Impressions of Ifakara

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

Rachel and Ruth celebrating their birthdays

As many of you begin to prepare for the Autumn months we’re preparing for the onset of heat!  The last three months have been pleasant to say the least – mid to late 20’s (temperature not age!) and on the whole, some cloudy skies that have kept the temperatures down. September will see the thermometer rising and the humidity levels increasing as we begin the climb to a hot and sweaty Christmas!  Thank you to those who have been praying for us.  We’ve done a lot of travelling, but all without hitch and without a scratch to either bumper, although I won’t talk about the numerous and rather exasperating police checkpoints along the way!  Ruth has continued to manage the Retreat House at Sanga and oversee the staff accounts, along with the conference administration, marketing, fundraising etc… We enjoyed a holiday with Ruth’s twin sister and brother-in-law in August, and celebrated the birthday of those ‘tenacious twins’ on the beaches of Zanzibar!  It was great to be able to show them around, and to introduce them to some of the things that make Tanzania famous: snorkelling in the Indian ocean, listening to the night-time noises of the laughing hyenas, playing golf on the ‘browns’ of Morogoro golf course, and having our safari tent attacked by a lizard-eating Genet! 

Musings on the Ifakara Conference: To boldly go where few fear to tread! Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but our travel guidebook did tell us that “few travellers ever make it to the Udzungwa National Park, and fewer still follow the road further south to Ifakara”!  And there’s a good reason for that!  The dirt road is bumpy and dusty for much of the way, and it’s a dead-end town unless you happen to be heading to the Kilombero swamps or the Selous National Park, which is a wilderness area twice the size of Belgium! 

Good to see so many smiling faces at the end of the conference

But it was here in Ifakara that our fourth conference of the year was held, and it turned out to be the best yet, and indeed the most encouraging!  From the start there seemed to be a good atmosphere amongst the 37 pastors and evangelists, some of them travelling over 100 miles to be there. As the conference kicked off and each pastor stood to introduce themselves, it sounded like a role call from the Old Testament!  Ezekiel, Daniel, Lamech, Shadrach, Hosea, Zephaniah, Samuel, Reuben, and Joseph were all present, and even Pastor Gabriel put in an appearance!  I felt a bit sorry for Leonard who I’m sure must have felt the odd one out!  It was also good to see a representative from the New Testament there in the form of Stephanos, which is of course an extremely fine name!  There was even a one-year old toddler called ‘Steve’ – and therein lies a story!  At last year’s Ifakara conference one of the ladies had been ‘carrying luggage’ (a polite Tanzanian way of saying she was pregnant!) and a month later had given birth to a baby boy, who she then decided to name after me! 

My eight teaching slots went well and I found that I was more relaxed and ‘at home’ in pronouncing and emphasising the content of my talks on the Holy Spirit.  The man who helped to lead the conference was a young pastor by the name of Tobotobo and, although it was his first time in leading an IBM conference, he did a top job and we worked well with each other.  He was obviously taking his role seriously, because on the third day he turned up wearing a second-hand Lufthansa pilot’s jacket!  It’s amazing what you can pick up on the street-stalls of Tanzania!  It was also encouraging to see the pastors send round the collection basket on a couple of occasions in support of their colleagues who were in need, and a few pastors even made a small contribution to the costs of the seminar. 

On our way home, Pastor Shadrach asked us to call in at his house because he wanted to give us a gift. We arrived in his village, and were ushered into a small room which was no bigger than your average garden shed, and which had a huge ‘Jesus’ picture stuck to the coarsely plastered wall. Even though it was only 10am we were then served a lunch of rice and beans, which had been cooked in a makeshift kitchen outside. Meanwhile, the children of the village had gathered excitedly around the car and were fascinated by their own reflections in the metallic paintwork; a sure sign that there weren’t too many mirrors hanging up in their homes!

Just before we left, Shadrach went into his store and pulled out a big bag of rice, which he then presented to us as a gift.  Talk about humbling! These AIC pastors and evangelists don’t get a regular salary but receive a percentage of the Sunday morning offering.  Whereas this might provide you with a reasonable income if you work at a large church, it’s a different matter if you happen to be pastoring a small church out in the sticks with only a handful of folks attending. Pastor Shadrach falls into the latter category and would probably count it a good week if the percentage he received from the offering enabled him to buy the equivalent of five or six 1st class stamps in UK!  And that’s the reason why you’ll see the likes of Shadrach wearing a ‘health & beauty’ T-shirt which he purchased at a second-hand clothes stall, but was probably a free promotional gift at a UK trade fair!  That’s also the reason why he’s only got a small house to live in and that the walls are left unpainted.  And you would think that would be a good enough reason to keep hold of a 10kg bag of rice!  Not at all.  This was the gift we were presented with as we got up to leave; a token of his thanks for the teaching that I had done during the week. Needless to say we felt humbled and blessed, but also found ourselves wondering if we would be as extravagantly generous if we owned so little.   

