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CHURCH NEWS - July/August 2003
Our minister, David Streater will retire in September and the Odell PCC tends to favour a continuing part-time minister dedicated just to Odell on a 'house for duty' basis. While this isn't the final decision and there is no certainty this will be approved by the CofE, we stand a good chance if we find the right person who is enthusiastic to work in this way. If you are or know of an energetic minister with an interest in spreading the gospel and being a spiritual leader in our small village, please contact churchwarden Keith Merret us on <firstname.lastname@example.org> copying me on <email@example.com> or phone Keith on 01234 721514.
From the Rectory
One of the objects of this letter in the magazine each month is to try to teach some aspect of the Christian faith. Sometimes it has been doctrinal and at others practical, arising out of the teaching of the Bible, in order to help people to think about the faith. Christianity has nothing to hide and has no need to be ashamed in the face of a violent and immoral secular world.
In the last week we have been remembering Whitsun which is the medieval name for the Jewish feast of Pentecost. It was at this feast in Jerusalem seven weeks after the events of the crucifixion and resurrection that the disciples were gathered together when the Holy Spirit came upon them. His coming transformed them from a group of rather frightened people to those who were prepared both to proclaim the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the sole way of acceptance with a Holy God.
Many of those disciples present went on to seal their testimony with their own blood as martyrs. It was the coming of the Holy Spirit who empowered them, not with strength in themselves, but in the strength of Christ. The Holy Spirit made the difference. It was on that day alone that a further three thousand people were enabled to believe and were added to the Church.
Many years ago there was a rather proper Anglican meeting when the subject of prayer was being discussed. A rather lanky teenager said rather rudely that he did not believe in prayer. The clergyman tututted and the ladies looked rather embarassed. Silence descended on the group. He later found out his mistake. What was his problem?
We have to recognise that there is a gap between ourselves and God. The only way that the sin gap can be bridged is through Christ. His obedience and blood covers our sins and failings and for those who receive Him there is given to them the gift of the Holy Spirit. He is the missing person of the Godhead in the lives of many who do not believe in God.
This glorious person is the silent member of the Trinity. He comes from the Father and the Son. He is the Spirit of Holiness as well as the Spirit of Truth. He is the divine author of the Old and New Testament and his purpose is to show Christ in all the Scriptures.
The Holy Spirit can be grieved by sin and sin is missing the mark by not walking according to God's Word. This is why the Church today appears to be so impotent in the face of the secular world. For the power of the Spirit is withdrawn when His witness to truth in the Word of God is denied.
To illustrate this let us assume that through pressure from society the Church in the world decides that stealing is no longer a sin and that those who steal must not have their human rights abused by being arrested, taken to court, found guilty and sentenced to prison. All thieves and burglars are welcome in an all-embracing Church and they may ply their trade unhindered. Stealing is one thing but the same applies to all the commandments.
However, that would deny the law of God,'You shall not steal.' It also denies that which lies behind the law, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' The argument is made that of course it was right for thieves to be dealt with in the old days but in ‘this day and age' (a favourite expression of those wanting to alter the truth) sociology knows better.
Of course, those who have stolen may be forgiven when they repent and turn from their sin to Christ. I personally knew a burglar who had been a persistent offender and served a lot of time but by the grace of God had repented and become a pillar of a local church and useful member of the community.
It is true that in every age the Church is faced with the problem of speaking to that generation. That does not mean that it changes the message. It is the same message proclaimed in the context of the time. To change the message to fit the morals of the time is to deny the truth and the work of the Spirit of truth. Such teaching may fit the spirit of the age but it is of no use to society as a whole.
When the Church acts in this way it denies the truth of God's Word and grieves the Spirit of holiness who withdraws his powerful influence. This leaves the Church in the world to its own futile and deteriorating devices.
The one who empowered the little band of disciples on the day of Pentecost is still the one who empowers believers today. He does not bear witness to himself but in accordance with the Father's eternal will and purpose he bears witness to Jesus Christ in truth and holiness of life for Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and for ever.
With all good wishes,
Sincerely, David Streater.
