Notices for Sunday 25th July

Please see the CBC website for important information about our Church Services as the country moves into Step 4 of the Government Roadmap from Monday 19th July.

If you would like to receive the weekly notices via email and don’t already do so, please contact Cathy S.

Please add info@corshambaptists.org to your address book and check your spam folders if you are expecting to receive them but they did not arrive.

Notices are also published on the Church website weekly

This week

Pre-booking is no longer required in order to attend services in person. Please consider coming if you would like.

Live streaming of the service will continue for those unable to attend. Do check with Rob D for arrangements at CotG

The sanctuary will be divided into two zones to support our fellowship needs:

upstairs for those wearing face coverings- no congregational singing

downstairs for those not wearing face coverings – congregational singing

Please note that:

  • you must not attend if you have any Covid symptoms – a new cough, temperature or loss of taste or smell ;
  • you must inform us if you receive a positive Covid test within 14 days of attending ;
  • you will be asked to sign-in for test and trace purposes

Sunday Services

  • Church on the Screen @10am: If you prefer a more active service rather than simply watching, a warm welcome awaits from Rob and the team.
  • COTG are opening for face-face services. All details at: https://www.churchonthegreen.online/event/10am-sunday-service-online/
  • Priory Street joint service @10am: https://youtu.be/BQpFEMc7itk
  • This week worship is led by Ian H and Intercessory Prayer by Shirley. Eddie is preaching from Mark 6:1-13
  • Midweek Service: The next Midweek Service is this Wednesday, 4th August
  • Junior Church: will continue to meet in the garden during the summer, as we have been over the past weeks,  except we won’t be limited to groups of 30.  Bring a brolly if it’s raining,  equally,  bring a brolly if it’s sunny.  We will have fellowship in the garden, in family groups at 10am and booking via eventbrite is no longer required. The hope is that now the restrictions have eased we will have the option of taking our service inside if the weather is too bad. At the moment I am asking a parent or parents to stay with their child/ren as I haven’t set up a rota for leaders/helpers yet.  If you would like to take up a role within junior church, please let me know.  I will be in touch over the summer with those who have previously served in this area to see if you are willing to come on board again. Once we have a rota and sufficient helpers in place, you will be able to leave your children for junior church (only if you feel child is ready to be left but there is no pressure to leave your child until  they (and you!) are ready for this step). Thank you for your support and prayers.

For Your Prayers

Please pray for junior church over the coming weeks, in particular for:
*sufficient helpers to become available

*wisdom as to what things will look like from September onwards and how we move forward

*safety for families

*children to remember/learn about what it is to be church family

*children to have teachable hearts, to understand the gospel and have an excitement for Jesus 

Transcription of Sermons

The Transcription and delivery of Priory Street sermons, which has run for the duration of lockdown thanks to the dedication of a team of volunteers, will cease from next Sunday (1st August)

Steve and Gill’s training course 26th July to 5th August

Steve and Gill would appreciate your prayers for their training course, which is happening on Zoom again this year. Please contact them if you would like a prayer diary with something to pray for each day.

Psalm on the Farm: Dates for your diary.

Psalm on the Farm is planned for the first Sunday of Aug, Sep, and Oct. Each service will include communion.

Our outdoor services are, of course, subject to change, so do check the notices on the Friday before.

Sunday August 1st

Sunday September 5th

Sunday October 3rd

Leadership Review – How we “do Church”

Since the last review which Tim S. conducted for us several years ago, the Lord has continued to bless us with an increasing membership at CBC and our Leadership Team believe now is a good and appropriate time to conduct a full review of our ministry leadership and “How we do Church”. Ministries have increased in number and size and we want to ensure our ministry leaders are well resourced and supported as well as growing the team and filling some gaps which have become evident over the last few months. As we begin the process of opening up after COVID restrictions are lifted, additional needs are being identified too. As we grow, it becomes ever more important to ensure clarity over who is responsible for what and so Alan C. and Rob P. have been delegated by the Leadership Team to conduct a thorough review of our current arrangements and make recommendations for the future which will be presented initially to the oversight team by early September and to the Church at a Church meeting in mid to late September. In view of that, we have decided to postpone the Church members meeting scheduled for July.

It would be immensely helpful if you feel you have gifts which you could use and are willing to serve the fellowship to make contact with Alan or Rob who would love to meet with you and discuss possible areas where you may be able to use the Gifts God has blessed you with. In particular, the following areas have been highlighted

  • Administration and ability to organise
  • IT with a focus on “front of Church” presentational skills
  • Project Management skills to bring to relatively simple projects
  • Finance at any level
  • Event Management

If you believe you have any of these gifts at any level, do get in touch or if there is something you believe needs doing and you’re passionate about doing it, let us know!

Contact details for Alan C and Rob P are in the Church Directory (Log in to CBC to access the updated 2021 directory 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.”

Other Activities:

  • 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.
  • Youth Groups- Contact Dan for further details

Please send items for next week’s notices to Cathy S by 12 noon on Wednesday

Step 4 arrangements from 19 July 2021

Important Information from our Oversight Team:

“Our STRIPE considered the latest Government announcement on Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown and the impact on our activities at CBC. The following are key points that were foundational in guiding us in coming up with what we believe is a balanced approach to opening up, along of course with much prayer!

