Update September 2020: Charitable/Mission Giving Recently the PCC have reviewed our charities and missions and from 2021 the church will now formally support two charities or missions (one of these will definitely be Family Support Work following the responses we have had from the congregation following a call for comments and suggestions) and have a third flexible ‘pot’ in order to be able to respond to a crisis or something which is ‘on the heart’ of a member of the congregation. Do get in touch if you would like to find out more, or read the PCC minutes as they appear here
A brief description of the situation to the end of 2020 follows . . . . . .
Through the year, the Missions Group raises funds for our 3 'link' partners. In addition, the PCC allocates a percentage of a portion of its income as funds for 'Charitable Giving' from which the Missions Group distribute to the link partners......
The Bible Society and The Children's Society also benefit from plate collections taken at one or other of the Christmas services.
NEWSLETTER for September, 2020
Paul writes: “Make it practical” was the advice from Charles, my Burundian colleague and advisor. He went on, “I know you don’t like doing that!” I had been expecting, planning and getting myself ready for writing what I thought would be an academic paper. It sounded good to me. I felt some of my dissertation ideas had loose ends; I wanted to have more of a firm foundation to what I was saying. I now feel a bit on the back foot. Several people have said that I should start by making it simple, something that a layman can understand, something that everyone can get a hold of. As my colleague said, sometimes it’s good to give an example, not to give people all sorts of complicated options.
Please pray as I wrestle and think how to put out some possibilities—some practical ways in which people could have a go at doing a new wineskin at church—a way of letting people think a bit differently—listening to the Holy Spirit and God’s Word for themselves.
For me, the first thing that comes to mind is the Alpha course, where ordinary people get to grapple with a few issues, but most of all build relationship amongst themselves, then after their 10 weeks or so together, they have a sense of comradery—a sense of ‘this is what we discovered together, this is what relates to us’. They can go to bigger church meetings and try to fit it, but I wonder if they’ll feel most at home back in that group where they discovered Jesus for themselves. Please pray for the way forward as I look to write a practical booklet first, even if it ultimately leads to an academic paper.
Alison writes: Thank you for praying! We returned to the UK, having had 2 days’ notice of being accepted on a World Food Programme flight from Bujumbura to Addis. We then took a commercial flight to London. It all went amazingly smoothly and we were grateful to initially have some space to unwind and have a holiday. We’ve continued to engage with our colleagues in Africa since reaching the UK in late July. Paul has been leading a series of webinars looking at issues around his new wineskins thesis—the next being this Friday, 11th.
Term has begun, with Jeremy starting nursery school.
We are delighted to announce we’re expecting our third baby at Christmas. We prayed a lot about having another baby and are so thankful for this blessing from the Lord. We are praising that we were able to reach the UK (despite the airport in Burundi being shut to commercial flights) and receive antenatal care in the NHS.
We expect to stay in the UK until early spring after our baby is born and has had some immunisations. We will then return to Burundi and imagine we won’t be back until summer 2022.
As well as continuing to do Burundi work from a distance, we are keen to connect in person, where possible, with our supporters and supporting churches. The Covid situation has made planning more difficult, but we are starting to see what may be possible. As soon as any church visits are confirmed we shall update you.
It is a huge blessing that our leader, Tony Swanson, who helps lead the Africa Mobilisation Hub (of Africa Inland Mission), which we’re part of, will be based near us, at All Nations this term, as well as Sam and Harriet Ngugi, Kenyan colleagues and fellow Hub members, doing the MA there. Alison continues to be very involved with the Board.
We would really welcome people visiting / staying with us (we have a spacious guest room with a shower room) as it isn’t easy travelling everywhere with a young family. Please do make contact if this may be an option for you.
- Praise for the provision of flights to the UK, for a gentle return, holiday and good antenatal care.
- Pray for Paul and his mentors to know how to move forward with writing a booklet on his new wineskins thesis to share with grassroots leaders in Africa. Pray for good, local illustrations to bring it alive and that it will encourage contextualised mission.
- We are due our annual appraisal and budget review with our mission leaders later this month. Please pray that it will be a really useful time as we reflect on the past year and plan for the one ahead. Also we have a day with iNet leaders, trustees and church leaders at All Nations on 17th.
