In Touch is an in-house publication of Gracecom
It is posted to all members and those interested in our work on a monthly basis
If you would like a copy posted to you please email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org
We regret that we are unable to post copies outside of the UK and Ireland
To keep our web content relevent, announcements for upcoming events that have now taken place, have been removed
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus told us, “‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’”? John 6:43 NIV
We don’t have to switch on the TV or radio to be made aware of the intense sickness, sadness, hurting and heartache experienced by so many people. Everywhere we go, it’s all around us! On an all too regular basis, we encounter family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances who show us or share with us their pain. And even as children of God, we are not immune.
Over the years, both Jackie and I have been let down, put out and left in the lurch. We have been stood up, cast down, our hopes dashed and our prospects ruined. This is the familiar story of life in a broken, fallen world and I am sure you have shared in the experience!
Yet, for Christians it is different, because we have Jesus!
Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, has always been there for us. He never changes, never disappoints and is always true to his word. When all else fails, he’s the one person we can definitely count on. Let’s put our trust in Jesus.
As Missions Developer within the National Ministry Team, I see the universal suffering in the world as the primary reason for “doing” mission as a church. Yes, we desire to participate with the Father in achieving his ultimate goal for humanity that “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. But we also want all those bruised and battered people to have what we have right now – a healing, restorative relationship with Jesus. We want them to have what he wants them to have, “a rich and satisfying life”. John 10:10 NLT We believe, as Christian Aid very succinctly puts it, in “life before death”.
In the UK and Ireland, our primary mission to the unchurched, undiscipled world is the Because project, which is aimed at what James Henderson defined as “people on the edge of spirituality” – those who believe there must be more to life than what they are currently experiencing. Last year, we conducted some in-depth market research focus groups with the objective of understanding this demographic better, in order to communicate with them
more effectively. The NMT team together with Richard Fowler, our Media Assistant, is now working with our gallant team of writers to implement the findings of this research.
But there’s little point in our producing more effective articles if no-one reads them! It won’t have escaped your attention that every issue of the Because magazine is posted out to our members and contacts throughout the British Isles. The most effective mission is relational and, as our fellow workers in the Lord, you are uniquely placed to see where the need is and prayerfully identify those who may benefit from a copy of the magazine.
You can do this individually, as many already do, or congregationally – getting together after church to discuss ideas and formulate plans to get Because into the right hands, for example a prison ministry or a small group Bible study. In all of this, the NMT is here to support you – please phone or email the office if you need any help or just want to talk through your ideas.
What if you can’t get to church easily or you feel you are unable to contribute in this way for other reasons? We need your prayers and support!
Of course, the Because project is only one of several of our denominational missions. We reach out to young people via Adventure Camp and SEP. We share precious Scripture with Christians and others outside of our denomination (and Nation) via Day by Day. And we have the Godspots running on UCB and other Christian radio stations.
All of these initiatives depend for their success on your continued prayers, as well as financial and creative support. As a church, we have always punched above our weight in the use of media for mission but without you - and Jesus in you - we can do nothing.
I’d like to finish with a huge thank you from Barry, Gavin and me for your continued hard work, support and encouragement.
National Ministry Team
Great Baddow Social
This year, the Great Baddow congregation’s annual social event was held on 12th January 2019 with an intriguing ‘book’ theme! Lots of people got into the spirit of the theme by dressing up as their favourite book characters.
During the meal, all were engaged in conversation and bookthemed quizzes. The Bible crossword was particularly challenging but very enjoyable. The evening followed with more games, and a musical performance section, with harp, flute, voice and more! Everyone enjoyed the day and are looking forward to next year’s theme.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an international, ecumenical practice that began in 1908, and happens annually from 18th to 25th January. Gracecom Watford participates each year as part of ‘Churches Together’ in our area. This begins with a pulpit swap in participating churches on the first weekend, followed by a daily service. The theme this year was ‘Justice’, chosen by churches in Indonesia. Each day’s service was provided by a different Christian Denomination around Watford, and all Christians were invited and encouraged to attend as they were able.
Gracecom Watford hosted the service on day seven, followed by brunch and fellowship, and around 15 members of other churches joined with our congregation in worshipping together. The words of the first hymn in the service, We Are God’s People, say, ‘He wills us be a family, diverse yet truly one’. This refers not only to GCI congregations but to all Christians around the world. We celebrate being one in Christ, and it was wonderful to pray, not only for unity, but to demonstrate it as we worshipped and fellowshipped together during this week.
If you would like to know more about Churches Together in your area, or the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, have a look at this website.
Birmingham Youth Weekend
On Saturday 22nd December, the Birmingham congregation hosted a youth weekend which involved youth-led worship by Ellah Richards and youth-orientated messages from Richard Fowler and from Jason Cornish on Life Hacks. This was followed by food and then a Life Club. There was full engagement during table topics led by Michael Gibbs and Nahum Watson, covering topics such as the commercialisation of Christmas and disciplining children. This was followed by excellent speeches from Ellah, Bethia Moti, Bethany Robson and Tyjay Martin – with all four winning cups.
In the evening, the youth and adults/parents descended upon Star City for a game of Laser Quest, dinner and a film at the cinema. The majority stayed overnight with hosts. With bleary eyes in the morning and the weather not in our favour, everyone came to the Cornish residence for table tennis, lunch, fellowship, and some impromptu arm-wrestling! With emotional goodbyes, people are already looking forward to the next youth weekend in the spring. Thanks for everyone who contributed to the weekend and please continue to pray for the success of these activities and the spiritual growth of our young people.
Northampton goes Dutch for its 10th!
Northampton Pastoral Council
Plans are in full swing for Northampton’s 10th Special Event on Saturday 11th May 2019! Our guest speaker is Frans Danenberg, GCI National Director for The Netherlands and Flanders.
We will again be meeting at the Saxon Hall in Raunds, Northamptonshire for an afternoon service at 2.30pm. There will also be a special church for the children during the main service.
A social event is planned for the evening. As usual the evening meal will be served by Howe & Co Fish & Chips at very reasonable prices.
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