Issue 16Issue September-October 26 May—June2011 2013
Cricket, crafts and Christ! Sue Stafford tells us about a team visit to see Child Action Lanka; St John’s newest mission partner.
n January this year five of us, past or present members of St John‘s, set off together for Kandy, Sri Lanka, home of Child Action Lanka. We managed to arrive there within hours of Jeff and Sheila Wattley who had flown out a few days earlier at the start of their sabbatical. It felt exciting to be making a team visit and we had a sense of God leading us to go but, as before, not a definite plan of how our time or skills might be used there! It was a joy to meet up again with the children and families who come to the centres as well as Debbie, Dilshan and the staff team. We joined with the church family at Dilshan‘s church on the Sunday morning and Jeff started his first Sunday away from St John‘s by sharing God‘s word with people through a translator and presenting them with a gift of a picture from the church family at St John‘s as a symbol of our new partnership. Over the days and weeks of our visit we became involved in a number of ways...help with finance and computer systems (clearly not me!), health care screening and advice, work with individual or groups of children and advice to staff on how to best help those with special needs, staff training on understanding and managing behaviour and support and counselling of some of the children and staff. One specific goal that was achieved was every child being photographed and given the picture to keep...most of the children have never owned a photograph of themselves. Additionally many of the older ones enjoyed making a frame for their photo! (thanks to Sheila Wattley and Linda Emmett for undertaking this daunting challenge!) As well as time spent in Kandy four of us travelled to the CAL project in Nuwara Eliya, the tea plantation area, to offer similar support. Richard Emmett accompanied Dilshan on a road trip up to Kilinochia in the north and took the several laptops that had been generously donated, as well as offering valuable agricultural advice on how the land there might be developed to allow them to be self supporting. Richard was very popular with his cricket team in Kili when he managed to bowl out a youngster on the first ball! After others returned to the UK there was opportunity for me to visit CAL‘s new project on the east coast near Batticoloa. This work started in September (Continued on page 3)
Editor’s Bit A Royal Appointment “On his robe that covers his thigh he has a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” Revelation 19:16
had the real honour
thought of ―but I already know the King of Kings, and that will always
of meeting Her Majesty the Queen on
beat meeting the Queen‖. I definitely enjoyed my one minute in the presence of an incredible monarch
6 April, when she and His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh came to my workplace - Mars
(she was impressively attentive and exuded warmth through her smile), but I have eternity to spend in the
Chocolate in Slough. I was with a small group of fellow employees and we talked briefly about the history of chocolate, of the cocoa bean
presence of the King of Kings. The Queen probably meets many hundreds, if not thousands of people in a year, and I‘m pretty sure she
crop and the process of turning cocoa beans in chocolate – all in less than 90 seconds! Although I was
won‘t remember our meeting; but God Almighty, the Lord of Glory – he‘s known me since before the
acutely aware of the ―once in a lifetime‖ element of this close encounter with the Queen (an OBE probably isn‘t heading my way any time
world began and calls me ―friend‖. And the King of Kings that I know is the one who has the power to transform lives and situations yesterday,
soon!), compared to some of my colleagues I was incredibly relaxed about the event. I had woken up in
today and forever. I‘m sort of hoping that He‘ll have created some amazing chocolate in
the morning thinking ―I‘m going to meet the Queen today‖….then had another, almost immediate next
heaven to go with that wine ever-flowing too!
transform Editor, Alison Berry
about 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 ot he r el 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 firstname.lastname@example.org The team transform is edited by Alison Berry and Laura Evans-Jones, with the support of a wider team. New skills are 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 (July/August 2013) is 12th June.