  1. To expand the work and impact of the Gospel
  2. To remain at all times within the law
  3. To take note of the Government’s advisory recommendations as well as the legal requirements
  4. To act responsibly in taking care of our brothers and sisters as far as possible, commensurate with 1, 2 and 3 above
  5. To have regard to the conflicting levels of concern and anxiety expressed by different members of the fellowship and to try to steer a course which will allow as many people as possible to re engage with Church in person and to benefit from meeting together and engaging in corporate worship and other group meetings.
  6. To take account of the impact on Worship leaders and other members who facilitate our in person meetings
  7. For these measures to remain in force until the autumn when a full review will take place or of course in the event of a change in Government legislation

For the main worship services, the following will take effect from Sunday 25th July

  1. No more requirement to book places via Eventbrite
  2. A request that all attendees are either double vaccinated or have taken a lateral flow test within 24 hours of attending and are negative for COVID 19. This allows for a more “normal” worship service including the removal of masks and allowing singing with greater confidence by minimising the risk of infections being passed on or causing mass isolations!
  3. We will take a register of attendees who will sign themselves in for track and trace in the short term ( until 16th August) and to enable us to advise people of any positive cases in the period until the next review
  4. Two zones in Church – Step 3 Zone in the balcony will require the wearing of face masks and there will be no singing – much like the current worship service, Step 4 zone – the ground floor – no masks required and singing encouraged. Slightly greater spacing between rows of chairs
  5. The option to wear a colour coded badge to indicate your attitude to close contact with others. This is to provide clarity and avoid embarrassment.
  6. Live music, prayers etc
  7. Junior Church will be provided at one service only over the summer due to holidays etc but will take place as now in the garden – parents drop off at the beginning of the service
  8. There will be no 9.15 service until September when 9.15 congregational leaders will review the logistics and a further decision will be made about resumption of that service
  9. These measures apply specifically to Priory Street and a further notice will be sent to Church on the Green members detailing the arrangements for Rudloe. However, similar principles will apply

For other meetings – Life and small Groups, men’s and women’s ministries, etc

  1. These can proceed in person once again without formal restrictions such as the rule of six but should follow the general guidance above on mitigation actions.
  2. The use of Eventbrite will be left to the discretion of the ministry leader. It can be a useful tool to promote the event or track attendees but compulsory use will no longer apply
  3. We would advise liaising with your group on how they feel about resuming in person meetings and aiming to include as many as possible by taking appropriate measures to mitigate risk. This may include lateral flow testing where not all members of the group are fully vaccinated, meeting outdoors if weather permits, using well ventilated spaces and avoiding over crowded rooms.
  4. For outreach events, please seek further specific guidance from the STRIPE team. Because these events will include people from our wider community, we want to take particular care and proposals with planned mitigation measures should be submitted to STRIPE for approval until further notice please.

What CBC will do for you:

  1. Offer live worship, prayers and sermon which will also be live streamed for those who are still uncomfortable with in person meetings. The aim is not to have pre-recorded aspects of the service.

2. Tell you if someone at an event tests positive.

3. For in person events, we will have 2 zones; one for those wishing to adhere to Step 3 restrictions (before 19 July) and another for those wishing to adhere to Step 4 restrictions (after 19 July).

4. Offer hand washing or sanitisation facilities to use on entering the building

5. Have disposable masks available in case the building becomes crowded

6. Keep meeting spaces well ventilated where reasonable to do so

7. Offer red/yellow/green stickers to help you bear with those who have a different view of risk to you.

8. Refreshments will not be provided until the Autumn at the earliest.

9. Hold junior church outside for the whole duration of the service, at Stage 4 restrictions only. We will keep a register of attendance.

10. Space the rows downstairs in the sanctuary to allow 1m spacing

What you must do because the law requires it:

  1. Continue to act carefully and remain cautious.

2. Self-isolate if you develop Covid-19 symptoms, test positive for Covid-19 or NHS Track and trace contact you.

What we ask you to do because the Government recommend it:

  1. Limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with

2. Meet outdoors where possible and maintain good ventilation in meeting rooms (responsibility of ministry leader)

3. Government expects and recommends that you wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport, or if the meeting room is at capacity, ie. more than 1 person per seat.

4. Where possible, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

5. Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand. Dispose of tissues into a rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands.

6. Tell the Church office if you test positive for Covid-19 within 10 days of attending a CBC event – office@corshambaptists.org

7. We invite and encourage adults attending church to register on arrival and indicate that they are either double vaccinated or have had a negative Lateral Flow Test within the past 24 hours.

Please pray

  • For everyone to show kindness and grace towards each other as we navigate these difficult times, understanding that everyone has different levels of concern about their health and the wellbeing of their families
  • For everyone to support and positively engage with the carefully considered measures we are putting in place for the time being to care for our Church family
  • For continued patience as we gradually return to more “normal” Church life but recognising there is still further to go!
  • Pray for us as leaders as we feel the responsibility of fulfilling our Lord’s commission to us to care in the way that he does for his precious family “Be shepherds of the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.”
  • To be encouraged that  “The LORD himself goes before us and will be with us; he will never leave us nor forsake us. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Discernment: Interruptions on the road to Troas

This post by Trevor Hutton was originally published at Seventy Two

One of my favourite stories in the development of the embryonic missional church planting movement recorded in the New Testament is Paul’s trip to Troas with a few of his companions. Paul, a seasoned campaigner of previous pioneering missional excursions, heads out again, probably to Ephesus, with his tried and tested strategy.

