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Issue 19 March-April 2012

From Brazil to Egham and back Hannah Cross reflects on her time in Recife, Brazil with Latin Link

"Sympathy is no substitute for action." – David Livingstone, missionary to Africa

I

f I had to choose three words to sum up the two years I spent on the slums of North-East Brazil they would be: passion, transformation and dependence.

Passion: Brazilians are disarmingly warm, vibrant and passionate people. They don‘t know the meaning of the British stiff-upper lip! I quickly earned the affection and respect of those on the slums by living in their community, showing genuine love for their children and not giving up on them. Every dimension of life was colourful: from the emotional rollercoaster of brilliant and horrible days working with slum kids, to the Spirit-filled worship, from camp games nights playing Mission Impossible… in the mud and dark, to reading John 3:16 with students and young professionals in English. Transformation: Their stories are etched into my mind and heart. There is nothing better than being used by God to bring a lost young person to Christ! God has done amazing things. I remember

―THOUGH THE

fig tree

the vines, no food... God

MY

DOES NOT BUD AND THERE ARE

THOUGH THE

olive crop fails

YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE

saviour”

no grapes on AND THE FIELDS PRODUCE

Lord, I will be joyful in

when Tiago, the son of a drugs baron, turned up at an evangelistic camp with hair dyed blonder than mine and committed his life to Christ. There are just

HABAKKUK 3:17-18

so many stories like Tiago‘s!

There is nothing

better than being used by God to bring a lost young person to Christ!

Dependence: The last 2 years have taught me to be totally dependent on God in every situation, at all times. I lived in 5 different houses in my 2 years in Brazil: on the slums, 3 months without running water, under a leaky roof held up by mouldy walls; God has always generously provided for my needs. I trust in Him as I place my future into His hands: the application for studying theology and a short-term mission trip with St John‘s in July, the long-term hopes of returning to Brazil, and the surprises each new day brings. Thank you for the huge part you at St John‘s have played in supporting, praying for and encouraging me.

Julia from Project Zoe


Editor’s Bit Leaving a Legacy... “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children” 13:22

transform Editor, Alison Berry

A

Proverbs the

London 2 0 1 2

Olympics

come

what‘s called the ―Olympic Legacy‖; not only what happens to the Olympic park but the notion that the games will leave a key legacy of national benefits in culture, sport, volunteering, business and tourism. The whole idea of legacy, or ―what happens next‖ struck me as so fundamental to our lives as Christians… In the last issue of transform, I recalled the life of Jonathan Edwards, and his key resolutions, written in the 18th century. In 1900, A.E. Winship researched the enormous impact of the life Edwards to his descendants. Edwards himself was a humble pastor who was one of the principal figures of the Great Awakening in the 1800. The list of the accomplishments of Edward's direct descendants include: 100 lawyers and a dean of a law school , 80 holders of public office, 66 physicians and a dean of a medical school, 65 professors of colleges and universities, 30 judges 13 college presidents, 3 mayors of large cities, 3 governors of states, 3 United States senators, 1 controller of the United States Treasury and 1 Vice President of the United States!

‘ve also read recently about the top five

regrets of the dying – courtesy of Bronnie Ware, an Australian palliative nurse who recorded the most common regrets of the dying: 1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. "This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled.”

transform March –April 12

is 3 years old this issue! Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the magazine so far!

about s

closer – literally closer to us in Egham – one of the many discussion points is about

I

The Christmas

The magazine for members of St John‘s Church in Egham. It is produced bi-monthly, with the aim of helping to connect and build our church family. Its purpose is to provide information and encouragement on church life and our family – specifically to show how God is transforming situations and people. It‘s not designed for people who don‘t yet come to St John‘s. But, if when you‘ve finished reading your copy, you‘d like to pass it on to a friend or neighbour, then that would be great too! Editorial We welcome items for inclusion or ideas for stories. Ideally these should be submitted in an MS Word document, hi - res J P G s or o t h e r e l ec t r oni c f o r m , a n d s e n t b y e m a i l t o transform@stjohnsegham.com The team transform is edited by Alison Berry and Laura Evans-Jones, with the support of a wider team , including writers & photographers. New talent always welcome! Advertising We accept adverts each issue both from within the church family, and a small number of external advertisements. Acceptance of any advertising is at the discretion of the editing team, and the acceptance of an advertisement in transform magazine is not necessarily an endorsement by the editorial team of the service or product offered. Deadlines The deadline for submissions to be considered for the next edition of transform (May / June 2012) is 12th April .

