Dunstable Done & Dusted

Thank you to everyone who came out to Dunstable and made it a special occasion. We had a refreshing and breezy worship time on the Downs, and a good picnic afterwards.

This coming Sunday we are back at the school, and Tunde will be preaching his first sermon. Give him your support on the day, and pray for him in advance!

If you haven't already done so, please download the Watford church podcast, and tell any of your friends about it who might be interested in regularly receiving our sermons.

The next Wednesday meeting is for the men.

God bless,

Malcolm

Delightful Dunstable

This coming Sunday (25 June) we'll not be at the school, but instead having church at Dunstable Downs. Please arrive by 11 am in the main car park near the visitor centre. We will then walk to the end point, pray, sing, take communion and have a picnic lunch. 

Details of the venue can be found by clicking here

In other news, if you would like to contribute to HOPE worldwide's response to the Grenfell Tower fire, you can do so by clicking here.

The men are meeting on Wednesday night at the bandstand in Cassiobury Park to pray.

See you at Dunstable.

God bless,

Malcolm

Dunstable Draws Nearer

We all say, "thank you", to Leon for his first ever sermon last Sunday. And what a cracker it was! Check it out on our YouTube channel if you haven't already heard it. Don't forget you can also hear it on our new podcast. Just search for Watford Church of Christ in iTunes or similar. 

This Sunday we are at the school as usual. But the following week we are on an adventure to Dunstable Downs! More details next week, but pray for good weather in the meantime.

This Sunday the passage for the sermon is Luke 20.27-40:

Luke 20:27       Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”  Luke 20:34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Luke 20:39  Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” 40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions. 

June Watford Word is out

Watford Word

The latest "Watford Word" is out. You can find it by clicking here

Sunday 11th June

This Sunday Leon Watkins is preaching his first sermon here in sunny Watford. I'm so looking forward to hearing from this wise and mature man of faith. He's been a Christian since his teen years and is building a wonderful family together with Sarah.  Please pray for their vision of an evangelised Chesham. Leon contributes so much to our church life. He sings with his rich for bass voice, champions of the work of HOPE Worldwide and other local projects of need, such as the Watford Foodbank, records the sermons on video, takes superb photos and much more. His text for Sunday is:

“Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”  He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?”  “Caesar’s,” they replied. He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.” (Luke 20:20–26 NIV11)

What's coming up?

  • The women meet next Wednesday
  • Malcolm preaches next Sunday, 18 June
  • The church goes to Dunstable Downs for church and a picnic lunch on 25 June.

God bless,

Malcolm 

 

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Super Science Sunday

‘Science’ service

“Thank-you” to Dawn for her hard work and creativity in designing and executing the ‘science’ service this last Sunday.

The video is here: on the Watford YouTube channel.

June

Sundays will be at Laurence Haines School,  10.30am as usual.

The teaching and preaching focus for this month will take us into Luke chapter 20.  As well as Malcolm speaking today, Leon will be preaching his first Watford sermon next week!

Other Events

25 June - Church service & picnic on Dunstable Downs: Whipsnade Road, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2GY (Sat Nav: use LU6 2GY, or LU6 2TA for older equipment)

We’re taking the church to a special place called the Dunstable Downs. 

At a scenic spot we’ll sing, pray and take communion. Afterwards we will have a picnic lunch together. Please bring appropriate food. If you wish, you can buy lunch at the venue. Click here for details: or look up “Dunstable Downs” and the National Trust. It’s a brilliant place for flying kites, so bring one if you can. 

Last time I was there the car park machine was out of order, but there may be a charge.

If you’re going to have difficulty in getting to the venue, or need advice about routes, please speak to me as I know the place well and have been there many times.

23 July - Bandstand service in Cassiobury Park (with the North West region of the London church)

The next ‘London’ service is on 16 July

Watford church podcast

At long last we have our sermon podcast feed up and running! Special thanks to Leon for the artwork. This means you can subscribe to the sermons and automatically download them to your smartphone, computer or other device. You can also tell your friends so they can listen too.  If you are serving in children’s ministry, on holiday or ill, you never need miss a sermon again!

How do you get these gems? Go to iTunes, search for “Watford church of Christ” and you should see the picture illustrated here. Click “subscribe” and you’ll have access to the already 47 episodes. Forthcoming sermons, communion talks, testimonies and the like should be automatically updated. 

This also works with Google Play. Let me know if you have any difficulties with the feed.  Technology, eh?!

Malcolm

Special Contribution

It’s our privilege and tradition to take a special collection annually to support the mission work in the Indian subcontinent as well as within these islands. This year there is a slight change to some of the allocation of the funds, which is explained below in the announcement from the leadership team of the London church. The collection will be taken in June this year.

“In June 2017 the London Church will be taking a Special Contribution to further the work of expanding God’s Kingdom.

This will primarily be for the UK & Ireland Missions Fund to continue supporting the employment of staff in the Belfast, Leicester and Glasgow Churches, and since last year’s collection, in the Edinburgh and Dublin Churches too.

