Shared by a happy family from their wellbeing pack
It's nearly Easter and we're so delighted that the church doors will be open on Easter Day, (4 April, a week from this Sunday) for our 10.30am family service. If you've joined us "virtually" sometime in the last year but are less familiar with Sunday services at church then this would be a great time to come along as all of us will be finding our feet again after being at home on Sundays. We'd so love to meet you in person.
This one is a family service so everyone is welcome. If you have children who never seem to sit still or stay quiet then we'd love to have you along. If you're nervous about arriving on your own then hopefully you won't leave feeling alone.
After Easter Sunday we'll be back to pyjama Sundays for another couple of weeks, but hopefully moving to regular in-person services with children's provision from 25 April... that's the plan anyway, but James will be recording a message to tell you a bit more once we're more certain of things.
How is everyone doing? This week in the staff team we shared our highs and lows from the last year and it occurred to me that it's sometimes only when you pause and take stock that you really feel the weariness or grief. But it's after that that God can start to heal and build us up again.
The Bible tells us to "not become weary in doing good" (Galatians 6:9) and yet we do become weary. We read that Elijah cried out “I have had enough, Lord,” (1 Kings 19:4). God lets Elijah rest (v.5), brings him a care package (v. 6-8) and listens while Elijah pours out his heart (v.10).
I'm so grateful to people in the church family who have done similar things for me when I've been at a low ebb. One of the things I love about church family is that we can give without it feeling awkward - something it's not quite as easy to do in mainstream culture! Is there someone who you could bless this week?
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
1 Kings 19:10-11
This Sunday 28th March
Easter Day, Sunday 4th April, 8am
Holy Communion in church
Easter Day, Sunday 4th April, 10.30am
Family Service in church
We are so excited and feel very privileged that we have been chosen as one of Kintsugi Hope's 'Hero Churches' as part of the 'Give Hope' campaign being run through Lent by Stewardship and Your Neighbour.
The 'Give Hope' campaign is celebrating those churches committed to giving hope and responding to the needs of our communities at this time. Each week has had a different focus - including the vaccine, vulnerable children, debt, employability, and this week the focus is on wellbeing.
As we have seen the need for practical support grow here in Chipping Norton due to the pandemic, so to have we seen an increased need in terms of mental and emotional health and wellbeing. As well as anxiety, worry and stress, many in our community are struggling with isolation and loneliness as well.
We are committed to launching wellbeing groups, working with amazing charity 'Kintsugi Hope', here in Chipping Norton as part of our overall response to this growing need. A response that has also included our weekly wellbeing packs, 1:1 mentoring for both adults and youth, the phone web, and our awesome Mongolian Yurt which we wrote about a few weeks ago.
We have been working in partnership with Kintsugi Hope since October last year to run the wellbeing groups. Kintsugi is a Japanese technique for repairing pottery with seams of gold. The word means 'golden joinery' in Japanese. This repairs the brokenness in a way that makes the object more beautiful, and even more unique, than it was prior to being broken. Instead of hiding the scars, it makes a feature of them. The groups are for anyone who is feeling, or has felt, overwhelmed; and provide a safe and supportive environment for people to flourish and invest in their mental health and wellbeing. Maybe you, or someone you know, would really benefit from one of these groups. Do get in touch with me to find out more, I would love to hear from you - firstname.lastname@example.org
We'd like to offer the opportunity, for anyone who would like to join us online, to pause at midday of every weekday in Lent and engage in 15 minutes of Lectio Divina. We'll listen to a passage of Scripture being read slowly two or three times, taking note of any specific words or phrases that God spotlights to us as being particularly relevant to our lives in that moment.
Do join us as often as you would like. There’ll always be someone leading a session, Mondays to Fridays from Ash Wednesday (17th February) up to Wednesday 31 March.
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.