First, get a small team, second, head to the urban population centres, third pack enough chocolate for the journey (ok, thats me!), and pray, travel, rest, discern and prepare. These methods (minus the Dairy Milk) have worked well to date (see previous chapters in Acts) with the gospel shared, converts won, and churches formed. However, in Acts 16 v 6-10 we have a rather strange and unsettling story that has made it into the Luke-Acts narrative and therefore into Bibles and churches across the globe for many centuries. I wonder if Paul tried to edit it, or offer a different cover story for this tabloid headliner? But Luke uses it as one of his key stories to show that the mission of God is rooted in the work of the missionary Spirit and that God Himself is the innovator and architect of all missionary enterprise. The story itself has much to teach us about discernment in mission, which as Cornelius J. P. Niemandt rightly says, “is the very first act of mission.” (Trends in Missional Ecclesiology, 6.) Similarly, Van Gelder writes, “The church is a creation of the Spirit that participates in God’s mission. It can only do so if the church is led by the Spirit − therefore the first act in mission is to discern the Spirit so as to understand how God is at work in the church and how God is leading the church in mission and ministry towards his preferred future.” (Ministry of the Missional Church, 107). Kim and Anderson are surely right to note that, “Discerning foundations for mission requires listening to the voice of God amidst the clamour for life and justice.”(Edinburgh 2010, 126). This crazy pioneering church planting story is short but offers helpful principles for discerning the mission of God both then and now.

Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia (Acts 16 v 6-10)

6 Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

I would love to have been on that journey eavesdropping on the conversation between Paul and his companions as they travelled together. As they head to Ephesus along the trade route near the region of Phrygia and Galatia, at some point they get an unexpected blockage on the way that prevents them from preaching the gospel in the province of Asia. This is made all the more surprising by Luke’s insertion that the “No” to preaching the gospel in one of the most populous cities in the Roman world came through the voice of the Spirit! I mean, since when did the Holy Spirit prevent the preaching of the gospel? Isn’t it the role of the Spirit to prepare the way for the coming of the gospel? I wonder if Paul and the others held all night prayer meetings rebuking the evil one for putting a stumbling block in the way, or praying against the powers and principalities that were opposing the gospel? At what point, and how did they come to realise this was in fact the voice of the Spirit? It is embarrassing isn’t it when we pray against the evil one for blocking the way only to find it it was the Holy One!

Undaunted, with Christine Caine’s great book in their backpack, they dust themselves down and decide to continue along the trade route to the next region having been surprised by this first interruption to their plans and tested strategy. They come to the border of Mysia, and try to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. This second interruption is similar to the first and raises similar questions and issues. What must they have been thinking? What must they have said to one another? As the seasoned campaigner and pioneer team leader, Paul must have surely been scratching his head from time to time wondering what on earth, or in heaven, is going on! They have travelled many miles, perhaps for months, and there is only one more place to head to, a place many of us like to head to after a long and weary season of life…the seaside. Licking their wounds, they decide to cash in their time share, head to Troas (the Bondai Beach of the Near East) and arrive to play frisbee, build sandcastles, buy candyfloss and take a well earned rest. Ok, I confess I have embellished Luke’s narrative with a little Irish stroy telling license, but they have literally reached the end of the road. There is no real way back and really no way forward, for the Aegean Sea lies before them. They seem stuck!

However, during that very night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” I don’t know about you but Paul seemed to be fairly clear on two previous attempts where they should be headed, and if it was me as one of his companions I think I would need a fair bit of convincing that we weren’t headed for another misadventure! But Luke records, “after the vision we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” I wonder how they discerned the ‘Yes’ this time but off they head across the Aegean on another lengthy journey. And because they went the Christian Gospel arrived on the shores of Europe for the first time and mission heads westwards to Rome, and the rest as they say is history! I have pondered on this story many times as a pioneer and planter, and often feel I’ve travelled seemingly down the missional cul de sac, confused, weary and dispirited more times than I care to recount. But thankfully this tale has taught me some helpful principles about discernment that have helped me along the way.

First, discernment is more of an art than a science.

Second, having and using a tried and tested strategy is not unspiritual, and better than having none!

Third, there is no guarantee that copying or following a previously successful strategy will work as well in a new or different context or situation.

Fourth, we don’t always know the route to take at the beginning of a journey, but discernment often comes as we set out on the way.

Fifth, the missionary Spirit often interrupts our plans and takes us on crazy journeys to bring us to the place He wants us to be and at the right time.

Sixth, God opens and closes doors. His “no” and “yes” are often discerned by reflecting upon circumstances facing us on the ground.

Seventh, discernment is resourced and supported by the gifts of the Spirit, particularly the prophetic.

Eighth, discernment works best when it is undertaken by a group and especially among travelling companions.

Ninth, discernment is often worked out in community through a process of listening, reasoning, discussing and experimenting.

Tenth, discernment must be accompanied by obedience and faith in moving ahead despite setbacks and disappointments. Be encouraged, Land Ahoy is always across the horizon of the sea.

Anyone for frisbee?

 
This blog and image were first published at Musings Over A Mug and are reproduced here with permission from Trevor Hutton. To subscribe and receive Trevor’s blogs automatically, head over to https://www.musingsoveramug.org/

The post Discernment: Interruptions on the road to Troas appeared first on Seventy Two.

Leadership in the Wilderness: Are you now ready to stand up and be counted?

This post by Nigel Coles was originally published at Seventy Two

There has not been a moment in history, when the mission of God has not been at the centre of God’s purposes. Yinka Oyekan shared something along these lines with me recently and it’s stuck with me. It’s something I already wholeheartedly agreed with, as I imagine practically everyone reading this will also. For me however, the challenge of these words is not to my belief system or my convictions, but their outworking in practice, in real life.

The pandemic has done us (the church, across the UK) a favour in one sense, which is that we can no longer avoid facing the reality: the main thing is no longer the main thing. The main thing, whilst expressed variously, has ‘making disciples’ as the core activity of the church. I acknowledge there are many faithful individual followers of Jesus, there are faithful and authentic churches to be found in every context imaginable, but overall, in general, we are in desperate need. When either I or a local leadership team themselves, evaluate the extent to which everything they practice and do together or for others, results in people growing deeper in discipleship, there are always some surprises which shatter their assumptions. Just because we call something ‘worship’ …

Individually, do you feel you’re simply a national health number waiting for your vaccine to become available, a national insurance number waiting to discover whether you’ll be a net giver or net receiver to the economic system, or a very small chip in a very big system, who has no bearing on the outcome?

