Three things to say as we go into the summer holidays
From next Sunday (28 July), for the six weeks of the summer holidays, we shall be experimenting with one main morning service. The reasons for this are outlined in the insert sheet, but I hope that all our regular 9.30am and 11.15am congregations will take a positive attitude to this, using this opportunity to worship together as a means of strengthening the bonds of fellowship between our different services. It will be good for us to break out of our usual pattern—if only for six weeks—so please make a deliberate effort to engage with people you don’t know. Maybe make it a rule to speak to one new person each week. You’ll have six new Christian acquaintances by the end of the summer!
Together at Great Walstead
Booking (online or on paper) is now open for our weekend at Walstead in September (7th and 8th). To help the planning team, please make your booking by 4 August. I hope the whole church will regard this weekend as a priority. Brilliant speaker this year!
Comings and Goings
By the time ASN restarts in September, Tim Gage will have left us to begin his theological training at Ridley College in Cambridge and Oli Taylor will have come to the end of his time as one of our Ministry Trainees. They have both been brilliant team members and the church has benefited hugely from their gifts, energy and presence. We pray God’s blessing on them for the future.
Emma Hastings is continuing with us for a further year and we welcome Oli Simmonds as our new Ministry Trainee. There will be additional staff changes, but more of that in September.
Moving to Cambridge to study at theological college
for her second year
Joining us in September
Enjoy the summer!
It might not feel like it but summer is here and it’s nearly the summer holidays! We have tried different formats to our summer services and listening to feedback, we are planning something new for this summer.
There will be one service meeting at 10am for coffee prior to a 10.30am service.
Children’s Activities: Seaside Rock and Pebbles
We will provide separate activities for the children in the Tiger, from 10am.
Pre-school (0-4): meet in the Stable for ‘Pebbles’, a morning of playdough, play, songs, Bible stories and craft.
School age (4-11): meet in the Tiger Hall for ‘Seaside Rock’, a morning of lots of fun, songs, games, Bible stories and craft. During this series, we’ll follow the highs and lows of Peter’s friendship with Jesus. Each week we’ll see the evidence that Jesus is Lord and Saviour and the children will consider what it means to be a friend and follower of Him.
We are very thankful for all of our crèche leaders and Good News Club leaders and we want to give them a refreshing break over the summer.
Stephanie Sayers is planning the programme for the summer clubs and is recruiting a team of helpers for each week. We still need a few more helpers, so if you are interested in helping out, even if just for a week, then please contact Stephanie.
A preparation evening will be held in early July.
No, not Christmas
, but six weeks next summer!
How do busy parents minimise the cries of ‘I’m bored?’
Look no further than one of our Venture holidays for 11-18s!
I will be leading the Pathfinder Venture, and Jez the Encrypters, and we want to take as many from All Saints as possible.
They are brilliant weeks of fun, friendships and food, with gospel teaching aimed directly at their age-group.
We don’t stay under canvas, but in lovely boarding schools with wonderful facilities, hot showers... the works! The Pathfinder Venture Holiday (11-14yrs)
Stanbridge Earls 4 (Nr. Winchester) 10-17 August. £223 per child. The Encrypt Venture Holiday (15-18yrs)
Maidwell 2 (Nr. Northampton), 5-11 August. £223 per child.
Places are limited and the Ventures are advertised nationally by CPAS,
so act quickly
to avoid disappointment - we’d love to fill them with ASL!
You can easily book online: go to ventures.org.uk
, and type in Maidwell 2 or Stanbridge Earls 4 for more details and click ‘Apply Online.’ Bookings are now open! (Else, grab paper forms from us).
These two Ventures are a fantastic way of affirming all that goes on in our homes and youth goups throughout the year, whilst also training young leaders for the future - so we’d like the whole church family behind them:
1. Please do pray: for many to go, for safety, for fun, for the leaders and all the work preparing, for clear teaching (we'll send prayer requests nearer the time).
2. Sponsorship: last year six children from ASL were able to go, thanks to the generosity of anonymous sponsors. Please do contact me if you can support in this way.
If any parents would like help encouraging their children, or more details and reassurance, don’t hesitate to ask! Also, if money is a problem, do say so - between sponsors and grants, we’ll try really hard to get everyone there! And whilst I think of it, jot down the similar weeks of August for 2014.....
