Monday, 29 September 2014

Welcome to the Mayor

Yesterday morning, Sunday 28 September, St Paul's was pleased to welcome Councillor Sarah Dickinson, the Mayor of Oadby and Wigston for the Annual Civic Service. As all the Guests, invited by Her Worship the Mayor, arrived, including the Borough Councillors, there was a display of gold chains such as St Paul’s had never seen before!

Apart from a late start (a move to 11 a.m.) the service followed our normal pattern with a mixture of hymns and modern worship songs.

Sarah Dickinson had chosen the theme of creation for the service and the theme of the wonder of God’s creation was echoed in the first reading, a Psalm. Our vicar, Steve Bailey, in his sermon explained how, sadly, we have often misused and abused the gift of creation and gone our own way – right from the earliest times.

But the Christian message is one of a God who forgives all those who turn to him.

It was Her Worship who read the second lesson, the parable of the three servants given some of their master’s wealth to use. Two received different amounts but used it well and were commended. The third was condemned for failing to use what they had. We were encouraged to use our gifts in the service of God and of the community.

The collection was for the mayor’s chosen charities, the Alzheimer’s Society and Wishes 4 Kids.

Everyone was invited to a meal that was held was held afterwards in the Barnabas Centre.

It was good that St Paul’s had been able to identify with our local community in this way. We wish the Mayor, Sarah Dickinson, every success in her year ahead.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Action Team Blog

One of our congregation, Becka Tincello, is just beginning a gap year with the Baptist Mission Society (BMS) as part of one of their Action Teams. Along with 3 others they will spend six months in Mozambique. Currently they are undertaking training in readiness for the trip.
You can read all about them and what they are up to on their blog.
We will keep Becka and the team in our prayers and look forward to hearing of their experiences on their return when they will visit St Paul's.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Manor Harvest Assemblies

This week Lou, our Youth Worker, and I are going into the local High School do take Harvest Assemblies. We have focused on the story of Cain & Abel, the sons of Adam & Eve, (see Genesis chapter 3).
At Harvest we offer our first and our best to God as a thank you for all he has provided for us. In the story Abel's offered some of his best but Cain gave less thought to what he brought to God. The spirit of comparison gets between them and leads to tragedy.
We have been encouraging the young people that they are all unique, special, made in the image of God and not to compare themselves to other. We have quoted Albert Einstein who said, 'Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.'
Ephesians 2.10 'For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advanced for us to do.'

Friday, 19 September 2014

Scotland decides

After the No vote result we continue to pray for Scotland, that the country would unite behind its decision and that there would be healing and reconciliation between the different groups.

See this statement from the Scottish Evangelical Alliance here.

Great British Bake Off

Martha Collison, at 17 is the youngest ever contestant on the Great British Bake Off. She is also a committed Christian who very open about her faith describing it as one of the main things that defines her as a person.

What a great example of someone who is open and willing to be known for who they are. Martha recognises that her faith is such Good News and that it is good news worth sharing.

'I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation.' Romans 1.16

See an interview with Martha here.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Scottish Referendum

In light of the forthcoming Scottish Referendum on the 18th September we held a Prayer Meeting on the evening of 14th September to pray for the Nation.

We prayed for Christians in politics and for the people of Scotland that they would make an informed decision as they vote. The Queen encouraged the Scottish people to 'think hard' as they vote and so we prayed for wisdom for all who will be voting on the 18th.

Thank you to Beryl for leading the evening and calling us all to pray for this important event.

Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship

On Saturday 13th September the Leicester Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship re-launched at its first meeting for a number of years.

The Evangelical Fellowship was welcomed by the Bishop, who spoke briefly on Colossians 3.12-17.

The morning was then led by Rodney Green, author of the book 90,000 hours, former Chief Executive of Leicester City Council and Trustee of Arocha International.

For more information about the DEF and to sign up to their mailing list click here.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Welcome Pryanka!

A new face around St Paul’s is that of Pryanka Ferreira. Pryanka has come as an “intern” to be involved in all aspects of our church’s life as she explores God’s purpose for her life in the future.

Priyanka was born in Daman in western India and left Goa to come to Highfields in Leicester with her family, when she was seven. She had drifted from her Christian roots until she came to faith in Christ while a Geography Student at the University of Stafford.

At present, Pryanka is going through the process of finding out “who is what” and “who does what” in our church as she tries to find out where she can be of most help.

Pryanka, we look forward to working with you, in Christ’s cause, in the future.

The invisible guest!

Several clergy from Leicester Diocese’s link diocese of Trichy–Tanjore in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, were invited to Leicester to take part in a Church Growth Conference. One of them, the Revd. Augusty Gnana Gandhi has been saying in this parish for the last week. He is the pastor of the Church of South India parish of Immanuel, Vellakoil. Vellakoil is a town of 40,000 people.

We had hoped to be able to show Augusty some of the sights of England this weekend and also to introduce him to the congregation of St Paul’s on Sunday, so that we might know more of the work of the Christian Church in South India and the challenges that he faces.

Sadly, he was laid low with a high temperature by an English virus and was confined to bed. We are sorry for what he and we missed. But we wish him a speedy recovery, a worthwhile remaining time in England, and a safe journey home.