POSTPONED: No work party next Saturday (23rd Nov)

Tim Stephenson,

Thank you to all who have been in touch or planned to come to the work party next Saturday but this has been postponed and will now take place in the new year.

THIRD COLOSSIANS STUDY AVAILABLE!

kathylarkman,
colossiansTree[5971]

The third Colossians Study Buddy questions are available at the churches and also on the blog! Christine Coltman is bringing this study to us on 25 November.

So, please meet with your buddy! This short bible study will really enrich you!

BLESSINGS!

Notices 10th November, 2019

Louise,

Welcome to our Remembrance Sunday Service

10th November, 2019

Priory Street (Corsham)

  • 9.15am             Eddie Larkman (Ps.2)
  • 11.15am           Eddie Larkman (Ps.2)
  • 6:00pm            Gathering round the Word (Ron Durant)

Church on the Green (Rudloe)

  • 10:00am           Rob Durant

Family Quiz Night

There will be a family quiz/pizza night for the 9:15 congregation next Saturday, 16th November from 5pm.  Chat to Tim S for details.

Evening Service 17th November

As you may be aware, one of our mission partners at CBC is the neighbouring Melksham Baptist Church. On 17th Nov there will be a practical opportunity to show our support as we’ll be holding the monthly praise party there rather than at Priory Street. It would be lovely to have a really great turnout. Joey (from 9:15) will be leading and the start will be 6pm. So if you’re going why not talk to some friends and see if you can fill a car?   http://www.melkshambaptistchurch.org.uk/contacts/map/

Midweek Service

This will take place on Wednesday, 13th November at 2pm.  The text is James 3.1-12. Eric will be leading and preaching and there will be communion.

Christmas Carols by Candlelight Service

Our Christmas carols by candlelight service this year is being held on Sunday 15th December at 6pm at Priory Street.  If you would like to be involved in this service by way of singing or playing, please contact Nancy S, whose details can be obtained from the church office.

Work Party

Martin S will be holding a work party at Priory Street on Saturday 23rd November from approx. 10am-12pm  Work to be undertaken will include cleaning of “hard to reach” areas of the building, decorating, general tidying up etc. before Christmas.  Please come along if you can help.  Bacon butties will be on offer too!!

Women’s November Bible Study

There will be another women’s bible study on Monday 25th November at 7:30pm.  The study sheets are on the table at the back so please make sure you take a copy in advance of the meeting.

Last Ark of 2019

Come along to Priory Street at 10am on the 30th November for the last Ark of the year!  The Ark is a children’s service aimed at 0-7 year olds and we’ll be celebrating Christmas early with lots of fun, puppets, songs, video and crafts.  It’s all topped off with drinks and cake served at 11.00am. Children are very welcome with an accompanying adult so come along and spread the word to family and friends.

International Bring & Share Lunch, 24th November

Revelation 7 tells us about that amazing moment where people from every tribe, nation, people and language gather together to worship Christ. On Sunday 24th November, we’re going to have a foretaste of that moment with an international bring and share lunch!

Bring some food you like, and we’ll enjoy eating it together after our 10am service at the MOD community centre in Rudloe (a.k.a Crumpets). See you there!

Church on the Green new congregational leader

COTG are looking for a new congregational leader. The timeline for what’s happening when is below:

Sunday, 10th November – Nominations close after the service today. Give them to Rob, Adrian, or Paul.

Sunday 24th November – Election takes place for COTG members after the church service. (Before we have our international lunch!)

If you’re not sure what the role of congregational leader might involve, get in touch with Rob D or chat to one of our other leaders – Adrian P and Paul G. 

If you would like to nominate someone, please talk to them first and check they are happy to be nominated. You will need someone to second your nomination.

…This week @ CBC…

  • Monday: Fight Night, 8pm
  • Wednesday: Midweek service, 2pm
  • Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am;  DAC, 7:30pm
  • Friday: DAC, 9:30am;Encounter, 3.45pm; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm

Upcoming events:

  • Family/quiz night for 9:15ers – 16th November, 5pm
  • Gathering to Praise @ Melksham Baptist Church – 17th November, 6pm
  • Mission and persecuted church prayer – 18th November, 7:45pm
  • Church work party – 23rd November, 10am
  • Women’s bible study – 25th November, 7:30pm
  • Midweek service – 27th November, 2pm
  • The Ark – 30th November, 10am
  • Craft Group, 7th December, 10am

