Monday, 21 June 2010

OK it really is over now...

It's official! I don't need to return to Spurgeon's until the start of year two in October.
I still have work to do here in Walmer completing and submitting both my Reflective Journal and my Portfolio by the end of August but trips to London for lectures and study are off the agenda for the whole summer.

So I look back on the last few weeks...
Church Anniversary - a great celebration for us as it marked the completion of Phase 1 of the Spire works. With all the bills paid we DID have enough money in the fundraising account to do the job without using any general church funds. Paul Kerley our Regional Minister re-dedicated the spire for us.

Alan and Beattie's 67th Wedding Anniversary - another excuse for a family celebration and a delicious church lunch. It was great to welcome friends new to the area to join us on their first Sunday with us (and they've been back!)

We've been working hard at smartening up the building and grounds, or at least Alan, Derek and Kathleen have. The beautiful hanging baskets now adorn the brackets either side of the church doors and I been given one for The Manse too. The hedges are all neatly clipped, sunflowers planted and of course the doors are looking wonderful thanks to Alan's care with sander and varnish.

The local authority have stated a series of Baby Massage classes in our facilities on Thursday mornings which is bringing mums and babies into the building which is an exciting mission opportunity.

We are preparing to roll out our Summer programme dominated by Hymn Sings every Thursday when we hope the locals will come for informal afternoons to sing their favourite hymns.
We're planning for The Big Lunch, our community BBQ on 18 July.
Someone has suggested we might organise a day trip out which sounds a great idea.
And we are looking forward to welcoming from friends from Bloomsbury who will visit on one of their outing days.
Sea Sunday looms when we have a former Vicar (also a former Ferry Captain) preaching for us.

For me, and for the church, there is much to do and we are enthusiastically getting on with the job of being a Christian community, for the community, in the community.

Friday, 4 June 2010

We've been busy....busy... busy...

With college lectures finished for the summer (except a few days on Child Protection and Racial Justice in June) life for me becomes more church focussed - as if it wasn't already!
We've had a run of major festivals to mark in the church calendar - Ascensiontide, Pentecost and Trinity Sunday.

The image of the congregation all blowing bubbles in church on Pentecost Sunday will live with me for a long time! We were showing that the spirit was moving amongst us although without the help of the bubbles we didn't always recognise it!

We've also been getting ready for the Church Anniversary when we will be re-dedicating our spire after the completion of the first phase of the restoration work.

The builders have removed the scaffolding and we have spent a great deal of time, tidying flower beds, cutting hedges, mowing lawns, dusting rooms, shampooing carpets, throwing out lots of rubbish, re-staining doors, painting gates and redecorating the vestibule.

You can't fail to notice the work that has been done.

After 106 years it is a privelage to continue to serve the community of Walmer and we will celebrate that this Sunday with our Regional Minister, Paul Kerley as guest preacher.

We are also launching our Annual Thankoffering Appeal. It's an appeal with a difference as everyone is being given £5! This is their talent to 'grow' over the summer and we will gather in the 'harvest' in October at our Harvest Festival Service.

We're half way through a series of small church studies called Lifesize produced by BUGB that are starting to produce ideas about how we might do 'new' things to connect with the community which is encouraging.

With the sun shining we are in a positive mood as we continue to move forward under God's direction and leading.