Home Mission pics

Home Mission pics

Friday, 18 November 2011

"Crime Care" in Tuffley

The Grange Community Crime Care team
 Our special edition of the Baptist Times will be delivered to your church administrator or secretary next week. With this week's announcement that the end of the year will see the paper's final edition, this has become something of a historic opportunity for us. Here's another sneak preview of one of our contributions, from Tony Minter of Grange Baptist Church in Tuffley, Gloucester:
 This Summer Grange Baptist Church was broken into not once, but three times in twelve weeks!
Although the thieves didn’t get away with anything of great financial value (although they did take a large iron and concrete safe) the disruption and destruction was significant. After the adrenaline rush of watching a car speed from the church car park in the early hours, the shock of seeing the damage, walking over broken glass and through splintered doors , the frustration that all your best plans for the week will be re prioritized because of the process of reporting the crime and the pastoral care of ensuring the church’s mission morale remains high. It’s only then, after the crime has been reported and temporarily repaired that the full emotion of what has happened hits home.
In stark contrast to this was the amazing resources of time, materials, skills and care the church members showed as they rallied together to clean up and repair the scene in a matter of hours. This led me to reflect upon how much more painful and traumatic it must be to face these types of crimes if you are a single parent, elderly, disabled or without the financial means, transportation or time to deal with this kind of crime at your own home. Perhaps God was trying to tell me something - but it took three attempts for me to get the message! Actually he was probably telling me something else as well...get an alarm!
Over the next few weeks the concept of a Community Crime-Care project began to formulate. From our own experiences it was clear that vulnerable members of the community could benefit in two ways.  First, a Practical Team who would respond to vulnerable victims of crime and repair and secure their property as soon as possible after the crime.
Second, a Pastoral Team to follow up with home visits and provide friendship and support in the emotional aftermath of the crime.
We organised a meeting with the Gloucester Police and councillors to explore the logistics of such a scheme. It was met with great enthusiasm and support. Local suppliers such as Deluxe Decorator Centre offered free materials and Nicks & Co Timber Ltd pledged to supply wood to replace broken fences or garden shed doors.  Simon Crosskey of Dulux in Tuffley told us: “This is such a positive initiative in the light of so much negative news these days, and we are delighted to participate with this project.”

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Old Forge: Learning from Nepali Baptists

WEBA Senior Regional Minister Nigel Coles is currently travelling in Nepal with BMS World Mission, and sharing his thoughts on his blog, The Old Forge:

The Old Forge: Learning from Nepali Baptists: What are we learning from NBCC? Since our engagement with PMC (Partnership for Missional Church), ‘what are we learning’ has become a favou...

Friday, 11 November 2011

Coming back to God's fold

When I asked for stories for the WEBA Baptist Times supplement a few weeks ago, Carole Sampson of Clarence Park Baptist Church kindly wrote down her own story for us. It reminds me of something obvious - that a simple invitation to a service may be a crucial turning point in a much longer story for the person we're asking. 

Gladys Aylward was one of Carole's

 childhood heroes
 I was introduced to God by my parents, who had an active church life before I was born. They sent me to a good church school and the attached Sunday school. I learned about Missionary work through a comic, ‘GIRL’, where I met my heroes, Gladys Aylward, David Livingstone and Albert Schweitzer. 

When I was ten years old, my godmother introduced me to her own church in the town; a church seeped in the High Anglican tradition. I then met The Rev. Roland Taylor, who had been a missionary in British Honduras (now Belize). He prepared me for confirmation, introduced a Youth Club to the church and fostered my belief. I became a teacher of Religious Education in a church school in the East End of London, attended the High Anglican Churches in Bethnal Green and Leytonstone. 

After working for The Children’s Society,  and a failed marriage, I lost my way. Church life had lost its allure and the members of the church appeared to be less than I had aspired to. So, I decided to go on alone, abandon formalised religion and pray to God on my own.

Little did I realise that my second husband had made the same decision.
His mother was a Roman Catholic, so he was brought up in that faith, attending Catholic schools and churches. He was occasionally allowed to go to services with his father who was the Church Secretary of Trinity United Reform Church in Redland, Bristol, which was better suited to his temperament. But, he too was disillusioned with ‘the church’.

