Sarah Jones has been a member of All Saints for twelve years now, along with her husband Nick and children Izzy & Fergus.
In June of this year, after an assessment period of 18 months, Sarah was selected to train for ordination. There are now different ways of training for ordination and Sarah started in September at St Mellitus College in London (www.stmellitus.ac.uk
) on a three year mixed mode course studying for a BA in Theology and Ministry. Sarah’s course is a new initiative to combine academic study with practical parish ministry on a full-time basis.
Sarah’s placement church is All Saints and we are pleased to welcome her formally onto the staff team for 2.5 days a week. With us, we hope Sarah will learn the practical side of ministry and she will have a range of roles in the parish.
Please do pray for Sarah and Nick and the children as they adjust to this new calling in their lives. Do keep all our ordinands in your prayers, especially Chris Sutton, Tim Gage, Ben Sear, Brendan Martin, Steve Ransley and Sam Carter and their respective families. James
Annie Hance has been our Pastoral Care Co-ordinator for the past six and a half years. She has done a superb job and there are very many people in our fellowship and beyond who can testify to the outstanding love and care she has shown.
Regretfully, Annie has decided that the time has come to step down from this formal role as of the end of December. She will, however, continue to be involved in different spheres of pastoral care, particularly in connection with our new Tiger@Ten group which meets every second Tuesday in the Tiger.
I would like to pay tribute to Annie’s wonderful work over these last six and half years. I know (because people regularly tell me) how caring and practical Annie’s support has been, especially in situations which might otherwise seem hopeless and intractable.
If you would like to contribute to a retirement gift for Annie, please use the yellow envelopes in the pews. We will have an opportunity to say a public thank you to Annie around Christmas time.
In the meantime, we shall be making new arrangements to co-ordinate our pastoral care from January.
Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to invite friends and family to church. Once again this year we will have a full range of services, with something for everybody - but there is only six weeks to go! Have you begun to think and pray about someone to invite -maybe to one of our carol services or Cornerstone? Maybe someone on your Operation Andrew card for whom you have been praying? Start thinking now before the opportunity is missed!
If you didn’t manage to pick up your Stewardship envelope last Sunday, please do so today. We are not intending to post any out this year because of the cost of postage, so please make a point of looking for your envelope!
Bound for Indochina
Tomorrow, I fly out to Indochina to visit Ian and Anne-Marie Prescott. It will be a long journey getting there (over 24 hours), but I hope to spend three clear days finding out how they are settling and about the work they do there. Please pray that this would be a really useful and encouraging time for both them and me.
November is the month when we look ahead and ask the fellowship to consider prayerfully what resources can be allocated to the ministry and mission of the church for the coming year.
You will see from our Stewardship leaflet that the PCC has worked hard to keep the budget for 2014 within realistic boundaries without undermining the essential work of the church. The budget for 2014 is actually projected to be less than for 2013. Of course, in addition to our usual costs, there is the exciting, but challenging, ASPIRE project to consider, and there is no doubt that that will stretch us. But that is a good thing! Nothing significant has ever been achieved without real stretching faith and sacrifice - when our personal resources are stretched, we have to cast ourselves more and more on God’s sustaining grace.
Stewardship is all about thanksgiving and trust - thanking God continually for his grace and trusting him to provide all that we need to accomplish what he calls us to. Please read the documents very carefully and prayerfully and respond as God leads you so that on November 24th we can rededicate ourselves to his service afresh.
Fifty women, three days, one beautiful location and absolutely no cooking can only begin to sum up what a fabulous weekend we had during our Women’s Living Faith weekend at the Oast Houses in Kent.
There was a mixture of prayer, bible teaching, swimming, socialising, crafting, and many other activities. Everyone was able to join in with each other and particularly enjoy spending time together in fellowship.
Joined by Leonie Mason from St Helen’s Bishopgate, we focused our time looking at the book of Hebrews and learning more about how we can be living out our faith on a daily basis. Faith trusts God’s certain promises about the future and trusts what we cannot see, and it was with this in mind that we looked to the bible to see how we can look at everything ‘through our eyes of faith’ and how this can change our perspectives, attitudes and the way we live day by day. It was such an encouragement to be reminded of Jesus as our Great High Priest and that we have already been saved through him and nothing can change that promise.
In all of this we were challenged and called again to consider how we can build one another up through our small groups, Connect Groups, Sunday worship and many other opportunities to have firm friendships that support one another on our Christian journey.
Please pray for us as we put into practice all that we learnt and above all pray that we will continue growing to have strong faith that perseveres drawing near to Jesus everyday.
As descendents of African slaves, the Quilombolas are among the most marginalised people groups in Brazil.
The remote hilltop village of Fonseca is home to one such community. Geographically isolated, shunned socially and lacking even a basic water supply, grinding poverty was a way of life for these families.
This all changed when Tearfund partner, ACEV (meaning 'Action Church') came alongside the villagers to help dig a well in the valley, pipe the water 1,400 metres up the hill, and provide vital training on health, hygiene and water management.
Community members are enthusiastic in describing the difference ACEV has made in their lives: ‘Water in our homes.' ‘Our children are now in school.' ‘We have sufficient food.' What's more, over the last year, eight people have chosen to follow Jesus - and the community is now asking ACEV to help them build a church.
Tearfund's Chief Executive Matthew Frost, who recently visited the community, says, ‘It was the practical love, care and concern of ACEV's people that prompted them to ask questions about their motivation and faith.'
This story sums up Tearfund's approach to tackling poverty. God commands us to preach the good news (Luke 24:47), but he also calls us to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), to love our neighbour (Luke 10:27) and to work for justice and mercy (Micah 6:8). We call this integral mission: the church living out its faith in Jesus in every aspect of life.
