IMPORTANT: – SUSPENSION OF SERVICES AND MEETINGS:
Warmest greeting to all our members and friends. Greenfield chapel is closed for the foreseeable future but the work and mission of the church goes on. We are a family of faith and as a family our love and care for each other continues especially during these difficult times. May our hope be in the constant love of the Lord.
‘God is our refuge and strength an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. ‘The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress’ (Psalm 46)
Please ensure that any information regarding our members and friends are passed on to me. My e mail address and telephone numbers are above. I will be in weekly contact by phone to all members and friends who are unwell and/or confined to their homes. The deacons and district officers will also be in contact with members in their districts. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the church officers should any pastoral need arise.
LATEST NEWS – 24th MAY 2020:
Lisa has created a you tube channel with the videos she has uploaded for the Sunday Study Social group, the channel. Here’s the address:
Videos with a message that Lisa has been making the group every Sunday and sending to them. Feel free to watch them or subscribe to the channel. A new video new will be going up every Sunday.
(Thanks Lisa, the videos are well worth a view)
(Lisa is following an access course in preparation for the Baptist Ministry)
Tuesday 10.30am YOUTUBE & Facebook.
Reading: Psalm 100. Hymns: –
‘All people that on earth do dwell. ‘Give me oil in my lamp’
Tuesday: 7.30pm Conference Call Bible study and prayer.
Our study this week: John 6: 22 – 39.
Please note the change of time for the Tuesday services from
Wednesday 2nd June 7.30pm to 6pm.
We were so sorry to hear of the death of Russ Myners` mother this week. Our thoughts and prayers are with Russ and Sue and all the family at this sad time.
Ben, Maggie James’ grandson was admitted to hospital this week and is now home. Our love and best wishes to Ben, Maggie, Becky and all the family.
There are many of our church family who are unwell at this time and they are remembered in our thoughts and prayers. Please let me know of any who may be unwell or any other pastoral concern – Thanks
Our sympathy to families who have lost loved ones in recent weeks. This week I will be officiating at the funerals of Mrs Susan Griffiths, Mr Dewi Wynne Thomas and Mr John Edmund Ridge.
Thanks for the encouraging responses to the YOUTUBE services. Along with many other churches we hope that these services and times of prayer and meditation are of blessing and help. We have received messages of appreciation from many parts of the UK as well Barcelona, Denmark, Italy and the USA. Our church ‘Facebook’ page has nearly 600 members and many are joining with us in worship by means of the Facebook and the church web page.
A DVD disc of the services will be sent out this week to members and friends who do not have computer access. If anyone would like to receive a DVD or CD please e mail me.
SOME MESSAGES RECEIVED THIS WEEK:
Denis and Lois Jenkins really look forward to the Sunday evening ‘Conference Call’ services. Lois writes’ We are enjoying every minute and look forward to Sunday nights’
Russ and Brenda Blandford who now live in Rutland are also appreciative of the services and find the services a great blessing. They send their love and best wishes to the church.
Derick and Eirwen Fisk now living in Gloucester
‘It is so good to receive news of Greenfield. We do enjoy being able to keep in touch. We attend Kendal Road Baptist Church in Gloucester which ‘zooms’ the services but we also benefit for other services on YOUTUBE like Greenfield. We are both well but self- isolating and of course unable to see the family. Our latest grandchild, Martha Hope was born three months ago and we only just saw her twice before the ‘Lock down’ I am looking forward to preaching as the Baptist representative at a local Ecumenical church in the future! Trust that you are all keeping well.
Love to all
Derick and Eirwen.
Megan and Alan Griffiths Henley in Arden
Thank you for keeping us up to date with Greenfield. In July we will have been married 60 years so Greenfield is very special to us, With love and greetings to you all.
I was to have led worship at Bethel Loveston in Pembrokeshire today and Colin Isaac was to have led our worship at Greenfield. It was good to speak to Bethel’s church secretary Mrs Christine Phillips who asked if I could put some prayers and a short message together for distribution to the church congregation. I was glad to do this. Colin has kindly agreed to lead the YOUTUBE service on Sunday 14th June. We are very grateful to him.
AROUND THE CHAPEL:
The deacons meet for their monthly meeting by ‘Conference Call’. Thanks to Annette and Darryl for ensuring that the administration of the church goes on.
The deacons approved the double glazing of the original wooden windows on the right side wall (from pulpit) of the chapel. This will restrict the noise levels and also any draughts. Hopefully this work will be completed before we return to our normal services.
It was also decided that those missions and charities for whom we take up Communion offerings should not lose out due to us being unable to meet together. These missions and good causes are in need of our support more than at any other time. I am grateful that the deacons agreed to send donations from the church funds in their support.