CBC Christmas Services 2019

@ Priory Street

  • 14th Dec – nativity service, 4pm
  • 15th Dec – Carols by Candlelight, 6pm
  • 18th Dec – Midweek Carol & Readings Service, 2pm
  • 24th Dec – Christmas eve communion service, 6pm
  • 25th Dec – Christmas day family service, 10am
  • 29th Dec – no evening service

@ Church on the Green, Rudloe

  • 22nd Dec – nativity, 10am
  • 24th Dec – carolling around Rudloe community, 6pm
  • 25th Dec – Christmas day family service, 10am

THERE ARE SMALL CARDS ON THE BACK TABLE ADVERTISING OUR CHRISTMAS SERVICES…PLEASE TAKE SOME TO GIVE TO FRIENDS & FAMILY.

PRAYING WITH CONFIDENCE

kathylarkman,

colossiansTree[5971]I was on National Express coach coming home from Heathrow Airport after being in Germany as Esther King was leading our second women’s bible study- Colossians: Rooted. Although I missed being there, you were in my thoughts and prayers.

I received many reports of the love and blessing of God through His word! I am encouraged how God is maturing us as He reveals Himself to us through Scripture.

Paul prays over the Colossians with confidence because they ARE bearing fruit; not because they need to bear fruit. There are many times when I don’t know how to pray for us, especially with confidence,  but I am learning that a good place to start is Scripture. It seems so obvious, but after being a Christian for years, I have realized its importance and power.

This prayer in Colossians 1 is one wonderful example of many in the Bible which teaches us how we should pray for one another as believers in Christ and with confidence. His continual prayer has been full of requests that they might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. (v.9) This is not just a prayer about guidance in specific situations of life, but actually it’s bigger than that. It’s about grasping the big picture of how central Jesus Christ is in God’s plan for the world- to put everything under Jesus Christ.

The result of the knowledge of Christ is a changed life!(v.10) Knowing Christ always brings practical changes to how we live. The changed life is described as: a worthy life, pleasing Christ, bearing fruit and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Notice it is God who is the one doing everything in this prayer. He has ‘enabled us,’ ‘rescued us ’ and ‘transferred us,’ ‘purchased us,’ forgave us.’vv (12-14) It is all God’s work through Jesus Christ! (vv.13-14)

So, if we want to see our lives changed, we need to keep asking God to show us how important Jesus Christ is! As we get a better grasp of WHO HE IS, changes will inevitably result in our everyday, ordinary lives.

Let’s pray for each other with confidence! May we all grow as we learn to know God better and better!

Kathy x

Notices 3rd November, 2019

Louise,

Priory Street (Corsham)

  • 9.15am             Eddie Larkman
  • 11.15am           Eddie Larkman (Infant Dedication)
  • 6:00pm             Gathering to Pray

Church on the Green (Rudloe)

  • 10:00am           Adrian Pillinger

Infant Dedication

We would like to extend a very warm welcome to the friends and family of Albert and Tina D, whose child, Maiah-Joy, is being dedicated this morning.  Thank you for joining us today on this special occasion.

Open Doors’ Event

This afternoon we will have Open Doors’ speaker, Rod Whiting, with us at 5pm (tea and cake from 4.30pm). Come and be informed, inspired and challenged regarding the work of Open Doors for the Persecuted Church. The talk will be followed at 6pm by a prayer evening for the work of Open Doors and the Persecuted Church.

Light Party

Rhiannon P would like to say a very big thank you to all those involved in making the Light Party on Thursday night such a success! Close to fifty children from church and the community attended!

9:15 Family & Friends Quiz Night

There will be a family quiz/pizza night for the 9:15 congregation on Saturday 16th November from 5pm.  Chat to Matt G for details.

Baptismal Service @11:15

We are looking to have a baptismal service on 8th December. If you feel this is a step God is prompting you to take, please speak to one of your congregational leaders.

Christmas Carol Service @Priory Street

Our Christmas carols by candlelight service this year is being held on Sunday 15th December at 6pm at Priory Street.  If you would like to be involved in this service by way of singing or playing, please contact Nancy Sawyer, whose details can be obtained from the church office.

Work Party @Priory Street

Martin S will be holding a work party at Priory Street on Saturday 23rd November from approx. 10am-12pm  Work to be undertaken will include cleaning of “hard to reach” areas of the building, decorating, general tidying up etc. before Christmas.  Please come along if you can help.  Bacon butties will be on offer too!!

