Downs Baptist Church Woodingdean

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Wednesday Prayers – April 2024

Gareth leads our prayer time this month and his thoughts are based around Colossians 3 v 12-17.

Thursday Fellowship – John Casse

We welcomed John Casse back to Thursday Fellowship and were delighted that he was able to play the piano in Lis’s absence. Thank you so much John!

John’s talk was in two parts.

Part One: John read the poem Three men, three crosses, one hill – author unknown

Interestingly this was the same poem that Sue read last week and one that she brought to our Good Friday service. It is a poem that has impacted many people since that first reading!

Three men, three crosses, one hill.
One man cursed, one man prayed, one man promised.
One died condemned, one died forgiven, one died innocent.
One died in sin, one died to sin, one died for sin.
One was held by death, one was released by death, one conquered death.
One lost life, one gained life. one was life.
Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice and Praise God we have eternal life!

All three were in one place at the same time but with different outcomes.  Where do we stand? What is the relevance for each of us?

Part two:

John then told us the story of Tobias and Ollie Ham.  Who you might say? Well their son, Mordecai Ham, a travelling evangelist from the age of 9 was used by God to bring Billy Graham to faith! How wonderful that those godly parents planted God’s Word in the hearts of their children – and look at the impact of both Mordecai’s and Billy Graham’s ministries.

We read the story of Saul’s conversion in Acts 9 and how Ananias despite having doubts and fears because of all the terrible things he had heard about him, was used by God to minister to Saul and bring physical and spiritual healing.  Ananias was faithful to God’s call. There was no sense of pride, he approached Saul as a brother and was used mightily to fulfil God’s purposes.

Does this apply to us, John asked?  It does! Are we ready and willing to listen and then respond to God’s call?  We may not see the end result but the important thing is to be obedient and faithful.  Jesus brings life and He uses each one of us with all of our different giftings and abilities. So let’s be ready to serve Him.  We are not a nobody – we are somebody!

Verse of the week

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Revelation 3 v 20 (NIV)

Think: Do you need to open the door to Jesus?

Challenge: Let’s not be like the Laodicean church which was lukewarm in its walk with the Lord. Let’s open ourselves up to the work of the Holy Spirit and carry the life of Jesus into our community.

The verse of the week is inspired by the teaching the previous Sunday. If you would like to listen to recordings of any message, then head to

Sermons

Baptism or Christianity Explored

If anyone is interested in exploring the possibility of being baptised, either in the sea or alternatively in a local heated swimming pool/baptismal pool, please do speak to one of the Church leaders.

They would also like to hear from anyone who might be interested in participating in a Christianity Explored course. Please be assured that there will not be any pressure or commitment made by making an enquiry.

You can also fill in our contact form by clicking on the link below should you wish to know more:

Contact Us

Dates for your diary

Saturday, 27th April – “Good News for Everyone” Event with speaker Rico Tice. A motivational afternoon at Bishop Hannington Memorial Church, Hove to help Christians share their faith.  Full details from John Casse.

Sunday, 23rd June – Service on the Beach (Weather dependant!) – Chris Roche to speak.

Saturday, 6th July – Woodingdean Carnival

Sunday, 21st July – All-Age Service and Fun Day

Good Friday – Communion Service

Good Friday?  A solemn day but also a day when we are able to celebrate just how much God loved us.

We were able to do this as we gathered together to share breakfast and then reflected on what Jesus’s death meant to each one of us before we partook of the bread and fruit of the vine with glad hearts.

For a flavour of this imitate time together, here is a short clip of the thoughts that Gareth shared:

Sue read a very touching poem which included the words (reflecting on the three people crucified on that first Good Friday) – One lost life, One gained life and One was life!

Gareth asked us to think how this day affects how we live our lives!

“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1 v 8-9 (NIV).

So on this Good Friday, let’s rejoice for what Jesus has done for each one of us.  Let’s surrender our lives afresh to serve Him and let’s love each other as Jesus commanded us!

