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Baptism & Confirmation

Sunday 5th November 7pm

Bishop Michael will be leading our service of baptism & confirmation.

We will be holding sessions for those who wish to explore confirmation and what it means and or baptism in readiness for the 5th November. At that service there will be an opportunity to be baptised by full immersion as well as to be confirmed. If you would like to know more then please do speak to Caz, Christian or John.

The Vicar Writes

But…………………… Prayer

Acts 12:5  but the church was earnestly praying to God’. This was part of the text that was read when we opened and prayed in the new offices and renovated hall on the 6th of September. The Church was praying, and it is as a result of your prayers, generosity and the goodness of God that we have completed Phase One of the Development Project.

When you look at Acts 12:1-17, we see that Peter was stuck unjustly in prison, in persecution for his faith. In this hopeless situation, the church was praying to God for him. And the story recounts how an angel, lead Peter out from the prison in a miraculous way, (it’s interesting that he didn’t realise what was happening to him, but enjoy reading the story for yourself). Then when he was out the church didn’t recognise he was at the door of their house v13-16. They were amazed at how God had answered their prayer. ‘But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.’ At Christ Church we have the privilege of seeing people being changed by the Lord, we have the privilege of seeing people being set free from things that hold them back, and free from Sin that stops them encountering Jesus. The only way that we can truly see this transformation, that we can see the Kingdom come here on Earth as it is in Heaven, is by prayer.
But….. Prayer.

As a church this academic year we are reading through the whole bible together. It is an opportunity to saturate ourselves in the story of God, for as we realise our place in the story of God, it gives us a hunger to pray that reality, to pray the promises of God into our generation and for future generations to come. It is as the Spirit leads us in prayer and as he brings the Word alive that our lives can be changed, our communities changed and the world changed. As we pray we can be amazed just like the early church at what can happen. In the new offices there is also a meeting/ prayer room and Mon-Fri at 9.00 some of the staff, clergy and readers will be meeting to pray for the church, ministries and other wider concerns that are on our hearts. If there is something you would like us to be specifically praying into for you, could you e-mail or phone the office and we would be delighted to be praying specifically for that as well. Please do also feel free to join us at any of the prayer meetings we have, full details are in the church notice sheet or website.

Thank you too for the generosity in realising Phase One of the development and may we pray in Phase Two, reordering the church interior, that we can continue to be a blessing to this community and beyond.

With my prayers for you all.

John

CAP Update

CAP logoLove Love Love!  We know we should cos Jesus told us to do it.  But how do we do it?  We use the excuse that it’s hard to love and sometimes it is.  Is it always? Or do we just need to change the way we think?  Jesus modelled the love of God by being about the Father’s business, which is to bring His kingdom here on earth today.  Glimpses of the way God intended the world to be, without pain and brokenness, are possible today as we show His love to one another.  We really have so many opportunities to show this love, how can we put them into practice?

Here’s a few examples:

Over the summer we sent a text advertising the Love Ware:Live Ware events to our CAP* clients.  It was lovely to receive texts back asking if it was ok for the clients to bring their families, or even just saying thanks for the invitation. They felt loved that we’d remembered them and cared.   By the time you read this, we will have had a coffee, cake and giveaway morning which again, via a simple text invitation made our clients feel valuable, included and loved. 

I bumped into a former client who went debt free a while ago and her daughter asked me if this Christmas she could help with the hampers that we give to our clients.  I was delighted to be able to say yes and she’s going to be part of the hamper team!  We have loved and blessed her and she is now wanting to love and bless others by helping out.   

It’s often the simple things.  Taking the time to be a supporter to a CAP client is a privilege and a joy and seeing some clients getting to know Jesus and the way they have moved on in their life is absolutely wonderful to witness. 

As we enter the new academic year, where new things are beginning and old things resume how do we love bigger and better?  Mostly by having open eyes and ears to what is going on around us. By extending a hand of friendship to others, particularly those who feel weak and vulnerable.  And by praying that God’s kingdom would break into the here and now and that His will would be done here on earth just as it is in heaven. 

We have a God of peace and a God who encourages us, so how can we do the same to others, not just to CAP clients, but to each and every one of us?

