In this edition of Triangle
The Next Step
It was lovely to see St Michael’s church so full on the afternoon of 19th February as we said our farewell to Henry and Janet Morris and wished them well on their retirement as they move to Wolverhampton. Henry has written to me to convey his and Janet's thanks to everyone for the gifts we presented including a cheque for £1042.50 .
Now begins the search to find a new vicar for Madeley, Sutton Hill and Woodside. In recognition of the already close working ties that this parish has fostered with the parishes of Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale and Little Wenlock for a number of years now, we have been asked by the Bishop of Ludlow, in conjunction with these parishes, to look at establishing that collaboration more formally. This will in no way delay the recruitment of somebody to succeed Henry Morris.
The next step is that churchwardens and members of the parish will work on drawing up a profile of Madeley Parish and the area together with a statement of needs which will specify what the parish is looking for in their new vicar. Please pray for God’s guidance on all those involved as they begin this important task.
Maundy Thursday 5th April 7pm Agape Meal Sutton Hill Church
Good Friday 10.30am St Mary’s Church combined service and Walk of Witness
Good Friday 2-3pm St Michael’s Church Meditation on The Cross
Easter Sunday 10.30am Holy Communion at St Michael’s church and at Sutton Hill church
Easter Sunday 6.30pm St Michael’s Church Songs of Praise
News from Abu Dhabi
Greetings from Abu Dhabi "Blessed be the name of the LORD. He gives and takes away. Blessed be his name" 2011 was the honeymoon year for us in Abu Dhabi. We have been coasting along on the wings of your prayers and it has been wonderful. The first two months of 2012 however, has been decidedly more challenging. The honeymoon is coming to an end. The first shock was when our new fledgling congregation in the desert town of Al Ain were locked out of the chapel where they were meeting on the orders of the local government. I met with local leaders and encountered a wall of resistance. It was discouraging because the church was beginning to grow. The chaplain there had to quickly find a new base and now they meet illegally in a home. Pray that we can find an alternative (and legal!) place to meet which will allow the church to pick up momentum again.
Another challenge was that promised funding for Church renovations and expansion (nearly a million pounds) is now not assured and this will be a test of faith for the church as we explore all options. The reasons for this are related to the turmoil which is going on in the Arab world at this time. Pray that the LORD will provide for the much needed projects here.
A third issue is a major dispute with another Christian Church. This is a problem I inherited from the previous incumbent and I am seeking to resolve it in a peaceful and constructive manner without resorting to legal processes. It is frustrating and stressful to deal with decidedly unhelpful attitudes. Pray that there can be a meeting of willing hearts and minds and that the solution will be a win win for everyone.
On the Human Rights side of our ministry I have been invited by the local police to be involved in a committee which will highlight some of the pressing needs of the expat community. There are so many needs. This ranges from human trafficking, debt imprisonment, domestic labour abuses and the criminalisation of absconding workers. Pray that we can make a difference.
On the family front our eldest daughter Rianne is considering returning to the UK to study for her A levels on her own. The UAE do not offer her preferred subjects. Although she loves the UAE and has really settled into her school and has a social life which is really special to her, she feels she needs to invest her time in studying the subjects which will help her find a career which she will enjoy. Some friends of ours have offered their home to Rianne as a base for studying her A levels. Next month Rianne and I will travel to the UK to look at her prospective colleges. Pray that Rianne will have a sense of peace about her choice. Ben and Kathryn are fine and are doing well at school and at home.
At the start of the Lenten season, both Navina and I feel a stirring of desire to see God do more. We are starting a prayer meeting in our home which will be a base for seeking God's presence and to explore more opportunities to allow the Spirit of God to equip us and inspire us in ministry. There is a sense in which we both feel a need to be renewed and refreshed in our faith. Pray that the LORD will meet with us in new and powerful ways. We rejoice in all the opportunities coming our way and as always we ask for your prayers in facing these challenges.
Yours in Christ,
Andy and Navina Thompson
The Way Forward
Over recent months members of St. Michael's congregation have been considering four questions in the quest to discover the direction in which God is calling us to go forward.
What attracted you to St. Michael's?
What do you think we should be concentrating on at St. Michael's?
How can St. Michael's help you in your relationship with God?
How could the church help you to serve God to the best of your abilities?
