Flexing the sinews and ligaments

This post by Steve and Ruth Lancaster was originally published at Life in the Lancs Lane

When we last wrote we were just about to head off to the UK for a short break with family and to celebrate my (Ruth’s) parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful time and made many special memories. Christmas was spent with my parents and family (with the obligatory pork pie for Christmas breakfast—it’s an East Midlands tradition!). The anniversary celebration on Boxing Day went very well and it was great to meet up with siblings and cousins that we haven’t seen for years. My parents even received a lovely card from HM The Queen!

The Willows clan at the Diamond Anniversary do, four generations together.

Then it was north, travelling through snow, heading to Scotland for a few days in Nairn with my sister and over to Elgin for New Year with Steve’s sister and the wider Lancaster clan, which, with 8 adults and 6 kids in one house, was a noisy, active and fun time! In between we managed a quick overnight visit to our pastor and his wife in Corsham and a couple of days in Bicester with Steve’s brother. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip, not least feeling cold again!

The Lancaster clan on Lossie beach  Yes, it was cold!

Our journey back to Africa was broken by a few days in Kenya attending Unit Leader meetings. This was the first time that I had attended these meetings and it was an interesting experience seeing first-hand this part of Steve’s ministry. AIM’s Eastern Region comprises Tanzania and Kenya and each country is split into different units with a leader being responsible for member care and for implementing the strategy set by the Region. As you can imagine, a lot of administration comes with this role and this was reflected in the meetings with discussions on annual leave paperwork, language learning requirements and immigration matters—not terribly exciting stuff but necessary in order to facilitate AIM’s missionaries who are at the coal face of planting Christ-centred churches in Africa. So spare a thought—and a prayer—for Steve as he juggles this role with his other work. Perhaps these tasks are the ligaments and sinews that Paul talks about in Colossians 2: 19—supporting and holding together the whole body.

Talking of sinews and ligaments….Steve is in training to run the Kilimanjaro half marathon in March. His brother Ian and sister-in-law Kerri are coming out to run it too and to visit us for a week. I will be happy to wait at the finish line to cheer them all in!

Steve is now well and truly into preparation for this year’s Institute seminars. He is basing his talks on 1 Peter and has 11 sessions to prepare. His method is to prepare them all in English first and then, with the help of a Tanzanian friend, to tackle the mammoth task of translation into Swahili. We are thanking God that he has completed 8 talks so far with 3 to do. He is planning to start translation work mid-March. Please pray for him!

Meanwhile I have been handling the usual tasks of admin and accounts for Sanga Sanga Retreat Centre. There is one important task coming up that fills me with foreboding—the annual project report for the Eastern Region Office! It’s due in by the end of February so in the next couple of weeks I will be immersed in the books and trying not to get confused! I am thankful for the help of Brenda, my accountant friend, who is able to see the wood for the trees and translate a year’s worth of Tanzanian shilling transactions back into US dollars for the report!  Please pray for us!

Another aspect of my role is to teach English. Last week I ran a course for Intermediates. In amongst the grammar teaching were fun, games and lively discussions that really got the students talking! These courses are a great opportunity to demonstrate what a ‘real’ Christian is like, in front of people who may be nominal Christians or Muslims. Two of the students requested Bibles but, seeing that I’d brought 5, the other students also wanted a copy.

Happy English students with their certificates!

Radio gaga? I have been given the exciting opportunity of teaching English on the radio! Faith Baptist Church in Morogoro is setting up a local radio station and has invited me to record some short English teaching programmes. This is a new and unfamiliar venture—how to teach English with no direct interaction with students. Watch this space for more news!

White-throated Bee-eaters – another ‘cop’ for us

10th anniversary! On 19th January we celebrated 10 years of marriage with a weekend away on the coast, in fact on a small tropical island! Getting there involved a short journey by motorboat (having waded out to it to begin with!). We had two days of unwinding, swimming, reading and resting. There really wasn’t much else to do on the island! We took our binoculars in hope, not expecting to see much, but boy, were we surprised! We saw 5 or 6 ‘new’ birds with some wonderful names, including Caspian Tern, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater and the Blue-naped Mousebird. Beautiful birds and two very happy bird-watchers!

