On Monday 24th May our Annual Parochial Church Meeting will take place on Zoom at 7.30pm. We will elect two churchwardens for one year and three new members of the PCC to serve for 3 years. Please think and pray about who you might nominate.
Zoom link for the meeting and all papers for the meeting can be found here.
Next Sunday is Pentecost, the day when Christians celebrate especially the work of the Holy Spirit. Worship will happen at 9am and 11.15am (both in church and online) and at 6.30pm (on Zoom only). But there are a few additional things:
– At 9 am and 11.15 am there will be communion.
– After 11.15 am worship Mark and Alice Walley are inviting all families to Albert Park for a socially distanced picnic (bring your own food).
– Please remember to tell the church office if you are coming to church in person, so we can ensure there is space for everyone.
Digging into scripture matters, but the Bible can feel a daunting book. One good resource is Step by Step by Cliff Keeys. Here’s some thoughts from Mel Downs, our churchwarden, on why this book helps us mine scripture.
On Sunday 25th April we begin a new series, ‘How to Read the Bible’.
The series continues as follows:
April 25th How to Read the Bible
May 2nd The Old Testament: the Bible Jesus Read
May 9th What Did Jesus Mean by That?
May 16th How the First Christians Read Scripture
May 23rd How the First Christians Shared the Good News
|St Barnabas is enacting its ‘Mission Action Plan’ which we adopted last autumn. As part of that we will be reviewing our financial giving. Sunday 14th March will be our ‘Giving for Mission Sunday’. All church members will receive information about it, by post and online, in coming weeks.|
You can read David’s letter to the congregation and more information here.
‘Walking with God through COVID’ is the title of a series of sermons from St Barnabas. On Sunday mornings from 10th January, we have explored how Christian faith helps us make sense of COVID . The series starts with the Old Testament book of Job which unflinchingly asks where God is in the face of great suffering. We then move on to the gospels and finish with 1 Peter, a letter written to a church facing much suffering, yet a letter full of hope. If you would like to access the series, there are links below or to download our sermons as a podcast see out sermons download page:
10 January Job: What not to Say
17 January Job: Walking through the Valley
24 January Job: the God who is There
31 January Jesus: the Crucified God
7 February Jesus: the Power of an Unquenchable Life
14 February 1 Peter: Never Walking Alone – a Community of Hope
Join Seb Rab, St Barnabas’ worship leader to praise God during the week via Zoom. Seb will be leading ‘Morning Prayer’ on Wednesday, 8am to 8.20am via Zoom. This is an opportunity to sing God’s praise, hear scripture and pray.
To join Seb, use the following link:
Meeting ID: 839 8814 0527
What a year it has been! Here is a chance to bring to God both the year that is past and the year that is about to start. We may feel weak, but in Christ we are strong. So come and worship God and know that strength at the turn of the New Year. The worship night is available to connect with from New Year’s Eve at 7 pm and any time after that.
Premiering on YouTube here
7:00 – 8:00 pm, 31st December.
Jesus Christ is Lord, for all people, whether we speak English or Urdu. Members of St Barnabas Church have developed materials in Urdu to nourish faith in Christ and help people live life according to Christian principles.
These materials are produced by Simon and Lubna John. Born and raised in Pakistan, Simon and Lubna have lived in Middlesbrough in the North East of England for ten years. They have two sons and are members of St Barnabas Church, Middlesbrough.
Find out more here.
At its most recent meeting the PCC agreed to recruit a half-time ‘Media Worker’ for 12 months, in the first instance, to support and develop St Barnabas’ online ministries and AV. This has long been a key aspect of church life. Often little recognised, IT and AV are key to our ministry and mission – and have become much more so since Coronavirus. Interviews took place on Monday 19th October and I am pleased to announce that Phil Hale has been offered the post. Phil currently works for the charity Tearfund and has wide experience of IT. Phil will start with St Barnabas in December.
As a church, St Barnabas has been engaged in a process called ‘Immeasurably More’ over the last few months, in which we’ve been seeking what we believe God is calling us to in the next three years. And the result is what’s called a mission action plan, a ‘MAP’. Below this message is a copy of that document.
Where did this document come from – it has been produced and approved by the church council over recent weeks, based on the conversations and prayer we’ve had as a whole church in recent months. Thank you everyone for your participation in it, in far from ideal circumstances. There is much more to say and there will be a meeting, open to all church members, to discuss the ‘MAP’ and how we take it forward, on Zoom, on Monday October 12th, 7.30 to 9 pm. Email the church office for meeting details.
