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Food Packing Event

Feed the Hungry: Food Packing Event – Saturday 19th October 10.00am – 12.30pm at Barlaston School. Please sign up on the sheet at church to help with our food packing event to provide meals for children in Kibera, Kenya.

Kibera.jpg

A busy few weeks ahead

Hello Barlaston Church family,

A big thank you for all your Harvest Gifts last Sunday, the Food Bank greatly appreciated the gifts.

This Sunday we will welcome our new Organist, Chris Burton to Barlaston Church.

Please note our pattern of Sunday services with children’s MOSAIC group meeting on the 1st, 3rd and 4th Sundays. Exciting new development on the 2nd Sundays with some children & parents from Barlaston School joining us.

1st Sunday 10.30am Holy Communion. 4.00pm Evensong

2nd Sunday 8.30am Holy Communion. 10.30am Morning Worship 4.00pm Holy Communion

3rd Sunday 10.30am Holy Communion. 4.00pm Choral Evensong

4th Sunday 8.30am Holy Communion. 10.30am Holy Communion

5th Sunday 10.30am Holy Communion

FILM NIGHT: Saturday 5th October at the Village Hall, showing 'Red Joan'. Doors open at 7 & film starts at 7.30pm. Transport will be provided for anyone who needs it - contact Michala Black on 01782 373554/07970 593910 or the Voluntary Car Scheme, there will be no charge for this service.

Morning Prayer - every Monday at 9.00am in Church.

Betty Hall's Funeral - Tuesday 8th October 1.00pm in Church.

Encounter - Tuesday 8th October 7.15pm at the Vicarage (prayer & fellowship - all welcome)

Friday 11th October 9.00am - Barlaston School Harvest Service in Church.

All Age Community Free Harvest Lunch – Tuesday 15th October 12 noon – 2.00pm at our Church. Full details and to book tickets please speak to / contact Gill Brealey 07530 412566 or Alison Dando 07977 550017. Do get involved in this new exciting project here at Barlaston Church.

A Turbulent Priest at 7.30 pm on Friday 18th October at Christ Church, Stone, Staffordshire ST15 8ZB. Tickets £8.00 (£6 concessions) from the church office Tel 01785 811990. Running Time: The full show lasts about 1hr 45m. Plus a short interval after 1hr. A Turbulent Priest is based on the true story of the murder of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. Although the story is compressed, it remains as faithful as possible to original character, featuring the key players in the story, Henry II, Thomas Becket, Archbishop Theobald, John of Salisbury and Roger of York.

Feed the Hungry: Food Packing Event – Saturday 19th October 10.00am – 12.30pm at Barlaston School. Please sign up on the sheet at church to help with our food packing event to provide meals for children in Kibera, Kenya.

Stoke-on-Trent City Celebration – Sunday 20th October 6.00pm Longton Central Hall, The Strand ST3 2JH. This will be a great evening of worship and celebration.

Practising Generosity – thank you to those who have already returned their Practising Generosity response envelopes. If you have not done so yet, please return yours to church as soon as convenient. Thank you.

Another Roof Leak – there is a leak in the NE area of the church. It is being investigated and hopefully will be repaired soon.

Church Count – during this month are gathering an accurate list of all who attend church services on Sundays and Wednesdays. This is a part the Lichfield Diocese national CofE statistics gathering programme. If you know of anyone who would normally attend church but is unable to please let the Churchwardens know. (e.g. people in care homes or house bound).

Annual Thanksgiving Service – the service at which we remember all those who have passed away in recent years. Sunday 3rd November 4.00pm.

Hope to see you on Sunday,

Best wishes

Dennis Croome

Churchwarden

Latest NEWS from Barlaston Church

Hello all,

This weekend we celebrate Harvest Sunday at 10.30am – Cathy Case will be the celebrant and Alison Dando will be preaching. Ian Miller is the organist. Stewart & Julie Jones are on a well deserved holiday.

Thank you so much to Ellie Hedley and her team for decorating the Church for Harvest.

The cash collection at HARVEST will be given to our local Barlaston Voluntary Car Scheme. We look forward to receiving your gifts for the local Food Bank in Stoke-on-Trent which will be collected from Church on Tuesday of this week. No fresh food please.

A new exciting project for you to be involved with: All Age Community Free Harvest Lunch - Tuesday 15th October 12 noon - 2.00pm at Church. Further information and details from Gill Brealey 07530 412566 or Alison Dando 07977 550017. email: g.brealey@mail.com or alid50@btinternet.com

Help needed. Can you offer a lift to someone living in Walton, Stone who would love to come to church on October 6th at 4pm. Details from Niki in the church office.

