Downs Baptist Church Woodingdean

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Lockdown by Brother Richard Hendrick

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.

But,

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

is busy spreading fliers with her number

through the neighbourhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples

are preparing to welcome

and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

The birds are singing again

The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,

Sing

All services and meetings cancelled until further notice

In light of advice from the Government and the Baptist Union of Great Britain, we are suspending all our public meetings, including Sunday Services, until further notice.

We will be moving Church Services online and will be live streaming on the church Facebook page on Sunday from 10.30am.

Please continue to support the church shop and consider making extra donations to the food bank via the basket available at the shop.

At a time when all our sources of security are being shaken, and some toppled, be assured that God remains the one constant in all of this and that He promises to walk with us, especially in days like these.

If you have any specific need, or prayer request, please post it on our Facebook Page or email mdcchaines01@gmail.com

Thank you and God Bless,

Malcolm Haines, Pastor

Prayer points for the difficult times we are facing

God is our refuge and strength , an ever present help in times of trouble.  Therefore we will not fear! Psalm 46 v 1 – 2a

Reflecting on the world-wide situation, the Baptist Union has issued this statement:

“Each one of our churches has a vital part to play in being a Beacon of Hope at the moment. Our neighbours and communities need love, hope, peace and an eternal perspective and we can offer this in abundance, in the name of Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:18).

We want to call all our churches to prayer and to provide you with some words and ideas to help because we believe in the power of our collective prayers and actions at this time.”

So:-

Let’s continue to pray for all our brothers and sisters across the world who have been, and are continuing to be, affected by COVID-19.  We pray that all will know God’s overwhelming, steadfast love.

Pray for the countries currently suffering from the greatest outbreaks and for our own country as we see an escalation in confirmed cases of the virus.

Pray for those in our communities who may feel vulnerable and scared.  Pray that the love of God might be their peace.  That they may know that even in the darkest times, God’s love brings hope.

Pray for older people who are concerned about shopping, (particularly as there are shortages), regular hospital appointments and general day to day contact with other people.  

Pray for wisdom for church leaders to know how to keep people connected and safe especially now that churches have had to suspend meetings and services.

Pray for the medical staff on the front-line of care – pray that they will be sustained physically, emotionally and spiritually in the coming weeks. Pray that God will be their shield and their strength. 

Pray for our world leaders and for the leaders in our own country that they will seek the wisdom of God as they make decisions over the coming days. 

Pray for all those leading the scientific response to COVID-19 across the world. Pray for the scientists from across the globe as they look for ways to alleviate symptoms and as they seek a vaccine for the future.

Pray for all God’s people in this time of uncertainty and concern. That our eternal hope would make an earthly difference.

Pray for a sense of calm and clarity as well as strength to face what is ahead, that Christians will be ‘beacons of hope’ and ‘carriers of the message of peace’ at this time. May we be a people of hope in encouraging others in the face of crisis to lean on God’s sustaining presence and unfailing providence.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayers!

 

 

Visit of BMS missionaries – 1st March, 2020.

Who they are:– David and Jenny Mewes, a former engineer and ballet dancer, who spent 8 years in Qingzhou, in the district of Weifang, Northern China with a population of 1.2 million people. They recently retired from missionary service due to David’s ill health and are now living in Scotland.

History of BMS in Qingzhou:– The BMS has 4 branches of work in Qingzhou – churches, a hospital, a school for teaching nurses and seminary for training pastors. Although it is a communist government, all these buildings are still standing and functioning. There are a number of Baptist churches with approximately 400 worshippers in each church. One of the churches, built in 1885, is situated in the middle of a busy street surrounded by tourist attractions.

Present day China:– China is an atheistic, communist country.  Christianity is permitted but it is against the law to teach children about any religion.  The stark choice is between being a member of the communist party or embracing Christianity! Unregistered churches are illegal and pastors of these churches risk going to jail. These churches do however teach the children stories from the Bible.

David and Jenny’s work in Qingzhou:– They were placed by the BMS in a secular college preparing students and teachers for the yearly English exam, using a modern style of teaching. They also taught the teachers’ children, shared the gospel within their department (not outside) and welcomed students into their home. BMS has also set up a pre- school in the area where local Christians do the teaching.

Leaving China:– David became critically ill with a sudden heart attack but was miraculously healed by the power of prayer when he was being transferred to a better equipped hospital in Beijing.  Sadly they had to return home without completing the work they had been called to do, however, through this dark time, David & Jenny’s lives were transformed by the experience of God’s goodness to them (Psalm 34 v 8). They will now be working for the BMS, touring the country as ambassadors in a speaking role.