I am always ready to discuss any issue arising out of what I have written.
The Prayer Chain
The Prayer Chain is there if you need prayer for yourself, for others or for members of your family. Please don’t ask for prayer outside your own family without people’s permission. To have a number of people pray just telephone David (720234) or Dennis (822992).
Many of you will know that because of the problems of vandalism and theft from Churches generally, the Parish Church is kept locked. Unless there is a specific reason for opening it earlier, it will be opened for Sunday and occasional services half an hour before the Service is due to start.
If there is anyone considering confirmation please would they contact David.
News from St. Albans Diocese
Bishop speaks out against Euthanasia Bill
A strong plea against the Euthanasia Bill was made by the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Christopher Herbert in the House of Lords on Friday June 6th. He told Peers that the Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill was "individualism pushed to a horrifying and giddy conclusion" and, if passed, could "create a merciless society." The Bishop said "I believe, as a Christian, in the profound and inalienable sanctity of human life." A full report and the text of the Bishop's speech is on the diocesan website http://www.stalbans.anglican.org
Southern Africa will be the focus of the Bishop of St Albans' 'Harvest for the Hungry' appeal this autumn. It aims to raise support for projects in the poor border area between Malawi and Mozambique. Parishes across the diocese are being encouraged to back the appeal centred on the work of the Women's Border Area Development Project. It is responding to immense hardship in the area by helping rural communities face serious food and water shortages after years of failed rains and harvests. Publicity will be issued to parishes during June. More information on the diocesan website http://www.stalbans.anglican.org
Celebrating Saint Alban
A new hymn by Andrew Crookall, musical director at St Francis of Assisi, Welwyn Garden City is among resources to help parishes celebrate the Feast of St Alban on Sunday June 22nd. The resources have been placed on the diocesan website http://www.stalbans.anglican.org or are available from Jenni Blaxland on 01727 854532.
People of the Book
Speakers from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths will be taking part in 'People of the Book,' a study day at St Albans Abbey on Thursday October 23rd, from 10 am to 4 pm. The day will explore "the ways the Abrahamic faiths use their scriptures." There is no registration or fee required. Further details from Canon Dennis Stamps on 01727 830802 or firstname.lastname@example.org The event has been sponsored by Churches Together in Bedfordshire, and Hertfordshire.
The latest edition of the diocesan magazine features more information on many of the e-Round items, an interview with Reg Bailey, the Hoddesdon Reader who is chief executive of the Mothers' Union; the Herts parish where a flock of sheep has replaced the church lawnmower; first impressions from the new Bishop of Bedford; a Sharnbrook parish's Italian exchange; and numerous other parish events and activities.
Communications Officer Diocese of St. Albans.
July 9thTo be arranged.
There will be no ‘Meeting Point’ during the month of August.
Strawberry Tea by the River.
Odell Lunch Club invites all our senior citizens to afternoon tea at 3.00 pm
at 23 Horsefair Lane on Wednesday 9th July.
Please let Roma know if you are coming: 720431.
Our Giving in July is to CMS (Central Funds).
Proclaiming the gospel involves more than you think!
Ask anyone what is the first thing they think of when they hear the words 'proclaiming the gospel', and they will probably imagine a person standing on a street corner preaching loudly with a Bible in hand. Depending on your point of view, it is either a compelling or an amusing image. But the truth is that proclaiming the gospel involves a lot more. 'Gospel' language in Paul's letters covers a whole range of activities. People need to hear the gospel to become Christians at first, but they also need to hold on firmly to the gospel to grow in their faith and be part of congregations which are ready for the return of Christ.
CMS is committed to proclaiming the gospel through a wide range of ministries. Its fundamental motivation for proclaiming the gospel
is to bring glory to God. It is the divine intention that on the final day 'at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father'.
Our Giving in August is to the Tiger Kloof School.
The Tiger Kloof School provides a Christian education and plays an important role in the much needed process of social integration in South Africa.
All Saints’ Appeal Fund
The parish Church of All Saints Odell, like so many others, faces the need to restore our heritage and prepare for the future.
