At last, it seems, summer has arrived in the UK, for a change just in time for the holiday season. Over the next few weeks many will depart to vacation venues for a time of relaxation and the re-charging of batteries. Our meetings this week were led by Majors Alec and Andrea Still.
Major Alec was helping out at Sheerness on Sunday morning as they are ‘between officers’ so our morning meeting was led by Major Andrea. She began with song 803 from the Salvation Army Song Book followed by 378 from the same book and scripture from Philippians 2:12-18. Prayer time followed thanking God for his care and asking for his care to be seen by others. Further scripture from Philippians 2:25-30 and 4:4-9 led to song 841 (SA) and the ministry from the Singing Company (Nothing but Thy blood)
The Songsters brought ‘Know my heart’ Major Andrea’s was given the title of ‘The call to our life together – caring for the world’. In summary she said:
Paul’s letter is full of praise for the community spirit in Philippi and it is inspiring. Women were active in the church caring for the poor. It was the prayers of that church that effected Paul’s release from prison. It was, indeed, a caring church. Paul. at this time, could not leave Rome as he was awaiting trial so the Philippians sent a representative to help Paul in his ministry. He risked personal danger in order to be with Paul and represents many Christians who sacrifice much in ministering to others. Is this not the sortv of church we want to be seen as. Denying ourselves, seeking God’s will and living an appropriate life style are all at the centre of this.
So, how far does our character reflect this? Is it about our programmes or our care? Programmes, by themselves, do not change people’s lives unless true care is shown for others and we are prepared to be involved with the lives of those around us. We need to be aware of what others in our corps are doing so that the whole can be more effective. This centres on our experience of God. Such care goes beyond mere human inspiration. Being a Christian gives our caring a new dimension as we see people grow in their experience of God. We will care for them as God cares for us, showing his sunshine to those who can only see darkness.
Our 4pm Praise meeting, led by Major Alec, followed the theme of ‘what is The Salvation Army? It began with song 156 from the SA Song Book and continued with 523 from Songs of Fellowship. The congregation was asked to offer suggestions as to the nature of the Army and among those received were:
A church where we worship Jesus Christ – not a ‘one day a week’ church
A church very into music but not for music’s sake
A Bible focused organisation
A bunch of ordinary people committed to sharing the gospel.
Two testimonies were received from chosen people explaining what their particular role in the Army was. Ray Knapman spoke about his work with the corps feeding programme and Sue Willard about the role of the Parent and Toddler Groups held twice a week.
Scripture from Psalm 119:97-105 preceded a thought presented by Major Alec who briefly outlined what the Army should be and asked for us to commit to the community in which we serve.
On Saturday many of us visited William Booth College for the wedding of Mark Scoulding and Grace Brophy. More will be posted on this site tomorrow. We would again like to thank our readers for their continued support of this website. We hope you all enjoy following the happenings at Chatham and will visit us again soon