There was something else that I was impressed with at this particular conference and it relates to a couple of my favourite Bible passages; the well known foot-washing passage in John Ch 13, and the not-so-well-known passage in 2 Kings Ch 3.  Just hours before his arrest Jesus does something that isn’t associated with status or position: that of washing the feet of his disciples. In humility he considered others better than himself and stooped to serve his followers.  The latter passage involves the prophet Elisha who was known by one of the king’s officials as a man “who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah”.  What a wonderful statement!  Here was a man who had already been anointed as Elijah’s successor and yet he continued to serve Elijah by assisting him in his ministry. 

The Tanzanians are big on washing hands before meals!  Go to a Tanzanian home to eat, and out comes the washbasin and the soap, normally brought to you where you’re siting.  During the Ifakara conference we ate at the church where the meetings were held but before every meal, a long line of pastors formed, first of all to have their hands washed, and then to collect their rice, beans and ugali, which would often be eaten with the hands, and not with cutlery.  And on every occasion I observed the same pastor quietly standing with jug and soap in hand, offering to ‘pour water on the hands of’ his colleagues; offering to serve and therefore be the last in the queue for his meal.  Quite often the issue of servant leadership seems to be a hard one to grasp in the Tanzanian church, so it was encouraging to see this pastor selflessly serving, and putting others first, without drawing attention to himself; an example I need to heed particularly at a time (26 months in!) when the patience levels begin to wear thin and the annoyances seems to be magnified, and the last thing I feel like doing is serving others!  Let’s make it our aim, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to be a people who delight to pour water on the hands of others.   

Prayer & Praise: 

  • Praise God for safe travels and a good holiday.
  • Thank God for a top Ifakara conference, where the Swahili flowed and where people seemed hungry to learn.
  • Praise God for good progress on the construction of the conference centre. Still at the foundation stage but great to report savings made and no injuries to the 53 workers on site! 
  • Steve has been below par in terms of general health for the last few weeks, so would be grateful for prayer in terms of stamina and energy as we approach a busy two months of conferencing, the first of which starts on the 2nd Sept. Pray that God would use us both. 
  • Pray that the AIM Tanzania conference in October would be special!  That God would really use Eddie Larkman and the team from Corsham Baptist Church to speak into lives. 

Diary dates for Sept/Oct: 

1st Sept:            Travel to Iringa
2nd-4th:             Teaching at Pastors’ conference
5th:                    Return to Morogoro
13th:                  Preaching at the Shed Church, Dakawa
22nd:                 Travel to Magambua 
23rd-25th:          Teaching at Pastors’ conference 
26th:                  Return to Morogoro
14th-19th Oct:    AIM Tanzania Conference in Dar 
19th-22nd:         Our Corsham Baptist pastor and his wife staying with us
30th/31st:          Bible teaching at Church weekend conference in Iringa

Random photos of the month:

Can’t see this labelling taking off in a UK supermarket!

Maybe this is where the Army got it’s camouflage idea from?
One of the children playing outside
the Ifakara church

Newsletter for 30th August, 2015

Two services

With effect from 13th September we will be starting our two morning services. The early service will start at 9.15am with Alan Kember overseeing this; the 11.15am service will be overseen by Alan Christie. Please speak to either of them to indicate which service you would prefer to attend and where you can serve. Thank you.

Same-Sex Marriage

Several people have been asking Eddie questions on this subject. He recommends the following books for their biblical faithfulness and pastoral sensitivity (both are written by pastors who themselves experience same-sex attraction): Ed Shaw: “The Plausibility Problem”; Sam Allberry: “Is God Anti-Gay?” Eddie also recommends this website: www.livingout.org

Week of Prayer

Our annual week of prayer will now take place from the 6th-11th September. The church will be open for prayer at certain times during the week. Details will be available in next week’s newsletter. The evening service on the 6th will focus on prayer.

Men’s Weekend Away

This is taking place from 25th-27th September. Please speak to Ian if you would like more information about this.

Chippenham Street Pastors

Chippenham Street Pastors are in desperate need of more volunteers. A new training course will start on the 23rd September with an information evening from 7.30-9.30pm at Sheldon Road Methodist Church Chippenham. If you are interested in finding out more then please come along to the information evening or contact the Chippenham Street Pastors’ Co-ordinator, Michael Weeks or speak to Elspeth Pitman at CBC.

CBC Craft Group

The Craft Group is meeting after the summer break on Saturday 5th September, 10-12.30pm in the coffee hall.  There will be a ‘soap making’ workshop during the morning as well as help with ongoing projects including the fabric boxes. We welcome new ideas for projects and would love to see what you have been doing over the summer. Bring yourself and a friend if only for a chat and coffee and cake! For more information contact Pam Mitchell or Kathy Ewins.

