Running with perseverance…

Steve and Ruth Lancaster,

The past two months have mainly involved four aspects for us: preparation, planning, perseverance …… and teaching!  I’ve been preparing IBM conference talks as well as preparing for a half marathon; Ruth has been teaching her second English course to the staff at Sanga Sanga; we’ve both been helping to plan developments at Sanga, and we’ve both been learning to persevere through church, the hot season, accounts and frequent power cuts!

Everywhere right of the line is in the
Pwani (Coastal) Diocese!

Conference Season Preparation: As most of you will now be aware IBM (Institute of Bible & Ministry) is a theological programme designed to enable, mobilise and inspire the pastors and evangelists of the Africa Inland Church in Eastern Tanzania.  We want them to grow in their walk with God and be effective in their ministries as they serve their congregations and seek to reach out to those who haven’t heard the gospel before. That’s what we’re here for and that’s our main focus for being in Tanzania.  Every year we run 7-8 conferences in various locations in the AIC Pwani (Coastal) Diocese, which covers over half the country and includes 14 different regions.  In fact the diocese covers just over 347,000 square miles which is 7 times the size of England!  So now you can see why we often have to build in a full day’s travel either side of each conference, and request prayer for safety as we travel! 

The first four months of every year are set aside for organisation and the preparation of teaching material, as well as raising the necessary funds to hold the events.  The conference season begins in May and ends in December.  I’ve been tasked with preparing teaching material on the Holy Spirit and so for the last two months I’ve been reading, writing, prepping and praying my way through seven teaching sessions on that subject.  The topic of the Holy Spirit often sparks a lot of interest but, sadly, it’s often surrounded by much confusion and controversy.  In my reading I came across a quote by the former president of the Proclamation Trust, David Jackman, which sums up how I’ve been feeling about the issue over the last few years.  “For many Christians the great and glorious biblical truths about the Holy Spirit have been lost in the cross-fire of argument and counter argument, so that the whole subject has become a ground of contention and dispute, rather than of enlightenment and joy.  There is a place for a simple restatement of the great doctrines of the Spirit’s person and work for a new generation of Christians, many of whom have been forced to adopt positions and take sides in arguments, perhaps without fully realising the foundation principles on which such discussions are based.”


So, this is what I’m hoping to cover as I very simply restate the great doctrines of the Holy Spirit: what does the Bible say about the Holy Spirit?  What are the important tasks he carries out?  What are his roles in the life of the Christian and the Church?  Where does he fit into the Trinity?  What about the spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit gives?  What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?  What about the gift of speaking in tongues and baptism in the Spirit? And hopefully – all of this within eight three-day conferences!  I’ll be honest, although it’s been hard going getting down to study at times, it’s also been a privilege to take a more in-depth look at this vital subject and to wrestle with some of the issues involved.  I’ll quote the American evangelist of yesteryear, DL Moody, as I think he sums up how I feel getting to the end of this study period: “If you ask, do I understand what is thus revealed in the Scriptures about the Holy Spirit, I say ‘no’. But my faith bows down before the inspired Word and I unhesitatingly believe the great things of God when even reason is blinded and the intellect confused.”  I look forward with excitement and trepidation to the start of our conference season and to the teaching of His Word! 

Waiting for the start of the Kili Half Marathon

Running a half-marathon: a new African experience!  It’s 7am on the 1st March and I’m on the starting line with thousands of other runners waiting for the starter’s orders.  A number of questions come to mind as I wait for the start of the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon to begin: will my legs endure the 13 mile run around the town of Moshi? Will my asthmatic lungs cope with running at 3000ft? Will it be too hot and humid? What will the organisation of the race be like?  Will there be enough water stations on the way round?  The sun is on its way up and in the distance the snow covered peak of Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, looms out of the early morning haze.  As I glance around it’s easy to spot the seasoned runners, a few of whom possibly fancy their chances of claiming the £710 first prize.  Incidentally, the first prize for the winner of the full marathon is £1420; compare that with the £36,000 that the London Marathon winner got last year!  

We’re off!  It’s a slow shuffle at first as I jog/walk across the start line doing my best to avoid treading on the heels of those in front.  The first 5 miles of the route are all uphill on a tarred road and it’s hard to get into a rhythm, although the sights and sounds of other runners distract me from the uphill effort.  A Tanzanian guy passes me with a pair of black slip-on shoes on his feet (later to be discarded for a bare-foot race); another guy is wearing Crocs, and still another, a pair of over-sized work-boots!  And here I was concerned as to whether my four-year old trainers would cushion my feet!  A number of messages on the backs of various T-shirts catch my eye: “Excellence in Service” and “One elephant killed every 15 minutes in Africa”. We run past many shed-shops selling bananas and phone vouchers, and groups of people stop to stare, many in silent wonderment at why one would choose to do what we’re doing.  A group of children, some of them bare-foot, are standing on the edge of one of the coffee plantations which cover the lower slopes of Kili, and some of them are collecting the discarded plastic water cups for later use. 