Women’s Retreat 2020

There will be a women’s retreat at Lox Lane from 17-19 July 2020.  The

cost is £140 per person.  Deposit of £25 is required by 1st December 2019.  Leaflets are at the back.  Chat to Anne H if you would like to know more about the weekend.

Harvest Offering Thank You

On behalf of Tearfund and the Corsham Churches Foodbank, thank you so much to all of the congregations at CBC for their generous support for the Harvest Offering.  A total of £1,402 was raised to support the work of our partners in Malawi, the EAGLES Relief and Development project run through the Living Waters Church.

The store cupboards at Corsham Churches Foodbank are much better placed to meet the demands of the winter season following harvest offerings taken across the community, and a letter from the CCFB Chair of Trustees is displayed on the noticeboard in the coffee hall.  As the CCFB gears up for its Christmas Hamper project, donations of seasonal treats, especially those which would bless children, would be most welcome although ideally before the end of November.  The hampers will be packed and delivered during early December.

Meal Train

We are on the look out for more volunteers for the CBC Meal Train which offers meals to church members who are newly out of hospital, have recently had a baby, are struggling with ill-health etc. It is a wonderful service that offers support in a practical sense to our church family and beyond. If you are able to spare a meal on an ad hoc basis and don’t mind being contacted when the rota is put into action, please email Sarah B.

Church on the Green News

International Bring & Share Lunch, 24th November @Rudloe

Revelation 7 tells us about that amazing moment where people from every tribe, nation, people and language gather together to worship Christ. On Sunday 24th November, we’re going to have a foretaste of that moment with an international bring and share lunch!

Bring some food you like, and we’ll enjoy eating it together after our 10am service at the MOD community centre in Rudloe (a.k.a Crumpets). See you there!

Church on the Green new congregational leader

COTG are looking for a new congregational leader. The timeline for what’s happening when is below:

Sunday, 3rd November – Nominations are open – nomination forms are available at the COTG service.

Sunday, 10th November – Nominations close after the morning service. Give them to Rob, Adrian, or Paul.

Sunday 24th November – Election takes place for COTG members after the church service. (Before we have our international lunch!)

If you’re not sure what the role of congregational leader might involve, get in touch with Rob D or chat to one of our other leaders – Adrian P and Paul G. 

If you would like to nominate someone, please talk to them first and check they are happy to be nominated. You will need someone to second your nomination.

…This week @ CBC…

  • Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am;  DAC, 7:30pm
  • Friday: DAC, 9:30am; Encounter, 3.45pm; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm

Upcoming events:

  • Remembrance Sunday – 10th November
  • Fight Night – 11th November, 8pm
  • Midweek Service – 13th November, 2pm
  • Family/quiz night for 9:15ers – 16th November, 5pm
  • Gathering to Praise @ Melksham Baptist Church – 17th November, 6pm
  • Mission and persecuted church prayer – 18th November, 7:45pm
  • Church work party – 23rd November, 10am
  • Women’s bible study – 25th November, 7:30pm
  • Midweek service – 27th November, 2pm
  • The Ark – 30th November, 10am

CBC Christmas Services 2019

@ Priory Street

  • 14th Dec – nativity service, 4pm
  • 15th Dec – carols by candlelight, 6pm
  • 18th Dec – midweek service carols by candlelight, 2pm
  • 24th Dec – Christmas eve communion service, 6pm
  • 25th Dec – Christmas day family service, 10am
  • 29th Dec – no evening service

@ Church on the Green, Rudloe

  • 22nd Dec – nativity, 10am
  • 24th Dec – carolling around Rudloe community, 6pm
  • 25th Dec – Christmas day family service, 10am

Overflowing With Thankfulness

kathylarkman,

Kathy Larkman, contributor for today’s blog post

As many of you Grace Place readers know, Ed and I have been in Frankfurt, Germany for the greater part of October. We were blessed by an Africa Inland Mission friend who has a flat there to allow us to use it for the month as she serves in Kenya for Tumaini Counselling Centre.

We are thankful to God for his provision and loving kindness in providing space and time to rest, refresh, and renew.

Here are a few of my highlights I want to share with you:

The joy of listening to Ed converse in German
The peace and beauty of the park where we walked regularly
Sausages, German ginger cookies, Stollen, chocolate cappuccino
Uninterrupted time to read good books!
Seeing and experiencing God’s creation and German history
Uninterrupted time and space to know that He is God in reflection and prayer
The joy and honour to pray Colossians 2:6-7 over my church family, family and friends.

