BUNYAN BAPTIST CHURCH
Stevenage

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Message Board

Welcome to the Bunyan Baptist Church Blog page!

We want to keep in touch with you while the church site is closed! You can find our YouTube channel by clicking on the tab at the top right, with Sunday Services, videos for Saturday Church and Twinklers Families, and a few other bits and pieces. We'll also be providing you other resources, activity packs and ideas here to help us all stay in touch, and to stay well. So please do keep checking in here and on our  Bunyan Baptist Church and Twinklers at Bunyan facebook pages to keep in the loop.

Please do comment on the below posts. If you'd like to add a new post, please email the content to Siobhan or get in touch via the Contact Page.

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A few places to find some help...

Posted by siobhan@bunyan.org.uk on April 3, 2020 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Just a reminder that non-medical advice and support, including Foodbank, a kitchen to provide food for those in most need, help for over 70s with picking up prescriptions, walking dogs, or just friendly chats are available from SBC Helpline on 01438 222222. 

Also, Age UK Hertfordshire offer a number of excellent services, and have some great advice on staying well and getting help  - you can find more here: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/hertfordshire/our-services/information-and-advice/coronavirus/

And of course, we're here too! Get in touch via the contact page if you find youself in need! 

A message from Bob and Margaret Pryor

Posted by siobhan@bunyan.org.uk on March 30, 2020 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Hello Again, Lots of virtual hugs and kisses to you all.

 

It's Saturday evening 28th March and we have just burnt Sunday's chicken by forgetting it's in the oven, we were watching a series on netflix "The English Game".

When we realised we had not taken it out and saw how pathetic it looked, we had to laugh!

 

In the present circumstances its no big deal and made Bob and I thankful for what we have. Our hearts go out to those who are knowing bereavment of friends and dear ones and we lift them all up to our great God and Jesus who stands with us.

 

Sunday 29th, A great service from Bunyan, love the graphic countdown and the poem on Exodus & Max, well done, loved the wallpaper.

 

Thank you to all our Bunyan family for all you do for us each week, phone calls, cards, quizzes etc.

 

So bye for now, Love Margaret & Bob

 

An evening thought: Peace in a troubled world

Posted by siobhan@bunyan.org.uk on March 29, 2020 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Matthew 5:9 NLT “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”

 

Over the past couple of days, photos of beaches and the sea have been popping up on Facebook: beautiful beaches, with wide sand dunes, frothy white waves breaking, clear blue skies and bright sunshine. I don’t know why sea and beaches in particular, but as I love the sea and had just been to Brighton I didn’t join in directly as I’d already put up a photo that I took on Brighton beach at the beginning of March. I don’t get to the seaside nearly often enough and on that morning, when lockdown was not yet our reality, there was just something about walking along those crunchy pebbles in the bright sunshine with the wind whipping my hair about and making me wonder why I’d bothered to get the straighteners out in the first place. Now, maybe it’s just something about beaches in general that cause long forgotten memories of childhood to surface – carefree days of sand between the toes and ice creams in the sun – a time when someone else had the responsibility for worrying. Maybe it’s just the expanse of sea that brings our very being into perspective. Maybe it’s just something about the way the waves ebb and flow and the tide rises and falls with comforting regularity and even as I look at the picture now, there’s something about the way the wave is just at the cusp of breaking that brings a sense of peace.

 

Over the past frantic, and to be honest quite odd and disturbing, couple of weeks, peace may well have been an emotion that has been in short supply and maybe, through the images on people's feeds, we just needed a reminder that peace is still possible even when the world seems like a frightening place. It’s interesting that in this new way of living that has pulled us apart physically that we’ve gathered together far more closely online – what a privilege we have to share in this way and, as part of this, do relatively easy things like bringing peace through simply sharing a picture of the seaside.

 

However, as beautiful as the pictures of the seaside are and whatever emotions they cause to surface within you, I hope there have been times in your life when you have experienced a real sense of peace. An inner peace that can only come from time when we have been at one with our heavenly Father. However, as people of faith we are called to do more than just experience peace for ourselves. If you have been blessed by peace with God, then what might it take to be people who bring about such peace for others? For this is what it means to be people who work for peace – to not just be peaceful ourselves, but to endeavour to bring about peace in the lives of other people.

 

In these days of restriction and limitation, where, to preserve life, we find ourselves limited by where we can go and who we can meet with face to face, so what might peace for you look like? What might peace for others look like? And how can we be agents of peace in this disrupted and unsettled world?