Heather Hookway & Sam Rich

*CAP is short for Christians Against Poverty.  Christ Church partners with CAP in running a debt centre, making free debt counselling available to our local community, because we are passionate about seeing people free from the chains of debt.  If you or someone else you know are struggling with unmanageable debt, phone 0800 3280006 for an appointment.

Travelling Advent

Why not try something different this advent?

Could you be a host to Mary and Joseph and the advent candle for one day?

How it will work
1. Mary & Joseph will be at Church on Advent Sunday
2. First hosts collect Mary, Joseph and the candle to take home after either the 9.15 or 11.00 am service on 3rd December.
3. Set up the nativity scene, Light the advent candle for the allocated date on the candle; use this time to reflect on the nativity story and pray for your family, your church family and your world.
4. The next day arrange to deliver the Travellers and candle to the next host.
5. New host, Set up the nativity scene as in point 3 above
6. If you are the host on Christmas Eve please bring the travellers and candle to the Family Service on Christmas Day at 10.00 am, and place on the table at the front of church before the service starts.

Information and sign up sheets are at the back of church or e-mail the church office and we will allocate you a day.

If you live in the Buntingford area we would like to be able to have our travellers spend a few days in your town, do look out for and sign up for the Buntingford dates.

God’s plan – a plastic creation?

I have just counted the number of plastic bottles in my home – water bottles, cleaning products, soft drinks, household commodities. There is a staggering 106! This illustrates the neglect for the environment our society has shown towards responsible plastic management. Some 10 years ago we were all encouraged to recycle our used plastic but although we have made some progress we have got stuck, and even now the figure for recycling bottles is just under 50% and may be only 10% for plastic in general! The rest ends up in the landfill or elsewhere and simply lurks for future generations.  Scientists have established that plastic lasts 200-400 years! Continue reading

Richard Harvey’s new book is now available!

Luther and the Jews: Putting Right the Lies is a timely and important contribution to the debate about the legacy of the Protestant Reformation. It brings together two topics that sit uncomfortably: the life, ministry, and impact of Martin Luther, and the history of Jewish-Christian relations to which he made a profoundly negative contribution. As a Messianic Jew, Richard Harvey considers Luther and his legacy today, and explains how Messianic Jews have a vital role to play in the much-needed reconciliation not only between Protestants and Catholics, but also between Christians and Jews, in order for Luther’s vision of the renewal and restoration of the church to be realized.

Endorsements & Reviews
“Prepare to be shocked. Prepare to be grieved. Prepare to be challenged to the core. . . . Harvey’s timely book exposes with documented clarity the horrid truth of what Luther thought, said, preached, and wrote. . . . But Harvey’s . . . goal is much higher. . . .  As a man of peace, he records also the efforts that have been made by Lutheran communities to confront and repent of this part of Luther’s legacy . . . and as a devoted follower of Yeshua . . . he longs for the deepest reconciliation that the one Lord of Jew and Gentile died and rose again to accomplish.”
Christopher J. H. Wright, Langham Partnership

“A fascinating account of Luther and the Jews which seeks to provide a thought-provoking framework for reconciliation between Christians and the Jewish people.”
Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok, Emeritus Professor of Judaism, University of Wales

If anyone from Christ Church would like a copy, rather than pay for it through Amazon for £17, if you would like to make a donation to support Richard’s ministry of £15 or more, he will get a copy to you (signed by author if you’d like!).

Ware Choral Society

Christmas Concert

Excerpts from Messiah
and items by Adam, Attwood, Bruckner, Hassler, Palestrina, Verdi, Vaughan Williams

Trumpet: Crispin Steele Perkins

Conductor: Julian Williamson

Saturday 9th December 7.30pm

The Drill Hall, Amwell End, Ware  SG12 9HP

Tickets:  £15

available from Society Members and at the door

www.warechoral.org.uk

Book the date now!  Further details will appear on the Church Notices and on posters

Dial M for Ops

Over the summer I have been seeking inspiration for this editions article. I have thought about the summer being a time of rest, played around with images of waves, sand, sun drenched summer meadows but nothing sparked my imagination. I thought about the recent news headlines; the total eclipse of the sun in the USA and was this a sign to America and the world? What about the rapidly disturbing developments in North Korea? Closer to home we were shocked by the terrorist acts of violence, touched by the very public battle over ending Charlie Gards life and numbed by the fire in London. But still I was left with no sense of what to share.