There was so much more that I took in! I just can’t put it into words! I am sure that as Ed and I process this time in Frankfurt, we will see fruit in us and our church family.

col 2 67While away, I continued to read and ponder Colossians. Of course, this is the letter we are studying for Women’s Bible study. I was inspired by a friend who is memorizing Colossians. (thank you Hannah!) In my case, I thought it realistic to begin with memorizing Colossians 2:6-7 NLT. These are key verses in the whole of Colossians, which Sharon Durant drew our attention to last year as we began to prepare for this study.

Paul’s big point is that he wants the church to remain rooted in Jesus Christ, and not to drift away to something else. These verses make it clear that simply being IN CHRIST IS ALWAYS ENOUGH! Paul is working for the church’s maturity; not to be spiritually passive or lazy, but to an active walking in Christ.

We are called to be established and to GROW in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. May it be so, more and more!

I thank God for our time in Germany.  I thank God that He is I AM.  I thank God for my church family. I thank God that I can pray Scripture over us, knowing God will fulfil His purposes in and through us individually and as a church family!

Lots of love and so good to be back home and in my own bed!

Kathy

Notices 27th October, 2019

Louise,

Priory Street (Corsham)

  • 9.15am             Tim Stephenson
  • 11.15am          Tim Stephenson
  • 6:00pm             Gathering to Remember

Church on the Green (Rudloe)

  • 10:00am           Rob Durant

Eddie and Kathy

A reminder that our pastor, Eddie, and his wife, Kathy, are returning to Corsham this week.  Eddie will commence preaching again at Priory Street next Sunday, 3rd November.

Church Meeting

At the recent Church Meeting the following people were affirmed as congregational leaders:  Matt Elson – 11:15am service overseeing worship;

Natalie Ovens – 9:15am service.  In addition to this, Kate Harding has been elected as Deputy Designated Person for Safeguarding and Carol Gale was brought into membership.

Women’s Bible Study

Next one takes place tomorrow night, Monday 28th October at 7:30pm.  Study notes are on the table at the back.

Midweek Service

Next service is this Wednesday 30th October at 2pm.  The text is James 2.14-26. Eric S will lead and David M will preach. All welcome!

Light Party

This annual event is taking place this Thursday, 31st October, 5-7pm.  If you are available to help, speak to Rhiannon. There is a sign up sheet at the back of church.  Please cover this event and preparations in prayer. 

Family Quiz Night

There will be a family quiz/pizza night for the 9:15 congregation on Saturday 16th November from 5pm.  Chat to Tim S for details.

Baptismal Service

We are looking to have a baptismal service on 8th December. If you feel this is a step God is prompting you to take, please speak to one of your congregational leaders.

Christmas Carol Service

Our Christmas carols by candlelight service this year is being held on Sunday 15th December at 6pm at Priory Street.  If you would like to be involved in this service by way of singing or playing, please contact the church office.

Work Party

Martin S will be holding a work party at Priory Street on Saturday 23rd November from approx. 10am-12pm  Work to be undertaken will include cleaning of “hard to reach” areas of the building, decorating, general tidying up etc. before Christmas.  Please come along if you can help.  Bacon butties will be on offer too!!

Meal Train

We are on the look out for more volunteers for the CBC Meal Train which offers meals to church members who are newly out of hospital, have recently had a baby, are struggling with ill-health etc. It is a wonderful service that offers support in a practical sense to our church family and beyond. If you are able to spare a meal on an ad hoc basis and don’t mind being contacted when the rota is put into action, please email Sarah B.

Open Doors’ Event

On Sunday Nov 3rd we will have Open Doors’ speaker, Rod Whiting, with us at 5pm (tea and cake from 4.30pm). Come and be informed, inspired and challenged regarding the work of Open Doors for the Persecuted Church. The talk will be followed at 6pm by a prayer evening for the work of Open Doors and the Persecuted Church.  Any offers of help for teas would be welcomed – please contact Wendy R.  Thank you.

Women’s Retreat 2020

There will be a women’s retreat at Lox Lane from 17-19 July 2020.  The cost is £140 per person.  Deposit of £25 is required by 1st December 2019.  Limited numbers.  Leaflets are at the back.  Chat to Anne H.