Also, could anyone help with lifts to church for Mary Plant who is now in Heyfields? Please contact Alison Dando on 07977 550017 for further information.

Services at St John’s, please note from October 2019 our services are as follows with children’s MOSAIC group meeting on the 1st, 3rd and 4th Sundays.

1st Sunday: 10.30am Holy Communion & Mosaic. 4.00pm Evensong

2nd Sunday 8.30am Holy Communion. 10.30am Morning Worship. 4.00pm Holy Communion.

3rd Sunday 10.30am Holy Communion &Mosaic. 4.00pm Choral Evensong.

4th Sunday 8.30am Holy Communion. 10.30am Holy Communion & Mosaic.

5th Sunday 10.30am Holy Communion.

Exciting new development on the 2nd Sundays we will welcome some children & parents from Barlaston School to the 10.30 service

A Turbulent Priest at 7.30 p.m. on Friday 18th October at Christ Church, Stone, Staffordshire ST15 8ZB. tickets £8.00 (£6 concessions) from the church office Tel 01785 811990. Running Time: The full show lasts about 1hr 45m. Plus a short interval after 1hr. A Turbulent Priest is based on the true story of the murder of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. Although the story is compressed, it remains as faithful as possible to original character, featuring the key players in the story, Henry II, Thomas Becket, Archbishop Theobald, John of Salisbury and Roger of York. There are also some cameos from St George and St Thomas the Apostle (after whom Thomas Becket was named).

Feed the Hungry: Food Packing Event – Saturday 19th October 10.00am – 12.30pm at Barlaston School. Please sign up on the sheet at church to help with out food packing event to provide meals for children in Kibera, Kenya.

Stoke-on-Trent City Celebration – Sunday 20th October 6.00pm Longton Central Hall, The Strand ST3 2JH. This will be a great evening of worship and celebration.

Rotas – we hope you’ve received your new rota by now – available from church.

Practising Generosity – thank you to those who have already returned their Practising Generosity response envelopes. If you have not done so yet, please return yours to church as soon as convenient. Thank you.

Have a good weekend and come along and celebrate at the HARVEST FESTIVAL service on Sunday at 10.30am.

Dennis Croome

Churchwarden.

PRACTISING GENEROSITY

Stewart Jones, Vicar of Barlaston writes:

Practising Generosity    

Introduction

Money is a huge part of our lives: earning it and spending it, worrying about it or ignoring it altogether, barely pausing to consider God within our finances.

The Bible devotes over 2000 verses to the subject and we should not be surprised that Jesus spoke a great deal about money.

·       He spoke about money more that He did about heaven and hell.

·       He spoke about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.

·       Eleven of the thirty nine parables he told are about money.

·       One in every seven verses in Luke’s gospel talks about money.

Jesus knows that how we handle money and our practice of generosity either helps or hinders us in living the abundant life he so longs to give us. Being a Christian means at some point we have to deal with our attitude to money.

This booklet and our month of looking at ‘Practising Generosity’ is one way to help us all do that.

So what is Practising Generosity?

It is a learning experience for all of us.

This will be done through the teaching at services and in small study groups meeting for four weeks. There will be two opportunities to join in with these groups. You can either come along on Monday evenings at 7.15pm or on Tuesday afternoons at 2pm. The Monday group starts on 2nd Sept and then for a further three sessions (9th; 16th; 23rd Sept). The Tuesday group starts on 3rd Sept and again runs for a further three sessions after that. (10th; 17th; 24th Sept). You can come along to either session but you don’t need to attend both as they will be the same each week. Do come so that we can learn together, discuss together and grow in our understanding of how to practice generosity in our daily lives.

It is about money!

 We are asking everyone who has a commitment to St John’s to seriously think about giving more to the work of the church to ensure we can continue to do the work God has called us to do. In the vision section of this booklet you will find in more detail what we currently believe that looks like and how we will try to make it happen.

We have also included figures showing where our income comes from and what we spend it on. These are summary figures and if you would like more detailed accounts for 2018 then do ask. (Contact our parish office on 01782 373126 or email barlastonadmin@googlemail.com) Alternatively you might want to ask the vicar, Stewart, about this so please do. (01782 361724 email canonstewart@icloud.com)

The figures show how we have had deficits in 2018 and are expecting one in 2019. Our aim is to reach a point in 2020 when that is no longer the case. To reach this we need to increase our overall income by 5% and keep costs the same where possible. That is the challenge we face. It is one we can meet with prayer and generous action.

So do read through this booklet carefully, come along to one of the study groups to learn and discuss together how we can deepen our understanding about how we should give to the mission of the church and respond using the form with this booklet. Thank you.

