The Inside Column 22/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 23, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Not long now…only three days until Christmas! So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them - Luke 2: 4-7

We know the story very well, but when I stop and think about it more deeply, I am always amazed at the mystery and miracle of it all. When we think about it the birth of a baby, born a long time ago, born in a land far away, to a peasant girl, you can’t but help to be amazed at how much this event changed the world.

Whether you are a follower of Jesus or not, no-one can argue that this event that happened all those years ago changed the world for ever. The birth of this one baby, Jesus, changed the course of history. And I think at the heart of the birth of Jesus is love, a love that we can all know when we put our faith in him. It really is Good news for the world.

A big thank you to everybody that has helped in so many ways with the running of ST Barnabas in 2019, we would not have been able to do all the thing we do, without so many people giving their time and enagre to the life of St Barnabas. This is a great family to be a part of.

The last Sunday service for the year is on Sunday 29 December at 9.30am and we will continue to have one Prayer book led service at 9.30am through to 19 January. We return to our regular times of 8.30am and 10.00am on Sunday 27 January. There is no Wednesday service on 2 January. Wednesday Services resume at 11.00am 8 January. The Church office will close at noon on Friday 20 December and reopens at 8.00am Monday 20 January 2019. If you have an emergency over the holiday period please call 021 088 606 81

From all the staff team at St Barnabas we wish you all a happy Christmas, we pray you will have a safe and renewing holiday with loads of family and friends, and we look forward to see what God has instore for us all next year.

God bless you all this Christmas

Yours in Christ

Phil

The Inside Column 15/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 16, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Last Sunday the weather got the better of the Jingle bells event, which was a great shame – but there is always next year. Sorry to anybody that did not get the message of cancellation, and a thank you to those that were going to help on the day. It was going to be a great way for us serve our community.

Today we celebrate Christmas with our Christingle service. What is a Christingle, I hear you ask…? The story of the Christingle is that there were three children, who were very poor, but wanted to give a gift to Jesus, like the other families at church were doing. The only nice thing they had was an orange, so they decided to give him that.

The top was going slightly green, so the eldest cut it out, and put a candle in the hole. They thought it looked dull, so the youngest girl took her best red ribbon from her hair and attached it round the middle with toothpicks. The middle child had the idea to put a few pieces of dried fruit on the ends of the sticks. They took it to the church for the Christmas mass, and whereas the other children sneered at their meagre gift, the priest took their gift and showed it as an example of true understanding of the meanings of Christmas.

The Christingle consists of:

  • An orange representing the world God created. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” – Genesis 1:1-2
  • A red ribbon around the orange represents the blood of Jesus. Jesus came into this world to pay the price for the things we do wrong, so we may know God through him and know
    forgiveness, truth, peace, love.
  • Dried fruits on cocktail sticks pushed into the orange, represent the fruits of the earth and the four seasons. Different seasons of life, the many different good things God blesses us with.
  • A lit candle pushed into the centre of the orange, representing Jesus Christ as the light of the world. Good news of great joy to the world!

With many going away over the next couple of weeks, let me wish everybody that calls St Barnabas home, a very happy and safe Christmas, and I look forward to see what God has in store for us all next year.

The Church office will close at noon on Friday 20 December and reopens at 8.00am Monday 20 January 2019.

God Bless

Phil

The Inside Column 08/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 09, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

This afternoon if the weather has played its part, Jingle bells will be on. Starting from 4.00pm there will be all sorts of entertainment for all ages, with carol singing from about 6.30pm.  I am still needing a couple of volunteers to help man the bins and do some other stuff. so if you are coming along and can spare a half hour please sign up out in the foyer, or let me know. A good chance for us to serve the community.

News about next year…
Theo Greenwood (my oldest son) has been offered a place at BTC next year as an intern, working towards a certificate of ministry. This is a full-year course with two semesters. Each week, students complete fifteen hours of supervised ministry, spend five hours in supervision, mentoring and reflection, and complete another twenty hours of theological and biblical study in order to develop foundations that will support effective, sustainable ministry. This is a stand – alone qualification equivalent to the first year of a degree programme. Jesus intended for his disciples to become faithful, skilled and brave – in fact their lives became an adventure in the service of the kingdom of God. He taught them how to serve alongside him, showed them how to live, and then sent them out, this is the process Theo will be going through next year. Please pray for him as he takes on this new role in the church and in his studies.

