Dear Minster and Friends,
For some people reading this email ‘Friends’ is the name of a long running American Sitcom (236 episodes!) which ran for ten seasons from 1994- 2004, which explored a new urban reality of family being forged through friendships, rather than the nuclear home. The three men and three women overacted their way through turn of the decade New York, holding onto their friendships when their family lives and romantic relationships were more damaged and transient. Where Friends left off, Facebook took over. Facebook began on February 4th, 2004, pioneering the development of social networks through new uses of the concept of friendship – reaching out time and time again and applying the word ‘friend’ to everyone from a random acquaintance to a BFF! (Best friend forever). Oxford University Psychologist, Robin Dunbar said we could only reliably maintain 150 stable relationships, of which an average of 4.1 are dependable, and 13.6 express sympathy during an ‘emotional crisis’.
Over the summer months, we will be looking at and learning from certain friendships in Scripture, as well as moving into what has become a really wonderful Minster tradition – of BBQ lunches after every Sunday service in August. Our Summer Sundays are intended to be warm and welcoming, but also a great opportunity for extended and longer conversations after church – if you like – time for face to face friendships over Facebook friendships!
A little thought from C S Lewis:
“Two friends delight to be joined by a third, and three by a fourth, if only the newcomer is qualified to become a real friend. They can then say, as the blessed souls say in Dante, ‘Here comes one who will augment our loves.’ For in this love ‘to divide is not to take away’.”
This Sunday I will be starting off this mini series learning from the friendship and brotherhood of Moses and Aaron:
“Aaron is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.” (Exodus 4:14)
May our hearts be glad when we see each other this Sunday!
With much love,
We wanted to thank all of those who helped out during Minsterfest and also participated in it to make it a really wonderful day. It was something of an experiment – a mini festival using our farm, and it was deeply appreciated.
We also wanted to say a really big thank you to all the people who very kindly donated money to fully cover the costs of the zorbing, bouncy castle and bucks fizz! I think it’s safe to say they all were incredible additions to the day!
We really hope you all had as great a time as we did, being together as a church family to have fun and spend time in God’s presence.
Keep an eye out for dates for Minsterfest take 2 for next summer 🙂
Prayer and communion – Wednesday
There is now no prayer and communion on Wednesdays until 12th September.
There is no Encounter: Prayer on 27th July, the next one will be on 28th September.
We currently have a vacancy for a Children and Families Pastor (1 year fixed term contract)
For more information please visit our website: https://theminster.org/church-life/jobs/
RETHINK – Mission week 19th – 25th November
We will be having a week of mission where churches and congregation members are being encouraged to host events (big and small) as a way of sharing the gospel and their Christian faith with other people. This could be anything from a coffee morning or an evening event. These can be events hosted by individuals or as minster communities. Depending on schedules, OCCA apologists are available to come to events to lead discussions and answer any questions people might have.
Please think about what you could host during this week as part of the mission and fill in a contact card or email Tash or Dan by 31st July with your ideas.
Every Sunday during August we will be having BBQs together after the service. Food will be provided and everyone is more than welcome to stay after the service for us all to have lunch together!
Please pray for Luke Scott, and his Fiance Amy, who are getting married tomorrow. Luke was one of the youngest members of this congregation when we first began meeting in our house in Beaconsfield in September 2011 – but is now of course a University graduate, and will be starting his new teaching job in Bradfield in September. It feels like a milestone for us as a community, and for me personally it will be a real privilege to conduct the wedding.
Despite there being a three month window for planning applications to be considered by Chiltern, our planning application has still not been brought to the committee 14 months later. This has been very frustrating for all of us but rest assured that we are doing all we can humanly to move the process forward. Please do pray for this application to reach committee over the summer, and for the entire application to be viewed favourably. For those who have joined the church in the last year – there is a planning application in to restore the old farm buildings, build a new barn-style church building and a few new cottages to fund the restoration. We have also asked for permission to upgrade the track from the main road with new planting, drainage, passing places and a mini-bus service from neighbouring towns. The full plans can be viewed on the planning portal at Chiltern Council under ‘Stampwell Farm.’