'It's been another quiet week in Lake Wobegon'
So begins the weekly radio address by Garrison Keiller concerning the fictional community in America's mid west. Those words could never be applied to church community life South London's finest suburb, Balham. I’m sure some in the congregation would like it to be different. Occasionally I’m one of them! It's been a busy year. But it's been a great year and we're very grateful to God for His resurrection power that has sustained us throughout this time. We’ve worked hard for Christ and his gospel. And, in our best moments, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Sure it’s been costly but nothing of value comes without a cost. And we value gospel ministry at CCB because we know the transformation that it brings.
Our two congregations have been united in a renewed attempt to bring the great news of the gospel to our local area. In all honesty, we've done so with mixed success. The three new events in our busy church programme were
1. The God Confusion Mission at which we provided a wide range of events to which church members could invite friends. The foil for our mission was Richard Dawkins’ popular and influential rant against Christianity. It was intended that this would a starting point for more fruitful discussions about faith. It was. Recognising that people were a long way back from commitment to Christ we designed a programme so that everyone could invite someone to something. Though there were lots of engaging conversations at the various events regrettably it’s not translated into genuine enquiry through our Christianity Explored course.
2. The inaugural Balham Park Party at which we sought to engage with the local community and promote the work of our church. The highlight of the day was the open air service at which huge numbers of families thought about Jesus’ parable of the heavenly party. Wonderfully one Roman Catholic family has started coming to church as a result of the Park Party. Christian Fielder and his action group planned and implemented the day’s events to perfection.
3. The Going Bananas Holiday Bible Club at which a brilliant team of volunteers gave up their holiday and gave themselves to the kids for the sake of Christ. We had nearly twenty children who came along and only five of them came from CCB. Polly MacLachlan and her team of helpers put on a brilliant programme over three mornings in the May Half Term. We continue to pray that our links with Telferscot School parents and kids will prove fruitful.
If you wanted to pray for us please give thanks for
a. Jenni Prosser and our children’s workers who do a great job week in week out in Christ Church Kids
b. The loyalty and unity of our congregations to one another and to Christ
c. The ministry of Gavin McGrath who left to plant Christ Church Earlsfield
And why not pray for
a. Our courage to keep proclaiming Christ and his gospel of transformation
b. Our intention to plant a new church at some stage in the future
c. Our new Assistant Pastor Pete Matthew and his wife Nicki