Good news that Muriel seems a little better after her fall a couple of
weeks ago but she's still in Lewisham Hospital (Aspen Ward). Sue James
asked us to add her daughter Gemma to our prayer-list. Gemma is very
unwell and goes for some results tomorrow.
Karen resigns as Explorers Leader! She reluctantly took the job on when Margaret handed in her notice and otherwise our junior youth club would have folded over a year ago, after running for something like seventeen years. With no obvious successor to Karen it looks like the era will finally come to an end. I won't be working with kids anymore, that makes me personally sad, but also I feel very bad for the core group of kids who've been coming regularly and who will miss it awfully.
We'll run to the end of the Summer Term and then the club's future will be decided at the next SCC Leadership Team Meeting. Karen first brought the matter up at the last LT meeting but this was the first I'd heard of it. I'm still taking it in and my blocked ear made me more internalised than usual at tonight's Explorers pre-term planning and support meeting otherwise I would have said more, perhaps unwisely. An early thought is that perhaps something else should spring up in it's stead like Badminton Club? I could certainly do with the excercise! Another thought is why not thow a big party for past and present members of the club?
I remember reading about the exponential growth of St Thomas' Church in Crookes, Sheffield, and one of the secrets of their success was not to artificially keep an activity going after someone stepped down from running it. Another was the successful initial merge of two small congregations and that's good to hold in mind as we go through the process of joining with the Bear (similarly the successful three fellowship merge that wound up as St Lukes of Lodge Moor, Sheffield, is an inspiration).
This was another important milestone in the merge process. We'd been invited as a church to the Bear's business meeting and the unification of the two congregations would be the major topic on the agenda. I was proud of us and our attendance, we were thirteen in all, but no doubt the fact that it would normally have been house-group night contributed to our good turnout.
The Bear's leader, Paul, had prepared well and a copy of his notes should shortly be available here so I won't report much besides that it was a lovely atmosphere throughout. He spoke for most of the meeting before letting us discuss as small groups what he'd been talking about. Then he asked us, group by group, for input. At one point he asked George to say something into the meeting as leader of the SCC. George never preaches without notes and it was lovely to see him speaking freely from his heart. He didn't go on long but there was a rousing applause and cheers when he'd done.
The plan is that this Sunday the two fellowships come together mid-service for praying over the ground and buildings of the Gloucester Hall. We'll both start our services normally and in our own premises then somethime after 11.30am the Bear will come over. They are organising that side of things and no doubt we will organise the refreshments. :-)
We really enjoyed another joint service with the Bear on Sunday morning.
At the beginning of every year we invite a speaker to bring a us a Bible verse to sustain us and give us direction through the coming months. It turns out the Bear do the same and as this year the two congregations look to merge it was decided that the word would be shared. The speaker was the Bear's pastor, Paul Addlington, and the verse he felt led to bring was Phillipians chapter 3 and verse 12.
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
George has had cards printed for us with this tranlation (NKJ) but in his talk Paul used several.