As I begin the downhill section a couple of men stand on the back of a pick-up truck spraying water over the runners with a leaky hosepipe and some nearby loudspeakers rattle the eardrums as I pass by.  There are no half measures when it comes to volume and loudspeakers here in Tanzania!  The halfway point is passed and I continue to keep a steady pace, aiming to keep running for as long as I can.  Police sirens can be heard behind me and soon a group of Tanzanian/Kenyan runners glide effortlessly past me with their lanky long legs. These are the full marathon guys who have joined our route and are at their 18 mile mark!  I’m stunned by the length of their stride and the speed with which they are running.  My stubby legs are probably taking two strides for every one of theirs – no wonder I’ve no chance of taking that first prize!  The last few miles jar the knees but I know that the race is nearly run, and as I turn into the somewhat dishevelled ‘stadium’ for the last few hundred yards, I’m reminded of the great cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews, and so l throw off the growing tiredness that hinders me, and I manage to increase the pace and run with determined perseverance the race track that is now clearly marked out in front of me. 

Congrats to our team-mate Cath Swanson for
completing her first half marathon

Rather unsurprisingly, the ribbon has already been broken and so I settle for a medal and a T-shirt; grab a bottle of water, and look for a place in the shade to rest my weary bones.  And as I sit there listening to the rather loud MC announcing the names of those crossing the finishing line I ponder the many similarities and parallels of a physical race and the spiritual race I’m involved in: encouragement, crowds, fatigue, endurance, finishing.  I’ve managed to finish this particular physical race in a very pleasing 2 hours and 16 minutes, which was better than I had hoped for, but obviously I’m still involved in running the more important race that the writer to the Hebrews mentions.  The beauty and wonderment of the spiritual race is that, because of Christ, everyone who crosses that finishing line gets to share in an eternal inheritance that is beyond all imagination!  Yes, there are ups and downs, there are trips and falls, there are times of fatigue and tiredness as well as times of elation and enjoyment.  There are even times when we might need to get rid of unsuitable footwear and get serious about “fitting our feet with the readiness that come from the gospel of peace”.  Wherever we are in that race, “let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us and let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:1-2). 

For the record – one of the long legged Tanzanians won the half marathon in a time of 1 hour 3 minutes (only 73 mins quicker than me!), and the guy who ran the full-marathon was a lanky-long-legged Kenyan who ran his 26 miles in 2 hours and 16 mins, the same time as I managed for my 13 miles!  So, as you can see, still some way to go, but maybe next year…..?! 


For those who PRAY: 

  • Thank God for continued good health for Ruth.
  • We are very thankful that Steve has managed to prepare his teaching material for this year’s conferences – at least in English! 
  • Praise God that He saw fit to bring a friendly accountant to Morogoro at just the right time to help Ruth with the IBM accounts.   
  • Please pray for Steve he begins the translation work for these talks.
  • Please pray for Steve as he prepares to take over unit leadership on 6th April .
  • As part of that process we will both be travelling to Arusha to take park in unit leadership training from 16th–19th March.  
  • Please pray for the work of the Institute and in particular the next phase of development as we look to start building a conference centre. 

Random photos of the month:

Never heard them called that before!

The wall came tumbling down!  Our lovely bougainvillea
was just too heavy for the wall.

Giant grasshopper!


Middle East Let’s Pray 21st March

Adrian,

To download the event flyer click here. Scroll down for the full programme.
WEC Prayer Day Flyer

Below is the event programme. If you can’t come for long, why not drop in on one of the sessions highlighted in bold.

Programme

10:00 Tea, Coffee & Refreshments
10:30 Welcome + Worship with Nancy
10:45 Intro to WEC (James)
10:55 Devotional (David Frampton)
11:15 A Personal Perspective on Mission (David & Sue) + Prayer for the Middle East
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Song (Joan) + Challenges faced by MKs and families in missions(Steve)
13:50 More on the Middle East (David & Sue) + The Challenges Ahead
14:45 Up-Date from the Region (James)
15:00 Tea, Coffee & Refreshments

1st March 2015 newsletter

Louise,

Wec Prayer Day, 21st March

Everyone is welcome to attend all or part of this day, when we will be privileged to have David and Sue, experienced workers in the Middle East, as our main speakers. We are looking forward to an interesting and inspiring time of prayer and fellowship, starting at 10.00am with refreshments and finishing at 3.30pm.  Gill would appreciate some help in serving teas/coffees at various times and two or three home made cakes.  If anyone can help, please contact her. Thank you.

