Archive of entries
Jane Robson, previously a member of our church, is currently training for the ministry at Regent's Park College, Oxford, and is working with Kingswood Baptist Church, Watford. Keep up with Jane's news here.
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Sunday 27th March 2011
Some of you will know that I asked for prayer for our service of worship today so I want to start by saying ‘thank you’. One of our Toddler Group mums came for the first time with her son who’s three and her daughter who’s six. Our challenge, as I’m sure you can imagine, is how to provide age-related activities from our limited resources. Today the answer was to share in all-age worship which seemed to go well thanks to your prayers. I took some photos this morning so you can get an idea of what we did, based on the story of the woman at the well. The ring of chairs in the corner covered by curtains only looks like it is a ring of chairs covered by curtains...if you had been here this morning you would have realised that it is in fact a well. The children helped me with all sorts of activities including making all the plasticine people to represent all the people we prayed for this morning. (They made them while we adults had to sing...)
I’ve also included a photo of our Lent Cross – I know, it’s not an old Christmas tree and it’s a strange shaped cross, but it has been used at Christmas to hang lanterns on and I’ve seen pictures of a T-shaped cross before so I’m not too disappointed. The symbols, words and music all work well though, which is the important thing.
As we’re not at college now, I managed to get to Toddler Group on Tuesday – we have about nine carers and children, so the hall is well populated for an hour and a half – and I shall go again this week. I’m hoping others may be encouraged to come to church...? Then it was the York course Bible Study on Wednesday and a much needed day off in Rugby on Thursday with another walk round Ryton Pools (this week with Brenda). On Wednesday evening I also attended Watford New Hope Trust’s 21st anniversary celebration at the parish church of St. Mary. I was greatly impressed by all that the Trust has done and is doing for the homeless in Watford – and it has certainly grown from its very small acorn beginnings. I’m looking forward to being shown round the work; probably in the summer.
Then, more community engagement yesterday with another litter pick round Alban’s Wood with the Friends of Woodside community group (there were only three of us, but the other two are local councillors, so a useful “networking” opportunity!) So, time for a lie down? I wish...
Sunday 20th March 2011
I realise that since I last wrote, we have had two church services: last week’s was a smaller congregation again but this week’s was boosted by a couple of visitors (Maire and Debbie Harvey!) Sadly (for them they told me), I wasn’t preaching as we have just had another four-day week at college and the recommendation from college is that we allow ourselves the following Sunday off. (I had also taken the service on the first Sunday of the month when the Brownies came). So I disappeared off with our two children while the visiting preacher spoke. Our version of the Lent Cross is working well – I shall have to remember to take my camera to church next week and take a photo for the site so you can see what our attempt looks like – we use the same words as those at Rugby and thanks to Chris Meacham we’re even able to have the same music.
I’ve also had a couple of days off this week so was in Rugby on Friday and Saturday. I was able to take myself off to Ryton Pools on Friday afternoon and walked round there in the Spring sunshine enjoying the country-side and seeing various young children out and about with mums or grand-parents! And then Brenda and I went to see the Agatha Christie play at Rugby Theatre in the evening – all in all, a very relaxing day. A very profitable time with my pastoral advisor took up a couple of hours of Saturday morning, but this “work-time” was soon forgotten as some friends took Brenda and I out for lunch afterwards. It was a day for eating out; mum and dad celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary that day so I treated them to a meal at The Pytchley, West Haddon (no, I don’t get commission for the free advertising!)
Now, college is finished, but as I reminded my Church Secretary, I’m still “part-time” at the church...I have a shelf full of books to read for an essay that is to be handed in at the end of April as well as a reflection paper on the “year” for the start of term – but we’re not back at college now until 9th May (after Baptist Assembly!) so I shall have a very different routine for the next 5 weeks. And to mark that, I’m going to King’s Langley Baptist Church tonight – I could do with just ‘being’ in a church service. Next week it’s their Anniversary and I know you’ve just had an excellent day with James Grote, but they’ve got the General Secretary of BUGB – Jonathan Edwards - preaching (oooohhh!) so we shall go over ‘as a church’ in the evening to support them.