Then I read an article by Steve Clifford which so spoke to me and reflecting on it summed so much of what I had felt over this summer. He writes-

“I had visited Latymer Community Church in West London many times in the past, but this was unlike anything I had previously experienced. Here we were, just four days after the fire, standing looking up at the charred remains of Grenfell Tower. Continue reading

Christ Church Finances

(also known as God’s provision!)

It’s easy to have a perception that speaking about money is somehow a taboo subject but actually Jesus spent a lot of time teaching about handling money and possessions well.  God is as interested in how we handle our money, both as individuals and as a church, as He is in all other areas of our lives.  As you will know from the weekly notice sheet, God’s work at Christ Church is funded entirely by our church family.  We do not receive funding from outside sources and almost everything that happens at Christ Church is as a result of the giving of individual members.  We encourage planned giving, which means that our hope and prayer is that each of us spends time working out with God what we are able to give to His work through our church.  And as we partner with Him in that work, we are blessed in seeing God at work in our church and our community and beyond. Continue reading

Hungry

Five small loaves
and two fishes
and one of the loaves
is wonky
the dough imperfectly kneaded
and the fish?
They were caught in polluted water… Continue reading

Living God’s Love

Open Meeting with the Bishop, Monday 6th November 2017

If you are a Christian, you would once have been a new disciple. Someone would have influenced and helped you in a way which didn’t make you want to run away!

We can all help others in finding faith, and Making New Disciples is an issue for our whole church. Bishop Michael will be leading a session on Monday 6th November, 7.45 for 8.00pm, at St Andrew, St Andrews Street, Hertford. He will share his (and the Diocese’s) ideas and invite us to share our concerns and identify opportunities.

The session is within an open Deanery Synod meeting, in fact it is virtually all of it. The Synod is a group of people from all local Anglican churches, which exists to enable and encourage ministry and mission. We know it is a weekday evening, but we would like to see a large number of our church members there, not least because with our different gifts we can all have different parts to play in the process of drawing others into the knowledge of the Love of God in Jesus Christ.

Church Away Day

Saturday 14th October 9am to 3.30pm, Presdales School

As a church we have so many connections with the community: Oasis (single parents ministry), Toddlers every day of the week, a baby group, CAP debt centre, LoveWare:LiveWare, Christ Church School and 3 other schools in our parish, a church football team, older peoples ministry, heart for business, Alpha etc…. While we are a growing church, we believe that one of the next stages for us is to see more people come to faith.  By using the opportunities and situations that God has placed us in, we want to use our lives to be witnesses to others. Are you up to the challenge? Come and be equipped, encouraged, enthused and energised.

Our Speaker for the day is Chris Fox. He is the Assistant Pastor St Paul’s Ealing, a vibrant and lively church.
He is also looks after the
New Wine Discipleship Year, which is for young people aged 18 -24, seeking to explore and develop their calling to work within churches. With a well-established track record of enabling seekers to find Christ, he has a particular desire to make church relevant and accessible in today’s culture.

There will be a full programme of children’s and young people’s activities available on the day.

The away day is a key priority for us as a church family, book your place now.

MADD Mission 2

Just when the people of Birmingham thought it was safe to relax and enjoy some fine spring weather, they were subject to a second visit from members of the MADD men. Like our first visit in 2015 we were invited by James and Mel who work with Interserve and have been mission partners with Christ Church since they left All Nations in 2007.

James and his family live in a multi-faith area in Birmingham where most of their neighbours are Muslims. They work in collaboration with local churches and other Christian agencies to share God’s love with those of other faiths. This time the four making the trip were Andrew, Roger, Ron and Andrew. We were to help with various jobs around St John’s House, a former convent and orphanage, that is now a centre for prayer, community living and ministry projects in the Alum Rock area of South Birmingham.  Compared with our last visit the accommodation was almost luxurious as we took over two flats and slept in proper beds and didn’t have to walk along cold corridors to have a shower. Continue reading

The Bible Challenge

The Read Scripture Plan

The plan is for Christ Church members to read through the whole bible in a year starting Monday September 11th.