To listen to Jenny’s testimony head to: – https://downsbaptistchurch.org/sermons/

Thursday Fellowship

Thursday Fellowship meets in the Parish Room of the Holy Cross Church, Woodingdean at 2.15pm.

We would love you to join us for fellowship and friendship.  All welcome.

For further information head to the following link:- Thursday Fellowship

Our motto for the year is –

“Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.”

1 Chronicles 16 v 11 (NIV).

Our spring session commenced on the 5th March when  Pastor Malcolm Haines spoke to us about encouragement.

We all need encouragement, appreciation and commendation and when we receive it, it can make all the difference! It is good to pass it on to others to build people up and give them the strength and courage to carry on and not give up. Let’s support one another in the good times as well as the bad.

Malcolm encouraged us this session to let the Word of God challenge and change us!

Speakers for the session:

12th March – Sue Cunningham

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent government guidelines, all meetings are cancelled until further notice. 

19th March – Mark Weedon – Living Word Ministries CANCELLED

26th March – Reflections and suggestions CANCELLED

2nd April – Peter & Penny Woodcraft CANCELLED

9th April – Maundy Thursday Service CANCELLED

16th April – Spring lunch CANCELLED

Thursday Fellowship Committee would like to encourage all of you with the words from Numbers 6 v 24-26 from the New Living Translation:-

‘May the Lord bless you
    and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
    and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favour
    and give you his peace.’

Flipping Marvellous Pancake Party

A group of all ages enjoyed pancakes together on Shrove Tuesday. Margaret made 56 pancakes in all and they were delicious!  We experimented with fillings and Oscar and Ted managed to eat 5!

Malcolm taught that shrove means to confess sin and we learned that Lent replicates Jesus’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. The period of Lent is traditionally marked by fasting, both from food and/or festivities.

Why pancakes? Well, historically it was a way for households to use up sugar, fats and eggs in their cupboards before the fasting season began. Penny asked the interesting question of what happened to the eggs that weren’t used during the period? Whatever people decide to do or not, it is a time of reflection and prayer as we prepare for Easter.

Money was raised for CAP (Christians Actions Poverty) who have been releasing people from the grip of debt and poverty since 1996. They equip and empower local churches to provide life-changing services to their communities. So far just over £51 has been raised.

DBC Community Greengrocers update

Look what’s just arrived – our lovely new chiller to keep everything fresh!

Pop in and say hello to Sue and the friendly staff.

There are lots of things to tempt you!

All-age Service – Sunday, 9th February

We had a great time at our all-age service.

Malcolm retold the story of the feeding of the 5000 and we got to eat bread and fish in the service! Some people who didn’t like fish even brought some cheese shaped as fish!

For a flavour of our special family time together,  head to our sermon page and listen to the two short extracts. https://downsbaptistchurch.org/sermons/

The miracle showed us the power of God and that we need to take Him seriously.  Jesus is simply amazing! Let’s feed on Him, the Bread of life!

Keep an eye out for our next family service.  We would love to see you!

BMS Birthday Scheme

BMS works among some of the most marginalised and least evangelised people, in some of the most fragile places on earth. It aims to bring life in all its fullness through seven key ministries: church, development, education, health, justice, leadership and relief.

As a church we support their work and have signed up to their Birthday Scheme which is administered by Maria, one of our members. To find out more, head to https://downsbaptistchurch.org/community/mission-works/

The DBC scheme raised over £300 in 2019 and the money will support two projects:-

1.  Guinebor II (G2) Hospital – a mission hospital in the desert outside Chad’s capital city providing life-changing healthcare to some of the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world. In Chad, there is only one doctor for every 25,000 people, and many die from treatable illnesses.

2.  BMS water engineers who work with rural communities in Uganda, digging boreholes and providing clean water, thus bringing health and life to the rural villages.

Thank you to all those who gave via this wonderful scheme during the past year.

DBC Christmas Appeal

In an effort to help Brighton and Hove’s homeless community, members and friends enthusiastically filled toilet bags made by one of our members with essential hygiene supplies. These were then given to local charity Off The Fence for distribution to the homeless women they are in contact with. We were able to collect items for the men too.

Nigel Sarjudeen a Community Keyworker at Antifreeze wrote:

“I am writing to express our thanks, and that of our clients for your recent kind donations of home-made toiletry bags containing underwear, hand gel, feminine wipes, roll on deodorant, pack of tissues and chocolate. These bags will be much appreciated by our female clients.  Thank you also for the socks and boxer shorts for the men.  We thank God for your partnership in our work, your thoughtfulness for the needs of our clients and your ongoing prayers.”

To find out more about the work of Off the Fence, either have a word with Jane Leaver or head to their website at https://www.offthefence.org.uk/

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and for your willingness to help some of the most vulnerable and needy people in our community.

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