Dear Minster and Friends,
By now most of us will be aware of the passing into glory of the great preacher, Billy Graham. Billy Graham began his more prominent ministry, not in a towering institution, but in a tent – known as the canvas cathedral, where he shared the gospel day after day in Los Angeles in 1949.
More than anything, Billy Graham was a man of one fundamental message. He spent his life sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with all who would listen – about 125 Million face to face and perhaps half the population of the world through recordings, TV, radio and other forms of media. Our own country owes him an extraordinary debt, as he preached in Harringay and Wembley in the 1950s and helped the churches re-engage with their fundamental purpose. Countless church leaders of the previous generation trace the start of their faith to responding to the invitation that he gave. I myself went with friends from school to hear him as a teenager in London in 1989 and several made commitments that night.
His funeral will be on 2nd March and he arranged that it would end as it began – in the humility of a big tent.
Like the Hebrews in the wilderness, and like the Jews at the Feast of Tabernacles, a tent of meeting can teach us so much. For us at Latimer Minster, this resonates perhaps a bit more as we gather in our fantastic Big Top. We have been praying hard and working hard over the last few months in expectation that our planning application will be heard this week, but I regret to let you know that it has been postponed yet again. Please do continue to pray for the officers at the council for clarity and the ability to bring this to the planning committee as soon as possible, and ultimately that the committee would be convinced that the plan we have put forward is a good one and represents the best use of this wonderful site for the next few years. I will let you know as soon as another date has been given to us and ways in which we can respond as local members of the community when this becomes clearer.
This Sunday, though, with the passing of Billy Graham from this flimsy tent to his mansion in glory, I am reminded of this wonderful and encouraging verse from Proverbs:
“The tent of the upright will flourish” Proverbs 14:11
May we flourish in Him this week as we hold onto his righteousness.
With much love
Also for Prayer:
Next Week – we will be having a ministry fair and will give a fuller understanding of our needs and priorities as a church over the next few months. This will include ways to get involved, an explanation of our accounts and giving from Jane, and some of the things we have to look forward to together.
Driveway – you will no doubt be pleased to hear that we have had another delivery of road scalpings and the driveway is much improved.
Youth – the first of our new youth group meetings began on Tuesday evening. If you weren’t able to attend and would like to find out more information then please let Ollie Bennett know and he will give you full details.
This Saturday – Latimer Minster (and our tent!) will be hosting the Anchor Weekend training day for young people in our area, especially those who are running and leading Christian Unions. Please keep them all in your prayers. We are aiming to record the sessions and they should be available on Facebook Live as well.