NEWSLETTER for July, 2020
Paul writes: Sometimes I feel sorry for myself: blame it on the restrictions of the Covid pandemic, challenges of living in Africa, or the demands of small children. Recently Alison and I were listening to a webinar put on by our mission agency, helping us to think about how to look after ourselves in this Covid season. There were many simple tips. One stands out: giving thanks. Just remembering that amidst all the frustrations, when we give thanks, when we look up, things are not as bad as we thought.
When the disciples were feeling overwhelmed and unable even to find time to eat (Mark 6:30-44), Jesus took them to a desolate place to rest. Did Jesus know that the crowds would follow them, like sheep searching for a shepherd? While Jesus fed the crowds with his WORD; all the disciples could do was to remind Jesus that the people needed to go and buy food. Jesus’ response was ‘you feed them’. The disciples’ response was, ‘but we can’t’. So Jesus said, ‘what do you have?’ They brought those two fish and five loaves. Jesus performed a simple miracle, providing for all and more.
I wonder if there was a message that the disciples would remember, much later? When Jesus had been taken away from them, when they were grieving? “You feed them!” I preached this message some months ago, before Covid, to a gathering of house church members in Rumonge. The leader was concerned that such house churches are looked down on; and lay-leadership viewed with suspicion. I encouraged them that Jesus still says ‘you feed them’. No matter how small, inadequate, or untrained, Jesus can use the little we have to feed the hungry, the sheep searching for a shepherd.
I wonder whether God is changing things around? Big churches, in much of the world, are restricted, at the same time as many are searching for answers. Those who have learnt to feed themselves, perhaps, in house churches, might need to share their two fishes with those who are realising their spiritual hunger.
I wonder what we can bring, what is our two fish-sandwich to meet the needs of those around us at this time? Are there people in our communities searching for answers, like sheep searching for a shepherd?
Alison writes: Our friend and colleague Cath Swanson wrote recently of how reading Richard Wurmbrand’s ‘Sermons of solitary confinement’ challenges us not to hibernate but to use this season to become—to go deeper with God, let go of control, die to self, store up treasures in heaven …
Paul and I hope and pray that we’re allowing the Lord to do something in us as we, particularly I, wrestle with our summer plans (to visit the UK and speak in our supporting churches) fall apart. Like many, we have no certainty about what happens next. We still hope to visit the UK and pray there may be some opportunity to share in our supporting churches in some way, in the autumn.
Charles, a key mission leader
Instead of being in the UK now, we have
found ourselves in Burundi, with all the borders shut since March. We had planned to leave before the elections in May—so why did God allow us to remain here? We don’t know all the
answers but we do see His hand on it. This time has enabled us to dig deeper in relationship with our Burundian and missionary colleagues. We’ve been able to stand with them, in more
focused intercession, than we might have been had we been away. We’ve walked a journey together. Paul has continued with language study and we’ve both met with colleagues. It's been
good to get to know Vianney a bit (above right) who's the new Dean of the Great Lakes School of Theology and Leadership. We continue to praise God for our Burundian colleagues’ resilience and
ability to have hope in God despite deep disappointments, particularly those who’d sought political change.
- Praise Jesus that He gives us hope and purpose even in seasons of uncertainty.
- Praise that Burundi remained peaceful during the elections and unexpected death of the outgoing President.
- Give thanks for the webinars Paul has been able to lead with our AIM regional colleagues on his ‘new wineskins’ MA thesis which has helped clarify some points he’d like to put into an academic paper.
- Ask that we can visit the UK in God’s timing.
WhatsApp AG: +44 7979 553436; PG: +44 7708 901817
Burundi postal address: BP 6323 Kinindo, Bujumbura, Burundi, East Africa
UK postal address:
Racquets, The Coppice, Rustington,
West Sussex BN16 3TP
***************************** We are so grateful to the individuals and churches who support our ministry. We look to the Lord for all our funding needs. If you feel led to give you can GIFT AID IT: https://www.give.net/20096077 or call Stewardship on 020 8502 8560 or ask us for a form. If you’re not a UK tax payer please ask for our bank or PayPal details or send a cheque to our UK address. Thanks so much!
A MESSAGE FROM NIKKI KERR, FSW Director of Fundraising and Marketing.......
Please find in the file below ('October update') our recent update on activities and prayer points. I also attach flyers/posters for 3 “virtual” events ('Quiz', 'Bingo' and 'Photography')that are happening between now and Christmas. It would be wonderful if these could be shared where possible.
