Calendar
 

Author: officeadmin

The Vicarage
14th July 2019
Dear Friends,

As we continue to move towards the changes that are coming in September, I want to focus on two issues.

First, please do pray on for the appointment of a Trainee Minister. Our first round of advertising which closed on the 30th June did not yield any results, so we are planning to re-advertise, with a deadline in the Autumn. Pray that we will be able to appoint the right man for this job, and for his future role at both our churches. Whilst his particular focus will depend on the gifts God has given him, we will be looking to spend the time of ‘overlap’ with him and Dave to prepare ourselves for the future.

Second, as you will know on the 15th September 2019, we will be launching a new Afternoon Service at Little Eaton at 4.30pm. Initially this is something that Dave and I will be working on together, longer term this will allow me to be at all three main services in the benefice every Sunday. This is an exciting opportunity to do something new, and to seek to reach a new group of people, in Little Eaton, but also more widely.

However, we do need people to come along from Duffield to support that service, a team of ‘servants willing and temporary’ (SWAT), for those of you who remember a similar team we sent to Christ Church Derby in the beginning. For some that will mean attending the afternoon service along with services here at Duffield where possible, others might be able to get involved in serving, particularly with Children’s activities for those under 11. Other may be able to help in different ways. I am conscious that this is an extra commitment, and so we will need to be flexible with the support people can give. Over the next two months I will be recruiting this team. If you are interested in being part of the SWAT team, please do speak to me, and don’t be too surprised if I speak to you!

There are lots more things I could say about the changes that are coming up, and I will continue to update you through the summer. Do continue to join us for our Joint Prayer Meetings every week through July and August on a Wednesday evening. This gives us a great opportunity to get to know each other better at both churches as we pray together.

Interesting times, and a time of opportunity. Do continue to pray for both our churches as we all make adjustments.
Yours in Christ,

James

The Vicarage
19th May 2019
Dear Friends,
This morning we come to the end of our short series, looking at what it means to be Devoted to God, and Devoted to One Another. If you have missed any of the sermons, I would encourage you to catch up online – you can find the audio at https://stalkmundsduffield.co.uk/sermon/ (it usually updates on Tuesdays, so if one isn’t there, check back then). But after the sermon series finishes, we want to continue to think and act upon what this means for us as a church. And to do that, I want to revisit our MATURE statement, and just gather together a few of the things we have already talked about, by way of reminder:
Meeting God Daily – we want to be devoted to God, and so let’s strive to be reading our bibles and praying. If you want some material to help with this, do let me know. Attending Church weekly – let’s strive to meet to hear God’s word, to pray, to praise Him, and to encourage one another. Sundays give us the opportunity to be God’s people together in a very special and valuable way. Taking the small group challenge – if you want to join one, let me know.

Using God given gifts and resources – as we saw last week, we want to use our gifts to build up the body of Christ, the church. Do look at the ‘Opportunities to Serve’ section of the weekly news. And if nothing there look like something you want to do, or you have an idea, let me know. Reaching out in love – let’s think of how we can spend perhaps just a little more time with each other, to get to know one another, that we might reach out and help each other. Evangelistically active – more on that this morning!

After all, as we have been seeing:
We want to go deeper in our knowledge and love for Christ and His people
We want to go wider in reaching more people with the good news of Jesus
We want to go higher in pursuing Christ-like character together
Keep these things in mind, as we think together on what it means to be Devoted to God, and Devoted to One Another

Yours in Christ

The Vicarage
5th May 2019
Dear Friends
This morning sees the launch of a sermon series looking at our new mission statement: Devoted to God, Devoted to One Another, bases on Acts 2:42. We will be spending the next three weeks in the morning looking at what this means for us as a church.
Over the next few weeks and months, our mission statement will be increasingly obvious around the church, along with some of the phrases we will use to support it. however, in the meantime I thought it would be helpful to spell some of those phrases out.
First, we have a set of aspirations for how we seek to become devoted to God and devoted to one another:
We want to go deeper in our knowledge and love for Christ and His people
We want to go wider in reaching more people with the good news of Jesus
We want to go higher in pursuing Christ-like character together.
Second, we remember Jesus’ summary of the law:
Mark 12:29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this:`Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this:`Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Third, we will make use of our MATURE acrostic to think through what this looks like in practice:
Meeting God Daily
Attending Church weekly
Taking the small group challenge
Using God given gifts and resources
Reaching out in love
Evangelistically active

So keep these things in mind, as we think together on what it means to be devoted ot God abnd devoted to one another.