Compassion sponsors’ lunch – Sunday March 22nd

There will be a lunch following the Sunday morning service for all those who sponsor children through Compassion. After lunch a short video will be shown, followed by time to share ideas and pray for our sponsored children. Please sign the sheet at the back of church to help us with catering arrangements. For more information please see John & Rachael, or Roger & Hazel.

Men’s Curry Night

Ian is organising a men’s curry night on Monday 9th March 7.30pm here at the church, £7.50. Please contact Ian if you would like to attend.

*** Epic Explorers Easter Holiday Club ***

This year’s holiday club (5-11 year olds) will run from Tuesday 7th April – Friday 10th April, 10am-12.30pm daily.  Volunteers are needed to run this club, please pray about whether you would be able to help out in any way.  The areas we need help with are set up, worship, sound desk, projector, team leaders and helpers, registration and set design.  Please speak to Rhiannon if you have any questions.  There is a sign up sheet at the back of church so please put your name down. If you can only help for an hour, please do so.  Most importantly, please could you pray for this event, the children and people involved in this club. Thank you.

Craft Group

Do you have a craft or sewing skill you can share or something you would like to learn? Come and join CBC Craft Group on the first Saturday of the month from 10am–12.30 in the coffee hall. We are meeting again on Saturday 7th March. For more information contact Kathy or just pop in next Saturday and see what we are doing!

Midweek Service

The next midweek service will take place on Wednesday, 4th March, at 2pm. The text will be from Luke 10.1-24 with Eric leading and preaching. The service will be followed by tea/coffee and home-made cakes. Please speak to Eric for more information on these fortnightly services.

CBC Cooking Rota

We would like to establish a short term cooking rota service for new families, people just discharged from hospital or any who would benefit from this. We are looking for volunteers to cook and help serve in this way. Please contact Mike Blaikley on michaelblaikley@gmail.com if you would like to receive this service or if you could join the team of volunteers.

Saturday morning prayer

There is a prayer meeting every Saturday morning for the new work in Rudloe and for wider gospel expansion in Corsham. We meet in the hut at 8.30am. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Vicar of Baghdad

Canon Andrew White is the priest in-charge of one of the world’s most beleaguered churches and the hardships faced by him and his congregation are almost intolerable. However, the resilience and faith of the Christians in Baghdad are an inspiration to us all and in spite of the repression, prejudice and persecution there is real hope and belief in the salvation to be found in Christ which is shared by us all.

The moving story of Canon Andrew White and his fellow Christians is told by the Rev. David Post in a one hour audio/visual presentation which reveals the challenges and difficulties of being a Christian in one of the most unstable countries in the world. Following his retirement, David visited St George’s Church, Baghdad and on his return to Britain he decided to travel the length and breadth of the country to highlight the work of the church to as many people as possible; his mode of transport is by bicycle.

David will be telling their story at St. Bartholomew’s church, Corsham on Tuesday 14th April at 7.30pm. The evening is free and refreshments will be served during the event. Please make it a date in your diary and come along to learn about and support the work of our fellow Christians in Iraq.

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 10am

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

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

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

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

…Looking ahead…

9th March: Men’s curry night, 7pm

10th March: The Lunch Club, 12 noon

11th March: Prayer for Missions and Persecuted Church

18th March: Midweek service, 2pm

21st March: WEC Prayer Day at CBC – focus on the Middle East

22nd March: Nominations open for new deacons

28th March: The Ark, 10am

30th March: Ladies’ bible study, 7.30pm

1st April: Midweek service, 2pm

7th-10th April: Holiday Bible Club

12th April: Baptism service, 10.45am

14th April: The Vicar of Baghdad presentation, 7.30pm, St. Bart’s

18th April: Rob Durant induction service, 2pm Corsham Baptist Church, Priory Street

20th April: Annual Church Meeting

22nd February 2015 newsletter

Louise,

Ladies’ Bible Study The next ladies’ bible study will be held on Monday 23rd February at 7.30pm. There are green sheets on the table at the back. If you would like to know more about these monthly meetings, please have a chat to Kathy or Anne.