BAPTIST UNION NEWS:
The President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain is elected annually and usually takes office at the annual Baptist Assembly held in May. Our current President, Yinka Oyekan, took office on 10 May 2020 during our regular online prayer broadcast, due to the cancellation of Assembly during the Coronavirus. Geoff Colmer was also welcomed as our new Vice-President.
The President’s main role is as a communicator/facilitator of our Union’s vision and mission. The President travels around our Union, engaging with local churches, regional Associations and Colleges. A key part of the role is leading the Baptist Steering Group (BSG) Accompanying Group, which provides prayer support and shares in spiritual and missional reflection within the churches. There will also be occasions when the President will provide a symbol or focus for unity of our Union, and as such will represent our Union at various civic and ecumenical events.
I am the senior minister at The Gate – one of the Baptist churches in Reading. I am honoured to have been called to the office of President in our amazing Baptist family. I was born in Edinburgh of dual heritage. My mum is Scottish, and my dad was Nigerian. I was in Edinburgh studying accountancy when I was saved in 1984 through the ministry of Wester Hailes Baptist Church. I then with their support attended the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow (BTI).
I am particularly excited by the third declaration of principle l of our Baptist Union. It makes clear that ‘It is the duty of every disciple to bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to take part in the evangelisation of the world’. And so, it is with interest that I am following the very excellent question posed by Ken Benjamin (our former President) as the theme for his presidency ‘where do we grow from here’ with a follow-up question ‘how do we grow from here’. Whatever models or forms of mission or activity we embrace in our various congregations, the testimonies coming out of many of our Baptist churches are a great encouragement. Although we have reason to rejoice we can always do so much better. I see a great challenge in our third principle of declaration namely how do we enable and empower every disciple to be able to bear a personal witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to take part in the evangelisation of the world.
My main passion throughout my ministry has been in Church Planting because the building of a strong community of disciples is the ultimate goal of evangelisation. Through church planting, Fiona and I planted several communities from scratch. Indeed, it was to rescue a failing Baptist Church that brought us to Reading in the first place. In 2008 the church in Reading experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, followed in 2016 by a second evangelistic outpouring of the holy spirit labelled The Turning. This second outpouring has resulted in thousands of believers across many denominations and streams going out onto the streets and sharing their faith with their communities.
Of course, while I am proud of my Baptist heritage, I realise that the job of mission will only truly ever have the biggest impact through working with others in our towns and cities in a collaborative manner. Partnering with other churches and streams (church groupings)
Find out more about Yinka’s theme for his year as President at www.howdowegrowfromhere.com
• To members and friendswho have contributed through standing orders and payments through the bank. Annette has asked me express deep appreciation to everyone for their support and concern. Thanks also to those are using the envelopes and keeping them aside for when we return to normal worship.
• The Christian Bind Mission has sent thanks for recent Communion offering of £350. The letter states’ We were so grateful for your kind gift ensuring that many of those is Africa especially with serious visual incapacity will now be able through cataract operations provided through the gifts such as yours will be able to see again’
• Thanks to all from the church who attended the funeral of our dear friend Spencer Crossman. Thanks to Steve Tucker, Mike Wooller and Darryl Benjamin who were bearers and to the many friends from Greenfield who came along and stood in the foyer or outside. Spencer was a faithful member of Greenfield and we will miss his fellowship and friendship.
At this time of global pandemic, we live with stark reality of death and life. Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (37:1-14) was given when God’s people were in exile in Babylon. They felt dead, being separated from home and God! The vision answers God’s question: ‘can these bones live?’ We can also feel cut off from God, with churches unable to meet on Sundays and perhaps in our own personal lives. This is also an anxious time for many working in industry and other sectors. Many are asking ‘Will I have a job at the end of all this? Isolation may be taking its toll with many feeling bereft, not being able to meet with family and friends. This is surely a ‘dry’ valley for some and yet this vision assures us that God has power over all things and can breathe new life into what is hopeless.
When Ezekiel is told to ‘prophesy to the bones’, God brings them back to life: the bones come together and are covered with muscles and skin, and then filled with God’s breath to bring new life, by the life of His Spirit. Our hope beyond the pandemic is that the gift of God’s Spirit will bring new life to our lives, churches and world. Life will certainly look very different in the future, but we can be assured that God is with us and that we are safe in his hands.
‘I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’ (14).
Please see our ‘Facebook’ page for the contributions of members and friends. Some of which will be included in the print version of the Newsletter sent to those who do not have computer access.
With love in Christ
David & Yvonne x