The Power of the Seed
Jesus uses the picture of seed, in the sower’s hand, to speak of the good things that God can do. It is a famous and brilliant parable – the Parable of the Sower with all those different types of soil, some producing fruit, others not. But what is not in doubt is the power of the seed. Jesus calls
it the Word of the Kingdom. It is his loving powerful Father’s Word to each of us and to His world. Planted in the right place, it cannot but produce the fruit God intends. The seed is nothing but good – and we almost know it without anyone saying anything! But the strange thing is, though we long to be fruitful in our lives – 30, 60 or 100-fold sounds wonderful! -
we are often reluctant to let God’s Word get in. Or sometimes, as Jesus says, other cares and a certain hardness of heart stop its growth. Seed is small, looking insignificant at first glance, and yes seed takes time to grow, but without it nothing will grow!
A new Alpha course will be running this Autumn
Joy and Freedom in Worship – Celebrated at Pentecost!
We have covered many, many themes and lessons from our time as a team in Tanzania on our ministry visit last October/November. Our last few talks have been on the Gifts of Welcome, Hospitality and Celebration. We finished our series on Pentecost Sunday with the themes ‘Joy and Freedom in Worship’. Whilst we may not dance so much and so often as Tanzanians on that ‘Holy Spirit Giving’ day of Pentecost we really did join together as English (mainly!) people in a freedom of
We hope and pray some of these Tanzanian lessons have gone deep. A full report on what we found, saw and did in Tanzania, with colour pictures etc. is still available as paper copy in Church (£1), or on our web-site – go to ‘Family Stories, Ascension Team Trip Kondoa Tanzania’worship…..I guess you had to have been there! We set up a garden with a white picket fence, and in the garden we had flowers, streamers, dancing, singing and even bubbles, with adults and children in abundance. It is not often in a Church of England Church that people spontaneously get out their cameras to capture what’s happening! Anyway they did and here are a couple of shots – we hope you get the idea! (apologies – they are off camera ‘phones)
Beaver Colony Relaunch! – this Autumn
Some of you will know that we currently have no Beavers Colony or Cub Pack here at Ascension – just a very, very lively Scout Troop (with waiting list! – they are even off camping to Brownsea Island soon – the place where scouting started).
Plans are afoot to relaunch Beavers this autumn, probably on Tuesday nights. Leaders and helpers will be needed and
the Scout District plus our local leaders are organizing an ‘Information Evening’ on Tuesday 16th September. Video, training information, support structure, and just a general discussion will take place as to how this can happen. All interested parents, possible helpers, and any others with an interest are invited. The hope is to get a group going after the October 1/2 term for a trial period. Spread the word! There are children out there eager to be part of this.
Family & Children’s Worker Update
We didn’t appoint someone to the post first time around, so we are rerunning the job ad with interviews in September. This is long-term vision on our part as a Church, to ‘begin again with the children’. A leaflet is available in Church for anyone who wants to read more about the background and the vision that arises from it.
The hope is that whoever comes will build close relationships with families in our area who still have younger children. And worship and other events can follow on from that rather than the other way round. We know that parents still feel the need for spiritual input and support as they bring up their children, who also need to learn the ways of Jesus Christ. Continue to pray that the right person will have been prepared by the Holy Spirit to join us.
Deeper Discipleship – A NEW SEASON
Nearly a year ago a bunch of us started getting together with our Vicar Robert on Tuesday nights (roughly fortnightly) to look deeper into what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Robert wrote in the launch leaflet, ‘Jesus gathered a group of disciples around Him – men and women to sit at his feet, to become like Him, do what He did. My heart is that we have a new generation of people who do the same, here at Ascension – so that you may express the Good News of Jesus to new generations.’ He went on to say how difficult we find it in our day to truly give our hearts to anything, indeed to set aside the time to find out if we should or could!
We have covered many things and feedback comments have been that people have found it has been ‘reshaping’ of their lives, they have become more peaceful, it has provided vision of what it is to lead others, and that it’s been challenging too! It has gone much further than we can on a Sunday and, whereas Cell Groups are in large part for support between Christians, this has been more of a learning experience.
We start a NEW SEASON on Tuesday 9th September (Refreshments from 7 pm, prompt start 7.30 pm). Do you want to join us? Speak to Robert if you want to ask more.
Rob and Tina Popejoy are leaving us
It would be 4 years this November that Rob & Tina joined us, but sadly they are leaving us this Summer. Their last Sunday will be 6th July when Rob is speaking, and the youth nights finish shortly after that. They will still be in the ClydeGardens house till the end of August while they do Summer camps, but after that?….. Well Rob will continue his part-time job as Chaplain at City of Bath College, and Tina her nursing at the RUH. Rob has had many approaches for other work, but wants to decide well what else he is doing. Pray for them as they move – that this will become clear, that they find the right place to live and that, in their faithfulness to God, they will hear what the Lord is saying to them about directions to take.
Planned Giving Review 2014
Over the 4 weeks to July 27th, we are collectively as the Body of Christ here looking at what we give financially. Every regular worshipper will be getting an envelope inviting them to review this aspect of their Christian discipleship. It will come to each one via a ‘Pass-it-on-Pack’. How it works is that is people have been added to lists of about 10, and envelopes for each person or couple are in the Pack folder. We ask people to pass it on to the next person once they have prayerfully considered their response.
We have not done a full exercise like this as a Church for some time, and we are most grateful to Andrew Rainsford our Diocesan Stewardship advisor who worked with some of us to put the packs and information together.
Andrew launched the review on Sunday June 29th with much wit and good sense – he said he wasn’t sure if the readings set in the context of persecution and thinking about Giving were linked! He said things like “if your income has gone down, perhaps your giving should too….and of course it needs to go up too if your income does….” And there was talk of what sacrifice means.
Anyway, far more in the booklets in the pack – if you haven’t got one and would like one just ask us (e.g. use the contact page on our web-site)
Baptisms & Confirmations
Since the last issue it has been great to see Matt Prescott get baptized and then confirmed alongside Will Ncube. At the Baptism we all gathered round the Font for the whole thing one Sunday morning, and Philip Stickland affirmed his Baptism Vows at the same time after many years (someone said, “Isn’t this just how it should be?!”) The Confirmations at Christ Church Julian Road were beautiful – it was a worshipful evening as adults set out on their committed Christian lives.
On June 15th We also saw 8 year old Daniel Howard get baptized (with god-parents) because, as he said, he believes and wanted to! A great day too
Love Bath 2014 – this was brilliant. We packed into Bath Abbey for United Worship at 11.30am having suspended our own 10.30am service. Some couldn’t get in, but the West Doors were opened so you could see in from outside, alongside many tourists. Great worship, stories of the work of Christians around Bath and so on, but the main sense was just the sheer joy of seeing each other and worshipping together from all corners of the City. We even had a chance to cheer Ascension! Outside afterwards were hot dogs and drinks, a bouncy castle and various musical acts – a bit crowded and hot but again a chance to meet people, have some fun, and it was open to anyone passing by.