Notices for Sunday 22nd August

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.

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

  • COTG are open for face-face services. All details at: https://www.churchonthegreen.online/event/10am-sunday-service-online/
  • If you prefer a more active service rather than simply watching, a warm welcome awaits from Rob and the team. The link to join online is here
  • Priory Street joint service @10am Link: https://youtu.be/bAyFG1pz2P4. Worship is led by Matt this week followed by intercessory prayers by Vicky. Eddie brings us the word from Mark.Mk 7:1-23
  • Midweek Service: The next Midweek Service is this Wednesday, 1 st September
  • Junior Church: continues to meet in the garden during the summer. 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. 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).

New Key Access System to Priory Street Church Building

A reminder that we now have a new keyless entry system to Priory Street. If you have one of the old metal security keys and do not yet have a fob, please get in touch with Martin S. (details in the directory) to discuss your needs.
Also, please return any keys you have to him or the church office, as these will cease to work at some point (but please do it now whilst you remember!)
Many thanks,Tim

Calling all crafty ladies

Advance Notice: The craft group are a making plans to start back in the Autumn., however, there will be no session on the first Saturday in September. The proposal is to open again on first Saturday in October. Do look out for further notices. If anyone is interested in joining this outreach ministry, or would like to invite someone along, then do contact Pam M or Hazel H.

Psalm on the Farm: Dates for your diary.

Psalm on the Farm is planned for the first Sunday of Sept. 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 September 5th @ 11am

Sunday October 3rd @ 11am

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 15th August

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

  • COTG are open for face-face services. All details at: https://www.churchonthegreen.online/event/10am-sunday-service-online/
  • If you prefer a more active service rather than simply watching, a warm welcome awaits from Rob and the team. The link to join online is here
  • Priory Street joint service @10am Link: https://youtu.be/bAyFG1pz2P4. Worship is led by Natalie, Intercessory Prayer Jo S. and Rob P. is preaching on Mk 6:45-56
  • Midweek Service: The next Midweek Service is this Wednesday, 18th August
  • Junior Church: will continue to meet in the garden during the summer. 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. 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).

For your prayers

Please pray for all our young people who have received their GCSE or A Level grades this week. May they seek the Lord’s guidance as they make plans for next steps.

New Key Access System to Priory Street Church Building

You may have noticed Martin has recently enabled a keyless entry system to Priory Street. If you have one of the old metal security keys and do not yet have a fob, please get in touch with him (details in the directory) to discuss your needs.
Also, please return any keys you have to him or the church office as these will cease to work at some point (but please do it now whilst you remember!)
Many thanks,Tim

Psalm on the Farm: Dates for your diary.

Psalm on the Farm is planned for the first Sunday of Sept. 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 September 5th @ 11am

Sunday October 3rd @ 11am

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

HOWTO send email to large groups

gold letter y on black background

Sending email on behalf of the church is different to sending email in a personal capacity as it needs to be done within the church’s Privacy Policy. As a general rule of thumb you can assume Trustees, staff and perhaps one or two other acknowledged roles have email addresses, phone numbers and other personal information that is public knowledge. The most obvious example is that Eddie’s name is on the board fixed to the side of the church building.

In all other cases, or in case of doubt, send the email to yourself and BCC the actual recipients. This means that anyone may sign-up to receive information without fear of having their personal information revealed to others. It can be a particularly grey area when someone has provided you their contact details in a personal capacity but may not have intended it to be shared with the whole church let alone the wider world. Unless we have explicit permission for information to be included in the church directory it should not be shared to anyone else including by writing an email to several people, which anyone may then reply to.

It’s also worth noting that we should never write email addresses or phone numbers on public sites such as corshambaptists.org; facebook etc. Best practice is to refer to people by first name only and that contact may be made through a contact page or the church office.

Now that we’re ready to write an email, I offer the template below to provide both a simple branding and the necessary opportunity to decline further contact.

Corsham Baptist Church

Dear …

We think you are part of our CBC family because you have provided this address to us in the past for the church directory. If that is no longer true or you want to update what we contact you about please accept our apologies and update us here. (Please note it will take us a short while to action your update)

Notices for Sunday 8th August

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/ Please note:
  • Church on the Green is back in person this week (8th August). No booking is now necessary. The link to join the service online is: https://meet.google.com/ezs-ftbr-gtg
  • Priory Street joint service @10am Link: https://youtu.be/bAyFG1pz2P4. Worship to be led by Joey and Eddie is preaching on Mk 6:14-44
  • Midweek Service: The next Midweek Service is this Wednesday, 18th 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. Rhiannon.

From the Bryants:

Thank you so much to those who prayed for us during the training course. 
We finished it today. We were really encouraged to see how the group 
bonded together, deepr than we would have expected over Zoom.

Please keep praying for them all as they transition to BCS and Cambodia, 
and for those who will serve in the UK supporting missionary families..

Psalm on the Farm: Dates for your diary.

A reminder that Church this week is on the Farm at 11am – not at Priory Street. In case you have not been before – the address is Upper Combe Farm, Castle Combe, Chippenham SN14 7HE. There is plenty of parking available and stewards will be there to direct you. Stripe have met to consider what precautions we should take as this is the first time we’ve met on the Farm since restrictions were lifted on 19th July. Everyone will be invited to sign in for track and trace purposes and to wear one of the colour coded badges to indicate your preference for managing contact with others but there are no other regulations you need to follow. Neither Lateral flow testing nor confirmation of double vaccination is required due to us being outside. Toilet facilities will be provided and please bring a chair, any refreshments you need and not forgetting “bread and wine” for communion. Masks are not required but can be worn by anyone who wishes to do so and hearty singing is hugely encouraged! Please just use the copious space available and respect some sensible distance from others, particularly whilst singing. It should be a great occasion to meet free of almost all restrictions for the first time in a year and a half and we hope as many as possible will feel safe and able to join together in person to worship our great God together.

Psalm on the Farm is also planned for the first Sunday of Sept. 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 September 5th

Sunday October 3rd

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 1st August

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/ Please note:
  • Church on the Green will be online this Sunday (1st August) and then back in person on the 8th August. No booking is now necessary. The link to join the service online is: https://meet.google.com/ezs-ftbr-gtg
  • Priory Street joint service @11am Psalm on the Farm – see details below.
  • 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. Rhiannon.
  • Gathered to Pray There is no prayer meeting on Sunday evening 1st August

Psalm on the Farm: Dates for your diary.

A reminder that Church this week is on the Farm at 11am – not at Priory Street. In case you have not been before – the address is Upper Combe Farm, Castle Combe, Chippenham SN14 7HE. There is plenty of parking available and stewards will be there to direct you. Stripe have met to consider what precautions we should take as this is the first time we’ve met on the Farm since restrictions were lifted on 19th July. Everyone will be invited to sign in for track and trace purposes and to wear one of the colour coded badges to indicate your preference for managing contact with others but there are no other regulations you need to follow. Neither Lateral flow testing nor confirmation of double vaccination is required due to us being outside. Toilet facilities will be provided and please bring a chair, any refreshments you need and not forgetting “bread and wine” for communion. Masks are not required but can be worn by anyone who wishes to do so and hearty singing is hugely encouraged! Please just use the copious space available and respect some sensible distance from others, particularly whilst singing. It should be a great occasion to meet free of almost all restrictions for the first time in a year and a half and we hope as many as possible will feel safe and able to join together in person to worship our great God together.

Psalm on the Farm is also planned for the first Sunday of Sept. 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 September 5th

Sunday October 3rd

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.

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

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.

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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:

 

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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

 

 

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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