Thursday, 29 September 2011
CLARENCE PARK BAPTIST CHURCH
Bible reading today from 9.00am - 9.00pm
These details were on a poster which was outside Clarence Park Baptist Church, Walliscote Road, Weston-super-Mare from the 19th to 24th September. Members and friends of the church came together to read the Bible from the first chapter of Genesis to the last chapter of Revelation. Altogether it took seventy five hours during which time people passing by were able to hear and see this form of faith and witness. How? With the use of a loud speaker and the readers sitting in the foyer with the doors open. Some passers by came in to listen, others took part in the reading and some came in for prayer for their situations.
Those who took part in reading from the Bible were blessed, one said, “It’s been a wonderful week. I’ve learnt so much and had fellowship with people I don’t speak to very often on a Sunday." Another, “From now on I’m going to read the Bible out loud."
Friday, 9 September 2011
From WEBA news, Autumn 2011:
Encouraging Missionary Disciples is WEBA’s two year theme. We’d like to be able to encourage everyone who is part of our network of churches to feel they too are ‘sent out’ as part of Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28:19.
In the case of Sue and Ed Humphreys from 3C Community Church in Gloucestershire, this means texting around to see who’s interested, loading a trailer with their own canoes and kayaks and heading down to the river.
Together with two other church members, they run KC3C – a canoe club which is part of the Christian canoeing Association, Mainstream. 3C Community Church supports the club – and in fact purchased the all important trailer – but nearly all the canoeists who have been members have come from outside the church. There have been nearly a hundred of them over the last three years, with ages ranging from six to sixty.
“There’s no secret that it’s a Christian club when they join” says Sue, “but you can’t browbeat people, you can’t bang them over the head with a Bible. We want to give people lots of fun and hopefully chat to them about Christ. We just befriend them.”
There’s even some reluctance about too many people from the church getting involved. When someone suggested that church members could come down and bring refreshments, it was decided that this wasn’t a good idea, as the canoeists might feel they were being ‘pounced on’.
This is a gentle, long term approach, and Sue says that the most encouraging results have been people getting over the fear of going upside down, and one youngster overcoming some behavioural problems. “Hopefully in many years’ time, when we’re long gone, some of these people will be running it and have become Christians.”
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
WEBA churches gave £26,000 to Home Mission during August 2011. This is a really encouraging monthly total and brings us close to the giving levels we saw last year. In a time of financial hardship, when we know many churches face difficult choices, it's clear that enabling mission in this region through support for ministers and special projects is important to you.
For the autumn edition of WEBA news, we asked one minister, one church secretary, one treasurer, and one Regional Minister what Home Mission meant to them:
Carmel Murphy is a student Minister at Lydney Baptist Church in the Forest of Dean. Her stipend is funded by Home Mission. "Through more consistent, Home Mission enabled ministry at LBC we have been exploring what it might mean to be a more mission focused church. We have always desired to share God's love with those around us and make disciples but are now trying to think more creatively about what that might look like in our community."
Andrea Parker is church secretary and PA to the minister at Amberley Road Baptist Church in North Bristol. This is a small but very active church which benefits from a Mission through Ministry grant and has also been awarded more than one Mission through Project grant.
“With Home Mission funding we have been able to make radical and pioneering moves towards networking with two other local churches which are small in number. Not only are we, at Amberley Road Baptist Church a recently, rejuvenated, now medium growing church, but we will be able to invest time in helping two other smaller churches move forward and grow; part of that strategy will be planting a church that will be suitable for students and young adults.”
Andrew Small is treasurer of Downend Baptist Church in Bristol:
“I believe it is important to give 5% of our income plus collections from Home Mission boxes to support our fellow Baptists in places where there are financial restraints. This money is used to support churches and other projects so that the
gospel can be made known, nationally and locally.”
Gordon Hindmarch is the WEBA Regional Minister with specific responsibility for monitoring and encouraging giving to Home Mission.
“As a Regional Minister, I know Home Mission makes a difference through grants for ministry and mission projects acoss WEBA. As a minister who benefited from Home Mission support in my first church, I am convinced Home Mission creates new openings for the gospel.”
If you're wondering why this story has made its way onto the 'Making a Difference' blog, the official answer is a little convoluted:
Mike Pears is funded by a grant from Home Mission and by support from WEBA churches to work on the estate as the co-ordinator of re:Source Bristol. Together with the Community of Households, a group of people who have felt called to live and work on the estate, he set up the Tree of Life, a charitable trust to carry out community projects. Future Fit Bristol is a collaboration between Knowle West Media Centre, re:work and Tree of Life.
In other words, we are working with local partners in Knowle West to Make a Difference.
The Future Fit Bristol project, which will support Knowle West residents and builders to make their homes more sustainable, is through to the next round for Energyshare funding.
"We couldn't have progressed this far without our online supporters and signatories and we’d like to thank everyone who has already supported the project," says Mike.
"However, in order to be in with a chance of securing the funding we need more like-minded supporters. Please support the group if you haven’t already and invite your friends to do the same. 'Likes' on Facebook aren't counted, so please visit http://www.energyshare.com/future-fit-bristol and click the red 'Support this Group' button"
Future Fit Bristol will:
• 'retrofit' local homes - adding new features to existing buildings to make them more environmentally friendly
• support builders to develop skills in renewable and green construction
• work with residents to encourage more sustainable living
Future Fit will make a difference to Knowle West, a South Bristol estate that ranks highly in statistics for poverty, poor health and educational under-achievement, but where, through the Carbon Makeover project, residents have already shown a commitment and determination to become more sustainable. Every supporter counts - so please add your name to the list.