Lost Property

The lost property table is out in the coffee hall. Please go through the items and take whatever belongs to you. It will be out for three weeks after which any unclaimed items will be disposed of. Thank you.

Oasis Team Members

Julie and Naomi from the Oasis Centre in Vienna will be visiting Corsham for a week, arriving on Friday 11th September. They will attend the Sunday services on the 13th as well as the Missions Prayer meeting on the 16th September at 7.30pm. Please feel free to chat to them about the work that they do with refugees in Austria. Joan is co-ordinating their visit so please speak to her for further information.

…Coming up…

5th September: Craft group, 10am

6th-11th September: Week of Prayer

8th September: TLC, 12 o’clock

13th September: Two morning services commence, 9.15am and 11.15am

13th September: Evening service, visit from Oasis reps

16th September: Missions Prayer evening, 7.30pm

25th September: Men’s weekend away

26th September: The Ark, 10am

4th October: Harvest service

5th October: Church Meeting, 8pm

With the school holiday period almost over, please check with your housegroups or other meeting leaders as to when they re-commence.

Newsletter for 19th July, 2015 – Missions’ Sunday

 

 

 

 

Thank you!
Anne Holmes and Kathy Larkman would like to say a very big thank you to everyone involved in the ladies’ day yesterday.  Thank you, too, to Cath Swanson for bringing us teaching and ministry and we trust that everyone who attended was blessed.
Church Meeting
There will be a church meeting at 8pm tomorrow night with some very important issues being discussed.  Please would all church members try to attend if possible.  Agendas and minutes from the previous Church Meeting are at the back.
Same-Sex Marriage
Several people have been asking Eddie questions on this subject. He recommends the following books for their biblical faithfulness and pastoral sensitivity (both are written by pastors who themselves experience same-sex attraction):  Ed Shaw: “The Plausibility Problem”; Sam Allberry: “Is God Anti-Gay?”  Eddie also recommends this website: www.livingout.org
The ARK – new leader required
As some of you may know the Howlett family will be leaving CBC to worship in Bath. The ARK is therefore in need of some new help. We have a lovely regular group of 30 children who meet for 9 x 45 minute meetings a year. We would need the following:
1.      A co-ordinator to help with the rota, publicity and record-keeping. This could be done by someone who does not always attend the ARK.
2.      Someone to do “front of house” at the ARK, which mainly involves doing a two-minute talk on the topic of the week and being a “face” that is there every month for the families to get to know. If you think you could help please speak to Rachel or Rhiannon.
Life in the Lancs Lane!
With an update on what’s been happening in the lives of Ruth and Steve Lancaster during the last six weeks, please take a copy of their newsletter, or alternatively, head to the blog site at www.lancsintanz@blogspot.co.uk where you’ll also find a few more photos.  Please note that it is Ruth’s birthday on the 20th August.  If you would like to send her a birthday card, their physical address is: P.O. Box 6633, Madaraka, Morogoro, Tanzania.
2014 church accounts
The CBC accounts for 2014 have now been cleared by the accountant. A summarised draft was published in the Ministry Reports earlier this year, but if you would like a full copy, please let Michael Prior know and he will email it.

Soul Survivor

In just under four weeks’ time Dan and a group of 20 or so young people will be heading to Soul Survivor Christian youth festival at Shepton Mallet showground. However, in order to make this youth trip possible we need your help!

Here are two ways in which you can help support: 1) Drivers: we need individuals willing to drive young people to and/or from Shepton Mallet on Saturday morning the 15th and/or Thursday morning 20th August. 2) Prayer! That the young people will grow in friendships with one another and ultimately with God! If you can assist with transport, then please let Dan know. Thanks.

…This week…

Monday: Church Meeting, 8pm

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am

Thursday: Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am

…Looking ahead…

29th July: Midweek service, 2pm

11th August: The Lunch Club, 12pm

12th August: Midweek service, 2pm

 

 

 

Newsletter for 12th July 2015

Infant Dedication

We would like to welcome the friends and family of Paul and Victoria Kelly as their baby daughter, Emilia, is dedicated this morning.

Same-Sex Marriage

Several people have been asking Eddie questions on this subject. He recommends the following books for their biblical faithfulness and pastoral sensitivity (both are written by pastors who themselves experience same-sex attraction): Ed Shaw: “The Plausibility Problem”; Sam Allberry: “Is God Anti-Gay?” Eddie also recommends this website: www.livingout.org

Evening Service

This evening’s service will be a report back on the recent missions’ trip that Eddie undertook to Uganda with a team of nine people. All welcome to attend.

Men’s Curry Night

There will be a men’s curry night on Tuesday 14th July at 7.30pm. Please speak to Ian Holmes if you would like to attend.

