Newsletter February 2020
KNOWING AND GROWING IN CHRIST
SERVING AND SHARING CHRIST
The shortest month of the year is here, it’s almost as if you’d miss it altogether if you blink. Our thoughts may be looking past February to spring time, Easter, warmer weather and lighter evenings but each day is a gift, even if you need a warm hat. I particularly enjoy a clear, crisp, frosty morning with the signs of spring emerging in the countryside. It reminds me of the renewal of life, as if nature has been quietly preparing for the year to come.
Among the days of February the celebration of St Valentine’s Day is prominent. A day to openly express our love for our partners and a reminder that love is the remedy for many many things. The Bible says that God is love. It is the pure essence of his character and being. When we feel love, compassion, concern and yearn to express it we are nearer to God than we could imagine. At those moments it is a wonderful thing to be thankful, that we are made in Gods image to reflect his light and love.
St. Valentine is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, and young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses but very little is known about him however. St. Valentine refused to renounce his faith and Christianity and was executed outside the Flaminian Gate on February 14, 269. He secretly married couples so husbands wouldn't have to go to war and refused to sacrifice to pagan gods. He was imprisoned and while imprisoned he healed the jailer's blind daughter. On the day of his execution, he left the girl a note signed, "Your Valentine."
As we go about our daily routines it would be amazing to think that in and through our Christian lives we are preparing the ground for Gods love to burst into life and blossom in others hearts and minds. As I said earlier, each day is a gift, a gift to love and serve the Lord. Our lives can have just as much or greater impact in the world as the great saints and be examples to others in the future.
A prayer for February.
Dear Lord, help us to remember that with you there is always something going on, especially in the quiet, still days. We celebrate that you chose us to share your love in the world and as we do you are nearer to us than our limited understanding can comprehend. Amen
MISSION FUNDING TEAM UPDATE
The final donation of 2019 went to an organisation new to St Andrew's - Mercy Ships. Our cheque for £200 will be doubled through the Government's UK Aid scheme
Mercy Ships is a Christian interdenominational missionary organisation. It runs the largest charity -operated hospital ship in the world , which is staffed by 400 volunteers who look after both the medical and ship operational activities.
The 'Africa Mercy' is currently berthed in Dakar in Senegal on a 10 month stay. The ship's team offers direct medical care and surgery to local people, trains and mentors local health professionals and improves healthcare infrastructure.
We hope to tell you more about the work of this charity during 2020
FOR YOUR DIARY
The Church AGM will be on Sunday 19th April, following the morning service.
FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT WILL BE BACK FROM Monday 24 February - Sunday 8 March 2020,
In 2019 we launched our 'She Deserves a Living Income' campaign to highlight the bitter taste of exploitation that lies behind the sweet delight of chocolate. This year we are taking it even further. We need more people to understand the power they have as consumers and to choose Fairtrade every time.
Read more -https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/get%20involved/Current-campaigns/Fairtrade-Fortnight
CHRISTIAN AID: LENT PROJECT 2020
This year we are continuing to raise £5,000 to support a project that focuses on helping people displaced by the conflict in Syria. Our pledge is to take two years now as we are unable to make sufficient in just one year. The charity, Bread for the World, is matching every £1 we raise with £6, so in fact we will be able to say that we have provided £35,000.
We hope that you will help us to achieve our annual target. Throughout Lent please put all you can afford into your collecting box supplied by C.A. and hand it in to Barry Jex at, or soon after, Easter. Boxes will be available from 16 February in time for Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday, 26 Feb
The C.A.CAROL SING outside Sainsbury’s in December last year raised £481 in total. Barry normally contributes a large sum by inviting sponsorship for his singing but this time he was once again in Germany for Christmas so was unable to ask for sponsors! But the CA committee are planning to organise a number of SPONSORED EVENTS later this year to coincide with the Feast of Flowers, so you will get your chance to sponsor Barry after all. Watch this space.
WATCH OUT FOR MORE YELLOW LINES
A new Derbyshire County Council Waiting Restrictions Order came into force on 20 January. It will see additional car parking restrictions being imposed in several parts of Dronfield.
Pentland Road and surrounding streets around St Andrew's are included and you will soon see new double yellow lines appearing, particularly at road junctions. The 'no waiting' hatchings outside the school will be repainted and clarified, with significant new restrictions on Balmoral Crescent including in the vicinity of Gorsey Brigg School. The 'usual exemptions' will apply to disabled persons vehicles.
There are NO CHANGES to the rules relating to the shops or Town Council car parks, or on Southcote Drive. Church attenders are reminded there is permission to park in the Gosforth Valley Medical Practice car park on Sundays
A summary of the Order is on the Church notice board in the lobby and a detailed version can be viewed at Dronfield Library
There are limited powers for members of the public to question the validity of the Order, but only on the grounds that it does not comply with the relevant law.
Message from CTDD. “This years Alpha started on Tuesday, 21st, at St Philip's Church, please will you and your congregations pray for this years Alpha course”. Although there has been one session it is not too late to join if you wish to do so – Tuesdays 7.15pm.