Picture of the week: Final delivery going out - driven by Steve, who took out the first delivery 24 weeks ago.
This week opens a new chapter in many ways; our outreach work taking a new direction, the staff team welcoming three new members, and the children (many of whom haven't been to school in six months) returning to their classrooms.
These are exciting changes! And yet, change isn't always easy. We might feel we've had too much of it! It's easy to look back at past times from the safe vantage point of now, remembering what was good about those times, and looking at them familiarity and affection.
Ecclesiastes suggests it's not wise to look back and ask "Why were the old days better than these?" Possibly because the old days also had their share of problems, that our memories might have filtered out!
But perhaps, mostly, because here and now is where we can make choices, grow in our relationships with God and each other, and help to change the things around us for the better.
Whatever the next weeks have in store, we walk through them together, and we walk with Jesus beside us.
Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
For it is not wise to ask such questions.
AN ENORMOUS THANK YOU!
A huge, enormous thank you goes out to all the volunteers who made the food distribution happen! There are too many of you to mention, but the effort was monumental, and what an amazing expression of God's love and generosity to those in our town.
Here are Philip's fun facts, demonstrating the incredible feat that so many of you helped to bring into being:
In total, the Volunteer Driver Team (over 80 drivers in total) took out 755 delivery rounds over the 24 weeks that we delivered. The longest Round (‘P’) was over a 50-miles round trip at one stage.
The 6,225 Chippy Larder boxes you all delivered, placed end-to-end, would stretch for 1.2 miles – the distance from the Leisure Centre to The Branch to Parker’s Circus.
Placed one on-top of each other, these 6,225 Chippy Larder boxes would make a stack over 4,650 feet high – 250 feet higher than the summit of Ben Nevis above sea-level.
The 6,225 Chippy Larder veg bags you delivered weighed a total of 6.3 tonnes – the same as the average weight of an adult African elephant.
Add in the weight of all those Larder boxes, and you have another 7 elephants (i.e. a reasonable sized herd!).
Over the 24 weeks, we delivered 3,836 Mary’s Meals bags (MMs), containing an impressive 24,780 individual portions – enough for every person in Chippy’s population to have four meals!
Over 7.3 tonnes of frozen potatoes and veggies went into those Mary’s Meal bags – the weight of seven VW Polo cars.
2,200 Easter eggs were distributed with the Mary’s Meals – a very Happy Easter (which stretched until August!)
BUILDING TO SERVE PRAYER MEETING
We are planning to recommence our weekly prayer meetings for the building to serve initiative this coming Monday, at 12pm. The meetings run for an hour at most and are always finished by 1pm. We would love you to join us if you are able to. We will continue these meetings through Zoom for now until we all feel able to meet up in person. The link is below and will be the same each week. (Please email Gina for the passcode.) Note it is possible to dial in by phone too.
Next summer seems a long way away, but plans are already progressing at pace to gather again physically in Peterborough in July and August 2021. New Wine are thrilled to announce their Flash Sale for United 21 running from 30 July to 30 September 2020. There are big savings compared to standard tickets and you can book with just £15 deposit.
St. Mary's will be attending Week B, and the dates are Friday 30 July — Wednesday 4 August 2021.
The Bible Project was set up to help people experience the Bible as a unified story that leads to Jesus. Through animated videos, the narrators explain each book of the Bible, as well as some of the more mysterious words and Biblical concepts. You can dip in or you can sign up for a reading plan, supported by reminder emails and the app.
Emily says: "I never imagined that I would read the Bible in a year, but these videos were so engaging and helpful. They really kept me going."
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.
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. We'll be running a course again in the Autumn, but in the meantime, find out more here...