Saturday morning prayer There is a prayer meeting every Saturday morning for the new work in Rudloe and for wider gospel expansion in Corsham. We meet in the hut at 8.30am. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Ark The Ark is taking place again on Saturday, 28th February at 10am. Please speak to Rachel if you want to know more about this outreach activity to families with young children in the community.

WEC Prayer Day Saturday 21st March Everyone is welcome to attend all or part of this day, when we will be privileged to have David and Sue, experienced workers in the Middle East, as our main speakers. We are looking forward to an interesting and inspiring time of prayer and fellowship, starting at 10.00am with refreshments and finishing at 3.30pm.  Gill would appreciate some help in serving teas/coffees at various times and two or three home made cakes.  If anyone can help, please contact her. Thank you.

Message from our Pastor! If you have a real desire to be part of our church but are struggling to feel plugged in, here’s a link to a short article which Pastor Eddie recommends: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2015/02/05/the-plus-one-approach-to-church/

Life in the Lancs Lane Steve and Ruth, our missionaries in Tanzania, have compiled another interesting and information-packed newsletter for January. There are paper copies on the table at the back or you can visit their blog at http://www.lancsintanz.blogspot.co.uk/

…This week…

Wednesday : Early morning prayer, 7.15am

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

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am, The Hut; The Ark, 10am

Looking ahead…

4th March: Midweek service, 2pm

6th March: Women’s world day of prayer, St. Aldhelm’s, 7pm

7th March: Craft Group, 10am

9th March: Men’s curry night, 7pm

10th March: The Lunch Club, 12 noon

11th March: Prayer for Missions and Persecuted Church

18th March: Midweek service, 2pm

21st March: WEC Prayer Day at CBC – focus on the Middle East

22nd March: Nominations open for new deacons

28th March: The Ark, 10am

30th March: Ladies’ bible study, 7.30pm

1st April: Midweek service, 2pm

7th-10th April: Holiday Bible Club

18th April: Rob Durant induction service, 2pm Corsham Baptist Church, Priory Street

15th February 2015 newsletter

Louise,

Saturday morning prayer

There is a prayer meeting every Saturday morning for the new work in Rudloe and for wider gospel expansion in Corsham. We meet in the hut at 8.30am. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Elders’ Meetings

Rob will be coming to Corsham on Thursday and having meetings with the eldership to pray about, and discuss the way forward, regarding the leadership structure of Corsham Baptist Church for both Priory Street and Rudloe congregations. Please lift these important meetings up to God in prayer.

Prayer for missions and the persecuted church

The next meeting will be at CBC on Wednesday 18th February from 7.30pm to 9.00.  We will pray for our own missionaries, the Oasis Centre and those suffering for their faith.  The country of the month is Saudi Arabia.  Please note change of venue.  All welcome – see Gill for further details.

Housegroup Leaders’ Meeting

There will be a housegroup leaders’ meeting tomorrow night, Monday 16th February, 8pm at Vicky’s home. Please contact her if you have any other queries.

Message from our Pastor!

If you have a real desire to be part of our church but are struggling to feel plugged in, here’s a link to a short article which Pastor Eddie recommends: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2015/02/05/the-plus-one-approach-to-church/

Midweek service

There will be a service on Wednesday 18th February at 2pm with Eric leading and preaching. The text will be Luke 9.51-62 and there will be communion. The service will be followed, as usual, by tea and homemade cake. For more information about these midweek services please speak to Eric Seager.

Ladies’ Bible Study

The next ladies’ bible study will be held on Monday 23rd February at 7.30pm. There are green sheets on the table at the back. If you would like to know more about these monthly meetings, please have a chat to Kathy or Anne.

The blue envelope giving scheme.

If you give to CBC either by cash or by cheque, you might find it helpful to make use of our blue envelope scheme. These are available in a pack of 52 dated weekly envelopes, and some people find this a very useful way of keeping their giving in order. Speak to our treasurer, Michael Prior, if you would like a pack.

