Loneliness is rife amongst older people. There's even a government minister for loneliness now. (One joker said there should be two of them so they don't get lonely ...)
We've got a wonderful opportunity to invite local older people to a lovely tea party with live music, plenty of tea and cake - and opportunities for ongoing friendship.
It's on Saturday 10th February, from 2-4pm at Shirley Parish Hall. Is there someone you could invite a long - a near neighbour? Someone you see at the shops? Someone you see walking the streets?
Tickets need to be booked - call 023 8021 6016 (on the day only: 07543 945770). Suggested donation £2.50 per person (pay on the door). Leaflets are available from St James' by the Park.
Donations for transport are also welcomed!
As the academic year draws to a close, we spent time on Sunday 2nd July celebrating all that God had been doing in us and through us over the last year - in much the same way as Paul & Barnabas reported back to their sending church at the end of their first missionary journey (Acts 14.26-28).
This video shows some (not all!) of what's happened in the last 12 months.
In our services we made prayer bunting - prayers of thanks to God which will be in St James' by the Park over the summer to remind us of God's faithfulness to us.
In his brief talk, Dan shared 4 things with the congregation:
1. Thank you to everyone who has joined in by giving their time, talents or treasures over the last year - and especially to those who've prayed.
2. The need to be realistic - that mission in our culture is often slow and difficult work - "We must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God" (Acts 14.22). So we must persevere when the going gets tough!
3. We should be encouraged - God is definitely at work (Acts 14.27). Here's some highlights:
4. We need to keep building community. Jesus wants us to fish with nets (ie together) not lines (individually). It's as we build community that the gospel is shared and received. That's why Paul & Barnabas risked their lives to return to the cities they'd already evangelised - so they could make sure good Christian communities were being established (Acts 14.23).
And after all that, we headed out to Anderwood for a great BBQ / picnic to continue the celebrations!
What better way to enjoy the summer than with a BBQ or picnic? What better place to enjoy God's creation locally than in the New Forest? And who better to share the fun with than our brothers and sisters?!
Our annual church BBQ & picnic is a great way to make new friends and catch up with old friends. It's purely social and open to everyone - feel free to invite friends and family members. If you're in a cell group or missional community, bring them along, too.
We're holding it after our morning services on 1st July. Arrive any time from 12.30pm onwards and leave whenever you need to. Here's the details:
Food - 3 options:
1. Buy a ticket in advance to get burgers etc (meat / veggie) cooked ready for your arrival. You provide the rest of your food and drink. Tickets cost £4 (adult portion) or £2 (child portion), and can be purchased before 6pm on Weds 28th June. Purchase your ticket now.
2. Bring all your own food and cook the burgers etc when you arrive - but there may be a queue to get them on the BBQ! (No need to buy a ticket - just turn up.)
3. Don't like BBQs? Just bring a picnic instead! (No need to buy a ticket - just turn up.)
Anderwood has car parking, toilets and space for children (and adults!) to play.
Remember to bring a picnic rug / chairs / suncream etc!
Jesus taught us to pray 'Thy Kingdom Come' - to pray that God's light and life would break through in our day and age. Justin Welby has set up 'Thy Kingdom Come' as a global prayer movement, praying from today, Ascension Day (25th May) to Pentecost Sunday (4th June).
He says, "I cannot remember in my life anything that I’ve been involved in where I have sensed so clearly the work of the Spirit."
Wow! Let's join in with what the Spirit is doing!
Watch this short video where he explains what Thy Kingdom Come is all about.
And then join us, and other local churches as we pray for Shirley, Southampton and our world - that more and more people may come to experience for themselves the love, forgiveness, freedom and life that Jesus offers.
We will have short prayer evenings on Tuesday 30th May, Wednesday 31st May and Thursday 1st June, from 7.00 - 7.30pm. Drop in as you are able.
Lots of other churches around the city are joining in - if you can't make our prayer times, why not join with one of these other times?
Let's #Pledge2Pray #toJesus !
Lots of people are tired of politics and politicians, but the Bible urges us political involvement: to pray for those in authority, to pay taxes, to submit to those in power (except where they ask us to do things against God's will) etc. Voting is surely one of our opportunities to be salt and light in our community. And to vote not just how we've always voted - but to vote thoughtfully and prayerfully.
The Archbishops have written a letter encouraging Christians to vote and giving their assessment of some of the key issues to consider. And here's a thoughtful article called 'How would Jesus vote?'
And do take the opportunity to hear our local candidates at St James Road Methodist Church on Wednesday 24th May, 8pm.
Whoever forms the next government, let's pray for God's kingdom to come.