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  • David has been busy! 9 April, 2015
    Cattle rustling has been a big problem in West Songhor, our main area for peace-building. But on Easter Monday Chief Maurice told me that not a single cow has been taken since December. So he is very happy as he now looks very good in the monthly reports he makes to the national security people. […]
    David and Liza Cooke
  • Hearts lurch and hearts soar 22 March, 2015
    The last three weeks have been exhausting as we awaited the arrival of the wheelchair consignment from the UK. The container reached Mombasa at the end of February and we immediately hit problems with clearing customs. Our hearts lurched each and every time Revd. Evelyn’s ring tone echoed down the corridors of the CBR centre. […]
    David and Liza Cooke
  • “If a picture paints a thousand words…..” 28 February, 2015
    …….then let these speak for themselves.
    David and Liza Cooke

This morning in in2mission…

The last time we met for In2mission we looked at how Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd. This week we looked at how the Good Shepherd calls us to gather round his table to share bread and wine.

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First we gathered the sheep into the sheepfold and reminded ourselves that the Good Shepherd knows each of his sheep by name and that the sheep know his voice so that when he calls them from the sheepfold they follow him.

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We also remembered that the Good Shepherd walks in front of his sheep and leads them to the good, green grass.

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Then it was time to gather round the table.

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We placed the bread and the wine on the table of the Good Shepherd and called the grown ups…and the children…and the babies to join our celebration.

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Over in Church House, we looked a little more at Holy Communion. Rev’d Christina had kindly lent us her very old home Communion set which was just the right size so we laid the table, learnt that the cup is a chalice and the plate a paten, tasted some wafers and found out that Jesus said the bread was his body and the wine his blood.

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Then it was time to ‘write’ our prayers using slices of bread and cookie cutters. Jo was in charge as we toasted our prayers for our great grandmas, our friends, for peace in Syria and starving children.

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All children, aged three and over, are welcome to join us the next time we meet at 10.30am on 8th June when we will be celebrating the great festival of Pentecost.

The Bible according to the Little Fishes…

The Little Fishes are loving that it is still Easter as they get to start every session with the words ‘Alleluia. Christ is risen…He is risen indeed. Alleluia’ and to sing all of our ‘Alleluia’ songs.

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This week we joined Jesus and the disciples for a barbecue on the beach.

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We heard the story…

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…and collected up the fishes in the disciples’ net.

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What a surprise when the disciples realised it was Jesus standing on the shore waiting to cook breakfast for them. We also heard a very special bit of the story where Jesus tells Peter to look after his lambs and we learned that that means us!

Then it was time to make our own picture of the Sea of Galilee and the disciples’ fishing net scooping the fishes out of the water.

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Join the Little Fishes every Friday at 2pm to find out what happens next to Jesus and the disciples.

This morning in In2mission…

In2mission is our Sunday club for children aged 3 years and over and we meet during the 10.30am Celebrate! service on 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month.

This morning, we heard again how Jesus said, ‘I am the Good Shepherd.’

We began our story with a beautiful field full of soft, green grass.

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We added a stream of cool, fresh water to our field with pools shallow enough to splash and play in.

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But we also learned that there were other pools which were deep and dark and dangerous..ones that you shouldn’t go near…and prickly brambles that scratch and tear.

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Then we met the Good Shepherd who knows every part of the field and stream and also knows the places where it is dangerous to go.

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The Good Shepherd carefully built a sheepfold…

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…to keep his sheep safe.

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At night the shepherd gathered his sheep into the fold…and his heart was filled with joy.

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After we moved over to Church House our 3, 4 and 5 year olds decided that the Good Shepherd must be called Jesus and that perhaps the sheep were not called Flossie, Froo-Froo and Finbar but Alex, Amelia and Gracie. We thought that Jesus wants to look after us and keep us safe and that we should follow him. Just like the shepherd looks after his sheep.

Then it was time for cutting and sticking!

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Join us on 25th May when we meet next. All children aged 3+ are welcome to come along.