Life in the Lancs Lane

Steve and Ruth, our missionaries in Tanzania, have compiled another interesting and information-packed newsletter for January. There are paper copies on the table at the back or you can visit their blog at http://www.lancsintanz.blogspot.co.uk/

…This week…

…Half term…

Monday: Housegroup leaders’ meeting, 63 Pickwick Rd., 8pm

Wednesday : Early morning prayer, 7.15am; Midweek service, 2pm; Mission and Persecuted church prayer meeting, 7.30pm

Thursday : Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am, The Hut

Looking ahead…

22nd February: Baby dedication, 10.45am

23rd February: Ladies’ bible study, 7.30pm

28th February: The Ark, 10am

4th March: Midweek service, 2pm

6th March: Women’s world day of prayer, St. Aldhelm’s, 7pm

7th March: Craft Group, 10am

9th March: Men’s curry night, 7pm

10th March: The Lunch Club, 12 noon

11th March: Prayer for Missions and Persecuted Church

18th March: Midweek service, 2pm

21st March: WEC Prayer Day at CBC – focus on the Middle East

22nd March: Nominations open for new deacons

28th March: The Ark, 10am

30th March: Ladies’ bible study, 7.30pm

1st April: Midweek service, 2pm

18th April: Rob Durant induction service, 2pm Corsham Baptist Church, Priory Street

8th February notice sheet

Louise,

Saturday morning prayer

There is a prayer meeting every Saturday morning for the new work in Rudloe and for wider gospel expansion in Corsham. We meet in the hut at 8.30am. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Prayer for missions and the persecuted church

The next meeting will be at CBC on Wednesday 18th February from 7.30pm to 9.00.  We will pray for our own missionaries, the Oasis Centre and those suffering for their faith.  The country of the month is Saudi Arabia.  Please note change of venue.  All welcome – see Gill Bryant for further details.

Sierra Leone and the ebola crisis

On Sunday evening 15th February, Michael Bryant will take five minutes to share briefly about the situation ‘on the ground ‘ in Sierra Leone and how we can pray (interview with Alan Kember in the evening service).  Michael is a doctor who has spent a total of 14 months working with Mercy Ships in a children’s clinic in Freetown, and he has an ongoing involvement with Sierra Leone.

Life in the Lancs Lane

Steve and Ruth, our missionaries in Tanzania, have compiled another interesting and information-packed newsletter for January. There are paper copies on the table at the back or you can visit their blog at http://www.lancsintanz.blogspot.co.uk/

Housegroup Leaders’ Meeting

There will be a housegroup leaders’ meeting on Monday 16th February. Venue and time of meeting will be announced next week. Please speak to Vicky if you have any other queries.

The Lunch Club

The next seniors’ lunch club will be held on Tuesday 10th February at 12 o’clock at CBC. This event is held monthly and involves a three-course meal and a talk. If you are interested in attending, please have a chat to Michael or Wendy.

The blue envelope giving scheme.

If you give to CBC either by cash or by cheque, you might find it helpful to make use of our blue envelope scheme. These are available in a pack of 52 dated weekly envelopes, and some people find this a very useful way of keeping their giving in order. Speak to our treasurer, Michael, if you would like a pack.

Message from our Pastor!

If you have a real desire to be part of our church but are struggling to feel plugged in, here’s a link to a short article which Pastor Eddie recommends: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2015/02/05/the-plus-one-approach-to-church/

This week…

Monday : Mums’ bible study group, 10am

Tuesday: The Lunch Club, 12 o’clock

Wednesday : Early morning prayer, 7.15am

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

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am, The Hut

Looking ahead…

14th February: Matthew & Ginny’s wedding, 12.30pm

16th February: Housegroup leaders’ meeting

18th February: Midweek service, 2pm; Missions and persecuted church prayer meeting, 7.30pm at CBC

22nd February: Baby dedication, 10.45am

23rd February: Ladies’ bible study, 7.30pm

28th February: The Ark, 10am

4th March: Midweek service, 2pm

6th March: Women’s world day of prayer, St. Aldhelm’s, 7pm

7th March: Craft Group, 10am

10th March: The Lunch Club, 12 noon

11th March: Prayer for Missions and Persecuted Church

18th March: Midweek service, 2pm

21st March: WEC Prayer Day at CBC – focus on the Middle East

22nd March: Nominations open for new deacons

23rd March: Ladies’ bible study, 7.30pm

28th March: The Ark, 10am

1st April: Midweek service, 2pm

18th April: Rob Durant induction service, 2pm Corsham Baptist Church, Priory Street

1st February notice sheet

Louise,

Church Meeting

Our first Church Meeting of 2015 took place on Monday and the following people were welcomed into membership at Corsham Baptist Church:

Kathy Ewins; Michelle Burton; John and Amanda Godwin; Lionel and Shirley Davel; Tim and Kathryn Hogg; Neal and Lesley Grindrod; David and Sue Morrell; Joe and Roz Shillaker; Garrie Dixon.

