Latest News and Prayer Update from our Mission Partner – Neema Children’s Home
Greetings from us all here at Neema. The Lord has graciously led us, protected us, healed us and, we have reason to praise His holy name. We pray you all are kept of the Lord and experiencing His goodness and mercies every day. The mercies of the Lord are new every morning. Thinking about each and everyone in the world and the Lord whose mercies are new every morning, we see a God who is rich in mercies, a God who is willing to share His mercies with His creation. His mercies never come to an end, thanks be to the God of rich mercies. The joy of the Lord has been our strength. Your prayers have truly given us His grace to keep serving, thank you.
In this update we hear about a new member of the Neema family, the cost of living problems Neema is facing, numbers in school, the ongoing building project, weather in Eldoret and Covid-19 in Kenya. Please read and join us in prayer for the mission of Neema Children’s Home.
For the full newsletter from Joshua and Miriam pleaseclick here
Latest prayer news from our Mission Partner Diego Pachecho
Diego (along with wife, Sabrina, and daughter, Lucia) is church planting in Santiago, Chile with BCMS Crosslinks. This week we received news of Iglesio Christo Redentor’s intention to begin meeting in person again having been apart due to Covid-19.
Please pray for:
This Saturday, 2 October, as we hold our first church picnic. Pray that everyone can come and that we will enjoy being together again.
Next Sunday, 10 October, is our first in-person service. Pray that we can enjoy worshiping the Lord in a safe way.
Pray for us to keep thriving in our evangelistic efforts. Pray that we can enjoy our missionary identity as we show Christ’s love to the people around us.
We can only gather twice a month as the usual building we use has become a vaccination facility. Please pray for the vaccination process to finish according to plan so that we can go back to meeting every week.
Bible Overview Book Recommendations by Rev. Chris Murphy
Our series this term is a Bible overview and if you are interested in learning about how the whole Bible fits together then here a few books that would be really useful to read alongside our current sermon series:
God’s Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts: This is the perfect entry level book into understanding how the bible fits together as one book. The chapters are short, the type is large, and there are lots of illustrations. I would say this is one of the top five books that every Christian should read.
According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy: This is still a very readable overview of the whole bible but it is the more technical book upon which Vaughan Roberts bases most of his ideas. If you would like to dig a bit deeper then this is the book for you.
What is Biblical Theology? by James M. Hamilton: This book links together the idea of the Bible as a story and how we all understand the world through stories. Our view of the world is shaped by the foundational narratives we believe. If we don’t have the right foundational stories we will have a skewed perception of the world. It is, therefore, essential that we view the world through the biblical narrative.
The Christ of the Covenants by O. Palmer Robertson: This is the best, but slightly technical, introduction to the theme of covenant theology. Whereas Roberts and Goldsworthy see The Kingdom of God as the main theme, which ties the bible together, Roberts demonstrates how Covenant is a thread, which runs throughout the Bible.
Raiding the Lost Ark by Jonty Rhodes: This is an entry level book into understanding covenant theology. It is written at a light and popular level, with plenty of illustrations, and is a good place to start if you are unfamiliar with the theme of covenant or why it is important in the Bible.
Introducing Covenant Theology by Michael Horton: Although this book is called an introduction, it is a scholarly introduction, and is by far the most heavy weight book on this list. It explores some of the early biblical history and how the covenants in the bible are similar to other Ancient Near Eastern treatises. Horton makes the distinction between Suzerain-Vassal and Royal Grant covenants which have shaped my thinking on this issue. Well worth a read but not for the faint hearted.
Messy Church September
It was fantastic to welcome families back to Messy Church in person this week after our Covid-19-enforced hiatus where we moved online and into remotely collected bags of crafts and Bible stories.
Our question was, “What do you want Jesus do to for you?” This is a fantastic question to ask, but we have to admit we may not come up with the best of answers all by ourselves. We looked at the story of Blind Bartimaeus and Jesus. We discovered how Jesus loves to show mercy, and that mercy is all we need from Jesus too, despite what we might want from him!
It was great fun to act out the Bible story, learn about seeing God more clearly with the help of Jesus, grow in our determination to seek Jesus and help others, learn a little Braille, and construct a sandwich blindfolded to help us try to learn compassion for those who are blind. It was so nice to finish the evening by sharing a meal together.
We meet again in October (always the 4th Tuesday!) when our good friend, Cheeky Monkey will be back from a well-earned break in France. Bon voyage Cheeky!
This half term at the Hub:Developing better vision – a Biblical worldview
The Church of England is currently undertaking a survey into attitudes surrounding sexuality, gender, and identity. The danger is that the church takes a secular worldview (the one that is prevalent in our society) and applies that to the Bible. But what we are called to do as Christians, in every age, is to take the biblical worldview and apply that to society. In other words it is not for society to critique the Bible, it is for the Bible to critique society. If you would like to learn how to do this then do join us for our upcoming Hub course called “A better story” starting on 23 September, where we will seek to apply the true story of the Bible to the very practical issues of gender, sexuality, and identity.
My hope is that as we become more biblically literate we will be better able to engage with the challenging social, ethical, and pastoral issues of our day in a way which brings glory and honour to the one true God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Women’s Breakfast, Sat 9th October, 8.30am at St Michaels with Lucy Slavin from St Peter’s Rock Ferry
We are much looking forward to meeting together again so do put the date in your diaries!
