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Christian Aid Week 2016

This years Christian Aid Week will take place from 15th to 21st May.

The Theme is “Love Every Neighbour” which is based on John 15 verse 12. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”.

More details can be found at http://www.caweek.org

If you wish to donate please use the envelopes which will be available in the Pews or if

you  do not have access to these please see the website above.

 

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Hedge End Carnival

On Saturday 2nd July Hedge End Carnival will be taking place. Our church family will be taking part in it. The Carnival has been running since 1921 and raises money for good causes local to Hedge End. The Entries start to meet at the recreation ground opposite our church at 12.00. We need to be in place to be judged at 1.00 and the Procession starts at 2.15 p.m, slowly travelling to Greta Park (next to Hedge End Library). Please note the times given are the times from last year; if anything is different this year we will let you know as soon as we can.

Last year we got a cup for our walking group, and this year we will be bigger and better. We are planning to hire an open topped bus which will depict Noahs Ark. We hope that we can avoid the Flood. If you wish to be on the bus please dress up as any Animal (or come as a human); it does not need to be a sophisticated costume. If you have something that was made or bought for another occasion that would be fine. Coming in two by two is not compulsory either.

We shall also be serving Hot and Cold Drinks and possibly some Cake outside the Church before, during and after the Procession. Helpers with this task would be gratefully received. Last year many people welcomed the opportunity to sit down for a few minutes.

This is not just for the Children in the Church; it is for everyone. If you are unable to Dress up as an Animal please do come and take part, after all, Noahs whole Family were on the Ark. It will be possible to sit down on the Bus, if needed. You are very welcome on the bus without dressing up. This invitation is not just for those people who attend Sunday Morning Worship. People who attend any activity associated with the Church are welcome to take part.

This is an excellent opportunity to all have a good time, whilst telling the people of Hedge End and further afield that we are here, and that God is important to us, and for them. This is part of continuing outreach into the Community.

Football Final

On Saturday 14th  May one of the two Church Football teams will  be playing in the Solent Churches League  Division  2 Final. The Blue team will  be hoping to repeat their success of last year and win the cup.  They will be playing against  a team from City Life Church.The Match will take place at 10.00 a.m. at the Romsey town Football club ground – just along from the Romsey Rapids. Supporters  from the Church are welcome please wear something blue.

 

 

Hardy Concert Tickets

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We will be hosting the Madding Crowd on Saturday 7th May, When they will be performing their concert about Thomas Hardy. Tickets are now available within the Church or if you are in the local Area please see the Posters for a Telephone Number. Tickets will also be sold on the door.

For more details please see the previous post  by clicking on the link

The Madding Crowd Hardy Concert

.(if you prefer not to click on links please scroll down).

We are looking forward to enjoying listening to singing whilst learning about Thomas Hardy.

Final Preparations Plants and Auction

Final Preparations are now being made for our Plant Sale and Silent Auction which will be taking place this Saturday (30th April).

For more details please see our previous blog post

Plant sale and Silent Auction

(If you do not like clicking on links please scroll down the page instead).

We hope that you are able to attend on the day. The Event will go ahead even if it is raining, but we hope that it is a sunny day.

The Plant pictures above were taken at our Autumn Fayre, as it is now Spring the Plants available may be different.

 

Hosting Circuit Prayer Breakfast

On Saturday 7th May  we will be hosting the Circuit Prayer Breakfast between 8.30 and 10.00 a.m. We will start by enjoying Cereals, Porridge and Toast together. Then Prayer will be led by the Rev. Arthur Cowburn. This is part of the series of monthly prayer Breakfasts being hosted in turn by the Churches in the Southampton Circuit.

Baptisms and Elections Kenyan Style

Graham Says

Greetings, This is my last blog from Nairobi on this trip.

Last week there were Nomination Forms for Church Officers elections at their AGM on 30 April. Everyone received the A4 form; the 5 retiring positions for which fresh nominations were sought whilst 10 more positions had holders seeking re-election and there were a further 27 holders who were not up for re-election this year. That’s 42 office holders!   Interesting that in some cases, anyone can nominate for a position but only the members of that group [such as ‘older persons’, ‘choir’, and ‘youth’] can actually vote in that category. The AGM is at 0800  on a Saturday morning, by the way.

Their website is well organised and you can hear the sermon each week and you can read the synopsis of the message which is printed each week in the pew sheet. Check it out at

http://www.lavingtonunited.org/

Here you can download the weekly sermon or you can read the weekly blog, which is the sermon in précis!   They also have a Facebook blog which you can access at

https://www.facebook.com/lavingtonunited/

[see how long the services are planned for!]

Sunday 17th April was Youth Sunday when the young people took the service. The usual choir was replaced by about 35 primary age children plus two early teens who introduced the entire programme. The band comprised entirely of teenagers with drums, guitar, trumpet and an adept young lady on the electric keyboard. All very professionally done, with all the youngsters in vivid orange T-shirts emblazoned on the back with ‘Lavington United Church, Youth Outreach’. They congregation joined in singing, including a mighty rendering of ‘I have joy, joy, joy,   joy – joy in my heart’ ………………..But the most telling thing was the prayers – about five primary age kids, one after the other, gave very heart-felt and well thought out prayers spoken extemporary – not written down! Half our own congregation could not do that! I guess they come from families where prayer is part of everyday life. Not seen this before.