Yours in Christ

The Vicarage
12th May 2019
Dear Friends,
I thought it would be beneficial this week to update you on some of the things that are happening this year, as we move to working more closely together as a benefice.
In September 2019, we will be launching a new Afternoon Service at Little Eaton at 4.30pm. Initially this is something that Dave and I will be working on together, longer term this will allow me to be at all three main services in the benefice every Sunday. This is an exciting opportunity to do something new, and to seek to reach a new group of people, in Little Eaton, but also more widely. I am looking for a number of people who will be willing to support that service, through attending it alongside services here for a time, and also through getting involved in serving. If you are interested in doing that, please do speak to me, and don’t be too surprised if I speak to you!
We are also planning for a mini-mission across the benefice in September 2019, led by Dave Barnsley. This will be a great opportunity for us to invite friends to hear the good news of Jesus.
Before that, we will be launching our Joint Prayer Meeting in July. Initially we will meet every week through July and August on a Wednesday evening, to pray for the new service and for the mini-mission in September. This will give us a great opportunity to get to know each other better at both churches as we pray together. Look out for more details on timings and location for these prayer meetings after half term.
Finally, do continue to pray for the appointment of an assistant minister in the autumn. We have raised the funds we need to appoint this person, and the advert is now out, with a closing date of 30th June. Pray that we will be able to appoint the right man for this job, and for his future role at both our churches. Whilst his particular focus will depend on the gifts God has given him, we will be looking to spend the year of ‘overlap’ with him and Dave to prepare ourselves for the future.
Interesting times, and a time of opportunity. Do continue to pray for both our churches as we all make adjustments.
Yours in Christ

The Vicarage
14th April 2019

Dear Friends,
Last Wednesday evening we had our church AGM, which involved looking at the annual report, electing two churchwardens (James Rollin and Paul Linford – thank you to James for being willing to stand again, and Paul for joining the team), and electing members of PCC and Deanery Synod (we elected four PCC members: Andrew Jackson, Anna Maddison, Tom Gray and Mike Severn), amongst other business.
At the same time, it was at the AGM that I was able to present our Vision Document, based on all the outcomes from the Vision Day that we had last May. If you weren’t able to be at the AGM on Wednesday, do pick up a copy of the Vision Document from the back of church. In it you will find a set of plans for the various areas of the church’s ministry, as we seek to begin to fulfil the vision we set ourselves last year. If you have any questions on what is in the document, do speak to me or to Kirsty. I am looking forward to making progress on that vision, as we seek to be the people God has called us to be as a church.
One final thing from the AGM: on the front of the Vision Document I noted our new Mission Statement: Devoted to God and devoted to one another. This statement, which summarises the teaching of Acts 2:42 and following, is what we will be seeking to do and be over the coming weeks, months and years. We will be looking at it for three weeks in May in our morning services, and in growth groups during the summer term, as we look to be a people who love God wholeheartedly and love our neighbours as ourselves.
So do pick up the document if you haven’t already, have a good read, and join us as we seek to follow Jesus Christ together.
Yours in Christ,
James

The Vicarage
7th April 2019
Dear Friends,

As we continue to prepare for Easter, I want us to spend a few minutes reflecting on these words from Mark’s gospel, from the middle of Mark 9:

Mark 9:30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

We see Jesus teaching his disciples, and we see that he is teaching them, that the Son of Man (Jesus’ preferred title for himself) is going to be killed by men, and then rise again on the third day. This then is one of three passion predictions that Jesus makes in Mark 8-10, and these predictions are all about preparing his disciples for what is going to happen in Jerusalem. Peter has declared that Jesus is the Christ – now Jesus is teaching them what it means.

And of course, as we reflect on this passage, we know that Jesus went and died on the cross for our sins. And we know that he rose again – which is why we celebrate Easter in the first place, because of Jesus’ resurrection, and why we call Good Friday good.

But notice also here what Mark tells us in verse 32. Why don’t the disciples understand? The words aren’t that hard. This is Jesus is predicting his own death, not for the first time. He will die, he will rise again. So why don’t they understand? The issue is their expectations: they were hoping (as we often see in this section of Mark) for a triumphal entry to Jerusalem, and salvation through (military) victory over God’s enemies. They couldn’t get their heads around the idea of a crucified messiah.

In other words, they wanted to recreate Jesus in their own image. We face the same temptation. Not to turn Jesus into a warrior king – but to recreate Jesus as a benevolent granter of our wishes, or a wise (but ultimately ignorable) teacher, or something else. As we approach Easter then, the challenge for us is to meet the real Jesus, the one who speaks to us through his word. Let’s do that together over the next couple of weeks.
Yours in Christ,
James

The Vicarage
31st March 2019
Dear Friends,

This week I want to flag up some of the things that are happening as we celebrate Easter together in April.
We have two special events coming up during April. First, on Palm Sunday (14th April) we have a Mothers and daughters’ event, 2.30-4.30pm at St Alkmund’s. this seems to involve cake, craft, and cake – obviously I have not been inducted into the inner mysteries of this event, but do join us if you qualify! Then on Easter Saturday (20th April) we have an Easter Concert with Mike Swan, James & Emma Rollin Saturday, also at St Alkmund’s Church.
We also have a number of services in the week before Easter (Holy Week), where we will spend some time reflecting on Jesus’ last day with his disciples from Matthew’s gospel and what that means for us today. These services will be as follows:

Tuesday 16th April @ 9.15am
Wednesday 17th April @ 6.30pm
Thursday 18th April @ 6.30pm – Maundy Thursday Communion Service
Friday 19th April @ 2pm – Good Friday reflections at the Cross

And, of course, we will have services as normal on Easter Sunday (21st April). Our 10am service will be an Easter Family Communion, and then in the evening, our joint evening services will be at Little Eaton, with an Easter drama performed by some of our young people.
Then after Easter we will be hosting a Christianity Explored Course, beginning on the 9th May at 7.30pm in the Church Hall. Do think if you would like to join us for that course, or who you might invite to come with you.
So plenty to be considering, attending and praying for.