You might fairly say ‘how can you talk about the future in the midst of corona?’ Think of how, in the depths of World War 2, the NHS was planned. This Mission Action Plan is a way of looking beyond the present troubles. They will end and we can refuse to let those troubles frame reality
The Immeasurably More plans contain, as you will see, some big hopes, big challenges. As you read them, you may think, ‘Can we do it?’ And the answer is ‘No’. But do we serve a God who can produce treasure from us, frail as we are? ‘Yes’!
Please pray for St Barnabas in these strange days, that we may know and share God’s blessings.
Following consultation with the PCC, the Bishop of Whitby, Paul Ferguson has relicensed Lindsey Goodhew as ‘Associate Vicar’. This is in place of her former title of ‘Associate Minister’. Lindsey’s work will continue unchanged,. The reason for the change is that, for those outside the church, the title ‘Associate Vicar’ is better understood than the term ‘Associate Minister’.
The Alpha Course is a great chance to explore the Christian faith and ask questions in a relaxed, informal setting. The time of coronavirus makes us ask spiritual questions.
St Barnabas is running an online Alpha course, starting on Thursday 8th October, 7pm to 9pm. If you are interested, please contact our administrator Barbara Edwards via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please think over whether anyone you know would like to do Alpha. Here is a link where you can find out what Alpha is like https://vimeo.com/417956226.
Questions of race have been a lot in the news of late.
This is an extremely sensitive subject. I want to share with the church discussions I have had with the church council and with local church leaders (from all denominations). I also want to say to all church members that if you have thoughts or concerns on this matter, feel free to get in touch with me for a confidential conversation – the best way to reach me is via email, email@example.com
Can I start by encouraging congregation members to have a look at an online interview of minority ethnic church leaders from Middlesbrough, interviewed by Steve Sutton, minister of Coulby Newham Baptist Church. They share their experiences of racial prejudice in the Tees Valley. What they share is disturbing, but it is really important that their voices are heard. The link to the video is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yh0ALh0lMs&feature=youtu.be.
In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in the USA, Middlesbrough church leaders have signed a statement condemning racism. After consultation with the churchwardens of St Barnabas, myself, Lindsey and Mark felt it right to sign that statement and you can see it here: https://mailchi.mp/317b3419073c/teesside-leaders-statement-on-racism?fbclid=IwAR33Pb59BYex82bz9CZSr-4mF5rjohsypYfgJv-BnSZJJGA2jhGl-HGM5ts. Necessarily, such statements are ‘broad-brush’. For myself, can I stress that the gospel teaches us to value every person as God values them. Whoever we encounter, whatever their ethnicity, we must love them as Jesus loves us. That is true inside the church fellowship. But it also means working for the well-being of all the people of Middlesbrough, beyond the walls of the church, since ‘in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile’. We are ‘all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28).
In St Barnabas’ ‘Immeasurably More’ conversations via Zoom there was a deep desire to see the church share the gospel with and reflect the growing ethnic diversity of the town of Middlesbrough. St Barnabas is already greatly enriched by the wide spectrum of nationalities who are part of its fellowship. Let’s pray for and work for that to deepen in the years ahead.
Good news! St Barnabas church has appointed a new worship leader. His name is Seb Rab. Seb will start work on 1st September. He comes from four years as Staff Worker at York for the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (the body that supports Christian Unions in universities). Seb has extensive experience as a worship leader, including two years leading worship for Hope Church, a church plant in Harrogate. Seb comes originally from Northallerton, but is not wholly unknown to Middlesbrough – being part of a band that played at ‘Doctor Browns’ Middlesbrough some years ago. He will arrive at St Barnabas super-fit as he is planning to do the Coast-to-Coast Path during August. Seb’s role will be to oversee the worship at the 11.15 am and 6.30 pm services and support the worship at the 9.30 am service. Please pray for and welcome Seb as he prepares to move to Middlesbrough and settles into being part of St Barnabas.
Since lockdown approximately £5000 of food etc has been donated to the foodbank, which runs at St Barnabas. From tins of soup to toiletries, this is a fantastic effort. Thank you to everyone who has given so generously. The sad truth is that such donations have never been more needed, as the numbers using foodbank have shot up. So please keep those donations coming.
As things open up and life begins to look a little more normal future donations of food should be dropped either at church (Monday or Tuesday morning, 10-11 am or when the church is open for prayer, Monday –Friday, 4—5pm) or at the following collection points https://middlesbrough.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/ rather than the Vicarage. Thank you.
The church prayer meeting takes place on zoom on Saturday morning, 9 – 10am. Meeting ID: 862 2832 4152 and the password is ‘narthex’.