Could you reduce your consumption of carbon-based fuels by up to 40% this Lent? It’s a big challenge, but one we are being asked to consider by the six south-west dioceses (including our own Diocese of Exeter) in cooperation with Tearfund. We are being encouraged to improve our care for God’s creation by signing up for daily email suggestions for simple actions which will prompt us to examine our lifestyles, take money-saving initiatives, adventurous actions and to pray for our stewardship of the earth.
You can register for the emails at http://www.thecarbonfast.org/ , or find out more from the Diocesan website here http://www.exeter.anglican.org/index.cfm?page=church.content&cmid=456
OPEN THE BOOK offers a programme of themed and dramatised Bible stories for school assemblies. Each session is around 10 minutes long and fits comfortably into assembly times.
A team of volunteer storytellers use drama, mime, props, costume – even the children and staff themselves – to present Bible stories in ways that are lively, engaging, informative … and great fun for everyone involved!
The team from the Beer churches have just celebrated their first anniversary of Open the Book at Beer CofE Primary School. Through the encouragement and expertise of the Beer team, Seaton now has an Open the Book team of its own. The Seaton team take the Bible stories into Seaton Primary School every other week for the Key Stage 2 assembly.
Both teams say it is great fun and a very rewarding activity which really helps the children (and adults!) to engage with the stories of the Bible. If you would like to know more about this scheme please contact the parish office at St Gregory’s.
And so that was Christmas…
Well, not quite: we’re still waiting for the three wise men to arrive at Bethlehem and give the baby their extraordinary gifts (they’re late every year!). The church celebrates this event twelve days after Christmas every year and calls it Epiphany. In many countries, people exchange gifts at Epiphany, not on Christmas Day, in recognition of the gifts of the Wise Men.
We were reminded of the story of the wise men at St Gregory’s last Sunday (a week early) when the team of people who have committed to taking the Christian story into our local schools using Open the Book came to show us what they would be doing to open the Epiphany story to our school children next week. Members of both St Michael’s and St Gregory’s congregations depicted the characters in the story (many were unrecognisable owing to some rather splendid beards), simple projected animations were used and we finished with some lively music to cement the message.
It was wonderful to see and hear part of the gospel story conveyed in a different way. God uses all sorts of people in all sorts of ways to try to help us to hear his Good News. We hope you will all support those that are using Open the Book to take the message into our schools with your prayers.
We are delighted to announce that Lloyds Bank Community Fund has awarded FREEdom Cafe
£3,000 thanks to your votes. We will be using the money to improve the facilities for families with young children (a baby-changing station in the toilets and new high chairs) plus a new water boiler in the kitchen and other improvements which should make our kitchen service more efficient.
Many thanks to all who voted for us, online, by SMS text message and in person in the bank. We hope to see you soon at FREEdom Cafe.
Starting in January 2014 on alternate Tuesdays, 8.30-9.15pm, a group will take the bible stories into our local Primary School Assemblies. We shall do this with a nationally recognised scheme called Open The Book (who are partners with the Bible Society).
Could you read, act/mime, make costumes/props and or support in prayer?
IS GOD CALLING YOU TO HELP ON A REGULAR OR OCCASIONAL BASIS?
We are holding an explanation and information session on
Monday 11 November at 2.30-3.45pm at St Gregory’s Church Hall.
ALL WELCOME TO ATTEND.
Please speak to Dave Stuckey 01297 23016 firstname.lastname@example.org
On 5th May we gather together in Beer to restart an old Rogation Sunday tradition; the blessing of the harvest and the fishing fleet. The service starts at 10.00am in St Michael’s Church, before setting off for the allotments and finally the beach. All those who make it ot the end will be rewarded with a voucher for a free tea or coffee from the beach cafe’s.
Rogation Sunday is the other end of the year from Harvest Sunday. We ask God’s blessing on the work of farmer and fisherman over the seasons to come. We’ll also ask God’s blessing on our tourist trade as that’s something our local economy relies on more and more. If you want to see how this was done in 1957 then follow the link.
Going to the bank, cap in hand, has never been a pleasant experience for anyone; you try and make ends meet but despite your best efforts the numbers just don’t add up. Maybe you made some mistakes, overspent, and now you feel caught in an inescapable spiral of debt. If that’s you, you’re not on your own. Not only are the plenty of people out there who have been there too, there is also a group dedicated to helping people get back in control of their finances.
Christians Against Poverty was set up to offer free non-judgmental debt advice and support. Through budgeting, counseling and advocacy, CAP has helped many individuals and families get out of debt. Going CAP in hand to the bank doesn’t have to be so intimidating after all.
St Gregory’s Church donate to CAP each year to help fund their valuable work. This Sunday, the 20th, we’re welcoming debt coach Sue Wilson to speak at out 10.30am service. Come along and hear how we can all make a difference.
Tuesday was a sad day for the Church of England: Sad, because nobody won, and the Church consigned itself to several more years of bickering. Sad, because the Church’s democratic structures were properly followed and yet despite overwhelming support the Measure failed. Sad, because many women, ordained and not, hoping to become bishops and not, were given the message that they are second class in God’s Church. Sad, because those who opposed the vote have placed themselves in a position where their stance will come under intense public scrutiny leading to an outcome that will leave them far more marginalized than they feared from this Measure.
If you want an intelligent, pastoral and non-knee-jerk reaction to these events than I recommend Bishop Stephen Croft’s address to Sheffield Diocesan Synod this last Saturday. For something more light-hearted but none-the-less thought provoking you might try this from the excellent Sojourners website.
You might also like to sign this petition calling for consecration in the Church of England to be open to women as it is to men.
Nothing too serious, but you might enjoy this link for a bit of light relief.
Working with children in Primary Schools? So are we, and we’re trying to get better at it; teaching them the Gospel stories with a fun, honest and open approach. We’ve found a fantastic resource called “Open the Book” to help us. And, to help us even more Katherine Lyddon, the Diocesan Children’s Work Advisor has agreed to come along and kick start things with a little training. It’s open to all. To find out more look at our “Courses” page.