Riding the Next Wave

This post by Joth Hunt was originally published at Seventy Two

I’m not a surfer but I did grow up by the sea and I have always enjoyed riding a wave by body boarding. I understand that the best surfers are those who know which are the best waves to ride. They patiently watch the horizon to learn the language of the sea before choosing the largest and best waves. Missional listening and leadership is partially about watching the societal and cultural waves on the horizon and then, with the help of the Spirit, getting ready to ride those waves in the best way possible.

No one saw the wave of COVID coming, and if they had, they probably wouldn’t have realised what a huge impact it was going to have. It was like a wave that understandably caught even the best surfer unawares! However, as we see the vaccines roll out and the potential of life returning to some kind of normality, it is worth looking out to the horizon and asking what cultural waves might be heading our way and whether it is possible to missionally serve our communities by riding some of these waves.

I can’t say with great certainty what these waves might be, but I do want to suggest three possible waves worth considering:

Mental Health

The first wave I think worth highlighting is the potential for a wave of mental health issues as people come out of lockdown and restrictions. Many of us are aware of how lockdown has challenged our own mental health and wellbeing. Some of us have been quite surprised by how we have reacted to the challenges that we have faced. Personally, I have yearned to get out of the routine space of home and find a new scene. During the winter months this, of course, has been much harder to do. I have found myself become restless, frustrated and very tetchy and my sleep at times has been inconsistent. If we are aware that our own mental health has been challenged during these times, it can’t be too difficult to imagine the amount of mental strain there has been for others.

As we slowly come out of lockdown, I find myself wondering how the Church will be available to others in society to help them find their way out of this tough period. I’m fascinated that before COVID hit our shores the Wellbeing Cafe movement was well underway. My understanding is that during COVID a number of communities have begun virtual Wellbeing Cafes. Spaces for people to just be and to be listened to. Ruby Wax, the founder of Frazzled Cafe, once said, “Being heard, to me, has always been half the cure.”

I’m encouraged when I hear of churches that are beginning to consider how they might respond to this need through ‘Wellbeing Cafes’, listening services and support groups that will give people time and space to process what has happened but also rediscover their feet through new rhythms of health and wellbeing.

A Time to Grieve

One of the most difficult things during this time for many people has been the lack of opportunity to mourn and grieve the consequences of this pandemic. I am wondering whether there might be a wave of unexpressed grief both individually but also corporately. The vast majority of people will have known at least one person who has died of COVID or passed away during this time when a full and ‘proper’ process for giving thanks and the availability to comfort each other just hasn’t been allowed to take place. I fear that it would be very easy for this lack of formalised grief to be forgotten as we celebrate the easing of lockdown and restrictions. Churches could have a key role to play in giving people time and space to give thanks for those who have passed away and to grieve together in an appropriate and respectful manner.

We could also prepare ourselves to be available to pastorally support those who have lost loved ones during this period and who are still dealing with their own grief alongside the guilt of having a funeral process that fell below their expectations and needs. Churches again could be playing a key role here in revisiting those who are grieving and giving space and time to allow this extraordinary and unprecedented grief to be expressed and comforted.

A Time to Re-evaluate

The third wave that may be on the horizon is one of re-evaluating all that has happened and how that has impacted the things that we hold as being important. I can’t imagine that there are too many people who have not stopped during the past year and asked themselves some very deep and fundamental questions about their lives, values and beliefs.

I have been encouraged in recent months by a number of churches that have been hosting ‘Alpha’ type events online and found a good uptake of people wishing to engage. I have just heard from one of our pioneers of a number of people that have sought him out for conversations during this time of lockdown, wanting to find a person to reflect with and process their thoughts and emotions. This seems to me a real opportunity. Moments of disaster and crisis will always create a desire to question and to review.

I’m not sure how large this wave might be or how long it might last but I think it might be significant enough for those churches who dare to ride it to discover opportunities to share the story, values and beliefs of the Christian faith with people who are keen to re-evaluate.

