The Bible reminds us that there is a season for everything. From the beginning, God built in times of work and times of "Sabbath"; and James and Emma go into this next season of (relative) rest and retreat with all our love and prayers.
The Bible talks about other seasons too; the book of Ecclesiastes describes "a time to refrain from embracing" which may well be now! But it also describes times to build, to laugh and to mend.
As the weather shifts and lockdown begins to ease, and Building to Serve reaches a new milestone, we take tentative steps into exploring what the next phase of church might look like. It really is a step into the unknown, and yet we're reminded, in quite an overwhelming way this week, of God's faithfulness to us, and His presence before us.
Moses, as he stepped out into the unknown, made a request of God: "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here."
And God's reply? “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:...
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing
a time to tear and a time to mend.
NUMBERS TO CELEBRATE THIS WEEK
meals delivered since the start of lockdown 86 congregation members in the Pentecost music video 525,000 Incredible gift for Building to Serve this week. Thank you God!
CRAFT PACKS FOR ADULTS!
Not to be left out, we sent craft packs to folk on their own or isolating so that they could have fun creating and make something to give away.
Sometimes it can feel too much if you are always on the receiving end, so we put together these craft packs so that folk have the opportunity to try their hand at a craft, and then pass on the result to someone. This is an example of the result; a card sent with the button craft attached.
Email Judith if you know someone who'd like to receive a craft pack to get creative and then spread the love!
It is extraordinary to see how the Lord has been working in the lives of local wealthy philanthropists. One such individual who began supporting Mary's Meals last month, has now offered to match donations of £500 we receive this month! Specifically up to 10 lots of £500, a total of £5,000!!
So if you have been thinking about supporting The Branch or any of our social action activities but haven't yet had the chance to do so this could be the moment. To donate please simply make an online bank transfer to the usual PCC account, using the Reference 'Match Fund'. Full details below:
St Mary’s Church Chipping Norton PCC
Sort Code 40-52-40
Account Number 00027882
Ref: Match Fund
Or write a cheque to "St. Mary's Church, Chipping Norton", and send it to The Parish Rooms, Church Street, Chipping Norton OX7 5NT. Please write "Match Fund" on the reverse.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136
PRAYING FOR THE BRANCH
Praying for The Branch
We have now, finally, set up a recurring zoom link for the regular prayer meetings we hold, every Monday at midday, when we pray together for The Branch and all associated activities. If you would like to join us we would love to see/hear you there. Please sign in with the links below or dial in using the telephone number and Meeting ID.
We asked Weddings Coordinator, Heather, "If you could only take 2 songs, 1 book and one luxury item into lockdown what would you take?" She came back with some great choices (thank you, Heather!) Click below to see her answers.
How are you finding lockdown? Have you started looking around your house and contemplating a clear out?
CAP have teamed up with Thrift+ to help you donate your old items and support your favourite charities. Thrift+ is an online store where you can buy and donate great quality second hand clothes. And you get to choose which cause to support when you make a donation.
Click below to find Thrift+ and then click the big orange button to get started...
The Gospel at Dinner is a resource to enable families to have conversations about God and the gospel at home.
Families can download free Gospel Flashcards, so you can have conversations with your kids around the dinner table. They’re really simple to follow: simply take a look at the image, talk about the questions and pray around the table.
As well as downloading them from the site, you can sign up to get them straight into your inbox.
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.