International Bring & Share Lunch, 24th November

Revelation 7 tells us about that amazing moment where people from every tribe, nation, people and language gather together to worship Christ. On Sunday 24th November, we’re going to have a foretaste of that moment with an international bring and share lunch!

Bring some food you like, and we’ll enjoy eating it together after our 10am service at the MOD community centre in Rudloe (a.k.a Crumpets). See you there!

Church on the Green new congregational leader

COTG are looking for a new congregational leader. The timeline for what’s happening when is below:

  • Sunday, 27th October – Nominations open – nomination forms will be available at the COTG service. 
  • Sunday, 10th November – Nominations close after the morning service. Give them to Rob, Adrian, or Paul.
  • Sunday 24th November – Election takes place for COTG members after the church service. (Before we have our international lunch!)

If you’re not sure what the role of congregational leader might involve, get in touch with Rob Durant or chat to one of our other leaders – Adrian Pillinger and Paul Garcia. 

If you would like to nominate someone, please talk to them first and check they are happy to be nominated. You will need someone to second your nomination.

…This week is half term holiday week…

Please speak to your lifegroup co-ordinator regarding your small group

This week @ CBC

  • Monday: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm
  • Wednesday: Midweek service, 2pm
  • Thursday: Light Party, 5-7pm; DAC, 7:30pm
  • Friday: DAC, 9:30am
  • Saturday: Craft group, 10am

Upcoming events:

  • Infant dedication – 3rd November 11:15am service
  • Open Doors’ event – 3rd November, 4pm
  • Remembrance Sunday – 10th November
  • Fight Night – 11th November, 8pm
  • Midweek Service – 13th November, 2pm
  • Family/quiz night for 9:15ers – 16th November, 5pm
  • Gathering to Praise @ Melksham Baptist Church – 17th November, 6pm
  • Mission and persecuted church prayer – 18th November, 7:45pm
  • Church work party – 23rd November, 10am
  • Women’s bible study – 25th November, 7:30pm
  • Midweek service – 27th November, 2pm
  • The Ark – 30th November, 10am

SAVE THE DATE! ROOTED: STUDY OF COLOSSIANS

kathylarkman,

colossiansTree[5971]I hope you have been blessed by our first study in Colossians!

SAVE THE DATE: Our next meeting is Monday, 28 October at 7:30pm in the CBC church hall.  

We are studying Colossians which is titled “Rooted.” Esther King has provided our second bible study on Col 1:9-23, which is on the Grace Place Blog, as well as hard copies at CBC and COTG. Remember to get with your study buddy! And If you don’t have a study buddy, please see Anne Holmes!
Have a great week!

Permits & Polyps – Delays & Deferrals!

Steve and Ruth Lancaster,
Picture of Steve and Ruth

We all know that feeling don’t we? That feeling of relief when your luggage finally appears on the carousel!  Some of us have also experienced the other feeling – that anxious and annoyed feeling when the carousel comes to a grinding halt and your luggage hasn’t appeared!  When we returned from Tanzania back in March, we experienced the latter feeling and had to wait 5 days for our luggage to arrive, all the way from……. Amsterdam!  Our home assignment started with a delay and it certainly seems to be ending with a delay….or two!  First of all there was the issue of our residents permits not being ready for our scheduled return in September.  And then just a few weeks ago (following a delay in getting my CT scan results) it was decided I needed sinus surgery to remove polyps, and so this has resulted in a further delay in our return!  So, until 17th November, we’re still very much based in UK.

UK based: the past seven months. You may just about remember that in our last update (nearly 8 months ago!) we listed 20 things that we were looking forward to during our home assignment.  Whilst I could wax lyrical about the whole list, you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve only chosen 8 things from that list as a way of reporting back on what’s been happening.

Overlooking Nazareth

Visiting Israel. I’ve had the pleasure of leading two Oak Hall trips to Israel/Palestine, one of them with Ruth as my co-leader!  Maybe I’ve said this before (!?) but to teach from God’s Word in the place where it all happened provides a real buzz!  And these trips are often eye-openers for the guests.  You can begin to imagine Hezekiah’s men chiselling their way through bedrock as you wade through his tunnel underneath David’s City!  You can picture Jesus weeping over Jerusalem as you descend the Mount of Olives, and, as you mingle with the crowds in the bazaars in the old city, it’s easy to visualise what a busy Passover festival would have been like.  And then, when you sail on the Sea of Galilee or sit on the shore, you can almost hear the words of Jesus as he teaches the crowds or stills the storm.  And so I could go on!

