Spanish Worship Night Is Back!

SPANISH WORSHIP NIGHT IS BACK!

Hi all! Spanish Worship Night is finally back! If you have a heart for Latin-American and/or Spain and like speaking the language, don’t miss this opportunity of worshipping our Lord and sharing between each other in Spanish. Save the date: Tuesday 17th of December, 19:30 for tea & coffee (starting at 8pm) at The Hub (22 Elmwood Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6AY). See you there! Blessings!

Penelope

VUELVE SPANISH WORSHIP NIGHT!

Hola a todos, les contamos que por fin vuelve Spanish Worship Night! No te pierdas un tiempo único de alabar a nuestro Señor y compartir en nuestro propio idioma. Te esperamos el martes 17 de Diciembre desde las 19:30 hrs en el Hub (22 Elmwood Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6AY). Nos vemos! Bendiciones!

Penelope

 

SNAP

Chile: Elections
Prayer partners in Chile Alf and Hilary Cooper (Alf is chaplain to the President) ask prayer for the nation of Chile in the build-up to the presidential and congressional elections on 15 November – crucial to the way the government takes into account Christian values.

Uruguay: Prison ministry
Pray for Gonzalo Soria who has been invited to begin pastoral work in the prison. This is intriguing for a country that seeks to keep a separation between church and state.

Argentina: Christians come together
Mission partners Ed and Marie Brice in Tartagal, Argentina, give thanks for the evangelistic campaign held in the town in August by Carlos Annacondia: for the thousands of people who heard and responded to the gospel, and for the improved relations among the different Christian groups in Tartagal. One opportunity out of this was to go and join local Christians to pray on the streets of the most notorious district of the town. Pray for the continued follow-up, including Ed and Marie’s contact with the 34 people who live near The Good Shepherd church [which they pastor] and responded to the invitation during the Annacondia campaign.

Brazil: Alpha

Pray for Jess and Mark Simpson in Rio de Janeiro Anglican Cathedral who have just started an Alpha course.

Paraguay: FEISA Teacher Training

Pray for 3rd Year students’ who are on placement within various state schools.

Pray for the training of church members who are willing to help with toy library visits. This is a really important ministry which shares in a tangible way God’s love in challenging circumstances.

Peru: Diocesan Youth Ministry team

Pray for Rachel Hill (Deacon responsible for youth ministry), Paul Tester (mission partner) and Lizbeth Varillas (Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator). Pray for guidance and inspiration for this key team. Pray for the youth leaders in Lima, that they will take the initiative to building a vision for the youth ministry in Lima. For the National Youth Leaders Retreat to be held in November (8th-10th), that they may hear the call to be the leaders that God wants them to be.

Keep your feet on the ground, but let your heart soar. Refuse to be average or to surrender to the chill of your spiritual environment.

“For me to live is Christ …” The Apostle Paul

Friday Night Live 7th February 2014

New church in the Chaco

Photos of the recently completed new church at la Paciencia one of the Chaco villages in the La Patria community which thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Mission Paraguay has funded this year.

 

BEWARE OF SCAM

Dear SAMS supporters,

I have been made aware of two mission agencies in the UK that have had their records hacked into by scammers, in order to obtain personal details of supporters, such as telephone numbers and email addresses. Scammers are then using this information to contact supporters, posing as a representative of the mission agency and have in some cases asked for money to be sent to them. Although this scam has existed by email for some time, it is increasingly likely to be tried by telephone.

If you receive a call like this, put your phone down, wait one hour (in some cases, the caller will hold your line open for some time) and then contact SAMS on a number you know (not one the caller gives you), or one you can find from the SAMS website or from SAMS literature. Please remember that SAMS will never telephone you asking for money.

SAMS follows strict guidelines to keep personal information of supporters confidential. We ensure that our antivirus software is kept up to date and information is never passed on to a third party without permission. We at SAMS have not been affected by this scam, but I wish to inform you about it to make you aware of what can happen and ask for your vigilance.

As always thank you for your support.

Bishop Ken Clarke

SAMS Mission Director

 

 

God’s Missional Agenda

When it comes to our spiritual lives, it’s more or less a universal tendency to compartmentalize. We recognize there’s both a personal and a communal aspect to the Christian life, that there’s a vertical and a horizontal dimension, that there are the things to be done within the walls of the church and things to do beyond those walls.

But so often we view these as competing priorities, failing to see all the ways in which they’re mutually reinforcing disciplines and practices for followers of Christ seeking an integrated way of life.