By Royal Appointment : Her Majesty the Queen meeting some of the Mars team
transform May—June 13
Focus on New Ministries
Money, money, money!
hristians Against Poverty is a national debt counselling charity working through a network of centres based in local churches. CAP offers hope and a solution to anyone in debt through its unique, in-depth service. CAP aims to show God‘s love in action by providing sustainable poverty relief through debt counselling, advice and practical help. CAP‘s unique ‗hands on‘ approach empowers people to help themselves out of poverty and be released from the fear, oppression and worry generated by overwhelming debts. The charity operates through a growing network of UK centres, all opened in partnership with a local church. CAP began in 1996 when John Kirkby, armed with a £10 donation, started to help people in his local community who were trapped in debt. In the Autumn we will be introducing a valuable new ministry at St John‘s; the CAP Money Course. This course will give people in the church and the community the tools to get their finances under control at a time when many are feeling the pinch. Jesus taught so much about money because it affects every area of life and if it is out of control, it has the power to destroy lives. The CAP Money Course empowers people to give and save
more as well as preventing the destructive effects of unmanageable debt. Six members of St John‘s have enthusiastically agreed to become CAP Money Coaches and run the Course. They will be trained by CAP and then will organise courses to meet the needs of our community, with the first course ex-
Chris Matthews introduces a pected to be run in Septemnew ministry for St John’s ber. So that we can all understand the scope and potential of the course, a member of the CAP Staff will be joining us at St John‘s on a Sunday in September and will talk to us about the course and how we can all help to make it a success. For those who realise that they have a debt problem, the Money Course gives access to CAP‘S Debt Counselling service. Once we have the CAP Money Course established, we plan to introduce a Debt Counselling service at St John‘s and this is being actively progressed at the moment. CAP‘s Debt Counselling service has been used by God to bring many people to faith and we trust that we will also have the joy of seeing people not just lifted out of debt, but brought into a new life in Christ. In all this, it is our intention to work together with the other churches in the area to ensure that the benefits of these new ministries are made available to as wide a number of people as possible.
(Continued from page 1)
2012 and the charity is reaching out to five rural communities most of whom have no electricity or running water so depend on shared wells. These people have been affected by both the long war and tsunami and continue to know poverty. The centres here offer a simple meal which for some children may be their only predictable food , support with education, a chance to play and the experience of being treated with love and respect. Over 500 children take up this opportunity and often walk long distances in the heat to get there but come on a rota basis at present as more staff are needed to cope with the numbers. There are many needs here but CAL has a specific vision to purchase and renovate an old bus and equip it with computers to teach the children a much sought after skill that may help them out of the poverty trap. On this trip I was struck by the way the work is growing and how God is leading CAL to reach more and more children. This of course leads to an ongoing need for support. It has been wonderful to see the response to the Lent Project back here in Egham and this sacrificial giving will make a life changing difference to the children there! A total of £9303.51 + gift aid was given through our church Lent Project! The directors of CAL have been ―amazed and speechless‖ by your generosity and when decisions are made about how the money will be spent I will pass on the details to you. A very big thank you from the children and staff of CAL as well as from me!
Lent Project Update
If anyone would like more information on CAL or has an interest in visiting or volunteering with them please do get in touch with Sue Stafford on 01784 451647
transform May—June 13
A team from St John’s (past and present) on their visit to Child Action Lanka Page 3
o m i t s e t r u O
Rose: I believe in God and in Jesus, who die save us from our sins.
I know that God loves me and listens to me w
Rose & Kitty Lee
want to be baptised and follow God for all my l
child in his arms
JESUS SAID TO THEM ―WHOEVER
welcomes one of these little children welcomes me
COME ME BUT THE
one who sent me”
IN MY NAME
Kitty: I believe in God, who is my father and very powerful, loving and kind.
