Prayer Gatherings – Thursday 1st October at 7.30pm (and monthly afterwards)
Following two positive evenings of prayer with a focus on listening to God, we have decided to run with a monthly programme of region-wide prayer gatherings for the autumn. With the prospect of a further 6 months at least of quite severe restrictions, we will need more than ever to be praying together, encouraging one another, and listening to God to see what he is saying and what he is doing amongst us. The attached flyer gives details of the dates, including one scheduled for next week – Thursday 1st October. You don’t need to book in for this one – just turn up on zoom! Please advertise with your congregation. The details are on the flyer, but the web address is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88538689867?pwd=TzhLNmErM1l0dVVOQzFoRFdmUHpRQT09 In case you’re interested, I’ve also attached a brief summary of some of the points which were made at the last prayer gathering at the beginning of September, to give an idea of ‘What the Spirit is saying to the churches’ at this time.
Life in a New Reality – Thursday 15th October at 7.30pm
We’re holding another on-line gathering to explore together how we can not only respond to the challenges of living in a pandemic, but be fruitful and positively responsive. The theme for this session is ‘masked worship’, where we will share and explore together how to be creative in worshipping God when we are not allowed to sing together. Please book in by emailing to me or John Claydon, and we’ll send you the zoom details.
BigLife Webinar with Peter Dunn – Monday 9th November at 7.30pm
BigLife is a world-wide disciple-making movement, which began in Asia and has been popularised in Baptist circles in the UK through the ministry of BMS Associate Benjamin Francis. Thousands of churches have been planted through this movement, which seeks to work on the ‘multiplication model’ of training disciples to make disciples who make disciples – and so on! Peter Dunn, formerly mission director for BMS (and NBA Assembly speaker a couple of years ago), is now helping to develop BigLife in the UK and has been partnering with Yorkshire Baptist Association to launch some BigLife disciple-making ‘church plants’ there. Peter will be leading a webinar for us on Monday 9th November via the ubiquitous zoom, where he will explain principles of how BigLife works, and we will hear stories of what is happening in Yorkshire. To book in for this event, please correspond with me and I will send the zoom details.
Re:imagine – New cycle launches in January 2021
Now is the time to be thinking about whether your church would wish to engage in the next cycle of our Re:imagine learning community – a two-year process to enable change towards becoming a more effective mission-oriented church. We’ve produced a video with stories and comments from current and past re:imagine churches, which you can watch here (based around the NBA Worship service which we posted on July 19th this year). Publicity is also attached, with the dates for 2021-22. We’d love you to consider being part of this journey with us – Re:imagine really does make a significant difference and has helped a number of churches already. We would particularly encourage all Home Mission-supported churches to engage with Re:imagine – but it’s appropriate for anyone. Please book in or find out more through communicating to me.
Youth ministry support opportunity
There is an opportunity to try something new and innovative this academic year in supporting youth ministry, through our partnership with American Interim Pastors, based in Texas, USA. In previous years AIM have arranged for ministers or youth specialists to spend 6 months to one year working in a UK church, many in the NE. This year, while travel between the US and UK is not possible because of Covid, and because much of our ministry is still on-line, AIM is offering to recruit committed Christian students from Dallas Baptist University who would support youth ministry in the UK by partnering with NBA churches and engaging in on-line youth meetings over the course of the year, helping with Bible teaching, mentoring and on-line social activities – or whatever you might like help with. If you might be interested in exploring this possibility, please can you respond to me as soon as possible for an initial conversation, as we will need to approach the University in Dallas within the next 2-3 weeks.
You will probably be aware that John Claydon is taking (most of) his much-postponed sabbatical in November and December. I will in the first instance be covering for his absence, so please do contact me if you need advice, help, support, information etc which you would normally seek from John. I am aware that the current ongoing restrictions will be challenging to all of us, particularly mental health challenges and growing weariness amongst leaders, as well as in our churches and wider communities. This is a time for keeping in touch, supporting one another, holding one another in prayer and seeking for God to work in more powerful ways through us. Our weaknesses provide opportunities for God to show his strength, and for us to have to depend upon him with even more trusting abandon. If you fancy a chat, prayer – just someone to moan to or to listen to you – please do get in touch.
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