The national heat wave of July has been and gone. How did you cope? Did you bask in the sunshine or hide in the shade? I love the sunny weather – but was definitely glad to be on the coast where the breeze kept us much cooler than other parts of the UK. In hot weather there is nothing like a dip in the Bay to keep you cool and refreshed. What a great place to live!
Whether we’re in for more hot weather or the more familiar grey skies and drizzle of the English summer I do feel like I – andweasachurch–areinneedof some refreshment.
It’s been a busy few months for our church – as we’ve emerged out of lockdown, started to find our feet again, started a new pattern of services, welcomed new people, restarted old things, started new things, taken on members of staff, continued with the Renewal project and Hope House development. I’m no Doctor but if I were to offer a diagnosis of our congregation I would say that we’re tired. Not unduly or acutely exhausted (I hope!) but definitely in need of rest and refreshment.
So – I hope that’s what the summer will bring. Church life will quieten down a bit over August, fewer meetings, only one service on Sundays (10.30am –All Age open air), some people will go on holiday, others have some time off. For most of us I hope the usual pace will drop a bit. As it does – let’s take some time to rest, reconnect with God, friends and family, enjoy where we live and do the things that do us good. The Well Being course has reminded us that we all need this.
As we physically and mentally take a break let’s also make sure we’re looking afresh to God, the source of true refreshment. Peter says this in Acts: “turn to God, that your sins will be wiped out and that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19.
I pray that we will all experience these times of refreshing – not just over the summer – but as we continually turn to Jesus.
Have a blessed and refreshing summer. With love
Church Pastoral Aid Society Update
CPAS was founded in 1836 by prominent Christians including Lord Shaftesbury. It was established as a Christian response to the massive social change brought about by the industrial revolution. What were small village churches found themselves caring for the new urban poor. CPAS was a charity set up to resource these churches to cope with this change. Their mission was then as it is now – “to bring the gospel to every door.” It focuses on equipping and resourcing lay and ordained leaders for evangelism and kingdom building work across the U.K. and Ireland. They also engage with children and young people in Venture and Falcon adventure holidays. Please pray for the children and leaders taking part in 62 holidays welcoming over 2,500 children this summer! Some are young carers and many are disadvantaged and lack things that we take for granted. The children take part in the many activities including abseiling, canoeing and mountain biking, craft and games. One child signed up for mountain biking without being able to ride a bike! After tears and frustration the leader managed to teach the child to ride. John who went up to collect his first dinner was amazed when he could not just have one filling but as many as he liked in his jacket potato! As well as taking part in many adventures and activities they are offered the opportunity to discover God’s love, truth, grace and blessings – not surprisingly there are many stories of answered prayers and changed lives!
There is currently a vacancy for a church representative at St. John’s for the Church Pastoral Aid Society.
I hope you will feel you would like to fulfil that role! Please contact me if you would like to know more.
Jill Flux Mission Societies Co-ordinator
Wake up call
In early June, John and I returned from a stimulating, and long delayed, holiday through Western Canada and along the Coast of Alaska. The scenery was stunning. Snow-capped mountains, lakes, glaciers and wildlife in abundance, with forests as far as the eye can see. Small wonder, that to some, the Climate Emergency may seem remote and even exaggerated.
Is this also true for us, living as we do in such a beautiful part of Britain?
Environmentalists speak of the planet heading towards a tipping point and warn that without ACTION damage may be irretrievable.
But in this summer of 2022 we are now facing challenges which impact our lives and lead us to reconsider and make changes………
“Summers aren’t like they were when we were young” so goes a familiar observation from my generation. I remember warm sunny days enjoying the simple pleasures of the seaside. But, summers are definitely not like they were when I was young – they were never as hot as the recent heatwave and that is a fact. Records have been broken and these are not records to be proud of. These are records which are a Wake-Up Call.
Foods Shortages and Price Rises
Food prices are rising by the week. We have become accustomed to low prices and this may have caused us to be too casual in the way we shop. Do we over cater? There is undoubtedly a problem in this country with the amount of food we waste. Could we make meals with ‘left-overs’? Perhaps we could adopt a more plant-based diet using vegetables, pulses, beans and fruit. And by so doing we may also experience health benefits.
Rising Fuel Cost
Do we really need to use the car? Could we walk? Go by bus? Cycle? Join with others in a car-share? With a bit more forethought and planning we probably could live our lives depending less on petrol and diesel thereby saving money. And there will be health benefits here too, both for us and the planet.
