Be Thou My Vision
The DCC have spent a lot of time over recent months thinking about our vision and values. We wanted to articulate what our aspirations are for the church as well as what underpins who we are.
There are a few reasons for doing this.
We want people who are finding out more about our church to understand who we are.
We want the church family to have a clear idea of what we’re working towards together. We hope that these statements will encourage us all to work together and grow as a church.
Being clear on our vision and values will help us to make good decisions about the things that we do.
Having these shared values and vision articulated gives us a frame of reference to assess how we’re doing and progress and grow together.
So, after, lots of prayer, thought and conversation, we have produced the following…
To be a thriving, open, loving and Christ-centred family where people are welcomed, belong, encounter God, grow in faith, passionately follow Jesus and generously share God’s love.
This is a big and enduring vision which sets the bar high! Specific projects with specific visions (ie The Renewal Project) will come and go – but we believe that this statement captures our over-all aspirations for our
To demonstrate God’s love generously and share the Gospel clearly in ways which transform the lives of people, families, the community and our town. What this looks like in practice will vary as we respond to the things God call us to do – but the statement expresses the heart of our mission and our belief in the transforming
love and power of God.
We have summarised our- core values as:
Welcoming – Worshipping – Loving – Growing. These words represent both who we are and who we aspire to be. We are these things already – but we are also committed to expressing all of them in ever deeper ways.
Look out for a document coming soon which will expand on these values – as they include many different elements which are all of great importance. But for now I hope that they quickly convey our values to people as well as help us to keep focussed on how we can develop and grow in each of these areas.
These are all just words – but may they enable us to live the lives and be the church that God is calling us to be.
With much love
Pause for thought …
As I sit here to put my thoughts to paper I can see a notice pinned on the wall above the computer and this is what it says. JESUS is better than your computer – He ENTERS your life, SCANS your problems, EDITS your tension, DOWNLOADS solutions, DELETES your worries, and SAVES you!
Well this reminds me of another item I had once attached to my bedside which read ‘Dear God – so far today I’ve done okay. I haven’t gossiped or lost my temper. I haven’t been grumpy, nasty or selfish. But in a few minutes I’m going to get out of bed and that’s when I’m going to need all the help I can get!’
In August and September with Jane’s fall and my own continuing health problems we did need and got a lot of help from many people, for which we thank God. Also during this period we joined the family in celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary.
In Romans it says, “… we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.”
“His compassion never fails.” “by our faith – the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems in our praying”.
God works in the present tense.
How good it is to start the day with Jesus, to have a reading from scripture and a time of personal prayer. It will help us to find how true the words of my laptop notice are.
I finish with a verse from Romans 8 in The Living Bible. … “the Father who knows all hearts, of course, knows what the Spirit is saying as he pleads for us in harmony with God’s own will, and we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans.”
The Hebraic Roots of our Faith – Part 2
We saw last time that we, as Gentile Christians, are privileged to have been grafted in to the body of the Messiah; that is Jesus, who came as Saviour, first to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles.
We saw that the Messiah came at the expected time, but the leaders of the Jewish people rejected Him. As a result of this rejection, the nation was punished, causing the people to be scattered around the known world. Because of this scattering, the Good News of Jesus spread to many other lands and peoples!
Unfortunately, as the non-Jews became the majority in the Church, their leaders began to teach that Jews were bad, as they had killed the Christ, the Messiah. This led to increasing persecution and antisemitism, which brought about events such as the Spanish Inquisition, and ultimately, the Holocaust during the dictatorship of Hitler!
Given the history of the last two thousand years, it is no wonder that some Jewish people have an innate distrust
of Christians and Christianity. But this was not how Jesus meant it to be.
God made a covenant with Abraham, and then with Isaac and then Jacob, that He would be their God, and they would be His chosen people. The whole world would be blessed through them, and this culminated in the coming of the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One, Yeshua, Jesus.
WOW, what a blessing!
Cycling Without Age
Imagine standing on Portland Bill, feeling the wind in your hair, hearing the crashing waves, tasting the salt spray. Now imagine being confined to your own home with no chance of experiencing those feelings again. 7 years ago an organization called Cycling Without Age started in Denmark to help people get out into the open again using cycling rickshaws or “trishaws”, and now it has come to Weymouth! Keith Johnson from Weymouth Baptist Church and Des Lochrey from Weymouth Golf Club have set up a local charity, and with the help of generous donations from the golf club the charity has purchased its first trishaw. They kindly invited me to come for training sessions at the Ridgeway Centre and the Memory Club, where we gave rides to any who wanted a go. The smiles on their faces told us all we needed to know!
We are beginning to make good contacts with local care homes, but if you know of anyone living in their own home who would enjoy feeling the wind in their hair, have a word with me at St John’s, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can’t offer trips to Portland Bill (even with the help of the electric motor) but local trips are possible. Do give us a wave if you see us!
A point for prayer is the need for secure storage of the trishaw in the centre of town, or close to the Rodwell Trail.
St John’s Church is recognised as a charity so we are eligible to claim Gift Aid on all donations from those who pay tax.
What is Gift Aid?
Gift Aid is one of the simplest and most effective ways of giving to charity. It is a scheme administered by the Inland Revenue which allows us to claim 25p for every £1 that you donate if you pay tax. So, for example, if you donate £20 we can claim an extra £5, making your gift worth £25. If you pay tax but have not yet given us permission to claim Gift Aid please reconsider.
What do you need to do?
All you need to do is fill out a Gift Aid Declaration form and give it to (Sian Dobson) or me. Your donation may be by monthly giving using a stand- ing order from your bank or by weekly or monthly giving using the brown envelopes in the chair backs. If you use the envelope system code numbers can be given to avoid completing name and address details each time and also keeps your donation more private.
We cannot claim more gift aid in a year for an individual than the amount of tax they pay. The tax reclaimed over all charitable giving in a year cannot be more than the tax you have paid in the first place. Please review if you may be near the limit and let us know if you need to limit the gift aid until the next financial year.
Finally Thank You.
To all those who gift aid their donations and also to those who give but are not eligible to gift aid.