God’s plan is good and pleasing and perfect
“Don’t live the way this world lives. ……
God’s plan is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 (NIrV)
This is the Bible verse that we used each day of our week’s holiday programme at Le Pas Opton, France in June. We learnt to say it and sign it with Makaton signs. Perhaps it’s something you would like to try, reflecting on the words and their meaning for you as you repeat it, maybe adding in the bit that we omitted to make it easier to remember. With so many Bible translations available it seems that memorising scripture is a less common practice than in the past but one that we would do well to consider once more.
“God’s plan – good, pleasing and perfect.” Although God can see the bigger picture his eyes are also on the details. He knows the end from the beginning and works all things together for good. May we, writer and reader alike, continue to trust Him for peace and strength in our weakness. Here’s a snapshot of last month:
Count Everyone In week at LPO, France:
One feature is that, unlike the parallel programmes we run at Christian festivals, this is truly a holiday – for all “our people”, a phrase adapted from “my people” used with affection by one guest to refer to fellow guests with learning disabilities, their carers and family members.
Another feature is the size of the party, small enough for each individual to be is known and valued but large enough to support a range of activities. Numbers were up this year but we can still grow a little more without losing this quality.
Our new team member Janneke fitted in well and was quickly accepted by everyone. She introduced Makaton to the holiday and was encouraged to sign in the main evening meetings too. It was a joy to have her with us.
Our Bible teaching theme was ‘What should I do when …..?’ We covered issues such as anger, facing new things, meeting someone in need and having questions.
We were blessed each morning by the ‘mystery’ appearance on the door of our mobile home of a beautifully handwritten Bible verse or prayer for our encouragement. As we bless others we ourselves are well and truly blessed too!
Your prayers were answered: despite some difficult travelling experiences, guests were kept safe and had a great holiday. Fun and good fellowship were enjoyed and faith was strengthened.
Churches for All residential:
As new members of Churches for All it was a privilege to join people from other Christian disability organisations at the Torch Holiday and Retreat Centre at Hurstpierpoint near Brighton.
A church leader with a disability spoke about his church where several other disabled people serve on the leadership team and there are different ethnicities too. They reach out to a broad range of the community that might not otherwise feel welcomed and accepted.
Another speaker from a firm of solicitors helpfully addressed issues around discrimination.
The highlight was praying for one another late in the evening around glowing, crackling logs in a fire pit.
Our next festival is the Keswick Convention but we have also had meetings in preparation for the next two events, Creation Fest and Westpoint. Pray that we remain focused on what we need to do and when.
June ended with what could have been very sad and sombre but wasn’t. The funeral of Sally Holden (John’s wife and Sarah’s mum) had been planned in detail by Sally herself and it was good to be with the family in Littlehampton to celebrate a life lived well.
From there we drove to Long Stratton, 10 miles south of Norwich, and ran a shortened version of Know and Grow basic training. A free afternoon provided a welcome interlude to a busy period, allowing time for Pete to finish preparing for Sunday morning and Christine to compose this newsletter!
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Thanks Tua for making this possible.
Count Everyone In will be at:
Keswick Convention 23-27 July
Creation Fest, Cornwall 4-10 August
Westpoint Event, Exeter 24-26 August
Know & Grow (advanced), Chessington, Surrey 3 November
Know & Grow (basic), Harpenden, Herts 10 November
Know & Grow (basic), Crowborough, East Sussex 19 January 2019
Word Alive, Prestatyn 13-18 April 2019
CEI at Cranham Baptist Church 29-30 May 2019
Le Pas Opton, Spring Harvest Holidays, France 3-10 June 2019
How about joining us? Get in touch for further information and to book for training firstname.lastname@example.org
Diary dates for July:
Pete preaching at morning service St Mary’s, Long Stratton, Norwich
CCPAS reception, V&A Museum of childhood, Bethnal Green, London
Travel to March, Cambridgeshire
Speak at Fenland Community Church, March
Meeting re Westpoint Festival
Caldicot Male Voice Choir in concert for CEI at Caldicot Methodist Church, South Wales.
Caldicot Methodist Church
Final preparation and packing for Keswick Convention (week 2)
Travel north and stay overnight on way to Keswick
Arrive in Keswick; prepare for team arrival at Thornthwaite Gallery Cottages
Lunch for team and families followed by team meeting
Keswick seminar 9:30-10:30 am – Seminar to encourage and inspire churches to be accessible to all
CEI celebrations take place 11:00 am at St Herbert’s School, Keswick
Long drive home
A Sunday at St Nic’s – at last!
Thanks for praying – we have found a new home and had our offer accepted but the cogs of bureaucracy turn slowly. One challenge is to find a mutually convenient moving date at a time when we are particularly busy. In the meantime, our furniture etc remains in storage. We have been with our good friends in Newbury for more than five weeks now and, although we feel very much at home, we still look forward to having our own home once again. Prayer would be appreciated.
Thank God for health, strength and safety as we travelled and served in different places last month but please keep on.
There is still a lot to be done for Keswick and less than 3 weeks in which to get it done. Please pray for the team, guests and ourselves as we look at the theme of SENT: serving God’s mission through five morning celebrations, a creative workshop and a seminar
Pray that we keep on track for subsequent festivals too.
Give thanks for financial provision and pray please for future planning. We could already use additional workers in a variety of ways.
A new month is here and we welcome any new readers. It never ceases to amaze and humble us to know that people far and wide want to know about what we’re doing and to support us in a variety of ways. Do let us know how we can pray for you.
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