‘Pews News’ October 2015

Jefferson“What’s your Vision?!”

That’s rather presumptuous I thought when asked that question some years ago by a member of the congregation.

But it’s a good question, for where “there is no vision the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18 AV), and sadly vision is often lacking in our Christian communities today.

Every successful organisation knows what it believes and where it is going.
So what could our vision be?

I would like to suggest that it should be “To Make Christ Known,” and to help us realise that each of our churches should have as their aim to:-

1. Celebrate God’s presence in worship (Luke 4:8).
2. Communicate God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16) through evangelism (Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Peter 3:15-16).
3. Educate God’s people in discipleship (Ephesians 4:7-16).
4. Demonstrate God’s love though service (Matthew 25:31-46).

In short, I would hope that we would all want to know God personally, share Christ reverently and serve others joyfully. For then we would have something positive and wholesome to offer those around us.
For after all, it was Jesus himself who said: “I am the way to God, the Truth about God and the Life” and “I have some so that you might have new life – life in all its fullness” (John 14:10). So, if you’ve got it, then give it; if you’ve received, it then share it; if you believe it, then live it.

In the Parable of the Talents, said Jesus, it was the servant, who did not honour his master by making the best use of what he had been given (Matthew 25:14-30), who was cast into outer darkness.
So, let us aim “To Make Christ Known” by the attractiveness and holiness of our worship, by the warmth and welcome of ourselves and our buildings, and by the Christ-like nature of our daily lives.

For “God’s method of changing society is through transformed people, who become channels for his transformational love” (Billy Graham).
Now that is a vision that we should all say yes to.

With best wishes,

Charles Jefferson

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Salvation ArmyAll Saints, Middleton Cheney supports the Salvation Army Food Bank in Banbury. But what happens to the food they donate?

Lieutenant Vanessa Coleman writes: We really value your thoughtful and consistent support, it makes so much difference to us as we organise our supplies, and of course, to the people the food parcels go to.

We have quite a varied mix of people who access the food bank, around 10 parcels a week. Some are families, some are elderly. We have quite a few young (16-24) people come in for support from the Foyer hostel next door to us. Mainly people are vulnerable single adults who struggle with budgeting and have chaotic lifestyles.

We can’t offer a food parcel more than every 6 weeks, so we ask people to not ask more regularly than that, although many people still come in to chat and share tea or coffee/soup in between times. Of course we continue to provide for families with children whenever they come, regardless of the 6 week guideline, particularly in the school holidays. We don’t have particular requirements, but we do chat with each person who comes in, share a hot drink, and chat through what are the issues going on in their lives at the moment that lead to their needing support.

Where we start to see people coming back regularly, we offer budgeting support to help them manage their resources in the mean time. We also offer some toiletries, and sleeping bags and blankets where we have them available. We have pre-prepared parcels, which contain food to keep someone going for at least 3 days, including bread and margarine (which we keep frozen).

Where people do not have access to cooking facilities, they are welcome to pick what will be useful from the cupboards, and often people will swap things they will not use for something they prefer. We are very flexible, and offer different sized bags for couples/ families.

Many blessings in all you do. Your support of our work makes a great difference.

Salvation Army, Banbury

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All Souls Service

A service is being held next month for those recently bereaved in the Benefice and commemorating those who have died in the past year or whose anniversaries fall at this time.
It’s on Sunday 1st November at 4 pm at All Saints Church, Middleton Cheney.
If you would like the name/s of loved ones acknowledged during this service, please contact Charles 712418, or Chris Wells 710076 or Violet Timms 712431.

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Operation Christmas Child

Please join with All Saints and the Methodists in Middleton Cheney to support this wonderful project to send Christmas presents to needy children around the world. It runs until Wednesday18th November.

There are plenty of ways to help, either by making up your own gift- filled shoe box, donating goodies, empty shoe boxes, or money for distribution costs, or come along to one of our Wrap & Fill Coffee mornings on Saturday 31st October & Saturday 14th November.

For more information, please contact Mary Phipps 01295 712894 or Carol Souch 01295 275334.

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The After-Show Party
The After-Show Party held last month at the home of Nicholas and Veronica Ward raised £1,049 towards the essential cost of maintaining St. Peter’s, Greatworth. Many thanks to all those who supported the event.