In August, Josh (youthworker) took Katie and Tom (two of our teenagers) to Minnis Bay in Kent for a week’s Beach Mission. Katie picks up the story …
“When Josh first asked if I wanted to go I wasn't sure what to expect. On arrival I couldn’t have been more welcomed, the community of 70 people were lively, friendly and open, and it was clear why Josh saw these people as a family. I stayed with a lovely host family, and we were fed three meals a day to keep us energized to run the children’s holiday club. I was motivated by the ways children learnt about God in their crafts, prayer and singing. There were also social activites for us as team, such as skating and inflatables.
“In the evening, there was a team time of testimony and worship that showed me how connected and supportive a community could be. I was sad to leave after only one week. This experience was tiring but one I won’t forget and I hope to see all these amazing people again next year.”
And Josh’s view? “Throughout the week both Katie and Tom grew as they tried their hand at leading story time, games, prayer activities, action songs and worship for around 90 five to seven year olds, some of which pushed them out of their comfort zone! It would be great if they are able to bring some of what they did back here to Shirley – and it would be amazing to take more of our young people along next year to grow as they serve God and the children of Minnis Bay.”
Do chat to Tom, Katie or Josh if you want to hear more about it!
“Prayer is an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.” St Teresa of Avila
Do you ever wish that your friendship with God was stronger and your prayer life deeper? That’s true for most Christians most of the time! Jesus’ first followers said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray!”
During the Autumn, Trish Yandell and the prayer team will be running five workshops to help us have a fresh look at prayer and how it can revitalise our friendship with God.
Over the first two evenings we will be exploring how the age old practice of Lectio Divina and the Ignatian practice of imaginative prayer can help us see how the Word of God speaks to us personally through some familiar and not so familiar passages of scripture.
The second two evenings will be exploring prayer as a friendship dialogue with God and the last evening will be a time to be drawn deeper into the heart of God, listening and discovering God's heart for us and the world. Journaling will also be discussed at each of the workshops.
All the sessions will have prayer ministry for those who want to receive it, and art materials for those who want to express their prayers visually.
Much of the content of the course has been used by Trish on quiet days she has run over the last year or so – and which many in our congregation have already found helpful.
Is now the time to renew your prayer life and deepen your walk with God?
Details: Mondays 24 Sept, 8 & 29 Oct, 19 Nov, 3 Dec. Coffee from 7pm. Workshops will run from 7.30 – 9.15pm. Please bring a Bible and notebook to all workshops.
To book a place email firstname.lastname@example.org
2-year old Asher has already had 11 general anaesthetics as he’s battled chronic kidney disease since he was born. He’s been on dialysis three times a week for months. The next step is a kidney transplant – which Dad Simon is going to provide.
11th September in London is the big day – Simon at Guy’s Hospital (a 4-hour operation) and Asher at the Evelina Children’s Hospital (up to 11 hours). God-willing, Simon will be home after 4-5 days and fully recovered in 2-3 months; Asher (with mum Judy and baby sister Evangelina) will stay in hospital for a couple of weeks before returning to Southampton. He will begin to feel significantly better than he’s ever felt before after just a few days – but the next 6 months will be full of immunosuppressants, steroids, litres of fluid, and countless blood tests.
That won’t be the end of the road – Simon and Judy have been told to expect further bumps in his recovery – and Asher will need further transplant operations when he’s older.
Add in looking after Dan (16) and Sophie (13), and life will continue to be very full on!
How can we as their church family support them?
1. Pray – the whole family will need God’s strength to get through each day over the coming months
2. Practical help. Once Simon is home, go to this mealtrain to sign up to cook a meal
3. Financial help. These 6 months are going to be financially costly. A friend has set up a crowdfunding page to help with additional costs of travel to hospitals and lost income – they estimate up to £10,000 over the coming months.