Saturday morning prayer

There is a prayer meeting every Saturday morning for the new work in Rudloe and for wider gospel expansion in Corsham. We meet in the hut at 8.30am. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Midweek Service

This will take place on Wednesday, 4th February, at 2pm and the text will be Luke 9.46-50. Eric will be leading and David Morrell will be preaching.

CBC Craft Group

Have you a craft or sewing skill you can share or something you would like to learn? Come and join CBC Craft Group on the first Saturday of the month between 10am–12.30pm in the coffee hall starting on 7th February. For more information contact Pam Mitchell or Kathy Ewins or just pop in in February to see what we are doing! Please keep the insert for future reference.

Junior Church, Kestrels

Thanks to everyone who helped last year.  There will be a sign-up sheet in the main hall for anyone who would like to help in the kestrels group (ages 4-6) this year.  Sheet runs from now until Easter and you only need to sign up for those dates when you are available.

Baby Dedication

Next Sunday at the 10.45am service we will be welcoming the friends and family of Nathan and Christine as their baby son, Reuben, is dedicated.

Life in the Lancs Lane

Steve and Ruth, our missionaries in Tanzania, have returned to Africa after a short Christmas break in the UK. They have compiled another interesting and information-packed newsletter for January. There are paper copies on the table at the back or you can visit their blog at http://www.lancsintanz.blogspot.co.uk/

Lost Property

The lost property table will be out for the next two weeks in the coffee hall. There is an array of items from lipstick to duvet cover, books, clothing and even a pair of rubber dolphins!! Please take what belongs to you. Whatever remains after two weeks will be disposed of.

Housegroup Leaders’ Meeting

There will be a housegroup leaders’ meeting on Monday 16th February. Venue and time of meeting will be announced next week. Please speak to Vicky if you have any other queries.

This week…

Monday : Mums’ bible study group, 10am

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

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

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

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

Looking ahead…

7th February: CBC Craft Group, 10am

8th February: Baby dedication, 10.45am

14th February: Matthew & Ginny’s wedding, 12.30pm

16th February: Housegroup leaders’ meeting

18th February: Midweek service, 2pm; Missions and persecuted church prayer meeting, 7.30pm

22nd February: Baby dedication, 10.45am

23rd February: Ladies’ bible study, 7.30pm

28th February: The Ark, 10am

Newsletter 25th January 2015

Louise,

Church Meeting

Our first Church Meeting of 2015 will take place Monday night, 26th January, at 8pm. The agenda and minutes from the last Church Meeting are on the table.

Saturday morning prayer

There is a prayer meeting every Saturday morning for the new work in Rudloe and for wider gospel expansion in Corsham. We meet in the hut at 8.30am. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Ark

There is another session of The Ark taking place on Saturday 31st January at 10am at CBC. This is an outreach activity to families with young children in the community and involves craft, singing, puppets etc. Please speak to Rachel if you would like to know more about this monthly event.

 CBC Craft Group

Have you a craft or sewing skill you can share or something you would like to learn? Come and join CBC Craft Group on the first Saturday of the month between 10am–12.30pm in the coffee hall starting on 7th February. For more information contact Pam or Kathy or just pop in in February to see what we are doing!

Junior Church, Kestrels

Thanks to everyone who helped last year.  There will be a sign-up sheet in the main hall for anyone who would like to help in the kestrels group (ages 4-6) this year.  Sheet runs from now until Easter and you only need to sign up for those dates when you are available.

Thanks from the Treasurer

We have received letters of thanks for our Christmas donations, from Corsham Churches Foodbank for £671 and also from Tearfund (Ebola crisis) for £729.

Life in the Lancs Lane

Steve and Ruth, our missionaries in Tanzania, have returned to Africa after a short Christmas break in the UK. They have compiled another interesting and information-packed newsletter for January. There are paper copies on the table at the back or you can visit their blog at http://www.lancsintanz.blogspot.co.uk/

This week…

Monday : Mums’ bible study group, 10am; Church Meeting, 8pm

Wednesday : Early morning prayer, 7.15am

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

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am, The Hut; The Ark 10am

Looking ahead…

4th February: Midweek service, 2pm

7th February: CBC Craft Group, 10am

8th February: Baby dedication, 10.45am

11th February: Missions and persecuted church prayer meeting, 7.30pm

14th February: Matthew & Ginny’s wedding, 12.30pm

16th February: Housegroup leaders’ meeting

18th February: Midweek service, 2pm

22nd February: Baby dedication, 10.45am

23rd February: Ladies’ bible study

28th February: The Ark, 10am

 

Newsletter 18th January 2015

Louise,

Ladies’ Bible Study

The first ladies’ bible study of the year will take place tomorrow night, Monday 19th January at 7.30pm. The study notes (pink sheets) are on the table at the back of church. The study is open to all women. Please speak to Anne or Kathy.