 

We will have to be creative in what we do and how we do it. By all means share pictures of beautiful vistas, but always remember that true peace comes from the One who is the Prince of Peace and in these unsettling days we need to first and foremost turn to Him. Whatever these next few days and weeks hold, I’m drawn back yet again to the verse from Philippians (4:6) that says “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done.” With the consequences of this is being, as verse 7 verse says, ”…you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” So this day, I pray that your hearts and minds will be guarded by God’s peace this day and in the days to come.

 

In response to this thought, I suggest you listen to a recording of ‘Make me a channel of Your peace” like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZzdh5xpM2Q

Or alternatively read the words of the song below and use the words of the prayer of St Francis as an inspiration to pray that God’s peace will come, in us, in others and in the world.

 

Make me a channel of Your peace

 

Make me a channel of Your peace

Where there is hatred, let me bring Your love

Where there is injury, Your pardon Lord

And where there's doubt, true faith in You

 

Make me a channel of Your peace

Where there's despair in life, let me bring hope

Where there is darkness, only light

And where there's sadness, ever joy

 

Oh Master, grant that I may never seek

So much to be consoled as to console

To be understood as to understand

To be loved as to love with all my soul

 

Make me a channel of Your peace

It is pardoning that we are pardoned

In giving to all men that we receive

And in dying that we're born to eternal life

 

Sebastian Temple.

Copyright © 1967 Sebastian Temple/

OCP Publications/Adm. by Calamus.

A bit of time with the Bible...

Posted by siobhan@bunyan.org.uk on March 27, 2020 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

We had hoped to gather this evening to think about the big picture of the Bible together. We've postponed that till autumn, but in the meantime, have a look at this, as Rev Dr Helen Paynter, Tutor at Bristol Baptist College, who is providing a tour through the Bible, with daily updates: 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkJ0iVHAOGVtlGc7QMTtkzyjjAGZfbkJE

Share any thougths as we go! 

A message from Bob and Margaret

Posted by siobhan@bunyan.org.uk on March 27, 2020 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (1)

Hi everyone, I do miss you all, last Sunday 15th was peculiar not

going to Bunyan as i had my pacemaker op on the 12th march, and

Bob also stayed home to cook lunch etc. but thankfully songs of praise was on and I also listened to some music and read my bible. My pacemaker site is not a pretty one black , blue yellow against pink skin and bubble wrap plaster, whatever next! I had a good week on the whole, went round the block for a walk and Fairlands valley for an outside distancing cup of tea. Bob ordered shopping on line but cannot deliver till 9th April. Thank God for daughter and son who shopped for us and delivered wearing duckface masks ! Sat 21st took of plaster from opp and Sunday had a wonderful hot shower with Bob's help.

What a lovely joyful time 10.30 -11.00 am was with Sara and Andrew doing Sunday church, God is so good and meets all our needs. Keep happy and smile even if you have to look in a mirror at yourself to do it. Love you all Margaret and Bob Keep safe

 

Volunteering for Team Herts Volunteering

Posted by siobhan@bunyan.org.uk on March 25, 2020 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (1)

We know that in these difficult times there will be many of you who feel called to help the vulnerable in our community. If this is something you are considering can we recommend that you get in touch with Team Herts Volunteering who are working alongside Hertfordshire County Council. It’s quick and easy to fill in their form and you can be really clear about what times you are available and how you would like to help! Roles include making food and prescription deliveries, telephone befriending or even dog walking! There really is a role for everyone! So do check it out and please remember the advice to avoid physical contact and stay at least 2 metres between yourself and others at all time! Stay safe everyone!

Encouragement From Trevor Allin

Posted by siobhan@bunyan.org.uk on March 25, 2020 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (2)

Dear Brothers and Sisters

 

During this time of isolation, some may find encouragement through the worship songs sung by the Oslo Gospel Choir. Many of them are available on YouTube.

 

To get you started, here is a link to "In Your Arms": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZhO0X8HSjY

 

Some of the words are particularly appropriate at the present time.

 

With love in Christ

 

Trevor R Allin

 

Sunday Service - 22nd March 2020

Posted by siobhan@bunyan.org.uk on March 21, 2020 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (1)

You can view our Sunday Service here: https://youtu.be/Ew_urXRcQOU

We're joining with Churches Together in England for a National Day of Prayer: www.cte.org.uk/calltoprayer as we think about Jesus as the light of the world (John 8:12)

 

You'll need a candle and way of lighting it!

Please share thoughts in the comments section

 

Special thanks to Cam, Sara, Steve and Jan


Featuring songs:

Come, now is the time to worship: Copyright © 1998 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire)/ Brian Doerksen Adm. by CopyCare

 

Light of the world: Copyright © 2000 Thankyou Music Tim Hughs

 

A message from Barbara

Posted by siobhan@bunyan.org.uk on March 21, 2020 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Dear Bunyan Family,

I woke this morning with the words of an old hymn on my heart...I am passing it on to you all as it seems appropriate for these times.

