Let the word of God dwell deeply….

Thanks for your prayers for the latest and biggest phase of the Renewal Project. It has been a busy few weeks. Lots has been achieved and it feels so good to think that the building is now pretty much ready for the new chapter of mission and ministry that is ahead of us.

Even more important than preparing the building though is the need for us to prepare our hearts.

I feel that God has often highlighted the following encouragement from Paul’s letter to the Colossian church for us at St Johns. I’m therefore hoping that over the coming weeks as restrictions continue to lift and as churches begin the process of re-opening that we might all dwell and meditate on these words…

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Every line of this is full of poignancy for us at this time. It’s a wonderful picture of what it takes to live in unity as God’s people. After all we’ve been through it reminds us of who we are how we are to live.

May these words dwell in us richly over these weeks. Let’s read them, read them again, pray into them, ask God to speak to us deeply. Let’s allow the Spirit to excite, provoke, challenge, correct, motivate and transform us through these words.
Over to you….

With love

News from Weymouth Foodbank

On average food is provided for approximately 60 customers a week (a customer could be a single person, a couple or a family so more than 60 people a week are receiving food).

New developments include:-

  • A new logo (as above)
  • A website – www.weymouthfoodbank.co.uk
  • The warehouse (the “hub”) is now fully operational
  • Trustees meeting regularly on Zoom
  • Information and training evening on Zoom for all our Trustees and volunteers
  • Generous financial donations from individuals and supporting groups and also from some
    sponsored events
  • Customers are now able to be directly referred to CAB if they need help with housing,
  • Universal Credit etc.

Praise and thanks to the Lord:

  • For the continued generosity for the abundance of food and money which has been donated by individuals, churches, supermarket collection points, local businesses and organisations.
  • For being able to distribute fresh fruit and vegetables due to a donation from a local business
  • For all our volunteers
  • For the provision of the warehouse which is large enough to allow us to continue operating
    safely, throughout the pandemic
  • For the new volunteers who are helping us with transport from the Hub
  • For continuing to provide food and help to those in need at a difficult times in their lives.
  • For the support of Westham Methodist Church, St Francis’ Church and Weymouth Baptist Church which allows us to operate Foodbank and witness from their premises

Prayer points:

  • Keep our volunteers safe
  • Pray that the occasional water ingress into the warehouse is minimal and that we can keep
    the food supplies dry
  • Pray that the warehouse lease will be renewed
  • Pray that we that we will be able to raise our profile and will be able to reach more people in
    need with food
  • Pray that the CAB referral pilot will mean that we can help our customers more widely
  • Pray for the continued provision of our fantastic volunteers so that the Foodbank can continue
    to serve all those who need us here in Dorset
  • Pray that volunteers who have had to step away from Foodbank in the last year will be willing
    to return to serve at Foodbank and that the vaccination and our use of PPE will keep them
  • Pray that the Trustees, satellites and hub will continue to work well together as a team with
    common aims as we serve you through Foodbank
  • Pray that we can increase our links with The Nest. We are thankful that The Nest manager
    volunteers at Foodbank and we pray that we continue to refer our customers in an appropriate
    and timely way to The Nest
  • Pray for every customer that comes to Foodbank, that we may not only help them with the
    provision of food but that we can understand their other needs and that in doing that we show them the love of Jesus so that they may start to think about what being a Christian means and how wonderful that is.
Bishop Nicholas

Bishop Nicholas retires on 3rd July after being Diocesan Bishop for the last ten years. There will be a Choral Evensong in Salisbury Cathedral on Saturday 3 July 2021, at 5.30pm to say farewell to him and his wife, Helen. It is not yet known how many people will be able to attend in person but the service will be live streamed: Live Stream Channel | Salisbury Cathedral, so it is hoped many will join in to worship God, to give thanks for our Bishop’s ministry among us, and to pray for him and Helen as a new chapter opens for them.

Please pray for Bishop Nicholas and Helen as they come to the end of their ministry, for a joyful and thankful farewell, and a very happy retirement.

Eco Team

As Valerie outlined in Jottings last month, the Eco Church scheme set up by A Rocha helpfully looks at a variety of areas of church life, giving prompts on issues to consider when working towards making our church more eco-friendly.

Having looked at these guidelines, one of the first things the eco team agreed was that the toilet paper we use in church should be made using recycled paper. Our first order was placed and the contents are now in situ and ready for all to use!

Research into the most environmentally friendly cleaning products to use in church is also underway, so these should soon be in place too.

As Christians our worship is our response to the awesome greatness of God, His majesty, His saving grace and His amazing love for us. It should encompass every aspect of our lives, so that caring for our planet becomes a natural part of our worship.

Everything we do, however small it may seem, makes a difference … making use of kerb-side recycling options, refilling bottles for water/ cleaning products, sowing bee friendly plants, recycling your tetra packs (bit more organisation needed but worth it), giving your old biros/felt tips/markers to Ruth, composting fruit ‘n’ veg peelings, shopping wisely thinking about packaging and air miles… the list is a long one!

It feels a bit like wanting to lose weight/get fit, we know what to do but sometimes it’s hard to get started or keep going.

Looking at current environmental issues, it is easy to become overwhelmed, and end up with our head in our hands, feeling nothing but despair and hopelessness. But our God is greater, He’s stronger, He’s more powerful. We need to stay informed and pray for governments and world leaders to make wise decisions on the big issues. Why not check out https://arocha.org.uk/ ?

And we need to keep making the small changes we can, every day.

*Other brands are available. The Clinch household is currently trying out a variety of products … the results won’t be published!