Church Meeting

Our first Church Meeting of 2015 will take place on the 26th January at 8pm.

Saturday morning prayer

Saturday morning prayer for gospel expansion in Corsham has started again. We meet in the hut at 8.30am. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Life in the Lancs Lane

Steve and Ruth, our missionaries in Tanzania, have returned to Africa after a short Christmas break in the UK. They have compiled another interesting and information-packed newsletter for December. There are paper copies on the table at the back or you can visit their blog at http://www.lancsintanz.blogspot.co.uk/

CBC Craft Group

Have you a craft or sewing skill you can share or something you would like to learn? Come and join CBC Craft Group on the first Saturday of the month between 10am–12.30pm in the coffee hall starting on February 7th. For more information contact Pam Mitchell or Kathy Ewins or just pop in in February to see what we are doing!

Midweek Service

The next midweek service will be held this Wednesday 21st January with Eric Seager leading and preaching. The text will be Luke 9.28-36.

Junior Church, Kestrels

Thanks to everyone who helped last year.  There will be a sign-up sheet in the main hall for anyone who would like to help in the kestrels group (ages 4-6) this year.  Sheet runs from now until Easter and you only need to sign up for those dates when you are available.

Housegroup Leaders’ Meeting

The housegroup leaders’ meeting which was due to take place tomorrow has been changed to Monday 16th February. Please speak to Vicky Stephenson for more details.

 

This week…

WEEK OF CHRISTIAN UNITY

Monday : Mums’ bible study group, 10am; ladies’ bible study, 7.30pm

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

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

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion in Corsham, 8.30am, The Hut

Looking ahead…

25th January: Leadership training

26th January: Church meeting, 8pm

31st January: The Ark, 10am

4th February: Midweek service, 2pm

7th February: CBC Craft Group, 10am

8th February: Baby dedication, 10.45am

11th February: Missions and persecuted church prayer meeting, 7.30pm

14th February: Matthew & Ginny’s wedding, 12.30pm

16th February: Housegroup leaders’ meeting

18th February: Midweek service, 2pm

22nd February: Baby dedication, 10.45am

23rd February: Ladies’ bible study

28th February: The Ark, 10am

Week of Christian Unity

18th – 25th January is the week of Christian Unity. There are booklets on the table at the back should you wish to know more and a sheet detailing church opening times. There will be a service at St. Patrick’s on Sunday 25th at 6pm should anyone wish to attend. The evening service at CBC will still be held as normal.

Christmas Capers

Steve and Ruth Lancaster,
As I type the thunder is echoing off the hills behind us and the rain is drumming heavily on our tin roof, and all around is either verdant green or muddy red!  A week ago, as Tony and I attempted to tackle the fourth fairway of the local golf course, we were forced to abandon our game due to thunder, lightening and driving rain; in fact the rain seemed to be ‘driving’ with more effect than we were!  Needless to say we got an absolute soaking!  And then a few weeks ago, the New Year celebrations here in Morogoro were dampened as the outdoor market was deluged; the rickety old wooden shacks and stalls were marooned in waist-deep water!  It seems as though the rainy season is well under way although, with weather patterns across Africa becoming unpredictable, we’re not sure whether it’s the ‘long rains’ come early or the ‘short rains’ come late!

Celebrating with the Lancasters at New Year

As you know we celebrated Christmas and New Year in the UK with our families – and what a wonderful time of reunion/ blessing/fun/laughter it was, except for one night of hospitalisation for Ruth in Lincoln!  Under a general anaesthetic she had a minor operation to drain a large abscess, which had started off as a boil and developed into a nasty carbuncle – we’ll spare you the photos! Although it made a slight dent in our schedule, it was timely as we were able to use the services of the NHS rather than have it done in Tanzania.  Nearly four weeks after the operation the wound is more or less healed, and thankfully, Ruth hasn’t had another boil.

Despite the fact it was only a brief visit we managed to pack a lot in (travelling between Newark, Carlisle, Elgin, Nairn and Bicester), and yet our time didn’t feel too squashed.  We wandered the beaches of Nairn, revelled in the frost of Elgin on Christmas Day, meandered through the frozen forests of Culbin and then, in complete contrast, jostled our way through the crowded streets of London, watched The Hobbit in Bicester cinema – and ate rather a lot of food at various family gatherings!

