Stay Connected! 

AN UPDATE FROM GEORGE, Friday 16th April:

Dear Church Family

It’s another bright spring day, and I’m reminded of a great CS Lewis quote found in an essay on theology in The Weight of Glory: 

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.”  

It seems to me that this is a great thought for our present circumstances, not only because we’re seeing quite a bit of sunshine(!), but because in the days after Easter we acknowledge that the world and its future has been changed forever by the resurrection of Jesus – and I like the invitation to experience and see that for ourselves, and to make it the lens through which we view the world around us.  We have been shown that this is a world in which things can be raised to new life through Christ – people, relationships, circumstances, nations – and we are called to hope, to believe and to pursue those beautiful works of restoration and new creation that glorify and honour the one who died and rose for us!  Where will you direct that hope?  

APCM 2021
This year our annual meeting (APCM) will be on Zoom on Wednesday April 28th at 7.30pm 

• Papers will be emailed in the coming week for the APCM, please let us know if you would like to receive a paper copy.  
• Full accounts for 2020 will be available as a pdf on the church website, or can be provided for viewing.  
• Is God nudging you to serve on our PCC (4 spaces) Deanery Synod (2 spaces) or as a Church Warden Nominations are now open and forms are available from the church office

PCC Update
Notes on the PCC meeting held last Monday 12th April 2021.

1. The Annual Accounts have been Independently Examined and a copy pinned on the PCC Notice Board for inspection. A copy can also be downloaded from the Church website for viewing.
2. We received three applications for the post of Youth Work Co-ordinator, but none were shortlisted to interview for the position. The post will be readvertised in May.
3. Work can proceed on repairing the leaking roof on the Church Lounge.  
4. The lockdown arrangements were reviewed. We are continuing with two services a week, and await guidance from the Diocese regarding other group activities in church.
5. There are a number of events coming up, including Christian Aid Week Pub Quiz via zoom on Saturday 8th May, and Thy Kingdom Come Prayer (see below)
6. Vic’s Priesting will take place on Sunday 27th June at 2.30pm at St Thomas’s. 
 
The Bereavement Journey – Churches Together in Cumbria
Holy Trinity church in Brompton developed a course called The Bereavement Journey which has been delivered to small groups very successfully over the past 25 years. Recently, this course has been delivered online, and feedback has been very positive. Further details can be found on their website here. 

Churches Together in Cumbria now offers this course in Cumbria using Zoom. We have now run four courses, all of which have been received very well by guests.   Our next course will run Tuesday afternoons 2-4pm starting Tuesday 27th April. It will run for five consecutive weeks with an optional sixth week after half term.
Each session comprises two short talks followed by discussion. Each guest receives a manual to follow.  We welcome guests of any age who have been bereaved at any time, and people who may be interested in delivering this course in their own locality. If you are interested in booking a place, or would like more information, please email shelagh.goldie@gmail.com.

Pastoral Prayer appointments
Our prayer team love to pray with people and we are committed to listening to God and to you. We miss praying with our church family, it is so exciting to experience answers to prayer! Whilst the restrictions on gathering remain, we are still offering Zoom Prayer appointments. Do contact the church office for details.

Thy Kingdom Come
At this time of year we are encouraged to join the wave of world prayer leading up to Pentecost. This annual event begins on Ascension Day, 13th May and goes through to 23rd May, Pentecost Sunday. We are able to make use of Prayer Journals and other resources  are available to lead you through the eleven days. These are accessible for seekers but also thought provoking for mature Believers. The Prayer Journals can be downloaded here  or if you would prefer, you may have one delivered to your door. Please contact the office

Booking your space at Church for Services NEXT WEEK
We are delighted that St Thomas’s is open again for in person services.  To book your space for Wednesday 21st or Sunday 25thplease contact the office between Monday and Thursday next week.  (This means we can create a safe seating plan on Friday morning.)   Current guidance stipulates that we gather only in households or bubbles without mixing, and wear masks.  

This Sunday 
Over the past couple of years the Diocese of Carlisle have been going through a process of refreshing the vision of the diocese. Over the next few weeks, we are going to be looking at Vision Refresh within our sermon series and life groups. We will be unpacking what it means, ‘to release the whole people of God for the whole mission of God for the transformation of Cumbria in Jesus name.’ There are four themes we will be looking at - Follow Daily, Speak Boldly, Care Deeply and Tread Gently. 
 
This week we are looking at Follow Daily. Re-read the passage for last Sunday, Colossian 1:9-14 Follow Daily is all about, ‘helping one other to follow Jesus more closely, seeking to grow as his disciples in all aspects of life, both corporately and as individuals.’
 
• What does Paul’s prayer make you think about in relation to the vision refresh theme ‘follow daily’? 
• ‘Follow daily’ is about encouraging everyone to grow in confidence in their daily walk with Jesus. What does it mean to follow Jesus daily in your context? What are the challenges? What are the joys?
• As you follow daily how can you know what to pray about?
• As you follow daily how can you be strengthened by Gods word?
• As you follow daily how can you be thankful? 
• How might you help and encourage one other in these areas or other areas you have discussed? 
• What support or resources might you need in your call to follow Jesus day by day? 
• Pray Pauls prayer in Colossian 1:9-14 for Christians around the world that you may not have met but have heard amazing testimony about their faith. 
 
Our service on Sunday will be live streamed at 10.00 followed by Zoom Coffee – do come along and join in!  

With love and every blessing,

George