This plan takes you through the entire bible in one year. The scriptures are divided up into sixteen “chapters” and organised in semi chronological order. You’ll read two or three chapters a day, and sometimes skim through larger portions that contain genealogies, census information etc.

Psalms of prayer

One Psalm is listed each day for you to slowly pray through, making its words your own. By the end you’ll have prayed through the book of Psalms 2.5 times.

Videos

Each day you come to a new biblical book, there will be a short animated video on The Bible Project website about that book’s design and message and what to look for as you read.  You can also sign up to have these videos e-mailed to your inbox. In addition to videos regarding books of the Bible, you will find theme videos relating to several topics that appear throughout Scripture.

The APP   

This can be downloaded from
http://readscripture.org

Add Accountability

With one or two friends, each week ask each other:
– What have I learnt or been surprised by?
– What has God been saying to or been challenging me?
– How can I pray for you this week?

Share your learning

At Church
At Life Group
Post your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter using #ccwbiblechallenge  or https://www.facebook.com/groups/ccwbiblechallenge/ and the group can also be emailed via: ccwbiblechallenge@groups.facebook.com

For more information about the reading plan and how you can support The Bible Project visit their website. https://thebibleproject.com

To listen to the bible go to www.biblegateway.com select passage, version=NIVUK         

Paper copies of the plan are available at the back of church.

Emmanuel Shared Church

Emmanuel Shared Church has been enjoying the Nehemiah series too…

Lee who is the Leader of Emmanuel Church, is a professional Builder, so when it came to his turn to preach, we had a  live and professional illustration of how building should be done! His son Nathan is a great hand at the brick laying too, so worked, Biblically, “next to him“!

We are grateful to all the Christ Church Staff who have come and helped in the teaching, as Emmanuel continues to build, not only the walls, but bridges into the community too, in the Tower School area of the town. Thank you all for your help and prayer support!

Jan

The Vicar Writes…

Receiving blessing, enjoying blessing, passing on blessing

When God spoke to Abraham, he said ‘I will bless you’, he then goes on to say that he will be a blessing. In fact, God says ‘all the nations of the world will be blessed through you’.
As Christians, from the promises in Zachariah, to the work of Jesus and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, that is true for us.
God, because he loves us, chooses to bless us, to give us peace, strength, grace, hope and joy, to enable us to be faithful and fruitful in uncertain times.
Now, having passed my 6th anniversary as Vicar here, I see and am grateful for how God has been so faithful in Christ Church and how his people have born faithful witness to Him throughout the generations, for the blessing that they have received and that we now enjoy.
As we have been looking at the book of Nehemiah we see that we are at another time of receiving His favour, with the faculty now granted to renovate, renew and re-equip the church buildings. It gives us an opportunity of giving thanks for all that has gone before and passing on that blessing to the next generation and the generations yet to be born. Ps78. You will see further details later on in the magazine.
As well as buildings we also have had a number of people coming to and exploring their faith and on Nov 5th in the evening we have another opportunity for people to celebrate their faith to be baptised and/or confirmed. Do contact Caz or Christian if you are interested.
Do save the date of the 14th of October as we all gather together for our church awayday with our guest speaker Chris Fox. Further details will follow. In September we also have Jessie Dipper arriving as our worship intern to help resource our worship, alongside so many that faithfully serve in so many ways.
As followers of Jesus and as the church together, we need to continue to be open to receive God’s blessing. We need to give thanks and enjoy it when we receive it and we need always to be willing to pass it on, so that this community and nation, even to the ends of the earth might be transformed.
With my prayers for you all.
John

Porter’s ponderings…

Jigsaws with God

I was recently talking with my friend Martin about his holiday in America. He said he’d met some interesting people and in conversation had learnt a bit about them, but had not got the full picture, just a few bits of the jigsaw of their lives.

That got me thinking (dangerous! Lol). Do we play at jigsaws with God? Continue reading

Champagne

So we thought the Champagne trip would be a welcome bolt hole in the middle of a busy spring for us as a family. A little time away without the children to spend time with each other and experience some culture. It did just that and more.