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard. “All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. “Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."

Wouldn‘t it be great to have no regrets! If

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express

we continue to live our live the way we‘re living it right now, what kind of legacy will

my feelings. "Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with

we leave behind?

others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence”

“You have heard me teach things that have

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. "Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years.”

been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” (2 Timothy 2:2) Page 2


Community Focus

Kitchen 2011

O

Lesley Pocock opens the doors on the Christmas Kitchen 2011….

ur aim was to provide food, fellowship and warmth for everyone - especially the lonely, displaced and hungry- in our community. As a church community we open this cafe and offer all the refreshments without charge as a gift of God‘s love to

our guests. God is at the centre of this vision - we are greatly blessed with this facility and with the wonderful people we meet. It was our fourth Christmas Kitchen and we continue to rejoice at God‘s abundant provision. With our overarching theme of "To spread God's love from heaven above to all humanity" we were open for 2 weeks with every day being busy. This included Christmas Day and Boxing Day, when over 70 lunches were served.

Lesley Pocock

The Christmas Kitchen was staffed entirely by time-giving volunteers – around 150 from various churches, local connections, Runnymede Voluntary Group, and even people who saw us in the High Street and wanted to volunteer. Ranging in age from teenagers to seniors, many were able to offer specialist skills ranging from the practical such as cooking to those with pastoral gifts. Business supporters included Villa Rosa who provided the lasagne and pizza for Boxing Day, Mars in the Community (who can forget all that chocolate?!), SAFAS (Safety Audit Systems) who provided all our hygiene training, Thorpe Park who gave food, Bishopsgate School which donated their collection from their Carol Concert, and other financial donations from Morning Star Christian Fellowship, the Mailbox and Tesco. We also received lots of prayer support from all the churches with clergy and pastoral workers visiting, praying and talking with people. Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, We held an art competition for Magna Carta and The Hythe your faithfulness to the skies. schools with the theme of "To spread God's love" - the qualHow priceless is your unfailing love! ity of work was amazing and some was exhibited in the

Kitchen. We saw God at work in so many ways both with volunteers and guests with the frequent question of "why are you doing this? " and our response of "this is our gift to the community

Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 36:5&7

to show God's love for everyone".

The Kitchen

T

he Kitchen continues to open on Wednesdays between

10am and 2.30pm through the first few months of 2012, and hopefully beyond. We offer light refreshments at no charge, and the opportunity to participate in crafts, board games and community activities. Those who need it also have access to support services.

transform March— April 12

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Testimony Focus

From fearful and fragile to faithful follower Becky Groves shares the testimony she gave on 8th January when she renewed her baptism vows, and brings us up to date on life as an intern!

I

have some lovely childhood memories, but for a lot of the time, whilst I

Last summer I went to the New Wine confe just knew I had to go up for prayer. The n

was growing up, I really struggled. I hid my feelings, kept strong, smiled and carried on.

beautiful. And not only that, I ate and I didn

Fearful and Fragile I changed schools 7 times, because I was bullied, and never felt I fitted in. At 12, I went to boarding school, and

Becky Groves at the St Paul’s Ealing Ball

A re

was bullied again for being ‗different‖. I lost all confidence and self-worth and was subsequently diagnosed with M.E.

