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Showing posts from April, 2020

It's the summer term - but not as we know it!

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  UCCF staffworker, Esther Court describes the new norms of student life. Exams cancelled or online.  Term 3 cancelled. Balls and end of year socials cancelled. Farewells cancelled. Graduation online. For students this season has been one of disappointment after disappointment. Warwick students left for the Easter holidays with the expectation of returning to campus to study and carry on their social lives as normal, however that isn’t what happened. Many are now at their family homes. Those who live overseas are still in university accommodation, but are isolated. Many are feeling lonely and overwhelmed. Yet, despite all of these disappointments, I have been wonderfully encouraged by these students. Before I went on furlough, I got to spend time checking in with them, praying and planning about the opportunities there are to spread the gospel during this time. Students were excited that this could be a wonderful chance to use media to make God known. Many of their

Singing and suffering

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Musician and church leader, Colin Webster reflect on singing in these unusual times. 'We are living in unprecedented times in this world and church congregations are scattered and unable to meet as a gathered fellowship of believers. Although today’s technology enables us to keep in touch and encourage one another, one of the things that we all still surely miss from our gathered times is singing together. After all, it's a hard thing to replicate in your living room! We suddenly realise just how much we are blessed and encouraged by hearing one another proclaim truths to each other as we worship God. God’s people have always been a singing people, even in the face of adversity. Many of the psalms contain songs of lament and encouragement through the trials of life. If God’s people back then could sing, whilst enemies surrounded them and hardships befell, then we too must find our voice during this season which we find ourselves in.'  Will your anchor hold in th

Lockdown from Pokhara - update 2

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F or many years, Myton Church has had strong links with Nayagaun Church, Pokhara in Nepal.  Chris Redstall is currently a member of the congregation.  A few days ago, Paul McKie received an email update from the Pastor, Grishma Parjuli.  Below are some extracts and photos from that update. (Laxmi is Grishma’s wife.) 'Laxmi and I are doing well...As a church we are practicing online church services on Facebook...and some other meetings on ZOOM. So far in Nepal only 42 people are positive with COVID 19. And so far no one has died. But the risk of it spreading is still there, as India is badly affected and we are a neighbouring country having open borders.  As a part of the global crisis of COVID-19, we have been under full lockdown since 23rd March just like yours... In our community including our church, several poor and disadvantaged families are badly affected (especially people with temporary jobs or those based on daily wages). Some of them have received a small amo

The Bible that refuses to burn

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What's happening in those parts of the world where the already persecuted church now faces the impact of the coronavirus  Release International's Nigeria partner, Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, has written a moving message for Release supporters about the church in lockdown in Nigeria. Coronavirus is just the latest challenge for Christians in Nigeria, who face attacks from Boko Haram and armed Fulani militants. But Archbishop Kwashi’s message is the gospel cannot be destroyed. At a time of lockdown, Christians must find new and imaginative ways to spread that Gospel. Read more . Take time to discover more about the persecution of believers in Nigeria through the eyes of Ben & Gloria Kwashi. Interviewed by Hugh Palmer at Word Alive in 2019 they speak about the violence and threats they have experienced. This interview is available on Clayton TV, the source of a huge range of material ranging from conference talks (e.g. Keswick, Word Alive, UCCf Forum) to eva

A little bit of laughter for the weekend!

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A little bit of laughter for the weekend.       And finally

Fresh energy in prayer

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£2.49 from 10ofthose The coronavirus pandemic has left most of us feeling unsettled, concerned and very aware of our human frailty. With every news cycle we gain a small insight as to what is not only happening in our own country but around the world. The longer things go on,  the incomprehensible scale of the problem and the lack of clarity about future developments can leave us unsure what to pray for. Perhaps those resources that helped at the beginning now feel out of date. The '5 things to pray' series has produced a specific 'coronavirus' edition to help Christians express the words and priorities of Scripture as they turn to their heavenly Father in these days. The book includes helpful hints on praying through the feelings we may be experiencing, what we could ask for those in our household or people we can not visit, ideas in lifting up key workers and the health system to the Lord. Other areas touched on include the sick, the government and the Ch

