The Fourth Rocky Road Epistle Chapter 3

This chapter is very different, mainly because Sunday morning’s service (16th) is going to be different – see below!

I cannot promise that normal service will be restored soon in these chapters. I am reviewing what I do at the moment and several people have asked me if I need to carry on producing them. If you would like to talk to me about these chapters – please get in touch. It may eventually morph into a notice sheet. We will though carry-on putting recordings of the services online and though the phone system “Twilio”.

I mentioned last week that I was recording a short 90 second reflection as a contribution to an Ascension Day service at St Peter and St Paul on 13th May.

This is what I said

In the past year there has been a deep sense of God at work in and through the pandemic. God has been reminding me of the importance of quality time with Him. In prayer I found very helpful the idea of splitting my concerns or problems into two piles. One pile was things that only God could deal with and these I had to trust into His hands. The other pile was things that I could work on with God, and they needed prayerful consideration. People in our church have found their spiritual life deepened either as they turned to God for help or as they simply had more time to pray and read the Bible.

God has been teaching us as a church that we are in this situation together and the immense importance of inclusive fellowship. Together we go forward, seeking God’s will, trusting Him to provide the resources needed. We should encourage, and pray for, each other to stand firm and be a light for Christ where we are and to the people we meet.

As I asked you last week – what would you have said?

In the latest “Baptist Together” magazine (Summer 2021) my eye was caught by the title of an article by Baptist minister Emma Nash, it was “What may grow from the compost of COVID?”

To me, as a gardener, compost is a very important means of aiding growth in a garden.

Emma wrote

Academic, author and new monastic, Elaine Heath, has spoken of ‘the compost of Covid time’. I love this image. Really disgusting things go into a compost heap: rotting food, even manure. And yet the big disgusting mess is gradually transformed into something life-giving which allows new things to grow. For me, this is an image of resurrection. It affirms all that has been traumatic, in all sorts of ways, for all kinds of people, while recognising the creative possibilities that are so evidently there.”

God can transform messy situations into situations full of life.

As Paul tells us in Romans 8 v.28 “That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (The Message paraphrase).

As Nigel Wright (retired principal of Spurgeon’s College) puts it, “God is ‘omnicompetence’, he can work, and does work, in all situations of our lives. Nothing is wasted in our lives, all is used and transformed as we let God work in and through us.”

The challenge for RRBC as we move on is to gain a fresh vision of God’s way for us, to see what growth will come out of RRBC’s compost! The deacons are planning a Church Day, which will involve food, to be able to talk and pray together.

As Emma wrote in her article

Let us have the courage gently to set aside programmes and practices which have served their purpose. Let us lovingly allow some things to die, in order that the new things may have space to grow. As churches, let us ask ourselves: what one new thing is God prompting us to do?”

Sunday 16th May, we are sharing in the Baptist Union Assembly Service through the wonders of modern technology and intend to project it onto the large screen at church. If you prefer to watch at home using the internet, I will be sending a link.

The service is from 10.30am and is scheduled to last around an hour and a half, but come when you can and for as long as you want. We will pause the service to allow people to leave around 11.30 am. Toilets will be available, with cleaning wipes to ensure we stay safe.

Order of Service:

10:30 Opening Worship

10:40 Induction of new BUGB President, Geoff Colmer (one of our Regional Ministers)

10:45 Prayers and Readings Matthew 25 v.31-46 “Sheep & the Goats”

10:55 Shane Claiborne address (prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author).

11:30 Prayers

11:40 Closing Worship

Bible Studies

We are continuing with Zoom Bible Study fortnightly.

The next one is on Wednesday 26th May, more details in the next chapter.

Dates

23rd May Pentecost Sunday
service outside on the car park. Followed by coffee outside afterwards, offers of help to Maureen.

13th to 23rd May “Thy Kingdom Come”
between Ascension (13th) and Pentecost (23rd) there is a wave of prayer across the UK and around the world - praying that people will know Jesus. The challenge is to prayerfully choose 5 of your friends or family who do not know the Lord, and then pray every day over this period for them to come to know Jesus.

Tuesday 18th Prayer Walk,
10.45 for 11.00am, starting from outside Fuller Baptist Church, walking in groups of up to 6.

Wednesday 19th, Time of Prayer,
11.00am to 11.45am, at Rockingham Road Baptist Church.

Please pray for our Mission of the Month – Christian Aid.