Saturday 12th March 2011
Our Parade service last Sunday brought 5 Brownies and their families to KBC which meant that we had a congregation of about 30 – most of those who came regularly go to other churches, but it was still encouraging for our folk to be part of a larger worshipping community. The girls did very well – three of them taking part in a dramatic reading and all of them leading us in prayer. Of course, there were other moments during the service when I asked for volunteers when they were able to be involved. We ‘moved’ the first Sunday in Lent forward one week, so we handed out Christian Aid “Count Your Blessings” sheets and because we were looking towards Easter we handed out Palm Crosses as well!
The lateness of Easter this year means that college terms are having to change and so we have another ‘0’ week at the end of this term (usually these are at the start of the term) and we will be looking at ‘Black Theology and Racial Awareness’ – on Wednesday we have to be on a coach at 7am to go into London to visit a couple of churches (zzzz) but I’m looking forward to it.
And for a change today has been my day off this week – deliberately chosen so I could go on the church walk – it’s so good to be able to get out in the countryside with friends and enjoy the fresh air and open spaces. But I’m doing well for exercise generally at the moment as I cycled into Watford again yesterday – for a “Children Across Watford” meeting – I’ve got it down to 25 minutes now. There’s a possibility of some of the Watford churches helping us with a Family Day-type event at Pentecost weekend – please pray that we would walk with God in setting this up.
Saturday 5th March 2011
Well, the church are still speaking to me after last Sunday although one or two made it clear that they wouldn’t want it like that every week – which is good, ‘cos neither would I! I’ve included a couple of photos so you can see something of what we got up to. Five different members of the congregation helped me read the Creation story including the two children so that was a significant change to our normal practice. The most encouraging feedback came from the mum of the two children and also the visitors we had who had come to give us a cheque. The lady’s husband had died last November and he had left the church some money in his will. I was so pleased when she said to me afterwards, “If Ron had been here, he would have loved this.” This Sunday will still be “different” as we have the Brownies coming, but each week continues to be a challenge to make worship appropriate, challenging and glorifying to God.
I’m a bit behind with college work although no deadlines have been missed so panic has not set in (yet). And last Monday’s leading of prayers at college was very well received – I took the opportunity to include two songs we won’t be singing at Kingswood for some time to come yet (unless I can get Rugby’s music group back down again!) – based on the account of the man with four friends. Having asked someone else to read the scripture from Mark 2:1-12, I then shared this...
Well, maybe not all. Jesus’ sister, we’ll call her Anna, had been in town doing the shopping when Jesus arrived home and in the hour she’d been away it seemed that the whole town had crammed itself into the tiny house and she’d had to stand with those stuck outside. Which meant she hadn’t really caught much of what had happened that afternoon until everyone had gone home. And that was when she saw it. That great big hole in the roof. And...and... ”for goodness sake, Jesus, what on earth have you been up to? Why is half the roof lying on the floor? What have you been doing? I turn my back for five minutes...” Well you get the picture. On and on she went and no amount of explanation from Jesus about just what had been going on could calm her down. Even when Joseph, the man who’d been healed came back to thank Jesus, all Anna could talk about was the mess, the inconvenience and just how much it was going to cost to get that hole in the roof mended. She just couldn’t get past the upheaval that Jesus had caused in her own life – and see the mighty saving acts of God that had been going on around her. Of course, we would never have reacted like that...would we?
I’ve been out on my bike three times this week, so having also eaten out three times this week, I should be OK weight-wise, I hope. You may smile, but this sedentary life-style after nearly seven years of being very active does have its drawbacks! There’s much more I could write this week, but I still have a service to finish preparing, so must go. Please keep in touch...