 £46,000 will go to the South Asian Missions Society to support our sister churches in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

 £32,000 will be set aside for the future hiring of young ministry interns in the London Church.”

Here are the details as to how to contribute:

  • Cash - using the provided pre-printed envelopes that Bronwen has
  • Cheques - payable to “ICC Missions”
  • Online - via www.iccmissions.org/donate  and selecting the “Missions” option

If you have any questions about this collection, please speak to me. 

God bless, Malcolm

Science Sunday comes to Watford


Psa. 19:1  "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

This Sunday we're experimenting! Dawn, our resident chemistry teacher, will be helping us all to discover some of the glories of our God through experiments for young and old. We might not be taking off into space (!), but we'll experience a greater wonder of God through these creative experiments.

The service will be followed by lunch - please bring a food contribution if you can.

There is no Wednesday meeting on 31st May - it's a five-week month. The men meet the following  Wednesday at my place for a follow-up on our vision discussion from two weeks ago. 

Have a wonderful week!

Malcolm

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London Bound

This Sunday, 21 May, we're not in Watford. Instead we'll be joining our sister-congregations from around London for our bi-monthly service in Logan Hall off Russel Square at the Institute of Education (10.30 AM). 

The following week we're back at the school for a very special event - "science" Sunday coordinated by our very own science teacher, Dawn Burke! Be ready to muck in with the experiments. It's also a lunch Sunday, so bring along your contribution to our fellowship meal together and hang around afterwards to eat and chat.

The women meet next Wednesday for discussion about our "Church Aspirations". The draft version is here:

1. God-Focused
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
2. Relationship-Based
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34–35)
3. Enabling Our Children to Become Christians
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
4. Always Free Yet Spiritual
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
5. Toiling to Build the Church Well
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

I hope you have a wonderful week. God bless,

Malcolm

cc: chase_elliott - https://www.flickr.com/photos/19746950@N00

The Dannatts are Descending

This Sunday we're lucky to have Tim & Shevvy Dannatt with us. They minister to the Thames Valley churches of Christ and are old friends of mine. Indeed, Tim was in Christ before me and attended my baptism in 1984. His lesson at his previous visit last year was well received, so we are very grateful to him for coming all the way to Watford to speak again this Sunday. Please make him and Shevvy very welcome in my absence. 

I request prayers as I attend the UK/Ireland/Scandinavian/Nordics staff retreat in Helsinki this weekend. Please petition God that I will come back with ideas that can help us as a congregation to be the best we can be for God. 

The following Sunday (21 May) is a London-wide service. The following week (28 May) we are back in the school for "Science Sunday". Experiments and fun for all!  That will be a 'lunch' Sunday too, so please bring food along too.

God bless,

Malcolm

Annual Church Meeting

The London annual church meeting takes place in Regions. Our local one is the North West Region, and takes place in Harrow High School on 4th June, 1pm after their church service. It's an opportunity for the trustees of ICCM to present financial updates and matters of charity policy.

We're a little small in Watford (at this point) to warrant our own meeting, so anyone who is interested in such matters is invited to go down to Harrow. We'll still have our service in Watford that day, and finish by 11.45 should anyone want to make the trip to Harrow.

God bless, Malcolm

Church Aspirations

What's Coming Up in Watford

"Thank you" to Barry for preaching on Sunday (and hosting the men on Wednesday evening). 

We're at the school again this Sunday when we have something special for some of the children. The sermon is on Luke 19.28-48 - have a look and let me know if you have any questions of comments.

Some reminders:

  • The Special Contribution takes place in June (see below for more details. 
  • Teen camp info and registration is here: http://www.iccmissions.org
  • Preteen camp registration is here: http://www.iccmissions.org

Church Aspirations 

A focus for the moment is prayer and discussion over our "Church Aspirations". Here they are again:

1. God-Focused

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

2. Relationship-Based

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34–35)

3. Enabling Our Children to Become Christians

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

4. Always Free Yet Spiritual

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13)

5. Toiling to Build the Church Well

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

We have visionary aspirations as a church. We aspire to be God’s people in Watford, where we live, where we work and to our families. But, are we as clear as we could be about our aims - our guiding principles? We’re starting a process of reflection about this guided by the aspirations of the Thames Valley churches of Christ (see left).

Please pray about this and ask God to give us the wisdom we need.

Schedule

30 April - launch aspirations process

3 May - men pray and discuss the aspirations

24 May - women pray and discuss the aspirations

28 May - conclusions presented at church


Special Contribution announcement

“In Jun 2017 the London Church will be taking a Special Contribution to further the work of expanding God’s Kingdom.

This will primarily be for the UK & Ireland Missions Fund to continue supporting the employment of staff in the Belfast, Leicester and Glasgow Churches, and since last year’s collection, in the Edinburgh and Dublin Churches too.

£46,000 will go to the South Asian Missions Society to support our sister churches in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

£32,000 will be set aside for the future hiring of young ministry interns in the London Church.” 

