Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Summer Anniversary

Throughout the country, community groups, local residents and Churches are all being encouraged to have a special celebration this summer on or around 11th June. Why? Because it will be the 90th birthday of our Queen! Ninety years is something worth celebrating, and it’s a chance to recognise and give thanks for the faithful service of Queen Elizabeth and to enjoy coming together to do so.
As such, we are planning a street party on the Church grounds and Blackbrook Drive on 11th June. With scenes reminiscent of the coronation, we hope there will be fun, laughter, bunting, good music, great food, and friendly company on that day. I do hope that you will be able to come – more details will follow nearer the time, but book the date in your diary now!
At St. Luke’s we have even more cause to celebrate, as that date will also be the 50th anniversary of the founding of our Church building. Of course, the history of St Luke’s goes back longer than that to the famous ‘old hut’, but 50 years of service to the people of Lodge Moor through our current premises is another thing to celebrate. We’ll be having a display of photographs and memories from the last 50 years, and a special anniversary edition of the Church magazine. Full details of the anniversary program will be in the special magazine.
Queen Elizabeth is not just our monarch – she is also the head of the Church of England. When I was ordained I had to swear an oath of allegiance to her, which I was very happy to do. The Queen has a strong Christian faith, and in recent years she has spoken about it more and more openly in her Christmas speeches to the nation. In fact, a book has been written about the faith of our Queen and we hope to have copies available to give away to folk who come to the street party on the day.
I do hope that you will be able to come to the party, and if you would be able to help out in any way, perhaps with setting up tables and chairs or helping clear away at the end, then do let our Church office know. Please pray for good weather, and that it will be a great fun time that all who come will enjoy.

If I don’t see you in person, may God bless you and fill you with the joy of the resurrection this Easter time. 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Gateway for St Luke's

‘These are the kind of problems we like to have’ is almost becoming my ‘stock phrase’ these days! Whether it’s running out of chairs at Remembrance Sunday, or needing more volunteers for the coffee rota because so many people are coming to services, or having to hold outreach events in Church because the Hall just isn’t big enough, these are all signs of a healthy, growing Church. The prophesy which Capt Tim Smith, our Church Army Mission partner, had for us a year ago, that ‘You who have been faithful with a few things will be trusted with many things’ seems to be coming true. We give glory to God for all that he is doing both in and through us, his Church. We’re now at the point where we need to think and pray about whether God wants this growth to continue, and if so, how we can work with God in his mission to accommodate it.

At the Autumn Church meeting I outlined how our Architect believes it is feasible to extend our premises. Now we are asking people to pray and listen to God about our future mission and how that can best be carried forward. We need to meet the current needs of our groups, many of which are bursting at the seams, and also think how we can facilitate further growth, both in mid-week groups and Sunday worship. Please do pray about this – there are pointers for prayer in this magazine – and let your Trustees know what you think God is showing us.

At a recent meeting of all the different groups that make use of our premises, one group leader who doesn’t come to Church but who lives nearby said something which made me think. She said a number of people had remarked to her that, in recent times, the things which our Church is doing have made Lodge Moor start to feel like a village. What did she mean? In a village, there is often a sense of shared identity – a sense of community – where people socialise with and relate to others from their own local area, which can be lacking in the suburbs of a city where people travel to the city centre for recreation and friendship. If people are finding the events that we put on, and the invitations we offer are creating that sense of community here in Lodge Moor then that is a really good thing and we hope they model the open-ness and invitation of Jesus to all.