Notice sheet 5th August 2018

Louise,
CBC news logo

Thank You!

“We want to thank everyone at CBC for their wonderful support during the MK Staff Training Course. Many people have helped in different ways and we are so grateful for all of this – childcare, catering, refreshments, hospitality driving, etc. etc. Without your efforts we could not have delivered the course and it has been a privilege to watch the church members operating as a team. Please keep praying for the group as they head out to their different fields of service, and for the Kapitaniuk family as they do further training with WEC France and spend time learning English before going to BCS.”  Steve and Gill Bryant.

Holiday Club Tues Aug 28th – Fri Aug 31st 10am – 12.30pm

This year will be a water-themed holiday club for primary school aged children.

“How can I help?” I hear you ask. There are sign up sheets at the back of church with many roles available including: registration team, refreshments team, team leaders and helpers, sound, projection, set  up and set down, please sign up! There are plenty flyers at the back so please take some for neighbours and friends and encourage them to come.  Above all, please pray.

Children’s Songs Practice

On Thursday 9th August at 7:30pm (at Priory Street) Heather Chilcott and Beth Mills will be running a session to brush up on children’s songs in church!  If you would like to know anything more, please contact either Beth or Heather.

Midweek Service

This will take place on Wednesday 8th August at 2pm.  The text is Psalm 19 and Eric shall be leading and preaching.

Life in the Lancs Lane

Steve and Ruth Lancaster, our missionaries in Tanzania, have put out another information-packed newsletter.  Paper copies are on the table at the back or you can read their blog online.

Men’s Ministry

The men of our church will be getting together for fellowship and a BBQ at CBC on Tuesday, 14 August at 7:30pm.  Look out for sign up sheets at the back or contact Ian Holmes, Paul Kelly or one of the other members of the men’s ministry team if you would like to attend.

YOUTH to SOUL

Dan Ovens has taken a group of young people to the Soul Survivor summer festival; they will be back on 9th August. Please pray for the young people as they spend time with one another and with God.

 

… Looking ahead over the next few months…

13th August: Men’s fight night, 8pm

14th August: Men’s bbq 7:30pm

22nd August: Midweek service, 2pm

25th August: Zoe Little / Seth Lavington wedding 1:30pm

26th August: Infant dedications at 9:15am and 11:15am services

28th-31st August: Holiday Bible Club

2nd September: Week of Prayer starts

9th September: bbq for 11:15 congregation – 12:30-3:30pm

9th September: tea before evening service (time to be confirmed)

            commissioning service for Littles, 6pm

10th September: men’s fight night, 8pm

12th September: Midweek service, 2pm

24th September: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

26th September: Midweek service, 2pm

30th September: 2nd open meeting to discuss leadership restructure, 4:30pm

1st October: Men’s fight night, 8pm

7th October: Harvest services

9th-17th October: Mission trip to Tanzania

10th October: Midweek service, 2pm

22nd October: Church Meeting, 8pm

24th October: Midweek service, 2pm

29th October: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

31st October: Light Party, 5-7pm

A PRAYER FOR DAYS WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE PRAYING

kathylarkman,
Silhouetted women holding hands

everyday prayers scotty smith“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:26-27 NIV

“Dear Father, this is one of those days when I could create a long prayer list and methodically go through it, but I’m not sure I would really be praying. I could go through the motions, but to be quite honest, it would be more ritual than reality- more about me than the people and situations I’d bring before you. I’m feeling a bit distracted this morning, scattered and not very focused.

It’s one of those days I’m glad the gospel is much more about your grasp of me than my grip on you. I’m grateful your delight in me is not contingent upon my delight in you. I’m thankful for the prayer ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Gracious Father, I have no problem or reluctance in acknowledging my weakness this morning. In fact, it’s freeing to know your Spirit doesn’t abandon us when we’re weak but helps us in our weakness, faithfully praying in us with ‘wordless groans’. Though I don’t understand everything that means, I do get that you search our hearts and you know the mind of the Spirit, and that brings me great comfort today.

No one knows our hearts better than you, Father. And you search our hearts to save us, not to shame us; to deliver us, not to demean us; to change us, not to chide us. You know my dignity and my depravity, my fears and my longings, my struggles with sin and my standing in Christ.

