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 June
Letter from the Minister
The squirrel writes...
Lindfield Christian Care
Home (Sarah Smith)
Expecting the Holy Spirit
Reflection on May Church
Dark areas of the World
Youth work (Stuart
Sussex Christian Camps
David Nibloe and Mike Gardiner
Lindfield United Service at All Saints Mike Gardiner
David Nibloe and Brian Stone
HAYWARDS HEATH CHURCHES UNITED SERVICE at Clair Hall
COMMUNION Norman Smith
Fiona Tingley and Norman Smith
Richard Walters and Peter Trump
Gerald Bowerman (from Camberley)
COMMUNION Gerald Bowerman
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.
This is my last opportunity to write to you around the great
festival of Pentecost, about the importance and strategic work of
the Holy Spirit.He makes such an amazing difference to our lives
and to the life of any church ready to welcome him. He blows the
cobwebs away, often disturbs everything that has appeared so neat
and tidy and cut and dried! He can make us feel uncomfortable, both
about things that have happened and about the challenges confronting
us. But he is always rooting for our best interests.He helps us
to become Christians in the first place. No one can truly say Jesus
is Lord unless the Holy Spirit has been at work.
The strange thing is that we so often try to get by without him.
Church can become very routine. We struggle in our own strength,
we find prayer a chore and Bible reading dull. We glimpse the extraordinary
benefits of knowing Jesus but fail to call on the Spirit to help
us share the incredible good news of Gods love with even our
closest friends and family. We get weighed down by a sense of responsibility
to lead or serve but miss out on the liberation and celebration
which are all part and parcel of being a Christian.
The supernatural power which raised Jesus from the dead is present
in every believer, but many of us behave as if the trip switch
has gone off and we have no sense of connection with him.
Thirty years ago, I remember knowing, even believing, the theory
of the Christian faith but with no awareness of the unlocked resources
available of the Holy Spirit! When I finally discovered his refreshment
and renewal, I quickly learnt that he needs to be called on frequently
and the church has to be continually open to his influence and empowering.
He can provide resources for each local church to do the work of
the kingdom in vibrant, exciting, faithful ways. He desires to equip
us, often surprisingly, with the gifts needed to be a relevant church
for the twenty-first century.
What a joy it would be to witness a fresh move of the Holy Spirit
in our fellowship so that the joy of the Lord really does become
our strength and those around us see more clearly the glory of Jesus.
He moves when we are ready to be sorry that we have not lived in
accordance with Gods ways. He moves when we are then willing
to set out on a new path and He moves when we have the courage simply
to ask him to fill us to overflowing with his presence.
Yours in the love of Jesus
Ive now got to that time of the year when
I can say "This time last year, I was in Kenya". Much
of it seems so long ago and so far away that I almost cant
believe I was there. So Ive started reading back my journal,
amazed at all I got up to. Being met by a complete stranger at a
distant airport, watching "Some mothers do ave em"
on my first night there, my first view of the Great Rift Valley
and, of course, my first Swahili church service when the
President turned up! All that and more in the first ten days
how dull my past ten days seem in comparison!
This is actually a book review but there is a link
to the Kenya experience. You see, when I went to Kenya, I had these
grand ideas that, by being a volunteer with a missionary organisation,
Id somehow have a much closer relationship with God, that
by working for him nine til five, Id automatically feel
him nearer to me.
Now, in many ways, that did work out. We had prayer
times during the day and there were many things that we relied on
God for in prayer, though these were more often requests for missionaries
in remote locations, as we could generally help ourselves more easily
But a better relationship with God did not come
hand-in-hand with the job description and, in fact, at times, there
was even more reason to wonder where God was in many devastating
situations. It begged the question that, if God didnt answer
the prayers of these missionaries who had given up their lives to
serve him, then why should he answer my prayers?
So, when I stumbled across Philip Yanceys
book "Reaching for the Invisible God" just recently, as
I read, I began to realise that by the very fact that God is invisible
we cant see or touch him and most of us do not actually
hear him audibly Christians will doubt.
The book is written in an easy to read, conversational
way, with lots of anecdotes and analogies to get his points across.
Though I cant quote from the book (as Ive already passed
it on to my sister to read) the general message was that we can
know that God exists but there will be times when, due to his invisibility,
we doubt him or his goodness. The encouraging part was that all
Christians go through this and that God is using these times of
doubt to build our faith.