I believe in Jesus, who died on the cross to tak DOESN‘T WELMARK 9:36-37
I believe in the Holy Spirit, who helps me live a
Dear God, please bless me on my baptism day
was baptised when I was 17, believing that Jesus came down to earth, died on the cross and rose again. At least I believed all that in my head but somehow didn‘t seem to quite believe it deep down inside. At church, I used to see people getting so excited, especially when they were singing hymns, and I really didn‘t understand it but I went along with it, as intellectually I agreed with everything about Christianity. A few weeks later, the pastor starting talking about Heaven and Hell and posed the idea that if you‘re not 100% sure that you‘re going to Heaven, you should ask God, and if you don‘t get an overwhelming sense of certainty, then ask God to convict you with the way to get to heaven. I did that, but didn‘t really feel any different. Every week during the service there was a regular point when the person preaching would say ―Jesus died for me‖, using their own name to make the point that Jesus would have come and died, even if it was just for that one person, and it would have been worth it. On one particular day, as that point in the service drew near, I was thinking ―here we go again‖, but when Dave said it, it was as though something just clicked, and I started crying, as there was a feeling deep inside, which I can only explain by saying it was the Holy Spirit convicting me. It was amazing; I knew then that I understood the elements in the Bible to be true; not just in my head, but in my heart – and that‘s what‘s made it real for me Therefore, as the Bible says that we should believe and be baptised, now that I actually believe, I need to get baptised.
The God that Changes Lives in Egham Following their baptisms and renewal of baptism vows in March, Audrey, Emily, Cathie, Rose & Kitty share their encourag-
s e i n o
ed on the cross to
when I pray and I
my friend and is
ke away our sins.
a Christian life.
ing stories of their journeys to faith in Christ….
‘ve always been a Christian but I always felt as though there was something missing. About a year and a half ago, Jackie (McGovern) moved in next door to me and began bringing me back to church again and so to her I owe a big thank you as before that I couldn‘t get here. I started praying and asking God to show me the way, as I knew I hadn‘t quite reached the point I wanted to with my faith, and He Audrey Silver answered my prayer. In the middle of the night, He sent Jesus to me. I saw Jesus as plain as I can see you today. He was sitting in front of me with his arms outstretched and beckoning me towards him. I felt myself being drawn forward and when I got to him, he said ―welcome‖ – just the one word, ―welcome‖ – and sat back with a beaming smile on his face. I knew that God had sent him to answer my prayer and show me the way. When he welcomed me, I felt the most incredible feeling – I felt enveloped in warmth, in love and in protection, and I knew that from that day on that no-one or nothing could ever hurt me because Jesus was with me and he would always protect me. And that is how it‘s been ever since - it‘s changed my life, and made me, I hope, a better person. I see the good, not the bad in everything now. I used to be very critical and I‘m not now. I haven‘t suddenly become a wonderful person, but I‘m better than I was! I want to thank the friends I‘ve made here at church, but especially I want to thank my husband who has been very tolerant of my bad temper in the past, and I hope he‘s enjoying my good temper these days! Audrey
hen I was younger, if you'd have asked me if I was a Christian, I'd have said ―yes‖. If you'd have asked me if I believed in God, I'd have said ―yes‖. If you'd asked me if I believed in
Jesus, I would have said ―yes‖. But if you'd have asked me why, or who Jesus was, I wouldn't have been able to answer you. At 17 I realised that all I believed in was a name. If I was to believe in this God I had to get to know Him, to find out why He created me. If there is a God - I need to learn about Him. If there isn't a God - I need to stop saying I believe in Him. What's the point? So I went to church. I met people who were confident in God. I was challenged. I asked questions. I read the Bible. I prayed. I found answers. I went to a Bible study. I kept asking questions. I found more answers. I understood. I believed. I kept studying the Bible. I kept praying. Jesus game me answers. Jesus gave me hope. Jesus gave me confidence. Jesus opened my eyes. Why do I believe that God is real? Because so much of the time I see Him working, doing exactly what He said He would do. Now I choose to follow Jesus, to be His disciple because Jesus created life, so to live life fully we should listen to His teaching. So I want to be fully immersed in water because I have repented. It is a sign that how I lived before, without Jesus, has been washed away. Emily Emily Saunders Page 5
Transform September—October 12
Happy 40th Birthday Playbox…….. As Playbox celebrates its 40th Birthday, Sam Harris talked to parents and staff involved
about this wonderful ministry to children and their families...here are some of their stories! STED y OF b id g All pecte arnin e d ins L n a l d by hoo ered nage re-Sc a egist P r m e is th e nd f th ox ough ed a ber o h Playb n lt m w a e o cil is nced is a m Coun perie roup and x g h e c r f e so Sian Chu . Th hand s are e chial r ance h o o t r is a rv is in m P supe ning Egha joint y run e a h t d o ff — day-t ld. d s ta erifie ualifie q d rah M an a S ms & Willia
y involvement with Playbox began almost seven years ago when I was asked to become Chair of
the Management Committee. As part of that role, I spend one morning a week at Playbox as a volunteer in the staff team.
