A letter from Bulgaria.
I am writing this in a hotel in the centre of Sofia, and have just been walking round part of the city after my meeting finished. During my walk I visited St George’s Rotunda, the oldest building in Sofia. Built as a Roman temple it became a church after Constantine became emperor, and it is still a church. There are other churches here, none quite as old but several well over 1000 years old. When you think of Bulgaria, churches are not what come to mind; a country conquered by the Ottomans in the fourteenth century and then Communist from 1946. Yet there they are, witnesses to the continuing presence of live Christianity.
There is one thing that we should have learned is that God surprises us, and that we should not be amazed at what He does. That the church survived in Bulgaria and elsewhere and still offers witness should be a cause for celebration and a reminder to us to be unafraid in our faith. For it is no weak faith we have and are part of, but one that has looked and still looks the world in the eyes. True faith has always tried to show the Love of God – not a sentimental love but one that recognises the faults and failures of all. It challenges you to recognise these in yourselves and others and know that through and in Christ you can rise above them as true Children of God. The Cross, the Resurrection and the Ascension all show us this, and God surprises us every day if we let Him. Nothing separates us from the love of God.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Taste and See…
Do you like satsumas? (If not, substitute a fruit you do like!) When the Wholeness Through Christ regional team got together to pray a couple of weeks ago, we were given a picture of a satsuma slice! It had that semi-opaque, not very attractive skin around it, but inside it was
beautifully sweet and juicy. If you had never tasted a satsuma before, you would probably not think much of it, just looking at the outside. You wouldn’t be able to tell what was inside. You would need to bite into it to know how nice it was.
We felt the meaning of this picture was that it is difficult to know what the Wholeness Through Christ way of talking to Jesus can do for your relationship with Him, until you have actually tried it. Some people think of it as deep ministry only needed by the emotionally damaged. While it does help when you are feeling in emotional turmoil, it is not at all just for those times. It is about keeping ourselves in a right relationship with the Lord at all times and getting rid of any obstacles there may be in our lives – often ones we don’t even know about until the Holy Spirit reveals them – to knowing Him better and truly experiencing more of His love, forgiveness, freedom, victory and healing in our lives on every level.
The Bible tells us to work on becoming pure and holy (sanctification) and WTC provides a memory aid to do this that anyone can use. It
also makes the process enjoyable and exciting, as many who have used it can testify: as the Lord clears out obstacles between us and Himself, we are more able to hear His voice, more able to see progress in our spiritual lives, and more ready to thank and worship Him for all the things He has done for us. We also have loads of true stories to share to encourage others to come closer to Jesus for themselves.
Trusting that God is there, whether or not you have any evidence, is of course good. But Jesus told His disciples that He was going to send the Holy Spirit so that they would have a guide, helper, healer and comforter who would speak to them and bring them into the close family
relationship that is the Trinity. He invites us all to share that deep loving bond and experience the continual reality of His resurrection life. WTC provides a good way of doing this.
And so, if you are willing to look beyond the opaque surface of a satsuma segment to the juice within, why not also have a taste for yourself of what Wholeness Through Christ is really about, not what you may have heard or thought from the outside? We are holding what we call an Encouragement Day (which does what it says on the tin!) in June. We guarantee you will meet with the Lord, and if you are willing to go with what He shows you, you will be mightily blessed. You won’t be forced to do anything you don’t want, just encouraged to ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’.
to Corinne Clugston, Margaret Bolt or Diane Farquar if you would like any more information about the day or WTC generally.
You can also access our national body via the website: www.wholenessthroughchrist.org for information on residential courses and our prayer network.
