Work, Rest and Pray
Remember the advert ditty? "A Mars a day helps you work rest and pray". Well almost!
Here are some thoughts on work and rest and prayer - some dates and helpful information too.
I’ve been a follower of Jesus for nigh-on 50 years and throughout that time I have prayed. At least I thought I prayed. As we have centred our thoughts on prayer this year it has become clear to me that I have been paddling in the shallows and that I needed to learn to swim. I need to learn what prayer means and how to do it. I need to increase my understanding and faith in how prayer changes things. I need to learn how to pray more and to pray more effectively. Lots to do and learn and together we have been doing and learning this year but there is a way to go!
Please check out the website resources for podcasts of all the “Prayer” teaching, and recommendations for good books and websites.
During next term we will have one of our regular times of Prayer & Fasting. It will be called “14 Days to Pray and Fast” and, as usual, although you can take part as much or as little as you wish, I’m inviting you to join in from Sunday 30 September until Sunday 14 October. During this time we’ll focus on three things:
Fasting – this time we’ll be fasting food (for those who are new, we have sometimes fasted “screens” or “phones”);
Praying – for our friends and particularly about the development of Vineyard House;
Inviting our friends to: “Try Praying”.
We’ll be using the www.trypraying.com resource during this time. It is a really helpful way of introducing friends to the idea of prayer, and thus into a relationship with Jesus. We’ll speak about it at weekly worship, investigate it in small groups and do it with our friends! You can download a great App from the website and start checking it out. Nearer the time we’ll have some booklets for those who prefer something tangible to work with. In the meantime, start asking the Lord about which friends he may want you to talk with about praying!
At the end of June we had a lovely Sunday afternoon by the river in Ilkley when we baptised six of our brothers and sisters. Such great testimonies, all so different. We really do have some better stories to tell – ones of radical life change and new life.
On 23 September we’ll be baptising some more of our friends. If you would like to be baptised please let your small group leader know as soon as possible or talk with one of the pastoral staff.
Also in September (14-16) but please book now! A relaxed couple of days camping near Harrogate – great to invite friends to!
Vineyard House – Next Steps
I trust you are receiving regular updates from Cath Storey – if not please check your Church Suite settings! You can catch up on the website (JOIN IN/STEPS 2017 or search for Vineyard House).
For some two years we have been focussed on praying that we get this building and figuring out how to pay for it (thank you for your gifts!). Now that we have exchanged contracts (with completion due in December) our focus is on the core decisions about what we are going to do in the building and therefore what planning permission to apply for and what renovation work will need to be done. This in turn will cost money as well and we will be working on how to raise those funds in due course.
Equipping & Training
Sally, Jos and Helen have been doing Hub with some of our local Vineyard churches. This is aimed at developing leadership skills and is a must if you have a calling to church planting or pastoral ministry on staff. It consists of excellent practical training in a “flipped learning” environment, with a monthly evening commitment and is led by Ian & Hannah Ripping who lead Bradford Vineyard.
If you are looking at theological training, then the Vineyard offers distance/web-based courses around which we build cohorts of students.
An alternative is the Leeds School of Theology Gareth, Howard and Sophie have been attending this year (I did it last year). Here is what Gareth says about it: "Attending the Theology course at LSOT had been immensely rewarding. The quality of teaching has been excellent throughout and has shown me how to look at the Bible in new ways (especially from the context of the Early Church). All in all it has strengthened and deepened my faith and I am so glad I have embarked upon this particular journey."
So we commend it to you if you are looking for some basic but high quality theological training and would like to do it in a flipped learning environment with only one Saturday per month to which you need to commit.
Finally, in September we launch our intern programme which is based around a year long commitment to Leeds Vineyard.
If you would like more information on any of these please talk with the pastoral staff or contact Matt & Anne Button.
Ashburnham 2019 – My Story
Every other year a whole bunch of us join with friends from several other churches to spend an idyllic week at Ashburnham Place in East Sussex (that's the website for the venue). The dates for 2019 are the 10–17 August and the theme is: “My Story”. Karl & Nicki Martin (Senior Pastor, Central, Edinburgh), Stephen & Helena Ibbotsen and Jenni Entrican (President of the European Baptist Federation) are some of our guest speakers. It will be a great week – book the dates and start saving! Booking will open soon.
It’s not a pool-side page-turner but a book I enjoyed reading on holiday is REST by Alex Soojung - Kim Pang (let’s call him Alex). He’s a secular researcher out of Silicon Valley who has compiled some fascinating research about the brain and sleep. His compelling argument is that we should think as carefully about how we rest as how we work. You can get it as an audiobook too.
I believe that God made us for work and rest but that we have got confused about what is good and what is not and how work and rest relate to each other. Alex’s book has persuaded me to make some significant changes in how I work – not least to recognise in which parts of the day I work best and in which parts I rest well. It is also liberating to realise that some of my non-work hobbies are not only good for rest but also good for work!
Alison and I are praying that you have a really good summer with plenty of rest!