OR:

Do you believe ‘God has a name’? As God said to Moses: ‘I Am Who I Am’. (Exodus 3:14).

As a part of a church community, are you collectively more than the sum of your parts? Are you making an impact for the kingdom of God? Are more people discovering more of the life of Jesus because of, or in spite of, you being God’s people together?

Seventy-two has never set out to be an organisation and I still resist that. I believe we have more than enough para-church organisations and the means too easily become the ends with the need to fund, govern, keep the wheels of the organisation moving, but primarily, I believe Jesus when he says the kingdom of God is like a man who sowed good seed in his field (Mt 13:24), like a mustard seed (Mt 13:31 & Mark 4), like yeast (Mt 13:33), like treasure hidden in a field (Mt 13:44), like a merchant looking for fine pearls (Mt 13:45), like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish (Mt 13:47), like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants (Mt 18:23).

I also believe it’s people like you, who Jesus calls. It’s people who lead organisations for better or for worse. It’s us who grow, dismantle, plant and uproot, organisations, and whatever else the church is an organisation. I’m sure like so many, I’ve been tempted at various times to walk away every time I begin to nurture such thoughts, the Lord reminds me he will take care of his responsibilities, but I am called to attend to those he has given me.

Back to Yinka Oyekan’s word. In my case I have some degree of responsibility to do whatever I can to ensure the organisations I lead do more than craft a nicely worded, doctrinally-sound purpose statement. We need to look like what we say. A church, a network of churches, a denomination. Whichever it is, the challenge to follow Jesus remains.

What I observe is a church where the main thing is no longer the main thing. The time for passing the blame, although culturally on message, has passed. Now is the time to take responsibility.

Do our stated beliefs and purposes align with our budget spending and actual outcomes? Over the last twenty years I’ve been attempting to transition an organisation through what feels like 180 degrees: from a place of being purely administrative to a missional network.

I don’t think we’re there yet, although we’ve come a fair way round. I operate within Baptist systems who frequently appear to believe ‘wherever you have two, or three Baptists, you have five or six opinions and every one of them is equally valid’, this has not been an easy landscape in which to operate. It’s taken me a long time to recognise our real culture is very different to our assumed culture.

The recent announcement by The Methodist Church to approve same-sex marriage, as well as affirming cohabitation, should be proof enough we can no longer assume anything, simply because we use Christian language. The question arises: how much of the Bible can we not believe in before we cross the line into simply fooling ourselves? 1 John 1, for example, offers a critique and highlights the fallacy of pursuing the direction of popular, post-modern culture, which to coin a popular phrase, ‘doesn’t do God’.

“One generation believes something, the next assumes it, the third will forget and deny it” (D.A. Carson). We’ve had to revisit our core convictions. No longer can we assume conviction about the authority of scripture, about the need for personal repentance, or conversion. As a Baptist Regional Minister, no longer can I assume everyone who wants to be a pioneer has a deep concern to see people come to faith in Jesus Christ and follow him.

Sadly, the reality is that whilst these things are now my reality, they are also the reality for every local church. We’ve always said we believe the church is one generation away from extinction, but our practices and our budgets suggest otherwise. Having a ‘Baptist Minister’ may or may not provide a ‘missional leader’ (my observation is if they want to debate with you either/or the word ‘leader’, or ‘missional’ they’re probably neither). Calling yourselves a ‘church’ may or may not reveal a community of God’s people whose culture grows faith in Jesus.

If you’ve gone when Jesus says ‘go’ (Luke 10:1) you’ve become a leader by influence. Whether you have any formal leadership role or not, if you see yourself appointed by Jesus, as the seventy-two in Luke 10, you have accepted responsibility. The pandemic has revealed our reality. Now I believe, the Lord is looking for those ready and willing to stand up and be counted.

This is part 7 in the 7 part series Leadership in the Wilderness. You can find the first 6 blogs here.

The post Leadership in the Wilderness: Are you now ready to stand up and be counted? appeared first on Seventy Two.

The Fuelcast: Go!

This post by Alex Drew was originally published at Seventy Two

God asks us to ‘go’, but how do you set about sharing your faith? Seventy-two’s Alex Drew and The Fuelcast have made this video in which she shares some of her experiences:

 

The post The Fuelcast: Go! appeared first on Seventy Two.

Equipping Missional Disciples at Bristol Baptist College

This post by Lindsay Caplen was originally published at Seventy Two

Calling all lay leaders, preachers or indeed anyone wanting to be a more fruitful disciple of Christ in today’s rapidly changing world.

Leadership, especially church leadership, can sometimes feel like a ministry of ‘spinning plates.’ We dare not stop to reflect on what we are doing because we can’t afford for any plates to smash. This course offers the opportunity to breathe, to think about what we are doing, why we are doing it and whether there might be a better way.

It also gives the opportunity to gain Biblical, theological and practical knowledge, to grow in our fruitfulness as disciples of Christ and to be part of a supportive learning community.

Over the three years, you will gain a solid grasp of the Old and New Testaments, whilst learning more about faithfully and effectively communicating their meaning in ways that help those you serve grow as every-day disciples. You will learn about God at work both outside and inside the church and reflect on how that might shape how God’s people live.  Together, we will think about why it’s important to exegete both culture and Scripture and we’ll find out what on earth that means! We will explore why leadership character and spirituality are at least as important as leadership skills and we will consider how God’s people can effectively pastorally support, care, equip and disciple one another (and those in their communities) in sickness and in health.

