MRBC Harvest Service 26th September 2021

This year our Harvest Service wil focus on this year’s Harvest Appeal from BMS called I Will Stand. Our service will start at 10-30am at the church.

We are having a Harvest display at the front of church, to give thanks for God’s provision and remember others in need.

Our harvest gifts (tins and packets only) will be going to the residents of Sanctuary Supported Housing, and Access Community Trust. Please bear in mind that these are mostly young single people so small packets and tins are usually more useful than large amounts.

Items to include would be tinned or jar ‘meat-based’ meals (e.g. tinned stew, pies, meatballs, chicken curry), tinned tuna or ham, hearty soups, beans with sausages, tinned veg, dried pasta or noodles with sauce, tinned tomatoes, coffee, tea, cereals, instant mash and tinned fruit.  Toiletries are helpful (deodorant, antiperspirant, shower gel, toothbrush & toothpaste, sanitary products etc). Sometimes they need to provide bedding items, so monetary donations can be put together to help them, if you would prefer to contribute in that way.

This year due to COVID health & safety please do not bring perishable food. In addition, to minimise surface contamination when arranging the display it would be helpful if Harvest gifts are brought in advance on Sunday 19th September. Gifts can be left in the church lobby when exiting the building. If it’s not possible to bring gifts in advance you can bring them with you on the morning of the Harvest Service (Sunday 26th October) where anti-bacterial wipes will be available to wipe the items before adding to the display.

Thank you for your support, the residents are always very thankful.

For more information please contact Carol Gambell

MRBC Sunday Service 19th September 2021

This week Mark continues his series on John the Baptist, the New Testament’s worst dressed evanglist. In our service, Steve will be focussing on the work of the International Justice Mission as we mark Freedom Sunday.

For Reflection & Discussion

Read Luke 3:1-20

1. Read Isaiah 40:3-5. Apart from fulfilling the prophecy literally, what were the advantages for John’s mission by being “a voice crying in the wilderness?”

2. Why is “having the anointing” so important when we do the work of God, or when we are seeking for someone for leadership or other important ministry roles?

3. When is “unconventional” right and “conventional” wrong? Who determines what is conventional anyway? What role does the Holy Spirit have in conventionality?

4. Why is truth, righteousness and justice so important in the message and lifestyle we should seek to project? What if that makes us unpopular? If we are, is that a problem with the word of God (the message) or the messenger?

5. Look at Romans 10:8-14. Why is speaking Good News so important? Can we really function as Christians or Church without Jesus as the ultimate focus? How can we ensure that we keep that focus?

International Justice Mission

This morning Steve talked about the International Justice Mission’s Freedom Sunday. For more information about IJM, Freedom Sunday or to give to IJM, then please click here.

EBA Week Of Prayer 20-24th September 2021

The theme for the Gathering and the Week of Prayer is “Listening to the Voices”. Each day we will bring to you a recorded interview from a voice that sometimes is not heard and reflect on how as church communities we can be a place of welcome and sanctuary for everyone. You can access the recorded interviews on the EBA You Tube channel

Below you will find a document link to the daily reflections with bible references and questions which you can use for yourself, or in small groups. We shall also put links to the reflections and videos on the MRBC facebook page.

The EBA also invites us to join with them each day at 9.30am, and Wednesday evening at 7pm as together we pray into each theme

Topic: EBA Prayer Zoom Meeting daily 9.30am (and Wednesday evening 7pm)

Meeting ID: 882 0129 0903 Passcode: 794152 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88201290903

Daily Reflections (click here)

MRBC Sunday Service 12th September 2021

In our Sunday service this week Mark will be leading the first in a series on John the Baptist at 10-30am. The Weekly Sheet will be posted here nearer the time.

ITEMS FOR REFLECTION & DISCUSSION

Reading Luke 1: 8-17 and 67-80 again.

1. Have there been times in your life where God has really surprised you? How did that affect your walk as a Christian?

2. It could be argued that Elizabeth getting pregnant was enough of a sign that what the angel said was true, so why did Zechariah ask for a sign in addition to that? What did his being mute accomplish? Should we be asking for signs, wonders and miracles? If so, what do we think they will achieve for us and others? Think of how most people come to Christ.

3. Look at verses 67-80. How much was the prophecy of Zechariah for us now and how much was fulfilled at the time?

4. Think of ways in which we are special to God and think of what verses in the New testament may support that? How does our knowing we are special to God influence our walk with Him?

Walton Parish Nursing Prayer Letter

August 2021

Dear Friends of Walton Parish Nursing,

I was asked recently how things are going in Walton with our Parish Nursing service so I apologise for taking time to update you on the work.

Despite the pandemic we are blessed to have two very dedicated nurses in Lorna and John and they have done their best to keep things moving along.

Lorna has had face to face meetings with clients at last and she has welcomed a new volunteer, Hazel, who is also a Trustee and on the Management team. Hazel has also volunteered to train to teach Chair based exercises.

Lorna has had new referrals and she has attended a community cafe where she gives health advice and takes blood pressures. This also happens at other community hubs such as St Philip’s church and a local housing association in Walton.