The ARK – new leader required

As some of you may know the Howlett family will be leaving CBC to worship in Bath. The ARK is therefore in need of some new help. We have a lovely regular group of 30 children (a mix of church and non-church children) who meet for 9 x 45 minute meetings a year. We would need the following:

  1. A co-ordinator to help with the rota, publicity and record-keeping. This could be done by someone who does not always attend the ARK.
  2. Someone to do “front of house” at the ARK, which mainly involves doing a two-minute talk on the topic of the week and being a “face” that is there every month for the families to get to know. If you think you could help please speak to Rachel or Rhiannon.

**Ladies’ Day 2015 **

This year our ladies’ day will be held at CBC Priory Street next Saturday 18th July starting at 10.30am. There is a sign-up sheet on the back table so please write your name down! It’s not too late!! If you are only available for part of the day, please indicate whether you are intending to stay for lunch so we can cater accordingly. We are very happy to have Cath Swanson from AIM as our guest speaker. Please speak to Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman for more details. Our verse for the day is “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Life in the Lancs Lane!
With an update on what’s been happening in the lives of Ruth and Steve Lancaster during the last six weeks, please take a copy of their newsletter, or alternatively, head to the blog site at www.lancsintanz@blogspot.co.uk where you’ll also find a few more photos.
Please note that it is Ruth’s birthday on the 20th August.  If you would like to send her a birthday card, their postal address is: P.O. Box 6633, Madaraka, Morogoro, Tanzania.
TLC
The Lunch Club will be held at Priory Street for our seniors on Tuesday at 12pm.  Please speak to Michael or Wendy Prior for more details.

Midweek Service

There will be a midweek service at Priory Street on Wednesday at 2pm. Eric will be leading and preaching and the text of the sermon will be Luke 12:13-34.

2014 church accounts

The CBC accounts for 2014 have now been cleared by the accountant. A summarised draft was published in the Ministry Reports earlier this year, but if you would like a full copy, please let Michael Prior know and he will email it to you.

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am

Tuesday: TLC, 12pm; Men’s curry night, 7.30pm

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am; midweek service, 2pm

Thursday: Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am; Ladies’ Day, 10.30am

…Looking ahead…

19th July: Mission Sunday (visit by Tony and Cath Swanson)

20th July: Church Meeting, 8pm

29th July: Midweek service, 2pm

11th August: The Lunch Club

 

Newsletter for 5th July 2015

Family Day – Sunday 5th July

After our morning service today we will gather at the Rudloe Community Centre for a bbq, bouncy castles, games etc. so please come along to that where we can spend time together as a church family and get to know each other better.  Food will be available from 2pm.

Evening Service

Please note, there is NO EVENING SERVICE tonight.

Ladies’ Day 2015

This year our ladies’ day will be held at CBC Priory Street on Saturday 18th July starting at 10.30am and going through to late afternoon. There is a sign-up sheet on the back table so please write your name down! If you are only available for part of the day, please indicate whether you are intending to stay for lunch so we can cater accordingly. We are very happy to have Cath Swanson from AIM as our guest speaker for the day. Please speak to Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman for more details about the day.

Calling all New Musicians!!

If you can sing or play, and are interested in knowing what it means to serve with the worship team at CBC, please come along to our ‘Newbies’ Worship Evening’ tomorrow night at 8pm at Priory Street. Speak to Matt Grylls for more details. 

Deacon Nominations

Nominations for the positions of Missions Deacon and Pastoral Deacon are now open and will close on 12th July. Voting will take place at the next Church Meeting on 20th July. Role descriptions are on the leadership board. Nomination forms and rules are on the table at the back.

Men’s Curry Night

There will be a men’s curry night on Tuesday 14th July at 7.30pm. Please speak to Ian Holmes if you would like to attend.

Nepal Evening – here at CBC – Wednesday 8th July

What’s it like to experience an earthquake, monsoons, floods, landslides and teach children from many countries … and much more?  Sue Kemp who has been a missionary for 16 years in Nepal, will be visiting our church next week. For most of this time she has been a teacher in a missions’ primary school in Pokhara, but is now training teachers for her Chhahari charity which prepares children for entering government schools. Come at 7.30pm for coffee and cake, and Sue will speak at 8pm. We will end the evening with questions and praying for Nepal, and for our own missionaries Steve and Ruth Lancaster, Steve and Gill Bryant and Steph Grylls who is going to Bangladesh in September.

Same-Sex Marriage
Several people have been asking Eddie questions on this subject. He recommends the following books for their biblical faithfulness and pastoral sensitivity (both are written by pastors who themselves experience same-sex attraction):
•         Ed Shaw: “The Plausibility Problem”
•         Sam Allberry: “Is God Anti-Gay?”
Eddie also recommends this website: www.livingout.org

Life in the Lancs Lane!
With an update on what’s been happening in the lives of Ruth and Steve Lancaster during the last six weeks, please take a copy of their newsletter, or alternatively, head to the blog site at www.lancsintanz@blogspot.co.uk where you’ll also find a few more photos.

