Highlights of March 2011
Christ Church URC Tonbridge
The Messenger March 2011 – Highlights
March is the month of the year when new life comes back to our gardens, the spring flowers emerge after the long winter and our spirits are lifted with hope of a long warm summer ahead.
In our church, hope is rising as we see new people coming on Sundays to join us to worship our Lord Jesus. New initiatives and ideas are beginning to form and be planned for as our home groups discuss possible changes and plans are made for them to lead worship on fifth Sundays.
Our new team of elders are taking responsibility for different areas of the work and are beginning to build teams around them so that the work can be shared out and the whole church family can get involved.
Everything we do is being matched to our mission statement of ‘Being disciples together and making disciples together.’ Our core values of love, prayer, outreach, worship, stewardship and teaching must be key to all that we do in Christ’s name. A new sense of urgency is being felt as we pray for the Holy Spirit to empower us forward to reach out and show the love of Jesus to all who come into Christ Church.
The new ‘Lifesprings Café’ in the foyer is key to our outreach into the community as we offer hospitality to the customers who come in. As we build a relationship with them, we pray that they will want to know more about us and our faith and will be interested to know more.
All of this takes commitment, patience and love, based on our desire to serve our Lord Jesus in the town of Tonbridge.
Just as Springtime fills us with hope for the future, so working together as a church family should build us up in hope as we worship and serve our Lord and Saviour.
With love in his name,
Women’s World Day of Prayer
On Friday 4th March women in our local churches will join with millions of others around the world with one aim in mind – to pray. The Women’s World Day of Prayer has in recent years become a global, ecumenical movement of informed prayer and prayerful action, organised and led by Christian women.
The service is written by a different country each year and that country then becomes the focus of the world’s prayers on the day itself. It begins as dawn breaks over the islands of Tonga in the Pacific and continues across each continent until the last services of this special day are held back in the Pacific, on the islands of Samoa, circling the world in prayer for 36 hours.
By then the day will have been celebrated in over 170 countries and over 5,000 services will have been held in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The origins of Women’s World Day of Prayer date back to the late nineteenth century when Christian women in the USA and Canada began a variety of activities in support of women’s involvement in mission, at home and abroad. But it was not until the 1930s that Women’s World Day of Prayer services began in Britain.
This year 2011 the worship material has been prepared by the women of Chile. Its theme, ‘How many loaves have you?’, is appropriate as bread is eaten at every meal in Chile, and is very much part of everyday life.
Although organised and led by women, this is essentially a day of prayer for everybody, as Christians demonstrate their solidarity with ‘sisters and brothers’ in other countries. So – all are welcome to attend!
We are meeting at the Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul at 10.30 am
Many people find it helpful to have a booklet which suggests a daily message from the Bible together with notes about its background and relevance for today’s living.
It’s an invaluable tool and can be inspirational, helpful to praying and daily Christian living as well as increasing our understanding. Most pages will give a “thought for the day” and a brief prayer.
There are a variety of booklets available, some of which cover three months at a time.
If you would like to see sample copies, or place an order, please see KAT TITCHNER (who currently works in the Tonbridge Christian Resource Centre at 9, Quarry Hill Parade) or go directly to the shop.
We strongly recommend these booklets.
Kay Titchner and Margaret Bolt
West Kent and East Sussex Synod Area.
In April last year I became Synod Area leader, leader of something new and something that not many people understood. The last ten months have been interesting as we tried to explain and explore what it means!
Christ Church belongs to this Area, and the way the URC is organised Synod is the place where the churches come together to decide on what to do, how to do it and share fellowship. Synod, sitting below General Assembly, is a bit too large to do all of this properly and so it decided after prayer and discussion to split itself into areas so that churches could be part of something more local. The whole Synod with its officers meets once a year to share and work together, but the Areas, meeting 3 times a year, do most of the work and support each other. Some matters are dealt with by an executive, Synod Council, with representatives from all the areas and from the Synod Office.
Much of the work of the Area is done by the Pastoral Committee, looking at support for ministers and churches, as well as vacancies and training, so that fellowships are not left alone but supported.
Christ Church is in the middle of the Area so many meetings are there for we run from North Kent to Hastings! It seems to work.
We are still working on what the Area is for! It includes worship together, support and working with other churches both in the URC and elsewhere. Sharing worship, experience, training and knowledge and resources are all part of it but mostly it is following our Master and being His hands in this world. Finding the way to do it and helping each other along the way is the aim!
