Over the last two Sundays in St Columba’s I have spoken about a Lent Challenge, to use this season as preparation for Easter by inviting people to church. This will make our Easter, the most joyful of Christian festivals, even more joyful as we share in the joy of heaven as we see people repenting and putting their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. I have mentioned in passing how the more usual Lent disciplines of prayer, fasting and Bible study may help us to meet this challenge. This was confirmed to me this week when I read:
“Serious prayer and seeking the mind of Christ through studying the Scriptures (perhaps with disciplines such as fasting) are vital if we are to engage in witness that truly brings people to life in Christ”. So may we engage in these disciplines in order that we may engage in that truly effective witness.
As a result of the snow this week we cancelled Wednesday evening’s Fellowship Group and the Afternoon Tea. The Fellowship Groups will meet again next week, on Wednesday morning at 10.30 and evening at 7.30. The next Afternoon Tea will be on Friday 31st March – earlier than usual because of Easter and Spring Harvest.
Below are details of all that is coming up tomorrow, including services at St Columba’s and at Rockingham Village Hall, as well as St Columba’s Annual Meeting and Lunch. There are also details of next Sunday’s MOTHERING SUNDAY service. You will see there a request for photos of Mums who won’t be with us on Sunday, either because they have died or simply because they can’t be there next week. Please send me the photos in advance if at all possible – full details below.
KEEP THE CHURCH FIRES BURNING
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this special appeal to help with the costs of heating the church this winter. This was the first week the appeal was open so it was encouraging to see the envelopes in the offering basket – but there is still plenty of time to contribute to help boost our income so that we can cover the hugely increased cost of gas and electricity. If you are able to give a little extra on top of your regular giving to the church please place money in an envelope marked “Keep The Church Fires Burning” or KTCFB in the Offering Basket or use the Card Reader or make a Bank Transfer with KTCFB as the reference. THANK YOU for all contributions to this fund.
SUNDAY 12th MARCH
This will be a busy day so here are all the timings:
10.30am HOLY COMMUNION at St Columba’s with ENERGIZE groups (who will be preparing for the Mothering Sunday Service on 19th March).
For anyone who can’t be in church you can watch the service via this link: https://youtube.com/live/j_xGyWVCfeE?feature=share
12.00noon (approx) St Columba’s ANNUAL MEETING in the Church Hall (see below)
1pm (approx) BRING & SHARE LUNCH (think main meal with main course and dessert!) also in the Church Hall
2pm (approx) Short PCC meeting at St Columba’s to elect officers for the year ahead.
3pm FAMILY SERVICE in Rockingham Village Hall
6pm PRAYER MEETING at St Columba’s.
ST COLUMBA’S ANNUAL MEETING
We will meet in the Church Hall at about 12 noon. We will be electing Churchwardens to serve us over the next 12 months, Deanery Synod representatives to serve for three years and one third of our PCC members who also serve for three years, plus one casual vacancy for one year. If you would like to be considered for one of these roles please do ask me for a nomination form (all roles require the person nominated to be proposed and seconded by two people entitled to vote at the meeting).
The revised ELECTORAL ROLL is on display at the back of church, along with the formal notices about the meeting (strictly speaking it is two meetings, one for electing churchwardens and one for the rest of the business).
Any questions please do speak with me.
BISHOP’S BIBLE DAY
This is taking place at Northampton High School next Saturday 18th March from 9.30am to 4pm. It is a day for everyone to explore the Bible together, with a focus on the Psalms. The keynote speaker, Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley, will be looking at Psalms 23 and 137, and there are a range of workshops. You can book tickets (there is no charge for the day, which includes a cold lunch, but donations are welcome) and find details of all the workshops here:
MOTHERING SUNDAY 19th MARCH
We have a special All Age Celebration for all mums so do come along and bring your mum if you can. If your mum has died, or is not able to be with you next Sunday, please could you send me a photo of her. This could be as an email, sent via WhatsApp to me on 07903 644609, or bring a photo along to church with you next Sunday. I don’t need photos of Mums who will be in church. The children and young people will be helping to lead the service and so it will be a great help if they are able to come along this Sunday (12th March) to prepare during their ENERGIZE groups.
PRAYING FOR M&H
Many of you will remember M&H visiting us last summer with their children. They were featured in the CMS Prayer Diary this week. I would like to have shared the prayer request with you, but sensitivities about their location mean we can’t put anything in emails. Do look at the Notice Board at the back of St Columba’s to see the prayer request from CMS.
Please find here the latest Puzzles and Other Stuff from Steve with an inspiring story of an eighteenth century preacher and a Northamptonshire Quiz. I think I was right with half of the answers, which isn’t bad for someone who has only lived here for ten years! In fact it will be ten years on Friday since my licensing as Vicar of St Columba’s – thanks be to God for all that has happened over those ten years, but oh how quickly they have gone!
Hoping to see you at church on Sunday and for the Annual Meeting and Lunch afterwards.