The ARK – new leader required
As some of you may know Rachel Howlett will be taking up the position of “Children’s and Youth Worker” at a church in Bath in September, working with 0-18 year olds in the church, the community and the three local schools. Therefore the Howlett family will be leaving CBC to worship there. Please pray for them as they settle and for the new challenges they will face.
The ARK is therefore in need of some new help. We have a lovely regular group of 30 children (a mix of church and non-church children) who meet for 9 x 45 minute meetings a year. We would need the following:
1.      A co-ordinator to help with the rota, publicity and record-keeping. This could be done by someone who does not always attend the ARK.
2.      Someone to do “front of house” at the ARK, which mainly involves doing a two-minute talk on the topic of the week and being a “face” that is there every month for the families to get to know. If you think you could help please speak to Rachel or Rhiannon.

Infant Dedication
Please note there will be another infant dedication next Sunday 12th July at the 10.45am service.

…This week…
Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am; musicians’ evening, 8pm
Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am; Prayer for Missions, 7.30pm
Thursday: Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre 7.30pm
Friday: Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am
Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am

…Looking ahead…

12th July: Infant dedication; evening service Uganda report back

14th July: Men’s curry night, 7.30pm

18th July: Ladies’ Day, 10.30am (guest speaker Cath Swanson)

19th July: Mission Sunday (visit by Tony and Cath Swanson)

20th July: Church Meeting, 8pm

 

Turning Two in Tanzania

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

We celebrated Steve’s birthday in June with 
a trip to Mikumi National Park

Two years ago this month we were making final preparations for leaving the UK and starting our first term in Tanzania with AIM. We scratched our heads over what to take and what to leave behind.  Many miles were travelled up and down the M5/M6 as we packed up our house and took our things to be stored in the garage at Steve’s parents’ house.  We said our goodbyes to family and friends.  We were blessed with a wonderful commissioning service in our church, and then we were off!  11th July marks our two year anniversary!

In the great scheme of things, 2 years is not a long time.  And yet, as we look back at them, we can truly say we feel settled here in Morogoro.  We are pressing on (some might say plodding on!) with learning language and culture, and we are both busy in the roles we came here to do.  We give thanks to God for helping us so far, for the way He’s helped us to adjust, to learn and to settle. There have been ‘blips’ along the way, but we can say with Isaiah, “Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished You have done for us.” (Is. 26:12).

Pastors’ Conferences

Steve teaching at the conference in Moshi

The two recent conferences at Moshi and in Dar for pastors and evangelists went very well.  Both were well attended, and the topic being taught, the Holy Spirit, generated much lively discussion.  Steve taught eight sessions, mainly in Swahili, at each conference, although language fatigue saw him revert to English for one or two of them!  He says, “There were times when my language energy levels felt depleted, but there were also times when I felt an extra sense of fluency – and not just in the session on speaking in tongues! There were times, especially in those dreaded afternoon sessions, when a number of heads were drooping – but there were also times when I could sense that people were switched on and hungry to learn.  There were times when people requested discussion times to be extended, and times when the unaccompanied singing of the pastors filled the room and thrilled the heart!  There were times when I wondered whether it was all worth it – and times when I felt that what I was doing had eternal significance. And there was a time after one particular session, when a pastor’s wife approached me with bag in hand, only to ask me whether I wanted to buy some pants and socks!!”  

  
Photos from the conferences: l-r: Steve with Pastor Matinya, Pastor Yatoshta, and the kitchen at the Dar conference!

This month we will be making the longest journey we’ve done so far in Tanzania, down to Mtwara for a pastors’ seminar.  Mtwara (twinned with Redditch, by the way!) is in the far south of Tanzania—next stop Mozambique!  It will take us almost 2 days of travel to get there.  We understand that the road to the south is tarmacked and fairly good.  This seminar, although it won’t have as high numbers as the previous two, will provide encouragement to the pastors and evangelists who otherwise might feel cut off from the rest of the Diocese.  Then, in August, we travel to Ifaraka (a mere 5 hours away!) for a pastors’ conference there.

Following the conference in Dar in June we travelled to Nairobi for Ruth’s annual medical check-up.  A raft of blood tests relating to the original DVT revealed nothing untoward, although Ruth was advised to wear a compression stocking when sitting or standing for long periods, not just for travelling.  You can imagine her delight to receive this advice!  But we are thankful for good progress and another year’s supply of medication!

Our trip to Nairobi coincided with that of various members of AIM’s International Office and also a friend of Ruth’s from Tearfund and Oak Hall days who was en-route home from Rwanda.  We had a good time catching up with folks and managed to fit in a visit to the Eastern Region office to join them in their daily prayer/chai time.  We attended the morning service at Nairobi Baptist and found that the preacher was, until recently, a member of St. Nicholas, Sevenoaks, the very church where we were married and that Ruth’s friend attends!  What a small world!