Twins!  But which one is Ruth?

Did it feel strange to be back in the UK after being in Tanzania for the past 17 months?  In all honesty, not at all.  I think we expected to feel a bit strange given the many differences there are between the two cultures – but it all felt very normal, although we took a great deal of pleasure from some of the things we once took for granted.  It was so nice to eat chips from a chippie, to drink water straight from the tap, to wander around the spotlessly clean and varied aisles of Sainsbury’s (!), awesome to drive roads which weren’t littered with pot-holes and vehicle wrecks, relaxing to feel safe on those roads, and great to feel chilly when you first get into bed!


The machete sharpener!

But now – we’re back here in Tanzania.  All our flights were bang on time and we managed to fly in and out of Nairobi airport just a few hours before the runway closed after a plane belly-flopped onto the runway following landing-gear failure!  The airport was closed for six hours and all flights diverted to Mombasa!  I found myself pondering the many differences between the UK and Tanzania as I sat in the barbers the day after we returned.  Sat next to me in the no-frills shop were three Maasai men dressed in their traditional red attire.  The doors were wide open, the air was hot and humid, and the noisy generator was chugging away outside because the power was out once again – and the haircut cost me £1.50!  It’s back to sleeping under a mozzie net, watching the geckos hang off the ceiling and hearing the various minarets ‘singing’ out their calls to prayer.  It’s back to the land of whacky races, swerving to avoid pot-holes, people, bikes and mini-buses on the roads.  It’s back to the noises of the night – the cicadas, crickets and frogs; it’s back to being confronted with the poverty that many people here experience, as well as feeling tongue-tied as I grapple to find the right Swahili word!  It’s back to seeing children walking to school with machetes and brooms in their hands!

And as the New Year begins it’s also back to work, serving the pastors of the Africa Inland Church here in eastern Tanzania, and helping out at the home of the Institute of Bible & Ministry at Sanga Sanga.  And do you know what?  It’s amazing how normal it all feels!  And that’s because this is where we’re meant to be doing for this chapter of life.  That being said – it also feels rather daunting as we enter our second full year here in Morogoro as things are going to get busier and more involved.  I am trying to set aside Jan/Feb as study months for my teaching sessions for the year ahead.  I’ve been set the task of looking at the person and role of the Holy Spirit; both exciting and of course daunting! I’ve also been asked to preach in Swahili once a month (from March) at the ‘back-garden’ church featured in last months blog, and from April onwards I’ll also be taking on the role of unit leader for the northern part of eastern Tanzania (more info next time).  Ruth is planning her English classes for the next few months, wrestling with the accounts and working on how to raise funds for the next phase of construction at Sanga.



The site where the conference hall
will be built

The 13 acre site at Sanga currently has a number of agricultural plots and bandas, a pump house with a  container-style office, a campsite for passing travellers and the recently constructed Retreat House which has a small meeting room and sleeps 13 people.  The next stage is to build a 250-seat conference hall towards the top end of the site complete with a seminar room and a small library to aid visiting pastors in their studies. The site has been cleared and various test holes have been dug and the boys with the shovels are about to ‘break ground’, although the speed of progress will depend very much on what’s in the kitty from week to week!  Apart from an annual gift from AIC Tanz the development of IBM & Sanga relies on donations – so if you’re looking for a project to support in 2015, and believe in the ethos of IBM (which is to enable, mobilise and inspire pastors and evangelists to a deeper relationship with God and effectiveness in ministry) and want to contribute, then please consider giving to either the training/seminar project or the development/building project. For more info on IBM or to make a donation, please see the following websites: www.aimint.org/eu/give and www.aictbibleinstitute.org.

Praise & Prayer Points:

  • We’re praising God for a wonderful two weeks back in UK with family – loved it!
  • We’re thanking God that Ruth was able to get good medical care exactly when she needed it and we’re also grateful for a 7th wedding anniversary on 19th Jan! 
  • Please pray for Ruth as she continues to look for a language helper and as she prepares for new English classes (beginning 26th Jan);
  • Please pray for me as I knuckle down to preparing for my teaching on the Holy Spirit, firstly in English and then translating into Swahili.
  • And finally, please pray the words of Eph 1:17-19 for us as we head into this year, that “God would give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we may know Him better. Pray also that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which He has called us, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.”

Many, many thanks. 

Steve & Ruth





Random photos of the month:



 
Guess what the nephew got for Christmas!