APRIL 2001

This is selected highlights from Lindfield United Reformed Church's monthly magazine, Good News. It is freely available from the Church and Lindfield Post Office. The printed edition also contains useful information regarding local meetings and 'Family News'.
If don't live in the area, and wish to recieve a copy of the magazine, please Email the Editors.

Contents this month:

• Worship in April (Norman Smith)

• Letter from the Minister (Norman Smith)

• Prayer Power (Revd Brian Stone

• Watch Out! (Tom Elphick)

• A "Birds Eye" view

• Balcombe URC – Speakers

• The church of today (David TIngley)

• How many men does it take to open a door (Suzy Jacques)






Worship in April


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Lindfield URC Main Site Personal prayer is available after every service. Prayer requests and brief statements of praise for answered prayer can be put in the red book on the concourse table. You can ask the minister for personal prayer ministry at home or in hospital.

From your Minister

He demonstrated deep care for his mother, he prayed that those who had inflicted on him such an agonisingly painful state be forgiven, he offered a common criminal a place in heaven, and all that after a cunningly rigged trial and within a short time of his own seemingly premature death!

Most people in his predicament would be so absorbed with coping with the mental and physical suffering that they would have little energy to be concerned for others but Jesus, as always, gives us the ultimate in unselfishness. From a human point of view, he could so easily be eaten up with resentment, angry with the authorities, and disappointed with his heavenly Father that there was no alternative but to let himself be crucified. After all, he had brought help, healing and hope to such a wide variety of people. He had gone out of his way to make known a compassionate, forgiving, yet powerful God. All the charges against him were found wanting, so he had every reason to react negatively. Instead, his dying hours shone with the love he had talked about, and demonstrated, throughout his ministry.

Being a Christian has many privileges and advantages. There is much to gladden the heart and comfort the soul but the real test for Christians come when the going gets tough. It is well worth examining again how we react when we get treated unfairly, when we are the recipients of another’s rudeness, when our boss treats us like a doormat, or a member of our family behaves in such a way that we are deeply offended. Again and again, we are encouraged in the word of God to remember how Jesus reacted and, with his help, to do likewise. His love was open and free. It was not restricted just to those who loved him. He went out of his way to make the outcasts of society feel valued. He did so because his eye was always on the eternal kingdom, which can only be tasted in this world. He knew that suffering and death were not the final curtain but would be a gateway to a fuller, freer life. That is what is promised to all Christian believers and that should be the incentive which allows him to work through us so that we are as unselfish as possible, in all our relationships, day by day.

Happy Easter and God bless you

Lindfield URC Main Site


Prayer Power

In his famous book The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale wrote:

"Today, any successful and competent businessman will employ the latest and best-tested methods in production, distribution and administration, and many are discovering that one of the greatest of all efficiency methods is prayer power."

When it comes to living the efficient Christian life, we hope all Christians would agree that prayer power is, indeed, vital. Yet not all Christians find prayer easy. It is one of God’s greatest gifts to us but it is not always a gift we use well.

As you will see on the previous page, there are to be three seminars, during June, on the subject of Prayer. Please make a note of the dates for what promise to be very stimulating evenings. Please also pray for our congregation to be greatly blessed by them.
Brian Stone

Lindfield URC Main Site


Watch Out

I heard Suzy Jacques talk about a Bible passage that the children at Junior Church had to learn. Not realising it at the time, this passage was to have a deep impact on me later on. Last month, I hit a rough patch. Firstly I suffered a few relationship problems with friends, then split from my first love, Katy, and, finally, I felt that God’s presence was lacking in my life. The feeling of unanswered questions and not much guidance was leaving me quite depressed. So what did I do but turn to the passage I had heard – "Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld" (2Chronicles 20:20). This passage, that I adore, has helped me regain some of the things that I thought I’d lost. Even though there are some questions still unanswered, I can see how God is working in my life, especially through the people who helped me through it all. (Thank you, you know who you are!)

The main message I’m trying to get across is how little things, such as Bible quotations, can really help in big ways. God’s power, love and faith are shown through these words and they ARE life-changing. I believe God intentionally made me remember the passage because he knows the path I’m walking and when I need help, the help that only he can give. So watch out for these things!
Tom Elphick

Lindfield URC Main Site


A "Birds Eye" view

My mate and I have built nests in Ryecroft garden several times. We usually choose the front garden, where there is more to watch, but possibly extra hazards, too. The foliage is quite sparse but enough to provide reasonable camouflage for our home. We have to be always on the lookout, however, because, in spite of the busy main road, it is quite normal to see a cat scurrying by, and we have no desire to supply dinner or tea for such four-legged creatures. Flying around does enable us to ‘keep an eye’ on the comings and goings next door.