Matt Dixon with Fidelis, our building contractor

Back in Morogoro, work at Sanga Sanga continues.  We’ve had various groups making use of the Retreat House, and Matt Dixon has been stockpiling materials and finalising plans for the construction of the conference hall.  We are delighted to report that the ground has been broken and that digging has commenced!  Please pray that this work will proceed on schedule, on budget and without too many problems.

Visitors!
We’re looking forward to a visit from the UK of Ruth’s (twin) sister Rachel and Ian, her husband.  This will be their first foray into Africa and we hope to be able to show them something of what we do, a slice of real life in Tanzania, as well as having a few days of tourist Africa on safari and visiting Zanzibar.  It will be interesting to see their reactions…

Thank you, as always, for your interest, prayers and support.

Steve & Ruth

For your prayers:

• Praise God for His help and guidance over 2 years in Tanzania.
• Praise God for good results from Ruth’s check-up.
• Pray that the construction work at Sanga Sanga will proceed well.
• Pray for safety as we travel to conferences.
• Pray for the pastors’ seminars in Mtwara and Ifakara.
• Pray for good times with family and friends as they visit.

Diary Dates for July/August:

6th/7th July Travel to Mtwara
8th-10th          Teaching at Mtwara AIC pastors’ seminar
11th/12th        Travel back to Morogoro via Dar
19th               Steve preaching at AIC Dakawa
20th-24th        Meeting with Africa leaders for prayer summit in Bagamoyo
4th August Travel to Ifakara
5th-7th Teaching at AIC Ifakara pastors’ seminar
8th                 Travel home to Morogoro
12th-22nd Ruth’s sister and brother-in-law visit
20th                Ruth’s (and Rachel’s!) birthday

 Random Photos of the Month:

Whoops!  Should have gone to Specsavers!

Newsletter for 28th June 2015

Infant Dedication

This morning we would like to welcome the family and friends of Tim and Kathryn Hogg as their baby, Libby, is dedicated. Please stay for refreshments after the service.

Family Day – Sunday 5th July

This year our annual Family Day will be held at the Rudloe Community Centre next Sunday, 5th July. There will be a bbq, bouncy castles, games etc. so please come along to Rudloe after the morning service. In order for the day to run smoothly, we will be needing help and so there is a sign up sheet at the back. Alternatively please speak to Rob Durant about how/where you can help. Thank you.

Ladies’ Day 2015

This year our ladies’ day will be held at CBC Priory Street on Saturday 18th July starting at 10.30am and going through to late afternoon. There is a sign-up sheet on the back table so please write your name down! If you are only available for part of the day, please indicate whether you are intending to stay for lunch so we can cater accordingly. We are very happy to have Cath Swanson from AIM as our guest speaker for the day. Please speak to Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman for more details about the day.

Calling all New Musicians!!

If you can sing or play, and are interested in knowing what it means to serve with the worship team at CBC, please come along to our ‘Newbies’ Worship Evening’ on Monday 6th July from 8pm at Priory Street. Speak to Matt Grylls for more details.

Visiting Missionary – Nepal Evening

Sue K is a missionary who has served with INF in Nepal for many years and will be visiting our Missions and Persecuted church meeting on Wednesday 8th July. Sue was teaching Sunday school in Nepal when the earthquake struck last month and she will speak about her experiences on that day, and in the following weeks before she returned to UK for home leave.  Sue’s church in Pokhara is part of a “churches together” initiative which is now regularly taking aid up to devastated villages. It will be good to hear up to date news and to pray for the country of Nepal. Everyone is invited to this evening at Priory Street, 7.30pm.

Deacon Nominations

Nominations for the positions of Missions Deacon and Pastoral Deacon are now open and will close on 12th July. Voting will take place at the next Church Meeting on 20th July. Role descriptions are on the leadership board. Nomination forms and rules are on the table at the back.

Midweek Baptism Service I July

There will be a Service of Believer’s Baptism at 2pm on 1st July, when our sisters Jacquie H and Roxy G will be baptised by immersion. Eric Seager will be conducting the baptism and David Morrell will be preaching. Please pray for this service and come and bring your friends if you are able. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Craft Group

There will be another craft group meeting on Saturday 4th July from 10am. This month there will be a lace talk. If you would like more information, please speak to Kathy Ewins or Pam Mitchell.

Prayer Chain Revision Update

Please note that if you would like to join the prayer chain, or if you are already part of it and wish to remain part of it, you must fill in one of the forms at the back of the church and return it to Helen Christie or Margaret Seager.

Same-sex Marriage

Several people have been asking Eddie questions on this subject. He recommends the following books for their biblical faithfulness and pastoral sensitivity (both are written by pastors who themselves experience same-sex attraction):

  • Ed Shaw: “The Plausibility Problem”
  • Sam Allberry: “Is God Anti-Gay?”