Happy Easter!

Thursday Fellowship – Maundy Thursday

What a beautiful and meaningful Communion service we had today!

For a flavour of our time together, here is the order of service:

Welcome and News
Reading – Philippians 2 v 5-11
Song 120 – The Servant King
Prayer
Poem – It began with darkness – Gideon Heugh
Song 780 –  How deep the Father’s love
Reading – Isaiah 53 v 1-6
Song 1111 – What kind of love is this?
Reading – Isaiah 53 v 7-12
Song 596 – When I survey the wondrous cross
Communion
Song 544 – There is a Redeemer
Poem – The Sacrifice – Hilary Malpass
Closing Prayer and Vesper

Kath led our Communion time and got us to think about the miracles Jesus performed during his three year ministry. We came up with 17 but there are of course lots more!

Kath said that the disciples did not know that this was going to be the Last Supper and that Jesus would suffer an agonising death and rise again. Jesus was preparing them for what was about to happen and He poignantly showed them the full extent of His love by acting as a servant and washing the disciples feet. He also gave them a new commandment – to love one another.

We were seated at tables and one person served the others on their table with bread and the fruit of the vine pronouncing – His body, broken for you.  His blood, poured out for you!

It was a different act of remembrance but one that was well received by the 18 members present and set us up very nicely for our Easter services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Walk of Witness – Palm Sunday

Once again, a good few of us walked from the top of Warren Hill down to the school with Solomon the donkey before our Sunday service.  It was good to welcome back our former pastor and his wife, Malcolm and Dawn Haines. 

Wednesday Prayers – March 2024

Margaret leads our online prayer opportunity for March focusing on Ephesians 2 v 8-9 and Matthew 11 v 29.

Prayer for Burundi

LIVING HOPE MINISTRIES

Richard Brunton from Living Hope Ministries has asked Downs Baptist Church to pray for Burundi which is served by Richard and one of his teams.  The work of LHM is to teach pastors and leaders to build effective churches all over the world.  This includes the discipling of new believers.

The key person to pray for in Burundi is Pastor Eddy Bukeyeneza who works with four other pastors there.  In 2023 the pastors were responsible for the outreach ministry and preaching of the gospel in different communities and churches throughout Burundi.  They sent back reports of the number of new believers, which totalled 1254.  It was good to hear that some other believers were baptised roundabout Christmas time.

INFO ABOUT BURUNDI

The republic of Burundi is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley of Africa at the junction between the African Great Lakes region and East Africa.  It borders in the north with Rwanda.  The capital city is Gitega, and the official languages are Kirundi (national language), French and English.  It is densely populated and one of the smallest countries in Africa.  It is primarily a rural society, and the land is mostly used for subsistence agriculture and grazing.  As of 2005 the country was almost completely deforested.  It is probably the poorest country in the world with widespread poverty, corruption, instability, authoritarianism and illiteracy.

It gained independence from Belgium in 1962 and has been ruled in the past by Tutsi dictators.  It experienced a genocide of Hutus in 1972.  55% of the population are of Hutu ethnic origin, 15% are Tutsis and less than 1% are Twa.

The Burundi constitution guarantees religious freedom, but several churches have been banned.  67% of the population are Christians, of which 62% are Roman Catholic and only 5% are Protestant.  32% of the people practise indigenous religions and 1% are Muslim.

If we look at the history of Richard’s team ministry in Burundi before it developed into the lively ministry of outreach and evangelism which we find today, we see that a door was first opened into Burundi, pioneered by Richard himself, in 2016.  Richard later handed over the baton to a team or group of people, so that they could take care of the visits to Burundi.  However, Richard continued to oversee them when they went out on mission. The job of the team or group was primarily to build friendships, to provide teaching for the pastors so that new believers could be discipled, and to encourage and support the churches, which they are continuing to do to the present day.