Ruth Clinch

Sue Alkerman sent in this prayer which is used in Salisbury Cathedral

Lighting a candle is a prayer

When we have gone, it stays alight, kindling in the hearts and minds of others the prayers we have already offered for them and for others, for the sad, the sick, the suffering – and prayers of thankfulness too.

Lighting a candle is a parable

Burning itself out, it gives light to others. Christ gave himself for others. He calls us to give ourselves.

Lighting a candle is a symbol

Of love and hope, of light and warmth. Our world needs them all. Christ shows us how to live so that we shine as lights in the world.

The following information was placed on the Grapevine email and was produced by the Diocesan Support Team

You may have had a privacy update notice from WhatsApp. WhatsApp has changed the group setting to include “everyone”. This means that people you don’t know can add you to a group without you knowing!

To prevent this, open WhatsApp and go to:

1. Settings
2. Account
3. Privacy
4. Groups
5. Change from (Everyone) to (My Contacts)

The River of Life: Ezekiel 47 vs 1 – 12

In the May edition of Jottings Frances wrote about the April Sunday Evening Prayer Meeting in St John’s seen through the eyes of a crayon that drew and created a picture of Renewal and The River of Life. This river was going to flow from St John’s church out into the community – where we live, work, shop, go to school. As I read my heart stirred with excitement and hope and here is why.

Some years ago Jen Davis and I attended a conference on Revival Britain held at Bath City Church. There were several speakers, all leaders of strong churches of different denominations from around the UK.

Two of the speakers, independently of each other, spoke from Ezekiel chap 47, where the prophet sees a river flowing from beneath the door of the Temple. He traces its course until, from being a mere trickle, it becomes a deep river [v5]. Trees grow in abundance on the banks either side of the river, yielding a perpetual cycle of fruits and healing leaves. This water is fresh, sweetening even the waters of the Dead Sea, enabling fish to multiply and giving life wherever this river flows!

The description of Living Water here shows that the source of any nation’s blessing and restoration is none other than Lord God Himself and that out of His Temple [or Church] flows a great life-giving river bordered by fruits for food and leaves for healing.

Throughout the weekend there was a couple who interpreted the speakers’ messages through painting. They were James and Bhari Long, church members who used their artistic gifts as their livelihood. James painted several pictures over the course of the weekend, but Bhari just the one. She had started painting not knowing the messages the speakers would bring.

At the end of the conference on the Saturday evening Jen and I took a closer look at what Bhari had done and we were discussing together what we thought it meant. Bhari was excited that we understood the prophetic message and Jen and I were excited because what she had painted was a church building that looked to us like St John’s.

A little while later Bhari sought me out and said that she felt God was telling her to give me this painting for our church, that it was a confirmation of all that we were about and a prophetic declaration of things to come! I was a bit overwhelmed at this gift but she was insistent. We have this painting somewhere in St Johns Church, which is in some chaos at the moment, but I will find it out for all to see again when able to do so, and I will try to describe it for now.

It shows a church building and God’s Holy Spirit breathing life into a river that flows from heaven. The river then spreads into and through His church and out through its doors, bringing new and abundant life wherever it flows. Jesus is the source of this Living Water and as we look to Him, to His blue-print for living, He will give us the power and authority to GO in His Name into our community and beyond with the Good News of new life in Jesus.

The final speaker’s message that weekend was from Matthew chap 28, ‘The Great Commission’, Jesus simply says, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’.

I have shared this prophecy several times over the years, with Tim and our Church family then and with Tom shortly after he came, and I share it with you all again now, especially for those who have recently joined us. I dare to believe that we stand on the threshold of seeing this prophecy about to be fulfilled in our midst and I am so grateful and thankful to God for being able to see this day and be a part of it.

I close by echoing what Tom said in his May letter for Jotting, ‘At this time of Renewal our church is being prepared for a new era of mission and ministry, with a renewed building and a passionate and growing church. This is the era that awaits us – bring it on!

Tessa de la Mare

Thank you to…

everyone who enabled the Pentecost Service to go ahead. Despite the wind and cool conditions a good number gathered to worship.
It was lovely to see Ian back playing guitar after his long recovery.

Thank you Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit and His presence with us and in us day by day.

Missionary Prayers

Church Mission Society
St John’s Rep – Jill Flux

David and Shelley Stokes returned to the U.K. in March after working in Argentina for six years. They have been delighted to be reunited with their daughter Sarah and their son Jonathan and his wife AJ. They have settled back in their house in Salisbury and we are pleased that they will be visiting us at St. John’s in September.

David and Shelley have asked for prayer for:-

  • Bishops Mateo and Cristano as they deal with all the challenges the churches are facing. For the group tasked with finding the right way forward for ongoing training.
  • They give thanks for safe travel and the Lords guiding as they said their farewells to all their friends in Argentina which was hard,
  • For David and Shelley as they adapt to life in the UK and work out the best way to have contacts with link churches, friends and supporters.

We were delighted to welcome Pat Blanchard to our outdoor Pentecost service, in spite of the threatened rain and windy weather!

Pat has been working in Peru for 21 years and ministers to a church in Lima. She also organises The Shalom Centre with a team who help the disabled with therapies and support for their families. Pat came back to the U.K. for a visit in October staying in Bournemouth and Christchurch where she grew up. Due to the pandemic she has been unable to return, but is hoping to go back in July.

Pat has requested prayer for:

  • For visits to her family which she has been unable to see due to Covid restrictions.
  • Pat’s church family in Lima and the Shalom project. Shalom Centre is closed but they are busy providing 45+ meals a day to the
    vulnerable and disabled in the community.
  • For Luisa and for the Shalom families who are having virtual home schooling and limited therapeutic assistance.
  • For newly ordained Deacon Raul who is looking after the church in Pat’s absence.
  • For Pat’s return to Lima hopefully in July.