May 2022

Central Church Newsletter May 2022

As spring slowly turns into summer and we look forward to warmer and brighter days to enjoy family time and plan our holidays whether at home or abroad, let us spare a thought for those people fleeing war, famine and climate change for whom life has changed forever. May we be forever grateful and take time to be remember that, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

Linda and Malcolm Johnson

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SAFER THAN A KNOWN WAY

Dear Friends,

Over the next few weeks the media will be increasingly focusing its attention on the Queen as we celebrate her Platinum Jubilee at the beginning of next month. Whatever your views on the monarchy, you have to admire our Queen. She has provided a wonderful and gentle example of what it means to be a Christian. She has lived a highly pressurized life that has had times of desperate sadness and has done so with a graciousness and poise that we can only marvel at. In a country that is now embarrassed to think of itself as Christian, she has always been clear and bold in her affirmations of her personal Christian commitment.

In the beautiful booklet that the Bible Society and others produced for her 90th birthday, the Queen pointed to her father’s Christmas Day broadcast in 1939. King George VI quoted the poem “God Knows”:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

Minnie Louise Haskins

Those famous words are hugely relevant to us as a church at this time.

We would love to have a lot of light shining on the path of Central Church as we look to the future. We would love to know exactly what the church will look like in 5 or 10 years’ time. We would love God to reveal all these things to us without delay and without any struggle. But he doesn’t offer to do so. He simply offers his hand and as we grasp it together we will find that his guidance is “safer than a known way”. This is what we call faith. Faith in a God who has not let his people down in the past – and won’t suddenly do so now.

Hebrews chapter 11 is a key chapter on the subject of faith. It begins with an astonishing statement: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  This is quite different from how faith is normally understood. Our society often conceives of faith as being sentimental and anti-scientific and amounting to no more nor less than taking a leap in the dark. But the writer to the Hebrews sees faith in an entirely different way. He sees faith as the firmest ground on which it is possible to build a life. Our faith in God gives us complete confidence for the future. He then offers us many illustrations of faith. He does nothing to gloss over the difficulties and, indeed, you get to the end of the chapter concluding that the life of faith is a particularly difficult way of life. But it is also a life of amazing and unrivalled blessing.

The writer to the Hebrews points to Abraham as one of the great examples of faith. His description of Abraham, the father of the nation, is much longer than that of anyone else. And he describes the way in which the patriarch left the security of his wealthy home “even though he did not know where he was going”. That’s raw faith, and it is exactly what we need to exercise as a church at this important time in our life. Just like Abraham, we really don’t know where we are going. But this adventure is, in the same moment, the most exciting and most secure path that we could ever choose. That’s the nature of faith.

It is an absolute privilege to share this faith adventure with you and I have no doubt at all that God will bless this church mightily and in ways that are impossible for us to perceive at this time.

With warmest greetings.

Yours in Christ,

Jonathan's signature
Revd Jonathan Edwards
Transitional Minister

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Charity Box Donations 

Thank you for your suggestions regarding the recipient of our charity moneys for May – August. We have decided to support a project helping women in Cameroon through ‘Future in our Hands’. You can donate via the ‘hole in the wall’ charity box in the worship area, or via the collection box on the servery counter in the coffee house.

Helping poor women in the Cameroon.

FUTURE in OUR HANDS UK is supporting the work of SHUMAS (STRATEGIC  HUMANITARIAN SERVICES) in Cameroon who are providing psychological support, shelter and livelihood improvement to internally displaced women and girls in Douala exposed to prostitution and abuse.

In 2016 the political crisis in the NW and SW regions caused 573,900 internally displaced people to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere. The Non-State Armed groups forced schools to close as a war weapon and students to drop out of schools.

A SHUMAS survey emphasised the need for improved living conditions, psychological support to improve mental health to girls and women exposed to violence and other chronic adversities to enable them to reintegrate into society by improving access to emergency relief shelter, WASH items (water, soap, hygiene) and mattresses. Fifty vulnerable families were identified for support, including the provision of alternative income sources through training in business management and supporting to enable them to set up their own businesses.

How has FUTURE IN OUR HANDS helped?

A donation sent to SHUMAS in October 2021 was used to buy 50 mattresses which were delivered from Bamenda in the NW to Douala and delivered to 50 vulnerable households with a total of 230 individuals (10 elderly women, 146 children, 74 adults and 3 people with disabilities) benefitting. If you would like to help expand this project a donation would be much appreciated.

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Christian Aid Week 2022: 15-21 May 2022

I hope to raise some money for Christian Aid by holding a plant sale at my house from 2.30 to 4.30 on the warmest, sunniest afternoon of the week. I will decide on the date once the week’s weather forecast is available. All plants and visitors welcome. 

Jane Walsh

43 Sandown Avenue SN3 1QQ

Tel: 01793 525852       Mob: 07564493274      Email: walshjs43@hotmail.com

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Do you know your hymns?

Give us a sense of humour Lord. Give us grace to see a joke and to pass it on to others!

  • Dentist’s hymn: Crown Him with many crowns
  • Weatherman’s hymn: Summer suns are glowing
  • Contractor’s hymn: The Church’s one foundation
  • Golfer’s hymn: There is a green hill far away
  • Politician’s hymn: Standing on the promises
  • Optician’s hymn: Be Thou my vision
  • Gossip’s hymn: Go forth and tell
  • Electrician’s hymn: Brightest and best
  • Shopper’s hymn: Sweet bye and bye

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Services at 10.30 a.m.

1st May:       Revd Jonathan Edwards (Holy Communion)

8th May:      Revd Stephen Henderson

15th May:    Revd Jonathan Edwards (Holy Communion)

22nd May:   Mr Eric Hewitt

29th May:    Mr Adrian German

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Dates for your diary

12th May – Bible Study 2 p.m.

19th May – Executive Meeting 7 p.m.

26th May – Bible Study 2 p.m.

Please note that the Church Meeting which should have been held on Tuesday 24th May at 7 p.m. is cancelled. This will now be held on 5th June following the church service.

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News of the family

Congratulations to Mavis and John Poolman who celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary on 20th May.

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Happiness Quote by Denis Waitley

Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with LOVE, GRACE and GRATITUDE.

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Deadline for June Newsletter

The deadline is Monday 23rd May 2022.