God bless, 

Malcolm

From the garden - to the empty tomb - back to the garden

Easter is a special time. We wept with Jesus in Gethsemane, mourned over the cross, then celebrated at the empty tomb. Here's the video of Sunday's resurrection story - with the children's help!  

This coming Sunday is "Allotment Sunday" - we'll be sowing, planting, harvesting and much more at Joe's allotment, 10.30 am. Communion will conclude the activities. Please bring folding chairs, warm clothing, footwear appropriate for the countryside and food. If the weather is bad we'll meet at the school. The address is: Bournehall Avenue, Bushey, WD23 3BB.

 

The men meet on Wednesday at Barry's.

Have a wonderful, resurrection-inspired week.

Malcolm

 

Easter is coming!

This coming Sunday's service should be memorable for many reasons. First, we've a special activity for the children; second, the adults have a craft to make; third, the children will help me with telling the Easter story; fourth, there will be an Easter egg hunt after church; and fifth, and most importantly, we will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

In the words of the excellent hymn, "Come, people of the risen King",

1. Come, people of the risen King
Who delight to bring Him praise
Come all and tune your hearts to sing
To the morning star of grace
From the shifting shadows of the earth
We will lift our eyes to Him
Where steady arms of mercy reach
To gather children in

CHORUS
Rejoice, Rejoice!
Let every tongue rejoice!
One heart, one voice
Oh, church of Christ, rejoice

See you at Laurance Haines School, 10.30 am!

God bless,

Malcolm

The Blind Man Sees

This Sunday we're back at Laurance Haines School for our usual 10.30AM service. Osagie is preaching - on Luke 18 and the healing of the blind man.

There is no Wednesday meeting this week since it's a 5-week month.

Other events in the pipeline include our Easter service on 16th April, and the "Allotment service" on Joe's allotment the following Sunday.

Please pray for the fathers and sons on their retreat 8/9 April. And also for Simon and his family as they attend his mother's funeral on Friday this week.

God bless,

Malcolm

Dan the preacher man

Many thanks to Danny for preaching on Sunday. If you missed it, the sermon audio is here: and the video is here.

Sunday coming is a London service, 10.30AM Logan Hall, off Russell Square (don't forget to love up on your mother, since it's Mothering Sunday!). The following Sunday we are back at Laurance Haynes School for our next Watford Sunday service. The passage for the lesson that day is Luke 18.36-43 - the healing of the blind man in Jericho. If you'd like some more thinking about this passage, check my blog.

Wednesday this week looks like being a spectacular time for the women of the church. The special "pampering" evening is on at the West Watford Free church, Tolpits Lane, 7.30PM.

Let's continue to pray for Simon and his family as they mourn the death of his mother. There is, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,” (Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

Prayer - Part 2?

Actually, this Sunday's lesson, even though it looked to be about prayer, was really about who is justified before God. We explored the topic of self-righteousness and humility. I really appreciate the way the congregation engaged with the discussion and sharing segments of the sermon. We all learn so much more when we can hear from one another.

As for the week ahead, the men are meeting at Joe's place on Wednesday, 7.30PM. On Sunday Danny will be preaching on this passage:

    “A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”     “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honour your father and mother.’”     “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.     When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”     When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”     Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”     Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”     Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”     “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”     Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”     The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.” (Luke 18:18–34 NIV11)

Send Dan a message if you've got any particular thoughts on the text, or questions for that matter. 

Thank you to the volunteers who have contacted Joe about helping to prepare his allotment for the special service we'll be having there on 23 April. If you'd like to be involved please contact Joe directly. 

See you soon,

Malcolm

Prayer X2

This last Sunday we looked at perseverance in prayer and Jesus interceding for us in prayer (check the Watford YouTube channel for the video of the sermon). And this coming Sunday we have a second bite at the prayer topic, looking at prayer, pride and humility. All this from Luke 18.

Here's the passage for Sunday 12th March:

    “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’   “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’     “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”     People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”” (Luke 18:9–17 NIV11)

On another note, the women are meeting on Wednesday night this week.

See you on soon!

Malcolm

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Who Does Jesus Save?

As we saw on Sunday, according to Luke 17.11-19 Jesus saves the desperate, the obedient and the grateful. Fortunately we are all able to imitate the Samaritan leper and see Jesus do his work in us as he did in that man's life.

Talking of humility (which embraces all three of the qualities above) this was illustrated beautifully by the story of 92-year-old Syd who was baptised into Christ last Tuesday. Having survived Dunkirk and a serous injury during 'Operation Market Garden' he finally found what he was looking for. We praise God and join in the angelic celebrations!

This week the men meet on Wednesday at Osagie's place (Dan running the meeting), and Sunday we are at Logan Hall for the bi-monthly all-London service, 10.30am. We'll be back at Laurance Haines school as usual on Sunday 26th February when Charl will be preaching on Luke 17.20-37. Being the last Sunday in the month we'll be having lunch together too.

See you soon and God bless,

Malcolm

Syd

Syd