(Our story this morning was taken from ‘Bible Storybags’ by Margaret Cooling)

Jesus’ Last Passover

This evening we gathered to mark Maundy Thursday.

We shared an evening meal as we heard the story of Jesus’ last Passover, prayed and washed each other’s feet.

We heard how Jesus …said the words of the feast in a way the disciples had never heard before. How he took the bread…blessed it…and broke it…and gave it to them, saying…”Take. Eat. This is my body, broken for you.”…Then how Jesus took the cup…and said, “Drink this, all of you. This is my blood which is shed for you.”

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After the meal, Jesus washed his friends’feet…so we did too.

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Then the disciples sang a hymn and went out to a garden to pray…so we shared our prayers for people, places and situations that were on our hearts.

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And we heard what happened next…

…People who didn’t like Jesus took him. They wouldn’t let him go. Later they nailed him to a cross to kill him…Jesus died. It was very sad…

But three days later God did an amazing thing. God made Jesus alive again.

So every time we eat this bread…and drink this cup…we remember that Jesus died, and that God made him alive again.

Join us at 10am on Good Friday for All Age Worship and then on Easter Day at 10.30am when we will celebrate the Resurrection and admit three of our children to Holy Communion. Everyone is welcome to worship with us.

(With thanks to ‘Flame: Children’s Creative Ministry for the play dough mats)

A Walk through Holy Week

On Sunday we marked the beginning of Passiontide. The time when we turn our faces towards Jerusalem and get ready to celebrate the mystery of Easter. At Celebrate! we walked alongside Jesus and looked once more at the events of Holy Week.

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The first day of Holy Week is the day we call Palm Sunday. As Jesus and his friends walked to Jerusalem, they came to a village nestling in the sun at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Jesus stopped and said to two of his friends. ‘Go into the village. There you will find a donkey. Untie it and bring it to me.’ They did as Jesus had said. A large crowd of people saw Jesus coming along on his donkey and spread their cloaks on the road. Others ran to cut branches from the trees and waved them. The crowds began to shout, ‘Hosanna!’

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The temple was the most important building in Jerusalem. It towered high above the streets and houses. Jesus went into the temple. And what did he find? He found all the noise of the town spilling through its doors. Market stallholders were shouting. Sheep and goats were bleating. Doves were flapping and cooing in their wooden cages. He marched into the temple forecourt and drove out everyone who was buying or selling. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and threw down the benches of those who were selling doves. ‘The scriptures say, “My house should be called a place of prayer. But you have turned it into a den of thieves,”‘ he said.

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Jesus went back to the temple each day to teach the people about God. The Pharisees and the chief priests didn’t like what they heard. Jesus’ stories had hard-hitting messages which they realised were often about them! They put their heads together and thought up a plan to trick Jesus into saying something wrong.

‘We have to pay our taxes to the Roman Emperor. We can’t serve him and God! Let’s see what Jesus has to say about that.’

Jesus flipped the coin over in the palm of his hand. ‘Whose picture and name is on this coin?’ he asked. ‘The Emperor’s,’ they replied. ‘Give to the Emperor what belongs to him and give to God what belongs to God,’ said Jesus.

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On the day we know as Maundy Thursday, Jesus and his friends gathered together in the Upper Room to celebrate the Passover meal. Jesus bewildered them with his talk of betrayal and death…He surprised them with bread and wine…He humbled them with water and words of love and the Holy Spirit.

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Later in the garden of Gethsemene: Judas with the soldiers and his 30 pieces of silver, Peter with his sword, and Jesus in the midst of it all, patient, and solid and accepting – like a lamb to the slaughter.

Peter’s heart must have burned within him as the cock crowed and he denied his Lord three time whilst the soldiers whipped and spat and sneered at the Son of God.

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On Good Friday, on a lonely hill outside the city Jesus was crucified while soldiers gambled for his robe. At about three o’clock in the afternoon the Son of God cried out in agony, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and died.

Later that day, the disciples took his body down from the cross and placed him in a tomb nearby. A great stone was rolled in front to close it like a locked door.