And at this very moment your Spirit is praying inside of me, perfectly tuned in to my needs and in total harmony with your will. I cannot measure the peace that brings. I surrender right now, Father. I will gladly groan to your glory. I know you are at work for my good in all things, including this season. You have called me to life in Christ, and you will complete your purpose in me, in each of your children, and in the entire cosmos. I do love you; I would love you more. I pray with thankfulness, in Jesus’ merciful and faithful name. Amen.”

God loves you

Eddie,
Dazzling fireworks over London superimposed by this quote from "The Art of Rest " by Adam Mabry: " God loves you, God has saved you, God has in store for you a future so dazzling your mind cannot comprehend it. There is nothing you have done to deserve all that – nothing – and that’s OK, because it’s all freely given. This is all true of anyone who trusts in Christ. Anyone. YOU. Re-read that paragraph. Rest in it."

“God loves you, God has saved you, God has in store for you a future so dazzling your mind cannot comprehend it. There is nothing you have done to deserve all that – nothing – and that’s OK, because it’s all freely given. This is all true of anyone who trusts in Christ. Anyone. YOU.

“Re-read that paragraph.

“Rest in it.”

From Adam Mabry: “The Art of Rest” p.56

Notice sheet 29th July 2018

Louise,
CBC news logo

Holiday Club Tues Aug 28th – Fri Aug 31st 10am – 12.30pm

This year will be a water-themed holiday club for primary school aged children.

“How can I help?” I hear you ask. There are sign up sheets at the back of church with many roles available including: registration team, refreshments team, team leaders and helpers, sound, projection, set  up and set down, please sign up! There are plenty flyers at the back so please take some for neighbours and friends and encourage them to come.  Above all, please pray.

Craft Club

The craft club will take place next Saturday, 4th August at 10am at Priory Street. Please speak to Pam Mitchell or Hazel Hammett for further details.

Life in the Lancs Lane

Steve and Ruth Lancaster, our missionaries in Tanzania, have put out another information-packed newsletter.  Paper copies are on the table at the back or you can read their blog online.

Men’s Ministry

The men of our church will be getting together for fellowship and a BBQ at CBC on Tuesday, 14 August at 7:30pm.  Look out for sign up sheets at the back or contact Ian Holmes, Paul Kelly or one of the other members of the men’s ministry team if you would like to attend.

YOUTH to SOUL

We are taking a group of young people to Soul Survivor summer festival from

4th – 9th August. Please pray for the young people as they spend time with one another and with God.

 

… Looking ahead over the next few months…

4th August: Craft Club, 10am

8th August: Midweek service, 2pm

13th August: Men’s fight night, 8pm

14th August: Men’s bbq 7:30pm

22nd August: Midweek service, 2pm

25th August: Zoe Little / Seth Lavington wedding 1:30pm

26th August: Infant dedications at 9:15am and 11:15am services

28th-31st August: Holiday Bible Club

2nd September: Week of Prayer starts

9th September: bbq for 11:15 congregation – 12:30-3:30pm

9th September: tea before evening service (time to be confirmed); ommissioning service for Littles, 6pm

10th September: men’s fight night, 8pm

12th September: Midweek service, 2pm

24th September: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

26th September: Midweek service, 2pm

30th September: 2nd open meeting to discuss leadership restructure, 4:30pm

1st October: Men’s fight night, 8pm

7th October: Harvest services

9th-17th October: Mission trip to Tanzania

10th October: Midweek service, 2pm

22nd October: Church Meeting, 8pm

24th October: Midweek service, 2pm

29th October: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm

31st October: Light Party, 5-7pm

Challenges and Distractions; Dancing with Masai and Opening the ‘Oak Hall’

Ruth,

Three down, three to go! In our last newsletter we used this map to indicate where our six regional pastors’ conferences would be taking place. We’re now able to put three giant ticks alongside three of those locations, and the fourth one will be taking place this coming week when we head off to the backwaters of Ifakara. Thank you to those who have prayed for me during these seminars. Each conference and venue has its own distinctive flavour but one constant is that folks here just don’t seem to get fazed by distractions! During the first conference in Babati we had children peering through the windows and the sound of a nearby band-saw cutting wood! In the Kilwa conference the unfinished floor of the church was as level as the Uluguru mountains, with clods of clay-soil increasing the risk of much ankle-twisting! It didn’t seem to matter to them! Nor did it matter greatly, during the last session of the last day, when someone spotted a venomous snake curled up in a crack in the wall, high above my head! It was ironic that the topic we had been looking at was that of Satan and his scheming! Peter talks about Satan prowling “around like a lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8), but we also know that Satan slithers around as a serpent looking for people to deceive, even within the walls of the church! One of the pastors grabbed a stick and quickly ‘dealt with it’! “Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Pet 5:9)!