It was an excellent excuse to be contributing to the building fund, spend time with the Church family and drink before midday! I must say whilst I know my wife easily fits in to more refined company I was a little concerned that I might unwittingly lower the tone beyond the tolerance of others. I was a little anxious that I wouldn’t be able to meet the cultural expectations of such delightful company. However I was pleased to discover that my brothers Martin Rich and Mark Hallett served me by making me look sophisticated in comparison. Continue reading

Fundraising Update

Today was our ‘Gifting Day’, and as I write this, I am filled with expectation as we wait to hear the results. STOP PRESS – I have just heard from the Treasurer that we raised £165,000 on June 11th. I am sure we will find that more pledges and gifts come in over the next few weeks. This means we are well on the way to achieving our target for this second phase of £700,000.

I have really enjoyed the stories John has been sharing over the past weeks and months of the Vision the early Founders of Christ Church had and the quotes from past vicars encouraging the congregation to support the town of Ware and those in need.  There was no doubt in the minds of the clergy and congregation that Christ Church had a significant role to play in the community supporting those in need in the town and wider missionary work. Continue reading

Dear Anonymous Donors to Christ Church

As I don’t know who you are to write individually, I decided I would write more generally to say thank you for your faithful giving to the ministry of Christ Church.  I hope you have had the opportunity to see something of what God has been doing in Ware, and beyond, through the many and varied ministries of Christ Church and that you have also experienced the blessing of being in partnership with God in this way.

God has, quite literally, been changing lives in and around our community as we journey together as His disciples. He continues to provide all that we need through the generosity of His people.  We stand today on a legacy of generosity and we look to the future with a vision to leave a legacy for the generations who will continue to meet and worship and journey together here.

Thank you for being willing and responding to God’s prompting to support His work. I give thanks to God for you and your commitment and your generosity and would ask that you pray for the PCC as together we work to implement the ambitious vision we believe God has given for the future.

Yours, in Christ,
Sam

Building Redevelopment Update

What a blessed few weeks we have had since Easter with regards to the building project.

Phase 1

Work started on phase one of the project, being the building of the offices in the Memorial Hall in April and has raced along. As the builders peeled back the building to reveal its shell we were given an opportunity to see what the halls had looked like when they were first built and how they had been modified and adapted over the intervening 120 years. I have more photos showing high plastered ceilings, a long blocked up window, large chunky joinery, the like of which we don’t see these days.

As I write this article the major demolition work is completed and the shape and feel of the new rooms are emerging with the roof windows in place, new floor and internal walls completed and the plumbing and wiring underway. The new windows are being built which will make the memorial hall and offices light, bright and airy.

The good news is that the project is currently on time and on budget and we look forward to welcoming you to the new offices at the end of the summer.

Phase 2

I know that a lot of prayer was offered whilst we submitted our faculty application to the diocese to undertake the works within the church. After a nervous wait whilst the legal consultations where carried out, we were delighted to be granted the faculty permission at the start of June to enable the works to church to start. Continue reading

Milestones in the Journey of Faith

Many of our young people are in the midst of exams, navigating the pressure that comes with revision: just as part of another school year or marking the end of school and a new beginning.

When you left school, was that the point you felt that you had become an adult? For some, leaving school marks the end of adolescence and the beginning of adult life. Perhaps it wasn’t until you got married, or had children, or stepped into your first home. Some “grown-ups” don’t feel like adults at 40!

What about your faith, when did you feel like a Christian? Can you name the date and hour that it happened or is it a long journey that you are still on? Continue reading

Stories from Crèche

When Louise and I stepped in to help with the week to week running of crèche we came with a vision to see crèche as just a further place for biblical teaching and getting to know God. While crèche enables parents to focus on the sermon we felt it is equally, if not more, important as a place for babies and toddlers to hear the name of Jesus.

Crèche has a dedicated team of volunteers who embrace the activities that go on within crèche, and we’ve been excited to see them continuing to share and get involved in this ministry. We would like to say a huge thank you for all their hard work, and for sticking with us as we’ve brought in new activities, taken time to teach us how things run, as well as embracing  things like the room changes for the development works.  Continue reading

Breathing Life into Bricks

The Dust Project: Building Hope, Changing Lives.