Of course, I might be wrong about all these potential waves and there may be others that are heading toward the coastline but I do think all three are worth considering and possibly attempting to ride as we come out of this long period of lockdown.  The period of COVID that we have experienced has been unprecedented and challenging but the season that we are about to enter into may be one that brings waves of fresh and new opportunities. May the Spirit of God prepare his Church for such a time as this and lift us up onto each new wave, enabling the good news of Christ to be seen and shared with all that will hear.

 

The post Riding the Next Wave appeared first on Seventy Two.

Notices for Sunday 11 April 2021

This week

Good news! We are continuing with in-person services this week. Numbers will be limited and pre-booking is required please. – contact Tim or the Church Office to do this

Sunday Services

Zoom Junior Church

  • I give permission for …………… to interact on zoom. 
  • I give permission for a leader to contact me (Parent’s name) by email/ phone/text for the purpose of  setting up these Zoom meetings. And then add your name.

Mid-Week Service Wednesday 14th April 2pm

All are welcome -and again pre-booking is required. Please contact Tim or the Church Office to do this.

Pray for the Muslim World

Ramadan starts on Tuesday 13th April. We have an opportunity to pray through this important time. There is a daily prayer guide available here as a printed leaflet or a download for £2.00. https://30daysprayer.org.uk/order/

Momentum Yes!

Find out more about missions and the unreached by attending this free interactive, online video-based course, which teaches, inspires, and equips to rethink God’s mission. AIM has already run this course, and and WEC is hosting it next, over 6 Tuesday evenings, starting on 20th April. You can find out more and book your free place here: https://wec-uk.org/events/momentumyes

Word Alive – Seminar Tracks

Starting Monday 12th there will be weekly “seminar tracks’ with excellent Biblical teaching from renowned speakers – take a look here

Souper Friday on Facebook

Souper Friday is now in Facebook! We want to reach local people who need support with food parcels, so if you’re on Facebook please ‘like’ the page and engage with the posts via likes/shares/comments. You can find the page here: www.facebook.com/souperfriday
If you have any questions about Facebook, feel free to contact Jasmine Warren.”

Activities during lockdown

  • Souper Friday continues to reach out to our community and neighbours
  • Community Money Advice is handling work remotely, but do get in touch if you are aware of or are having money difficulties ;
  • Several small groups meet and share online.

Please send items for next week’s notices to Cathy Simon and/or Tim Stephenson by 12 noon on Friday

ARE OUR SOULS SATISFIED IN CHRIST ALONE?

This post by kathylarkman was originally published at GRACE PLACE

… This is a question that I want to answer….YES, of course!!!! But I know my sinful heart. And it isn’t…not all the time. But I continue to pray that my soul will be satisfied in Him alone; a process as a growing Christian. God’s love is patient, and He will never let me go. Can you relate?

For example, He gives us constant reminders of who He is and what He’s done for us in Christ. The celebration and reflection of holy week of Christ’s death and resurrection is always doing its work, not just at Easter. It is, after all, the foundation of our faith- the good news of the gospel. So I ask myself, should not the gospel take front and centre in our lives everyday? Should not this change the way we think and live?

I came across the song below in my worship time some months back, and it has resurfaced with deeper profundity in my heart. So I want to share with you.

Galatians 2:20 “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Philippians 3:7-11 “ I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; but rather I become righteous through faith in Christ. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!”

My Worth Is Not In What I Own

My worth is not in what I own
Not in the strength of flesh and bone
But in the costly wounds of love
At the cross

My worth is not in skill or name
In win or lose, in pride or shame
But in the blood of Christ that flowed
At the cross

As summer flowers we fade and die
Fame, youth and beauty hurry by
But life eternal calls to us
At the cross

I will not boast in wealth or might
Or human wisdom’s fleeting light
But I will boast in knowing Christ
At the cross

Two wonders here that I confess
My worth and my unworthiness
My value fixed, my ransom paid
At the cross

And I rejoice in my redeemer
Greatest treasure
Wellspring of my soul
I will trust in him, no other
My soul is satisfied in him alone

My. Soul. Is. Satisfied. In. CHRIST. Alone.