OnOne of our Mission Partners is St Peter’s Rock Ferry and Lucy Slavin is a gifted children and youth worker at St Peters, the church our new vicar Chris Slater joins us from. Come and hear Lucy speak about the ministry she is involved in and enjoy a delicious cooked breakfast together. All are welcome, please contact Amanda Roberts on 07503 074443 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up on the sheets provided at the back of church.
150th Anniversary Celebrations
What a fantastic weekend. This picture collage gives a brief glimpse of the fun, fellowship and faith that made celebrating our Parish being 150 years old such a wonderful time together.Our thanks go out to all those who created and celebrated the event.
It was fantastic to invite our church family and local neighbours along with past clergy, the Mayor and Mayoress of Wirral and the Lord Lieutentant of Merseyside (representing the Queen!) to celebrate together with a garden party, flower display and Church history exhibition on Saturday and a wonderful service of Holy Communion on Sunday evening where the Bishop of Chester, the Rt. Rev. Mark Tanner opened up God’s word to us.
Amongst many helpful insights and challenges, the Bishop highlighted the power and significance of the apostle’s prayer in Ephesians 1:17, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” What a hope that brings for the next 150 years as we seek to ‘Make Jesus known and grow together in him!’
Prayer & Praise
by Zoe Putman
On Thursday 2nd September we gathered for an evening of prayer and praise. The strategy behind the planning for this evening was to provide an opportunity for us to be encouraged and to grow in one of our values as a church – to be joyful and confident in our faith.
Being joyful is often something we think of as coming in seasons when circumstances are going well; results come back better than expected, new life is born, we get an unexpected tax rebate! Or sometimes we consider it a gift that only some have, being blessed with a happy-go-lucky persona but we are called as God’s children to ‘be joyful always’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
One way to cultivate joy is to gather together and sing praise to our wonderful and faithful God. This is what we did on Thursday. Thetogetherness was powerful, as we sang, proclaimed, and shared stories of God’s grace, goodness, faithfulness and love for us. People stepped down out of their comfort zones to metaphorically kneel before the church family and share their vulnerability and humanity, and how God was meeting them in an honest, gentle and powerful way. Bible verses were shared, tears were shed and joy rose up.
Someone described the evening as ‘an injection from the Holy Spirit that we all needed’ and I replied, ‘let’s book in our second jab soon!’ Join us for your first dose next time and be blessed.
News and Prayer Update from our Mission Partner – Neema Children’s home
Please click here for the full text of the latest news and prayer letter from Neema Children’s Home in Eldoret Kenya.
Manyof the children are moving on to secondary school, university and adult life. Praise God!
The NCH Primary school is growing. Thank God for this and pray forwisdom, finances and provision for the construction of the second phase of the school.
Wetter recent weather has given the harvest a better chance of sustaining the residents but please pray that the harvest will be plentiful for Neema and the whole of Eldoret.
Sunday Morning Children’s Groups return!
On Sunday the 5th of September we’re excited to restart Sunday morning Children’s groups. This is since the Summer break at St. Michael’s and since March 2020 at Christ Church, so it’s great for us to be looking forward to offering faithful, creative, effective Bible teaching and activities for children again!
Please pray for our children and their families as well as our fantastic volunteers who love to teach and interact with them. Please also consider becoming one of those volunteers because there is so much more we could do with a bigger team.
We offer children’s groups for ages 0-13 where possible and at least at one of the services in the parish each week, using the Mustard Seeds resource produced by TNT Ministries.
With the very youngest we use Bible Tots which is designed to engage 18 month to 3 year old children with a Bible teaching programme that will lay the foundations for a distinctively Christian worldview. With those starting school all the way up to age 13 we are teaching them the whole story of the Bible over a 4 year cycle. The first time through the cycle children hear, recreate, craft and love the stories and their second time through the cycle they get the opportunity to study them in more detail whilst still loving the Bible stories and seeing how all of God’s word fits together.
We do hope you will join us and find the congregation and children’s groups that you are looking for to help and support you to love and disciple the children God has given you! Grab a term card from any of our buildings to find out exactly what’s on and when!
News & Prayer Update from Mission Partners – Sena & Jane Ounate-Lare
Sena and Jane share about their family, a new preacher training course and ministry during the pandemic:
Greetings from France. We hope you are keeping well. Here things have opened up after the lockdown and we are hoping that it will last. Most of the restrictions have been lifted apart from wearing a mask. We are enjoying this freedom. For many months now it hasn’t been possible for us to travel to England to visit Jane’s mum and family but we are really hoping that we’ll be able to do so before the end of the summer.
We were delighted to be visited last week by Una and Bill Godwin.
Married at Christ Church on 19th August 1961, Una and Bill are now celebrating 60 years of marriage. Una was born in Pensby and Bill in Greasby. The met whilst both working for Sir Alfred McAlpine in Hooton where Billwas a Civil Engineer. They had a passion for travel and took the opportunity to live and work overseas. Whilst overseas, their first daughter was born in New Zealand, second daughter on Christmas Island and upon their return to the UK, they welcomed their third daughter. They now have 6 grandchildren and love nothing more than family gatherings.
Christ Church holds a special place in their hearts, as Una was christened, confirmed and married there. They were delighted to have returned to celebrate their Diamond Anniversary with their family which was made all the more special to have received a Blessing.