“Neh, neh, neh, neh, neh!
Neh, neh, neh, neh, neh!
Neh, neh, neh, neh, neh!
I would like to start with an apology to all of the Parents whose children have been singing this on repeat since Friday. I know I have, much to the annoyance of my housemates and friends!
In the Easter holidays we transformed the Family Centre into a TV Broadcasting set, as part of our playscheme for 5-11 year olds from the 3rd-6th April. The children were able to be part of the live studio of the Heatwave channel, broadcasting many news worthy items from current affairs as well as hearing live testimonies of men and women who encountered Jesus many centuries back, people like Martha (Mary’s sister), Zacchaeus, the Paralysed man (whose friends made a hole through the roof) etc… meeting the people whose lives were transformed by Jesus and asking them pertinent questions about their encounter with Jesus. We also had crazy weather reports (where the presenter of choice might get a little teeny bit wet) and Dan even showed us in a cooking segment the best way to crack an egg...on your forehead!
Heatwave is a week of fun and games, but is also a really good time to connect with the kids and teach them more about Jesus and his heart for them. Most of the 40 kids that came aren’t from Revs, and are just from the local community - quite a few of them have been coming for years, and have older brothers or sisters who came before them. Even for our kids who already know God, it’s been great to spend our holidays singing, dancing and worshipping Him with friends. One of the best things about doing church with all of you is worshipping God and learning more about who he is alongside friends, and kids need that too. This means that something like Heatwave is a chance for them to explore faith with others, and not just family.
It has also been really cool to be part of something that has been built over time and has links to kids that aren’t involved in our other programmes and events. Dan and I would love to make Heatwave even bigger and better next year. We can't wait to invite you onto team next Easter to be part of it!
Our community has been “leaning in” over these last few weeks through a series of meetings entitled “Living the Woven Cord”. It has been leaning in to understand more about the presence of the Trinity in our lives, leaning in to hear stories about how people have found God in the midst of great suffering, leaning in to creative expressions of worship that uplift and inspire our hearts, and leaning in to the legacy we walk in as God’s children, who weave Kingdom threads across our community and world, leading others into meeting with our risen King.
On our first morning, Roger Ellis helped us explore the wonder of the three-in-one:-
“God is Trinity and the beautiful, relational unity and love expressed within the divine three in oneness show us the way in life”.
We heard how God in Christ has gone before us into the darkness and suffering, defeating death and paving a way for us all into eternity. This set the scene for the moving stories we would hear in the second week, and Emma Derbyshire’s inspiring look at the Easter journey on the third meeting. If you haven’t heard Roger’s or Emma’s talks yet, we would really encourage you to do so. Here’s Roger’s and here’s Emma’s.
Our times together were also marked by inspiring art works, a beautiful original song by Emily Cook, and creative expressions of worship. Here are some of the works we saw: -
Created by Tom and Kat Fisher (with flower decorations by Karen Baldry) this work is based on the ancient Celtic symbol of faith. The triangular shape is symbolic of the three-in-one nature of the Trinity, the circle that of God’s eternal and all-encompassing character.
Created by Pete Hamilton and Julie Haydock, this symbolises the work of the Kingdom of God, like golden threads that interconnect our homes, neighbourhoods, schools, workplaces, and the links of our church across the UK and wider world. In the middle of the work is the centre of Chichester. The surrounding villages and towns are superimposed behind the UK and world.
Here are three works created live on Easter Sunday morning. The first is by Sam Harding, which explores the journey to the cross. The second is by Jo Burton, on the theme of the resurrection of Christ. The third one was created by Julie Haydock and children during the meeting: -
(Painting by Sam Harding)
(Painting by Jo Burton)
(Painting by Julie Haydock & children in the meeting)
For the third week, we created a new film about how the Kingdom of God is like golden threads that criss-cross lands and hearts, bringing the presence of Heaven to Earth. Here it is:-
(click on image above to go to video on YouTube)
We’ve written some more about what inspired Julie to write this prayer poem here at our blog on Prayerscapes.
