Kintsugi Hope craft-along packs ready for delivery
"If you haven't got anything good to say then don't say anything at all", goes the saying. I'm not sure this is always good advice though.
One important theme of Kintsugi Hope (the mental wellbeing course that we're running at church) is honesty and the principle that "It's OK not to be OK". Often we worry about saying how we really feel, fearing we might burden others with our problems, or change how people perceive us. But the kindness of people's reactions when we are honest can sometimes surprise us.
If it's important to be honest with trusted friends and colleagues, how much more so with God.
In Job chapter 9, Job rages at God, holding nothing back, with a passionate tirade of awe, accusation and hurt. God has multiplied his wounds and taken away even his sunlight. Job's unflinching outpouring isn't condemned by God; but by journeying through the pain together with God, rather than freezing God out, Job brushes against incredible truth, crying out for someone who can mediate between God and man.
By being honest and open with God, Job allows God to take him to a new place - one where, even in the centre of darkness and confusion, he's able to cry out with conviction "I know that my redeemer lives" and to see God and the whole of his creation with a dizzying new vision.
He would crush me with a storm
and multiply my wounds for no reason.
He would not let me catch my breath
but would overwhelm me with misery.
If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty!
And if it is a matter of justice, who can challenge him?
If only there were someone to mediate between us,
someone to bring us together,
someone to remove God’s rod from me,
so that his terror would frighten me no more.
Then I would speak up without fear of him,
but as it now stands with me, I cannot.
Job 9:17-19, 33-35
Sunday services in church are on pause until further notice.
Each Sunday we'll be posting a Virtual Sunday video on our website and YouTube channel.
On pause until further notice
Setting a Watch
Continues daily at 6am and 6pm, via Zoom
Building to Serve Prayer Meeting
Continues every Monday at noon, via Zoom
HELP YOURSELF TO SOME WELLBEING!
How is everyone doing? This is likely a tough season for all of us as we collectively deal with extra pressure, fatigue, uncertainty and sadness during this Covid winter. That being the case we need to take even more care of ourselves and our wellbeing.
In the first lockdown we focused on producing craft bags for the children, providing them with ideas, activities, fun and practical tips. But there probably isn't an adult among us who couldn't do with a similar boost right now!
That's why, this time, we're putting together weekly wellbeing packs for people of all ages, which are available for anyone from the church family to pick up from the church porch each Wednesday.
This week the team have put some great stuff together, introducing five steps we can take to improve mental heath and wellbeing, and with lots of ideas of how to put this into practice. There are also some little gifts and treats just for you to enjoy, including some seeds that you can plant and watch grow, through into Spring and Summer.
If you can't make it to the church to pick up a physical pack, you can download the virtual pack by clicking below. We hope that these packs will bring a little encouragement and enjoyment to your weeks.
In One Way and Ignite, the children have been working on their song-writing skills and have put together their own fabulous worship song. They're now hoping to make a video to go with it, so watch this space!
Until that's ready, here's a chance to worship along with another great worship song, recorded by Bekah. The song is "Since Your Love" by United Pursuit. I hope it brings you as much blessing as it brought the families last week.
In our Kintsugi Hope Wellbeing group we're making the most of the time until we can physically meet again, holding Zoom meet-ups each Friday, and looking forward to a Zoom crafting social next week.
If you'd like to get a flavour of some of the ideas from the Kintsugi Hope course, you can head to YouTube to listen to Patrick Regan, CEO of Kintsugi Hope, as he explores how we can look after ourselves and our communities in this difficult season. He'll be looking at the ways we can stay connected with one another and look to our faith as a little bit of light in the darkness.
Patrick says, "To me, self-compassion is less about bubble baths and candles, and is more about the ways that we communicate with ourselves, and bringing faith into that is so important."
What spiritual disciplines would be beneficial to me, and to others experiencing darkness? ponders writer Christopher Ash in this useful article.
Toby says: "I'd like to share this as I saw it and thought it helpful - an article from a great chap, writing honestly about the dark times we live in, with spiritual practices to draw us more deeply into Christ."
Everyone has questions about what life is all about. We believe that everyone should have a chance to share those questions, explore the Christian faith and give their point of view.
Alpha is a place where you can ask those questions in an honest, friendly and open environment.
In recent months at St Mary's, God has been extending our vision to serve the town in an exciting, ambitious and creative way at a time of substantially increasing need for many within our community...
So many people in our community feel the weight of debt, and we are passionate about helping to release anyone we can from a life sentence of debt and poverty. At St Mary's we are working with Christians Against Poverty to bring good news, hope and freedom. If you need support, we'd love to hear from you.