One of the staff team remarked this week that, with our interactions and experiences so limited at the moment, everything we do seems that much more valuable. Conversations are appreciated more deeply; things we look at are observed more carefully.
I wonder how "ordinary" things seem to God? When God sees a flower for instance, He must see it in a way that's so much more than how we can see it; understanding the beauty, the science, its place in nature and everything else about it!
God also sees potential: where there's a lunch He sees the potential for a feast (Matthew 14:20), where there are empty jars He sees abundance (2 Kings 4:6), and where there's a desert wasteland he can see it becoming a garden. (Isaiah 55:13)
And what does Jesus see when He looks at us? He sees people worth dying for, and with the potential to become like him!
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
A WEEK IN PICTURES
Wednesday coffee at Shepard Way
Stocktake at the end of a day of food deliveries from the Branch
Church Street small group meet via Zoom
AN ENORMOUS THANK YOU TO EMMA
After many years of faithful service to St. Mary’s, Emma Bayley is retiring from her role as our Church Administrator, from 1st July.
Emma, who has been on furlough for the last few months, has been an enormous asset to the church over the years - knowing just about everyone in Chippy! She also has a huge heart for others and has offered a great deal of her time and energy, always the first to say yes and always somewhere in the background helping to make things happen.
Emma’s not very keen on video interviews so, when we are able, we’re very much looking forward to marking her retirement with her in person. Perhaps she will treat us to more of her amazing flapjack with a good old St. Mary’s tea? But for now, a huge thank you to her and our love and prayers for the next stage of her life.
Emma writes, "I will miss my regular contact through the Church Office with members of the church family here in Chippy and the five villages, but I’m still here in Chippy so do say hello to me when you see me around."
A gift is being arranged for Emma, but if you’d like to contribute, please follow this link.
VOLUNTEER DELIVERY DRIVERS NEEDED FOR MARY'S MEALS AND CHIPPY LARDER!
With some of the team of 45 ‘Volunteer Drivers’ now going back to work, and holidays beckoning to others, Philip Sharman is looking for a few more volunteers to help deliver food parcels etc. to households within Chippy and a 10-mile radius on Friday afternoons throughout July and August…
In the present circumstances, where we cannot visit Care Homes, we were looking for an idea which would help carers to engage with residents in a simple way which would give some spiritual support. The idea for a bracelet made up of beads representing the 23rd Psalm is not original, but we wanted to produce one which was simple and easy to make up so could be given as a craft kit.
We have put together packs of a little bag with a set of beads and a length of thread, and a leaflet, with instructions and a picture which could be coloured. We are also sending small holding crosses which come with a card of The Lord's Prayer.
RULE OF LIFE TOOLBOX: THE PRESENCE OF GOD
As part of our sermon series we're providing our very own Rule of Life Tool Box brought to you by members of our own congregation.
This week Anna and Ramon share some of their experiences of practicing the presence of God.
Sometimes we just need a few minutes of space and peace from the rushing world around us. Every Wednesday you're invited to take 10 minutes out of ‘normal’ life, to spend time pressing into Jesus with these midweek reflections.
I’ve called them Close Encounters because we can’t be close to people at the moment, but Jesus always comes very close indeed, breaking every distancing rule there’s ever been, as he looks at and loves each individual he meets. We’re going to eavesdrop on some of the meetings and give ourselves a chance to encounter Him too. I hope these will be a blessing to you.
This is the app that Ramon recommended when he was speaking to Martha in the Rule of Life Toolbox video.
A simple way to connect with God in the middle of your busy day. This app guides you through a one-minute prayer of releasing everything to God, restoring your union with God and inviting him to fill you.
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.