Stand with the Philippines

PhilippinesThe horror of what’s happened in the Philippines is unimaginable. Ten thousand people wiped away by a 25ft wall of water driven by 300km/h winds. A city of 200,000 people looks like a nuclear bomb hit it. It’s the worst storm on record, but it’s just the beginning, unless we act.

Right now the world’s powers are in a global climate conference talking about whether to hand over billions promised to help the most vulnerable amongst us when climate change disasters hit. Yeb Sano, the Philippines’ chief negotiator, just addressed the room, tearfully pledging a hunger strike until a real deal is reached to help his family, fellow citizens and all the other most vulnerable nations who are at the most risk for violent storms like this one.

Yeb is standing alone, facing a room of bureaucrats who are doing almost nothing to help. But if we bring the power of our 29 million strong community in to stand with him, we could change the tide and push the richest polluters to pay up now. Click below to make it happen:

Messy Fiesta 1.00pm September 8th – Trinity Methodist Church

messy fiesta poster8th Sept 2013 at Trinity Methodist Church, Chelmsford CM1 2XB


1-2pm Lunch in The Link

2-3.15pm Session One

3.15-4pm Drinks Break

4-5.15pm Session Two

5.30pm Worship in The Church

The Messy Fiesta (as we are calling it) is a celebration of Messy church and an opportunity to see how the different activities can contribute to worship and discipleship. It will begin with lunch at 1pm (so folks can come after their normal morning service) and then people are free to try any of the different things happening in the building. These will range from Crafts, New Song Café, Bread Making and Quiet Space.

Lucy Moore will be running two workshops on starting Messy Church and making disciples through Messy Church. The afternoon will culminate in a service at 5.30pm (led by worship Leaders Kay and Russell Burton) where some of the results of the activities will be shared in worship. The afternoon is also a chance to talk to those who currently run Messy Church or an adult equivalent (craft clubs etc) for ideas and inspiration. It is not just for children – everyone is welcome to come and see. Accompanied children are welcome.

Please book your place by 31st August particularly stating if you require lunch and would like to attend one/both of the workshops.

Contact Val Carter 01621 829674 val_carter08

An Evergreen Cream Tea – 8th July

Evergreens is our regular get-together for older people which meets at Cotman Lodge on the second Monday of each month. On 8 July thirteen people came to Evergreens and enjoyed a cream tea with sandwiches filled with, salmon, ham / tomato and egg mayonnaise followed by scones, jam and cream, and a selection of fancy cakes. A great time was had by all.

Many thanks to Rev Jane, Pauline, Marie and Andrew.


A journey under the sea at Parent & Toddler

Parent and Toddlers on Wednesday was full of talk of holidays, sea sides and journeys to the kingdom under the sea!
As summer time approaches we talked about holidays and journeys we make to places where we can relax, take time out and do fun things we wouldn’t necessarily do at home.
Seaside P and T 1At the seaside it’s almost impossible not to witness the wonders of God’s world we live in. There are stories in the bible relating to Jesus teaching and performing miracles at the waters edge in The New Testament.  In The Old Testament we learn about the story of Jonah and the Whale. Jonah spent three days in the whale’s tummy after being thrown overboard from his boat during a storm whilst on his journey to the city of Ninevah. We explored the sea creatures and plants that live under the sea.
We read the story of the “Silly Shark” which describes lots of sea creatures including seahorses,  octopuses,  crabs,  whales,  sharks and schools of fish.
We watched “The Little Mermaid” while we used finger painting to decorate stencils of sea creatures to display in the chapel and we coloured stained glass windows of sea creatures with felt tip pens.
All this talk about holidays and the seaside…all we need now is for the summer to arrive!

General Synod to return to the issue of women bishops

Logo_of_the_Church_of_England_svg“The General Synod meets in York on 5th – 9th July for the first time since the rejection of the draft legislation on Women Bishops last November.  A large period of time on the Saturday will be devoted to work on this issue with a debate on the Monday.  The Friday afternoon will see the first Presidential Address by the new Archbishop of Canterbury”

This general synod will no doubt be watched mo…re closely than most as the Church of England’s highest decision-making body returns to this important issue.  For us at St Augustine’s there is an added dimension because we are an ecumenical partnership between the Church of England and the Methodist Church, and in the Methodist church women hold positions equivalent to that of an Anglican bishop.

It is interesting to recall that in November it was the House of Laity, representing the ordinary lay members of the Church of England that held up the passing of the legislation necessary for women to become bishops.  St Augustine’s hasn’t adopted a formal position on the issue of women bishops, but given our commitment to inclusion and equality as cornerstones of the Gospel there can be little doubt about the view we would come to.

Healing Service at Chelmsford Cathedral – Sunday 13 October at 6pm

“Bishop Stephen is coming to Chelmsford Cathedral on Sunday October 13th 2013 to preach at a service of healing and renewal, which is focussing on loss and bereavement as a result of miscarriage.

There cannot be any corner or aspect of the diocese where people have not been touched by the tragedy and pain of miscarriage, and yet, as common as it is, it is often Chelmsford Cathedralan experience that is not acknowledged or talked about, and the right support and follow up in many cases is just not offered or available.

The service is being put on in conjunction with an organisation called ‘Saying Goodbye’, started by Zoe and Andrew Clark-Coates, who themselves lost five babies. Many Cathedrals around the country and even further afield have hosted these commemorative services, which allow individuals and families to come together to mourn their babies.

The service will offer the opportunity to make an act of remembrance, or just to sit, listen and remember. After the service there will be small teams of people around the Cathedral offering a listening and prayer ministry, with the Laying on of Hands and Anointing for any who would like it.

There is an open invitation for people from parishes and chaplaincies across the diocese to attend this service, and we hope that this will be another occasion when the mother church of our diocese with its diocesan Bishop will be able to offer pastoral outreach and support to people across the diocese who would value this chance for recognition, remembrance and renewal”.

Ivor Moody, Vice Dean and Canon Pastor.

A Fathers Day Parent and Toddler Group

“The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.” – Proverbs 23:24
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father”? – Hebrews 12:7
Last Wednesday in Parent and Toddler Group we focused on Fathers Day. Our Loving Father is often described through hymns, prayers and Bible readings in church and he has given us many Fathers Day P & Twonderful gifts. It is interesting to reflect on how our Heavenly Father is described in the Bible.
This year Fathers Day fell on the 16th June when many families around the country give thanks to their fathers – by offering them gifts and by doing nice things for them. We made 3-D cards  with ties and stickers depicting sports,  activities and “dad like stuff”.  Rev. Jane and I were delighted that two of the dads came to Parent and Toddler this week and worked through the activities with their children.
We had building blocks, tool sets, cars and garages to play with as well as the dressing up clothes and smaller construction toys like “stickle bricks” and “octons”.
Fathers come in all shapes, types and sizes and we have to be careful not just to fall back on the traditional stereotype of what a father is.  If we want a guide for the perfect father, then perhaps we should just look at the things Jesus says about our Heavenly Father whose love for us is boundless and unconditional, whose care for us is never ending, who forgives our mistakes and faults over and over again and who delights when, like a child, we approach him and put our hand in his.

Archbishop of York: would the church rather bless sheep and trees than gay couples?

According to the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express John Sentamu the Archbishop of York has suggested that ‘the Church of England will have to think about whether it is right to bless sheep and trees but not loving gay couples. He went on to say that the C of E will have to answer the “big question” of blessing civil partnerships and whether they have been “given enough space” within the church’.

Read the whole Telegraph article by clicking here.