You can listen to it here, and see the words below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SFxG0h57kk


In heavenly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear:
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here:
The storm may roar around me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be afraid?

Wherever He may guide me
No want shall turn me back;
my Shepherd is beside me
And nothing can I lack:
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way He taketh
And I will walk with him.

Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o'er me,
Where darkest clouds have been:
My hope I cannot measure,
My path to life is free;
My Saviour has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.


Remember, too, the words of a modern song that say, there is never a time when He leaves us on our own.

God bless you all,

Love and prayers, Barbara 

 

 

 

Holy Habits in a Strange new world

Posted by siobhan@bunyan.org.uk on March 20, 2020 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

The first installment of the new BunyanBaptist  YouTube Channel

Where do we find our purpose, when so much of the familiar has stopped so abruptly? How about looking at Jesus, self-isolating in the desert?

Click here to see the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9zGmfSlzF0&feature=youtu.be

What Holy Habits are you hoping to get stuck into, over the coming weeks?

Share your thoughts here!

Bunyan... a way forward

Posted by siobhan@bunyan.org.uk on March 20, 2020 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

RE: COVID-19 Contingency Planning - A Way forward for Bunyan 20/03/2020

Good Morning!

Following the suspension of our on-site activities, we promised we'd find some new ways of being church together over the coming months, with more contact to come…

It's an old Christian discipline, when facing hard times, to ask ourselves the question: "What is God's gift in all this?" As we meet these tough times together we can be sure to see the new and different gifts from God… for example, when we talk about mission we say that Church needs to leave the building: well we have! We are the scattered, dispersed Church of the 21st Century, spread like yeast throughout our communities, to be blessed, and be a blessing.

Where in the past we've been able to meet together, to encourage each other, to hear God and deliberately spend time in His presence, to pray for one another, and to learn and worship together, we're no longer able to gather in person. But we're still able to do and be all the things that Church is and does, even if it might look different!

The basic principle we're adopting is that we're going to keep running as many events, programmes, groups and services as we possibly can – relocating them all online and in other creative ways. We normally only have one thing on at a time; so, at the time we've got something in the diary, we'll lead a way of being together via our Facebook page and our website - with more functionality coming soon to our website especially! By and large, there should be something new appearing just about every day as we share links, ideas, content and more. As you join in, may you know peace, solidarity and connectedness, as many of us will be sharing in the same things at the same times!

For our services and prayer meetings, there'll be a video, or a download, a picture, or something written that we can share in together, put out via Facebook and on our website. Both give the opportunity to intact: to share your responses and thoughts, and we'd ask, please do make use of the option! It's a great way to recreate a vital part of our gathering as we hear from one another.

For small groups, we're encouraging leaders to explore what being together as a group might look like: maybe setting up a Skype group so you can still gather at the same time, even if you have to make your own tea! You can also stay in touch in between group with WhatsApp groups or similar… if you're not sure what the next step you is, phone or email your group leader or minister@bunyan.org.uk and we'll try and help.

Our Pastoral Care is changing gear a bit … we’re going to try and make sure that everyone who wants to stay in touch with Bunyan gets a call, message or email, from someone at Bunyan most weeks just to say hello, to see how you are, and to see how we can be praying for you. If you’d like to be included in that, even you’re really new to Bunyan, please email us at minister@bunyan.org.uk and we’ll add you to the list! Meanwhile of course, we'd absolutely encourage you to pick up the phone, send an email, post a card, write a letter, or make contact via social media with anyone suddenly pops into your mind: if you miss someone, tell them!

One thing that is still the same in our Pastoral Care, is that you can get in touch with us too. If you're particularly worried, facing bereavement, struggling to get what you need, feeling lonely, or just need someone to talk to and pray with, please do get in touch You can start by emailing prayer@bunyan.org.uk or phoning Ali, Jan or I. We are still here for one another as a church.

Looking ahead, this is still all very likely to change! Not only is this a quickly changing situation, but also, we're learning how to make the best of it, trying new kit, new ideas and new approaches. We'll probably get into live broadcasting, and maybe even try and sing together… but not on week one!

Hopefully we'll get better and better at it as we go! But for now, we'll be sharing a video tomorrow, Saturday Church thoughts and activities for the whole family will be shared on Saturday morning, and we'll be engaging with the Churches Together in England's Day of Prayer this Sunday at 10:30am… so as we gather together in our own homes, connected with God and each other by His Spirit with us, and via Facebook and our website, we'll need to bring a candle and way of lighting it!

So as we get ready for the long-haul here together, let's keep our eyes open for the gift that God is giving us today.

Every blessing,

 

Andrew and the team

 

 


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