The Youth Minister said their Vacation Bible School [Kenyan schools have a 4-week break right now] targeted for 90 attendees but 152 had attended – it ran for a week from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm daily with food provided – a mixture of fun and learning, – evidently it is an annual event. Parents were urged to sign up their own children and for the children also to bring their friends too.

There was also infant baptisms of about 7/8 babies with their parents, families and godparents present plus two infant dedications – the Minister hoped these two would be back soon for baptism itself. LUC [being a Methodist-Anglican-Presbyterian Church] has its own Worship Book which we used – it is curiously comprehensive with forms of service for all sorts of occasions. Interesting.

I hope you have enjoyed these jottings – it was a privilege and a pleasure to be in such a congregation.

 

The Lost Jammy

 

At Jammy Church on Saturday 9th April our theme was the Lost Coin and the Lost Son. This was attended by over 40 people of many different ages.

We all had a good time exploring these themes through worship and crafting. It was an excellent time of fellowship together which ended by eating together. We had Baked Potatoes with Baked Beans, and Tuna and Salad.

Some people came who had not attended before and kindly complimented those involved in organising the Morning.

We ended by sharing a  Birthday Cake as it was one of the catering teams birthday that day.

The next Jammy Church will be on Saturday 14th May when we will be finding out about “Heroes Bible and Modern Day”.

For more details please see

https://www.facebook.com/JammyChurch

 

News from Lavington Nairobi

Greetings again from Nairobi

The warm dry weather has gone and the short rains have arrived – ‘short rains’ because they only last a few weeks and hot dry weather then returns. Last couple of days it has drizzled much dispersed by occasional dry spells and occasional huge and lengthy torrential downpours. Puddles and lakes suddenly appear but take ages to disappear. Pity the homeless and those thousands living in shacks.

Easter Sunday at Lavington was not as grand as Palm Sunday as we ‘only’ had the usual clergy. [they call it ‘Resurrection Sunday’ by the way] LUC were selling their first own Bible Study Book which has a series of twelve studies on Love – it is a strategic move to align their various house groups to link into the monthly themes that they run. Each month the main theme is broken into sub-topics for the 4 or 5 Sundays of the month. Each Sunday the sub-topic is described in the pew sheet [you can catch up at home] and all the preachers at all services on that Sunday use the same texts. The Bible Study guide links further into the monthly theme so that the various House Groups follow through at their own meetings. Now that’s a clever way to keep the good folk in the pews on message!

This week was also interesting. The choir had a PR spot to highlight that they were not just singing on Sundays, but they also have an outreach mission to help others; recently they had sang for and raised funds to provide practical help to two distant disadvantaged communities. In addition, they sang for a Blind School with many blind children who were also orphaned. The choir were holding a jumble sale at church to raise extra funds to provide more facilities at the school [’Jumble please’ – ‘no unsalable rubbish through’ – on a series of comical slides].

Interesting to see LUC take young people seriously – two / three times each year they hold ‘Growing in Grace – Back to Basics’ courses on three consecutive days of meetings. There were separate series run by the Youth Pastor for University Students, for Teens and then for Couples/Young Professionals. Presumably it works or they would not keep running them.

The Super said that young families were a very deliberate target for church membership and attendance as they were essential for the renewal of church life; it also helped younger people to develop their own talents in running church activities and gave the old folk a break. Hence the strong emphasis on giving responsibilities across all areas of church life to the coming generations. [Young Peoples Prayer meetings for example] Interestingly, the other week it was announced that membership classes were about to start and the clergy team had noticed some who attend church regularly but had not signed up for the classes – they knew who they were and would now personally check them out in the coming days – of course they wanted regular attendees to become committed church members. HOWEVER, membership itself was not the aim – it was making them effective and practicing disciples in everyday life that was important.

Underlying themes keep coming through in the church prayers – issues not seen so clearly in the UK – poverty is never far away, often with those in work having to support extended family members who have fallen on hard times by family death, by illness or by lack of work. No doubt, when times are hard the wider family chips in and helps out to reduce hardship and struggling. It is not just family, but also village ties – helping people in the village who have fallen on hard times and cannot afford school fees, for example – you call upon those in the big city fortunate enough to be able to help. Not ‘family’ as such, just neighbours and acquaintances from earlier times. But the culture means that they will try and help them as well! Often we in the UK have no idea what real poverty is and neither do we know what real generosity is. They shame us!

Best wishes from Nairobi, Graham

Trophy at Music Festival

Congratulations to members of 1st Hedge  End Boys and Girls Brigades who won a trophy for the most promising Woodwind ensemble at the National Boys and Girls Brigade Music Festival. which was held in Chandlers Ford on Saturday 19th March. This event has been run by the Brigades since 2007. More details about the event can be found at

http://natbrass.boys-brigade.org.uk/musicfestival/

More details of the Girls Brigade can be found by following the Links below.

https://twitter.com/HedgeEndGB

http://hedgeendgb.org.uk/Home.html