On behalf of the church we would like to thank all those who have contributed to “Living the Woven Cord” series. Many people have been impacted and deeply touched by the testimonies and beauty they have heard and seen.
Neil & Julie Haydock
Since January Soulfire (our 11-18s Youth Group) has embarked on a journey of "NT60" - reading the New Testament in 60 days. For the youth, the aim has been to touch base with every book of the New Testament at least once, with four readings a week. To help them on their journey, we've been reading the New Testament together on Sunday, providing videos in the week and reading together on some of our Friday sessions.
The Bell Tower is now in it’s fourth year of operation as an after school youth drop-in centre and is now a well established hub in the community for local young people. We have extended our work into local secondary schools, running assemblies and regular lunch time drop-in sessions to connect with those who have not yet made use of the centre.
The wonderful City Angels volunteers continue to go out on the streets in all weathers until the early hours on weekend evenings, helping anyone in need and bringing a calming presence to the city centre streets. The following statistics from January to December 2017 highlight the continued need for their presence:
Total number of people given assistance: 157 (222 including those involved in group fights)
Number of men given assistance: 94
Number of women given assistance: 78
Free drinks served: 1686
Length of time spent supporting individuals: 40+ hours
Number of times 999 called: 11
People found collapsed/unconscious: 10
Number of times CA intervened to stop/prevent escalation of group fights (often with police/door security) back up: 9
Incidences of potential drink spiking: 3+
Incidences when an individual was deemed vulnerable of sexual assault and were supported by CA: 3
As you can see, there is still a huge need for their presence on the streets – what would have happened to the 10 people found collapsed/unconscious, if they hadn’t been found by City Angels? City Angels continue to work closely with Sussex Police and all the door security men and women; as well as liaising with CCTV and working with City and District Councils.
City Angels have also been busy with other events – in January the volunteers celebrated with an end of year party; the following evening several volunteers were present at Chichester cathedral for the churches’ Unity Service – celebrating the work of many such essential voluntary projects run by different churches across the local area.
One night in January the City Angels team received a call on the radio from door security staff that had found a young lady at the back of The Vestry, vomiting and reluctant to move. City Angels took over, allowing the security team to go back to work. On the same night another young lady was found outside The Fountain, also vomiting and unable to walk – City Angels helped her back to the university campus and alerted Student Campus Security who were able to check up on her. City Angels then received a radio call from The Fountain to say that a lady had collapsed in the toilets upstairs, and was semi-conscious and having a seizure. City Angels were able to call her father and support her until her father arrived to take her home.
If you would like to volunteer please contact Lin Roberts admin@cityangels,org.uk
Thank you so much to all the highly committed and hard-working City Angels volunteers!
This Autumn, our church is looking at what we believe, and using the Nicene Creed as a basis for exploring this (this creed is an ancient declaration of the Christian faith dating back to AD325 and the early church communities). Last month, Dan Slatter asked us if we might create a short film recording of the creed. You may have already seen this film at church and recognise some of the voices on it!
We decided to record many different voices because we wanted to build a diverse picture of what it means to be part of church family – the young and old together, from many backgrounds and upbringings, all united in their love and adoration of Christ. So, on this recording you will hear Scottish, Irish, English and even Afro-French accents! In the western world we value highly our individualism with “I” and “my” being some of our most frequently used words. Christ knew that it was “we” - the church - that would become a beautiful family of relationships - his bride and treasure on earth. He knew that if we continued to view the world and understand ourselves with an “I” outlook, that we would fall to confusion or comparison. “We believe” is then a transforming creed, “we” are whole within the body, we are valued within the body and “we” are sheltered within the body.