In particular, a telephone ministry has developed in the countries served by Richard and his teams.  This takes place when people in Africa gather in crusades, seminars and Bible study groups.  Gatherings of leaders pause as a live telephone message produced by Richard himself is translated into their language.  One such group who use this telephone ministry to share the word of God operates in Burundi.

As has already been mentioned, Burundi is very poor and mostly rural.  The pastors therefore have to go into remote  areas to plant churches where people generally are unreached by the gospel.  Pastor Eddy is assisted by Peter in the work who also serves the Lord in Kenya. Eddy’s job is to provide teaching seminars and to develop his friendship with the key country contact who stands with him in his ministry and in the ministry of the other pastors.

Please pray as follows:-

  • For the new converts – that they will grow in their faith and be a witness to others.
  • For Eddy, Peter and the other pastors as they conduct the outreach  ministry, preaching the gospel in different churches and communities throughout Burundi.
  • For Richard’s team as they build up the pastors with their teaching as well as supporting the churches.
  • For their telephone ministry.
  • That all the resources that the team members need are released to them.
  • That they are free to pursue whatever they see appropriate to the spiritual needs of Burundi.

Wednesday prayers – 21st February, 2024

Jane leads our online prayer time this month focusing on the prayer of Jabez from 1 Chronicles 4 v 10.

https://fb.watch/qmGvLp7nHd/

DBC’s vision and Purpose

To know God and to make Him known

A WORSHIPPING CHURCH OF PEOPLE WHO PRAY AND FOLLOW THE TEACHING OF THE BIBLE.

Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14 v 6

A WITNESSING CHURCH OF PEOPLE WHO SHARE OUR FAITH IN WORDS AND ACTIONS.

Jesus said: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” Luke 10 v 27

Thursday Fellowship – Maeve Whitchurch

We so enjoyed the visit from Maeve who brought a lovely word from Hebrews 11 v 1-3, 39-40.

It is a well known passage of course focusing on those saints of old who were commended for their faith, yet none of them received what was promised as that is to come!

Maeve told us that clutching hold of promises can be hard especially when things go way beyond our experiences. She shared the story of the disciples waiting patiently for the Spirit of Truth who would come to help them after Jesus was taken up to heaven. Their whole world had been turned upside down after Jesus died. How confused, frightened and disappointed they must have been!  Yet Jesus comes to them in their safe space in that upper room and promises them that it will happen –  the Spirit of Truth will come. (He came ten days later at Pentecost). If God promises it then it will happen but sometimes it can take time and we have to wait patiently and have confidence in what we hope for.

Maeve encouraged us to look for rainbow moments in our lives. Sometimes in all of the clutter and chaos they can get lost! Let’s have faith, confidence and hope in what we don’t yet see believing in the One who promised because He is faithful.

We were reminded that we are Kingdom people – citizens of heaven in the here and now.  God lives in us and we can see Him in each other.  Let’s let the Sprit of Truth leak out of us so that this world can be changed by the beauty of God.

Thursday Fellowship – Rosemary Kemp

We welcomed Rosemary Kemp back to our meeting who led us so beautifully in a visual presentation about Passover.

Passover originates from the book of Exodus when God instructed Moses and Aaron and the Israelite people living in Egypt to mark their houses with the blood of a lamb so that the Lord would “pass over” their house and spare their firstborn son. It is a time for reflection, gratitude, and celebration of freedom! 🕊️🍷🍞

God did not intend the Passover as a one-time event, but an annual feast where the Israelites would remember how God had saved them and brought them from darkness to light and from slavery to freedom.

In a very moving afternoon, we were able to partake of the emblems and to learn just what it means to Jewish families and ultimately the link with our communion service, the Last Supper and of course Easter.

Rosemary led us in two songs: Light of the world (you stepped down into darkness, opened my eyes, let me see!) and There is a redeemer (Jesus, God’s own son, precious Lamb of God, Messiah).

A truly memorable afternoon!

Next week – Maundy Thursday Communion Service at 2pm.

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