Since the last copy of Network News, back in the spring a lot has been happening.
I have had the privilege of speaking at some of the regions churches and at the Broken Chains meeting in Ayr.
In June I attended the Ordination and Induction of Adam Oellermann to the Pastorate in Girvan Milestone Church. Then in July I was delighted to be at the induction of Tendai Mbaserah in Kilmarnock Baptist Church. We pray that both pastors and their fellowships will be richly blessed together and be a blessing to the wider church in the South West.
Praise and Prayer Evening.
On the 17 of May we had our Praise and Prayer meeting for the Network in Stranraer Baptist Church. Naturally some from the North of the region found the distance to travel a bit much – but that was balanced by those from the South of the region being able to attend when they find meetings in the North difficult.
I was able to share something of what is happening in the region and to bring a meditation from God’s Word. Beyond that the church at Stranraer put together an excellent program.
I’ll let Jenny Balmer, from the church (and one of the Networker Support Group) take up the story.
“The Prayer and Praise Night was held for the first time in Stranraer Baptist Church. It was well attended, especially by the folks from Stranraer and was an evening of great encouragement for everyone who attended.
The church worship band led in praise with everyone responding with some very enthusiastic singing! Kevin Knox, a member of Stranraer Baptist gave his testimony and how he had recommitted his life to the Lord one Christmas Day from his prison cell. He talked very honestly about his personal struggles with drink and how this had led him down the wrong path. Such an encouragement to hear how the Lord is turning his life around.
Rev Stuart MacDonald from Stranraer Baptist gave an update on what had been happening around the church and in the local community. He invited Niall Balmer to report to the congregation about the brand new joint churches venture ‘Rhins Churches Basics Bank’ providing much needed emergency food and supplies for those in need. The empty garage at the church was being used as the store for all the donated items, and since that night it is good to report that the Basics Bank had been well used in these difficult times.
There was also a report from Stuart about a recent Vision Day that the church had held for any members and non-members. This provided an opportunity for the church as a whole to sit down and discuss and share ideas of where the future direction of the church lay. There were some excellent ideas shared, and these are being processed by the leadership at present, with a view to prayerfully bringing some of those ideas into reality as God leads.
All in all, a really encouraging evening. We were all glad to have been there!”
For your diaries, the next Praise and Prayer night will be on 26 Nov. At 7.30 in Bourtreehill Baptist Church.
Picnic and A.G.M.
On 14 Sept. we held the SW Region Picnic combined with our AGM in the wonderful setting of Culzean Country Park. Many thanks to those who did so much of the organisation, mainly Mark Bentham and members of the Networker Support Group.
I’ll let Michelle Oellermann take up this story.
“Despite the weather forecast, the day dawned bright, warm and beautiful and we were going on a picnic. We packed our bags, making sure to have extra wetwipes (always useful when travelling with young children) and we set off for Culzean.
Once everyone had arrived and had a cuppa we started off with some ice-breaker games. Daniel and Charlotte had a good go at “Over and Under”, we were all worn out by trying to catch the opposite teams tail while trying to hold onto our team in snake formation, but the most exciting has to be Swedish/Belgian (one forgets – ‘furrin’, in any case) rounders: a complicated version of baseball/dodge-ball involving lots of running. Even after being struck out, Daniel insisted on running the full length of the field and back convinced that he had made a home run – confusing the scorekeeper I am sure! We then played a version of what I know as ‘rag hockey’, but using a very big ball and kicking it football style.
We broke for lunch and many decided to enjoy the fine sunshine and picnic outside, unfortunately the midges had the same idea and chased most of us back indoors. A postprandial stroll took us around the castle into the Walled Garden. From there we headed to the deer park and after about 20 minutes we headed back to the Stone Barn for praise and worship and the AGM.
We really had a fantastic day, good fellowship, catching up with friends and enjoying God’s creation. I would encourage you to attend the network functions if you are able – it is always time well-spent!”
I would echo Michelle’s encouragement to join with us at these events. Already we are talking about 2014.
Again thank you all for your support in the Networker project and the smaller team that acts as my Support Group. A number of you have contacted for help and advice in different ways and I am pleased to be of assistance whenever I can.
Rev. Vince Jennings
Phone 01770 600222 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also remember our web-site www.southwestbaptists.org.uk