Steve waxing lyrical overlooking the Dead Sea

Running in cooler climes. We both enjoyed running the country lanes of Wiltshire in preparation for the Nairn half marathon in August.  My time of 1hr 58 mins over 13 miles was slightly faster than Eliud Kipchoge managed in Vienna last weekend, although it might be fair to point out that the professional Kenyan runner covered twice the distance in that time!!
Here we are with bro Lancs and Kerri.

90th birthday tea!

Spending quality time with family and friends. It’s been great to catch up with family and we’ve enjoyed some top times together!  We were able to see Steve’s youngest sister and her family for the first time in six years, and had the privilege of doing a mini-preach at my Grandad’s funeral back in July – just a month after his 97th birthday!  There have also been some awesome family holidays in Scotland to add to the memory bank.  Ruth enjoyed being able to celebrate her parents’ birthdays in September and October – Mum was 90 and Dad was 89.

Food variety. Bring out the pork pies!  And that could be the reason I’ve put on 7kgs (1 stone)!  We’ve enjoyed being able to eat salads without having to bleach them beforehand, and, as a bread fan, I’ve enjoyed eating some of the 20+ different varieties currently found in Morrison’s!  In Morogoro, brown bread is a relatively recent addition.

Driving on smooth roads where most people adhere to the highway code!  I realise that some of you will question my judgement on this one, but I’ve found driving in the UK to be relatively relaxing!  I’ve been amazed that drivers actually let you out at junctions!  It also makes a nice change not to see police jumping out of bushes with a tampered speed camera in hand!

The mighty Schilthorn

Skiing. What better way to unwind from the heat of Tanzania than to head to the Swiss Alps?!  We enjoyed a great Oak Hall skiing trip for five days back in March.  Somehow we covered 199 miles in distance and skied 170,000 vertical feet – although not all in one drop!  For those familiar with the Jungfrau ski area, I also managed 58mph on the wall of death; still shaking!!

Climbing a mountain or two. Definitely delivered on this one!  A number of minor Lakeland summits plus the Welsh summit of Snowdon were climbed.  We were also able to stand on the same mountain on which Moses stood (Mt Nebo) as he looked across from Moab (modern-day Jordan) into the Promised Land.  The view from Mt Masada (Israel) is also said to be one of the finest in the Middle East, although it’s more of a cable-car ride than a climb!  And during the Oak Hall Iceland trip that I spoke on, we stayed just a few miles away from the volcano that caused so much trouble back in 2010 – the one that no one outside of Iceland can really pronounce: Eyafjallajokul!

Cycling the Hebrides. What a week up in the southern Hebrides in July!  Along with some of the family, we cycled 95 miles on the islands of Barra, Eriskay, South and North Uist, Benbecula and Berneray.  Fantastic beaches, stunning scenery, and some quality birding: lots of short-eared owl and hen harriers, plus white-tailed eagle and snipe.

Not being at the mechanics on a weekly basis! We’ve managed to put 13,000 miles on the ‘little red blimp’ (mums car!), and apart from a standard service, we haven’t had to see a mechanic!

Being at our home church. We’re blessed to have a supportive church behind us (Corsham Baptist) who not only support us financially and prayerfully, but also send out teams to help at Sanga Sanga and at various AIM conferences – so we feel the connection is pretty strong!  We’re also blessed to be fully supported so we haven’t had the added stress of having to raise funds while at home.  I was asked to do the Bible teaching at our church weekend back in June and was given four 1 hour slots to focus on the Upper Room chapters in John’s Gospel.  Not sure about the folks there, but I very much enjoyed having quality time to preach in English!  We’ve also presented at a number of other churches in Liverpool, Lincoln, Carlisle and Chippenham, and I’ve been able to preach/teach on 30 occasions, including at the AIM Fellowship Conference in London and a warehouse church in Iceland!

Steve teaching the Word at the AIM Fellowship Conference in September

Delays & Deferrals are plentiful in the Bible!  Think about Jacob waiting to marry Rachel for 14 years!  What about the Israelites who took 40 years to enter the Promised Land when it could have taken them less than 3 weeks; that’s a huge delay!  The Apostle Paul was ‘delayed’ in Caesarea for two years sitting about waiting for his trial to happen.  Elisha was anointed Elijah’s successor but then had to wait 7 years for Elijah’s chariot to appear so that he could become Israel’s main prophet!  Jesus himself chose to delay for a few days on hearing about Lazarus.  And according to Daniel 10 even angels sometimes get delayed in their duties!

