SST Connect | REACHING OUT - KEEPING IN TOUCHHarvest 2020 Newsletter
Harvest 2020… a time of Celebration & Generosity in a Covid-19 world
Covid-19 has changed so much… It feels like everything has changed for us… everything is different… nothing is the same…. in society or even in our church life… BUT ONE thing remains… OUR GOD NEVER CHANGES…. His faithfulness is new every morning… Seed time and harvest happened this year despite Covid-19 and it will happen again next year. GOD is still the same generous.. faithful.. loving GOD. He has always been to us…
That’s why we love Him and it’s our greatest JOY and privilege to worship Him..
Watch our Sunday services
Our Harvest Service is on Sunday 18th October. This year we are NOT going to be able to decorate the building in the way we normally do and love to do. So, we thought we might do things a little different. We are VERY aware that our younger children have not been in the building or in Sunday School since March and we want to reconnect with them. So we are going to use Harvest Sunday 18th October as a special service aimed at children and younger families. The morning service at 11am will be a shorter, child centred Worship Celebration entitled ‘Let’s Celebrate’. In it we will celebrate our Father God’s amazing goodness and generosity in Harvest and in so many other different ways in our lives.
This year we are also going to change the focus of our Harvest Giving. Last year we gave to our New Building Fund. Amazingly it NOW stands at £196,643.65 Absolutely wonderful!! However, this year we are so aware that many Christian organisations who we usually support are really struggling financially because they haven’t been able to work properly or raise funds for their work as they normally would have done. We are so blessed in Shore Street to have Christians working in different organisations sharing the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel in WORDS and in ACTIONS.. both at home and across the world. We have Layth Thomas in Shelter NOW UK; Steve and Sandie Davies in Operation Mobilisation; Dean Moore, Alan and Ashley Cowan in Youth for Christ; Tim Martin in CARE; Nicola and Ezechiel Hatungimana with YADA in Burundi. We also support Alan and Helena Keenan in Beirut and pray for David and Heather Sharland in Uganda. Plus, we have Colin and Marjorie Dickson in the Middle East and Stephen and Angelina Cowan in Kenya with our Presbyterian Church who are supported through the United Appeal – What a blessing it is!
All these Christian organisations have found themselves struggling financially with reduced incomes. That has a practical effect both on salaries for our own folks who are serving and also for people on the ground who they are coming alongside sharing the Gospel and giving practical help. For example, Layth has shared with our church family stories of women and children in a Middle Eastern country who have been widowed by ISIS and had to flee in fear for their lives, losing everything. Some of these widows and their children NOW live in tents in a Camp of 1500. Their tents are all they have. With the help of Shelter Now, which Layth serves, the babies can get some milk, the children water or the family something to eat. There are 2 centres in the camp run by young girls and women who themselves were brutally tortured and abused when captured by the terrorists. These girls’ lives have been transformed by the Gospel of God’s grace and they have NOW been trained to be teachers of 100 children. Their pain is still very real, but JESUS is slowly healing their broken lives. The small financial support they receive from this Christian organisation is so precious and so important in restoring their dignity and worth.
So this year we have decided as elders that we will NOT ask for ourselves BUT we would use our Harvest Envelopes and Your GIFTS to CELEBRATE GOD’S incredible goodness to us and encourage you, our church family, with Thanksgiving and Generosity to give to these different people and their organisations which have been struggling due to Covid-19.
We are very conscious of making a difference not only to those who serve in these organisations from within our own church family … BUT ALSO and, so importantly, the people they serve at home and in various countries around the world who desperately need our help and support. Without this help some of them will suffer terribly.
During this time there are several ways to give including standing order (standing order forms available on the website or by contacting us through the website), bank transfer, cheque posted to the church or by text, again details on our website.
If you have any queries or are setting up a new standing order, please contact the Treasurer Stephen Jamison on 07709 824798.
God is incredibly good to us in SST and we thank everyone who gives so lovingly and generously.
Message from Alvin
As most of you now know I am retiring on 28th February 2020, having been in SST for over 27 yrs. It’s so difficult to believe that I’ve been here that long and that we’ve come to this point. Obviously, there is a very real sadness because we as a family have loved our time here and I genuinely love you as my church family. I feel it has been such a privilege to have been entrusted with the leadership of the congregation. I also feel genuinely EXCITED for the NEXT STAGE of God’s plan for SST as someone comes in with fresh VISION and expectancy. GOD DOES NOT CHANGE and He will lead you step by step. So please be praying for the NEXT minister, that God will lead you to the person of HIS choosing. There are exciting days ahead!! To GOD alone be the glory .
On Sundays it’s an absolute JOY to welcome people physically back into our church building though in a VERY reduced way. Please do try and register for a seat between Monday and Wednesday. It is quite a complicated procedure for our teams to configure and reconfigure the seating arrangements. Please be patient with them as they try to accommodate each person who would like to come.
A HUGE thanks to our team who continue to Live Stream our morning service on YouTube.
Shore Street Youth
The past two months have been fantastic to be back with a more “normal” routine to our youth ministry. We have been doing ministry in the form of Social Gatherings, Youth Services and we will be starting Small Groups. We have had an average of 30 young people every week which has been a massive blessing and encouragement and a privilege to get to know them. It has been a challenging time too as we plan and prepare evenings for young people in a safe and socially distanced way whilst keeping in line with government guidelines. Our new and bigger team of leaders have played a huge part of what we do and we couldn’t be more thankful for them. We have been looking at the theme of trials, how God uses them and how we can get through them. We would like to thank all the parents for their understanding during these times as changes can be made last minute to allow us to do youth ministry safely. We value the prayers people have been saying on our behalf and we would ask that these prayers are continued.
God bless, Aisling, Phil and the youth teams
Food Bank still open and available, contact SST Foodbank on Facebook or phone Nigel 07966 222747 or Christine 07734 852007
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