Diary Dates

18th Feb                      Steve preaching at AICT Morogoro (2 services)
March/April                  1 Peter prep for Steve
2nd-10th March           Holiday. Kilimanjaro half marathon! Bro Lancs coming out.
30th Mar-11th Apr       Steve leading Oak Hall Israel trip

Prayer and Praise

  • Praise God for the progress Steve has made to date with his preparation. Pray that it will continue to flow and that the translation work will go quickly and
  • Pray for Steve as he juggles this prep with his Unit Leader work, and for Ruth as she prepares financial reports.
  • Pray for the 5 English students who received Bibles, and the opportunity to teach English over the radio.
  • Praise God for 10 years of marriage!

Thanks for all your prayers and support,

Steve & Ruth

Bird of the month

Pin-tailed Whydah, seen in our garden.

My Mum and the Queen – but which is which?!

Flexing the sinews and ligaments

This post by Ruth was originally published at Life in the Lancs Lane

When we last wrote we were just about to head off to the UK for a short break with family and to celebrate my (Ruth’s) parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful time and made many special memories. Christmas was spent with my parents and family (with the obligatory pork pie for Christmas breakfast—it’s an East Midlands tradition!). The anniversary celebration on Boxing Day went very well and it was great to meet up with siblings and cousins that we haven’t seen for years. My parents even received a lovely card from HM The Queen!

The Willows clan at the Diamond Anniversary do, four generations together.

Then it was north, travelling through snow, heading to Scotland for a few days in Nairn with my sister and over to Elgin for New Year with Steve’s sister and the wider Lancaster clan, which, with 8 adults and 6 kids in one house, was a noisy, active and fun time! In between we managed a quick overnight visit to our pastor and his wife in Corsham and a couple of days in Bicester with Steve’s brother. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip, not least feeling cold again!

The Lancaster clan on Lossie beach. Yes, it was cold!

Our journey back to Africa was broken by a few days in Kenya attending Unit Leader meetings. This was the first time that I had attended these meetings and it was an interesting experience seeing first-hand this part of Steve’s ministry. AIM’s Eastern Region comprises Tanzania and Kenya and each country is split into different units with a leader being responsible for member care and for implementing the strategy set by the Region. As you can imagine, a lot of administration comes with this role and this was reflected in the meetings with discussions on annual leave paperwork, language learning requirements and immigration matters—not terribly exciting stuff but necessary in order to facilitate AIM’s missionaries who are at the coal face of planting Christ-centred churches in Africa. So spare a thought—and a prayer—for Steve as he juggles this role with his other work. Perhaps these tasks are the ligaments and sinews that Paul talks about in Colossians 2: 19—supporting and holding together the whole body.

Talking of sinews and ligaments….Steve is in training to run the Kilimanjaro half marathon in March. His brother Ian and sister-in-law Kerri are coming out to run it too and to visit us for a week. I will be happy to wait at the finish line to cheer them all in!

Steve is now well and truly into preparation for this year’s Institute seminars. He is basing his talks on 1 Peter and has 11 sessions to prepare. His method is to prepare them all in English first and then, with the help of a Tanzanian friend, to tackle the mammoth task of translation into Swahili. We are thanking God that he has completed 8 talks so far with 3 to do. He is planning to start translation work mid-March. Please pray for him!

Meanwhile I have been handling the usual tasks of admin and accounts for Sanga Sanga Retreat Centre. There is one important task coming up that fills me with foreboding—the annual project report for the Eastern Region Office! It’s due in by the end of February so in the next couple of weeks I will be immersed in the books and trying not to get confused! I am thankful for the help of Brenda, my accountant friend, who is able to see the wood for the trees and translate a year’s worth of Tanzanian shilling transactions back into US dollars for the report!  Please pray for us!

Another aspect of my role is to teach English. Last week I ran a course for Intermediates. In amongst the grammar teaching were fun, games and lively discussions that really got the students talking! These courses are a great opportunity to demonstrate what a ‘real’ Christian is like, in front of people who may be nominal Christians or Muslims. Two of the students requested Bibles but, seeing that I’d brought 5, the other students also wanted a copy.

Happy English students with their certificates!

