As we move towards our June Mission with Bishop Jill, I can’t help but think about the hope of new life that we see all around us!
We have recently returned from a week in the Lakes post-Easter and were surprised to see how much bigger the little lambs had become. New life means new growth too and there is so much to be praying for as we move towards the mission.
Janet, Kath and I spent this Saturday with 5 young couples preparing them for Baptism in our second Baptism workshop – two families brought their young babies with them, and we juggled babies and learned more about the Christians faith. It was such a joy to experience many ‘lightbulb’ moments.
Re-launch of Toast Time
Recently Allison and a team of us re-launched Toast time and have a small but regular group of Mums and tots (and one granny) attending weekly in term time to eat toast, play games, read stories, sing songs and do toddler friendly activities. I love talking to the Mums!
Dominoes Club and Community Coffee Morning
At a similar time, Kath and a team launched a monthly Dominoes group for local people which was well attended – it will happen the third Thursday of every month at 1.30pm. St John’s have also re-launched their Community Coffee Morning on the Fourth Tuesday of every month. The two churches are trying to ensure things don’t clash.
We launched Kintsugi Hope a few weeks ago – a wellbeing group for those in our church family who have experienced bereavement, loneliness or are finding life tough. Once we have tested it out on the church family we hope to launch into the community.
‘Coming Home’ Mission in June
I mentioned the mission – 9,10 and 11th of June – starting with a community cricket match in Baxenden with cricket tea, then a Men’s Breakfast in Accrington, a Pamper Afternoon for ladies at St Paul’s and finishing with a morning service at St John’s and a café service at St Paul’s. Bishop Jill is one of the best preachers in the Church of England at the moment and has spoken at events like Spring Harvest, the New Wine Leadership Conference, The Children’s Ministry Conference and more recently on the BBC. All events will be free and will be advertised via Eventbrite. Do try and only book on the events if you can bring someone who is not from church. I think the events will get booked fast!
And let’s not forget our four new Connect groups – a place to Connect with God, with each other and with the wider community. Hilary and Dorothy’s group put into practice this emphasis on reaching out to our community by running a lovely Easter Craft session for families from the community in Holy Week.
We are planning to run the groups for 10 weeks at a time with a month off. Most of the groups will start on wc 8th May. The groups will be following the lectionary for the next session and following up on the talks/sermons on Sundays. Talk to your leaders for more information.
And finally, we launch our first group on-line using the START material on Zoom on 14th May. Start offers six sessions for people to explore the Christian faith. This group is aimed at families who have young children and will last for six weeks. Hilary and Dorothy’s day-time Connect group will also be using START in their group this session.
In amongst all this activity, we have carved our ten days in May for prayer – 18th May to the 28th May, especially for five friends or family members to come to know Jesus. This ten days of prayer between Ascension day and Pentecost is a significant time in the Anglican calendar with countries across the world taking part. This year Patricia Wilkinson and a team across both churches will be encouraging us to pray towards our mission in June.
As I finish I want to remind you of that amazing verse in John that reminds us as we pray for all these things that are happening in our church at the moment – the gospel that we offer really is the best news that anyone could ever have.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full – John 10.10
May God bless you and keep you this Spring!