Eddie also recommends this website: www.livingout.org

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am; Midweek baptismal service

Thursday: Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am; Craft Group, 10am

…Looking ahead…

5th July: Family day, service at Priory Street followed by activities at Rudloe Community Centre green

5th July: No evening service at Priory Street

8th July: Prayer for Missions & Persecuted Church, 7.30pm

12th July: Infant dedication; evening service Uganda report back

18th July: Ladies’ Day, 10.30am (guest speaker Cath Swanson)

19th July: Mission Sunday (visit by Tony and Cath Swanson)

20th July: Church Meeting, 8pm

Newsletter for Sunday 21st June, 2015

Uganda Mission Trip

Tomorrow Eddie Larkman and the team are returning from their missions’ trip to Uganda. Please continue to pray for them.

Ladies’ Day 2015

This year our ladies’ day will be held at CBC Priory Street on Saturday 18th July starting at 10.30am and going through to late afternoon. There is a sign-up sheet on the back table so please write your name down! If you are only available for part of the day, please indicate whether you are intending to stay for lunch so we can cater accordingly. We are very happy to have Cath Swanson from AIM as our guest speaker for the day. Please speak to Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman for more details about the day.

The Ark

The final Ark session before the summer break will take place this coming Saturday, 27th June, from 10.00-10.45am at Priory Street. This is an outreach to families with young children in the community and includes singing, puppets, a talk, refreshments etc. Please speak to Rachel Howlett if you would like to know more details.

Steph Grylls – Tearfund Trip Fundraiser

One of our young people, Stephanie Grylls, has been accepted onto a Tearfund ICS volunteering programme and will be going to Bangladesh on 27th September. She is holding a fundraising event, “Cream Teas for Bangladesh” afternoon on Saturday 27th June, 2.00-5:30pm at her home in Broughton Gifford.

Calling all New Musicians!!

If you can sing or play, and are interested in knowing what it means to serve with the worship team at CBC, please come along to our ‘Newbies’ Worship Evening’ on Monday 6th July from 8pm at Priory Street. Speak to Matt Grylls for more details.

Visiting Missionary – Nepal Evening

Sue Kemp is a missionary who has served with INF in Nepal for many years and will be visiting our Missions and Persecuted church meeting  on Wednesday 8th July. Sue was teaching Sunday school in Nepal when the earthquake struck last month and she will speak about her experiences on that day, and in the following weeks before she returned to UK for home leave.   Sue’s church in Pokhara is part of a “churches together” initiative which is now regularly taking aid up to devastated villages. It will be good to hear up to date news and to pray for the country of Nepal. Everyone is invited to this evening at Priory Street, 7.30pm.

Midweek Baptism Service I July

There will be a Service of Believer’s Baptism at 2pm on 1st July, when our sisters Jacquie Hayes and Roxy Gilbertson will be baptised by immersion. Eric Seager will be conducting the baptism and David Morrell will be preaching. Please pray for this service and come and bring your friends if you are able. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Pray through Ramadan

This year Ramadan is from 18th June to 17th July. A booklet is available to help you pray for the Muslim world during this period. Please visit www.30DaysPrayer.org.uk or speak to Gill Bryant for more information.

Deacon Nominations

Nominations for the positions of Missions Deacon and Pastoral Deacon will open on the 28th June. Voting will take place at the next Church Meeting on 20th July. Role descriptions are on the leadership board.

Oasis Centre, Vienna – please pray

The nearby Refugee Camp is so full at the moment with approximately 2800 refugees living there at present; 480 of this number being accommodated 8 to a tent as the building can hold no more. More and more are arriving every day. Please pray for the refugees living in such crowded conditions and for the staff who are struggling to cope

Family Day – Sunday 5th July

Our annual Family Day will be held at the Rudloe Community Centre this year on Sunday 5th July. There will be a bbq, bouncy castles, games etc. so please come along to Rudloe after the morning service. In order for the day to run smoothly, we will be needing help and there will be a sign up sheet next week.

Prayer Chain Revision Update

Please note that if you would like to join the prayer chain, or if you are already part of it and wish to remain part of it, you must fill in one of the forms at the back of the church and return it to Helen Christie or Margaret Seager by June 28th 2015.

 

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am

Thursday: Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am; The Ark; Fundraiser for Steph Grylls’ trip to Bangladesh in Broughton Gifford, 2pm

Newsletter for 14th June 2015

Uganda Mission Trip

Tomorrow Eddie Larkman is leading a missions’ team of nine people to Uganda for an AIM conference. The following people are going: Eddie and Kathy Larkman, Kathy Ewins, Stuart Little, Rhiannon Price, Barbara Thrift, Rachel Howlett, Steph Grylls and Jo Redfern. Please pray for their trip and for their families. They return to England on 22nd June.