Radio gaga? I have been given the exciting opportunity of teaching English on the radio! Faith Baptist Church in Morogoro is setting up a local radio station and has invited me to record some short English teaching programmes. This is a new and unfamiliar venture—how to teach English with no direct interaction with students. Watch this space for more news!

White-throated Bee-eaters – another ‘cop’ for us.

10th anniversary! On 19th January we celebrated 10 years of marriage with a weekend away on the coast, in fact on a small tropical island! Getting there involved a short journey by motorboat (having waded out to it to begin with!). We had two days of unwinding, swimming, reading and resting. There really wasn’t much else to do on the island! We took our binoculars in hope, not expecting to see much, but boy, were we surprised! We saw 5 or 6 ‘new’ birds with some wonderful names, including Caspian Tern, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater and the Blue-naped Mousebird. Beautiful birds and two very happy bird-watchers!

Diary Dates

18th Feb                      Steve preaching at AICT Morogoro (2 services)
March/April                  1 Peter prep for Steve
2nd-10th March           Holiday. Kilimanjaro half marathon! Bro Lancs coming out.
30th Mar-11th Apr       Steve leading Oak Hall Israel trip

Prayer and Praise

  • Praise God for the progress Steve has made to date with his preparation. Pray that it will continue to flow and that the translation work will go quickly and
  • Pray for Steve as he juggles this prep with his Unit Leader work, and for Ruth as she prepares financial reports.
  • Pray for the 5 English students who received Bibles, and the opportunity to teach English over the radio.
  • Praise God for 10 years of marriage!

Thanks for all your prayers and support,

Steve & Ruth

Bird of the month

Pin-tailed Whydah, seen in our garden.

My Mum and the Queen – but which is which?

Notices 11th February 2018

CBC news logo

Baptism Services

Next Sunday, 18th February, we will be having baptisms at both the 9:15am and 11:15am services.  We look forward to welcoming the friends and families of George Partridge, Mike Woodberry and Emily Robinson.

The Ark

What a fabulous Ark we had in January – Praise God! It will be lovely to see you at the next one on Saturday 24th February so do come and tell/bring your friends. 10am at CBC for crafts, bible story, songs and puppets, all finished off with drink and cakes at 11.00am. Aimed at ages 0-7 years with an adult, but older children welcome. If anyone would like more fliers to take into school/ nursery/hand out/leave in local businesses, please take from the back or ask Heather Chilcott – she has plenty!

Toddler Group – Leader and Helpers

We need more workers and a lead person for our Thursday morning Toddler Group.  Please step up to embrace this wonderful evangelistic opportunity in which to serve Christ. Talk to Kathy Larkman if you would like to know more about what this outreach entails.

Women’s Bible Study

The next women’s bible study will take place on Monday 26th February at 7:30pm.  The study notes are on the table at the back.  Please take one in preparation of the meeting.  If you have any questions about these meetings, please speak to Anne or Kathy.

Men’s Curry Night with Renton Baker – Tuesday 13th March

Please contact Ian Holmes or Paul Kelly if you would like to go or for more details.

Women’s World Day of Prayer

This is taking place on Friday 2nd March at 7pm and CBC is organising/hosting it this year.  We need readers!  Please speak to Anne Holmes if you would like to help/be involved.

Women’s Retreat 20th-22nd April, Lox Lane, Shaftesbury

There are still a few places left!  Please speak to Anne Holmes if you would like to go.

Prayer for Pewsham

Prayer for Pewsham (Chippenham), second Sunday evening of each month.  Please speak to Phil or Helen Osmond for details of where these meetings are held.

The Gathering Weekend

This exciting weekend is taking place on 7th and 8th July 2018.  Meetings on the Saturday will be at Priory Street and on the Sunday at the Springfield Campus. Tickets at £5 per person are available through your congregational leader.  Jenny Gaisford at the 9:15am service; John Godwin at the 11:15am service; Norman Fuggle at the midweek service and Adrian Pillinger at Church on the Green.

