Chingford URC, working with the Red Balloon Foundation, will be holding a Bible Holiday Club during the February half term.
There will be two sessions each day, from Monday 12 February to Thursday 15 February:
The cost is £6 per session (or £12 per day)
Please register at www.rbf.org.uk
In the United Reformed Church, we tend to emphasise the love of God, sometimes at the expense of other aspects of His character. For instance, we are wary of calling attention to the numerous places in the Bible where God is described as being angry.
When you or I get angry, it is often not for the right reasons, we lose control of our emotions and we say and do things that we should not.
God, however, never loses control of His emotions. His anger is directed at evil of any kind. When we do wrong, when we rebel against His rule, when we fail to love, trust and obey Him, when we cause suffering or hurt to other people, when we despise others. God is good. Therefore, He abhors evil.
What, maybe, we do not always realise, is that doing wrong is very bad for us. It is habit-forming, it is bad for our emotional wellbeing, it spoils our relationships (that God gave us for our blessing), it is bad for our spiritual health, and it makes an ever-hardening barrier between us and Himself.
God is angry at what we are doing to ourselves and each other, because He loves us, in the same way that a parent would be angry at a child who wastes their opportunities. He cannot simply turn a blind eye, we need our sin wiped out.
Unfortunately, we do not have the resources or the desire to kick the habit without God’s help, so God stepped into our world to intervene. God the Son, destroyed the penalty, by taking it Himself on the cross, so we would not have to. Even as He hung there He said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”. That is costly love.
Traidcraft was established in 1979 as a Christian response to poverty. Its mission is clear in its slogan: Fighting poverty through trade. It actively seeks out those who can most benefit from its help and believes in giving people a Hand Up rather than a Hand Out. It is involved in supporting small producers as they develop better production methods and better trading practices.
In 1992, Traidcraft jointly founded the Fairtrade Foundation and helped establish the standards that underpin today’s well-known Fairtrade Mark.
For a company to use the Fairtrade mark, the Fairtrade ingredients in its products must come from small scale farming organisations or plantations that meet the Fairtrade standards which include:
The producers themselves decide how the premium is used and that usually means investment in schools, transport, health care, sanitation, an improved environment and better business equipment and practices.
For large businesses using the Fairtrade mark, making a profit is still the bottom line and this is where Traidcraft is different.
When you buy Traidcraft goods you are making a direct connection with some small producer; whether it is a member of a co-operative producing honey or coffee or a women’s group in India who create the beautiful embroidery you see on Traidcraft bags and purses.
It is often difficult for us to realize that in many developing countries poverty actually means not having enough money to feed your children.
One such an example is the story of Kohinoor from Bangladesh. She had difficulty growing rice in her fields because of the soil and did not have enough money to feed her family and buy books for the children’s schooling. With Traidcraft’s help and support she was able to switch from growing rice to growing tea which gives a much higher yield. She now earns enough money to feed her family and her children are at school again.
Poor housing and poor sanitation often causes ill health and if the father in a family cannot work there are often very few opportunities for women to become wage earners. Traidcraft encourages the formation of women’s groups who can share knowledge and experience and provide support for each other.
The Traidcraft organization has a charitable arm called Traidcraft Exchange which is involved in raising funds which are used to develop projects like the FairPalm project in Ghana where Traidcraft has helped small farmers to farm the palms efficiently and the oil processing unit employs local people on fair wages in a remote area of Africa with few employment opportunities. In addition they fund local community projects: for example providing clean water to villages where previously the women had to spend a large part of their day travelling to obtain water.
This year the UK government has promised that our donations to Traidcraft Exchange will be doubled from 12th January to 11th April so please support our two fundraising Big Brew events.
If you cannot come to either of these events you may wish to make a donation. You can be sure that your support for Traidcraft is making a real difference to someone’s life by enabling them to afford the necessities of life which we take for granted.
THE BIG BREW 2018
Enjoy a cuppa and a chat at:
Chingford URC, Buxton Road, Chingford
Friday 2nd March, 9.30am to 12 noon
St. James’ URC, Buckhurst Hill
Tuesday 6th March, 10.00am till 12 noon
Home made cakes for sale and also Traidcraft food and gifts.
Our February newsletter is now available. Click for a PDF version or pick up a paper version at one of our churches.