Though I learned and experienced many things in
Kenya, I didnt experience God in the way I had
expected. Yet, over the past nine months since I returned, I would
definitely say that God has been using my doubts to build my faith
and I know that I am better for it.
P.S. If you have any doubts over my enthusiasm for
this book, just speak to anyone in my house group as I babbled incessantly
on the subject on many a Thursday evening!
Message from the Ryecroft Squirrel
The missus of the house caught me right by the
back door, trying to find one of my larders. When she shouted and
waved her hands, I decided it was better to retreat. I have claws
of my own and teeth that bite but, on this occasion, I decided to
turn and run, with no hard feelings. Humans should be forbearing
of one another, too, I understand!
I knew that she had been having a demanding time
looking after the old man. From the trees at the bottom of the garden,
I had been able to catch sight of him, from time to time, in bed!
The room is a bedroom so nothing strange about that, except this
was during the day! In fact, I counted ten days and he just stayed
in bed flat on his back. I thought, "I must somehow tell the
folk next-door what I have discovered." He is supposed to be
the minister, who should be up at the crack of dawn, out and about,
or in his study, going visiting, or at meetings nearly every day
of the week. In fact, he should generally be earning his acorns!
Then I noticed different people sitting beside him on a chair in
the bedroom. They were all from the place next door so I decided
I did not need to use the bushy telegraph.
Some stayed ten minutes and others at least an
hour. I found out that they were taking part in what they apparently
call pastoral visiting. The idea is that the visitor
listens to the conversation and chips in occasionally
with the odd question. He or she then uses some words, or puts on
an expression, of encouragement. Occasionally, the visitor gets
out a book, usually a little one, and reads from it. Then they both
shut their eyes and are apparently talking to someone I cannot see.
The old man certainly seemed to benefit from all this and, just
once in a while, the visitor got a cup of tea and a piece of cake.
I gather some of them are quite good at doing this kind of thing
and do it frequently but it isnt everybodys cup of tea!
Another example, I suppose, of pawsing for thought and
finding out from the one I cannot see if this is a job
LINDFIELD CHRISTIAN CARE HOME
Farewell and Welcome
On two Friday evenings at the end of April, the lounge of Compton
House was unusually full as staff, relatives, volunteers and friends
gathered to pay tribute to Peter and Jennifer Diack as they retired
from the House Managers role of LCCH.
Bryan Barnes and Charis Wilson gave a light hearted insight into
some of the tasks Peter and Jennifer have found themselves doing
throughout the eight and a half years they have been in the role.
Keith Ward reminded us that both had been involved much longer
than that, as they were part of the group from the three Lindfield
Churches, who had seen their prayers answered in a miraculous way
when Compton House was first purchased from John and Ann Blake.
(If you dont know the story do take the time to read the book
"The story of Compton House").
Grateful thanks were expressed for the way God has richly blessed
and directed the work under Peter and Jennifers leadership,
and we are pleased to learn that Peter will continue to provide
spiritual input, especially as he expects to continue leading some
of the Sunday afternoon services.
Opportunity was also given to meet Mrs Janis Daw, the new House
Manager. Janis comes with a wealth of experience, having qualified
as a State Enrolled Nurse, and then for the last fifteen years served
in Senior Management of a Personnel and Training organisation. We
are confident she will continue to maintain the high standard of
Christian care, as she works alongside Charis and all the nursing
Volunteers from the three churches, who help with gardening, serving
teas, visiting the residents etc. play a vital role too, and if
you are able to serve in some way, please contact Janis. Please
continue to pray for the important work of LCCH.
A new brochure publicising Compton House is currently being produced
by our own David Tingley and should be available shortly.
EXPECTING THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Check list for Christians on just twelve of his specialities
1. Gives a greater sense of Gods love and holiness
2. Creates a wonderful sense of assurance that we are, quite
undeservedly, safe with God
3. May make us very uncomfortable about our complacency and
some of our habits
4. Helps us to become more like Jesus in our attitudes and
5. Gives us a greater desire to read the Bible and pray expectantly
6. Brings us into unity with those of different ages and outlook
7. Entrusts us with abilities to be successful kingdom workers
8. Awakens a greater desire to be generous
9. Increases our longing to care for others
10. Makes our private and corporate worship more vibrant and
11. Enthuses us, and empowers us, to pass on the Good News
12. Gives us strength to cope with situations that appear impossible.
Sadly, we often block the Spirit because we have been put off by
apparent excesses and unhelpful ministry
so we miss out on all the blessings and benefits he longs
REFLECTION ON OUR MAY CHURCH MEETING
As a variety of people at the meeting made their individual
contributions, under a whole range of topics, there seemed to be
a common theme emerging!