…This week…

Thursday: CMDAC 7:30pm

Friday: CMDAC 9:30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion and other church activities 8.30am

 

THIS WEEK IS HALF TERM SO MANY OF OUR NORMAL ACTIVITIES WILL NOT TAKE PLACE.  PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR MINISTRY / LIFEGROUP LEADER

 

…Coming up…

21st February: Midweek service, 2pm

24th February: The Ark, 10am

25th February: Infant Dedication, 11:15am service

26th February: Women’s Bible Study, 7:30pm

2nd March: Women’s World Day of Prayer, 7:00pm

3rd March: Craft Group, 10am

7th March: Midweek service, 2pm

11th March: Mothering Sunday

13th March: Men’s curry night with Renton Baker

13th-28th March: Eddie and Kathy – trip to USA

21st March: Midweek service, 2pm

25th March: Nominations for Elder open

26th March: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

30th March: Good Friday service 9:30am @ Priory Street followed by Walk of Witness in town at 10:30am

31st March: The Ark, 10:00am (Easter Saturday)

7th April: Craft Club, 10:00am

8th April: Nominations for Elder close, 6pm

9th-13th April: Holiday Bible Club @ Priory Street

16th April: Annual Church Meeting, 8pm

20th-22nd April: Women’s Retreat, Lox Lane

28th April: The Ark, 10:00am

30th April: Women’s Bible Study, 7:30pm

5th May: Craft Club

6th May: “The Gathering” on Sunday evenings starts

Sunday Evening Services in April, 6pm

1st April – Eddie preaching

8th April – Prayer evening

15th April – Praise evening

22nd April – Learn to Witness

29th April – Learn to Witness

LISTENING TO GOD

This post by kathylarkman was originally published at GRACE PLACE

charles spurgeon bibleIn our Living Out God’s Grace Bible study series, we have been exploring the grace of the gospel which brings us to faith in Christ and motivates us to live out our salvation.
As we enter into the second half of this series, we will slightly shift our focus to the “means of grace” by which our Triune God gives us as blessings to not only grow us in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus, but to know and enjoy Jesus more and more. May it continue to comfort and challenge you as you learn to rest in God’s grace in your journey to become more like Christ.
Through the beautiful lens of the Gospel Good News, we consider the most vital means of grace to discipleship in Jesus: Listening to God through HIS WORD.

 

 

 

 

Notice sheet for 4th February 2018

CBC news logo

Operations Manager

At the Church Meeting approval was given for the Leadership Team to seek to appoint an Operations Manager for the church. As such, please see the following notice.

Applications for post of Operations Manager

Applications are now open for the above role.  For the job description, please contact the church office and it will be sent to you electronically.  Deadline for submission of applications : 7th February 2018.  Applicants will need to submit an expression of interest, by emailing the church office, outlining relevant experience and the attributes that they would bring to the role, on one side of A4.  A CV on its own will not be accepted, but may be included as a supporting document. This is a paid position (£15 per hour) and initially for 16 hours per week.  All applications will be acknowledged, but only short listed candidates will be interviewed.  We hope to appoint someone to be in post from 1st March 2018.

Midweek Service

The text for MWS on 7th February at 2pm is Mark 14:27-50 and 66-72. Eric Seager will be leading and preaching.  All welcome!

African Summer 2018

Make your mind up time!  You will have seen the information in the last couple of notice sheets about our 2018 trip to Tanzania to help with a construction project during the last two weeks in May.  If you missed it please contact Martin Sheringham who will be delighted to tell you more.  There has been enough interest so far to make this trip viable but we now need this interest to turn into commitment – today’s the deadline!!  We can then book flights and advise the Tanzanian team of numbers so they can plan a suitable package of work.  So if you intend to go, please let Martin know a.s.a.p.!

Baptism Services

On Sunday 18th February, we will be having baptisms at both the 9:15am and 11:15am services.  We look forward to welcoming the friends and families of George Partridge, Mike Woodberry and Emily Robinson.

Would you like help with daily Bible reading and prayer?

If you use apps on your phone, why not download and use something to help you follow Jesus? Read Scripture is an excellent aid to daily Bible reading, and Unreached of the Day enables you to pray daily for an unreached people group.   Alternatively, you can access this material through a computer: https://thebibleproject.com/ and  https://joshuaproject.net/pray/unreachedoftheday/today

Highly recommended!