Having completed the course, we anticipate that you will have grown in your discipleship, developed a deeper knowledge of God and the Scriptures and learned a range of skills affording you the ability to serve more effectively and with greater confidence as you step out and serve God in your church, community and your everyday life.

How does the course work?

The course is held in Bristol Baptist College on eight Saturdays a year over 3 years. It’s a rolling programme so you are able to join at any point and to do as few or as many modules as you like. We’d love you to be with us for all of them!

The course is taught at ‘Access’ level, so please don’t worry if you don’t have previous qualifications. Short, manageable assignments are set to help you think through and ‘ground’ what you are learning, though, should you prefer, you will be welcome to attend without doing any assignments. Successful completion of all 12 modules including assignments will result in a Bristol Baptist College Certificate being awarded along with the opportunity to receive it at our annual Valedictory service.

We have sought to keep costs as low as we can and believe that £60/module represents excellent value.  We suggest that prospective students approach their church for support with funding and regular encouragement wherever possible.

To find out more, why not click here https://www.bristol-baptist.ac.uk/community-learning/emd/

And/or contact our EMD administrator at community.learning@bristol-baptist.ac.uk

 

 

The post Equipping Missional Disciples at Bristol Baptist College appeared first on Seventy Two.

Notices for Sunday 18th July

Please note this notice sheet includes important information about our Church Services as the country moves into Tier 4 from Monday 19th July.

If you would like to receive the weekly notices via email and don’t already do so, please contact Cathy S.

Notices are also published on the Church Website weekly

This week

Pre-booking is still required to attend services in person. Please consider coming if you would like. You can book your family ticket (one per household please) here for the Priory Street service, or here  for Church on the Green  – contact Cathy S. if for any reason you are unable to book. .

Please note that:

  • you must not attend if you have any Covid symptoms – a new cough, temperature or loss of taste or smell ;
  • you must inform us if you receive a positive Covid test within 14 days of attending ;
  • distancing rules of 1m plus mask apply.

Sunday Services

  • Church on the Screen @10am: If you prefer a more active service rather than simply watching, a warm welcome awaits from Rob and the team.
  • COTG are opening for face-face services. All details at: https://www.churchonthegreen.online/event/10am-sunday-service-online/
  • Priory Street joint service @10am https://youtu.be/BQpFEMc7itk
  • This week worship is led by Matt E and Intercessory Prayer by Rob P. Matt L is preaching from Mark 5:21-42
  • Midweek Service: The next Midweek Service is this Wednesday, 21st July @2pm
  • Junior Church continues as a family event. Book your ticket here.

For Your Prayers

Pray for our church family and leadership as we move out of lockdown restrictions, that we might demonstrate

Please continue to pray for our SPOT team as they faithfully search for a senior pastor.

Also pray for Alan C and Rob P as they conduct the CBC Leadership Review (see below)

Important Information from our Oversight Team:

“Our STRIPE team met this week to consider the latest Government announcement on Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown and the impact on our activities at CBC. The following are key points that were foundational in guiding us in coming up with what we believe is a balanced approach to opening up, along of course with much prayer!

  1. To expand the work and impact of the Gospel
  2. To remain at all times within the law
  3. To take note of the Government’s advisory recommendations as well as the legal requirements
  4. To act responsibly in taking care of our brothers and sisters as far as possible, commensurate with 1, 2 and 3 above
  5. To have regard to the conflicting levels of concern and anxiety expressed by different members of the fellowship and to try to steer a course which will allow as many people as possible to re engage with Church in person and to benefit from meeting together and engaging in corporate worship and other group meetings.
  6. To take account of the impact on Worship leaders and other members who facilitate our in person meetings
  7. For these measures to remain in force until the autumn when a full review will take place or of course in the event of a change in Government legislation

For the main worship services, the following will take effect from Sunday 25th July

  1. No more requirement to book places via Eventbrite
  2. A request that all attendees are either double vaccinated or have taken a lateral flow test within 24 hours of attending and are negative for COVID 19. This allows for a more “normal” worship service including the removal of masks and allowing singing with greater confidence by minimising the risk of infections being passed on or causing mass isolations!
  3. We will take a register of attendees who will sign themselves in for track and trace in the short term ( until 16th August) and to enable us to advise people of any positive cases in the period until the next review
  4. Two zones in Church – Step 3 Zone in the balcony will require the wearing of face masks and there will be no singing – much like the current worship service, Step 4 zone – the ground floor – no masks required and singing encouraged. Slightly greater spacing between rows of chairs
  5. The option to wear a colour coded badge to indicate your attitude to close contact with others. This is to provide clarity and avoid embarrassment.
  6. Live music, prayers etc
  7. Junior Church will be provided at one service only over the summer due to holidays etc but will take place as now in the garden – parents drop off at the beginning of the service
  8. There will be no 9.15 service until September when 9.15 congregational leaders will review the logistics and a further decision will be made about resumption of that service
  9. These measures apply specifically to Priory Street and a further notice will be sent to Church on the Green members detailing the arrangements for Rudloe. However, similar principles will apply

For other meetings – Life and small Groups, men’s and women’s ministries, etc

  1. These can proceed in person once again without formal restrictions such as the rule of six but should follow the general guidance above on mitigation actions.
  2. The use of Eventbrite will be left to the discretion of the ministry leader. It can be a useful tool to promote the event or track attendees but compulsory use will no longer apply
  3. We would advise liaising with your group on how they feel about resuming in person meetings and aiming to include as many as possible by taking appropriate measures to mitigate risk. This may include lateral flow testing where not all members of the group are fully vaccinated, meeting outdoors if weather permits, using well ventilated spaces and avoiding over crowded rooms.
  4. For outreach events, please seek further specific guidance from the STRIPE team. Because these events will include people from our wider community, we want to take particular care and proposals with planned mitigation measures should be submitted to STRIPE for approval until further notice please.

