Christian Aid Week 13 -19 May 2018Collectors are needed for Christian Aid Week. The village is growing there are more letterboxes to cover. Can you spare half an hour?The calls on the charity’s resources from natural disasters, from wars and persecutions, and from attempts to introduce sustainable projects, also seem to be ever growing.Look out for the envelopes coming through your door. Better still to help please contact – phone/text 07949102577 now!
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Visit to Kambe Timboni School (part supported by the Kenya Fund)
Last month I visited Kenya and stayed with our former minister, Rev. Charles Makonde, in the village. The school now has 300+ pupils now and I could see how much of a difference our feeding programme has made. The villagers instigated the foundation of the school and many families find the feeding essential if they are to send all the children to school. Now older children don’t have to stay at home to look after younger siblings and a well-nourished child studies more easily. Some of the older children speak very good English (their third language) so that I was able to talk to them. They have great targets for the future, that some of them will achieve, and many of these want to help support their parents who have struggled to keep them at school.
On a Friday the children have a lunch of rice and beans but on other days they have ugali and maize. At their midmorning break they drink a “porridge”. To give an idea of costs – I bought a 90Kg sack of maize harvested by the villagers for KS3000 (to raise funds for the church) which is about £24. The school uses 30Kg a week. Unfortunately, because of more unfavourable exchange rates, it is becoming harder to provide this money. The villagers bring firewood, for cooking, to the school as a contribution to costs.
I also had a meeting with the Church Wives. They were so welcoming and I felt immediately at home. They sent their greetings and presented me with a very heavy basket of produce that they had harvested.
Charles is held in very high regard there with many coming to him for advice and support.
I can only give a brief report but please have a word with me if you want to know more. If you want to see where the school is, go to Google map Kambe Timboni Primary/Junior School, Kilifi County, Mombasa.
On Saturday 11th November in the Church Hall. Starts at 6.30pm with a faith supper followed by Desert Island Discs.
Host: Alan Cox Castaway: Gary Cliffe
We look forward to seeing you there.
Collection in aid of “Changing Lives in Cheshire.”
305 London Road Leftwich Northwich CW9 8HA
Saturday 11th November 10am to 5pm
Sunday 12th November 2pm – 6pm: refreshments available.
Mixed media art £20 – £60. Tiles £4. Bookmarks £2.
In aid of MHA Chapelfields to Buy a Heavy duty wheelchair.
On Thursday 19th October we meet in the SS room at 7.30pm. Peter Bridge will start by sharing his choice of an author or a book, then anyone else can share. Hope you can join us. Allan
In October each year every Methodist Church in the land counts their congregation each Sunday. Then, in November, we look at the member changes over the last year. All this is used to put together what we call the statistics for mission for the Church. These figures give us a snapshot of how the church is doing. I have to say that nationally the figures are not great reading and in most churches across the connexion you can see a decline in membership and attendance. We in this church are bucking the trend a bit in that our membership is just about stable at the moment and attendances are just holding their own. This of course does not give us permission to be complacent. The truth is that there are a lot more seats in our Church which we could fill every week.
It seems to me that, while we are not growing, we seem to be attracting a few new people into the life of the Church here in Hartford. This is a good thing and we need to build on this so that we become an attractive church that people want to come to. It has been said to me by a number of newer people that, in general, we are a very welcoming church, which presumably is why these people continue to come. If that is the case we need to continue to build on that, remembering that welcome also means drawing people into the community of the church. This doesn’t mean that we give them a job, although if they want one why not? What it does mean is that we try and include everyone in the life of the church. I also think we need to do other things as well. Newcomers and indeed old stagers won’t come very often if our worship life is poor. We need to ensure that the worship in this church is as good as it could be and that it has a variety of styles that can enable us all to meet with God. What I am saying is that we need to think about what we do well and then to think about any improvements we can make.
Of course our primary concern isn’t about recruitment. We are not here to recruit more members of Hartford Methodist Church; rather we are here to “Show God’s love to the people of Hartford and the surrounding area” and “to make more disciples of Jesus.” The core reason for the existence of any church is to help people to get to know Jesus and continue to be his disciples. This is the most important thing that we do as a church. It is probably our biggest challenge, but if we get this right then hopefully more people will want to join us. The church should not be a recruitment organisation, it should be evangelistic in outlook.
These are challenging times for all the churches, but I do believe that w have to look to God, do what we do well and think about how we help others to come to know Jesus.
God Bless Chris.