THE LINK  

   The monthly magazine of St Andrew’s, Devizes; Marston Chapel;

and Trinity, Market Lavington

April 2019

Minister

 

Revd Gary Gotham

 

 

Dear All,

 

Ebenezer’  The first name of one Mr Scrooge.

One of the originals is to be found at 1 Samuel 7:12 - Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’

 

Ebenezers are stones of help - markers of thankfulness for journeys, or progress made.

You will have moments, chapters in your life, that mark progress, that you are thankful to God for; a wedding day, birth of a grand-child, finding a church you feel ‘at home’ in (you have found that church haven’t you?!)

 

As Churches we have Ebenezars too. Trinity leaving its chapel and worshipping in the Community Hall while launching St Arbucks; St Andrews saying ‘goodbye’ to pews and ‘hello’ to seats, a digital organ, commercial kitchen and so much more; and Marston becoming a Methodist Class of St Andrews.

All simple things to list, but symbolic of a readiness to trust God for a new future.

 

Beyond the big moments there exist many smaller ones.

As we journey forward with God, winter gives way to Spring, and Lent prepares us for death and new lIfe. I pray we will experience many staging posts on our pilgrimage of faith.

 

Already this year we have committed to becoming Eco-Churches, installing defibrillators on our buildings, staging an Easter egg trail, being present at a vintage festival and sponsoring a recycled-plastic flower festival.

 

Speaking personally, I am walking the 60 miles between all the white horses of Wiltshire in April. If you would like to sponsor me ask for my sponsor form or simply visit the Christian Aid Just-Giving link at

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Gary-Gotham.

 

In their own way, all are evidence that joining in Christ’s mission of love to the world is at the heart of our endeavours - all stages on the journey of walking the way - living the life of Jesus today.

                                                           Gary

 

 

https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/how-eco-church-works/

 

 

A ROCHA UK - APRIL 2019

Congratulations!

St. Andrew's has attained the silver standard of the A ROCHA Echo Church scheme. By the time you read this, you may have seen the plaque that we can display to advertise  this fact. We already had in place disabled access and toilets, a sound system with a loop for hearing aids and large print Hymn Books and Bibles. For many years we have used only Fairtrade products and had a monthly Tradecraft stall. The church is warm, well-lit and comfortable and the garden is well tended. We recycle as much as possible.

More recently the fuel supplier has been switched to a Green Energy provider and even my monthly scribblings ticks one of the boxes. The latest addition is water softeners that will make any water carrying appliance run more efficiently, thus saving fuel. Anyone using one of the kitchens will notice that they need far less washing – up liquid and other cleaners.

A big thank you to all who have helped us gain this award and I am sure many of you are doing your bit at home as well.

We are now heading for gold!

 Christine Madigan

 

 

AGM 

 

Thursday 25th April 2019

7pm refreshments for 7.30pm start 

St. Andrew's Church hall.

 

A special welcome to all those who have supported Opendoors this year, including churches and members of churches.

Come and hear about the progress being made.

 

 

 

The BIG Breakfast  

Yes, it's that time of the year again!

 

Monday, May 6th from 8-30 a.m -11.00 a.m. 

 

 

Please put the date in your diaries and bring your neighbours and friends.   We look forward to a full house again.

 All profits will be divided equally between our three charities and the Church.  There will also be a plant stall - donations welcome.

 

Many people like to contribute towards the breakfast and we are grateful for this.  A list will be on the board in the foyer if you are able to donate anything.  We are also grateful for any help; again please add your name to the list.

 

 For any questions, please speak to me.

 

Ruth McGregor

 

 

 

Holy Habits No. 6 : Serving

  

Holy Habits generally and “Serving” in particular, help us to steer an earthly course by the standard and ways of heaven. This earthly course occasionally lifts the veil on what heaven is like by showing a heaven (in our dimension) on earth. The good news of Jesus is that the kingdom of God is both here and yet to come. A Christian's challenge is to proclaim the good news of living and serving on earth as if in heaven. Acts of love (including serving), justice and peace are a taste of how God’s world is to be.

Matthew 20:28 reminds us that the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve. In serving others we are not only responding to their needs, but we are also glorifying and serving God. In Matthew 25: 31-46 Jesus makes it clear that in serving others “……just as you did it to one of the least of those who are one of my family, you did it to me.” He describes such people as being blessed by his Father and they will inherit the kingdom prepared for them. In Mark 10:43 Jesus teaches his disciples that “whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.” Similarly, in Galatians 5:13 Paul writes “That …..through love become slaves to one another.”