A harmless grass snake seen on safari – not the one at the Kilwa seminar!

During the recent Pwani conference, which was held in the relative peace and quiet of our Sanga HQ, a couple of dogs and a bleating goat made an appearance in our un-walled thatched banda – but again, it didn’t seem to distract the listeners! As for me, it often seems like an uphill battle trying to ignore these various distractions, whilst also trying not to lose my train of Swahili speak! Oh the joys of preaching in Africa! There is one exception that I can think of, where mobile phone distractions obviously grated with a certain pastor! On the wall of his church there is a notice quoting a verse from Habakkuk that says, “the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him”, along with the accompanying words: “please switch off your phone”! Anyway, distractions aside, the teaching on 1 Peter seems to have been well-received, and about 70 pastors/evangelists now have enough material to craft at least 20 sermons for their congregations! All part of AIM’s goal to see “Christ-centred churches amongst all African peoples”. Onwards to Ifakara, Magambua and Mbeya!

Changamoto Kubwa! One of the most challenging verses that we look at in 1 Peter comes towards the end of ch 2: “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply from the heart” (2:22). In Swahili I would say to the pastors: “Hii ni changamoto kubwa sana.” Roughly translated it means “This is a big challenge”! And don’t we know it!? Loving one another can be tough and we can only do it effectively in the power of the Holy Spirit and not in our own strength. Leading on from this verse I then head towards John 13:34-35 where Jesus instructs his disciples (and us!) to love one another, stating that if they do this, outsiders will realise that they are followers of Christ. Love is indeed the key to the gospel isn’t it? Paul says to the Corinthians that if we lack love in our lives, our witness amounts to nothing.

I recently heard a great story that highlights the importance of love within the Christian community; love for each other and love for those who do not know Christ. We have an AIM team living out in the Tanzanian bush that I sometimes visit and they’re seeking to live out the gospel to an Islamic people group. This is what one of the team said: “One day I happened to be sitting in the market with some of the local men who didn’t know that I was part of the team. Two of my team members happened to be passing by and, as always happens when they go to market, kids came flocking! I heard one of the elders from the mosque comment: ‘Do you see that? Before long, this area is going to become Christian.’ The team member sitting in the market asked the elder what he meant and the elder replied: ‘Those Christians really love our people. They care for people when they are sick and they visit their neighbours every day. They really love and pay attention to the kids, and they’re even learning our language. That kind of thing is so different from how we are… it’s irresistible. That’s why I say this area is going to become Christian.’” Wow! What an encouragement that was to that particular team, and what a reminder to us of how important agape love is as a witness to those who don’t know Christ. Father, fill us with your love; strengthen and equip us to love each other, so that a watching world may be drawn to your irresistible love.

Dressed up for the Opening Day – Steve didn’t want to wear a matching outfit!

