Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Captain's Log March 2014

Soul by the Sea continues to play a big part in my ministry at the moment. One of our developments is offering Road Shows to churches and groups. This is a short cameo piece based on John 9, the man born blind. My part is to give a short presentation on Soul by the Sea and on a couple of occasions I have also been invited to preach. We have presented Road Shows to Holland Road Baptist Church Youth Club and Portslade Baptist Church during their Morning Worship, a Roman Catholic Church Saturday Night Mass and a couple of Anglican Churches. We are of course nearly there with our Flagship presentation, The Brighton Passion. This year we have just two presentations on Easter Sunday afternoon outside St Peter’s in Brighton.  By way of a prequel we also have a Palm Sunday procession along the seafront. I spent one Sunday afternoon with the cast rehearsing. The dedication of cast members is amazing, they have been gathering on Sunday afternoons for fours hours for several months. Even if you don’t live nearby you can become a Friend of Soul by the Sea Community and get behind this endeavour to relive the Jesus story in the public domain.                                     

The first Sunday of Lent saw Jane and me visiting our friends at St Peter’s ad Vincula, Wisborough Green. As we reflected on the story of Jesus being sent into the desert I offered this acrostic…

Led into the desert
Equipped with the Word of God
No to the evil one
Trust in God the Father.

I also invited everyone to write their names on small wooden crosses. When the offering was taken up the crosses were also collected. We then distributed them in what I referred to as Simon of Cyrene exercise, i.e. everyone was invited to carry someone elses cross during Lent and pray for them. At the end of the Service a man approached me and said his nine year old daughter had the cross with my name on it and might I suggest something she could pray during Lent. Very humbling.

Telling our story is a key part of sharing our faith. I had the real joy of leading a Workshop on this subject as part of the preparations for a Horsham Town Mission in May. Most of the material I used is available on the Arthur Rank Centre web site on the rural evangelism course ‘Journey to Faith.’

‘Evangelism should be a heartbeat not a hiccough’

Hope 14 offers some fantastic resources encouraging churches to engage in meaningful mission throughout the year. I joined Revd David Guest at Broad Oak and then All Saints Heathfield for their ‘Third Dimension Service’ and preached and presented the opportunity Hope 14 offers. I have also recently refreshed our own Chichester diocesan Hope blog…

Church Army Mission Community - it was great to meet up with colleagues in London for a Regional Day. We heard of how Church Army is developing along the Four Pathways and also plans for a new style of training. If you are an Evangelist or would like to support the ministry of Church Army then do check out the web site for how you could become a Community Member along one of the Pathways.

Mothering Sunday – Jane and I made our way over to Eastbourne on the morning the clocks sprang forward to join The Haven and to lead their Morning Service. I found some fabulous resources and a Service outline on the Mothers’ Union web site. In particular the material called ‘Hand to Hand’ is brilliant and offers families a way of exploring matters of faith at home. This is an area that is of concern for those who run things like Messy Church with people only pitching up once a month. It puts the exploration of faith and the passing of the story to our children back into the home. I also suggested they have a Family Prayer Pot. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if families coming to church brought their Family Prayer Pots so that they could be offered up during the Service/Liturgy or whatever style or way seems appropriate. I really like the idea of a row of Prayer Pots in front of the altar.

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