There were common themes running through the feedback received from the congregation. They have been linked with the three words from our strap line:
“Knowing, Growing and Showing the love of God”
Things that were appreciated at St. Michael's
St. Michael's is a very welcoming church. This is shown in a willingness to offer hospitality after services, to look after newcomers and a good atmosphere before and after worship.
Variety of Worship Styles (Knowing)
As a result of our welcoming approach we are sensitive to the fact that different people have different preferences in worship and we try to accommodate these both in the main morning service and in the range of services we offer at other times of the week: Said services, Celtic Worship, ‘Refresh’ etc. Music styles are varied and generally the breadth is appreciated.
Work with the Older Generation (Growing/Showing)
We cater well for the senior generation. The events we put on for this age group and the support we give in bereavement and pastoral care are much appreciated.
Things that people would like to develop at St. Michael's
Our outreach to Children, Young People and Families
There was some anxiety about children, young people and families. It was felt that it would be good to see greater numbers, a greater integration of the children into the life of the church, stronger links with their parents and more work among teenagers.
St Michael’s DCC
Pause for Thought
You don`t drown by falling into the water. You drown by staying there.
“ Don`t you care that I`m drowning?” How often have I said that?
This was exactly what the disciples had moaned to Jesus in the storm. I had never understood the answer. Where is your faith? How does that help one to feel better?
Lord, I said, I have faith, I believe in you, I believe you died for me, I believe in your inspired word etc.etc.etc.
But these were words and they didn’t penetrate my torment. I wanted more from his answer. I wanted to know if he really cared that I was drowning and whether the things that cause me to drown were his concern.
I asked myself what is Faith? Faith in what? Abraham was a man of faith-he BELIEVED what God told him. ‘Understand this that those who believe are Abraham’s children and they too are blessed.’ Galatians 3
In desperation, that night (my best time to pray and think!) I reaffirmed my FAITH...
I believe that I have a heavenly Father.
I believe he loves me as his child. Everything that he allows to touch me has passed by him first.
I believe in all those wonderful promises in the Bible. They are there for me too. (I too am blessed) .
I believe because he is my Father and because he has lavished his love on me and because he has said so I can give him everything, every problem, every burden, every heartache, every failure.
I may never know why things happen and I`m not to ask. I may not feel his presence.
I am told to have Faith.
Now I understand. Sarah Moulden
“I enjoyed that”, “Wow! The curtains look good”, “Was that really Tom Price, the boy who would hold his Dad’s hand in Sunday school?” “Fantastic”, “Is it really over?” “When’s the next panto?” All these and more were comments made by the audience and cast of Pantomania held in February. After 6 months of rehearsals, organising staging and ’those curtains’ it was all systems go. A busy week of rehearsals and of course making sure everything was in place including the lighting, and then 3 nights of performances. A big thank you to everyone who was involved: cast, front of house, lighting and sound team, refreshment team, those on car park duty, selling tickets, stage managing, costume making. But of course it wouldn’t have happened if there hadn’t been someone with a vision of how a script could be transformed into a stage production. Not only did David Bulley write the pantomime and direct it, with many sleepless nights, he organised, motivated and encouraged everyone to do their very best. The result-a successful panto! As to the next production...watch this space...it may be something completely different.
St Michael's Fellowship
Life Upon the Wicked Stage
Mrs H Game
Christian Aid Talk
Wenlock Olympian Society
Mrs H Cromary
Rev K Evans
What's My Line?
Members' Summer Tea
Fellowship meetings are held in St Michael’s Church unless otherwise stated and commence at 2.30 pm.
All are welcome
Tea, coffee and biscuits are available afterwards.
Dates for the Diary
Sun 25th Mar
St Michael's DCC AGM
Sun 1st Apr
Sutton Hill Church DCC AGM
Sun 1st Apr
Annual Parochial Church Meeting and evening service
Sat 6th April
Men’s Breakfast at The Brewery, Coalport
Fri 20th Apr
Evening of Entertainment at The Anstice
Sat 21st Apr
Ladies Prayer Breakfast
Sat 5th May
Men’s Breakfast at The Brewery, Coalport
Sat 19th May
Ladies Prayer Breakfast
Thank you to all who have contributed to this edition of Triangle. The closing date for articles for the next edition will be announced in the church notices. Please e-mail: triangle(at)tf7.org.uk