With an appeal well under way to raise money, this short series of concerts and special services is designed to draw people into the Church to see what we are trying to do and to allow as many as possible to join us in these exciting projects (see home page and follow link)
Programme, August – September.
23rd All Saints’ John Zaradin Concert.
23rd/24th All Saints’ Flower and Crafts Festival, Coronation theme.
7th All Saints’ ‘Local Talent’ entertainment.
20th Village Hall Harvest Supper, 7.30pm.
21st All Saints’ Harvest Festival, 10.00am.
21st All Saints’ ‘Out of the Blue’
28th All Saints’ Celebration of Priesting.
Look out for October, November and December events in the September magazine.
"Festival of Flowers" with a Coronation theme
All Saints’, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August.
All Saints’ Church is to celebrate summer and the 50th Anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth ll with a festival of flowers. If you would like to decorate a window or pedestal with a floral arrangement with a Coronation theme (red white and blue) please contact Jill Cheadle on 720261.
The church will be open from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Saturday 23rd and from 11.30am to 5.00pm on Sunday 24th August for viewing. There will be an admission charge of £1. Tea and coffee will be served.
Local Artists: We would like to exhibit paintings of Odell and the surrounding area in the church during the festival. Please let Jill Cheadle know if you are willing to exhibit any artwork.
Also, we would love to display any local memorabilia of the coronation in the festival. Again, please let Jill know if you are able to help.
John Zaradin Concert
Saturday 23rd August 7.30pm All Saints’ Church.
Tickets £10, (including light refreshments), available from Jill Cheadle, 720261.
John is our resident classical guitarist, of international fame. He has kindly agreed to entertain us with a concert in the church as part of our Festival weekend, proceeds of which will go to the All Saints’ Appeal Fund.
The past year for John has been very busy. He has completed work on a guitar tutor "Getting Into Latin Guitar" which has been released by his publisher Mel Bay and has also spent the past 8 months touring in Central & South America giving live performances.
His "Latin American Suite for Guitar and Orchestra", which he premièred as performer and composer in Virginia, USA, last October, is scheduled for recording this August with a release at the end of the year. For the concert in Odell there will be music selected from this recording and from countries he has recently visited.
Home Grown - Sunday 7th September,6.30pm
Members of the congregation will perform in the Church.
Lots of local young talent on display – and perhaps some more mature performers. All well worth your support.
Drinks and nibbles will be served
Out of the Blue - Sunday 21st September,6.30pm
One of Oxford University’s leading acappella groups performing in the Church a selection of numbers including some from their recent CD. Not to be missed, tremendous entertainment.
Drinks and nibbles will be served.
Looking to Jesus
Need Guidance? God's got it!
.His Sheep Follow Him because they know His Voice."
John 10:4 NIV
E.Stanley Jones tells of a missionary who got lost in the jungle. Looking around he saw nothing but bush. Finally, he came across a village and asked one of the natives if he could lead him back to the mission station. The man agreed. "Thank you," said the missionary, "Which way do I go?" The native replied, "Just walk." And so they did, hacking their way through the jungle for the next several hours. Stopping to rest, the missionary looked around again and had that same overwhelming sense of being lost. "Are you sure this is the way?" he asked his native guide. "I don't see a path." The guide replied, "In this jungle there is no path. I am the path!"
Feeling lost today? Pray this prayer: "Lord, You said, 'I am the way,' so I'm turning to You for guidance. I'm afraid to trust my own instincts, for too often they've got me into trouble. You said Your sheep follow You because they know Your voice. Teach me to recognise it now. Keep me from making a wrong move, for I seek only to do Your will. You promised, '....along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth....' (Isa 42:16 NIV). Turn on the light. Smooth out the rough spots. Point me in the right direction. Today, I submit my way to You, trusting You to direct my steps. In Christ's name, Amen."
Printed with kind permission of United Christian Broadcasters and taken from "Word for Today" available from Tel. No: 01782, 642000.
Did you know about UCB RADIO broadcasting digital Christian radio to the nations through: music, current affairs, teaching, news, interviews & reviews in a variety of formats? Satellite channels as under:
EUROPE Christian Radio for the whole family. Channel 875.