On Saturday, Holy Saturday, everything was quiet.

Early on Sunday morning, before the sun had risen, the women went to the tomb. They wanted to be near Jesus one last time. But when they arrived, they found that the stone had been rolled away.

The tomb was empty!

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There are family-friendly services throughout Holy Week – why not come along?

Palm Sunday 13th April 10.30am Celebrate! (Meet the donkey at 10am on the Common behind Golden Square and walk to church)
Maundy Thursday 17th April 5.30pm Tea and All Age Worship followed by foot washing
Good Friday 18th April 10am Celebrate!
Easter Day 20th April 10.30am Celebrate!

(With thanks to Sue Doggett and ‘Barnabas in Churches’ whose work our journey was based on)

Welcome to the Lord’s Table

As we reach the end of the course to prepare our children to receive Holy Communion we looked this week at temptation and saying sorry. We began with the story of Jesus in the wilderness. We gathered in church and opened the bag to find we had a little piece of the desert with us.

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After he was baptised, Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the desert where for forty days and forty nights, he stayed alone…talking with God….and wondering which way he should go. Jesus had eaten nothing and he was very hungry.

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Then the evil one came to Jesus and said, “if you really are the special Son of God, turn these stones into bread.”…Jesus was very hungry. Bread would taste so good. Jesus wondered…then Jesus said, ‘No!’ Jesus said, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’

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Then the evil one came to Jesus a second time and took him to Jerusalem, the holy city of God. Here the evil one set Jesus on the highest point of the Temple. The evil one said, “if you really are the special Son of God, prove it. Throw yourself down. For it is written:‘“He will command his angels concerning you,and they will lift you up in their hands,so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”’
Jesus wondered…if angels saved him everyone would know he was special and they would follow him. Then Jesus said, “No! ‘It is also written: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’

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Then the evil one came to Jesus a third time and took him to a very high mountain. “Look,” said the evil one. “Here are all the nations of the world. Look how wonderful they are. I will give all of them to you, if you will worship me.”
It would be wonderful to be king of all these nations. Jesus wondered…then Jesus said, “No! Go away, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”’
The evil one left Jesus. And Jesus was filled with the Spirit of God.

Then it was over to Church House to learn a bit about saying sorry for the things we do that are wrong.

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First of all, we helped Karen recap the story.

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Then we helped Amelia to sequence our memory verse.

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We then split into our groups. The older ones learned about how a temptation becomes a sin and they thought hard about the choices we make by looking at the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Little ones were each given a picture of their soul. We talked about how our souls start off all lovely and clean…

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…but when we do things that are wrong it is like scribbling all over them…but when we say sorry our souls are wiped clean again.

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This was our last session of Welcome to the Lord’s Table before Easter but there are lots of opportunities for families to worship together at St Peter’s before then. You are all invited to join us at our 10.30am family-friendly service every Sunday but especially on
30th March Celebrate! Communion for Mothering Sunday.
6th April Celebrate! All Age Worship – ‘A Walk through Holy Week’
13th April Celebrate! Communion for Palm Sunday
20th April Celebrate! Easter Communion when three of our children will be admitted to Communion

Come and join us.

The Bible according to the Little Fishes

The Little Fishes gathered this week for their last instalment in the story of Joshua. The People of God had crossed the River Jordan and finally entered the Promised Land after forty years wandering in the desert. They had now reached the city of Jericho.

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We shared the story of how the walls of Jericho came tumbling down and then it was time to act it out. Rev’d Peter and James became our chief engineers and helped us build a magnificent wall out of cardboard boxes. We made ourselves some paper trumpets and got ready to march around the city. We had heard in the story how the People of God marched round the city in silence each day. We found this quite hard to do. But then the seventh day arrived and we shouted and yelled and blew on our trumpets and our cardboard walls came tumbling down.

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Then it was time for some sticking and we made our own walls of Jericho.

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But we just couldn’t leave all those boxes alone so we hid in them…

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…and built towers with them…

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…and made camps with them.

