Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Here we go.... 2017

Just a post summing up events over the past few weeks. Been a while since I updated this old blog, but might still be the best way to keep in touch and updated with what is going on in our neck of the Kingdom. We still have so many memorable moments from our trip over last September/October.  It was a good and needed time to rekindle the relationships we have with many churches and families in America.  We covered a huge amount of ground while visiting and know God balanced the scales while we were giving encouragement we were also being encouraged! Thank you to all the churches and families we visited, who faithfully ensure that we are provided for - we are truly appreciative! We also made sure the balance of visiting wasn't to overwhelming for Holly and Hannah and finished the trip with a six day time at Disney and Universal :)
Since returning home our main focus has been developing a healthy and solid environment or our young adults and young Christians. We have begun meeting on Friday nights in homes with a focus on rowth and study.  The early signs are hugely encouraging and give us hope that this will go some way in nurturing this young group. We have around 20/25 of us who are meeting together. Fenella is leading the girls discussion class and I am leading the boys.  It is clear that the group wanted this because there is a real appetite for learning and discovering during the focused time. Over time we hope the bonds that are being formed in this setting will spill over and benefit the church as a whole. I have to mention the Spirit that is evident when we meet on Fridays. There are times in ministry when you just know that something is right and is leading to a closer walk with God - this class is hitting the spot!  I have to mention my joy in witnessing Fenella's lead with this. With the pressure of a full time responsible occupation, I watch Fenella study and prepare for Friday night and it makes me smile all over! Ok, I could talk on and on about Friday nights, but need to move on... At this point I want to move on to our latest babe in Christ - Alec Watson.  It is natural to move from Friday night to Alec's conversion because they are intimately linked.  Alec is 21 and has been part of my life for at least 10 years. I got to know Alec when I worked with his school and then when he left school he showed an interest in coming to classes. Over the past 4 years Alec has been slowly but surely building a foundation in his life based on his Faith in God. The Friday nights have enabled Alec to flourish and he now knows the support and guidance that is found among Gods people. At the beginning of last week I got a lengthy text from Alec explaining why he was ready to commit to life as a Christian and how he was ready to leave his old life.  We spent time talking, studying and praying about what was being formed in him. On Friday night we got to share in the glory and joy of his being baptised into our saviours life. Now his journey begins alongside his new found band of pilgrims who are anticipating so much more! By Gods grace and power, I am still privillaged to minister within the schools and the high school.  Again, it is funny how everything is intertwined. I think about Alec and his soul that has now been found and I think about the door of opportunity God opened all those years ago, to be able to minister and influence in his school. Probably around 50% of my time is spent in various schools involved in different activities. Sometimes I might be standing in front of 3-400 and other times sitting across a table from one. Over the years God has crafted an amazing outreach that continues to be an avenue for blessing, in a time when Gods blessings are seldom acknowledged. A little update on our classes.  On Monday nights we have a great bunch of children! We have around 15/20 coming and they are now an established group. I know this by the way they now engage during the Class. There is an air of comfortable knowing between the kids, CJ, myself and the parents. This is a relatively new group that have formed over the last 2 years or so. Already we can see that there is a strong core group and the potential for this class to benefit them greatly :)   One of my joys about Monday nights, as well as seeing the kids, is being blessed by CJ's service. We have become quite the team and both of us are aware and know the joy of being placed in the company of such precious souls - God is good!  On a little side note, Alec came last night to help out and found that he is a natural with kids :)   Blessing! Looking ahead in 2017.  We are excited to be hosting the Pied Pipers from Harding University in early May and also the Harding Chorus will be with us to hold a concert in late May.  It will be good for us to rekindle the ties we have with Harding, who have been part of our heritage going back some 30+ years.  Dottie Fry will be arriving with the Pipers to take Peterhead Primary schools by storm. We have a full diary of schools signed up and anticipate a week to be remembered :)   The Chorus, led by Dr Cliff Ganus will conclude their European tour here in Peterhead - we are looking forward Quick family update -  All four of our girls are healthy and doing well. Amy continues to thrive at the Royal Academy in London. She is benefiting from some of the best vocal coaches around. Beth is finishing up her final year of undergraduate study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Like her big sister, music will continue to ignite her learning and will most likely play a major part in Beth's vocation. Holly and Hannah are in the thick of their Higher exams. They will have one more year of high school and they too will be making ready for their next stage in further education. Fenella and I are delighted that our girls are applying themselves well in life however, our fingers are more often on the pulse of their growing in faith. Our prayer is that God continues to be gracious and steadily reveals Himself to each of them.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

A Little Gem...

