Friday, 21 September 2007

Preview of handcrafted cards

Just to remind you that Hazel is holding her sale of handcrafted cards in aid of Tear Fund on Saturday 29th September. More details on the bulletin this week.

I've put "preview" in the title because as I've mentioned before Hazel has a blog of her own which focuses on her crafty exploits. There she post photos of some of her lovely cards so check them out here.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Some very uninteresting stats for you

I know some of you will tell me after reading this post that I need to get a life but honestly the following stats are readily produced by my computer and so I thought I'd share them with you.

I've just produced the Bromley Baptist Contact List September 2007 version and you may well have been one of the lucky 78 who received it via email.

If you didn't and that's 87 of you who have an email address listed but don't receive the Contact List (and if my maths is right that's only 47% who do receive it) then I will assume one of the following:

a) you don't want your inbox clogged up with mail from me
b) your computer can't handle the rather large file
c) you are rather surprised at this post because you didn't receive it when you were expecting to
d) you have no idea of what I'm on about.

If you answered (a) that's fine; (b) I can zip the file for you on request to make it smaller - a few missionaries in far flung places take this option; (c) let me know your email address again and I'll check I've got it right; (d) get in touch here and I'll send it on.

There will be a print version available but as you'd expect that takes a little longer to produce...

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Business Meeting 9th Sept.

This is Sylvia Holt writing using Mike Windsor's account (with his permission of course) because my account has not yet been verified.
Re. the meeting of the above date.
It was of great concern to me to hear the dire forecast for the year 20o7/2008 if the fellowship does not increase their giving.
It is very upsetting to a lot of us on fixed incomes that we are unable to increase our giving and this constant pleading from the Leaders does not help. The majority of the members, are I am sure, very conscientious and give as much as they can afford. Young and old do have a struggle to manage these days. It does not take an accountant to realise that the cost of the essentials in life are spiralling and we are helpless to economise any more than we have done already. For the older members our heating, food and taxes leave very little to spare. However most of us give as much as we can already. The young families have high mortages and train fares etc. whilst the younger members, sadly nowadays, have debts when their university course ends because of the iniquitous charges imposed by the government for their courses.

These are facts that have to be recognised. Perhaps it may be that the leaders will have to recognise the fact that reductions have got to be made in the church expenditure. it is an unpalatable truth that with an income of £1 spending £1 and 1p leads to misery but spending 99p leads to happiness.

It was a great pity that I was unable to hear much of what Jonathan was saying. May I suggest that perhaps Jonathan speaks more slowly next time he is delivering information.

I do have one positive suggestion to make. Years ago there used to be an additional voluntary collection during communion. It may not bring in very much income but every little helps!

Incidentally I take issue with the statement that the older generation have been the richest generation in history. I can categorically say while that may be true for some, I am sure the majority of us had a struggle. The difference between then and now is that we were taught not to get into debt. We saved up for whatever we wanted or needed and we were encouraged to save even if it was only a few coppers whenever possible. Sadly plastics have encouraged people to spend beyond their means. I sincerely hope that this is not the attitude our leaders have in managing our church budget.


Monday, 10 September 2007

A possible church covenant

At the July church meeting it was agreed that we would explore basing membership of the church on a covenant; the idea being that people come into membership through signing the covenant rather than interview and vote at a church meeting.

At our recent away day the leaders agreed the following wording for a covenant and we now want everyone in the church to talk about whether this form of words fits the bill:

I commit myself to being a disciple of Jesus, our saviour.
In repentance and faith, I desire to walk with him,
Learn from and about him through scripture and prayer
Model my life on his
And seek to become more like him
In what I say and how I live day by day.

I commit myself to God’s people at Bromley Baptist Church.
I recognize that I cannot be a disciple alone.
So I hold myself accountable to my brothers and sisters here
For the way I live my life;
I will look to the church for support and teaching,
Correction and prayer;
I will in turn support the church through holding to its values and ethos, identifying and using my gifts to further its mission and ministry,
by giving financially to support its work both here, across the UK and overseas;
and by speaking well of and graciously to all my brothers and sisters.

I commit myself to making Jesus known in lifestyle, work and word.
By the way I live, I will seek to commend the Good News of Jesus
To those I live, work and share my life with
And I look to the church to help me in this
While I commit myself to helping others live up to this high call.

I recognize that I cannot keep this covenant alone.
Not only do I need the help and support of my brothers and sisters here,
I also depend totally on the power of the risen Christ
At work in my life through his Holy Spirit.

We'll be talking about it at Alternative Wednesday on 12 September and in the home groups the following week (so there's a copy on the website to download). It will then come to the church family meeting on 7 October for further consideration.
It is important to bear in mind that a covenant is not a creed; it does not spell out the church's understanding of particular doctrines. Rather it is a statement of intent in relation to discipleship and commitment to one another in the church. It is our intention to produce a statement of the church's ethos and values to accompany the covenant in due course
Let us know what you think....

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Praying for each other

While we're studying Colossians I thought I'd share this I found the other day in The Bible Application Handbook (ed. J. I. Packer).

It centres on Paul's amazing prayer for the Colossians in 1:9-14 and suggests using this as a template for interceding for our brothers and sisters. Here are the prayer points:
  • Pray that they will know God's purpose in every part of their lives, including detailed responses and decisions that need an awareness of God's general purposes for the world (9).
  • Pray that they might have wisdom and insight into God's truth and purposes, a growing awareness of his all-embracing concerns (9).
  • Pray that they might live in ways which honour him (and which by implication 'speak' to others about him); pleasing him being more important than pleasing others (10).
  • Pray for spiritual growth and 'fruitfulness' in good works (10).
  • Pray for inner strength to endure difficulty and suffering (11).
  • Pray that the joy of knowing God may dominate their consciousness and enable them to remain thankful that they are members of God's family (12).

Amen to that...

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

what do you think?

Last night I received a joke via email from a good friend about churches so I posted it. I got cold feet this morning because I figured it might have offended some people (I hasten to add that it was clean), so I deleted it but not before another good friend spotted it, read it, went away to do something else (sleep hopefully) and when they came back it had gone.

So they asked me what had happened and I explained to them what I've just told you.

It set me thinking though - what is acceptable to post on a church blog and what is not? Very few people post anything so I really have very little to go on and I don't know of any other church doing this to compare with. The only slightly similar example I can think of is on the news section of the Scottish Baptist College - there's a great picture of our very own Simon in full flow by the way.

The posts there are also almost all from one person, who happens to be a lecturer, and seem to be mostly information and reports about events etc. Would this be a better way to use the blog? I update the church website anyway - it's much easier to update a blog with the latest information etc. than the website.

I'd love to know what anyone else thinks. Conversation on the blog in the past has been good so it'd be great if you would post again or as I'm happy to post let me know what you would like included or what would be helpful for you or other visitors (yes we do get quite a few).

Alternatively tell me why you don't post. If you don't want to post this please email me or have a chat sometime - I'd love to know.

One thing I do know - there's nothing worse than a dead blog...

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Colossians remixed

As well as his airport woes, over at his blog Simon has been discussing September's preaching series which focuses on Colossians and in particular a book called Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire by Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat Authentic Media (Jun 2005).

It'd be worth getting hold of a copy but I wouldn't dream of linking you here to Amazon as I'm sure Dave will have a much better deal!