Little Fishes is our ‘mums and tots’ group which meets every Friday in church from 2pm. There is no charge and all babies, toddlers and pre-school children are very welcome to come along with their carers for songs, stories, craft and play.

Welcome to the Lord’s Table

The Transfiguration of Jesus and prayer were our themes at In2mission this week. We shared the story of Jesus going up the mountain to talk to God and what happened next in church.

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Once over in church House we learnt that prayer is a golden gift from God….

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We heard that Jesus knew all about prayer…that he prayed early in the morning…he prayed late into the night…he prayed for this friends…and for those who would have counted themselves his enemies…And we remembered the story when he prayed for little children…how he laid his hands upon them and he blessed them…

One day, when Jesus was praying, his friends came up to him and said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’, so we opened the box and shared the Lord’s Prayer together.

Our heavenly Father is better than the best father we could ever imagine. He cares for us so much that he wants you to call him ‘Daddy’. He loves us even more than a mother hen loves her chicks…OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN…

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When we pray we need to remember that our heavenly Father is very holy. He is all that is good… all that is light…HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME…

Our heavenly Father loves us so much that he has spread his love to every corner of the world… north… south… east… west…YOUR KINGDOM COME…YOUR WILL BE DONE…ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

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Our heavenly Father loves us so much that he wants us to have every good thing we need…he loves us to ask him… he loves us to share our lives with him.

Our daily bread is not just the toast we have for breakfast… or the ham sandwiches we have for lunch. It is everything we need…our friends…our families…our homes…clothes to keep us warm…food and love to nourish us…GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD.

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Now God knows that we don’t always get things right…and he has given us the ten best ways to help us live and to help us to know when we get things wrong…and He wants us to love as we are loved…FORGIVE US OUR SINS AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST US.

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God knows that there are things that make us stumble and fall… there are grey areas when we are not sure whether we are doing right or wrong…LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL…Our Heavenly Father will never, ever turn his back on us… he will never, ever let us go…

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YOURS IS THE KINGDOM…THE POWER…AND THE GLORY…FOREVER AND EVER…AMEN.

The Older Ones talked a little bit more about prayer with Karen and used our prayer rocks to help them as they learnt about different types of prayer. They finished with a time of prayer and lit some candles.

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The Little Ones coloured their own copy of the Lord’s Prayer to take home.

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Not everyone wanted to colour, so with a bit of help from James, one Little One retold the prayer all to himself.

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In2mission is our Sunday club to which all children aged 3 and over are very welcome. We meet next on 23rd March during the 10.30am Celebrate! service.

(With thanks to ‘The Lord’s Prayer Unplugged’ by Lucy Moore)

A New Vicar for Henfield and Rector for Woodmancote and Shermanbury

The Churchwardens of Henfield, Shermanbury, and Woodmancote are now able to confirm that the Rev’d Paul Doick is to be our new Vicar/Rector. Paul will take up the incumbency once the statutory 3 month’s notice has been served at his current parish of St John the Baptist, Hove.

Paul and his wife Jan will be joining us in June, and the licensing will take place possibly in July.

The Bible according to the Little Fishes

The Little Fishes gathered this week to hear the first instalment in the story of Joshua.

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We heard that Joshua was feeling very sad because his friend and leader, Moses, had died, and he didn’t know what to do. So we found Joshua’s sad face.

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‘Joshua, you will be the leader,’ said God. Joshua was surprised.

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‘You will take the people into their new land. They will build homes and be happy.’

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Joshua was worried about becoming the leader. ‘Can I really do that?’ He asked.

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God told Joshua to remember what Moses had taught him, ‘I will be with you all the time.’ Joshua thought about it and was happy.

Then it was time for colouring, biscuits and play.

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Little Fishes is our ‘mums and tots’ group which meets every Friday in church from 2pm. There is no charge and all babies, toddlers and pre-school children are very welcome to come along with their carers for songs, stories, craft and play. Join us next Friday as we find out what happened to Joshua next.