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February update

 Building Bridges

At Christmas there was a community event run by a pub where the organisers invited the local church who I am involved with to be part of.  They wanted a nativity play so they asked the Minister for some general directions and then wrote the script themselves.  They cast it themselves but asked the church if anyone wanted to take a role.  They wanted to raise money for charity and agreed that that would be for a mission trip abroad the church was doing.   They asked the Church to sing carols but everyone else would join in.  At the end of the evening they asked could the Minister say a few words to explain what Christmas was all about if possible?

The event was packed and everyone afterwards was very positive about it: the people from the pub, the people from the church and the people from the community.  The organisers said that was exactly what they wanted – to bridge the gap between the community and the church.

Interesting.  Isn’t that what we often talk about trying to do?

Have done in January…

Preaching for 2 weeks at Great Leighs Free Church about why and how we read the Bible.

Cheese and Wine dry run (no alcohol pun intended) evening at St Michael’s for people wanting to know more about Christianity.

Evangelism review meeting with St Luke’s with some great plans for an enquirers course and some training for the church in the near future plus keeping evangelism as a priority for the church.

Meeting to plan training to help young people to share their faith in schools with schools work team.

Will be doing in February…

10th February Telling our story part 2 training evening at CGC Basildon.
17th February Planning enquirers course with St Luke’s
21st February Visiting Fox and Hounds pub (where Church @ pub used to happen)
Lots of preparation for March for an Evangelism training day with a group of Essex churches; Telling our story training at St Luke’s; children’s talk at outreach event with St Luke’s.

Recommended resources

The joy of the Gospel course (Paula Gooder)
In 2013 Pope Francis wrote an exhortation to challenge and inspire the people of the Roman Catholic Church to evangelism.  He emphasises the joy it should be to tell someone else about Jesus, how Jesus “is the first and greatest evangeliser” and how he would “prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.” Whatever our persuasion we can all say Amen to that.  Paula Gooder has turned the key points into a six week course for groups to look at to encourage the sharing of faith not just for Anglo – Catholics but for anyone.

The Biscuit trail (Agape)
It is called this as you wouldn’t force a packet of biscuits all in one go into someone’s mouth (except perhaps as a youth group icebreaker….).  It is a series of cards that give ideas, examples and questions to encourage people to share their faith in different ways in the work place.  It encourages discussion, prayer and trying to apply the principles at work.

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