Home heating costs are rising too. Some families have reached the point where they have to make a choice between ‘heating and eating’. So perhaps we could heat water only when needed instead of having it constantly available. And come the winter there are other ways to stay warm – by wearing more layers of clothing (yes I know Ovo Energy were chastised for this suggestion) but it is good advice. And how about only heating the rooms we use?
Many of these things feel inconvenient – but actually they point to an Inconvenient Truth!
We are drifting towards a climate crisis.
Might it be that God is allowing these difficulties to impact our lives? Is this His Wake-Up Call?
We have looked before at ways of making a difference – small steps in the right direction. But maybe we now need to take some bold strides in the right direction in order to preserve and maintain this beautiful God created world.
Whatever we can do to stem the headlong rush towards that tipping point, is worth doing.
So, let’s get involved in whatever way we can; by restoration, repair, conservation, recycling, reusing, planting, sharing and giving.
And remember we are all in this together. We can support each other through these difficult times by sharing and caring. Sharing resources and ideas, watching out for our neighbours in need and through collaboration and thoughtfulness, we can and will reduce the negative impact we are having upon God’s wonderful world.
Cheap healthy meals for you and your family.
For economical and tasty, easy to cook, one pot meals – why not take a look at the recipes on the Pot Luck website? . Below is a recipe example.
Chick Pea Stew
Ingredients for 2 people:
2 large potatoes
1 tin tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas
1 tblsp vegetable oil 1 stock cube
1 tsp mixed herbs
1⁄2 clove of garlic
1. Peel and slice onion and garlic.
2. Scrub vegetables and cut into cubes.
3. Heat oil in pan and gently fry onion.
4. When soft add carrot, potatoes and garlic, stirring to prevent sticking.
5. Drain chickpeas but keep their liquid.
6. Add tomatoes, chickpea liquid, mixed herbs and then crumble in the stock cube.
7. Cook until soft – stirring frequently.
8. Lastly add chickpeas.
9. Serve with green vegetables or crusty bread –enjoy
Personal reflections on the Wellbeing course
Over this summer our church has been learning what wellbeing means, covering all aspects of life, including spiritual wellbeing.
I found the course particularly helpful, and learnt that the mind is the root of any change in our behaviour and that we can make each thought captive to Christ by allowing God to shine a light on our thoughts. God can help us to be secure in who we are.
We can also ask God to help us with our emotional wellbeing, remembering we are made in God’s image, although we are flawed. It is often helpful to share each others problems and to provide a listening ear.
On the matter of physical wellbeing, we should look after our bodies however old we are. No one is in perfect health, but we seek God’s grace remembering that Paul had a chronic health problem and God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Regarding spiritual wellbeing, Jesus came to set the captives free – God can free us from having bad habits if we are willing to let Him. Nothing is too small for God to deal with. We are all part of God’s family and He is the person who can set us free.
We also learnt about healthy relationships – God is a relational person and longs to see us thrive. We can show love for each other by helping each other. However at times relationships can be stressful and it is especially at these times that we need to trust God and to seek suitable help for other people. There is some truth in the old adage, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, meaning that by sharing and praying we can get the necessary help.
Community faith (ie church family faith) is to be shared. It was a wonderful witness when Grace and Dan were recently baptised in the sea.
At the time of writing this, we can now look forward to learning about financial and vocational wellbeing.
So what has this series taught me? That I am not alone, God is with me all my life. He has highlighted some areas in my life that God needs to deal with and this will be an ongoing process as I learn to forgive people (fortunately no one in our church!) who have hurt me in the past, causing some bitterness and pain, and being reflected in my behaviour.
I look forward to growing together as a church family and inviting new people into our church; may they see our church as a welcoming one, as we all continue on our journey to know more about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Reading and Prayer Rota for 9am and 10.30am Services
I will soon be compiling the Reading and Prayer Rota for each service from September to December . We really could do with some more people on the list. Is this something you would like to be involved with? If so please email me before 15th August and state reading/prayer or both and whether you would be available at 9.00 or 10.30 service or both. Also let me know which dates you will not be available for. Thank you.
Sundays at St John’s – Weather Permitting (in church if wet)
Many thanks to those who have sent articles for this month’s issue.
There will not be a September Jottings so you have plenty of time to send us something for the October edition. This month’s edition has been less than usual so maybe October’s could be a bumper issue.
Please send articles dates or information to Linda and Michael Miles by 17th September,
Vicar: Rev Tom Coopey
Warden: Jos Bailey