Songwriters: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Graham A. Kendrick

Knowing these awesome truths and asking God to retrain our thinking and desires will change the way that we see ourselves and others. It will change the way we live. It will change the way that we respond to different situations and people. Our souls will become satisfied in Christ alone….more every day. Thank you Lord!

Praying this for us all of us sisters. May the gospel hope change us from the inside out.

Notices for Easter Sunday 2021

This week

Good news! We are continuing with in-person services this week. Numbers will be limited and pre-booking is required please. – contact Tim or the Church Office to do this

Joint Good Friday Service

Joint Good Friday service for Church on the Screen and CBC on the 2nd April at Priory Street, 10am

Access the link here

Easter Sunday Services

Zoom Junior Church

  • I give permission for …………… to interact on zoom. 
  • I give permission for a leader to contact me (Parent’s name) by email/ phone/text for the purpose of  setting up these Zoom meetings. And then add your name.

Easter Trail

Join the trail over the weekend from Friday to Monday. Find the eggs around town,  unscramble the letters to find the word that reminds us about Easter. Collect packs from outside church on Saturday between 3pm and 5pm. For more information contact Rhiannon : childrensworker@corshambaptists.org

Easter Thank Offering

Easter speaks of God’s love for us, and His will to spread that love among all peoples.  On Sunday 4 April 2021, we will be holding an Easter Thank Offering to support the work of our Mission Partners. Our first priority will be to provide for those partners who would normally have benefitted from our Harvest, Carol and Nativity service offerings last year (Tearfund, The Oasis Centre, & Compassion), and thereafter where the need is greatest.  The money raised will be lodged in our Restricted Mission Fund. Please do pray about how you can contribute towards this offering.

The easiest way to make an offering is by online bank transfer to the Corsham Baptist Church account at Lloyds Bank (contact the office or Treasurer if you need the details), and reference the transaction RES MISSION FUND.  Alternatively, you could post a cheque to the Treasurer at Priory Street, clearly marked EASTER 21 THANK OFFERING on the reverse. 

If you are able to book for the in-person service at Priory Street on Easter Sunday, please put your offering in the wooden offering box which will be placed at the back of the building.  When the offering is taken, only the contents of plain envelopes (marked EASTER 21 THANK OFFERING) and loose cash/cheques will be included in the Thank Offering total.  Blue offering envelopes will be treated as regular giving to the general work of the church.  

Unfortunately, Covid operating restrictions prevent us from leaving supplies of the special yellow envelopes we normally use for Thank Offerings on open display in the building.  However, if you have completed a gift aid declaration in favour of CBC, we will recover gift aid on your offering (cheques, and bank transfers only) unless you advise us otherwise.

Word Alive – Save the Dates!

Starting at 4 pm on Tuesday 6 April and continuing to 9th April, Word Alive will be streaming meetings to enable you and all the family to ‘Plug into the Word’ including activities for children and young people. Take a look at the website here.

And it doesn’t all finish on the 9th April either. Starting Monday 12th there will be weekly “seminar tracks’ with excellent Biblical teaching from renowned speakers – take a look here

Souper Friday on Facebook

Souper Friday is now in Facebook! We want to reach local people who need support with food parcels, so if you’re on Facebook please ‘like’ the page and engage with the posts via likes/shares/comments. You can find the page here: www.facebook.com/souperfriday
If you have any questions about Facebook, feel free to contact Jasmine Warren.”

Activities during lockdown

  • Souper Friday continues to reach out to our community and neighbours
  • Community Money Advice is handling work remotely, but do get in touch if you are aware of or are having money difficulties ;
  • Several small groups meet and share online.

Please send items for next week’s notices to Cathy Simon and/or Tim Stephenson by 12 noon on Friday