Conference Centre Opening: Following hard on the heels of our Pwani conference in July was the long-awaited opening of the conference centre, three years after the project began. Ribbons were cut, plaques were unveiled, and cameras clicked as we gathered to give thanks to God for the people who had helped to make it possible. When Solomon had finished building the temple in Jerusalem all those years ago, his prayer of dedication was recorded for us in 1 Kings 8. In response, the Lord said to Solomon: “I have consecrated this building which you have built by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” (1 Kings 9:3b) We’ve had that reference inscribed on a stone tablet near the main entrance and, having dedicated the building to God, we trust that He will indeed always be there and that His powerful presence will be felt by those who use it. The Centre will be used by the AICT, various other churches, kids camps and other organisations and our hope is that God’s name will be glorified in what takes place there. We also want to thank the various people and churches that have contributed to this project, and especially to Oak Hall for their generous support; hence the reason for the naming of the main hall!
Click to view slideshow.
Time off and random holiday happenings! In the middle of July my sister and her family came for a ten day holiday and we had an awesome time introducing them to all-things Tanzania. We certainly packed a lot in: swimming in the Indian Ocean, playing tennis in the heat, experiencing the bite of the notorious Tsetse flies whilst on safari, climbing gigantic Baobab trees, walking up the Uluguru mountains, wandering amongst the rickety fruit and veg stalls of Morogoro market, and sitting in a three-hour church service; what more could you want!? In regard to the latter, they coped admirably, and even introduced the congregation to the chorus ‘My God is a great big God’. Not so sure Ruth appreciated trying to translate the words, “He’s higher than a skyscraper and deeper than a submarine’! However, one of my favourite memories was introducing my bro-in-law (Phil) to the game of golf! It turned out to be quite a random game! On the 8th hole, as we prepared to tee-off, we encountered a Masai choir strung out across the fairway filming a DVD! I’m not so sure they had ever seen a golf ball before, but they signalled that we should play on, and so we walloped (not an official golfing term!) our balls down the fairway. From 150 yards my ball sailed over the heads of the dancing Masai, whilst Phil’s ball left a dent in the back of a Masai warrior! However, there didn’t seem to be too much hard feeling, as Phil and the family were then invited to star as guest dancers in their production! My lasting memory will be of Masai warriors dancing with their sticks, alongside Phil dancing with his golf club! Only in Tanzania!
Click to view slideshow.
Dates for the Diary:

31st Jul – 4th Aug:       IBM Pastors’ Conference in Ifakara
18-31st Aug:                Oak Hall group at Sanga
25th-29th Sept:            IBM Pastors’ Conference in Magambua
11th-16th Oct:              AIM Missionary Conference in Dar (Corsham Baptist Team!)
23rd-27th Oct:             IBM Pastors’ Conference in Mbeya.

Prayer Requests:
Please pray for Ruth as she deals with administration and financial ssues, along with managing guest bookings. We’re currently looking to recruit an accountant/book-keeper for 12 months, so if you know of anyone who might be interested, please give them a prod! Please pray for me in the remaining conferences; that I would teach faithfully & biblically, and that the pastors would go away spiritually well-fed and better equipped to feed their congregations.

We currently have a team of 17 people from All Souls, Langham Place, London, staying at Sanga Sanga. They’re here to experience the Tanzanian culture and to help out around the site. In mid-August we’ll also be getting ready to receive 22 guests from Oak Hall. Please pray for Ruth and I as we lead that trip, and that people would be challenged with regard to mission, and what they can do to help build God’s kingdom.

We are sad to report that Sanga Sanga’s cows were recently stolen – by the security guard employed to guard the site! As you can imagine, this has been very disheartening for all the team and workers at Sanga Sanga. The thief is now in custody but the cows haven’t been found yet. Please pray that they would be returned to us. They aren’t just valuable in themselves but also provide a useful source of income through selling their milk.

Please pray for our team here in Morogoro. The Swansons (Tony just recovered from pneumonia) leave in December, although we’re encouraged that a family plan to join us here in January next year. We’d also be grateful for your prayers as we think beyond our next home assignment (Mar-Sept 2019), and ponder the question of whether we should return here for a third term.

Thank you for all your prayers and support!