TALK Because God has Something to Say to you. Channel 891
INSPIRATIONAL Breathing Life into the Airwaves. Channel 886
BIBLE God’s word Uninterrupted. Channel 890.
You can also listen to these via your computer by logging on to ucb.co.uk
I particularly like 'Inspirational', a varied programme of modern and old Christian music. Why not give it a listen?
Much prayer is still needed to get the government to pass a bill for UCB to start transmitting via radio waves. Please pray, we desperately need a Christian radio station in these troubled times.
Praise My Soul the King of Heaven, to His feet thy tributes bring. We truly do bring our Thanks and Praise to You Dear Father, for the blessings of your most welcome sunshine on our Fete weekend, enabling everything to go so wonderfully well. Bless each and every dear soul that helped in any way, those attending from near and far, and the wonderful sum of money that has been raised towards our beautiful old church. We give you much Praise too for the Service in the Marquee on Sunday. It was truly a special blessing.
Once again we echo those words, "What a wonderful world, how blessed we are to be living here." Amen.
We are sorry to hear of the death of Bridget Gadsby (Bridie) who died on 8th June. The funeral service was held at All Saints’ Odell, on 16th June. Bridie lived here in our village for many years until she went to Bletsoe to live to be nearer her daughter and family. Wesend our love and our prayers to Myra, Tony, Janet and Laura and their families and pray for the Lord to comfort them in their sorrow.
As a church we continue to uphold the sick in our prayers. Please advise David should anyone be in need of a visit or prayer. David and Valerie's five years here seem to have flown by, and we are all saddened to hear that they are leaving us in September. Please remember them and of course the future outlook for All Saints’ until we hear a decision on the leader of our church. We are so blessed with such a beautiful church in such a picturesque setting. May we continue to have sufficient numbers in our congregation to keep it open bringing the Word of God to those who worship there.
Saturday 14th June proved to be a perfect day for the fete. The humidity of the week before had cleared and we enjoyed an afternoon of unbroken sun and gentle breezes. Once again the Dog Show proved to be tremendously popular and brought many visitors to the fete. The bright and catchy tunes of the Wode-Hill One-Steppers Jazz Band provided the perfect backdrop for the fun and activities, while entertaining those more inclined to sit lazily by the river sipping Pimm’s and eating strawberries and cream and delicious cakes from the tea tent. So perfect was the afternoon that it seems a record number of people came to the fete and were reluctant to leave, staying on long after all the events had finished.
The fete was followed by a special outdoor service in the Scout Field on Sunday 15th. Our visiting preacher was the Rev. Dick Seed, currently spending a few months in England before returning to his work in the St. Francis of Assisi Theological College in Nigeria. His amusing yet thoughtful sermon gave us all an insight into the cultural and tribal ways of the people of Nigeria and gave us food for thought on our own culture in Britain. (more pics in Village news)
8th 7.30pm W.I. Village Hall.
9th 10.30am Meeting Point.
9th 3.00pm Senior Citizens Strawberry Tea, 23 Horsefair Lane.
13th 3.00pm Mark Whitlock & Tonk Stringer, Royal Oak, Carlton.
20th 3.00pm The Bonas Brothers, Royal Oak, Carlton.
27th 3.00pm Bedford Brass: Ten + 1, Royal Oak, Carlton.
28th-1st 10.00am Seaside Rock Holiday Club Sharnbrook Village Hall.
12th 7.00pm W.I. Barbecue, Mandy Sharpe’s.
23rd 10.00-5.00 Flower Festival, All Saints’.
24th 11.30-5.00 Flower Festival, All Saints’.
23rd 7.30pm John Zaradin Concert, All Saints’.
Please send all entries for the September magazine to Tricia Hudson (email@example.com), Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by August 12th at the latest. May we remind you that the editorial team exercises the right to edit, shorten or alter any items that are submitted. Also, the opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and are not the responsibility of the editorial team.
electronic mail address is <firstname.lastname@example.org>