What CBC will do for you:

  1. Offer live worship, prayers and sermon which will also be live streamed for those who are still uncomfortable with in person meetings. The aim is not to have pre-recorded aspects of the service.

2. Tell you if someone at an event tests positive.

3. For in person events, we will have 2 zones; one for those wishing to adhere to Step 3 restrictions (before 19 July) and another for those wishing to adhere to Step 4 restrictions (after 19 July).

4. Offer hand washing or sanitisation facilities to use on entering the building

5. Have disposable masks available in case the building becomes crowded

6. Keep meeting spaces well ventilated where reasonable to do so

7. Offer red/yellow/green stickers to help you bear with those who have a different view of risk to you.

8. Refreshments will not be provided until the Autumn at the earliest.

9. Hold junior church outside for the whole duration of the service, at Stage 4 restrictions only. We will keep a register of attendance.

10. Space the rows downstairs in the sanctuary to allow 1m spacing

What you must do because the law requires it:

  1. Continue to act carefully and remain cautious.

2. Self-isolate if you develop Covid-19 symptoms, test positive for Covid-19 or NHS Track and trace contact you.

What we ask you to do because the Government recommend it:

  1. Limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with

2. Meet outdoors where possible and maintain good ventilation in meeting rooms (responsibility of ministry leader)

3. Government expects and recommends that you wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport, or if the meeting room is at capacity, ie. more than 1 person per seat.

4. Where possible, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

5. Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand. Dispose of tissues into a rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands.

6. Tell the Church office if you test positive for Covid-19 within 10 days of attending a CBC event – office@corshambaptists.org

7. We invite and encourage adults attending church to register on arrival and indicate that they are either double vaccinated or have had a negative Lateral Flow Test within the past 24 hours.

Please pray

  • For everyone to show kindness and grace towards each other as we navigate these difficult times, understanding that everyone has different levels of concern about their health and the wellbeing of their families
  • For everyone to support and positively engage with the carefully considered measures we are putting in place for the time being to care for our Church family
  • For continued patience as we gradually return to more “normal” Church life but recognising there is still further to go!
  • Pray for us as leaders as we feel the responsibility of fulfilling our Lord’s commission to us to care in the way that he does for his precious family “Be shepherds of the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.”
  • To be encouraged that  “The LORD himself goes before us and will be with us; he will never leave us nor forsake us. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Leadership Review – How we “do Church”

Since the last review which Tim S. conducted for us several years ago, the Lord has continued to bless us with an increasing membership at CBC and our Leadership Team believe now is a good and appropriate time to conduct a full review of our ministry leadership and “How we do Church”. Ministries have increased in number and size and we want to ensure our ministry leaders are well resourced and supported as well as growing the team and filling some gaps which have become evident over the last few months. As we begin the process of opening up after COVID restrictions are lifted, additional needs are being identified too. As we grow, it becomes ever more important to ensure clarity over who is responsible for what and so Alan C. and Rob P. have been delegated by the Leadership Team to conduct a thorough review of our current arrangements and make recommendations for the future which will be presented initially to the oversight team by early September and to the Church at a Church meeting in mid to late September. In view of that, we have decided to postpone the Church members meeting scheduled for July.

It would be immensely helpful if you feel you have gifts which you could use and are willing to serve the fellowship to make contact with Alan or Rob who would love to meet with you and discuss possible areas where you may be able to use the Gifts God has blessed you with. In particular, the following areas have been highlighted

  • Administration and ability to organise
  • IT with a focus on “front of Church” presentational skills
  • Project Management skills to bring to relatively simple projects
  • Finance at any level
  • Event Management

If you believe you have any of these gifts at any level, do get in touch or if there is something you believe needs doing and you’re passionate about doing it, let us know!

Contact details for Alan C and Rob P are in the Church Directory (Log in to CBC to access the updated 2021 directory here)

For the attention of Ministry Leaders

From next week we will be operating a centralised Eventbrite booking system for all future bookable church events.

Ministry leaders now have access to the central CBC Eventbrite account in order to create events under the guidance and oversight of their accountable Elder. If you have not received an email detailing these arrangements , or you have any queries then do contact Rob P or Cathy S.

Room bookings can be booked via Cathy S

Men’s Ministry

The Men’s Ministry Team are hosting a BBQ on Thursday 22nd July at CBC Priory Street in the ‘Hut Garden’, starting at 7:30pm. Do come along and join us for food and fellowship. The team will also be sharing their vision for Men’s Ministry and launching the Autumn Bible Study Series. If you have any questions, please contact either Tom B. or Ian H.. Please click here to book your place. We look forward to seeing you there. 

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.”

Other Activities:

  • 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.
  • Youth Groups- Contact Dan for further details

Please send items for next week’s notices to Cathy S by 12 noon on Wednesday

Notices for Sunday 11th July

This week

In-person services continue with increased capacity. Pre-booking is still required but please consider coming if you would like. You can book your family ticket (one per household) here – contact Cathy S. if for any reason you are unable to book.

Please note that:

  • you must not attend if you have any Covid symptoms – a new cough, temperature or loss of taste or smell ;
  • you must inform us if you receive a positive Covid test within 14 days of attending ;
  • distancing rules of 1m plus mask apply.

Sunday Services

  • Church on the Screen @10am: If you prefer a more active service rather than simply watching, a warm welcome awaits from Rob and the team.
  • COTG are opening for face-face services. All details at: https://www.churchonthegreen.online/event/10am-sunday-service-online/
  • Priory Street joint service @10am https://youtu.be/BQpFEMc7itk
  • This week worship is led by Joey and Intercessory Prayer by Matt & Kirstyn. Eddie is preaching from Mark 5:1-20
  • Midweek Service: The next Midweek Service is this Wednesday, 21st July @2pm
  • Junior Church Junior Church continues as a family event. Booking is via Eventbrite and includes all under 5s. The link for this week can be found here

Steve & Gill’s Prayer Letter

Please follow the link here to access a copy of the prayer letter.