As I trusted in God, He was releasing me to

Following fruitfully

For the last 4 years I've been doing music

felt called to explore ministry - to put acting

Amazingly (but maybe not surprisingly) I w ing (who run New Wine). God has taugh

months about waiting on him, trusting in h can do so much more than we could ever im

and depression; I was put on Prozac, became suicidal and started having panic attacks. I remember feeling completely alone, frightened and wanted someone to reach out to. By the time I went to Music College I thought I had things under control, but I still felt I had to be someone I wasn‘t. Everything was about appearance, how much we weighed, what we looked like, and I was being judged all the time. When I finished my degree my self-esteem was the lowest it had ever been; I had a real issue with food, my weight and I needed constant reassurance.

Finding Faith

God surrounded me with some incredible friends, who accepted, and loved me just as I am.

I felt like I was in a pit and I really needed something to change. I moved back home, but I knew nobody in Egham. I knew about church and

God, as I had been to St John‘s as a child but I will never forget the Sunday I came back 18 months ago. Completely overwhelmed and screaming inside for help, I tried to run out but something stopped me leaving. I saw a lady sat in front of me who had so much joy, and I remember thinking I wanted what she had, so I was pretty shocked when she turned around and asked me if I was ok. She said that God had told her to pray for me, and would I mind? I was so amazed that God knew I needed help. I started helping at Besom and couldn‘t believe the love I was shown there. This really shocked me as I had felt ‗worthless‘ for such a long time. God surrounded me with some incredible friends, who accepted, and loved me just as I am. Even though I had found Jesus, there were still things in my life that I struggled with. I had a constant battle with food, and I didn‘t like what I saw in the mirror.

Page 4

One Month on….

I turned up at St Paul‘s, Ealing, in January, n be expected to do. The title of the job is ―Ch cluding Kids work, Youth work, Besom, Wom Youth choir on our ‗youth jam‘ nights, using g I‘m currently co-leading worship which I love running the outreach projects and admin for

for that event. Every other Wednesday I ge

called Ruffy for 200 kids; I‘m not the pup which is very funny!

Transform


Real life stories of God in action! ―IF ANYONE IS IN THE OLD

As I trusted in God, He was eleasing me to be Becky.

Christ

has gone,

2 CORINTHIANS 5:17

HE IS A

THE NEW

new creation; has come!”

The internship is for six months, but there has been talk of longer….we don‘t always know what God has planned, do we?

If I had to pin point what has been the best thing so far it‘s that I have loved being thrown in the deep end, although it has not been easy. One thing that really excited me was that on the second week in,

erence and after one particular session, I next day I looked in the mirror and I felt

n‘t feel guilty for the first time in 5 years.

they had already got me co-leading worship and giving talks. The hardest element so far is having a full, 6 day timetable and not stopping, but God is showing me how to rest in his arms and that I don‘t need to do anything in my own strength.

o be Becky.

The thing that has surprised me the most is how when I have felt totally unequipped and out of my depth, I have been able to do to what I was asked. Nothing is impossible with Jesus.

cal theatre, but since last summer I have

I have many hopes for my time here; to help the Ealing Besom grow, to continue developing my worship leading skills, and with the strength of Jesus, not to fear anything that

g second and God first in everything.

was offered an internship at St Paul‘s Ealht me so much, especially in the last 4

him, that his timing is perfect and that he magine.

comes my way, but to throw myself into it one hundred percent!

Five Alive

O

n a snowy day at the beginning of February, five young people from St John‘s stepped out and declared their commitment to follow Christ forever! Here are a couple of their stories….

Amelia Berry & Ross Martin just before their baptism!

“I want to get baptised because I believe in our God. I believe that he created the world and he created me. I know that he loves me and that he died and rose again for me. I feel that now is the time for me to declare this. One of my favourite lines from a song is, „I don‟t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future‟ and my commitment is to follow him.‖ Amelia Berry

not really knowing much about what I would hurch Intern‖ covering a wide spectrum inmen‘s Ministry and worship. I‘m setting up a gospel type music with juicy harmony. And so much! New Wine is coming up and I‘m r Venue 2, so there‘s plenty of preparation

et to write and do a sketch with a puppet

ppeteer but I‘m the puppet‘s ‗best friend‘

March-April 12

“Over the course of my life I‟ve been raised as a Christian and then eventually I had to decide whether this was something that I believed in or whether it was just something that I‟d just been raised as. And then seeing God work his way into everybody‟s lives over the past 5 years, I really started to notice it and so it dawned on me that it‟s all or nothing really, you can‟t sit on the sidelines and watch, you have to be part of it.‖ Ross Martin

“Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 Page 5


simplicity, serenity and space. The flume in the pool is pretty great too!

