As you read this I will be starting my 3 month sabbatical that I spoke about in my last letter. I hope that the results of my study of comparing Baptist Churches with United Reformed Churches will help us in our ministry here at Christ Church but also be of use to the wider denomination of the URC.
Taking time to look around at the way other Christians worship and at the way their leadership teams operate and decisions are made, should open our eyes to possibilities for the way that the Lord may be leading us in the future. If we are to become the church that Christ wants us to be here in Tonbridge we need to listen to him and become Mission Focused.
Jesus was speaking to his disciples moments before he ascended to heaven. His mission was completed and he wanted to leave them with one thing, that if they forgot everything else, they would remember and act on. ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age’. (Matthew 28: 19-20)
That final promise is the most important of all because unless Jesus is in everything we do, it will ultimately fail. His promise is also vital when we step out in faith beyond the safety of the church walls and into a society which is increasingly being fed the line that on the one hand there is no God, and on the other all faiths are the same.
The one thing that makes faith in Christ unique is that it is the only faith that offers forgiveness from sin and the assurance of eternal life because of the sacrifice and resurrection of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.
May I wish you all a lovely summer and I look forward to coming back refreshed and excited and ready to continue our journey with the Saviour.
With love in Christ, Jim
Christian Aid Week 15 – 21 May 2011
Once again during Christian Aid Week, Christ Church is joining with some 20,000 other Churches in unparalleled Christian witness to our communities – showing that Christians care about justice, and about people worldwide, especially the poor and under-privileged.
Christian Aid has a vision to end poverty. By being part of this week we are not only funding life changing projects, we are helping to tackle root causes of poverty.
The Church has an amazing heritage of working for justice, and Christian Aid week has run every year since soon after the Second World War, demonstrating the Churches faithfulness to helping the poor by funding projects to alleviate the effects of poverty world-wide.
If you can spare just an hour or two, preferably in the evening, to collect envelopes, or to distribute them during the week, could you please let John Wynne, Nigel Munns, or your House/Cell group leader know as soonas possible.
Last year Christ Church collected £1883 (much of it Gift aided which adds a further 25% this year) and the Christian Aid Lunch raised £193. Tonbridge Churches together collected £9800, and across the country some £15 m was raised. We generally collect in pairs – and a good evening can be spent meeting mostly appreciative, and sometimes very generous householders. Please join us this year!
There will be a Christian Aid Hunger Lunch in the Christ Church Foyer after the morning service on 15 May. Please stay for this and donate the price of your usual Sunday Lunch to Christian Aid.
CHRIST CHURCH NEWS
Following the decision of a special church meeting the next 6 church meetings will be on Sundays after a shorter morning service. There will be no meeting in August. Please put these dates in your diary: 22nd May, 3rd July, 31st July, 25th September, 23rd October and 27th November. Everyone is welcome to attend but only church members have a vote.
Rev. Jim Thorneycroft is having a three month sabbatical in May, June and July. He will be using the time to conduct a study comparing Baptist Churches with United Reformed Churchesand hopes the results will help us to become more mission focussed here in Tonbridge.
While he is away please contact the Church Secretary, Lesley Cumming, or any of the other Elders. Contact details can be found on Church Members phone lists or in The Messenger. Those with urgent pastoral needs should contact Brenda Ansdell.
THURSDAY HOME GROUP
The Thursday Home group will be meeting weekly from 12th May in the Christ Church Coffee Lounge. Please contact Howard Ansdell on 354351 for more information. The programme for May is as follows:
12th May 10.00 am Refreshments
10.30-11.30 am “Playing God”
19th May 10.00 am Prayer time
10.30 am Refreshments
11.00 am Team Quiz
12.30 pm Bring you own lunch
26th May 10.00 am Refreshments
10.30-11.30 am A look at Philippians
11.30 am Let’s try singing
Dear All at Christ Church,
May I say a big thank you for Solid Rock Kids Club and to Lesley and Marion for their kindness to me. But to Laura and Alex a lovely thank you. The children were lovely and they looked after me like a Nanna. I will miss Fridays very much.
All my love
I would just like to thank everyone for the prayers, well wishes, cards, flowers and visits during my hospital stay, and during my recovery at my parents home in Maidstone, and also for the practical support now that I am back home.
Thanks to you all,
We want to convey our Thanks to our Friends at Christ Church for all their prayers and support during Julie’s illness. We really appreciate your kindness. We take each day as it comes, luckily we can still laugh at things sometimes and know we are in the best hands and have good support from Hospice in the Weald amongst other professional and voluntary groups. Please continue your prayers and for healing.
April – News from Peru
As you know Rocio faces losing the land that she uses for her church ‘The House of the Banquit’. There is a boundary dispute and if she loses someone can build right up to her veranda or porch area making it impossible to get in and out the back of her house. Please continue to pray for Ronel and Rocio so that they can stay calm through all the legal process. Pray that the judges and court officials obey the law and listen to truth and reason. This is what she has to say:
To all at Christ Church,
I give thanks the Lord for having friends like you and feel in the deepest of my heart that we are one in Him. THANKS TO GOD today I connected my internet at last after many months I thought that I was going to lose you as friends due to our lack of communication. 11th April saw the election for our new president. There is one candidate called Humala who has dictatorial ideas like Hugo Chavez from Venezuela and we have been praying about this.
Back in March I had to go to Moyobamba as Pety got pneumonia and Dengue fever. I used that time to rest a bit and reorder my heart and mind. The problem with the land has gone on for so long as we had to change our lawyer. She was so slow and made us spend a lot of money for things that were not necessary. So far the daughter Teresa has not got the title of the land yet. Even so she started to make problems for us without having the title of the land – this is the title that her father sold Ronel.
Pancho used to title his lands with many other relatives names so yesterday all those relatives + Pancho + Teresa had to be notified by the court and this takes time. The thing is that all those relatives do not have good relationship at the moment and this might be a good thing. Hopefully they will not be able to agree with each other and come up with a way to lie, and cheat us out of our land. The truth will out and it should win over their lies. Thank you for all you prayers in this.
Pastor Rabbit´s son Randulfo has decided to get married on 30th April. He is so ill with his kidney disease and wants to marry before it is too late. Karen the partner is happy about this. She is the one who has been training in hairdressing and recently finished this. They have a baby girl and they want to come before the Lord before something could happen with Randulfo. Sadly the other son of the pastor has the same problem with his kidney. Let us pray that Pastor Rabbit may have a miracle for his family.
Christian is now 1 year and 4 months. He has had another infection and so he is still only 9 kilos. We are feeding him more than normal. He is a nice boy and I try to talk to him in English. I guess he is understanding what I am saying to him, even if he cannot speak it yet.
Thank you for your love…Keep in touch
Weekly collection figures
Standing orders (Mar) 628.00
Weekly average for 2010 to 31 March 2010 = £724.28
Weekly average for 2011 to 31 March 2011 = £812.62
From the Editor: Please send material for the June 2011 issue to Lesley Cumming by Friday 20 May