ne of our friends and past supervisor at Playbox, Carol Peters, asked for a short article, well what can we say......
All of the staff at Playbox were (and still are) friendly and made us feel so welcome that we didn‘t hesitate for all three of our children to go to Nursery there. Zoe attended from 2003 to 2005 – she says ―I remember story time in the small side room when we all sat around in a circle and listened to Carol or Val (James) telling a story especially as this was when some of us were chosen to be the juice and biscuit monitors. This was my favourite part of the day.‖ She also liked arriving at Playbox in her Disney princess outfits. When chosen to be Mary in the Nativity she said she only would do it if she could be a princess! Luckily one of the staff coaxed her to take part. Alex and Ryan attended from 2005 to 2007. Being identical twins this caused much
It is fascinating to watch each new intake of children being nurtured and encouraged by the love, care and professionalism of the staff as they develop into confident almost five year olds who are looking forward to their next adventure, starting school. Hilary Davies
h a v e worked at Playbox for 5 years and it is a pleasure working with the children. As members of
a m u s em e n t to many of the staff at the time who had trouble telling them apart and would wait for them to select their name off the board so they could then try and remember what each of them was wearing! The boys talked in ‗twin language‘ to start with and Alex needed speech therapy but nothing seemed to faze the staff and the boys had a great time. ―I liked
staff we are privileged to have the opportunity to get to know not only the children but their families as well.
playing outside the best and the big slide indoors‖ remembers Alex. ―and I loved it when were allowed to play on the computer‖ adds Ryan. There are so many happy memories and although our children are now all at school we are still in contact with many of the staff past and present. Zoe has recently started secondary school and has re-established friendships originally made at Playbox. We still enjoy many of the events : the holiday club and Christ-
mas Craft afternoons being firm favourites. We would like to congratulate Playbox on 40 years....here‘s to another 40!
transform May—June 13
Lynne and Mark Adams
are happy, confident and making Lent Children for Lanka good progress overall in their learning.
Chris Matthews explains with moreparents aboutand this year’s Excellent partnerships Lent Project support Child Lanka carers in help ensureofthat theAction individual needs of all children are met. Ofsted Report April 2012
was brought up in an Atheist family – despite being baptised when I was only a few weeks old! My only experience of church was at school and that was all about keeping quiet and still, and wearing a dreadful yellow school hat! Some 20 years later both my boys went to Playbox and Playtime. I felt comfortable, welcomed and cared about at both. But I didn‘t really think about the Christian side of it, When Matthew (aged 5) said that he wanted to be baptised I suggested that he and I should actually go to church to find out what being baptised was about. I asked the people I knew from Playbox about St John‘s and how one went about ―going to Church‖! This was in December 2000. When I walked into St John‘s for the first time it was loud and friendly with lots of familiar faces. Nothing like my childhood experiences. The Playbox and Playtime leaders seemed to make sure that I didn‘t get left alone in Church or in the centre for coffee. Louisa (Hodgkinson) found me some children‘s Christian books which explained the structure of the service and what communion was about. I went to the ladies Alpha course – where Kathy (Owtram) and Alison (Berry) were very patient with my endless questions! When I got confirmed (Spring 2002) I was a bit concerned when we were each allocated a row for all our ―guests‖ . I knew that no-one in my family was going to attend, so I did feel sad that I didn't have anyone coming for me. I went off to rehearse with the other candidates. When I returned to my seat the row was full of people from St John‘s – and the row behind them. I felt so embraced by everyone. In accepting Jesus into my life I had been adopted by a whole new family – a huge family that spoke the same language. Working at Playbox gives me the opportunity to give to other families the way that Playbox gave support and care to my family. In the things that they did and said the Playbox staff helped me to step through the doors at St John‘s and feel that I had been welcomed home.
