Fantastic owl constructed entirely out of rubbish by St Mary’s Primary School at Kingham Sculpture Show
It was wonderful to be back in the church building last Sunday worshipping God together. Our in-person services continue this Sunday with children's and youth provision for those aged 3 to those in school year 8. Please remember to book your children in if they are primary school age. Please also, if you can, remember to bring a Bible with you as we're not currently able to leave Bibles in the pews for you.
If you can't make it to church physically for any reason we're so glad that you can still join us, both in spirit and online! Go to our YouTube channel or look out for the link in the "It's Sunday!" email.
As life begins to get busier, let's remember to take care of ourselves, physically, mentally and spiritually. In today's "Resource of the Week" we've dusted off the spiritual practices that we learnt about last summer. These might be just the thing to help us refocus this week on the One who loves us with an everlasting love.
For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:8
I am very excited to announce that our next CAP Life Skills course is starting on Monday 17th May and will run until the end of term 12pm-2.30pm on Mondays.
Life Skills is a fun and friendly group where you can make friends, enjoy yourself, and learn practical ways to save money, deal with life's pressures, improve your relationships and grow in confidence. Life skills members also get the opportunity for 1:1 coaching to help set goals and smash them!
One group member says "Life skills has helped me to see the potential in my own abilities as an adult and a parent. Being able to manage budgeting, keeping the family healthy, and practicing self care has been so beneficial and I'm so glad I went to sessions. Very welcoming people who are now life-long friends of mine. Especially during this crisis, using the skills I've learnt from the course has been vital in managing our household!"
If you would like to come along, or know someone else that might be interested, do get in touch with me. Hannah.firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text 07579813765.
PHILIP'S CRAZY FACTS!
To celebrate the extraordinary achievement of Mary’s Meals over 46 Fridays and three Lockdowns, here are some ‘crazy facts’ to enjoy…
In total, the Volunteer Driver Team (over 100 drivers in total) took out 1,164 delivery rounds dropping-off deliveries at 9,004 stops.
The longest Round driven was a 50-mile round trip, while the largest Round was to 22 households.
6,615 Mary’s Meal bags were delivered, containing 42,212 individual meal portions – enough for every person in Chippy’s population to have more than six meals.
If all those MM bags were stacked into a pyramid, it’s base would measure 13m by 13m and it would stand 13m high.
If the 1,164 cars that made the deliveries were queued end-to-end, the traffic jam would be over 5km long – the distance from The Branch to Chadlington (the Police would not be happy…!).
To make all of those delicious and healthy MM portions, Wild Thyme and our other chefs cooked 20,000 meatballs, 19,000 sausages, 1 tonne of minced beef, 7,500 eggs (many donated by local farms), 1/3 of a tonne of cheese and 3,000 onions.
End-to-end, those sausages (a key ingredient on 25 different occasions) would stretch for 2km – the distance from The Branch to Over Norton.
During Lockdown 1, we also delivered 6,225 Chippy Larder food boxes and the same number of veg bags. Placed one on top of each other, those Chippy Larder boxes would make a stack over 1,420m high – 75m higher than the summit of Ben Nevis.
And it wasn’t just food we delivered… 3,055 Craft Packs and 1,359 Well-Being Packs went out, not to mention Family Fun Packs, Mum’s Day Packs, Men’s Packs, Teenager Packs, books, hampers, toiletries, etc.
All up, well over 100 tonnes of goods were delivered over the 13-month period – the weight of 16 adult African elephants… quite an impressive herd!
Thank you to all of those involved in this mammoth (or is that ‘elephant’) feat!
FIRST PRIORITY PRAYER
Come and join us via Zoom for our uplifting monthly meeting – a time of passionate prayer and worship to keep the engine-room of the church firing!
First Priority Prayer is Wednesday, 5th May at 7.30pm.
Topic: First Priority Prayer
Time: May 5, 2021 07:30 PM London
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Have you a friend or family member who you’d love to suggest Alpha to? Who could you invite to Alpha? It’s never been easier for someone to come to Alpha - because it’s all over Zoom (which we’re getting so used to!). Guests have been saying that they would never have come to a meeting but they feel safer on-line!
On Alpha we watch a video about some of the questions around life, death and the Christian faith, and then chat about it together online.
If you know someone who might be interested, perhaps you could point them in the direction of our website to find out more.
Alpha runs every Monday. Meet at 7:30pm to watch the 20ish minute video. Or watch the video beforehand and join at 8:00pm to discuss.
We’re really excited to gather together in church (in a safe and physically distanced way, obviously) to worship The Lord at Encounter on Sunday evening, 9th May. We’ll begin worshipping together at 6:00pm in St Mary’s Church, but it would probably be best to get there for 5:45pm, so you’ve got time to be ushered to your seat by our lovely welcome team.
In light of current restrictions, a few things will be slightly different to how things used to happen at Encounter:
We won’t be having our normal café beforehand or afterwards, but you might still have a little treat waiting for you in your seat!
We won’t be able to sing, but we will still be able to worship, pray and encounter our faithful God.
So come along to enjoy an evening worshipping together, hearing some thoughts from our speaker and spending time in the presence of God. We’re excited, expectant and looking forward to seeing you there!
SETTING A WATCH
We'll be continuing to meet to pray via Zoom at 6am and 6pm daily for Building to Serve, as well as our world, nation, community, church and each other.
Spiritual Toolbox from St. Mary's Church YouTube channel
Recommended by everyone!
During last summer we spent an enjoyable sermon series looking at "Rule of Life". As part of this, members of the congregation shared their experiences of practicing spiritual disciplines.
As life gets busier all of us could probably do with a little help in finding ways to keep connecting with, and focusing on, God. All the interviews from last summer are still on our YouTube channel and you're very welcome to browse through them again to discover (or rediscover) these tools.
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.