Monday, 23 February 2015

Welcome to Ellen Price – and Farewell!

Yesterday, we were pleased to welcome the Revd Ellen Price, minister of Oadby Baptist Church, as the preacher at our morning service. This was part of a preacher exchange – our vicar, Steve Bailey was taking part in the service at the Baptist Church.

It was especially good to welcome Ellen as she will soon be leaving Oadby to be one of the Regional Ministers of the East Midlands Baptist Association. When she was interviewed by Hugh James, she told how surprised she had been to be led by God into the Christian Ministry, let alone to become a Regional Minister. She spoke of her concern of how the church should go outside to meet people where they were, with news of the love of Christ, rather than just inviting them to come into church.

In her sermon, she spoke about the account of how Jesus was found eating with the outcasts of Jewish society – (extortionate) tax collectors and prostitutes. She spoke about how in the name of Christ, we should go outside our comfort zones.

Ellen – thank you for being with us yesterday and for all that you have done in Oadby over the last 6 years. May God bless you in your role as a Regional Minister.

A Belated Pancake Day!

 Four days after Shrove Tuesday, St Pauls held its own pancake day, on Saturday evening, combined with a quiz night. After the social group had made 2 very tasty pancakes for each person, we settled down to the quiz night, when our ignorance was shown to all. Fortunately, as we worked by tables, individual lack of knowledge was often overcome by the more knowledgeable. Sadly, sometimes, no one on the table had any idea of the answer.

It’s often difficult to recognise celebrities’ faces, but the combination of 2 people into one face made them (for many of us) almost impossible to place. Identifying pictures of famous world sites was somewhat easier.

However well one did, it was done in good company, and the whole thing was an enjoyable evening.

Many thanks to the social team who made it possible, cooked the pancakes and arranged the quiz.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Archbishop Welby speech in Appreciation of Bishop Tim

Like all diocesan bishops, Bishop Tim is a member of General Synod, the Church of England’s law making body. As Bishop Tim retires shortly, the recent session of Synod was his last. At the end, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, marked his retirement with a farewell speech.

In it, the Archbishop reviewed all that Bishop Tim had achieved, particularly since he arrived as Bishop in Leicester. This varied from his work as a diocesan bishop in a particularly ethnically diverse, but also nationally in the House of Lords, where he chaired the group of bishops (Lord Spiritual!) and in national bodies, such as when he chaired the Children’s Society.

To hear this speech, click here

Monday, 16 February 2015

Sharing Jesus, Changing Lives

The charity or mission which St Paul’s highlights this month is CMS, the Church Mission Society. CMS is the largest Anglican Mission Society. It was founded in 1799 and since its amalgamation with the South American Mission Society, it works in all continents.

It describes its raison d’ĂȘtre as follows:

Our purpose
The Church Mission Society is a community of people in mission obeying the call of God to proclaim the Gospel.

Our vision
A world in which all peoples are being drawn into fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our mission
CMS aims to live a mission life-style; equip people in mission service; and share resources for mission work.

The ministry of CMS is clearly focused on evangelistic mission, particularly in contexts where the name of Jesus is rarely heard:

We are pleased to join CMS in their vision to make Jesus known worldwide and to help to support it financially. As part of the parish of Oadby, we have a link with Jane Jerrard, who works with CMS in village schools in Pakistan.

The 40acts Challenge for Lent

Lent is often considered as a time for giving things up. At its origin, it was a time when Jesus was tested. Equally valid to giving things up, is using Lent as a time for doing positive things that one might not otherwise do – often things that benefit others. A website, “40acts” has been set up. This gives an opportunity for 40 days of giving back, doing good and living generously.

Why not look at it and consider how you might take part. If you enroll, your first challenge will drop into your inbox at 6.00am on Wednesday 18 February and you will receive an email on Shrove Tuesday to make sure you're ready.

Are you up to it? To join, click here.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Looking to the Future

Today, the church’s governing body, the District Church Council, or DCC, spent the day at the church rooms at St Denis Church Evington. The purpose of this awayday was to seek to discover what God might be wanting us to do in the future. Stephen led us in looking back at our strapline “A church for all ages, cultures, backgrounds and nationalities, growing and following Jesus that had been developed two years ago. Much of that vision had indeed been achieved, but now he believed that God wanted to lead us on.

The day started with a time of TaizĂ© style worship, with a reading from Ephesians: 1. After looking back, and a time of stillness, we broke into groups and considered our priorities for the future. Different groups produced different lists, which were put up around the room. Then, during the buffet lunch, the whole group marked which potential developments they felt were the priorities. At a further session, some of those developments were worked out in greater detail.

A very productive day finished with a simple act of Holy Communion. Having sensed the Spirit of God overruling the day, we look forward to seeing how he will lead us in the future.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Happy 90th Birthday

One of the great pleasures of being part of a Fellowship such as St Paul’s is to share in each other’s joys and sorrows.

Today was an undoubted joy as we celebrated Jane Springthorpe’s 90th birthday. The celebrations took place during the weekly “Coffee Pot.” After a resounding “Happy Birthday” June cut the magnificent cake – one of Gill Aires’ special creations. Everyone there was treated to a piece.

June, you contribute a lot to St Paul’s and to Coffee Pot. We wish you well for the next decade. May God be with you!