Prayer and action… can never be seen as contradictory or mutually exclusive. Prayer without action grows into powerless pietism, and action without prayer degenerates into questionable manipulation. If prayer leads us into a deeper unity with the compassionate Christ, it will always give rise to concrete acts of service. And if concrete acts of service do indeed lead us to a deeper solidarity with the poor, the hungry, the sick, the dying, and the oppressed, they will always give rise to prayer. In prayer we meet Christ, and in him all human suffering. In service we meet people, and in them the suffering Christ.

If we really understood this, we’d be on the whole a lot less frazzled, a lot less weighed down, a lot less distracted with endless “busywork” for God. And we’d be able to set aside more or less fruitless debates about the prioritization of evangelism vs. social action, or prayer vs. service, or community vs. mission, and get on with participating in Gods missional agenda.

SNAP

SNAP September 13

  • Please pray for SAMS Mission Director Bishop Ken and Chris Bloomfield from Fivemiletown Parish as they share in various ministries and identify and prioritize projects during their trip to Paraguay and Peru. Pray that the time spent with people will be an encouragement to all.
    Thursday 5th:Flight to Amsterdam and Lima. Arrive in Lima 18.05   Stay overnight Lima.
    Friday 6th:Depart Lima at 8.35 for Asuncion.
    Saturday 7th:Meeting with Mags and Gwen, Bishop Peter and Sally Bartlett and others.
    Sunday 8th:Sunday morning worship. Bishop Ken to preach. 15.40 Leave on bus for Iguazu to arrive about 21.00hrs. Meet Claire Holmes.
    Monday 9th:Day off to see the famous Iguazu Falls. Travel to Concepcion on the overnight bus (9 hours)
    Tuesday 10th:Full day in Concepcion for time with Claire, Gillian Neill, and Bishop Andres. In the evening Bishop Ken speaks at church meeting. Travel on overnight bus to Asuncion.
    Wednesday 11th:Depart Asuncion at 10.55 for Lima. Arrive Lima at 17.50 Stay for 3 nights.
    Thursday 12th:Friday 13th: Programme is being arranged by Paul and Sarah Tester and will include identifying possible projects, meetings with Bishop Bill Godfrey, visit to the Seminary, visiting some churches and meeting with leaders.
    Saturday 14th:Depart Lima at 20.15
    Sunday 15th:Arrive Dublin.
  • Give thanks for the ministry of Cecilia through the Red Box Project. In the midst of a growing ministry pray for Cecy. Pray for Peter Harrison who departs on 9th for the RBP. Peter is participating with SAMS as part of his university degree placement. He will be working in a variety of settings, but specifically pray for him this month as he arrives in Argentina and settles.
  • Give thanks for the ministry of Alec Deane and The Garden Project. Within the UK and Ireland the new SAMS resource is beginning to be used in various churches (do you have it?) please pray for a generation to be inspired through the written and visual resources.
  • Pray for Claire Holmes in Concepcion as she disciples adults in the church, leads bible studies, visits parishioners and provides pastoral support.  Pray for wisdom and stamina for Claire and ask that the Holy Spirit will continue to fill and empower her. Pray also for Gillian who is presently working alongside Claire as a SAMS volunteer. Give thanks for the teams who have visited this summer as part of Mission Paraguay. They were a real boost to Claire and Pastor Andres as they accompanied them on their visits to the surrounding communities.

  • Pray for Ana María the Head of FEISA and also the Coordinator of the Academics Department.  Ana has been working in FEISA for 13 years teaching several of the Diploma courses, such as Didactics, Educational Theory and Christian Worldview.
  • The Rt Revd Abelino Apeleo in Chile asks us to pray for local pastors that God would stir up evangelism, discipleship, stewardship and social outreach programmes. Pray with Abelino for the youth of Chile. On a personal note please pray for Abelino and his wife Paty for the constant challenges they face in ministering to the different churches, each with its own set of issues. Pray too for safety on the journeys they make by car as they have not yet been able to purchase a four wheel drive vehicle for the rural areas.
  • Gwen & Mags had a sad start to the month when one of their annexe pupils was killed when she was knocked down crossing a road on the way to a sports competition. She was in 9th grade (15 yrs old) and the top pupil who was working hard to get into a good secondary school. She was the adopted daughter of a single mother. The mother is a Christian  and it was very moving to see her so firm in her faith. The girl was also a Christian. Pray for Gwen & Mags who have had some tough moments recently but in among them the Lord has sent encouragements. Give thanks for ex pupils who are strong in their faith and active in their churches. Gwen & Mags note that in many cases some of these people who have been pupils never seemed to listen much or show interest in spiritual things. It’s so good to see how the Lord’s word doesn’t return void.
  • Pray for wisdom and direction from God for the SAMS General Council meeting on 26th September.