Both Lorna and John provide transport to appointments, especially at hospital.

Lorna is in touch with a number of local initiatives which help the community in different ways, so she networks well and is aware of what is currently happening here. She also has the opportunity of spreading the word about Parish Nursing as she has been given a slot at a service at St Martin’s, Trimley, on September 5th, as they would like to access a Parish Nurse too.

John has been able to restart the No Labels group, which helps people with mental health issues. It has been particularly good for them to be able to meet in person. He has also arranged a sailing morning for clients, which took place in August. He is due to be part of a PNMUK focus group to discuss guidelines for mental health within Parish Nursing.

This shows how our work has sometimes been trailblazing, which is a privilege and an honour.

We were able to continue our Management Team meetings on Zoom but the last one in July was at church and in person again, which was very good.

Our volunteers were unable to hold chair based exercises during the past 18 or 19 months. However, on September 1st we are holding a Social event to welcome our clients back. Many have declined in health quicker than they would have done, due to lack of exercise and company, and we have seen some move on to Care Homes and sadly two clients have died (not of Covid). After meeting and becoming familiar with the venue again, we hope to start the exercise classes on September 8th. There are a few “rules” we have in place to keep people safe, such as wearing masks into the building (but not during exercises) and taking lateral flow tests if possible, so we hope people will not feel daunted by them.

Please pray for the above points, as well as a few extras below:

Lorna is currently on compassionate leave as her mother died this week after a long illness. Please pray that she will have time to adjust before returning to work.

We look forward to our Celebration service on Sunday 17th October (see invitation) at Seaton Road Methodist Church , when we hope to have Nick Swanson, a former Pastor at Maidstone Road Baptist Church, speak to us. It would be good to have you there if you can make it. Please pray about all the arrangements for this.

MRBC Sunday Service 29th August 2021

This week Mark will be exploring the choices we make in life and will be preaching from Joshua 24.

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For Reflection and Discussion

Read Joshua 24 again.

1. Knowing that God gives us a simple choice about trusting Christ or not, why do we often find that we have to make such a bewildering number of moral choices in life? How do we navigate our way through them as God’s people?

2. Why was it so important, do you think, that Joshua challenged the people as to whom they should serve as the conquest of Canaan ended and the people settled?

3. Why is it important to fear God particularly in developing a healthy spiritual life?

4. We are all familiar with the idea that we must serve the Lord, but why is sincerity and truth so important in our service?

5. Take time to reflect on those things in our lives and in our society right now that easily become idols in our lives. How do we rid ourselves of them and how can we support one another rin doing this?

MRBC Sunday Service 22nd August 2021

In our service this Sunday we will be praying for Afghanistan and Haiti and hear a talk from Graeme Ross, our Regional Minister on Casting your nets on the other side. 10-30am at the Church.

Unfortunately, we don’t have semon notes this week, but there will be material on Afghanistan and Haiti that you will be able to pray through. We do however have Graeme’s service video below.

For reflection and discussion

Read John 21:1-14

1. Would you like to have been one of Jesus’ first disciples? Why or why not?

2. Graeme talks about some portrayals of the Christian faith as easy and joy-filled. Has that been true for you? We know that in the Bible, the disciples faced all sorts of problems and difficulties? But how many of our problems have come through trying to serve God, or have they been a result of our own actions?

3. Look at verses 1 to 3. Some of the disciples were experienced fishermen but found what they were doing was fruitless even though they had fished for years. Graeme talks about the way in which we have “done” church the same way over the years but may seem fruitless in our labours? How do you think we may be “stuck in our ways” and not connecting with those who don’t know Jesus?

4. Make disciples or attend services? What is our primary goal as church?

5. Read verses 5-6. How may we “cast our nets on the other side” at MRBC? What sorts of things are connecting with people we know and bringing then to faith?

6. How willing are we to be led by God into doing new things at MRBC as we come out of the pandemic?

Prayer for Afghanistan and Haiti

Please look at the post below for the prayer points we used at church.

Appeals for Afghanistan and Haiti

Several of the charities and missions we support have appeals for both Afghanistan and Haiti. If God is calling you to donate then here are the links to Tearfund which is supporting appeals to both destinations at the moment. Whether you give or not, please pray.

Afghanistan Donation Page https://www.tearfund.org/

Haiti Donation Page https://www.tearfund.org/get-involved/donate/donation-forms/donation-form?appeal=%7B42C3FC40-5F67-4E14-904E-254AC44A2B90%7D&amount=50

FELIXSTOWE TOWN PASTORS

We also prayed for Felixstowe Town Pastors during the service. You can read more about their recent activities on the Churches Together Website.

Prayer for Afghanistan and Haiti

Prayer for Afghanistan

In the past week we have all looked with concern at pictures coming from Afghanistan as the Taliban have taken over the country again as western countries have withdrawn their forces. It has massive implications for many in that land, including the small Afghan Christian community, which already faces severe persecution. As with all these big events, how do we pray into this situation? Here’s some helpful advice from Pete Greig. He gives us some insights from a from someone whose organisation needs to remain anonymous for obvious reasons:

“The fear for the Afghan people is not so much the unknown, but rather the known: a brutal regime where daily life is filled with unbearable tension: regular public executions, oppression for women, fear of a knock at the door from the Taliban.

