Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted… He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them
We are drawing near to the end of our series, ‘Meeting God on the Mountain’, and we are approaching a new term.
How was it for you?
Was the holiday just one mad rush after another? Was it the same as usual just without the 8:50am school traffic?
I hope that in the mundane and the beautiful something of God’s consuming fire, gentle whisper, or glorious presence met you and left its mark. I hope that this was a time to regroup and remember what is important or to hear him more clearly… because in this life what goes up must come down. As this passage so simple puts, Jesus appointed his friends as disciples so they might both ‘be with him’, and that he might send them’: we regroup then we return; we gather and then we go. The last sermon in the series is coming this week at our All-Age finale as Jesus takes his disciples up a mountain and gives them a great commission to ‘GO’.
Where is God sending you in September? How are your rhythms and patterns reflecting this calling on your life to “be with him”, (and because you are with him, also with the church), and “to go out into the world” where Jesus promises to never leave you.
My hope is that, as a church, we can help make space for these patterns. We are starting new rhythms together and I would love it if you would be a part of it. This term is all about getting the fundamentals right in this new season of church life, which I see as a three step invitation:
Step 1: REGULAR PRAYER
Martin Luther said that a Christian who doesn’t prayer is like a person who doesn’t breathe! We can’t do anything without prayer: meeting with God is the start and the purpose of our lives and prayer is the engine room of the church. We will be introducing a pattern of prayer this term which includes:
Morning Prayer 9am Tuesdays at church (starts 12th)
Zoom Prayer 7:30 Thursdays (starts 14th)
Deeper: Monthly Prayer and Worship night Last Sunday of the month (24th) 7-9
Step 2: REGULAR GROUPS
We love gathering on Sunday – but so much of church happens mid-week! This is where the friendships, prayers, and discipleship goes most deeply and where we become a Christian community. On the 10th September we are having a special focus on Small Groups so please do get plugged in. Be on the lookout for ways to plug in, to a potential new midweek small group, and for a Welcome Lunch in Mid October
Step 3: REGULAR COMMUNICATION
You are reading this part of the process. The plan is that you will get a monthly newsletter in this format, which will explain various things that are going on in church and how to get involved. Over time, this newsletter will develop and include updates from various parts of the church or include outputs from the PCC so please get in touch if there are particular things you would like to see here.
In the off-weeks we will send a different email round. IT’s a very simple ‘What’s on’ snippet to confirm the events that are coming up in the next 3-6 weeks so that we can keep our diaries up to date. This information can always be checked on our Website which is shaping up:
The final piece of communication will be Social Media. To be honest, we are still working out how to best use Facebook and Instagram to broadcast to the world who we are and share a message of Jesus’ hope and life. At the very least we will advertise key events which will be sharable to your friends and local community groups. If you have any skills in creating this content of in social media management then please reach out to me or Kellie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
With grace and love,
New Series: The Saint's on the Rise
This Autumn, WE NEED YOUR HELP because WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK.
In services and small groups, we are thinking about what it means to be church and what it means to be this church, St Mark’s.
Here is how it is going to work
Join us on Sunday as we study the book of Ephesians with a particular attention on who we are and what we are called to be. This book is one of the main resources for understanding church as the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, the temple of Holy Spirit and many more amazing images
Join a small group for digging deeper into the word and asking questions about the passages we are looking at.
Grab a journaling Bible from the back of church and sit and pray with the words of this letter – write and pray over what God is saying to you through it
Give us feedback on what God is saying to you by visiting this website: https://padlet.com/dave375/stmkr. What songs, Bible verses, prophetic words are coming up from the text?
What's Going On
The Great Restart! Week of Sunday 10th September:
Parents and Toddlers (12th & 13th) Small Groups (various)
Morning Prayer (12th and 14th)
Deeper: worship and prayer night Sunday 24th 7-9pm
Harvest Sunday with music from princess Fred's School!
Next Church Council Meeting: 12th September
CLICK HERE FOR FULL EVENTS PAGE
Mission Update: Pippa @ Fusion
Mission Partner Highlight
Pippa from Fusion My first 3 years with Fusion were focused on Student Linkup - our service connecting students to churches and churches to students over this pivotal transition into university life. It’s still one of my favourite things we do. I co-wrote our prep for uni sessions which are still in our Student Linkup Box - why not check it out and get one as a gift for any young people you know headed off to uni this year (you can get 10% off with the code FRESHER23 until 20th August). Or (/and) you could give them a DMC Deck to help them make those initial, meaningful connections with new housemates in freshers week.
Whether it’s marked by gifts, a coffee or by perseverance in prayer can I encourage you to pause and think about who you might know going to uni this year and how you could champion them through that transition. Knowing there are people cheering you on makes such a difference, and being welcomed home at Christmas with encouragement and grace can be the thing that helps those who have struggled persevere and those who have loved it reconnect following such a huge change. It might be that there are young people in your church who are starting uni whilst staying at home - how can you help mark this moment for them too? If you’re looking for creative ideas, Mads has shared 8 ways to prepare your young people for uni here.
Below are a few things to help you pray for those headed to uni this coming autumn.
As a family we’re away at the moment on holiday - five days in Sussex with Mum followed by a week in France, down the road from where friends of ours are staying. We’re very much ready for some rest and fun, and are hoping that holiday time includes some of both (if a little optimistically with the first!) If you're keen to follow on with what's happening with our family life, do follow me on instagram and drop me a message to let me know you have so I can add you to my Close Friends list where I share pics of the girls. My instagram content is only ever on stories and is very sporadic, but it's a good way to get a sense of the girls!
I hope you’re managing some rest and restoration over this summer.
Looking forward to being in touch early in the new academic year on more of what this coming term will hold.
With much love,
See the full update and updates from our Mission Partners here
Kensal & Harlesden: It's back to school which is a joy and an anxiety for our young people. Pray for new friends and good encounters.
Healing and Comfort: Pray for those who mourn
Political Leaders: Syria is still a battle ground, Afghanistan is falling out of the news, communities are still recovering from last summers storms, floods and fires. Pray for all those who are in areas of the world in the long recovery from conflict
Mission Partner Focus: This month we pray for Fusion as they equip students for discipleship and churches for mission. It's freshers week and back to class time which is a time of business and great openness. Pray for Pippa's team as they work for this mission.
Wisdom and Direction: as we start to listen to God's word together, may God guide us to keep in step with his Spirit and discern his will in prayer and worship.
Let’s pray, trusting in the power of our Heavenly Father, that he is ready to hear and to act