PRAYER POINTS FOR MARCH
Please pray for the children attending Solid Rock Kids Club each Friday, for the Mums and toddlers attending the Sunbeam Club each Wednesday and for Russian Mums and children using our buildings on Saturdays.
This month please remember to pray for these groups who all use our buildings: Parents+Plus, Children’s Workshop, The Guides and Brownies , Mencap, Alcoholics Anonymous, Crisis Recovery, Health Trainers (NHS), and the Alzheimer’s Society.
THE ABSOLUTE GOSPEL COMPANY proudly presents
A MUSICAL BY ROY AND JENNY ETHERTON
at Christ Church Friday March 4th & Saturday March 5th
Free tickets (suggested donation of £5 on the night) available from: Christ Church and Tonbridge Christian Resource Centre or phone 01732 364517. Both performances at 8.00 pm. For further info.: 01732 364517 or log on to www.absolutegospel.org
To my friends,
I want to say how sorry I am to take so long to thank everyone for their Christmas cards and presents.
I am sorry if I didn’t send many cards but I will make up for it next Christmas.
Thank you for loving Arthur so much. He would have said he didn’t do anything. Arthur loved his church and would do whatever he could. He loved all of you too.
I have good news. I am a Great Nan again to my grandson Jamie and his girlfriend Stacey. They had a baby girl Harmony Grace on the 8th of February. Arthur would have loved her and Vicky’s Lincoln too.
I am so lucky to belong to such a lovely friendly church.
God Bless you all
PEACE OF MIND
Walking back to the waiting room after my recent small operation I was greeted by the sound of delightful classical harp music. Now I may associate such sounds with a variety of environments, perhaps even a heavenly one.
But not the waiting room of a busy London hospital . It transpired that the music was played by Jean Kelly, a professional musician, and was sponsored by Guy’s and St Thomas;’ Charity, and I was able to thank Jean for her work and to remark on the atmosphere of peace it offered.
Indeed it did, but an even greater source of peace that had been created, and the reason for this message, was the expressions of support and prayers of encouragement I received from my friends in Christ Church before the day of my treatment. I was and am most grateful for that support and for those prayers which certainly induced in me a feeling of peace. As I said to the elder who prayed with me on that Sunday, I had needed that peace of mind and I received it. My heartfelt thanks to you all.
Dear friends at Christ Church and friends,
Just to thank you all for your prayers. When Henry went into the Kent and Sussex Hospital God really provide for me with transport in the most wonderful way. The weather was still dreadful and the pavements very dangerous with all the snow still on them. A lovely friend of mine was on holiday from work and was able to take me to visit Henry some days. She also gave me some money to help with taxis over the Christmas holiday – £30 a time round trip to the Kent and Sussex – so it was a real blessing. Standing at bus stops was not much fun in freezing wind and snow. Usebia was also very kind and took me some days and she had not long come out of hospital herself: that is going the second mile and more, plus all her prayers, love and care. Each day one of my friends would come with me to keep me company.
Only one day I was on my own having a coffee in Marks & Spencer wondering how I was going to get up the hill to the hospital in all the ice and snow when two friends turned up. They had a car and offered to take me to see Henry and bring me home so I really praise the Lord for providing for me every day.
Thank you to Brenda and Howard for bringing beautiful flowers up, all much appreciated. Thank you Brenda for the phone calls and Pat Scott phoning every week, Eileen Dawes for all her love and prayers, also Margaret. We are still not sure if Henry is to stay at home with extra help or go into care, so will value your prayers for God’s will in this situation.
Thanking you all,
With love and every blessing from Diana Daley
PS: Thank you to Jim for going to visit Henry. Janis, Usebia, Maureen Cockerton for help, Joan Farris, Jackie Groves, Betty Newman, Coral and Trevor, Iris, Enid, Barbara and Norman, Patrick and Stephanie. Eileen Dawes for cooking me a beautiful roast dinner. Alma, Dorothy Bunny and Sheila Hansford for phoning every week and praying. I am so blessed with all of you. Please forgive me if I have forgotten anybody.
MORE PRAYER POINTS MARCH 2011
4 March: Please pray for the members of the Absolute Gospel Company, performing Yeshua Messiah! today and tomorrow.
5 March: Please pray for Rev’d Nicola Furley-Smith as she is inducted as Moderator of the URC Southern Synod .
10 March: Please pray for our elders as they meet.
20 March: Please pray for Anna Thorneycroft and her parents Adam and Catherine on the occasion of her Dedication Service, which is being taken by her very proud grandfather, Jim!
28 March: Please pray that God will guide us during our Church Meeting.