There are times when we wonder what the people do there; some come very frequently and others just very occasionally. I must admit, it does our feathers good when they emerge from what we call a ‘bird song’ session (not that they all sound like birds!) looking quite bright and smiley. Sometimes, we fly high and watch what they get up to. You might be surprised at the places they frequent, and the distances they travel. Quite a few of them wait for hours on what I think is called a ‘station’ (I suppose because everything is stationary!) Eventually, they climb into boxes and we might just catch a glimpse of them again, late in the day, as we go to roost for the night. We sometime try to guess how they spend their time but it is virtually impossible to know. We only hope they think it is all worthwhile, going through that routine day after day. We think they call it a ‘big mouse’ race!

We really like seeing the children in and around the building. Some come on Sundays but lots more during the week. The majority turn up in ‘chauffeur driven’ cars, some even give the driver a kiss as they jump out. Occasionally, they look upset as they leave but most have clearly arranged for their ‘escort’ to turn up at a particular time and are pleased to see them.

One thing is clear, there is plenty going on virtually every day next door so, if you have time to spare, you are sure of a welcome. We happen to think our proximity to the place is neither here nor there but we think most who come and go and, indeed, those who avoid going, would gain much by meeting our friend ‘the dove’, who symbolises so much that is important in making the most of every day. Have you met him?

Lindfield URC Main Site


Balcombe URC — Preachers

1st April – Godfrey Armitage
15th April Easter Day — Richard Tucker

Services are normally held on the first and third Sunday of the month, starting at 11.00am and usually lasting about an hour. Support from Lindfield URC would be most welcome.

Lindfield URC Main Site


The Church of Today

Recently, it has been my pleasure to indulge in a little known fascination that I have for historical traces of past generations. The likes of Time Team, Channel 4’s Archaeology for Dummies series, goes into all the aspects of the lives they are trying to learn more about — with digital re-constructions, re-enactments and historians poring over town records. Usually, I get a real feeling for the type of life that was being led so many years ago.

My enjoyment, in this instance, has not been from simply watching someone else do all the work, but having a slice of the cake for myself! As part of my research for the (currently under construction) website for Lindfield URC, I was fortunate enough to trawl through the past history of the church, in the form of church meeting minutes, dating back to the turn of the previous century. Suffice to say, there was no mention of toasters throwing wobblies or PC’s hurling themselves out of 20thC Windows as the last two digits turned to ‘00’. No. But I did learn a lot about the church from which we gratefully derive.

As someone who has lived in these parts for the best part of forever, I was well chuffed to see names I recognised — Wood, Durrant, Butcher and Trinder — all with their own links to present day members of our fellowship. People have a tendency (correctly, perhaps) to say to young people, "You are the church of the future." But it is pretty hard to see that and take it in at face value. Looking at pages and pages of the notes from yesteryear’s members’ meetings showed me that, back then, it was about the people who were around at that time. When they were few in number, they encouraged each other; when they were without a minister, they shared responsibility; when they needed to make a decision, they took a good few meetings of discussion before they did so. Some things never change! They used the gifts they had been given, within their church situation.

Those faithful church members, whether it be nearly 200 or just 10 years ago, have enabled Lindfield URC to become what it is. It has not always been easy and the church has had to admit it has made mistakes before — even scrapping complete ideas because they couldn’t agree! That is it, though — we may be Christians but we are all human too.

As Noel Caplan’s book The Annals of the Congregational Church concludes:
"One thought remains to be expressed: the names of many men and women have not been recorded — those whose prayers and unobtrusive support have helped to keep this church alive over the generations. The man whose expert handiwork suddenly is seen in place after hours of hard work in his own home; the woman who spends untold and uncounted hours keeping the church and its fittings neat and fresh. Nor should anyone discount the steady support, especially the prayers, of those whose age or infirmity keeps them from our midst".

You and I are the church now — what a privilege and responsibility!
David Tingley

Lindfield URC Main Site


How many men does it take to open a door?

orget women and light bulbs! This morning it was commuters and ‘bleepy’ train doors. The 8.09am rolled in (on time once again — I am going to have to start getting to the station earlier) and came to a halt. No one was getting out of the carriage that we were all waiting to get into.

Nothing happened … the doors didn't open. People were piling into all of the other carriages and we were just standing there like lemons, looking at the "Press" button, with the square of light around it, expectantly waiting for the driver to automatically open the door … it just wasn't going to happen. Two men, nearest the door, half made movements to press the button but they moved at the same time and so both pulled away again, each one expecting the other to actually go the whole nine yards and make contact with it.

"For goodness’ sake, just press the button!" was the thought going through my head as, for once, I found myself taking the initiative and actually doing something — I pressed the button.

The doors opened and, as everyone piled in in front of me (yes, it did cross my mind that it was a touch ironic) one of the ‘almost made it’ guys turned to me and said, "Why didn't we think of that?"

There's a doorway to heaven but we can't just presume that the doors are going to open automatically. Jesus has come to the door and is waiting to let us in but, until we make a move towards him, until we decide to ask Jesus into our lives, the door remains closed. If you haven't done it yet, press the button. How many men does it take to open a door?
Suzy Jacques

Lindfield URC Main Site

Lindfield URC Main Site