It was with a mixture of joy and sadness that we met to say farewell to Richard and Jane, and their son Tim, at a lunch after the service on the 7th January.
Speeches were made and gifts given, including a handsome cheque from the Forest Group via a collection from members and churches.
The following poem was written by Helen Tindall, formerly of Highams Park URC, and we are sure it is echoed by many members, who will remember our time with Richard and Jane very fondly.
Dear Richard, you’re leaving, you’ve come to the end
Of your journey in London – Farewell from your friends!
And now a new highway is waiting for you -
With hobbies and days out and nice things to do.
The Forest Group thanks you for all of your work
In Chingford and Woodford and ex-Highams Perk!
You’ve shared all your wisdom and made us more good,
Had more tea and biscuits than anyone should,
You’ve put up with quiz nights and concerts and shows,
And stood by our side through our highs and our lows.
You’ll see no more babies that you have to Christen,
No hymns sung so badly you can’t even listen,
No more Messy Church with the children so sticky,
And no more church politics – subjects so tricky.
No more church meetings and watching the clock,
For now this good shepherd is leaving his flock.
Just throw your old dog collar up in the air,
Dye your beard ginger and let down your hair!
It’s time for retirement up in the Wirral,
Where Laura and Jane can hang out with the squirrels.
Walk into the sunset with Jane, hand-in-hand –
We wish you good luck and we hope things are grand.
It’s farewell now, Richard, your sentence is served
And we wish you the happiness that you deserve!
The year starts with some sad notes. First of all, we knew the Mortimers would go, but starting the new year without them does feel strange. It’ll take some time to get used to this and to somehow find new ways without them. Good to know though that they seem to have settled in well.
Secondly, Ray Lodge Church meeting decided on 21 January that they are too small to function as a church. There was no-one who could have taken over the roles of church secretary, hall manager, convener of the Toddler Group, pulpit supply, etc – all of these had been filled by Janet Jackson who in December retired to Shropshire, and Rev June Colley very kindly had stepped into the void that Janet had left, just for the time being.
The members, with sadness, decided to seek to amalgamate with Woodford Green URC, and their last act of worship will be Palm Sunday at 3:00pm, with a worship celebrating the life of the church through the years and decades. I hope that many of you will be able to attend.
And some exciting new things are happening, too, thank God!
The architects have been round to the Woodford Green church and will present their ideas on February 21st from 10.00am. Please do come if you can.
The presentation will be discussed at Woodford Green church meeting the Sunday after and at an open-to-all Forest Council meeting on March 4, 2pm at Woodford Green URC. Do come and help us discuss and discern this for our future.
Also, Chingford URC have decided to run a Holiday Club in Half Term break with the Red Balloon Foundation. It’ll be great to see how that picks up and if we can interest some families for our all-age worship or Messy Church.
May our Lord guide us and keep us and make us strong in focussing on joining into His work in our communities. May we walk the way with Jesus. May we be brave. May we continue to support each other and the people around us. May the Lord’s love for our broken world live in our hearts and guide our thoughts, words and deeds. The path that we walk on is never all straight and clear. Even so, may we walk in faith. May it be a blessed year of the Lord 2018!
Yours in Christ,
4:00 - 4:45 pm Carols, Nativity Play and candle light at Woodford Green URC
6:00 - 6:45 pm Carols and Nativity Play at Chingford URC
10:30 - 11:30 am joint all-age festive worship at Chingford URC
1:00 - 3:00 pm joint Christmas Meal at Woodford Green URC (please sign up with Rev Ulrike Bell)
10:30 - 11:30 am joint Forest Group worship at Chingford URC, with Farewell to Rev Richard and Rev Jane Mortimer
Sunday September 10, 4-6pm
at Woodford Green United Reformed Church (URC).
High Elms IG8 0UP
“Heroes!” What’s a hero? Can I be one?
What we do?
1. Various activities around the theme: games and crafts
2. Hear stories of heroes and see if we can be like them?
3. Share a meal! Have fun, make new friends
Who is it for?
Anyone, any age. Children please bring a parent.
Contact/ further details: Suzanne Corney 07751 157463
The Forest Group of United Reformed Churches is a family of four churches on the edge of Epping Forest. We belong to Thames North Synod.
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