BY GOD’S GRACE- THE TESTIMONY OF CATHERINE DONOVAN

kathylarkman,
Silhouetted women holding hands
Cathy Photo

CATHERINE DONOVAN, contributor for today’s blog post 

We have been studying about God’s grace and our thorns and these series have come to an end. There are many thorns in my life, but even more evident is God’s grace. For me, one of those constant thorns or pain in my flesh and soul has been the sense of loneliness through my life. By God’s grace, I have learnt to dress up in the mantle of God’s fatherhood each day.
I was born in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, in East Africa. Tragically my mum was shot when I was 6 and I found her body. My dad was murdered when I was 10. Left a total orphan in a country that UNICEF estimates to have 2.5 million orphans, it is a miracle that I have never lacked clothes, slept on the streets or gone a day without food. God has been my Father. Psalm 68:5: “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”
I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of 11 when a call was made to come forward in Church after a sermon. I knew I had no one and God would be my refuge. At the time when my Dad died, I was left with one of my stepmothers who took out her frustrations on me to the point that I would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat thinking she was shouting my name. I worked hard to go to the best secondary school in the country, a boarding school that banned corporal punishment. I found out more about what it meant to be a Christian in that school and joined the Christian Committee.
My faith was quickly tested when at the age of 15, I was purportedly rescued from my step mother by a maternal uncle. When he came to collect me from school his financial circumstances had changed and he gave me over to his very rich best friend, who had a daughter in the same school. Unfortunately this rich man wanted me for a wife. I spent my time hiding from him and locking my bedroom door with a belt through the door handle and keyhole. God protected and delivered me from that situation. However, my faith faltered as I could not understand how God could take me from one state of suffering to the next. I stepped down from serving on the Christian Committee because the rich man’s daughter had spread the word in the school that her dad was my sugar daddy. I left their home but did not know where I was going to live or find school fees. I was filled with hatred, had a hit list and asked a local security man to teach me how to use a gun so that I could enact vengeance on those who had wronged me. “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.”(Leviticus 19:18).
Overwhelmed by life, I took to blanking my mind using transcendental meditation through a book I read. This situation was turned around when staff members introduced me to a Pastor and his wife who opened their home to me and the staff members sorted out sponsorship for me. Their commitment took me through my secondary education and I passed highly enough to get a scholarship for my University education and qualify as a lawyer.
I am grateful that: the Lord rescued me from the rich man as many young girls died of AIDS because of him; because of my stepmother’s ways I ended up in that specific secondary school; God has been a Father to me and has brought healing, deliverance and bestowed the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair- Over and over in my life (Isaiah 61:1-3). Truly, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose“ (Romans 8:28).

Mens’ ministry BBQ

Tim Stephenson,
Man with barbecue

It seems a while since we all got together, but there has been some planning going on in the background for what we want to achieve in the season running from September to November.

In the meantime, we thought it would be a good end to to this semester by getting together for fellowship and a BBQ at CBC on Tuesday, 14 August at 7:30pm.

To let us know that you are coming look out for the sign-up sheet at the back of the church or…

We look forward to seeing you as we seek God in building a supernatural fellowship at CBC that will be attractive to those who do not yet know Jesus as their Saviour.
The Mens’ Team

Holiday club – starts Tue 28th Aug

Tim Stephenson,
Scuba diver and shark swim together, caption: "Come and join us for some watery fun while exploring the Bible"

Summer is well and truly upon us this now and wow I’m feeling hot and bothered! Just as well the holiday club theme is filled with cool refreshing water then.

Come and join us at Priory Street right after the bank holiday, put it in your diaries now!

A PRAYER ABOUT TEACHABILITY

kathylarkman,
Silhouetted women holding hands

everyday prayers scotty smith“Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.” Proverbs 15:31-32

“Lord, Jesus, scanning through the book of Proverbs recently, I noticed how many verses are about staying teachable, receiving correction, and loving discipline I’ve underlined over the course of the years. I wish the sheer number of highlighted verses was an indication of how humble and nondefensive a man I am. But that’s simply not the case. I still shift blame, make excuses, and sew fig leaves with the best of of them.

So here’s my prayer: I want to own, grieve, and repent of my defensiveness, Jesus. I’m not sure why, but I’ve become a little more touchy of late, a little more likely to bristle when confronted. I’m sure it’s my pride, insecurities, and self-righteousness, but I’m equally sure you’ve got grace for that.

Jesus, help me to anticipate and welcome feedback from my spouse about my attitude, choices, and excesses. Help me to hear your voice in things my children may want to or need to share with me about the past and the present. Help me to cultivate friendships in which growing in grace is just as important as the fun stuff we choose to do. Don’t let me ignore concerns and corrections from mentors, ‘underlings,’ neighbours, even angels you send.

Help me not just to read the Bible but to have the Bible constantly reading me – exposing my sin and brokenness and revealing more and more and more the riches of the gospel. There’s no way I’ll make ‘my home among the wise’ without having my heart at home in your mercy, grace, and peace.

Jesus, it’s because you made yourself of no reputation, becoming sin for me on the cross, that I don’t have to live for my own reputation. Because I’m not long guilty or condemned for my sin. I can live in the freedom of convictability, teachability, and humility. Help me Jesus, help me. I pray in your gracious name. Amen.”