Dear Church Family
Today is the last day of August. As September arrives, it always feels like a new season. Many return from holiday. Children restart school. The weather begins to feel slightly more autumnal. There's much to look forward to about these coming months, but also much to look back on and to be thankful for. I mentioned last week how thankful I was for all the New Wine events over the summer - for all that the Holy Spirit was doing and for the many people from our church who were serving. Let me mention a few other things that have been happening in our church family, even in the last week or so, for which we can look back on and give thanks to the Lord.
Geoff Bobb, now in his 80s, continues to excel at athletics. Recently he became British Masters Champion at both the 200m sprint and the shot-put for the 80-85 yrs. Amazing! Very well done Geoff.
Jim and Shirley Robert's became grandparents this week as Kate gave birth to baby Lucy, weighing in at 6lb 2oz. After a difficult birth all seems well, but let's keep praying for mum and baby, and share in the Roberts family joy.
We gathered at The Vicarage last night to send off and pray for Jacquie Machola, as she returns to her family in Botswana today. Jacquie's been part of our church for the last few years and has been a great prayer-warrior for our us. We'll especially miss her love for worship and praise. I'm driving her to Heathrow today, along with some Belfrey Group members to see her on to the plane. Do pray for a safe journey and that her desire will be realised to see many in her family and village come to know Jesus Christ.
Biruta Trejonis, who's been part of our church for many years, died on Thursday. The way Biruta has handled her ill-health, especially over the last couple of years or so has been an inspiration as she's trusted God and encouraged many. Biruta loved praying with people, and many came to her for prayer. It was an honour for me to gather with the family before she died, to anoint her with oil and commit her into the Lord's hands, as she looked forward to heaven. Do join me in giving thanks for her life, and please remember the family in your prayers as they mourn and make funeral arrangements.
Finally Youth Fest is taking place right now, at Wydale Hall, with youth from our church and a number of other churches in our region too. Let's be giving thanks for this event and for these young lives - for all they've been experiencing already over the last couple of days, and let's be praying that each one would return to their home, their school and their church encouraged and having encountered the risen Jesus.
PS. I know it's almost a year away, but please do consider going to New Wine's 'United' conference in Peterborough next July/August. Many from The Belfrey have already said they'll be going, particularly to week 1 of the two weeks. There's a particularly cheap rate at present (but only lasting for one more week), which is why I booked on this week with my family. For more information, click here. To book directly for week one, click here.