Dear friends,

Warm and loving greetings in the name of Christ.
It has been so good to be back to “one worship service” on a Sunday morning during August. I have particularly appreciated the strong sense of unity amongst our worshippers. It has also been good to be able to lift our voices in the singing of God’s praises. The singing has been excellent and led by some inspired organ and piano playing! God really does inhabit the praises of his people. We move forward in faith and with hope. Love for Christ and each other is our anchor – so may the Lord bless you and fill you with peace, thanksgiving, joy and grace.
I am looking forward to spending time at the BB camp toward the end of August. It should be fun! We are aiming to be much more intentional in the way we engage with families attached to our BB. There is an innovative all age Café Church planned for September in which BB children and their parents will be special guests. Pray for this new initiative, that we may be able to communicate Christ’s love to families in new ways, and with God’s grace and favour.

LYCIG

As promised, Leading Your Church Into Growth, is being launched this autumn. It is important that the three dates below are put into your diaries. When I was asked and called to become your Minister early in 2019, it was made clear to me that Christchurch needed to grow and have a vision for growth and for community service. LYCIG can help us with this, but it needs to be prioritised by everyone. It is therefore important for you to consider whether God may be calling you to be involved in one, two or all three of these sessions where we discuss issues relating to growth and vision.

Saturday October 9th, 10.00 – 12.00am
Saturday October 30th, 10.00 – 12.00am
Saturday November 13th, 10.00 -12.00am

A Church the size of Christchurch should be aiming to get a minimum of 15 people to these sessions. These will be times of discussion, fellowship, laughter, sharing personal insights, and prayer. The meetings will not be “heavy”, but relaxed, informal and enjoyable. Each session stands on its own, but if you can come to all three, you will see how the sessions are inter-related in inspiring new vision. We do need everyone to pray. We do need everyone to be aware of the importance of LYCIG. Please begin to pray now, and offer the future of Christchurch to our God who alone can bring true growth (1 Corinthians 3 v 5-9, Mark 4 v 26-29).

God of Mission
Who alone brings growth to your Church,
Send your Holy Spirit to give
Vision to our planning,
Wisdom to our actions,
And power to our witness.
Help Christchurch to grow in numbers, In spiritual commitment to you,
And in service to our community, Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

START

As well as LYCIG, and as part of LYCIG, I am going to be running a START course this autumn. This is a course which introduces people to Christianity and faith in Jesus. This course will be run on 6 Tuesday evenings in October and November. Each session lasts only 1 hour, although refreshments will take it beyond that. I am going to be inviting specific people to this who I feel would greatly benefit and who may be interested in joining our Church and committing themselves to Jesus.

If you feel that you would be interested in coming – please contact me directly. You may be someone who would appreciate “a refresher course” in Christian basics. You may feel the call of God to support me as I trial this course for the first time. Again, talk to me and I can include you in the planning.

Please pray for START, and for its success and blessing.

Holy Communion

From September, we will resume receiving Holy Communion on the third Sunday of each month at our 10.30 am service. The wine will only be served in individual cups. People will be invited to move forward in a sensible way. I would like to know how many people are still interested in attending a Wednesday Communion service. I would also like to know what time people prefer this service to start.

In September, we will continue to have two Wednesday Communion services and the dates and times are below. From October, do we go back to a weekly Wednesday service starting at 6pm as was our previous practice, or do we want a new start time? Is there a need for this service to take place every week? Let me know your thoughts and preferences.

Communion service 3pm Wednesday 15th September led by Vernon Godden.
Communion service 7pm Wednesday 29th September led by Peter Clarkson

Gift Day

As part of our Harvest worship on October 3rd, we will be holding a gift day. This is a great opportunity for us all to give an extra financial gift to Christchurch for our work and mission. During the pandemic and lockdowns, Christchurch’s income shrank considerably and we really need to make up some of the considerable losses. Please help us with this, and be as generous as you can be.

There is a special envelope for you to use, and if you are not able to be with us for Harvest, please feel free to let us have your gift at some other point. We are very grateful for everyone’s support in this matter. Paul encouraged the Corinthian Church in this way; “Each should give what they have decided in their heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

May I close by thanking everyone for your ongoing support for Christchurch. We look forward to much brighter days ahead, and we trust God to meet our every need as we seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

The Lord be with you all.
In Christ

Peter