Easter Values and APCM Vision

April is the month in which we have to have our annual church meetings.  It is also the month In which Easter often falls - this year it's right in the middle of April.  It always strikes me as something of a juxtaposition.  Remembering the week leading up to Jesus' death and celebrating His resurrection is perhaps the most intensely spiritual and searching of all  our festivals.  The word "crucial" comes from the Latin "crux", meaning "cross", and this week of celebration is truly crucial in every sense.  On the other hand, we have the intensely practical work of attending to the legal aspects of running 4 charities, and ensuring that notices, electoral rolls, and reports are all in order for the annual meetings.

So, I find myself with this balance between spiritual and practical, between meditating on the timeless meaning of Jesus conquering death, and reading up on the latest changes around charity regulations, and making sure we do what we should.  In reality, both these things are important.

We have to keep circling back to the roots of what we believe and what really makes us get out of bed in the morning.  How Jesus has expressed His love to us in the person of Jesus Christ and in the events of Holy Week, is nothing short of astonishing, and it does lie at the heart of all we engage in.  And yet we find ourselves with our own unique context and our own specific calling to pursue.

The APCMs provide an opportunity to review how we are living out God's call upon us and to cast the vision for where God is calling us to next. The annual meetings are much more than a series of talking heads, giving dry reports out of duty to the demands of charity law. They are a time when we can gather the wider church family,  celebrate what God has done in the past year and seek God together for fresh vision and direction in the year ahead.

Our foundations and our values remain constant, and the resurrection celebrations bring us back to these.  But our vision shifts and turns as the Spirit blows in new directions, and our annual meetings give ear to this.

I do hope to see as many folk as possible from the church families gathering through April, to seek both a re-grounding with God and a re-envisioning from Him.

 

APCM Meetings

Hethel Tuesday 4 April 7.30pm in Bracon Ash Village Hall

Mulbarton Monday 10 April 7.30pm in Harvest House.

Bracon Ash Tuesday 11 April 2.00pm in Bracon Ash Church

Flordon Tuesday 18 April 7.30pm in Flordon Church

 

 

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A BIG THANK YOU from Norwich Foodbank

As at 16 March 2017 we at Mulbarton Church have collected a total of more than 1,310kg of food for the Norwich Foodbank.  This would be enough to feed approximately 174 local people, who are in crisis, for 3 days.

Thank you very much for your support!

Items most needed now are: instant mash, long life sponge puddings, tinned vegetables, chocolate (including Easter eggs!) and male toiletries.

 

 

 

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Mardling, Singing and Opening the Church

I love the new gathering in Mulbarton social club for afternoon tea – it’s been great to partner with others on this and meet a real community need. The spread that Angie, Beth and Jasmine put on, at our trial event in November, was sensational. There was such a good buzz there, so it’s great that the “Mulbarton Mardlers” will continue monthly in 2017.

Something else that seems to have struck a chord has been our community choir. I’m so pleased Andrew has been able to put his many musical talents to such good use, and to make good friends among the choir, and that so many have been able to tap into the benefits of community singing and simply have fun together. The fabulous carol service was only the beginning – look out for the choir concert at the Village Hall later on. Newcomers to the choir are always welcome – just contact Andrew.

We’re planning a new event for 2017, inviting the whole village to an open day and gift day at the church on Saturday 13th May, after which we hope to be ready to open the church permanently during daylight hours. You may be curious about what goes on at your local church, or the ways we seek to serve the community. You may fancy a go at playing the organ or ringing bells, or want to get some ideas about a baptism or wedding. You may want to find out more about the amazing heritage or see the special artefacts, which are usually hidden away – or just have a nose. Or you may simply appreciate a good quality coffee and a slice of cake. If you’d like to come and see for any reason, we’d be delighted to see you.

There’ll be no obligation, but for those who would like, we will also provide opportunity for you to make a gift to the church, especially to help us preserve some important heritage, and make the building more comfortable. Two key projects for 2017 are to improve heating and to restore the baptismal font. For so many decades, the font has been used to baptise the people of Mulbarton, and without help we risk losing it forever.

In case you’re wondering about progress with churchyard rules, we’re still negotiating with the diocesan legal office – hopefully more news soon.

Wishing you many blessings through this 2017,

Adrian

 

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