Within or Without

Lots of people in churches use the terms ‘Mission and Ministry’ interchangeably, but the concepts of the two and how we practice them within the church are different.

Mission, is really God’s Mission: The redemption of the world. We were created to be in perfect relationship with him, but we do fall short. The Church is to be God’s partner in that Mission by proclaiming the Kingdom of God in both word and deed. We are to follow Jesus’ example of healing, feeding, teaching and preaching, especially to those who are not already within the church.

Ministry, on the other hand, is the work of the church – the activities that keep us going. Ministries provide a very important function within the church, but more for those who are already there or visiting. These are very necessary for the church to function through worship, administration, programming, maintenance, teaching and more.

The fine line between the two comes into play when we think of the people who are not yet followers of Jesus Christ but do visit or attend church. Some of our church ministries can be instrumental for helping people to become disciples. Ministries of a church are certainly necessary and good, so please keep doing them. Where the distinction is important, however, is when churches believe that their ministries (Bible studies, Sunday School, etc) are all that the church needs to be doing.

The difference between mission and ministry reflects an internally focused church and an externally focused church. Where does your church focus your time and efforts? For the people who are already there, or on the people who still need to find their place there? If it’s only on the people who are already there, your church is missing out on a huge part of what discipleship means. When we become disciples, our calling does not end there. Part of being a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ is making new disciples. And making new disciples requires going outside the church.

Take a moment to reflect on your own church’s programming. Who are the main beneficiaries? Your own members? Or those who are not yet members or may never be members? There are always more people who need to know the loving grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. What are you doing to reach out to them?

More Like Jesus

Setting the scene:

Paul founded the church in Galatia – a huge Roman province. Paul insisted that

repentance and faith in Christ was all that was needed to receive this new life with God – but now some Jewish teachers were insisting that non-Jews needed to be circumcised and observe Jewish laws. Paul is not happy and suggests if that is true then why not go the whole hog and castrate yourself! (Gal 5.12)

So, Paul in chapter 5, begins a magnificent dialogue on ‘freedom in Christ’. Christ has saved us to set us free – not to live permissive, indulgent lives – but freedom to live as God’s children. Paul contrasts two lists of behaviours, the first are the result of fallen human desires. The second set are the result of faith in Christ and the impact of the Spirit upon our lives.

‘Fruit’ is an old metaphor – but one that was obvious in the agricultural setting of Israel. Jesus also spoke about ‘recognising a tree by its fruit’ (Matt 7.16).

  • Which of the ‘fruits’ listed in v22 do you feel are least evident at this point in your life?
  • Which of the fruits would you like to be most evident in your life right now?

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives?

In what sense does the Holy Spirit ‘teach us’? How does the Holy Spirit transform us? How does the Holy Spirit help us to pray? The Holy Spirits role is to make Jesus real to us and to make us like Jesus.

The Holy Spirit ‘teaches us’ by helping us to make better sense of who Jesus is and what he has done for us. This includes helping us understand the meaning of scripture but also growing through this understanding. But the Spirit can also ‘teach us’ by providing Christ-like understanding of issues and situations. The Holy Spirit transforms us by prompting and even cajoling us to become like Jesus. Negatively he makes us aware of un-Christ-like attitudes and actions but also increases our distaste for them – thus he helps us break free from those things which hold us back.

Positively he fills us with both a desire and the power to become more like Jesus, although according to 1 John 3. 2 this process is not complete in this earthly life. When it comes to prayer, the Holy Spirit helps us by awakening in us a longing to know God better, but also gives us the assurance that prayer is worthwhile because he helps us know God loves us deeply (Romans 5.5; 8. 15 -16). Sometimes the Holy Spirit shows us how to pray by giving us insight into the subject for our praying. Then again the Holy Spirit can prompt us to keep praying or give us a sense that we should leave our prayer with God.

The late John Stott observed that the Christian life is life in the Spirit and it would be impossible to be a Christian, let alone to live and grow as a Christian, without the ministry of the gracious Spirit of God. All we have and are as Christians we owe to him.

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