This post is simply to share some really good news and to introduce our most recent babes in Christ. A couple of weeks ago both Kathleen and Ian Fyfe accepted the call of Christ and are now safe in His mercy and grace. This has been a very timely and powerful reminder of God's power! Ian and Kathleen have shown a hunger and awareness that is not often seen. It has been such an encouragement for the church to witness the power of the gospel. From conviction to cleansing we saw the evidence of hearts aching for salvation and this finding fruition in their surrender to baptism and allowing God's grace to do the rest. 

Kathleen is Jordan's NaNa (Scots term for Grandmother). Over the past months they had witnessed Jordan's life and his faith and undoubtedly he was part of the fabric that now weaves their own faith. Kathleen Ian and Jordan have a close relationship and they will be instrumental in each other's journey along the Way. 

It was joy for us to study and come alongside these two kindred souls and it will be our continued pleasure to walk the same road till our Saviour calls us home. 

There have been many who were instrumental in the teaching of Ian and Kathleen. My uncle Alex (Shoney) Strachan and my mum and dad who have known Kathleen all her life. On the night of their baptism Alex took their confessions and I was waiting in the water to get them under :)

"God is good and His love endures forever!"

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Family update...

This will be in one way an easy post to write and at the same time one of the hardest. Easy in light of what our girls are doing and the joy they continue to be. Hard in light of no longer having Alexa's physical beauty and presence wrapped around us.

Firstly the easy part...
Fenella an I know and continually give thanks to God for blessing us richly! That is in no way a puffed up comment, but an awareness and acknowledgement that He is faithful and we know it. 

Amy is preparing for the next chapter in her life, she has been blessed with a place at the Royal Academy of Music in London to continue developing her voice. There is obviously much more involved than just her voice, but she has been blessed with one that brings joy to many. Amy is working hard to save and fund much of her 2 years in London. Amy is working in McDonald's as well as teaching voice and piano to bunch of her young students. Her kids love her and she is exactly who you would want teaching your child. She has a lovely balance of being inspirational and motherly all at the same time! She leaves for London in September and her heart is already there. 

Beth has turned a corner and we are again mindful that our Heavenly Father continues to do His thing! Beth still has some health issues that make her studies a little more complicated than most, but Fenella and I are thankful that she continues to thrive and function well. We have just taken her back to Glasgow after a two week break and we miss her! There is nothing like the sound of your children's unrestrained laughter. When Beth and Holly are together, they laugh!  Beth is a caring soul and is very generous with her care and attention on others! We recently went down to Glasow to see Beth in performing in Handel's St Johns Passion where the oboes had the main part. She played beautifully and the newspaper reviews that followed the performance made special mention of their playing. 

Holly and Hannah are now in their senior years at high school and their recent prize giving success show that they are both very diligent students. Still chalk and cheese as far as their strengths lie, but equally hard working and conciencious.

Holly excels in the creative realm and especially when it comes to art. Holly stole the show at this year's family secret Santa. She painted a family caricature that was priceless. Fenella was the recipient and was totally overwhelmed when she unwrapped the painting and came to terms with what Holly had gifted her with. There is no doubt that our family would be poorer without Holly's beauty! She continues to spark creativity and I there is laughter, it's a safe bet she is at the centre of it :)   At the end of term school Prize giving, Holly was awarded best in year prizes for both Art and French. 

Hannah continues to display a soft and gentle spirit which delights Fenella and I no end. Hannah continues to play her violin in both an orchestra and a little fiddle group. This past year Hannah has excelled in school too and picked up two awards at the end of term prize giving. She came top in year for Chemistry and and got an overall excellence award too. 