For Your Prayers

Our Operations Manager, Tim S., has indicated that he would like to stand down from his current position by the end of the year at the latest. We are very grateful to God for Tim’s service, past and present. Please pray for Tim as he prepares for a new chapter, and for God to guide our church as we review our operational needs going forward.

Leadership Review – How we “do Church”

Since the last review which Tim S. conducted for us several years ago, the Lord has continued to bless us with an increasing membership at CBC and our Leadership Team believe now is a good and appropriate time to conduct a full review of our ministry leadership and “How we do Church”. Ministries have increased in number and size and we want to ensure our ministry leaders are well resourced and supported as well as growing the team and filling some gaps which have become evident over the last few months. As we begin the process of opening up after COVID restrictions are lifted, additional needs are being identified too. As we grow, it becomes ever more important to ensure clarity over who is responsible for what and so Alan C. and Rob P. have been delegated by the Leadership Team to conduct a thorough review of our current arrangements and make recommendations for the future which will be presented initially to the oversight team by early September and to the Church at a Church meeting in mid to late September. In view of that, we have decided to postpone the Church members meeting scheduled for July.

It would be immensely helpful if you feel you have gifts which you could use and are willing to serve the fellowship to make contact with Alan or Rob who would love to meet with you and discuss possible areas where you may be able to use the Gifts God has blessed you with. In particular, the following areas have been highlighted

  • Administration and ability to organise
  • IT with a focus on “front of Church” presentational skills
  • Project Management skills to bring to relatively simple projects
  • Finance at any level
  • Event Management

If you believe you have any of these gifts at any level, do get in touch or if there is something you believe needs doing and you’re passionate about doing it, let us know!

Contact details for Alan C and Rob P are in the Church Directory (Log in to CBC to access the updated 2021 directory here)

Men’s Ministry

The Men’s Ministry Team are hosting a BBQ on Thursday 22nd July at CBC Priory Street in the ‘Hut Garden’, starting at 7:30pm. Do come along and join us for food and fellowship. The team will also be sharing their vision for Men’s Ministry and launching the Autumn Bible Study Series. If you have any questions, please contact either Tom B. or Ian H.. Please click here to book your place. We look forward to seeing you there. 

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.
  • Youth Groups- Contact Dan for further details

Please send items for next week’s notices to Cathy S by 12 noon on Wednesday

Steve and Gill Bryant’s Prayer News June 2021

This post by Reaching the 42% was originally published at Reaching the 42%

Dear friends

Warm greetings on a fine summer’s day. Our prayer letter is coming to you a little sooner than normal, as we need to share some important news.

Changes coming at BCS

Last time we wrote, we told you about the many effects of COVID 19 on the world of missions. The virus has had a big effect in a fairly short time period, but there are other, longer-term trends which are also bringing about change. Some of these developments are very positive, but others present more of a challenge. For some time now, recruitment for long-term missions has been declining in traditional Western sending countries. In some parts of the world, the Church is much more vibrant than in the UK, and this means that missionaries are being sent from former mission fields such as parts of Africa and India. This is a very encouraging development, but it does not mean that the job is done…..we still need missionaries from the West. So many of our missionary teams are still short of workers, and there remain many peoples who do not yet have access to the Gospel in their own language.

Our main piece of news this time concerns BCS, the school where we served in Senegal from 1990 to 2001. Last time we asked for prayer that new long-term directors would be called to the school. Sadly, this has not happened, and other key long-term staff are not in place either. Alongside this situation, the profile of WEC Senegal has changed in recent years. There are now far less WEC families using the school, although for some time now it has also provided low-cost education for children from other mission agencies.

After a long process of prayer, discussion and consultation with others, the decision has been reached to merge with Dakar Academy, an American Christian school based in Dakar. They are looking to open a primary school in the area where BCS is situated, and a partnership agreement is being worked out. There will be a transition period during which students who are currently in Year 8 and Year 9 will be able to complete their IGCSEs, but after that the school will only offer an American curriculum. The next academic year, 2021 to 2022, will be the final year of BCS, a school which has been serving the needs of MKs for over 40 years.

This decision has implications for many families, and also for the long-term school staff. It will affect other mission agencies, particularly from newer sending countries. For many of them, funding their children’s education is a big challenge.

For ourselves, the changes represent the end of an era – we began to think about serving at BCS shortly after David, our middle son, was born in 1987. We went to Bible College for a year in 1988, joined the WEC Candidates’ course (4 months in residence at the HQ) in 1989, and spent several months in France to improve our language skills, before heading out to Senegal in November 1990 with three children aged 5, 3 and 14 weeks. The childhood years spent at BCS had a profound impact on our sons and to a large extent formed who they are today.

After our return to the UK in 2001, we continued the connection with BCS, due to our new role as International Education Consultants. As part of this role, we have run the MK Staff Training course (formerly MK Pre-field Orientation, or MKPFO), since 2002, and this year’s will be our 20th course.

MK Staff Training 2021

Despite the pandemic, WEC is still recruiting for MK ministry. So far we have 13 participants
signed up for this year, including three home-end MK support workers, one family tutor going to Cambodia, and nine new workers committing to a year at BCS. As with last year, the course will be delivered online via Zoom.

