposals have flooded in from the local partners to CMS-Africa. They will provide food and sanitary supplies in food for orphaned children and to very poor families in DR Congo , agricultural seeds in Kenya to grow crops, a micro-finance scheme for 15 widows and girls in Tanzania, help to families that are near the church who are starving but are not members of the Anglican church in Juba, South Sudan, a pa system in the South Sudanese refugee camps in Northern Uganda, support for Burundian foreign students in Kenya who have nothing and desperate and so the list goes on but I must not!
CMS-Africa will discuss with me about the use of any remaining monies (and the added gift aid) and it is likely to go to support the Local Partner Programme.
The CMS-Africa local partners do not know that I am involved in this gift but CMS-Africa will let them know that a church has made a significant love gift to encourage them in the Lord and to affirm them in their ministry as well as making a gift for local partners to serve the local communities they love.
I will do all the due diligence required to ensure the monies are spent well and I am confident CMS-Africa will use the monies well. They will report to me and our church on the use of the grant. I will be accountable to the parish for giving a further report and sharing some the stories in more detail in due time.
So a big thank you to all who have given in finance and prayer for this one-off appeal. The relief and delight on the face of CMS-Africa international director, Moses, was palpable. Last Pentecost Rev. Moses Bushendich spoke at St James by the Park so he is really deeply appreciative and sends his blessings to you.
You have touched the world and along with CMS Africa have fulfilled these verses
“ Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:12-13
With great thanksgiving to God
Lockdown has been tough for all of us. All of us have had dashed dreams. In a couple of weeks’ time, I’m going to speaking about ‘learning to lament’. I’d love to create a video version of a lament, featuring lots of people from our congregation holding up a piece of paper / cardboard with their lament on, then flipping it over after a few seconds to show something they’re grateful for. (If you search on YouTube for ‘cardboard testimony’, you’ll find plenty of variants on this idea.)
I’d love you to take part.
On one side of the paper / cardboard, you’d need to write (in large, clear lettering) a short sentence beginning, “I had hoped to …” or “I’ve missed being able to …” or an equivalent.
If it were me writing it, I’d write “I’d hoped to carry on writing a book”; it it were one of my sons writing it, he’d probably write “I’d hoped to have a birthday party with my friends.” Other possibilities for ending the sentence might be … go on a dream holiday … start a new job … see children enjoying themselves in the playground … cuddle my new grandson … sit my A-Levels … get married … start IVF … give my mum a proper funeral … enjoy the sunshine … go to my niece’s christening … hug my friend who was grieving … have a retirement party … etc.
Be honest! What is it that you haven’t been able to do that has upset you most over these months? It doesn’t matter if it feels something quite trivial in the grand scheme of things - if it has caused you sadness, it’s important to you and to our Heavenly Father - and it should be part of our video lament.
On the other side of the paper / cardboard, you’d need to write (again, in clear, large lettering) a short sentence about how God has encouraged you to keep going through the difficulties of these few months. It might be something about God (“God is faithful” … “God hears my prayers”) or a verse from the Bible (“God says, “I know the plans I have for you …”). It might be an experience which has reminded you of God’s goodness (“Enjoying God’s creation in the Forest”) etc.
Would you do that? (This invitation is open to everyone in your house, by the way - adults and children.) We should end up with a powerful representation of the different sadnesses that we have gone through over these months, but also a testimony to God’s help through it all.
Once you’ve prepared your cardboard / paper (by the way, feel free to be as artistic or creative as you like!) …
1. Take a selfie video of yourself (or if you’re able to, get someone else to take the video) of you holding up (so we can see your face but clearly read the words as well) one side of the cardboard for 10 seconds, before you then turn it over, and hold it for another 10 seconds. Try to look directly at the camera lens whilst holding your sign up, and hold the phone in landscape mode (not portrait).
2. Send the video to us. Either use whatsapp to send to 0770 959 2795 or use www.wetransfer.com to transfer the video to email@example.com - it’s pretty straight-forward (you’ll need to enter your email address and an authorisation code, but you don’t need to sign up forever!). Or if you’re familiar with using onedrive or dropbox etc then use those.
We’d need the videos by Thursday 25rd June.
Need help taking the video or transferring it?
If you’re struggling to take the video, or to transfer it to us, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a phone number and we’ll try to help you out.
The small print - Safeguarding
As a church, we take the safeguarding (especially of our children and vulnerable adults) very seriously. Here’s what will happen with the video you send:
* your individual video will be uploaded to a secure google drive folder, accessible only by me and the video editor(s)
* your individual video will be downloaded to the video editor’s own computer for them to edit all the videos together. They will then delete the individual videos from their computer.
* the finalised composite video will be shown in our online service on zoom and YouTube. Videos will remain on YouTube for 2 weeks after the service they’re shown at.
* the finalised composite video will also be downloaded by our livestream operator for that service; they’ll then delete it from their computer afterwards.
* all of our video editors and stream hosts have been ’safely recruited’ (with DBS checks etc) or are in the process of being safely recruited, but are already well known to us.
By submitting a video to us, you are agreeing that you’re happy with these safeguarding precautions.
Thank you - time to write your words and get your video cameras rolling!