Nose in a book

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'The gospel comes through a house key' by Rosaria Butterfield    Esther Court shares what she has been reading recently and how it might impact life after lockdown. I have just finished this book and have really enjoyed it. It is also available on 'audible' so you can listen whilst doing the washing up, cleaning your car or cooking an evening meal. The book is authored by a remarkable lady called Rosaria. Rosaria did not grow up in a Christian family, in fact they were atheists. As she went to university she developed a growing hatred towards Christians. She herself was a liberal lesbian feminist, who thought Christians were oppressive – you can read more of testimony in her other book, “The Secret thoughts of an unlikely convert.” At university she wanted to question Christians about their beliefs and about what she believed to be – their ignorance. A local church minister had her around regularly for dinner to discuss, debate, and share food together.

Signposting others to Jesus

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These 'unusual' days are providing ongoing opportunities to pray for and speak with those who don't love or follow Jesus - whether family, friends, neighbours or colleagues.  To enable Christians to make the most of these openings all the videos that form the Christianity Explored course have been made available, free of charge, on YouTube until the end of June. Christianity Explored is a seven-session course that gives people the time and space to think about the big questions of life and explore the person at the heart of the Christian faith. As they delve into Mark's Gospel, people find out who Jesus is, why he came and what it means to follow him. Christianity Explored website - loads of resources, real life stories, tough questions addressed. Christianity Explored videos 'If you could ask God one question' - a free ebook Explore the material to help you talk with others. Watch the videos along with a friend and chat about the co

The Coronavirus and Christian Missions

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Today we turn our focus to the impact these unusual days are having on Christian missions and charities. How are they seeking to pursue their vision whilst the pandemic affects every continent and nation? These two ministries are a sample of the rich kaleidoscope of the world of mission. Their challenges and opportunities may give us insight into what other works are experiencing. Browse the Global Connections website for prayer points from around the world      Interserve News Update (May 2020 Go Magazine) 'The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all mission agencies, including Interserve GBI . Some partners are restricted from returning to their place of service; others can't leave the country where they work. Gatherings here in GBI, as well as key international meetings, have been postponed or cancelled.  Staff at the national office will work remotely wherever possible and of course we are observing guidelines recommended by the government. Please pray for our

Art for all ages!

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'Arty Tots' and 'Creative kids' - a call to get hands on and 'arty' at home. Sally Larke and those at the Art Gallery help us get 'arty' at home. Here's the latest - all to do with grid painting   For previous ideas check out Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum and discover Sally Larke dressed as a chicken , playing with water and being a koala bear pretending to be an elephant!

A couple of songs for the weekend.

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As we step into a weekend here are a couple of songs that may connect with some of our thoughts and emotions. Both sung by Andrew Petersen. 'Is he worthy?' - connects the groans of creation with the glory of our Saviour. 'The Rain keeps falling' - for those who are seeking words of lament in their personal darkness. 'Is he worthy?' 'The rain keeps falling'

Nose in a book.

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For some of us these unusual days are freeing up more time to read.  Perhaps we are making progress on that pile of books that have been sitting on the coffee table for weeks - dare I say months!  For others there's the opportunity to get our nose into a book but we're not sure where to start. Every now and again we're asking different members of the church to tell us about what they've been reading. Ben Harding kicks things off and tells us about his latest read.  I have just finished read Daniel Strange’s book Plugged In , which has been beautifully put together by the Good Book Company, (yes a book is more than its cover but the cover does matter). In a time where many of our evenings are filled with Netflix, Radio 4 and our social media feeds I wanted to read a book that would help me think about how I engage with the media that is bombarding my daily thoughts. 'Twitter' Review The aim of the book, is best summarised in Strange’s own

No longer using a tin can and piece of string!

