What are you going to be doing this summer? Holidays in the sun? Staying at home in the rain (in the wettest drought since records began)? Working hard?
At All Saints there are a number of quite exciting things happening over the summer, and it would be fantastic if we were able to commit to praying for them. Here is a small selection:
Both Pathfinders and Encrypt are going on a Venture Camp this year. Eleven Pathfinders are going on Stanbridge Earls 4 (11-18 August), near Romsey, and eight Encrypters and three leaders are going on Maidwell 2 (5-12 August) camp, near Market Harborough. We’re delighted that a good number are going on each camp – they’re such good times to work through what it means to follow Jesus and to consider the realities of putting into practice. Please do pray for all the members, that they would meet the living Jesus and would turn to him as their Saviour and live for him as their Lord. Please also pray for all the leaders, including Adam and Kate Pymble, Oli Taylor, Sarah Kelland and Katy and me, that we would depend on God and be faithful witnesses to Jesus throughout our time on camps
Cultivating Relationships For Gospel Oppurtunities
The Event, The Quiz and The Sunday are coming up very soon now, and what a great opportunity to build relationships with our friends and neighbours, to speak about Jesus with them, and to invite them to hear the gospel on the Sunday! Let’s commit to praying for these people we know and for one another as we seek to live out and share the gospel with them.
At the end of the holidays is our Holiday Bible Club, Shipwrecked. Loads of children from the village will be coming to have bags of fun, play silly games and to hear about Jesus. Please do pray that God would prepare the hearts of children to be soft to the good news of Jesus. Pray for Oli as he plans and organises the club. Pray for God to equip the leaders to teach the gospel faithfully to the children.
There’s lots happening this summer, and hopefully this snapshot of some of the events will help to guide your prayers. Unless God is with us, we are working in vain, so please do pray!
Jez Lowries (Youth Pastor)
On Saturday 16 June a group of us attended a women’s conference at All Saints Crowborough, entitled ‘The Battle of the Heart’. How refreshing to spend a day with others who admit to such a struggle. Bombarded with health concerns in the news, we are encouraged to ‘look after ourselves’, but how often do we look deeply into our spiritual hearts, from which flows all our behaviour.
Rachel Browning, our guest speaker from Emmanuel church, Hastings, presented a challenge to ‘read the symptoms of our spiritual heart condition’ such as impatience, stress, anxiety, dissatisfaction, irritability and procrastination, and ask what idols might be lurking. What might be more important to us than God? What might be giving us our security and fulfilment? Examples shared included work, family, relationships, homes, exercise and what other people think of us.
She went on to explore just how much our hearts matter to God. He wants us to love Him with all of our heart. (Deuteronomy 6:5) He wants to remove our hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26) Can we say with David, the Psalmist, ‘One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.’ (Psalm 27:4) God is the only one who can truly satisfy our thirst.
We came away encouraged to see and treasure God more, to put God back at the centre, and to guard our hearts. Also to cherish the freedom Christ has secured for us and to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:13)
With Rachel’s gentle but challenging teaching, some beautiful worship, chance to share with others and a delicious lunch, it proved to be an uplifting day. Do join us at the conference next year in June.
Gina Griffin and Antonia Easley
It’s now been a year since we arrived in Lindfield, and it has flown by! We’ve had a wonderful time getting to know you all and are feeling really settled.
My first sermon was on 1 Corinthians 12 and being the body of Christ. It’s a vital picture of what we share as Christians, as it not only reminds us of our common life source, but also our interdependence.
Shortly after that, I was asked to help with our wonderful weekend at Ashburnham. One little ‘treat’ that I’d been nominated for, was to lead you all in a rap on the Friday evening. Now, I’m not famous for my lyrical rhyme to a hip-hop beat, but I was going to struggle to get out of this one!
I was asked to teach us all 1 Corinthians 12.27, from the same passage from my first sermon:
‘We are the body of Christ and each of us is a part of it - 1 Corinthians 12 verse 27’
Remember the tune?!
Well what a great reminder that verse was, as we started our weekend together. And of course it’s true all the time. If we trust in Jesus as Lord and Saviour, we have an eternal truth in common: we are Christ’s body.
Now the picture carries all sorts of vital themes, and one of the most important, is just how necessary we all are for one another. I’m more consciously aware of my hands than my kidneys, but I’m told my kidneys are rather important! I’d certainly miss them.
So too in church life, some of us are more noticeable than others. But we’re all equally important to the health and vitality of this part of the body of Christ - All Saints’ Lindfield.
In September, we’ve planned another weekend. This time, it’s non-residential as Ashburnham 2014 will be the next big weekend away but it’s set to be a wonderfully encouraging time of fun and fellowship as we socialise and worship God together. Please, please book to come along. It’s easy to regard such weekends as another thing in the diary to juggle, but this weekend is different; a great chance for the body to gather as one, across various congregations. If you’re thinking you might not come, you WILL be missed by the rest of us, as a body only works best when it’s all together! So whether hand or kidney, grab a form and sign up today!
Over the past few months, the Committee and I have been meeting to pray and discuss the future of Open House.
The numbers of those able to attend on Tuesday afternoons have been dropping for some time and continue to drop.
We have been wondering, therefore, if the Lord has not been saying to us that Open House has run its course and the time has come to bring it to a close. We have now concluded that this is the right course and that after more than thirty years, firstly as Women’s Action then as Open House, it will close at the end of the current session.
Closing any church activity can sometimes been seen as a failure, but this is not always the right way to look at it.
There are times and seasons for all things; we need to recognise that Open House has blossomed and flourished, has had its day in the sun, but now is on the wane and needs to be brought to a close so that the Lord can bring forth new life and fresh initiatives.
Open House has touched the lives of many in our fellowship over the years and it is right to celebrate its achievements and successes. The Committee and I want to invite you to a very special afternoon on Tuesday 17 July at 2.30pm which will be the last meeting of Open House. We are planning a special time of worship and thanksgiving for all that Open House has achieved and enjoyed over the years. We hope representatives of other groups in the church will join us and we do hope that all will be able to come to share both memories and a sumptuous cream tea!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jenny Streeter, Val Nimmo, Jean Parmenter and Jennifer Diack, members of the current committee, who have served so faithfully for all their dedication to the work of Open House.