This holy habit of “Serving” offers an opportunity to acknowledge the many ways in which Christians are already serving by giving to charity, through voluntary work and importantly by everyday listening, supporting and caring for others. Caring does not have to be only in major acts or in glamorous ways. Simple acts of serving develop relationships which help to build God’s kingdom. Moving chairs or tables in church, making tea or coffee in church or at home for visitors are all the equal of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet where He was the servant showing his disciples that he loved them. Volunteering to help others in any way is an important way of serving others and making them feel loved and this can be a springboard to showing the love of Christ for communities.

It is productive to pray how you might use your time to serve others for example:

Spend time with someone housebound, baby-sit for parents of young children, listen to young children read at school, help at the Foodbank or Open Doors for the homeless.  In the church add your name to the car Rota, assist on the door at reception, give out hymn books, collect for Christian Aid, pray for those in jobs and positions which serve the community e.g. fire officers, hospital workers, police officers etc.

 You may not always be thanked when you try to help someone but Jesus knows you are showing His love. When it comes to our service it is good to be self-aware and test ourselves to examine our motives when we set out to serve. Do not be someone who really wants to just enhance your own feel-good factor but will not be available for the long haul of service throughout the year.The prayer below sums up what is in this article.  

Servant King Jesus, thank you for coming as a servant to help us and love us. We thank you for all the times people have helped us. Be with us as we try to help others and be kind and say a prayer for them. Amen

 

Bill Thomas

 

 

Tools for Self Reliance

 

If you have any tools that are surplus to your needs, I am willing to collect them to go to our local Self Reliance collection place in Holt.  I am also willing to collect gardening tools to go to another local charity.  In both cases, tools can be refurbished.

Please contact Neil McGregor.

 

 

Play Reading Group

 

We have a Play Reading Group which meets in the foyer on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 2 - 4 p.m. and we would welcome some new members. We read a variety of plays from Ayckbourn to Francis Durbridge, so there will be something to suit everyone’s taste.

 

For more information, ring Jenny Warren on 01380 729529.

 

 

 

PRAYER FOR APRIL - from The Prayer Group

 

   Gracious God we ask you to give us the aid of your Holy Spirit, that we may use this season of Lent wisely.   Bring us to a new understanding of all the good things we have from you.   Help us to drive out from our lives the things which are going in the wrong direction.   May we look to you always for the way forward, that our lives acknowledge and show your love.  May we read the scriptures with greater care and develop a greater thirst for prayer.   May this time of Lent bring us closer to you, that this Easter brings a time of joy, light and love. 

 

In Jesus name we pray.    AMEN

Hilary Burn

 

 

From the Pastoral Secretary

 

Waste Not Want Not – A Chippenham Charity

Useful for obtaining low cost furniture and household items - or recycling yours

(information taken from their website: www.waste-not-want-not.org.uk)

WNWN is a registered charity serving the local community.

With a workforce of predominately volunteers we collect, free of charge, donations of furniture and household items that remain in good condition. We then offer these at low cost, to people on tight budgets, so they can create comfortable homes to feel proud of.

Our showroom in Chippenham attractively displays a full range of furniture and household items. There are fridges, freezers, dishwashers, tumble dryers and other electrical goods.

We stock pictures, lamps and kitchen items to add those finishing touches. We also have a range of new double, single and bunk beds at very reasonable prices.

These items are available to the general public. Proceeds from the new goods, including electric cookers, help support the charity’s work.

If you’d like to buy it’s easy, either visit our showroom or you can view selected items on WNWN’s Facebook page. Goods displayed on line can be paid for over the telephone.

Low cost delivery can be arranged on a day and time that suits. If you’d like to donate furniture and household goods it’s fast, free and easy. We collect at a time agreed with you. Just contact us and connect.

Showroom: 303 Hungerdown Lane, Chippenham, SN14 0JJ.  01249 447140

Email: Wnwn303@aol.com

Open: Mondays - Thursdays 9.30 – 4, Fridays 9.30 – 3,  1st Saturday each month 9.30 - 2.00

Jennifer Brearley

 

 

Click HERE for April TURNING POINT news

 

www.tptrust.org