Worship and Tech Core team report 2018/19

Continuing with our updates on the life of St Mary’s Church, we move onto an update on worship from Grace Wilcox.

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We all know that worship is not just about singing songs and being ‘lost in wonder love and praise!’ It is a daily act of using our God-given gifts to serve our Lord and those we meet day by day. These two ladies have given freely of their gifts over many, many years and have epitomised this verse in their sacrificial service. Thank you ladies for your years of service. Well done good and faithful servants!

As the worship and tech team this is what we aspire to as we try to enable the Church family here to connect with God in worship, and through events during the year, to connect with people who do not attend Church on a regular basis.

So how do we enable the Church Family at St. Mary’s to connect with God in worship? We have a variety of services during the month and each service requires different styles of music. It is often quite hard to juggle the requirements for each service with the number of musicians available to play.

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When Barbara and Eve were no longer able to play on a regular basis I was concerned that we would not have enough pianists to cover all the services.

Oh ye of little faith! Why did you doubt? Along came Martin and Jane. Martin has blessed us with his beautiful playing and he and Jane feel very much at home in the Pilgrim Parishes and with us on the First Sunday.

 But the Lord hadn’t finished providing new musicians. On the Second Sunday now we have new blood with Gareth on saxophone and Jane and Michael on vocals. It has been great fun working together to build a shared bank of songs and developing new approaches to playing some old familiar songs. I’m looking forward to seeing where God is leading this group.

Our talented Third Sunday band are also great to work with. We have introduced a song for the children at the start of the Informal service so that Kids Connect feel a bit more included. Thank you band for your support and dedication!

It has been a privilege to watch Dan develop his quiet and reflective way of leading worship on the Fourth Sunday. He has worked with Kate on song arrangements and has blessed us with his talented singing and guitar playing. Thank you both for your input to the Fourth Sunday worship.

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However none of this ‘connecting’ could take place successfully without the Tech team. They are often the ‘backroom boys’ who are taken for granted. When the music is too loud, when the mics are not working, when there is no one to provide vision facilities then they are frequently at the sharp end of someone’s tongue. Please, before the critical word is on your lips think of the time and dedication this team has shown over the years, and perhaps use a more gentle suggestion ‘Do you think it might be helpful if the music was a bit quieter?’

Remember too that the tech team have ‘real’ jobs and need to know what tech requirements are needed well in advance. Thank you boys for your many hours behind the scenes!

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Our second aim is to connect with the wider community.

Carols by Candlelight and Christmas Rocks have become regular outreach services over the past years, and residents from Moat House now see it as a highlight of their lead up to Christmas. We had quite a few new families attended the Crib service and Christingle and I was able to work with the school teaching new carols and writing their Christmas Carol service for the second year running.

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As Worship Leader these are my prayers for the Worship and Tech Core Team for this year.

That we will be wise and sensitive to God’s leading, and to the needs of the congregation as we lead in worship Sunday by Sunday.

That each Worship Team will be able to cooperate with each other to develop their creativity.

That we will find new ways to encourage all of us as the body of Christ in St. Mary’s Stebbing to become a worshiping community, as we speak to one another in psalms and spiritual songs and make melody in our hearts to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:19 

Grace Wilcox (Worship Leader)

 Feb 14th 2019

Home Group Report 2018

Each year, ahead of our annual meeting, we have a series of reports about the various activities of the church. We start here with Home Groups.

At present there are five groups who meet as follows:

   Tuesday Morning - Various venues

   Tuesday Evening - Parkside

   Wednesday Evening - Rayne

   Thursday Evening - Marshalls Piece

   Thursday Evening - Ruffels Place

Home Group Leaders met three times during the year to share in prayer, encouragement and ideas for group study.

Each group has a different identity and a different “feel” to them. They all share in Bible Study, look at current questions from a Christian perspective and some have occasional outside speakers. Some groups link their programme to the Sunday Morning worship theme.

It’s a relaxed atmosphere with the opportunity for sharing concerns and times of prayer.  The other essential ingredient is the coffee (or tea if you prefer!). Most groups have the odd party, barbecue or social evening.

Groups are always looking to welcome new people - even those who are just looking for a “taster” of how Home Groups operate before they commit.

We try to work around other church activities and meetings are changed to accommodate such things at Lent Courses and Alpha Courses.

The Home Group display board at the back of the church disappeared in December to make way for an Alpha promotion. Now that Alpha is underway the Home Group promotion will return shortly!

If you are interested in becoming part of a home group, contact us.

Electoral Roll

We are entering into the exciting season of the life of St Mary’s Church, where we have to renew our electoral roll. The electoral roll is the official membership list for the church; helping the Church of England understand the size and makeup of the country’s parishes.

No one needs to be on the electoral roll to come to anything at St Mary’s, but being on the roll lets you serve on the PCC (Church Council) and vote at our Annual Parochial Church Meeting. (The church’s AGM) If you attend the church regularly and would like to be included on the roll, pick up a form from the back of the church. If you are not local to the church, but would like to be included on the roll, do contact us.

At St Mary’s we are committed to handling any personal data we are given in a professional, legal way. If you would like to read the full details of how St Mary’s Church handles electoral roll data, you can click here to see our full policy. If you have any questions or concerns about our data protection, do contact us.

Chirstmas in Stebbing Church

Lots of people came to services and events over Advent and Christmas. From Carols to cribs to Christingle, there was something for every taste. Below are a few photos.

Remembrance Sunday

Stebbing marked 100 years since the end of World War 1 on Remembrance Sunday, November 11th 2018. There was and act of remembrance at the war memorial, followed by a service in the church. The act of remembrance at the war memorial was attended by more than 600 people, including a local running club, who went on to race through the village.

An amazing display about the Soldiers from Stebbing killed in the First World War was put on inside the church.

Click through the photos to see some snapshots of the day.

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Open Gardens Weekend

Lots is happening in Stebbing on the 9th & 10th June.

The Open Gardens and Scarecrow Weekend is packed with fun things for you to do - here are a few:

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Spend Saturday evening enjoying some live music and a drink with us:

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On Sunday Morning, join us for our open air church service.   The service will be fun and informal.  There is lots of fun to be had across the weekend, it's well worth visiting Stebbing for.

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Paul Green - Prophetic insights to the Parable of the Talents - Sunday 19th November 2017

Talk by Paul Green

Sermon References

Prophetic insights to the Parable of the Talents

Crossan, John Dominic. The Power of Parable, How Fiction By Jesus Became Fiction About Jesus. Kindle Edition; New York: HarperOne, 2012.

Hultgren, Arland J. The Parables of Jesus, A Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.

Johnson, Bill. When Heaven Invades Earth. Shippensburg, Destiny, 2003.

Johnson, Bill. Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind. Shippensburg, Destiny, 2005

Tomlin, Graham. The Provocative Church. London: SPCK, 2014.

Wright, N. T. Jesus and the Victory of God. London: SPCK, 1996.
 

Remembrance Sunday

On Sunday 12th November 2017, more than 500 people gathered around Stebbing's war memorial for an act of remembrance before the Sunday service.