Next Sunday 15 December is our combined celebration Christingle service starting with breakfast from 9.00am, and then the service starting at 10.00am. The breakfast and Christingle Service is a great event to bring children, grandchildren, friends, family and even neighbours. So let’s be brave and use this opportunity to reach out to others and for us to get together as the family of God and celebrate Christmas.

Many of you will know that Kathy King has stepped down from her role as Seniors Outreach Coordinator. Firstly a big thank you and a well done to Kathy for the work she has done over the last four years. She has led the way in providing outings and events for our seniors and engaging with the community. As you know, when one door closes a different door opens so we are looking for someone to pick up the role Kathy is stepping out of. This is 10 hours a week paid position and you will be on the staff team here at St Barnabas. If you know someone that might be interested or you would like to know more please speak to me or Kathy.

Yours in Christ

Phil

The Inside Column 01/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 02, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

The season of Advent is here and the Advent Wreath with 5 candles is in the church.

The 1st candle (purple) is the Candle of Hope. We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep His promises made to us. Our hope comes from God.

The 2nd candle (purple) is the Candle of Preparation. God kept his promise of a Saviour who would be born in Bethlehem. Preparation means to “get ready”. Help us to be ready to welcome you O God!

The 3rd candle (purple) is the Candle of Joy. The angels sang a message of Joy.

Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests. - Luke 2:11-14

The 4th candle (purple) is the Angel Candle or The Candle of Love. The angels announced the good news of a Saviour. God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. – John 3:16-17

The 5th candle (white) is the Candle of Christ. The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! His birth was for his death, his death was for our birth!

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! – John 1:29

On the Sunday 8 December we have been invited to help run a Christmas event called Jingle Bells (Previously Shine – Carols on the Lawn) in the park behind the Church. The event starts at 4.00pm and will run until around 8.00pm. Firstly, this is an event for you to get a group of people together and come along – there will be a Bouncy Castle, Children’s Activities, Carol Singing, Food Stalls and other entertainment. It should be a great night out for all. Secondly, we need helpers to sign up in the foyer to help man the bins. There will be four different bin sites around the grounds and each one will have, green waste, recycling, and general waste. (You will get to wear a high vis vest!) We will need to help people put the right stuff in the right bins. If we can get a good number of people to help, maybe we can do teams, in half hour slots. If you think you might like to help, please put your name down on the time you would like to cover, and then come at that time to do your bit. The more people, the easier it is for everyone. I will be looking for a couple of people to help me throughout the night to manage the stage, shift chairs and sound stuff. If you can help let me know. Please pray for fine weather on this day, and that St Barnabas might be able to bless our community through this event.

Yours in Christ

Phil

The Inside Column 24/11

Posted in: The Inside Column- Nov 25, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

On the Sunday 8 December we have been invited to help run a Christmas event called Jingle Bells (Previously Shine – Carols on the Lawn) in the park behind the Church. The event starts at 4.00pm and will run till around 8.00pm. Firstly, this is an event for you to get a group of people together and come along – there will be a Bouncy Castle, Children’s Activities, Carol Singing, Food Stalls and other entertainment. It should be a great night out for all. Secondly, we need helpers to sign up in the foyer to help man the bins. There will be four different bin sites around the grounds and each one will have, green waste, recycling, and general waste. (You will get to wear a high vis vest!) We will need to help people put the right stuff in the right bins. If we can get a good number of people to help, maybe we can do teams, in half hour slots. If you think you might like to help, please put your name down on the time you would like to cover, and then come at that time to do your bit. The more people, the easier it is for everyone. I will be looking for a couple of people to help me throughout the night to manage the stage, shift chairs and sound stuff. If you can help let me know. Please pray for fine weather on this day, and that St Barnabas might be able to bless our community through this event. Time to tell the world the good news …

Why me?

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” - 1 Peter 3: 15

Before Jesus departed this earth, he spent his final time here on earth with His eleven disciples. The last command that He gave them was this:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus commands us to tell others about Him. You may ask, “Why me? Aren’t there others more equipped to do that? I am not a preacher, I do not know what to say.”

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. - Luke, Acts 1:8

Jesus tells us to tell others about him and promised to give us power to do it. As Christians, we have the opportunity and responsibility to tell others what we have “seen” and “heard” and what we have experienced in our walk with Jesus. You are the only one who can tell your story. No one can adequately describe the things that have changed in your life. It is your story; no one else can tell it. If Jesus has done great things for you, you have the privilege of sharing that good news with others. Jesus commands us to tell others of His great salvation, the question for each of us, is are we?

Yours in Christ

Phil