I hope many of you will consider attending this day. With prayers and love in the Lord,
Wholeness Through Christ Encouragement Days
RESTORING YOUR FIRST LOVE
Saturday 18th June 2011 10.00 am – 3.30 pm at Christ Church URC, High Street, Tonbridge, Kent
and / or
Saturday 24th September 2011 10.00 am – 3.30 pm at Southover Church, Lewes, East Sussex
Would you like a little time apart to refresh your spiritual life and your relationship with the Lord? Come and spend a few hours
listening to God and receiving His love, power and encouragement. Wholeness Through Christ is a simple and gentle way of looking at your faith, Bible-based, and Holy Spirit-led. There will be worship, short talks from the WTC Team, sharing true stories of God’s healing power, and times of quiet to use for talking to Jesus and individual reflection.
‘Taste and see that the Lord is good.’
Bring your friends and your lunch. Hot & cold drinks provided. No admission charge, but small donation welcome to cover costs of event. For directions to either venue or any further details, please contact the person on the Team who invited you, or Mrs Corinne Clugston.
If you are not able to come on either of these dates, but would like to be invited in the future, please let us know. We run similar events regularly and will tell you when we have arranged further dates. If you do not want to be contacted by us again, please also let us know and we will take you off our mailing list.
R.S.V.P. to the Team member who invited you or to
Corinne Clugston (by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01732 506049).
WEST KENT YMCA
West Kent YMCA thanks Christ Church at Tonbridge for this opportunity to let you know about our work with disadvantaged and vulnerable young people, and in particular our furniture recycling warehouses – two of which are located in Tonbridge in the High Street and at Cannon Lane. Those furniture recycling warehouses are central to raising funds to support our work whilst at the same time providing a valuable service to the local community, saving landfill and providing good quality affordable furniture and opportunities for volunteering and work experience. Funds raised directly help young people who may have experienced family breakdown, homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse, who may be excluded from or not attending school, have emotional or mental health problems, young parents or ex-offenders. The support we provide includes our Horizon Supported Vocational Training Workshop in Shipbourne Road, Tonbridge, helping both young people and adults with learning disabilities to gain new woodworking and carpentry skills. Similar Horizon Projects operate in Cranbrook, Edenbridge and Tunbridge Wells, covering a wide range of vocational skills including carpentry and joinery, painting and decorating, metalwork and plumbing, along with confidence and personal skills development. Nearby in Tunbridge Wells we also provide safe and welcoming accommodation for around 50 homeless young people each year at Ryder House, with a new extension due for completion in September giving us room to help a further 20 -30 young people every year. And we also provide an outreach service and flexible training, information and support through our Vehicle for Change Project, with its specially adapted mobile resource unit, and our U-Turn Project working with local partners across West
Kent to deliver work skills to people wanting to get back into employment. One young man who volunteered with us at our warehouses after a friend encouraged him to have a go said how apprehensive he was before he started. Now he says “West Kent YMCA has been a major
factor in changing me from an ex convict to a sophisticated and intelligent individual who is growing in confidence every day.” That encapsulates our very aim of “Helping Young People to Build their Future”. Everyone who donates furniture to our warehouses and comes in to buy something is helping us to achieve that aim and we are most grateful to them. If you would like to know more about our work call our Head Office on 01892 542209. Or if you would like to donate furniture or visit the warehouses, please call:
01732 361108 or drop in and have a look at wide range of good quality second hand furniture and household goods that we have at very affordable prices.
FURNITURE WAREHOUSES AT: 30 High Street Tonbridge and Unit 2, 9 Canon Lane, Tonbridge (opposite B
& Q) also 14-18 Goods Station Road, Tunbridge Wells.
THURSDAY HOME GROUP
The Thursday Home group now meets weekly in the Christ Church Coffee Lounge. Please contact Howard Ansdell on 354351 for
more information. The programme for June is as follows:
2nd June 10.30—12 noon Indoor games morning + refreshments; 12.30-12.45 Fish and chip lunch
9th June 10.30 am Refreshments; 10.30 -11.30 am When are we right to judge?
16th June 10.00 am Prayer time; 10.30 am Light physical activities followed by refreshments
23rd June 10.00 am Refreshments; 10.30 – 11.15 am Speaker—Humour; 11.30 am Let’s sing again
30th June 10.00 am Fund Raiser