One of the passages that I preached on recently involves a delay, albeit a slightly shorter delay than the ones mentioned above!  Mark 6:47 says, “When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on the land.  He saw the disciples straining at the oars because the wind was against them.”  We are told in the next verse that Jesus went out to them, walking on the water, during the 4th watch of the night (3-6am).  The disciples had been on the lake since late the previous afternoon, wrestling with the wind and battling with the waves. They were still in that position 10-12 hours later!  And yet remember, Jesus had seen them straining at the oars the previous evening!  He knew about their situation and the ordeal that they were facing but he chose not to come to their aid immediately.  Jesus chose to delay his rescue operation!  Why did he wait until the 4th watch of the night?  We simply don’t know.  Maybe the disciples asked that same question!

Steve & Ruth with a calm Galilee in the background

There are some delays in our lives that work well for us and, as we look back on them, we can see a clear reason for the delay. We can even thank God for the delay because in His sovereignty He works these things out and knows what’s best for us. There are, however, other delays which are painful to bear and we long for God to remove them – we just can’t see any logic in the delay. In fact it feels as though we’ve been sitting in our storm-tossed boat for too long, crying out for God to intervene, but He seems to delay in coming to our aid.

Be assured, the Almighty God sees you straining at your oars and, at His appointed time, He will come to your aid.  Somehow, in the midst of the delay, He is working His purposes out for your life.  It is during the delays, some of which can be quite stormy, that God teaches us about Himself.  He calls us to trust Him through the delays and through the storms.  Indeed, without the delays, stresses, trials, and even failures, we would never grow to be what we should become as Christians.  They are a vital part in our spiritual growth, even though at the time, we might not like or appreciate them.  Father God, grant us grace and patience to face the various delays that You, in Your sovereignty, have allowed to happen.

Onwards and southwards! Hopefully, if all goes to plan in the nasal department, we’ll be flying back to Tanzania on Sunday 17th Nov to begin our third and final term at Sanga Sanga (2 years).  Ruth will continue to work closely with Pastor Batano in the management of IBM & Sanga (bookings, admin and finance), and I’ll continue in my role as a Bible teacher amongst the pastors and evangelists of the AIC.  I will also continue as AIM unit leader for Tanzania East.  When we get back we’ll be returning to the same house in Morogoro, and hoping that our night guards haven’t moved in during our absence!  One of the first lengthy jobs will be to get the cars started, whilst hoping that the engine compartments haven’t become a nesting place for termites, rats or snakes!  One of the cars also needs some new brake disks, which I’m told can’t be obtained in Tanzania, and so packing that 14kgs of steel into our suitcases is going to be a bit of a challenge!

It will also be quite strange returning to Morogoro without the Swansons or the Dixons being there, but we’re looking forward to working with our new team-mates (Joel & Lauren Wildasin), who arrived back in May and seem to have got their feet firmly under what was the Swansons’ dining table!  So, onwards and southwards we go, back to the mighty continent of Africa, and in His strength we’ll carry on the work that He’s given us to do for this next chapter.  We’re fully aware that “there is nothing in us that allows us to claim that we are capable of doing this work” but we know that “the capacity we have comes from God” (2 Cor 3:4). And so we commit ourselves to Him and ask that He would use us mightily for His purposes, despite our weaknesses and our ‘jars of clay’ fragility!

Praise & Prayer Points: 

  • We’re certainly praising God for a top quality home assignment!  We’ve been able to do everything that we planned – and more!  We’ve also been bowled-over with how generous people have been towards us and our ministry – from a cottage, to a car; from a holiday, to various gifts and meals along the way.  You know who you are!  Many thanks to you, and of course, to the Ultimate Giver for His provision!
  • Please pray for Steve and a number of health issues he’s facing; that the sinus operation would go well on Weds 23rd Oct and that the ongoing stomach issue (functional dyspepsia) would somehow settle down!
  • Please pray for us as we return on Sun 17th Nov; that we would be able to pick up where we left off; for good relationships with our new team mates; for strength and stamina as we get back into the Tanzanian flow; and for safety on the roads and in the home.
  • Please pray for the continued work at Sanga Sanga, and amongst the pastors and evangelists of the AIC church with whom we work.  Pray that I may proclaim God’s Word clearly whenever I have the opportunity.
  • Whilst we think this next chapter is for a two year period, we don’t know what’s in the pipeline after that.  We don’t need to know right now, and we know that God has a plan for the next phase, but we’d value prayer as we keep our spiritual eyes and ears open for what He may be saying to us during this next two years.