Bible Society also has daily reading apps which are very useful.  Visit

https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/lyfe

Toddler Group

We need more workers and a lead person for our Thursday morning Toddler Group.  Please step up to embrace this wonderful evangelistic opportunity in which to serve Christ. Talk to Kathy Larkman if you would like to know more about what this outreach entails.

Our CBC family would like to publicly thank SUE SAPIANO for her servant leadership in running the Toddler group for the last 8+ years. Her faithfulness and commitment have been such a blessing and inspiration! THANK YOU, SUE. We love you!

MK Staff Training 2018

Last summer (2017) CBC hosted the MK Staff Training course for WEC International. The same course will be held at CBC again in 2018, from Sunday evening 22nd July to Thursday morning 2nd August. We are looking for hosts to provide accommodation, and help with catering and taxi driving for our participants. If you would like to help in any way please talk with Steve or Gill Bryant. Thank you!

Prayer for Pewsham

Prayer for Pewsham (Chippenham), second Sunday evening of each month.  Please speak to Phil or Helen Osmond for full details.

 

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am

Wednesday: Midweek service, 2pm

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am; CMDAC 7.30pm

Friday: CMDAC 9.30am; Encounter, 3.45pm; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion and other church activities 8.30am

 

…Coming up…

18th February: Baptism @ 11:15am service

21st February: Midweek service, 2pm

24th February: The Ark, 10am

25th February: Infant Dedication, 11:15am service

26th February: Women’s Bible Study, 7:30pm

2nd March: Women’s World Day of Prayer, 7:00pm

3rd March: Craft Group, 10am

7th March: Midweek service, 2pm

11th March: Mothering Sunday

13th March: Eddie and Kathy – trip to USA

21st March: Midweek service, 2pm

26th March: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

PAYING ATTENTION TO OUR DO’S AND DON’TS IN EQUAL MEASURE

This post by kathylarkman was originally published at GRACE PLACE

lesley-grindrod

Lesley Grindrod, contributor for today’s blog post

After being away serving with the Oasis refugee ministry in Austria for the last four months, I can’t even tell you how GOOD it felt to be ‘back home’ with the lovely CBC ladies at the Bible Study on Monday. I’ve tried to keep up with the Grace Place blogs and study notes online, but it’s never quite the same as actually being there in person! And wow, what a wonderful feast it was as Kathy continued her teaching on living out God’s grace in our daily lives. Basing her teaching on Titus 2: 11-14, this week’s topic was how we are ‘Trained by God’s Grace.’ Kathy asked me to share some of the things that I took away from this week’s teaching, so here are just a few of the precious gems I picked up:
*Grace is not a ‘thing’ – it’s the person of Jesus Christ Himself! We live solely on the merits of Jesus alone, on our union with Him.
*What Paul wrote to Titus is still totally relevant today. Our heart issues and struggles are just the same. It’s not about challenging good things in a culture (this really struck home to me in relation to refugee ministry) but demonstrating what a household truly devoted to Jesus should look like – in any culture!
*Our salvation and training are inseparable. God doesn’t do one without the other. Being trained by God’s grace is not just learning to say ‘no’ but about saying ‘yes’ too! God’s grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, but at the same time it trains us to say ‘yes’ to what is Godly and righteous.
*Putting off our bad habits should work simultaneously with putting on the new! (Ephesians 4: 22-24) If we concentrate on one while neglecting the other we will become unbalanced in our Christian walk. In a nutshell: Pay attention to do’s and don’ts in equal measure!
*Paul says to be EAGER to do what is good. If we concentrate on saying ‘yes’ to what is good, we can trust God’s grace to do its work in our lives, helping us, strengthening us to say ‘no’ to what is bad. Do I spend too much time concentrating on ‘putting off’ at the expense of ‘putting on?’
*scissorsKathy used the great illustration of a pair of scissors …. two sharp blades, fixed and held together at a pivot point. Both blades need to be sharp and properly aligned to get a neat, sharp cut. Trying to cut with a single blade will generally result in jagged, torn and uneven lines. Jesus – the pure grace of God in our lives – will enable us to relinquish our ‘old habits and attitudes’ while at the same time embracing the ‘new.’ Both must work together like the scissors’ blades, with Jesus the beautiful embodiment of God’s grace holding everything together at the pivot point.