With many thanks for your ongoing support.
Here we are already in September, and with schools now back in operation life is slowly returning to some kind of "normal" for us all. Our families have managed well so far with the transition, although there is anxiety around a possible future lockdown.
As an organisation we are looking ahead to the next few months and how we can continue to provide the best possible service to our families in light of the current restrictions and our own capacity. The support that you continue to give us in so many ways is invaluable and we are so grateful to you for being there with us during these difficult times.
Martin and the FSW Team
To read the content of this Update in your browser, please click on the following link......https://mailchi.mp/7a31164b2b24/sep20-4128633?e=9ccc8526a2
EARLY SEPTEMBER UPDATE
It is hard to believe that we have reached September and a new school year. This week as the children in our families return to school there is a sense of change, which is causing a great deal of anxiety for some of them. Our practitioners are helping to ease the transition from home to school and giving support on re-establishing routines. We have already started to see an increase in referrals, which we were anticipating back in April at the start of lockdown, and expect that this will continue as new stresses and challenges face families that have just about managed to make it through lockdown.
Our friends at the Mothers’ Union have now joined us in our offices in Brighton. It is wonderful to be so close physically as there is so much that we do together in partnership to support families all across the county. With office-based staff now back at our head office for half of their working week (whilst still working from home the rest of the time), there is also great joy at being able to see our colleagues face-to-face again after months of phone calls, emails and Zoom meetings.
Finally, there are still some places left for our sponsored abseil at Peacehaven on 19th September. If you have a local youth group then why not see if they would like to join us?
Last month’s work in numbers
286 (socially distanced) visits to families and 209 phone calls supporting 38 grandparents, 340 parents and 362 children
17 supported meetings (virtually via Zoom/Skype etc.) with other agencies
127 deliveries of food and other items (such as children’s activities) made
That those staff who have been working throughout lockdown are able to take some time off to rest and recover now that other staff are working again
That we receive positive news about a significant grant application that will make a huge difference to our income
This parish has supported the work of the Bible Society for several years. Bible Sunday, which usually falls in October is marked by some kind of special service, which may include an outside speaker. This is usually followed by a display in the church hall of Bibles and Bible Reading materials.
Our home-groups give regularly to Bible-Society by donating their coffee money and several members are part of the Bible-a Month scheme. Bible society was featured as our chosen charity in our Christmas Card Tree appeal, two years ago. Updates of Bible Society news appear on the Missions Notice Board, in occasional articles in Seasight and on the Bible Society website.
SOME BACKGROUND NOTES.......
The Children’s Society has been supported by St. Peter and St. Paul since the time when there were two children’s homes here in Rustington - Fairlight on the Worthing Road and Carruthers Corfield House in Shaftesbury Road. Members of the church, who formed House Committees, visited these homes regularly. Fund-raising events were held to provide treats for the children.This continued until the early eighties when the homes closed and the charity started to focus on community care.
Minutes of a meeting held in 1980 record that although the local homes had closed, the “Appeal’s Committee” would continue to support the Society as it worked to help vulnerable children.
The Children's Society "Rustington Support Group" now hold four fundraising activities each year. The popular "Bake and Brew" Saturday morning events are held in the Spring and Autumn. A dinner or
afternoon tea is held in the Summer months and in December the Children's Society host the Christingle Service at our church on a Sunday afternoon and this is always very well attended by children
and adults alike. Since 1985, our Support Group in its various forms has raised in excess of £44,505.02 for the Society, and its work for vulnerable children and young people in England and Wales.
The Support Group works very closely with the Society and its Relationship Manager for the Dioceses of Chichester, Guildford, Portsmouth and Winchester. For more information about the work of
the Children's Society please take a look at the website. www.childrenssociety.org.uk. Charity Number 221124.
Julie Churcher 16/5/19
9am Holy Communion
10.30am Holy Communion
Streamed on YouTube.
1st Sunday All Age.
2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays of the month with J Squad.
4pm on the 3rd Sunday of the month Messy Church.
9am Morning Prayer (also on Zoom.)
11am Holy Communion (Traditional Language.)
Booking is required for all services in church except Morning Prayer.
Meeting ID: 864 7770 9197 Passcode: MP
Click on the above heading to view the various govern-ing Policies
St Peter & St Paul is a registered charity: Number 1133812