Mission Support Update

Get on your bike!

of Christians who are enjoying life.

Want to know more?

then please talk to Kathie Lyndsell, Chris Matthews or contact Ian Smith at East to West Tel: 01784 438007. East to West are also holding a half day event for supporters and potential supporters on 17th March 2012 at St John‘s starting in the morning and finishing with lunch. East to West want to use the opportunity to share news of their work, stories of lives changed and their vision for the development of the work with young people in the area.

E

ast to West will be the focus of our Lent Project this year but it will be a Lent Project with a differ-

ence. Do you have a hobby that you could share with a young person or group of young people that East to West work with? The list of possibilities is as long as your imagination but might include: hill walking, taking them to see their favourite football team, mountain biking, rock climbing or visiting a place of interest perhaps related to their studies. We want to encourage people to see how they could give their time as well as money and provide young people with the experience of being in the company

T

anzania Maize Fund Update Thank you to everyone who was able to contribute to the fund that has enabled Bishop Joseph to buy much needed extra

bags of maize for the diocese to make up for the recent very poor maize harvest. A total of £2,272 was donated and this would have enabled Bishop Joseph to buy over 100 bags of maize, which will have made a significant difference to people‘s lives. The other good news is that the rains this year have started well and people have quickly planted maize to make the maximum benefit of this but please pray that the rains will continue into April so that there will be a really good harvest this year.

What on earth is Nathalie Ormrod explains more…..

S

tudents on a Tuesday evening are like workers on a Friday. We have only had two days of lectures and yet

it feels as though surely it must be the end of the week by now? Apparently not. It‘s the thought of cake (or pancakes) at Student Life Group however that brightens our spirits and gets us excited about meeting at 7.30pm for an evening of seeing friends, fun and laughter and studying the Bible together. St John‘s Student Life Group takes place every week at Mark and Sarah Francis‘ house and is a great way for us to come together and have the opportunity to share in our faith, learning and growing as Christians . Before Christmas we made our way through an overview of the Bible and this enabled us to make links between the books that we perhaps hadn‘t noticed before. The small group discussions make it comfortable for us to discuss new observations like these and to ask questions that arise along the way, however big or small. This term we are beginning a study of the parables and looking closely at each one has already started to challenge our understanding of them and in doing so, strengthening the response we individually get from them. Student Life Group provides us with the

transform March–April 12

perfect opportunity to continue growing as Christians during our time at University. Away from the hectic weekly schedule of lectures and responsibility, Tuesday evening‘s are an important time of thoughtful study and shared learning. I know that it makes a significant difference to the way we live out the rest of our week. It is a great encouragement to meet together and help each other on our journey as Christians at University.

Page 6


Focus on People

The Secret Life of a Lay Reader... Laura Evans-Jones talks to David Harding to find out more about the man behind the title….

W

hat’s your name and where do you come from? (Well, we know your name, just tell us a bit about your background….)