Retirement had to brought us to Weston-Super-Mare and a Health Club. It was here that we met three delightful people. As Christmas drew near, two ladies invited us to the Christmas services at Clarence Road Baptist Church. When we entered the church, we were welcomed with genuine pleasure, discovered that the third ‘delightful person from the Health Club’ was also part of the church and that CPBC shared LOVE and CARE for ALL because of the love of God. We were accepted, and invited to become involved with God’s work. 
We are now back in God’s fold, ready to do our mission for Him, with the help of prayers and fellowship.

Jenny Collins, who passed this story on to me, adds this:
"Caroles account doesnt portray the wonderful enthusiasm she and David have since coming back to Gods fold. They were excited to be part of the T4 team in the summer and we will be blessed as they work amongst us with the skills they have to offer as they serve their Lord. As a church family we are thrilled that they have made their spiritual home with as they have now been accepted into membership."

Friday, 4 November 2011

Missionary Discipleship in Business

Here's another sneak preview of one of the stories for the WEBA Baptist Times Supplement. A bundle of papers will arrive for your church during the last week of November. Make sure you get yours!

On a freezing February evening about fifteen years ago Jeremy Nottingham watched people in business suits react to a young girl in a thin t-shirt who was begging on one of the platforms at St. Pancras’ Station in London. They either ignored her, moved away before she got near them, or got their phones out to avoid her requests.

Eventually she reached a casually dressed young man who had bought a cup of coffee and a baguette for his journey. Jeremy watched as the young man handed them to her, and she walked away.

Over the following weeks Jeremy couldn’t forget this picture. “I was convinced that God was saying there needed to be a closer connection between business and a world in need”, he says. Most of his evenings were spent in church activity – in an environment where 99% of people were Christians:
“I began to think that my primary ministry should be my work life, where the situation was reversed.”

Jeremy teamed up with three others who were keen to set up businesses that would enable them to share their faith. In 2003 Jeremy, his wife Pat and a couple of colleagues set up Add Momentum, a Bristol company which mainly provided financial services. The business was built around a strategic relationship with the charity Hope HIV www.hopehiv.co.ukwhich funds a variety of projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. The charity was presented as a key partner on the company website and as part of the induction process for new recruits, and representatives of the charity were invited to speak at company days away. In addition to giving from profits to Hope HIV, there were fundraising activities and team challenges which gave employees opportunities to develop teamwork and reveal new skills.

This model, while being a response to a world in need, also motivated questions (why are you doing it?) and therefore provided an opportunity to share faith and God’s love with customers, colleagues, and others in the business community. Add Momentum became a victim of the credit crunch in 2010, but Jeremy has gone on to work as a Business Mentor (www.thementorpreneur.co.uk)and also an ambassador for Hope HIV, talking to businesses about the advantages of getting involved in similar partnerships.

Jeremy’s wife Pat runs her own business in Stroud, Curtains Made For You. Go to her website, www.curtainsmadeforyou.co.uk and you can see the way information about the business and its partner charity – in this case, a school for Aids orphans with speech and hearing difficulties – work together, providing hope for those rejected by society, and, potentially, the opportunity to explain the hope we have in us, which is for all the world.

Good News about Grants

Gordon Hindmarch is astonished!
More than 20 Home Mission Grants will be awarded to churches and chaplaincies in WEBA in 2012. This is great news. "Astonishing!" is how Regional Minister Gordon Hindmarch described it.

This means, to give just one example, that Stapleton Baptist Church in Bristol will be able to call Rev Emmamuel Asamoah to work with the church and also assist WEBA in developing ministry amongst Bristol’s multicultural congregations. 

We suggest that all our churches give at least 5% of general income to Home Mission – and we are continually impressed by the generosity of churches who make this a priority when setting budgets, thus allowing churches in our region to follow God’s leading and extend His kingdom in this region. Up to the end of October 2011, WEBA churches gave £188,000. If we can raise another £70,000 we will match last year’s giving.

“As we prayerfully approach the year end church members’ meetings, we would like WEBA churches to consider making an additional ‘thank offering’” says Gordon Hindmarch. “This could be for Home Mission – or it could be for our New Churches Initiative which has wonderfully supported new missional initiatives at Wichelstowe and Painswick.”

We know that these are difficult financial times – but exciting things are happening in our churches, and together we can help them come to fruition.

For lots of news about mission in WEBA, make sure you get a copy of our special free edition of The Baptist Times on the last Sunday in November.