Founded by three friends, The Dust Project operates out of a desire to see lives changes, and a passion to make a difference across the nation of Sri Lanka after years of civil unrest. The tough existence of all generations across the country made it an easy choice to begin the work in this beautiful nation. Behind the tea, the beaches and the elephants, lies poverty, destruction and chains that bind citizens; all of which The Dust Project work towards eradicating.

When it rains it pours in Sri Lanka; lives are put on hold as soon as the heavens open. I have experienced it first-hand – stranded in a tuk-tuk (or Trishaw), alone with a driver who spoke only Tamil. The engines are switched off, no-one leaves their house and every single person vanishes from view. It rains non-stop for a lengthy period of time, and if you are lucky enough to be caught in it, is a marvellous experience. The land, which five minutes ago was pure dust finally has a glimmer of life. Soon though, the rain stops, the sun appears and the only hope for life vanishes.

Continue reading

Easter Explored

‘Getting into’ the greatest story

During the last week of term before Easter, Christ Church stepped back in time and underwent a transformation. If you’d have walked in that week all your five senses would have been taken on quite an adventure! Almost 1000 people, adults and children alike, took part in that adventure, and engaged with the Easter story as if they were in it. The church was transformed into Jerusalem in the year 30 AD, with seven different scenes depicting stages of Jesus’ last week.  Continue reading

Upcoming events at Christ Church

CHURCH AWAY DAY
Saturday 14th October 9am to 3.30pm, Presdales School

As a church we have so many connections with the community: Oasis (single parents ministry), Toddlers every day of the week, a baby group, CAP debt centre, LoveWare:LiveWare, Christ Church School and 3 other schools in our parish, a church football team, older peoples ministry, heart for business, Alpha etc…. While we are a growing church, we believe that one of the next stages for us is to see more people come to faith.  By using the opportunities and situations that God has placed us in, we want to use our lives to be witnesses to others. Are you up to the challenge? Come and be equipped, encouraged, enthused and energised.

Our Speaker for the day is Chris Fox. He is the Assistant Pastor St Paul’s Ealing, a vibrant and lively church.
He is also looks after the New Wine Discipleship Year, which is for young people aged 18 -24, seeking to explore and develop their calling to work within churches. With a well-established track record of enabling seekers to find Christ, he has a particular desire to make church relevant and accessible in today’s culture.

There will be a full programme of children’s and young people’s activities available on the day.

The away day is a key priority for us as a church family, so please do keep the date free; booking will open soon.

BAPTISM & CONFIRMATION
Sunday 5th November 7pm

Bishop Michael will be leading our service of baptism & confirmation.

We will be holding sessions for those who wish to explore confirmation and what it means and or baptism in readiness for the 5th November. At that service there will be an opportunity to be baptised by full immersion as well as to be confirmed. If you would like to know more then please do speak to Caz, Christian or John.

LECTURE SERIES

We are exploring the possibility of holding a series of lectures at Degree or similar level aimed at mature Christian looking to develop a deeper understanding.

The idea is that we would host visiting academics and experienced bible teachers who would deliver degree level teaching on a variety of topics such as
• Origins of the names of God
• Exploring God’s purposes in sending Christ
• What do the first five books of the Old Testament teach about God and his purposes?
• The symbolism of the Last Supper explained
• Understanding Christian apologetics
• “Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain?”

If this is likely to be of interest to you could you let Martin (manager@christchurchware.co.uk) know.

CARE FOR THE FAMILY
20th September 2017 7.30pm

For over 25 years Care for the Family has been working throughout the UK. They provide parenting, relationship and bereavement support through events, resources, courses, training and a volunteer networks. Their work is motivated by Christian compassion, and their resources and support are available to everyone, of any faith or none.

We are delight to partner with Care for the Family by hosting an evening entitled- Always leave a light on.

Always leave a light on explores the pain many parents and families have experienced when a prodigal walks away from faith. Discover how we can stem the tide, avoid some pitfalls that create prodigals in the first place, and cultivate a culture where churches are filled with the Father’s love.

We are sure that this evening will appeal too many, will be challenging, encouraging, affirming and equipping.  Booking details will be available soon but please do reserve the date now.