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AN UPDATE FROM GEORGE, Friday 18th June:

Dear Church Family

First some family news: at the end of July our amazing administrator Jean Thorp is going to be retiring after many years supporting and serving the church family through her work.  We want to thank her and bless her as she goes on to enjoy retirement – but of course we will really miss her in the church office!  If you would like to make a contribution towards a thank you gift please hand it in to the office in a labelled envelope for the attention of Janet, and any messages of thanks can be emailed to Janet via crookadmin@stkmail.org.uk . We will be saying thank you to Jean on July 27th in our Sunday Service.
  
June Consultation 
Thank you very much for the responses we have collected so far to our recent questionnaire.  If you haven’t received a copy of it you can get one from the church office or it can be downloaded as a pdf from the church website. In the coming months we are looking forward to greater freedom to gather and worship together when guidance changes on social distancing, singing etc.  As you will see, this questionnaire asks about services, livestreams and attending church and it will be really helpful to have your feedback to get a picture of where we are and a sense of anything God is saying to us.  Your input is important – so please could you return your completed questionnaire by Monday June 21st?  Thanks again for all your help!
 
Gifts and Teams 
Are you ready to try something new?  We would love to gather and train people to join the sound, broadcast and warden teams – why not find out more?  You would be welcome to talk to a member of the team and come and find out for yourself what is involved.  Are you a musician and a worshipper?  We are really looking forward to expanding the teams again with existing and new members – let us know if you are a keyboard player, a singer, drummer, organist etc… time to have a go?  Pray about it and let us know via the office!
 
Duty Manager 
We are looking for a self-employed duty manager to manage functions and events held on the premises primarily during “out of office” times of the church building. There is an hourly rate of pay with this post. The appointed person will take responsibility for the management of the building, opening and closing at the required hours, making sure the building is left clean and tidy ready for the next event and liaise with the clients who are hiring the building.  Basic training of the church sound and projection system will also be given - for full details please contact the church office.
 
New Wine Weekend – save the date!                                
This year’s summer New Wine event will be broadcast online which gives us the opportunity to tune in from the comfort of our homes but even better, we are planning to get people together to share the worship, main sessions, food and fun…..  Save the dates: Thursday July 29th – Tuesday 3rd August, and find out more about the programme and speakers here.
 
Booking your space at Church for Services NEXT WEEK
To book your space for Wednesday 23rd or Sunday 27th please contact the office between Monday and Thursday next week.  (This means we can create a safe seating plan on Friday morning.)   Current guidance still stipulates that we gather only in households or bubbles without mixing, and wear face coverings.  
 
Walking with God 
Last week we had a guest speaker so we are picking up Jacob’s story this Sunday – here are the questions again: in Genesis 32.22–33.12 we find Jacob on a journey back to face his past and his brother: 
 
1. What’s the backstory here – why is Jacob on the move, where has he been and where is he going?  Genesis 25.19–34 and Genesis 27.1–32.21 fill us in with all the details. 
2. In verse 22-32 we see Jacob wrestling with God – what strikes you about this scene?  What do you think Jacob needed that night?  What do you think of the way God steps in when Jacob is wrestling with his thoughts and fears?  Is there anything that you need to wrestle through with God – or have you had to in the past?  
3. What changes for Jacob as a result of this encounter with God?  What is the significance of Jacob’s new name?  John Wimber used to say “Never trust a leader without a limp” – what is the significance of Jacob’s limp? 
4. In 33.1-12 we witness Jacob and Esau meeting and reconciling.  What is the impact of this reconciliation upon you – is there some hope or action that this inspires in you?   

We will be leaving out the story of Joseph from our series so we keep track with the term card, but for those of you who want to look at Joseph do read as much as you would like of Genesis 37-50 and perhaps consider these questions: in Romans 8.28 Paul writes that “God works all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose” – what experience do you have of the challenge of remaining faithful to hope and God’s purpose when life is far from straight forward?  What experience do you have of the goodness of God when the actions of others and our circumstances have been painful or difficult?  What encouragement do you take from Joseph’s story?  
 
Our service on Sunday will be live streamed at 10am followed by Zoom Coffee at 11.15 – do come along and join in!  

With love and every blessing,

George