OK. I‟m local to the area. I was born and grew up in Ashford. I went to school there, and then on to Strodes College in Egham for my ALevels. After going away for university I came back home to do my teacher training year in London, and then got a teaching job locally. What about your Christian background? Both my parents are Christians, so I had a Christian input from a young age, being taken along to church and having a Christian life modelled by them. I can‟t put my finger on when I became a Christian, but when I was about 16 I became increasingly conscious of the reality of God, the extent of my sin and the knowledge the Jesus had died for me. Looking back now it‟s clear to me the Holy Spirit was at work in my life – and I thank God for the mercy and grace he has shown me. What brought you to Egham? I moved to Egham about 8 years ago as it was handy for work and I had a lot of friends in the area. Up until when Laura and I got married in July 2010 I was attending All Saints church in Laleham, and Laura went to St Stephens in East Twickenham. When we got married we decided to stay in Egham and we find a church close to home that we could go to as a newly married couple. We were warmly welcomed at St John‟s and soon felt that it was the place that God wanted us to be.

like Jeff, Mark and Tim and watching and experiencing what God is doing and will do in the future at the church. Do you do anything else at St John’s? Laura and I started leading our life group in September and it‟s been a good way to get to know a few people really well. It‟s helped us settle into the church and feel at home. Also, last summer I helped out with the holiday club, Rocky‟s Plaice. David and Laura Harding

Can you recall your most embarrassing church moment? One that comes to mind is was at my last church during a communion service. The curate was about to read the „prayer of humble access‟, the congregation was quiet and as the curate and I kneeled down I managed to bump into the Christmas tree and knocked off a number of the baubles which bounced around on the hard stone floor. It made quite a noise and rather ruined the decorum of the moment! And finally…the really important stuff…..Cricket or football? That‟s a tough one! Can I say it depends on the time of the year?

What’s your day job?

Loud or quiet?

I‟m a teacher. I work in a secondary school in Weybridge. It‟s a great job, challenging, fun and so varied: no two days are the same. I‟m blessed to work with a great staff and the students are fantastic. I think being a teacher has helped me in being a lay reader at church, particularly when it comes to explaining those tricky bible passages as well as giving me an increased confidence to talk in front of people!

Again I‟m going to sit on the fence. It depends on whose making the noise.

So why / when did you become a lay reader? About 8 or 9 years ago the vicar at All Saints, Laleham suggested that I consider training up for Reader ministry. After thought and prayer, and talking it through with a few people it seemed right to go ahead and undergo the training. What are you most looking forward to about being part of the teaching ministry at St John’s? Well one thing is using the time I have to serve by spending time in God‟s word. It is a great privilege. You always get so much out of spending time studying a passage, chewing it over and thinking what it means and how to communicate it to others. When I‟ve prepared things in the past I‟ve found God convicting me and teaching me through that process. I‟m also looking forward to learning from people

transform March-April 12

Curry or Chinese? Has to be Curry; especially with Roshni‟s around the corner

Egham & Hythe “Your Local Independent Funeral Directors” Serving Egham Hythe, Egham, Staines, Wraysbury, Englefield Green & surrounding areas PRIVATE CHAPELS OF REST & MONUMENTAL MASONS 92-93 High Street, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9HF Tel : 01784 479310 (24 hour service)

Page 7


Family Focus tition

For your diary

pe e Com as Cak m t is Chr

Nativity Service

Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) A chance to celebrate what God’s mission in action in the life of our church over the past year, to hear important updates, and to elect the PCC for the coming year.

Wednesday 25th April

7:45pm in church

Bell Ring ing

ace eR k a c Pan

This ye ar’s chi ldren’s holiday club

July 30th

Holiday Club

- August 3rd

20

12 Come an d be part of it! For informati more on on ho w to be in please co v o lved, ntact Rac hel Upco rachel@ tt on stjohnseg ham.com or 01784 4 3 9834 Come alo ng to chu rch on 5th March at 8pm to find out m ore!

Welcome to the world Toby!

M

any congratulations to Johnny and Sacha on the wonderful arrival of baby Toby Samuel

Sheppard on 17th February. With his beautiful long fingers, he‘ll hopefully soon be playing piano like his Daddy and the flute as well as his Mummy! As well as their special delivery, the proud parents are thrilled to have received deliveries of a different support; two weeks of meals from the Baby Meals Ministry. If you would like to join the team of people ready and willing to provide baby meals, or if you have a new arrival expected soon and would like some meals, then please do contact Heidi Blake via the Church Office.

transform 09 transformNovember-December March-April12

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transform Issue 19