Monday, 18 October 2010

Year Two, Semester One, Update Two

For the returning students on the Church-based Course we have by now, I think, managed to re-establish our routine of college days back into our busy weeks. We have our assignments and the deadline of the end of January to turn them in. Some eager beavers have already begun in earnest to get these done - like me perhaps - aiming for a self imposed pre-Christmas deadline.

After a busy summer it takes a little time to readjust and I'm sure that I am not alone in trying to keep the 'at Church' workload moving at the same pace and volume despite the added pressures of college work.

It was good to take 'time-out' on Saturday and spend a few hours in London, at Bloomsbury, sharing in the joy of the wedding of two young friends. It was good too, to have the opportunity to give some face-to-face updates to Bloomsbury folk who are always interested to know about both college and Walmer life.

At Walmer, we continue to press on with our programmes and activities. We've started our new BibleGLO studies, knitting still flourishes and we are getting ready to host the Eleven Empty Spaces - Royal Marines local history - exhibition next week.

We've had two full church celebrations of Harvest with our local school. As ever, the children were superb - sadly parents have little or no idea about church and many struggled to know how to participate appropriately if at all.

Our decision to spend some fabric money sees us taking delivery of our new chairs for the hall this week. Our new water boiler awaits the plumber and the electrician to install and both these contractors have given us start dates for this and other work.

Sunday saw us say a fond farewell to one friend who has been worshipping with us for three years or so but who is returning to the USA. We also joined with our friends from Deal and Mongeham for a Baptists Together service at Victoria.

Finally, a number of our folk are currently recovering from surgery and others are anxiously awaiting the results of tests which adds to the pastoral demands on the Pastor.

More news soon...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Back to Blogging... promise!

OK so I took the most of a college work free month and didn't update the Blog through September. But, now college has resumed - year 2 begun - I return to the discipline. If you are a regular reader and feel I'm slipping behind in my updates don't be afraid to tell me.

So September was a busy month inspite of nothing to do for college - apart from reading of course (just in case there are any tutors following!).

Back to Church Sunday was probably the highlight when couples who had been married here and who we had invited to return actually came. Along with couples in the congregation they renewed their vows together - a moving moment for everyone.

The lowlight was the frustration associated with getting the GLO Bible resource to actually download and work on a PC in readiness for our year-long exploration of the Bible together. The final solution which worked was to buy a new PC - mercifully a bargain from e-bay.

Our Church Meeting was dominated by our finances. The news the BU Grant we had hoped for had been cut was a disappointment but prompted us to look afresh at our personal giving and our church expenditure. We think we can balance the budget for 2011 with a bit of extra giving (£1.20 per attender a week seems about right) and we have agreed to spend some of our Legacy Fabric Funds, ahead of the VAT rises on some essential maintenance to electrics and plumbing as well as buying some new stacking chairs.

We have also agreed to work towards a £30K project to move the kitchen to a new location which will give access to the hall and the garden and increase our mission options considerably. We know we will have to fundraise very hard but see the target as reachable and from our initial discussions with an architect know it is viable.

As September ended and October began, we celebrated Harvest with David Goodbourn, who grew up in the church here. We also harvested our Thankoffering Talents (the £5 notes we gave everyone in June and encouraged them to grow). The result to-date is that our initial outlay of £250 has grown to over £1000 so our talents have multiplied three-fold.

And finally, our bids for community funding from the County Council to refurbish a toilet and to buy safety mats for Kid's Kingdom were both in part successful. Although we didn't get all we asked for, almost £1900 is very welcome.

Now college has resumed, the Modules for the semester reveal new deadlines for assignments and offer more lists of books to read. Life will be busy as I juggle study and church and of course also try to find time to blog too.