As I write this Mo, Sarah and Peter have just left to fly to Scotland to celebrate Ruth (Mo’s sister)’s 30th Birthday. The house seems very quiet without them, but I will be taking the opportunity to catch up on reading, writing and numerous other tasks.
Thank you to everyone who has been quick to offer help of various kinds whilst we have no car. Thankfully it would appear we will have a car again from Friday. However, to make sure I can be back in Chatteris in time for the Youth Drop In I will need to travel to Peterborough whilst Open Doors is on, so unfortunately will not be there this week.
This next month has a lot on for us as a family. We are taking a family holiday on the last week of September and my thanks go to David Penagar who will take the service on the 1st October.
Mo has accepted a request by the Eastern Baptist Association to become a Secretary for and part of their Ministry Recognition team. This is a voluntary position and alongside the weekly admin, she will be required to attend the board one Thursday a month. In those weeks, I will take that Thursday as my day off, instead of the Saturday, so that I can look after Peter, some quality father and son time. The upcoming dates are Thursday 23rd September and Thursday 12th October.
There are a number of other dates in my diary, as you may appreciate not every meeting I have planned is appropriate to share publicly as this, but here are a few which would be good to pray for.
Yesterday I enjoyed meeting with What’s next? There were a number of people I hadn’t meet before and enjoyed some good conversations which gave me a few things to think about.
Tuesday 19th I am at a NAM day in Haddenham for the day. NAM stands for Newly Accredited Minister. It is what used to be called a probationer, but it was felt that given we had completed our training etc. perhaps a more suitable title could be found. The details of this year’s NAM studies are below.
Wednesday 20th I have been asked to help at the Salvation Army’s over 60’s service. I am looking forward to this as alongside the good company I am expecting a good lunch. However, prayer for this meeting and guidance as to what to share, as with all meetings is always appreciated. Thanks (Remember this is also the day of the Church Meeting, starting at 7 pm)
One other day that would be good to pray for is Mon 9th October when I will be travelling to Didcot to meet with some of the people from the Baptist Union who oversee Baptist Ministry and formation in England. I will be back in time for the Deacons meeting.
In the next few weeks I will also be meeting with other ministers from within Chatteris and also from without. It is always good to pray for our Churches relationship with other Christians and also our relationship to the three organisations of which we are members, namely the URC., Baptist and Methodist churches.
Some updates on other activities:
Youth Drop In:
We have returned and it is now bigger and better! Much thanks to everyone who is helping to get this going again. We are now in the large hall as we have the table tennis out and have been given a pool table so needed the extra room. Whilst we only had 5 pupils pop in on our first evening, the conversation was positive and it needs to be remembered that when we started last year, no-one came in for the first 3 or 4 weeks! There is a lot of advertising, but as always it is not about the numbers it is about the people.
Lyons Court: There was some confusion as to when we were taking services in Lyons Court, however the next service we lead will not be until on Sunday 5th November.
The Gables: Our services here continue to be on the second Sunday of the Month. I think the residents appreciate the visit and as such the more people who come with me and are prepared to stay behind for a short while and sit and chat, the better it is. If you are able to come it would be very much appreciated. I also try to visit at least once a month in between services, but sadly these are often shorter visits than I would like.
Swan House: Whilst we don’t have a regular service here, I have got to know more of the residents and staff. Life the Gables I try to visit regularly, particularly as a couple of our long-term members are now resident here. I appreciate that when I visit often they are able to tell me that someone else from the church has also recently been.
Web Site: Our website https://emmanuelchatteris.org/ has been receiving increased attention, particularly since we have created Facebook and Twitter accounts. I can see from the statistics that the Choir page has a lot of people looking at it. At the moment, it says very little, if anyone could write a few paragraphs and possibly provide me with more pictures or even a few recordings it would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
The profiles on Facebook and Twitter are not locked and as such, those who are able, feel free to post anything that you think may be of interest to others. Also, please share the links on your own pages as the more clicks we get the more it gets advertised. I will try and make sure there is something on them at least 2 or three times a week, but help in this area would again be appreciated.
Teaching Plan! Having spent a few weeks considering Daniel over the Summer we are now considering the earlier chapters of the Gospel of Mark. At the end of October, we will return to the Old Testament and spend a few weeks considering the Life of Abraham throughout November. Hopefully considering the promise of a Son to Abraham as we also start to consider the Promise of God’s Son to us in Advent.
Men’s Prayer Breakfast: The oven and hob in the small hall is not as reliable as I would like when cooking the men’s breakfast, so the next one on October 6th will be in the large hall.
NAM Studies: As part of my 2nd year NAM studies I have agreed the following with Spurgeon’s College.
- To attend a Quiet Day and write a 500 word reflection.
- This is still to be arranged, but may happen in December.
- To attend the Post Collegiate conference on the 4th/5th January.
- To write 2 reflective book reviews.
- These are Gunning For God by by John Lennox and also given that I studied Wesley last year have chosen Reforming Theology by David Peel of the URC for this year.
- I am also required to write a 3000-word reflection and have chosen to consider Marriage Preparation and Policy. I am not concerned with how to perform weddings, nor essentially who we should or should not marry. As a minister, I am not simply performing a service, but have a pastoral responsibility towards those who come and ask for a Christian Marriage. Given the increasing complexities of how people meet and in many cases the inappropriate ways in which they started dating, I think it is good to consider how best to prepare people to stand before God and make promises that that are able to say with integrity.
There are other responsibilities on behalf of the EBA and also opportunities I am offered from both the Methodist circuit and the URC in relation to my NAM status. I will provide more information on these as they happen.
I am sure there is much more we can share, however there is also only so much information that one person can take in. If you would like to know anymore please ask.