Prayer requests

  • Pray for the staff, students and parents at BCS, as they adjust to all of the implications of the changes that will be taking place.
  • Pray for the transition period, and for the teachers and students who will be affected by that.
  • Pray for the provision of affordable education for all missionary families. Possibly new, creative solutions will be needed.
  • Pray for us as we prepare for the MK Staff Training course. This year it takes place from Monday 26th July to Thursday 5th August, (some participants only do the first week.)

Many blessings
Steve and Gill

Download letter as a PDF to print.

Moving Beyond Tribal Boundaries: Part 2

This post by Ross Maynard was originally published at Seventy Two

I start this blog at the place I finished part one, ‘The Failings of Tribes’:

Here’s where I’m at…

I am done with tribal boundaries and the exclusion they foster.

I am done with tribal boundaries and the small god they defend.

I worship an immeasurable, untethered, wild God. A God of love, inclusion and God who blows our tribal boundaries to smithereens.

In this blog I hope to build on this conclusion. I hope to offer a practical way forward based on my own reflection and experience. This practical way forward is not new and many of you may already be doing it without even realising it. I am simply trying to articulate where my theological meandering has led me.


What I’ve been calling tribal boundaries, Paul Hiebert, a Missiologist and Anthropologist, would call a ‘bounded-set’. In his article ‘Conversion, Culture and Cognitive Categories,’ he speaks particularly about what makes a Christian, a Christian and argues that for many this category is defined by a boundary in which you’re in or out. Hiebert says:

‘For example, some define a Christian as a person who believes (gives verbal acknowledgement to) a specific set of doctrines such as the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, and so on. Some make such lists quite long and add on specific doctrines of eschatology or soteriology. Others, convinced that true “belief” is more than a mental argument with a set of statements, look for the evidence of belief in changed lives and behaviour. A Christian, then, is one who does not smoke or drink alcohol, and so on. We would make a clear distinction between a “Christian” and a “non-Christian.” There is no place in between. Moreover, maintaining this boundary is critical to the maintenance of the category.’[1]

I find Hiebert’s description of a ‘bounded-set’ helpful in explaining how we traditionally categorise who is a Christian and who isn’t. His categorisation is painting with broad brush strokes and was written long enough ago that many may take a more nuanced approach today. However, I still think there is a lot of truth in what he says.

For those, like myself who are more visual learners, this image may help. The ‘bounded-set’ says that a Christian is one who fits within the circle. You are a Christian if you believe the right things and behave in the right way.

 

Hiebert’s refection is borne out of his mission work in India and his encountering of a worldview that is completely different to his own as a white, American man. His exploration leads him to be very critical of the ‘bounded-set’ type of categorising. Namely, because his Indian friend’s worldview is so different, they would never fit within these neat demarcations

Hiebert would argue that we need to look beyond the ‘bounded – set’ and move towards a ‘centred–set’, in which the focus is not being ‘in or out’, but on the direction of travel. A ‘centred set’ is dynamic and diverse. There is no uniform way to think or behave. The focus is upon whether you’re heading to the centre or not. We are drawn together in purpose and focus. For example, we are all heading towards Jesus. He is our centre. He is the purpose we journey towards, despite theological differences and differences in the way we behave.

Let me earth what I’m saying with a practical example. My friend, Steve Jones and I, started a community called OPEN last year during the pandemic. I only realised recently that we are organised in a way that would be similar to the language of a ‘Centred Set’, something to which I am very grateful to Steve for pointing out. We are travelling together in the same direction. We have the same purpose and focus.

Our direction of travel is defined by our values. Those values are:

  • Open minds – We wish to create a space where people can think and ask questions of all things pertaining to faith in God, without being given prescribed answers.
  • Open hearts – We wish to create a space where people can experience the indescribable love of Jesus.
  • Open to all – We wish to create a space that is truly inclusive and open to all. We have a particular heart for those from the LGBT community who have often not found many places in which this is the case.
  • Open to change – We wish to create a space that is dynamic and one we can explore together whether online or with one another in the flesh. It’s also important that OPEN can end if the time comes. We may just be gathering for a season and that’s OK.

What I have discovered as we’ve journeyed together is that we are not only held together by our direction of travel, our willingness to hold to the four values, but by our relationships also. We trust one another and put these relationships first. Too often have I seen ‘doctrine’ and a desire for some false integrity held over and above genuine relationships.

There are two very clear advantages to this way of gathering and being. 1) Firstly, difference of opinion isn’t feared and discouraged but welcomed and encouraged. We love questions and believe God is made bigger as we learn from one another, being challenged to think beyond our own presuppositions. 2) Secondly, people aren’t excluded for thinking differently. Many of us that gather are, but by no means exclusively, more ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ (both terms that are hugely inadequate, but will have to do for now) in our thinking, but this doesn’t mean you can’t journey with us if you’re not these things. Like I said before, the focus is relationship and direction of travel. If you’re willing to go on an adventure with us, respecting and treating equally the people you disagree with and the beliefs they hold, then we’d love you to come along for the ride.

Our OPEN community has changed me, as I now have a space to think, question and disagree, without fear of exclusion. I have found friends, companions to journey with, towards the centre, towards Jesus.


Let me summarise what I’ve tried to articulate over the two parts of this blog:

I’m done with tribal boundaries.

I’m done with the exclusion they create.

I’m done with a small god owned by particular tribes.

I want to journey to the centre, to Jesus, with others.

I want to journey with a diverse bunch of people who will challenge me with their questions and beliefs.

I want to worship an immeasurable, untethered, wild God who blows our tribal boundaries to smithereens.

 

[1] See Paul Hiebert’s article: Hiebert, Paul G. 1978. ‘Conversion, Culture and Cognitive Categories’. Gospel in Context 1 (4):24-29.

 

The post Moving Beyond Tribal Boundaries: Part 2 appeared first on Seventy Two.