I expect many of us will have made time over the summer for some refreshment and relaxation with friends and family—an opportunity to recharge the batteries for the coming months. I hope you return fully replenished physically and spiritually and raring to go! Here are some new things that are happening this autumn at All Saints. James
On Sunday 16 September, we begin our new pattern of evening services which will collectively be renamed CORNERSTONE and will have a less formal flavour. Do come at 6pm for cakes and coffee before we begin at 6.30pm. In the first half of term, we have a series of sermons called Who do you think you are? looking at the ‘I am’ sayings of Jesus in John’s gospel.
ALL SAINTS AT PRAYER
We are going to be replacing InterConnect on the third Wednesday of each month with an hour’s meeting for prayer in the Tiger Lounge. Lots of prayer goes on at All Saints, but we haven’t really succeeded in creating an opportunity for us to pray together as a church body for our mission and ministry. This will start on Wednesday 19 September, 8-9pm. (First Priority will move in October to the third Wednesday (17th) from 12noon-1pm).
LEADERSHIP TRAINING COURSE
A new initiative, designed to provide rigorous, stretching and practical training in Christian leadership and ministry including theology, evangelism and rightly handling the Bible. It is intended to equip potential leaders for key areas of ministry and develop the lay leadership at All Saints. 11 people will start next week, with Adam and James overseeing and teaching. The Course will run for one year, and we pray it will continue with a new group in 2013, as it is an exciting and vital investment in the future ministry of All Saints.
NEW GOOD NEWS CLUB GROUP
From Sunday 16 September, the Good News Club will have a new group—Sparklers–which will be for youngsters who come with their families to the 11.15am service. The group will be run by Oli Taylor and Emma Hastings, our Ministry Trainees, but they would be glad of extra help. Further details to follow.
I am delighted to say that Ruth Ford has come forward to lead the Tiger Lunches catering team. She will take over from Su Skipp after Christmas and we are hugely grateful to Ruth for volunteering and to Su for her years of dedicated service.
Our new Ministry Trainee (Apprentice), Emma Hastings, joined us for the Shipwrecked Holiday Bible Club at the end of August and already has got to know a number of the fellowship.
Do go out of your way to make her welcome.
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)
we have no time to stand and stare . . .
Although the poem ‘Leisure’ (from which the quotation comes) was written in 1910 by the Welsh poet W. H. Davies, it is as pertinent a question now as it ever was, not least as we look forward to the summer break.
I am sure that in all our busyness we often ask ‘What is life all about?’ ‘Why are we here?’ ‘Is this it?’ It’s sometimes difficult to keep life in perspective. So much of it is about ‘achieving’ instead of enjoying. How often do we ‘pause and smell the roses’. Much energy is spent on saving time. To do what? To allow time to smell the roses? Or to save time in order to cram in more activity.
August is a time to pause, and, yes, perhaps to smell the roses.
One day, on my commute to London, opposite me was a mother and her child. The child was very subdued (probably because she was up so early!) and the mother was being very attentive to her. At one point she put the child on her knee and turned to the window, and said, ‘Oh look, the sun has come up and we weren’t watching . . .’ Suddenly that one phrase summed it all up for me . . . the sun had come up and we were not watching. That quite ordinary scene beyond the railway track ceased to be yet another sunrise. Maybe you have had such experiences when suddenly you become aware that there is more to life than your present activity.
August is a time to pause and to wonder. The August break is there to give us time to be refreshed, to smell the roses, yes, and to stand and stare. We all need a physical break. But we also need time to be refreshed spiritually too.
The Psalms often take the witness of creation to speak of God’s love. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to make us more awake and aware of our life in Jesus and to lead us in fresh discovery and in a fresh response.
It’s the Spirit’s work to make the connections, through Jesus, between God and ourselves, drawing our attention to this, to that, opening our eyes. Isaiah 11:2 called this ‘the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and knowledge’.
Jesus said, ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it in abundance.’
Maybe the Sun/Son has risen for you, but are we in danger of missing the dawn?
This August let us hear the still small voice and see that slender shaft of light . . . and wonder.
There are God given moments in every life when something strangely beautiful claims our attention and demands that we stand and stare.
Let us pray for one another this August, have a great summer.