Corsham Churches Together

Corsham Churches are holding a “Picnic on the Green” at St Patrick’s Church this afternoon from 3.00-5.00pm. You are invited to bring along a picnic and craft activities will be run for the children to do. Dan Ovens will be speaking at the event so please come along to support him and meet with other Christians in Corsham.

Ladies’ Day 2015

This year our ladies’ day will be held at CBC Priory Street on Saturday 18th July starting at 10.30am and going through to late afternoon. There is a sign-up sheet on the back table so please write your name down! If you are only available for part of the day, please indicate whether you are intending to stay for lunch so we can cater accordingly. We are very happy to have Cath Swanson from AIM as our guest speaker for the day. Please speak to Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman for more details about the day.

Dance/Movement Group

Thank you to those people who have expressed an interest in these sessions. However, there seems to be some difficulty with the Friday evening slot which has been tried. It would be really helpful if you could let Mandy Roberts know what other day/time in the week might be more suitable so she can see if something different can be worked out.

Traidcraft

Traidcraft celebrates 36 years in existence this week. There are some new articles and information displayed on the notice board, so please take some time to understand the great work they do with small scale and marginalised producers across the developing world. The principles it adopts are to work for justice and fairness in trade relationships, which includes work to combat child labour, stop human trafficking and improve working conditions, as well as making sure a fair price for products is gained . If you want any further information or want to know how you can support Traidcraft , please talk to Julie King (on the Traidcraft stall).

Midweek Service

The next midweek service will take place this Wednesday 17th June at 2pm. The text is Luke 12.1-12, Eric will be leading and preaching and there will be communion.

Pray through Ramadan

This year Ramadan is from 18th June to 17th July. A booklet is available to help you pray for the Muslim world during this period. Please visit www.30DaysPrayer.org.uk or speak to Gill Bryant for more information.

Deacon Nominations

Nominations for the positions of Missions Deacon and Pastoral Deacon will open on the 28th June. Voting will take place at the next Church Meeting on 20th July.

Oasis Centre, Vienna – please pray

The nearby Refugee Camp is so full at the moment with approximately 2800 refugees living there at present; 480 of this number being accommodated 8 to a tent as the building can hold no more. More and more are arriving every day. Please pray for the refugees living in such crowded conditions and for the staff who are struggling to cope.

TLC Summer Party

The annual TLC summer party for our seniors will take place next Saturday 20th June at Priory Street from 3-5pm. Alan Christie is organising the event. If you are able to make a cake, please sign up on the sheet at the back. Thank you!

Steph – Tearfund Trip Fundraiser

One of our young people, Stephanie, has been accepted onto a Tearfund ICS volunteering programme and will be going to Bangladesh on 27th September. She is holding a fundraising event, “Cream Teas for Bangladesh” afternoon on Saturday 27th June, 2.00-5:30pm at her house.

“I am very excited to go to Bangladesh in September for 12 weeks. I believe that going with Tearfund ICS will give me an opportunity to help those in this world who are not as fortunate as I am and ICS can give me the chance to help those in need… My life goal is to learn a skill in the UK and take it to a third world country where I can use that to benefit others. Going to Bangladesh would be a great stepping stone for me to serve the LORD! I am fundraising money to enable others to go and serve the Lord. I have a fundraising target of £800 and I am half way there!”

Please go along on the 27th June if you can, to support Steph. Thank you.

Message from Rachel S

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me and my three children, Alex, Meg and Dominic throughout my recent illness and treatment.  Thank you so much for all your prayers,  the meals that have been cooked, for visitors, for lifts to the hospital for appointments and treatment, for financial support and for the many kind gestures. I am looking forward to resting, recovering and recuperating over the summer months and then hoping to resume normal activities. Thank you all so much for everything and praise God for sustaining me and my children throughout these difficult few months.”

Prayer Chain Revision Update

Please note that if you would like to join the prayer chain, or if you are already part of it and wish to remain part of it, you must fill in one of the forms at the back of the church and return it to Helen Christie or Margaret Seager by June 28th 2015.

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am; Team flies to Uganda

Wednesday: Early morning prayer, 7.15am; midweek service, 2pm; Missions and Persecuted Church prayer meeting, 7.30pm

Thursday: Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am; TLC summer party, 3pm

…Looking ahead…

27th June: The Ark, 10am; Fundraiser for Steph Grylls, 2-5.30pm

28th June: Nominations open for Pastoral and Mission Deacons

28th June: Evening prayer service

1st July: Midweek service, 2pm, baptism

4th July: Craft group, 10am

5th July: Family day, service @ Priory Street followed by activities @ Rudloe Community Centre green

5th July: No evening service at Priory Street

8th July: Prayer for Missions & Persecuted Church, 7.30pm

12th July: Infant dedication

18th July: Ladies’ Day, 10.30am (guest speaker Cath Swanson)

19th July: Mission Sunday (visit by Tony and Cath Swanson)

20th July: Church Meeting, 8pm