laybox has played a wonderful part in our life since Lily started attending...her teachers are all lovely (they didn't pay us to say that!) and her confidence and ability has come on leaps and bounds as a result. Perhaps as important to us is its attachment to St John‘s, a church at the heart of the community that we feel a welcome part of. Lily will miss Playbox and the staff very much when she makes the jump to primary school in September but we look forward to our youngest, Harry starting in January. He is ready...I just wonder if they are…
Adam, Debi, Lily & Harry Rush
m 4.30p & — 0 3 . kes h2 y 11t ames, ca me! a M h ,G elco 11t entre ne w rday Satu Church C . Everyo s in the ies for kid t i v acti
So many people contributed to this article that there will be more stories in the next issue of transform!
transform May—June 13
Transforming lives home or away Youth Ministry @ St John’s
ur aim is to build a community of young people who will become fully devoted to Christ.
To help us we are aiming to provide a number of different opportunities depending on where the young people are on their spiritual journey. For those already attending church and are interested in spiritual matters we have two groups. Outbreak (11-16s) meet in the Caddey during 2nd Service [term time] and Core (14-18s) meet at Tim Sudworth‘s home on Sunday afternoons 3.00pm to 4.30pm [term time]
Both groups attend a monthly Saturday evening Soul Survivor celebration in Watford. Since the beginning of 2013 we have focused on providing more social activities to which our young people can invite their friends who are not yet Christians. For April, May and June we are using the Caddey and church centre for ―at home nights‖. These monthly evenings for 11-16s include games, craft activities, music and food. In the summer we will be at the Soul Survivor camp. This experience really does help our young people focus on either becoming a Christian, or how to go on with God. For our Sunday teaching we are using the Quest course which is designed to explore the claims of Christianity and how it can change lives. Not only are our young people being encouraged to bring friends but we are also giving invitations to local scouts, cubs and schools. Some of our Explorers group will also join in. If you would like to be a part of this growing ministry and can commit to 2 to 4 hours a month why not have a chat in person with either Tim Sudworth email@example.com or Phil Darby [socials] firstname.lastname@example.org
To Brazil with love An update from Hannah Cross on the next stage
‘m thrilled to let update you with the news that I‘ve become Latin Link‘s newest long-term missionary! As one of the ‗Stay‘ members of the Latin Link community, I hope
to spend 5+ years in Brazil. I first felt God‘s call to Brazil at the age of sixteen and ten years tion for some of Brazil’s most vulnerable children on, He has opened the doors for me to return on a more permanent basis. He has been faithful throughout this journey and with Him I make plans for an exciting (and slightly warmer) future. I am still unsure of exactly how those plans will look, but I do know that I will be back in Recife for Christmas with my Brazilian parents and friends.
of her adventure providing hope and transforma-
I remember arriving in Olinda the second time to an unfamiliar city and culture, with a handful of acquaintances, with whom I communicated via gestures and mime due to my then limited Portuguese vocabulary! Trusting in God‘s provision then was a step of faith and a move out of my comfort zones. Now, I can testify to God‘s provision of friends and family in a place which is becoming a second home. Wherever I settle in Brazil and however my ministry with slum kids and students develops I am very thankful for both those homes. In the meantime I still have essays to work on and my time at All Nations to complete. Please be praying for inspiration and for God‘s continued guidance as I seek His will and to glorify His name as I plan for Brazil and the future. The final lines of Isaac Watts hymn ‗When I Survey the Wondrous Cross‘ have been a powerful challenge to me in the past few weeks. And so I leave you with them: ‗Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all’
transformMay—June November-December 09 transform 13
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St John's transform magazine issue 26