I am sorry this is so late this month but for various reasons I needed confirmation of a few events before I could "go to print" - albeit print online!
Firstly, a reminder that this Sunday, 10th May, we have our 10am Family Communion service. I will be leading the service as normal but our speakers will be Denise Blaskett and Paula Trewin who I am sure will give a brilliant All-Age talk. Our normal 8am service takes place on Sunday as well as a special 6.30pm Christian Aid service at the United Reform Church in Whitstable as we start Christian Aid week together.
The rest of the services for the month are to be found on our main website.
In a few days time on Ascension Day we have a special service to start the Novena, nine days of prayer. Full details can be found at this link. (Please remember to come back to this page afterwards).
As you may be aware, there has been an issue in the Anglican church in the United States which has split the church in two - sexuality. Some people are forecasting the same happening in the UK. I am hosting a meeting on behalf of Changing Attitude in June to look at this issue and to help people understand each other who are coming from different viewpoints, precisely so that the church can manage to keep together as one while choosing to disagree in a spirit of mutual respect.
To find out about this event and full details, you may wish to read this article by Julie Wassmer from the Whitstable Times. Click the below link for details. (Please remember to bring a garden chair and picnic if you are coming to this event, and also to come back to this webpage after reading this- thanks. Whatever your opinion on this matter, and I realise views will vary, this promises to be a very important event where we learn from each other. It is free of charge. )
The date and venue and full details are to be found by clicking this link but if you miss it the venue is the Vicarage garden, here at All Saints and the date and time is 5pm on Saturday 6th June.
Here is the link.
In early June I shall be running a course looking at the philosophical arguments in favour of the existence of God. This is suitable for anyone who is thinking seriously about whether God exists or not, and is suitable for a believer who wants to strengthen their faith, or an agnostic or atheist who is interested in this as an issue.
Many things in life try our faith - the Nepal earthquake for example - and so asking deep questions is part and parcel of being truly human.
I have decided to host this event at the back room of the Monument pub. The reason behind this is that some people find entering a church building or church hall difficult as so many in our culture today have so little experience of "church". This is widely recognised and is a sign of perhaps how far the church and society have parted. Many churches hold events in pubs now as a way of reaching out to our culture. Also, it's a friendly and relaxed setting. I am afraid I will be unable to pay for the drinks! It would be helpful if you could email me at email@example.com to let me know. Full details are to be found on this website.
Congratulations to Karen, Liz, Sue and Julie all from All Saints who were confirmed by the Bishop of Dover at Christ Church Herne Bay in May. Please pray for them as they journey on with God in the years ahead. Let me know if you would be interested in being confirmed - there are confirmations at the Cathedral later this year and in Whitstable next May.
OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR FRIENDS IN GERMANY
A reasonably good sized group of people from All Saints and St Alphege Seasalter are travelling to Germany next week to join our brothers and sisters in Christ from our partner churches in the southern Black Forest area of Germany. We will be joined by our friends from Teltow, near Berlin, who we are also in partnership with.
This partnership is truly blessed by God. Please pray for all of us who are going on this trip, for safe travelling mercies and a wonderful time out there. I am greatly looking forward to it!
SINGING FOR FUN AND HEALTH
A reminder that Sing for your Life takes place again in May on 20th May. This has got off to a brilliant start with a large number of people participating. Please pray for it to continue to flourish.
Other church news
Congratulations to Mike Binks and Christine Williams who were elected as churchwardens, Mike for the first time. Please pray for them and for the new DCC as they meet with myself and Canon Kerry Thorpe on May 11th to look at our future outreach to our community. We will not be discussing worship as that was looked at last year and decisions were made which we implemented, but we will be looking at other questions such as "how can we help the youth of our pastoral district more and help younger people to a faith in Christ in the right way?"
There is also a Sacred Space as part of the Novena on Saturday 23rd May at 8pm.
Organ Fundraising appeal
May I thank all those who took part in the Hymnathon before Easter. Next month I hope to publish full details of how much was raised as well as details of a sponsored walk in August and a summer concert for the organ appeal. I am sorry if I have not written personally to everyone who took part but please be assured your help was greatly appreciated.