We have lift off…
The long – awaited Renewal Project has now been formally launched meaning that we are now underway with this big project of developing the church building. The vision for the project is:- to create a welcoming, attractive, hospitable and accessible space which will enhance our worship, encourage & welcome visitors, allow for varied use through the week and increase our community engagement.
Here is an over view of the plans :-
- To improve access around all areas of the church and enhance our disabled toilet and baby changing facilities.
- To replace our failing heating system with an efficient and more environmentally friendly system.
- To have a lighting scheme which brightens the church and improves the ambience of the building.
- To bring in new lightweight and comfortable chairs which allow for comfort and greater flexibility.
- To install a kitchen – and open up many opportunities for catering and hospitality.
- To create a sociable café style area at the back of the church.
- To redecorate the interior of the church.
- To re-establish the spire door as the grand and visible entrance to the church.
- To increase the capacity of the car park.
- To replace the carpet and restore the tiles in the chancel.
- To create prayer spaces around the church.
- To restore the Lady Chapel as a sacred space for prayer and worship.
We all have a part to play- there are at least three ways in which you can support the project.
- for wisdom and clarity over key decisions.
- for the smooth running of the project.
- for the provision of finances.
- that the renewal of the building will lead to fruitfulness in our witness and mission to the community.
Over the course of the project we will need all manner of practical help. If you have time and skills to offer then we will be hugely grateful.
To do this project will require significant and sacrificial investment. Please pray about how you can financially support the project. All donations and investments – whatever the size – will be celebrated and hugely appreciated.
Our Gift Day is on Sunday 13th October 2019. You can give financially on this day but you are also welcome to do so sooner or after that date. Information about how to give is on the yellow leaflet in Church.
We are committed to cheerfully giving away 10% of the funds we raise during the Renewal Project. The causes which we choose to support will be decided in due course and this information will be shared with the congregation.
These are exciting but challenging times for us. Anytime you want to talk about any aspect of this project – then please do feel free to get in touch.
Holiday at Home 2019
As the beginning of Autumn starts, it seems a long time ago in the hazy crazy days of summer, that Mike and I attended ‘Holiday at Home’ at St. Aldhelm’s Church Centre. For us it was a first time as new Weymouth residents although there were two other members of St. John’s who attended.
The theme was ‘Celebrating God’s Grace’, with three ‘Thought for the Day’ slots. Nick Clark mentioned about learning to trust others when his car had a puncture in France. The next day Malcolm Millard talked about how God met his needs during mission service in Africa. The last of the three talks was from Anni Douglas, a retired minister who talked about making the most of life despite difficulties, including disability or being poor.
We also were offered a mini health MOT with Live Well Dorset. It is a great wonder that I am still alive after getting a ‘nil reading’ for my blood pressure.
After lunch there was entertainment. Lisa Holmes talked about Age UK, on the second day we were entertained by Grace Notes Singing Group, and on the last day Tony Blackwell spoke about the gracious journey of Hope House.
There was plenty of time for doing individual activities, eg. flower arranging, origami, embossing. I declined from joining the knitting group as it was for more advanced knitters, rather than ‘knit one, purl one, drop one’ attitude.
Mike and I thoroughly enjoyed our time, I even made a model of Weymouth Harbour with Lego pieces. Also I enjoyed chatting to different people of all ages.
Last but not least lunch was excellent and a lovely treat to be served and waited upon.
The Hebraic Roots of our Faith
Jesus was a Jew. Jesus is a Jew. Jesus will soon come back as King of the Jews!
For some people, these can seem shocking and radical statements, but we need to remember in whom we put our faith.
Jesus came as the expected Jewish Messiah, at the appointed time, according to the prophets. Regrettably, many of His own people rejected Him, although most of the believers, for at least the first ten years were Jewish. The number of followers of ‘The Way’, as it was called, increased dramatically. They were still Jewish, but had accepted their long awaited Messiah! Because the word ‘Messiah’ was translated ‘Christ’ in Greek, they earned the nick name of Christians.
God showed the Apostles that non-Jews could also believe and accept the Messiah as their Lord and Saviour. Sadly, Jewish believers became rejected by fellow Jews, but not fully trusted by the ‘Gentile Church’, as it became known. It must sadden God’s heart that His ‘Chosen People’ have been rejected and persecuted so much down the years, and still are today.
As the Church, the body of the Messiah, with our Judaeo/ Christian heritage, we worship Rabbi Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. We serve the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel, and we read and study the same Jewish Bible, written by and for the Hebrew/Jewish people.
Paul tells us in Romans 1, v16, that salvation is to everyone who trusts, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile. Also, in Romans 11, v18 we are told to remember that we are not supporting the root (Jewish Faith), the root is supporting us.
The writers of the ‘New Testament’ explained what God had taught them through the ‘Old Testament’. These were the scriptures that Jesus so often referred to, and study of the Gospels and letters doesn’t make sense without them.
So to summarise, we are very privileged to be welcomed in to God’s family by faith in His ‘Anointed One’, that is Yeshua (Jesus)! We should seek to support our Jewish ‘older cousins’, and show them, with love and discernment, how much they need to accept their Messiah, who has already come!
It’s an amazing thing to hear God’s voice, but do we always listen for it?
The title of the “Every Day with Jesus” reading on Sunday 21st July was ‘Listen!’ This caught my attention. Then later on in the morning Tom preached that we should eagerly seek spiritual gifts. My main recollection of Tom’s sermon is that we need to be still and listen to what God is saying to us. In Mary’s words, “Do whatever he (Jesus) tells you to do.”
Many years ago I read in Church from 1 Kings 19 and the power and message of that reading has stayed with me always. Elijah had become disillusioned with his task of reconciling Israel to God and was listening for instruction in the rush of the wind, the cacophony of the earthquake and the power of the fire. But God was not in any of these: then Elijah heard a still small voice.
I say that message has always stayed with me, but so often I do not heed it. In the words of the hymn ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’ life can be like the turmoil caused by the earthquake, wind and fire, and we need to be listening for the ‘still small voice of calm.’
This is obviously a recurring theme (a thread) in my relationship with God and every so often he reminds me to listen to Him! My current supplication is, “God help me to be still and listen for your voice.”
It would be amazing to hear God’s voice but we must be still and listen.
Joanna and Goliath
In August I was given the opportunity of being a cabin leader on a Scripture Union camp called ‘Wide Open’ in the Quantock hills. The week was designed for teens with additional needs so having had no prior special-needs experience I was quite apprehensive. Although challenging, the week was a lot of fun and turned out to be one of the highlights of my summer! Each day we taught the young people a different story from the Bible through lots of fun games and VERY messy crafts. One of my favourite activities was making a 12 foot Goliath out of plastic crates, only to knock him over with a tennis ball and slingshot! I’m hoping to return again next year, so if anyone is interested in joining the team (in the kitchen team/as a helper) do let me know.