We hope that the imagery we have woven into this film will help others who are on a journey of faith to distil, contemplate and rest in these ancient statements. We are “one” in belief, connected to our brothers and sisters of faith through many generations in Christ. “We” can play our part – not with fear, comparison or insecurity, but with confidence. “We” belong – accepted, loved, forgiven and free. “We” can rest when we are tired, question when we doubt, and be carried when we can no longer stand because we share in the love and the legacy of others who have gone before us.
Neil & Julie Haydock
Here are the words to this glorious declaration of Christian faith:
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
A Level results are out! We are thinking of those across the country who have now received their results. For many, these results will determine 'what's next'. Let's be praying for students who are coming to study here in Chichester this year, and for those returning in the coming weeks.
If you are coming to Chichester university this term, we'd love to hear from you. Keep an eye on our student Facebook page to stay up-to-date with freshers and autumn term events: www.facebook.com/revelationfamilystudents/
Dwell - Neil & Julie's new album!
If you were at church on Sunday 2nd July you'll know that we were interviewed about our prayer resource - Prayerscapes. We’re super-excited to announce the release of our new album “Dwell”, now available via iTunes, Amazon and on our site at prayerscapes.com.
Some of the material on “Dwell” is taken from the videos that you may already have seen in some of our church meetings. The album weaves inspirational poetry, foundational scripture and song ministry together with filmatic soundtracks.
"If you are looking for a recording all about Biblical meditation and reflection you won't find anything better than the prayerscapes albums. We've used them for years at our creative prayer workshops. What makes Dwell even more a winner for us is that a lot of our talented friends are involved on it. Yet again Neil & Julie prove that they have a God given talent by producing this unique new album."
Ishmael & Irene Smale
(Ishmael - singer/songwriter - writer of "Father God, I wonder" and numerous children's albums.)
Much of the material on the new album has been born out of some of our life experiences over the last few years. "May the Road Rise Up to Meet You" came out of praying for Julie, soon after our second child was born. I stumbled over this ancient Celtic blessing and found myself praying/singing it for her. It became a gentle reminder that whatever stresses we face (and these were plentiful with a small baby & a six year old child!) God holds us in the palm of His hand, and His faithfulness and love will never let us go:-
Other tracks have emerged from flashes of inspiration and creativity. The words to the track "Prayer Connects" came to Julie as one continuous stream of ideas - she scribbled the words down with the aid of a torch during the middle of the night! The poem is read by the wonderful Ant Stewart and is about God's amazing gift of prayer, charting the many different ways in which we encounter this gift in our lives:-
There are also tracks on the album which take the form of ministry songs, such as "Take my Hand". This song seeks to carry the love, grace, healing and hope that we have in Christ for those who are suffering. We played this track a couple of weeks ago in our morning meeting together:-
Dwelling is about finding a home, about connection with our Eternal Creator, pushing our roots deep into God’s Kingdom. To find “home“ we need to settle, unpack, relax and feel welcome. ”Dwell” is an open door leading us to moments that crystallize our beliefs, shelter our troubled hearts and inspire us to connect, to rest and to seek after the love of Christ.
It's possible to explore the album further by visiting this page and clicking on the samples from the tracks on "Dwell". Clicking on the track titles will take you to the lyrics, scriptures and poems that are on the album. Here you can also buy the album, either as mp3s or as a good old physical CD!
Neil & Julie
Robert Armstrong has started up a blog called “Easy Money” to help and encourage people to manage their money better, and he already has quite a few followers in Revs. Here’s a link to it:
He says his blog is about “making it easier to manage money on a day-to-day basis by organising our finances so that we only have to think really hard about money (which we don’t like doing) very occasionally.”
Robert is also the point of contact for Christians Against Poverty (CAP) within Revelation Family Church and recently trained as a CAP Money Coach. CAP helped more than 8,000 families in the UK with financial problems last year.
Robert believes that how we manage our money is central to our walk with God, and when Jesus said “I have come to set the captives free”, this includes being free from debt and financial worries.