Yours in Christ,

James

The Vicarage
24th March 2019
Dear Friends
This week I want to update you on the results (so far) of our gift day and financial challenge for 2019.

So far we have raised an additional £8,325 in monthly pledged giving for 2019, from a mixture of increased pledges, and new people joining our giving scheme. In addition, the gift day has raised £26,000, from over 50 different donations. I know that a few people are probably still intending to adjust their planned giving, or to give to the gift day, but that means that we have raised an additional £34,325 this year, against our ‘budget strive’ of £40,000 (£20,000 planned giving and £20,000 gift day).

This means we can do a number of things.

First, of course, we can give thanks for God’s goodness and the generosity of his people. these are significant sums of money, and so we give thanks to God for enabling us to have, and to be generous, to be part of the gift of giving.

Second, those of us who are still planning to change our monthly giving, or to give a one off gift, still have the opportunity to do so. It would be wonderful to fully meet the target of £40,000 that we set out in January.

Third we can pray for the right person to be appointed as our trainee minister. I have begun sending the advert out, and we will look to appoint for September 2019. Pray for those who might see the advert, to get excited about the possibilities. Pray for the right man for the job, who will be able to be come and join us. Pray for us as a church as we adjust to a new staff member, and as we begin the exciting journey of new ministry which that entails.

Pray on, and keep giving thanks.

Yours in Christ,

James

The Vicarage
3rd March 2019
Dear Friends
This week we came to the end of our course looking at the Way, the Truth and The Life on Thursdays. In the second half of that course we have been looking at the Ten Commandments and thinking about how they teach us to live as God’s people. We’ve looked at our duties to God, and to neighbour. We have seen juts how much of life is covered when you think about the commandments in the context of the whole bible.
One of the documents we have uses to help us on the way is the Anglican Catechism, which puts our duties to neighbour in this way:
Q12 What is your duty to your neighbour? My duty to my neighbour is: to love him as myself and to do to all as I wish they would do to me; to love, honour, and care for my parents; to honour and obey the Queen and all in authority under her; to submit to my teachers and spiritual pastors; to be humble and show respect; to hurt no one by word or deed; to be true and just in all that I do; to bear no malice or hatred in my heart; to keep my hands from stealing and my tongue from evil speaking, lying, and slandering; to keep my body in temperance, sobriety, and chastity; not to covet nor desire other people’s goods; but to learn to work honestly for my own living and to do my duty in that state of life to which it shall please God to call me.
A challenging list, and something for all of us to reflect upon as we seek to be the people God has called us to be. At the same time, we have recognised that we don’t manage to keep God’s commands – and we certainly can’t even begin to keep them without His help. Which is why the next question of the catechism begins in this way:
Q13 You are not able to do these things in your own strength, nor are you able to keep his commandments or serve him without his special grace. This you must learn at all times to call for by diligent prayer. Therefore recite the Lord’s Prayer.

So, as well as teaching us how to live, the commandments teach us to rely and God, to pray to Him, and to seek him. Let us encourage one another in this as we seek together to be the people God has called us to be.

Yours in Christ

 

James

The Vicarage
10th February 2019
Dear Friends,
I thought it would be beneficial this week to talk a little about some of the changes that will be happening as a result of the move to one vicar for the Benefice in Summer 2020, and how they will affect St Alkmund’s.
Later on this year we will be launching a New afternoon service at Little Eaton; longer term this will allow me to be at all three main services in the benefice every Sunday. This is an exciting opportunity to do something new, and to seek to reach a new group of people, in Little Eaton, but also more widely. I will be looking for a number of people who will be willing to support that service, through attending it alongside services here for a time, and also through getting involved in serving. If you are interested in doing that, please do speak to me.
There will also be changes to how we do other things. We need to think about how we organise a Joint Prayer Meeting, and how small groups are organised in the future across the benefice. Some of our other activities will become joint, and others will remain focussed on Little Eaton or on Duffield. These changes will begin to take place after this Easter. Look after for information I the coming weeks and months about that, and do involve yourself in the conversations that will be taking place about how best to do this.
We are also planning for a mini-mission across the benefice in September 2019, led by Davis Barnsley. This will be a great opportunity for us to invite friends to hear the good news of Jesus.
Finally, I am praying that we will be able to appoint an assistant minister in the autumn. Whilst his particular focus will depend on the gifts God has given him, we will be looking to spend the year of ‘overlap’ with him and Dave to prepare ourselves for the future.
Interesting times. But also a time of opportunity. Do continue to pray for both our churches as we all make adjustments.
Yours in Christ

James