Tearfund work through churches in 50 countries to release people from spiritual and material poverty. It's our experience that local churches know the needs of their communities and are ideally placed to bring God's healing, hope and transformation. Where no established church exists, we work through Christian partners to bring lasting change.
Today Tearfund's Katie Harrison will be speaking at the services on how Tearfund supports local churches in lifting people out of poverty. At lunchtime Katie and Sarah Newnham will talk about the situation in the Middle East and share their recent experiences of meeting with Syrian refugees.
In her role as Head of Media, Katie ensures that, through Tearfund, a Christian worldview on poverty and justice issues is heard. As Head of Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Sarah manages Tearfund's staff and strategy across 18 countries in an area stretching from the heights of the Andes to the deserts of Afghanistan.
If you’ve just changed your shirt for the fourth time in an afternoon because it’s covered in beans (this time), then either your toddler is just learning to eat solid food or you’re on a Venture camp! At All Saints we encourage our young people to go on one of two Venture camps – Stanbridge Earls 4 for the Pathfinders (11-14s) and Maidwell 2 for the Encrypters (14-18s). They are so much fun and such a great opportunity for young people to take important steps forward in their relationship with God. Throughout the year in Pathfinders and Encrypt we learn lots and we pray that we all grow closer to God bit by bit. However, going away for a week on Venture and taking time out from the normal busyness of life provides very helpful space for everything to click into place. I can remember a number of moments on the summer camps I used to go on as a teenager when suddenly things made sense and I understood something fresh about God in a deeper way, so we pray that the same will be true of our young people on Ventures.
Here are some quotes from some who went on Venture this year:
‘It was very good for my personal relationship with God. Also it was great to catch up with friends.’
‘Good, loved the food!’
‘The best thing about Venture was the cram packed activities and ministry mixed in with free time.’
And from a new leader:
‘It was my first ever Venture but I really enjoyed it! Especially getting to know the lovely girls in my dorm.’
There can be very few churches in the country that have a weekly church family news-sheet to rival All Saints’ News. With its brilliant mix of information, stimulating articles, prayer topics, diary, jokey quips, occasional leg-pulls, ASN (as we affectionately know it) has played a vital part in helping to build church family life for the last two decades.
And this is almost entirely due to the dedicated and unstinting input of its editor for the last 10 years or more - Alan Tuddenham. This means that Alan has edited some 450 editions - week in, week out, in sickness and in health - with a commitment that has been quite astonishing.
Alan has decided that it is now time to retire, and this week’s ASN will be his last edition. We thank God for Alan’s committed service, for the faithful exercise of his Readership calling through this ministry, and for his great love for the All Saints’ church family that has continually motivated him.
Thank you, Alan, from us all for your tremendous input. Thank you for your great skill in producing such a lively and relevant news-sheet every week. Thank you for your gracious patience and forbearance with many of us when we’ve submitted stuff for inclusion far too late! And thank you, Stephanie, for all your support for Alan in this role.
We pray for God’s richest blessing on you both in all that the future may hold, and for a peaceful and rewarding retirement.
Our Harvest Thanksgiving Services are on Sunday, 6 October. This year, our Harvest Support project is Ksinga Divinity College in South Rwenzori. Richard and Elaine Browning are our links and they write:
‘The College has been a training centre for lay readers for the Rwenzori Diocese (latterly South Rwenzori) since the 1970s. As the Diocese has 500 congregations and only 50 clergy, the lay readers perform all the pastoral duties in a parish, with a priest visiting for administration of the sacraments.
All Saints’ currently supports six students studying part-time for two years to become lay readers. All are from the mountainous regions around Kasese and will serve in these very rural parishes when commissioned in December 2013. At least some are expected to become school chaplains.
Members of All Saints’ have previously donated theological books which form the basis of a rudimentary library at the college. However these resources are totally inadequate for the number of students and become outdated. Hence the way forward would appear to be to provide facilities for internet access. Proposals have been agreed to put in place the infrastructure for a system and to connect this to the power supply which has recently been extended to the college campus by a government programme. These proposals include an initial six computers/workstations but it is hoped that the Harvest contribution from All Saints’ could increase this number, enabling more students to use the facilities. It would also enable more paid-for resources to be accessed.’
If you would like to contribute at Harvest, please use the yellow envelopes in the pews and mark ‘Ksinga’
To see someone with a white stick, a hearing aid or a wheelchair is a clear sign that the person may need some extra help or consideration as we meet them, but other problems may not be so obvious. We’re told that eventually one in three people over sixty five will be suffering from Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. Severe memory loss may not show outwardly like some other features associated with old age, but it can cause major problems both for the one who is affected and for the family or others who are caring for them.
Confusion, frustration, difficulty in thinking and speaking clearly, mood swings and loss of confidence are some of the results of dementia which can lead to isolation and fear, especially for someone who lives alone.
If there is a carer – often a spouse – they can face frustrations of their own as well; loneliness, disturbed sleep, a feeling of being trapped, and worries about the future. These problems may not be visible to an outsider, but are very real nonetheless.
The Alzheimer’s Society, one of the charities trying to help dementia patients and their families, wants to encourage ‘Dementia-Friendly Communities’ where people are more aware of such problems and better prepared to offer help and support where they can. Some professional support for dementia sufferers is available as well as that from charities, but we all ought to be ‘dementia-friendly’ and churches in particular are called to be good neighbours to those affected by dementia just as to anyone else.
How can we each at All Saints show our love and support in these situations, be good friends and neighbours, and demonstrate the value God puts on each person? How can we encourage every one, whatever their situation, to contribute to His worship and service?