Pray – Serve – Grow

I’ve now been Vicar here for over a year – how time flies (at least it has for me!) Christmas 2017 was, therefore, the ‘last of my firsts’ in the yearly cycle of church life – and I was so encouraged to see the church so full and so welcoming as we celebrated together. Thank you to all who worked so hard over the Christmas period – and thank you to everyone for the support you have shown to us during our first year here.

So what’s next?

In Joshua 3:5 the Israelites are told, “Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Consecration had practical implications but at its heart this was a command for the people to be set apart for God and ready for what he wanted to do. As we seek God for his vision for the church we need to hear again both the promise that he wants to do amazing things among us and that calling for us to be committed to him and ready.

So where do we start? The Salisbury Diocese uses the line, ‘Pray – Serve – Grow’ and I think these are important and timely words for us. Let’s renew our commitment to prayer – corporately and personally, let’s listen to God and cry out for his Kingdom to come. Let’s renew our commitment to serve. Service is both a duty and a joy and there are lots of areas of church life where help is consistently needed. Maybe God is nudging you into something new this year….. go for it! And let’s set our hearts on growth – and be intentional about growing – in depth, in number, in passion, in maturity and in love. This focus may well lead us into new and exciting things over the coming months and years.

I’m excited about where God will lead us and seeing him do amazing things among us. Let’s start by together making a commitment to pray, to serve and to grow.

Focus… The Music Group

We’ve been asked to give you some background on the Music Group. If you’re a relative newcomer to St John’s you may think we look as if we’ve been here forever! Well, sometimes we think that is exactly the case! The truth is we have been leading the music worship at St John’s for a number of years – Pete in the mornings and Dave in the evenings. We do it because we love to play and sing out our worship to God, and we believe that it is something that God has called us to do. And it is our hope and prayer that what we do helps you to draw into God’s presence and worship Him too.

You may also think that we are a bit of a closed shop – an established team that doesn’t need or welcome new members. We’re sorry if it seems that way, because it is far from the case. So do you have a gift of singing or playing a musical instrument that you think God might be calling you to use in helping to enhance our worship? If so, please come and talk to Pete, so we can explore it further. If there is enough interest we’ll arrange a get together in the next few weeks when you can bring your voices and/or instruments along and we’ll play through some worship songs together. The more the merrier, so please don’t be shy! After all, we can’t go on forever, and would love to see fresh talent beginning to take a lead.

Pete and Shirley Evans-Jones

Ladies Allowed Christmas Coffee Morning

Shirley Saunders kindly invited ladies to a coffee morning at her home. About 18 of us enjoyed coffee, cake, chocolates and biscuits.

After some lively conversation, Liz Afanasiew distributed a picture quiz of churches in Weymouth which we had to identify. This was harder that we expected except for those of us, like Liz, who had taken part in Ride and Stride.

Tessa de la Mare read to us a thought provoking story.

We also played pass the parcel which was organised by Pat Worrall. As the music stopped and a wrapper was removed there was a note with the title of a carol which we sang together. A small gift was revealed in the final wrapper.

Finally we all made our way home in lovely December sunshine.

Thank you to Shirley.

Once again thank you to John de la Mare and his team for putting up the Nativity scene in the porch. It’s such a brilliant reminder to all those who pass by what Christmas is all about.

One wet day the little girl at the front was wiping away the rain from a sheep with her glove. When asked what she was doing she said she didn’t want the sheep to get wet!