‘Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.’                                                              (2 Corinthians 9v7)

Being Thankful

On a recent pastoral visit I was having coffee with a couple in their home and as we chatted one of them said:

‘The problem with today is that it is an attitude of me first.’ Now such statements are sweeping generalisations of course but there is a part of us that agrees with what they said. But we do have to be careful that we don’t think everything was better in the past (it wasn’t) or that people are more selfish than before. I doubt that is true but I do think the culture we now live in is dominated by consumerism which feeds this ‘me first’ instinct in us. As the old American Indian story goes, in our hearts there are two dogs fighting and the one that wins is the one we feed.  Advertising, a ‘my rights’ culture feeds the selfish ‘me first’ dog all the time. Which is why Harvest is such an important festival for us to celebrate and enjoy because if celebrated properly it makes us stop and think of someone else first rather than ourselves.

 

Harvest thanksgiving puts God at the centre and allows us a space to acknowledge all that he gives us and helps us be thankful. Now thankfulness is at the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ and should be for every Christian the default setting of our hearts. Thankful for what God has done for us in Christ dying on the cross, our sins forgiven, the promise of his Holy Spirit, and a new eternal kingdom. We have much to be thankful for in our spirit. But we also have much to be grateful for in the real world. The daily life of all of us should have as foundational thankfulness.

 

We all spend too much time looking at the faults and mistakes of what is around us or what we don’t have rather than being thankful for what we do have. Certainly there are many things that need to be done better: the running of the NHS, our education system, our democracy and how we can help everyone feel included. But there is much to be thankful for. Many things have improved beyond all measure. A number of years ago Channel 4 broadcast a TV series called ‘The Mill’. This drama was based in a cotton mill in the early 19th century and showed the gruelling work day experience of children in the factory. I am extremely grateful that neither I nor my children have ever had to work in such conditions. Of course there are still places and situations in our world and in our country that need to be changed but we mustn’t lose sight of the many good things that are better and for which we can be thankful.

 

Christians should be known as thankful people. As the Psalmist puts it in Psalm 100:

‘Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness;

Come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.

It is he who made us, and we are his, we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;

Give thanks to him and praise his name

For the Lord is good and his love endures for ever,

His faithfulness continues through all generations.’

 

But it isn’t easy is it? As we are bombarded by images, messages that say it’s all about you because you’re worth it we don’t hear the still small voice of God telling us that we are to live another way. Perhaps here is one small practical thing we can all start to do or continue to do every day and that is to always say a thank you before we eat a meal. We can do that out loud or silently and we can do it everywhere. It is such a simple thing yet do we always do it. By saying thank you to God for his provision for us we are living out a life that is not me first but rather God first.

 

To go against the prevailing culture of me first is not easy but Christianity is always the opposite of what we take as the norm. A man called R K Hughes summarised Christianity like this: Last is first. Giving is receiving. Dying is living. Losing is finding. Least is greatest. Poor is rich. Weakness is strength. Serving is ruling.

 

I would add one more: Thankfulness is joy. Harvest at St John’s this year is 29th Sept at 10.30am Do join us as we give thanks.

Blessings

Stewart Jones

Vicar

A challenging and exciting future

We are facing the challenges of a church which has an average aged congregation of 70 years.

There are 130 people on the Church Electoral Roll. 50 of those may never read this as they appear not have access to the WWW. To communicate with this group of people we use our weekly news sheet, verbal notices at services and the church magazine.

We are very much looking forward to an opportunity to work in a new way with our local school which will be opening a new Nursery from September 2019. Church members currently take assemblies each Wednesday in term time at the school. The school holds their end of term services in the church.

We realise that we need to step out and really seek God’s guidance concerning what programmes and activities we put in place, bearing in mind what people resources we have.

Our recently re-furbished Kitchen at the church will play a significant role in whatever way we decide the church buildings are used in the future months and years.

Exciting and challenging times! Please join us on this journey.

Sunday 4th August 2019

It’s August and we have church services on every Sunday. Why not come along this coming Sunday to the 10.30am Holy Communion or the 4.00pm Evensong.

Two very different services, the morning service is an up-to-date Common Worship Holy Communion celebration which will be led by our Vicar, Canon Stewart Jones who will be preaching. And, you know what, you will be able to enjoy a great coffee following the service from our recently refurbished kitchen.

The children’s MOSAIC group will not be meeting during August but there are child friendly facilities at the rear of the church for your use. MOSAIC will return in September.

The 4.00pm service is a contrast, from the Book of Common Prayer (1662) Evensong. Our small keen choir will be leading the service, helped by one of our Readers, Margaret Collis. Stewart Jones (Vicar) will be speaking. Fancy a quiet gentle time late afternoon - this is the place to be.