Every blessing,

Steve & Ruth

Bird of the month: Short-eared Owl, North Uist
Sunset in the Hebrides

Notices 20th October 2019

Louise,

Priory Street (Corsham)

            9.15am             Alan Christie – Ps. 40

            11.15am             Alan Christie – Ps. 40

            6:00pm           Gathering round the Word (Rob Durant)

Church on the Green (Rudloe)

            10:00am           Rob Durant

Eddie and Kathy

A reminder that our pastor, Eddie, and his wife, Kathy, are on their one month break.  They will be returning at the end of October and Eddie will preach again at Priory Street on 3rd November.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Church Meeting

Tomorrow night at 8pm at Priory Street.  All members encouraged to attend.  Agendas, financial statement and previous minutes on the table at the back.

Women’s Bible Study

Next one takes place on Monday 28th October at 7:30pm.  Study notes are on the table at the back.  Please take one in advance of the meeting.

The Ark

The next Ark is on Saturday 26th October at 10.00am at Priory Street. Come along and enjoy Bible stories, puppets, craft, songs and refreshments if your child/ren are 0-7 years!! We’d love to see you.

Light Party Thursday 31st October 5-7pm

It’s that time of year again!!  Please put it in your diary.  If you are available to help, speak to Rhiannon. There is a sign up sheet at the back of church.  Please cover this event and all the preparations in prayer. 

Advance Date – Family Quiz Night

There will be a family quiz/pizza night for the 9:15 congregation on Saturday 16th November.  Please put the date in your diary.

Baptismal Service

We are looking to have a baptismal service on 8th December. If you feel this is a step God is prompting you to take, please speak to one of your congregational leaders.

Update on Steve and Ruth Lancaster

Steve is due to have a sinus operation on the 23rd October and will then need two weeks to recover.  If Steve makes a full recovery, they can travel back to Tanzania between 8th-18th November.  Please pray for patience, for the surgery and for a full recovery.

Christmas Carol Service

Our Christmas carols by candlelight service this year is being held on Sunday 15th December at 6pm at Priory Street.  If you would like to be involved in this service by way of singing or playing, please contact Nancy Sawyer, whose details can be obtained from the church office.

Meal Train

We are on the look out for more volunteers for the CBC Meal Train which offers meals to church members who are newly out of hospital, have recently had a baby, are struggling with ill-health etc. It is a wonderful service that offers support in a practical sense to our church family and beyond. If you are able to spare a meal on an ad hoc basis and don’t mind being contacted when the rota is put into action time, please email sarahblaikley@gmail.com. Many thanks.

Open Doors’ Event

On Sunday 3rd November, starting at 4pm, there will be an Open Doors’ event at Priory Street.  We will have a speaker from Open Doors and will be serving refreshments.  The normal Gathering to Pray service will follow at 6pm. The International Day for Prayer for the Persecuted Church is being held globally on 17th November but as a church, we are marking this day on the 3rd November.  If anyone can assist Vanessa with teas, she would be most grateful! Please contact either Vanessa or Louise in the office. Many thanks.

Women’s Retreat 2020

There will be a women’s retreat at Lox Lane from 17-19 July 2020.  The cost is £140 per person.  Deposit of £25 is required by 1st December 2019.  Limited numbers.  Leaflets are at the back.  Chat to Anne Holmes.

This week @ CBC

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 9:30am; Church Meeting, 8pm

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am; CMADAC, 7:30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9:30am; Encounter, 3.45pm; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm; youth weekend away

Saturday: The Ark, 10am

Upcoming events:

The Ark – 26th October

Youth Weekend away – 25-27 October

Women’s bible study – 28th October

Light Party – 31st October

Craft Group – 2nd November

Eddie preaching – 3rd November

Infant dedication – 3rd November 11:15am service

Open Doors’ event – 3rd November, 4pm

Remembrance Sunday – 10th November

Gathering to Praise @ Melksham Baptist Church – 17th November, 6pm