For too long people in Afghanistan have looked for salvation from Western powers. Well that hasn’t worked. It’s failed spectacularly. We need our brothers and sisters in the global church to take spiritual responsibility and stand with us in prayer. “

Let’s lift our prayers urgently to heaven for:

1. The Afghan church. Protection, peace and courage for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are understandably terrified. Let’s pray that they experience the Lord walking with them and among them, saying: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

2. Political and humanitarian solutions for the vast number of Afghan refugees, ordinary people suddenly displaced from their homes by the terror the Taliban. May they discover that “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and he knows those who take refuge in Him.” (Nahum 1:7)

3. Wisdom for world leaders as they seek to respond diplomatically, building an essential international consensus for peace. “Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power. By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;”(Proverbs‬ ‭8:14-15‬)

We will cover all of these in this prayer, so let’s pray:

Father, today we pray for Afghanistan.

In recent days we have witnessed the withdrawal of Western forces and the paramilitary overthrow of the country’s government by the Taliban.

We are deeply concerned about this unfolding situation and the consequences for the women, men and children living there.

Lord, You hear the cries and see the tears of those formed in Your own image.

We know that politics, diplomacy and international laws have an important part to play in creating and maintaining peace and stability. We pray for wisdom for international leaders in this moment.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

However, we also see starkly the limits of such endeavours. Human efforts alone cannot compel love of neighbour, let alone enemy; rather this is the transformational territory of Your word and Spirit.

So would You move Your hand to change the hearts and minds of the oppressors even now? Withhold evil and cultivate good, banish darkness and bring forth light.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

We declare Your nearness over those who have been abused and displaced, violated and oppressed. Would You open their ears and eyes to Your presence?

We pray for Your church there. Would You comfort and strengthen, protect and bless our sisters and brothers? As persecution draws close, would You draw closer still?

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

Teach us how to respond as we place our hope in You and Your good and just plans for Your creation.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

For the sake of Your Son our Lord Jesus Christ

Amen (Source: EA)

Prayer for Haiti

One of the weaknesses of international media is that big stories can bury other really important news stories and this happened in the last week by ignoring a major tragedy in one of the world’s poorest nations.

On 14th August the country of Haiti was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 7.5. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and people live in weakly built structures and has suffered devastating earthquakes before, the last being of magnitude 7.0 in 2010, which killed about 160,000 people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage and the country hasn’t really got over it yet. The earthquake struck just six-weeks after the murder of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, and six year after destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew. Haitians fear this tragedy will further exacerbate medical shortages affecting the nation that also faces one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 in the western hemisphere. Things are a mess and is a major tragedy unfolding. Here’s a short video from Tearfund made about 5 days ago.

The death toll has now risen over 2000 but it is believed that there will be more casualties than this, although the area affected was much more rural this time. Most governmental help is coming from other American countries but international charities like Tearfund are also involved in the rescue effort. I’ve given more details on our website as well as information on how to donate. Amid such need, we call upon God who is our healer.

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Heavenly Father, so much pain has befallen the country of Haiti. We know that you are both a God of mercy and a God of justice. We ask that you be present in this situation. We lift up to you the families who have lost loved ones and friends to the earthquake. We pray for the first responders and for those who search for survivors in the aftermath. May the men, women, children, and elderly affected by this earthquake receive comfort, peace, and healing from you.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord, whenever a tragic situation befalls a nation, it can often take a while for all the details to unfold. We pray that those who are facing uncertainty now may cling to you. We can only imagine the fear that many of my brothers and sisters in Christ are feeling in Haiti right now. They may be listening closely to the radio to the news for updates and are likely lifting up prayers to you know for comfort and guidance. Please bring them peace in the uncertainty. Remind them that you are always with them, even in the darkest valley. Show us how we can be of aid to our brothers and sisters in Haiti , not only through our prayers, but through our actions as well.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord, we pray for the Government of Haiti at this time as they mourn the murder of their President. Give them strength as they have to come to grips with the consequence of the earthquake. We pray for the international aid effort, that resources may be provided quickly to help survivors, support the health services and to provide shelter. We pray for Tearfund and other Christian agencies, that they may show the light and love of Jesus in their actions.

Lord in Your mercy

Hear our prayer

Lord Jesus, make Haiti new, a land where Gospel seeds are planted and godly fruit grows into an abundant harvest. And make us new, each and every day of our lives, so that we will abide in You, for Your glory and our joy.

We ask this in Jesus name,

Amen. (Source: Crosswalk)

Appeals for Afghanistan and Haiti

Several of the charities and missions we support have appeals for both Afghanistan and Haiti. If God is calling you to donate then here are the links to Tearfund which is supporting appeals to both destinations at the moment. Whether you give or not, please pray.

Afghanistan Donation Page https://www.tearfund.org/

Haiti Donation Page https://www.tearfund.org/get-involved/donate/donation-forms/donation-form?appeal=%7B42C3FC40-5F67-4E14-904E-254AC44A2B90%7D&amount=50