This weekend marks the end of the normal pattern of services and activities as we change gear and enjoy a different pattern with the start of a single all age service at 10am on each Sunday morning (From July 27th to August 31st).
Although the pattern changes there are plenty of things going on over the summer … Holiday Bible Club 31st July to 2nd August; Prime Time 19th -21st August and many people are involved in summer camps and festivals. Though many of us will go away for refreshment and recreation, many visitors will come to be part of St John’s.
The changed pattern of just one service on a Sunday morning also gives us opportunity and time for us to engage with one another in the 10 am all age services, over coffee afterwards and also at the ‘Picnics in the Park’ at Blue Coat School planned for 3rd and 31st August.
31st August will be a special day as we will have opportunity to say thank you to the Tattersall family and to pray for them as we bid farewell to Jon as he embarks on training for the ministry at St John’s Nottingham. Special features and thank yous are planned for both the picnic that day and also the refreshment time after the evening service.
In September we’ll be embarking on some new, as well as some familiar activities and events:
• At the beginning of September we will start a new season of Prayer and Praise called ‘Sanctuary’ on the first Wednesday of each month (3rd September);
• Later in September both the ALPHA and FREEDOM course will start.
It’s been quite a year so far for us as a community. It’s six months since Russ Parker’s report on the Health of St John’s was published and five months since Nigel stood down as our vicar. We’ve been through some uncharted territory so this summer season gives us opportunity to reflect and give thanks for God’s on-going goodness – even despite the difficulties we’ve faced – and also some time to seek afresh His purposes for us as we look to the future. We’ve ended on a great note though as four members of our church were baptised recently, with inspiring and powerful testimony of how Jesus met them and changed them.
• Enjoy and get closer to God in the changed pattern and perhaps changed setting over the summer;
• Continue to pray for Nigel and Annie and their family and their future ministry;
• Continue to pray for St John’s and God purposes for us together;
• Pray about how God may be calling you to contribute to His purposes in and beyond our church community. There have been several presentations over recent weeks setting out the various ministries that are looking for more volunteers. Perhaps God may be calling you to offer in one such area. One particular need I would highlight is the need for more leaders and helpers in our children’s work on a Sunday morning. The need is quite acute and we are seeking and praying for those the Lord is calling and releasing into this vital area of ministry;
• One thing that strikes me is that together we share a sense of disappointment about the way things are and the way things have worked out. I’m writing a short note about this that will be published on the web page in a week or so. Perhaps this may be something that may be helpful to you to reflect on as you bring before God your own hopes and any disappointment you are carrying.
May you know God’s rich blessing and nearness this summer time and may He draw you into a greater knowledge of His love and His call on you. I shall be away myself in the last week in August and the first week in September so I will look forward to returning with renewed vitality and vision for all that God is calling us to.
With much love in Jesus,