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Ways of keeping in touch have moved on since our childhoods! Today, no longer using 'tin cans and string', we still need to be creative in finding different ways to keep in touch.  To express our belonging to each other as a church family.  To flesh out the 'one anothers' of Scripture whilst not actually being physically present.  To 'glue' us together rather than drifting apart. In the past week Myton Church has been launched on various social media platforms. If you use social media you can follow or join in any of these ways: Twitter: @ChurchMyton Instagram: myton.church Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Myton-Church-107239487606918 Through using a variety of unique hashtags (e.g. #mytonsundays) the various platforms will provide another way for us to share what the church is looking like for us in lockdown and how we are taking part. For more information contact Esther Court or Ben Harding.

Christ has risen! Myton Church gets creative.

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Who knew it.  Set a creative challenge to send Easter Greetings to others in the church and what gets involved... Cakes. Icing. Stones (of all sizes). Duplo. A4 paper. Flowers. Eggs. A drone. Colouring. Easter eggs. A jigsaw. Firewood. Petals. A garden or two. Some combination of all the above and more! And the church greets one another and declares 'Christ is Risen' Here's a taster... ...check everyone else's out in our Easter Greetings (sorry for the odd glitch in the music - imagine you are listening to vinyl on an old record player and enjoy the nostalgia of the odd 'jump'!)

Lockdown in Pokhara

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By the end of March 2020 over 100 countries worldwide were in partial or complete lockdown, impacting billions of people. The staggering reality of this pandemic is that the restrictions we are living with, both as individuals and as a church, others around the globe are experiencing as well.  One of those countries is Nepal. One of those individuals is Chris Redstall. One of those churches is Nayagaun.    Here's an update from Chris (below) recorded with Winston on a porch in Pokhara!

The Comeback King

The greatest 'Comeback' ever!  Here's an opportunity to replay the video we used in our Easter service today.

Easter Greetings from Kenya

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In the 'BC' (Before Coronavirus) era we had been working toward Geoffrey Muatha commencing his placement at Myton Church around this time. We trust that when we step foot into 'AD' (After Distancing) life this will happen as speedily as possible. In the meantime we not only pray for Geoffrey but he is praying for us and sends us these Easter greetings from Kenya. Hello, I trust that you are all well, and rejoicing in the goodness and sovereignty of God even in midst of many uncertainties and the current Covid-19 pandemic. I am doing great, thankful for God's grace, and continue to rejoice in the Lord and the hope in the Gospel. Just thought to pass my Easter greetings to you all, and my prayers for the church at Myton.  I'm encouraged by the words of this hymn: When I survey When I survey the wondrous cross Oh which the Prince of glory died My richest gain I count but loss And pour contempt on all my pride Forbid it, Lord, that

A letter from the Elders

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A Call to Prayer and Fasting – Saturday 11 th April   “What if God was bringing his entire church, globally, to its knees, in utter dependence and weakness? What then?” Chris Green   During this time where our country and the world is significantly affected by COVID-19 others across our world have been praying and fasting and so we as a church eldership are calling the church to pray and fast on Saturday 11 th April. We will be joining with Saltisford, Emmanuel and Kenilworth Community churches to pray for our county, nation and world. To help with this, we have attached a pdf that the Gospel Coalition (in the United States) produced for their day of prayer and fasting a week ago. It is a helpful resource, so please look at it and use it. Do note however that we are suggesting a slightly different pattern to tailor it to our situation. Our personal circumstances will determine what is appropriate for us. Some of us may be able to fast for the whole day –

Has the Virus stolen Easter?

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How the Virus Stole Easter By Kristi Bothur (With a nod to Dr. Seuss) Twas late in ‘19 when the virus began Bringing chaos and fear to all people, each land. People were sick, hospitals full, Doctors overwhelmed, no one in school. As winter gave way to the promise of spring, The virus raged on, touching peasant and king. People hid in their homes from the enemy unseen. They YouTubed and Zoomed, social-distanced, and cleaned. April approached and churches were closed. “There won’t be an Easter,” the world supposed. “There won’t be church services, and egg hunts are out. No reason for new dresses when we can’t go about.” Holy Week started, as bleak as the rest. The world was focused on masks and on tests. “Easter can’t happen this year,” it proclaimed. “Online and at home, it just won’t be the same.” Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the days came and went.