Monday, March 28, 2016

Mission Action Plan revisited

Some of you will remember and perhaps have got fed up of me talking about the Mission Action Plan (MAP) for the parish. As part of the plan we put together in 2014, we recognised that we did not have the resources to all the things we wanted to do or we thought God might want us to do in the parish. We have been praying for additional help since 2014 and towards the end of last year some of you may have met Revd Liz Strafford at some of our service.  

I am very grateful for the warm welcome that has been given to Revd Liz Strafford as she has begun working with us in the anglican churches in Wadworth, Loversall and Balby. Liz arrives as an answer to prayer at an exciting time after we have completed the facilities improvements in Wadworth church, and we start to plan for the next stages of parish life. Myself, Liz, and our lay ministers Jane and Russell met and we have identified a number of additional services we can introduce that are inline with our Mission Action Plan:

  1. Every Monday at 8:30am we have already started meeting at Wadworth church for morning prayer, this is a time of extend prayer for the parishes and the wider world
  2. One Sunday a month I will not be rushing off from Wadworth to do the 11am service at Balby so I can be available at Wadworth for longer to chat to people. 
  3. From 22nd March we will be introducing a a weekly service for Healing and Wholeness after the coffee shop on a Tuesday at St John the Evangelist, Balby around 12:15. This will be a service that gives us time and space to reflect about ourselves, seek prayer, receive anointing, prayer for healing and wholeness in our local communities.
  4. After Easter, from Wednesday 6th April we will restarted the mid-week Holy Communion service at St Katherine’s Loversall but in the afternoon at 2pm. Again this service will have a focus on praying for the persecuted church. This service will run weekly until harvest when we will assess whether it is feasible to run during the winter months.

Another part of the MAP was to form a Mission Partnership with other churches to share resources and to work together on children and youth work. As a parish we have been exploring working with St James, Doncaster; St Francis, Bessacarr and of course St John the Evangelist, Balby. We hope to call ourselves the Crossways Mission Partnership and we are fully supported by the Sheffield Diocese. We have been successful in applying to the Diocese for a youth worker who will be partly funded by the diocese for three years.

Initially this person will get to understand the existing youth work at St Francis (Franky’s) and then to develop a similar set up first with St James and St Johns in Balby (JJ’s) and then in Wadworth. We hope to be able to take our young people to St Francis in the first instance to see how their youth club and service works. Perhaps you may be able to help with transportation? We also need to raise money to pay for our part of the funding of the youth worker. More details of this will follow, but wouldn’t it be great if we can set up something for you people hear in Wadworth and Balby? I always hear people say there is nothing for young people to do, well this a chance to get behind a project that is deliberately setting out to provide something for young people.

And finally a great big thank you for all of you who supported the Lent Project so generously again this year. It is greatly appreciated.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Mothers, Memories and Easter

Some of you may remember we held a Carols and Memories service in December which was well received by those you attended so we can going to hold another one in March. But Vicar you cannot sing carols in March I hear you say! And we are not going to do so - instead we will be singing some hymns as we have a services “Mothers and Memories” at 6pm on the 5th March at 6pm at St john the Evangelist Balby. This will be a Time for Mothers with memories and a Time for those who wish to remember their mums. In addition to some hymns we will read some poetry and have some bible readings. Yes everyone will have a chance to light a candle and yes we will read out names - you can give us the names as you arrive. You don’t need an invite just turn up. Those remembered can have died recently or a long time ago.
Talking about death, dying and funerals raises big questions that we need to face at some point, but it’s sometimes hard to talk to family and friends.
The Church of England has been helping people think about these questions for centuries. GraveTalk is a café space, organised by a local church, where people can talk about these big questions. The conversation is helped along by GraveTalk conversation cards – 52 questions covering 5 key areas.
GraveTalk is a café – so there is always tea and cake. You are then invited to sit at tables with three or four others. The GraveTalk cards will be on the tables, and each group picks a question and uses it start a conversation. It doesn’t matter if you only use one question – or work through all of them! The purpose is to talk and listen.
Light refreshments are offered throughout the event, which lasts about an hour, or longer if needed. We are holding a Grave Talk on Tuesday 29th March at 2pm in St John the Evangelist. All welcome no invite necessary.

Our Lent Project is well under way and this year we are doing something new on Good Friday. Brenda and Michael are going to walk from St Katherine’s Loversall to St John the Baptist, Wadworth carrying water with them on the way to highlight the plight of children having to carry water long distances in Africa. Please sponsor them as they do this as we raise money to help bring water to the village in Kigezi. We want to make this a family event so we would love you to turn up at 11:30am at St Katherines. We are going to make some banners and some crosses, sing some songs and then see Brenda and Michael on their way to Wadworth. We would love you to join in walking with them and taking your banners and crosses. When we get to Wadworth we can all have a drink and finish with a Good Friday Service, using your banners and our crosses we have made.

Also as part of our Lent project we have Afternoon Tea 2pm - 4pm   on Friday 11th March in the  Village Hall  and an Easter Market on Saturday 19th March at 10am - 12 noon  in  St John’s, Wadworth.

Easter Sunday is on the 27th March and we celebrate at 9am Wadworth and 11am Balby.We are having a Bring and Share lunch at around 12:15 after the service at Balby. All Welcome.

What we celebrate on Easter Sunday changes everything, and whoever we are, Easter can change us, if we let it. This year immerse yourself in the Easter story, perhaps to remind yourself of the basis of your faith, perhaps to strengthen your faith or perhaps to see why others believe so strongly. Come if you are curious or doubting. Don't let other decide for you - come listen, experience and decide yourself.