Weekly News 11 June

Hello and welcome to our weekly communication!

Comings and goings

Very sadly, on this very day that I am writing, we have to say goodbye to our Acting Team Manager Fiona Gill. She will be hugely missed. She wished me to pass on her following heartfelt response to the card & gift she received from us all:
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for your generosity and kind words. The work has been challenging and interesting but the main part I have loved is meeting you (even though it has often not been possible to meet in person.)  Thank you for making me so welcome and helping me along the way. Love and prayers Fiona

…and we are therefore very blessed to have Jodie Calcutt taking up the post of Team Manager and Venues manager. In the Team Manager role, Jodie will be picking up Fiona’s responsibilities, which include organising all of our Life Events (weddings, baptisms & funerals), ChurchSuite management, coordinating APCMs & Statistics for Mission, helping with graveyard & buildings issues, and supporting team collaboration across our churches. In the Venues role, Jodie will be a central point of contact for all of our halls & churches’ event bookings, standardising our bookings administration, dealing with customers and most importantly, working on supporting the churches in generating more revenue through use of our buildings, marketing and advertising all our facilities in the local area. She would welcome any & all of your ideas or support…please contact her at jodie.calcutt@stroudparishchurches.org.uk.

Weddings & Baptism Teams
Do you have a real love for families? A passion for investing in marriages? A joy of welcoming young people into our churches and God’s love? Then we need you! We are reinstating our monthly Weddings & Baptism drop in sessions, where we welcome and support couples who are thinking of getting married in one of our churches, or families looking to have their children baptised. This is a great opportunity for mission, a huge way that we can engage with our local communities. The commitment would be a maximum of once a month or less, to come along to these events and chat to these lovely families. To find out more please contact Jodie Calcutt (07701 071858), Kate or Simon.

Changes in our online services and after-service virtual chat
From July, as the new pattern of in-person services gets underway across our churches, we will modify our online presence such that it compliments this in-person service ministry. Because the ‘congregation’ who engage with our online presence goes well beyond our church membership, one focus will be appealing to those who are not immediately at home with a Sunday service structure. We will therefore have a shorter, thought-provoking format to our online Sunday presence. Perhaps a piece of spiritual music, poetry, prose or artwork – with a commentary that helps audience members to respond – illustrates what would work well here. You may have other ideas and/or you may wish to be a contributor. We would love to hear from you on both counts… please do get in contact.
This does accordingly mean that our after-service virtual chat will end at the end of this month. Thank-you for all who have shared in this – it has been a lifeline over the long weeks of the pandemic.

This Sunday’s Bible reading and a question
This Sunday online I will preaching on the parables of growth in the Kingdom of God from Mark 4:26-34. Jesus deliberately uses the imagery of a recently planted seed here. The seed can seem powerless, even dead at this juncture (not unlike Jesus on the cross). Yet it is the precursor to abundant, transformational new life. How might God be speaking  to us as individuals and churches through this? Do share your reflections with us…

May God bless you. Do reach out if you need prayer or a helping hand in the coming days. “We always thank God for all of you. We keep on praying for you.” (1 Thess. 1)


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Communion during this time

In these unprecedented times, we are working hard to find imaginative solutions in a landscape that has been rapidly changing. Sometimes we get things right, and sometimes we miss the mark. I apologise that this has been the case regarding communion.

For those of you who have received wafers in a parcel, we would ask that you either consume them, or put them somewhere safe to bring back once we are able to be together again.

We are going to be sending out a new order of service for use during this time as either a simple service of the word or, on occasion, to help us to share an Agape meal together.

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