Again and again, it was said that our church needs to take seriously
the challenge to be more involved in our community. This could simply
mean that we encourage one another to join village clubs and societies,
if we do not belong already, and maybe explore the possibility of
taking advantage of what is on offer through the University of the
Third Age! Unless Christians develop friendships with others and,
by word and deed, reflect the love of the Lord Jesus, the sharp
end of evangelism will be severely blunted.
Some of those present were acutely aware that their weekly schedule
is already crammed full, often with church type meetings,
so, in order to release people for such participation, the church
might need to make a radical review of its weekly programme!
Most significantly, one of our younger members urged us to be aware
of our Christian responsibility to be simply involved, in a caring
or serving capacity, for the sake of those currently outside the
I am conscious of the fact that a sizeable percentage of our members
is already involved in certain groups and organisations things
like CARE, Meals On Wheels, The British Legion, The Womens
We also rely heavily on a committed core of people to lead and
help in a busy church programme. Without them, we would not be able
to sustain our work among children, young people, senior citizens,
people in need, visitors to the church
So, what is the answer?
ONE OF THE DARKEST AREAS OF THE WORLD TODAY?
Our Mission giving, in April, was devoted to Central Asia
so described above. But is it? This seems to imply that our western
world Europe, USA etc. is an area of light, freed
and prosperous in the light of the gospel. Many Christian denominations
started Missionary Societies around at the beginning of the 19th
century and did great pioneering and sacrificial work in taking
the gospel to foreign lands. But colonisation of whole
areas of the world followed and the western nations thought to convert
their colonies into models based upon their own constitutional pattern.
The 20th century saw many of these countries establish their own
national churches, to some extent bound together by the World Council
of Churches. It also brought independence (so-called) to many, with
the worst features of greed, dictatorship and ethnic cleansing following.
Meantime, the enlightened west is pursuing a policy
of what we have, we hold as the recent need to reduce
indebtedness of third-world countries demonstrated.
In what light do we stand in the 21st century? National prosperity,
economics and the encouragement of people to look after themselves
first, preach a text very different from "Love your neighbour".
Yes, let us encourage every effort to take the gospel to Asia but
let us not believe that we have really acted upon the good news
of Jesus Christ, or look down on others as if we are in the light.
WORKING WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
Our own detailed policy document on Working with Children and
Young People has been published and is in the process of being distributed
to all leaders and helpers with Youth and Childrens groups.
It contains advice on good practice, as well as detailed instructions
on what should happen if an incident of child abuse is disclosed
Although the leadership of our Youth and Childrens activities
is of a high calibre, we shouldnt take the view that this
is something that couldnt concern us; we have to be prepared.
Besides, if a child comes to trust a Junior Church teacher or Youth
or Brigade leader, he or she could decide that this is the trusted
adult in whom to confide, perhaps about something happening at home
or at school. We have to know how to respond appropriately.
If you are not actively involved with our Youth or Childrens
work but would like a copy of the policy document, please see Janet
Drayton who is organising distribution. You would also be welcome
to attend a Seminar, organised for Youth and Childrens workers,
in the church lounge, at 8.00pm, on Wednesday, 4th July.
I am named in the policy as the Point of Reference
person with whom any child protection concerns should be discussed.
Children under your feet? Not sure what to do?
SUSSEX CHRISTIAN CAMPS
Ages 9 to 13 catered for Sunday 29th July to Friday 3rd August
Fully equipped and safe site in the Sussex countryside, just south
of Uckfield, closely supervised by experienced personnel. It is
a Christian camp with an emphasis on leading and helping young people
to accept Jesus Christ as their own personal saviour.
There is also a Youth Camp, for 14- to 19-year olds, from Sunday,
5th August, to Friday, 10th August.
Both weeks offer an exciting and varied programme
We also need lots of help!
2. Tent leaders (male and female) for the first week. Are you a
Christian, young and active, looking to work with young people?
Heres your opportunity
3. Cooks and general kitchen staff (complete teams welcome!)
4. A backroom couple (to stay on site full-time as odd-job, maintenance
and general welfare people)
5. Friday, 27th, and Saturday, 28th, help to erect marquees and
6. Saturday, 11th, help to pack everything away!
More information, application forms and costs from:
Peter Trump 01444-451572