So, all that said, Fenella and I love our family and are thankful that all four are showing good endeavour and continue to make us very proud :)

Now for the hard part...
Fenella's mum, Alexa, had been living with cancer for a while and on 21st December passed into her heavenly Fathers care. We have never been in despair, because her faith in our Saviour assures us that she is free and already enjoying her Lord's peace. However, there is an unmistakable void where our family would always find a constant source of beauty, gentleness and love. To have lived with Alexa being always there and now to live without her loveliness is painful and makes us ache for heaven all the more. Alexa was quite simply warmth and gentleness all wrapped up. We never left her presence without being shown a radiant smile and her raised hand displaying the "I love you" sign as she stood at the window. We were never in any doubt about what we meant to her and we were always the richer for it. 
One of her unforgettable testimonies of faith that is now reality: Alexa having been deaf from birth has never heard any sound or voice her whole life. Alexa would affirm to us that she was looking forward to the first words she would hear being those from the lips of her Lord as he says, "Well done good and faithful servant!"

Fenella is doing exceptionally well, yes there are times that the pain and miss hit her, but through it all she continues to be a blessing to all.  Fenella and her mum were as intertwined a mother and daughter could ever be! I continue to know how blessed I am being married to Fenella, but at the same time being embraced and loved by Alexa. Fenella and her dad are propping each other up. We are thankful that our 4 girls are so loving and aware, always ready with warmth and hugs. 
One of Fenella's highlights of last year was a weekend away for the "Feilds of Refuge" women's retreat.
It was a timely balm with the right mix of those she loves being there and a supporting spiritual leadership guiding the event. Fenella is in her element in the company of younger women and a cup of tea in hand. She radiates a motherly cosines that many have felt and benefited form over the years - she is most definitely a 'Chip of the old block' in that arena!

His ways are better...

Long overdue, but here goes...
To start off I want to express what we all know to be true, but still needs to be acknowledged - Our God is worthy of our highest praise and is faithful!  I find myself constantly stopping and recognising that fact. The more frantic life around us is, the more we must seek stillness and peace, ensuring our core is rooted and steadied in His grace and mercy. The more our culture is fashioned by fear and uncertainty the more we need to be defined by our relationship to Christ and the assurance that this world is not our home! 

I want to focus this post on the reality of God's nearness and his constant provision and strength. I say this at the outset because as I ponder over the events of the past few months there is no louder message ringing in my ear affirming the fact.

God continues to move powerfully in allowing access to minister within the local high school and a number of the primary schools. I was in conversation earlier in the week and had mentioned that a couple of years ago I had thought about stepping back from school ministries. That's what happens when we think through our own course and base our decisions on how we feel rather than base them on what God can do!  There was a period that my energy was low and I had convinced myself that I didn't have much left in the tank to offer the younger kids, however God has since revealed that I had simply taken my eye off His power and was looking solely at me. There have been so many opportunities to minister since my gaze has been set again on His hand and allowing my heart to follow where He leads. Within the primary schools I have the blessing of teaching assemblies on a regular basis as well as setting up a mentoring program with Anna Ritchie school. I get to work with young kids who have a need or more one on one attention. This work is a joy and I have no doubt that in a small way it is allowing God an avenue to touch lives. 

I have been loving the open doors of opportunity offered at the high school. I am blessed with four different arenas of influence. The first is a consistent presence every Friday afternoon where the high school have set aside a communal area for us to operate a drop in or "Chill Zone" as it is called. I love this time! There are a group of between 20-30 kids who come and spend their lunchtime in our company. We have been doing this for a couple of years now and there is a definite depth and openness that has been cultivated during that time. The second area is being part of the chaplaincy team. For a week at the end of each term we are invited to take the morning assemblies. We just finished a week of assemblies and focused on a theme of 'The Turning Point." We used a mix of media and teaching to share about the importance of turning points in our lives. Each of us presented a personal example of a turning point and the essential work of Christ in the process. We also used a video clip from "Dispicable Me 2" and the Matthew West song, "Going through the Motions" to help illustrate - great stuff! The third avenue is being invited in to teach the X-cell group. One Thursday a month I get to teach a group of, mainly Christian students, who meet to encourage and be encouraged. It's a great setting and at our last session just before the Easter break I was blown away by what the group shared. We were looking at how God called us and our journey with Him. The group shared their various struggles in breaking free from HARD family prejudice against God. I loved listening to how powerful our God is in light of His redeeming work. The teacher who heads up the group shared with me what happened the next week when the senior students took the end of term session. This session would be their last one before leaving to go on to uni or further college stuff. They chose to build on our last set of discussions and share why it was so important to have faith guide their path. He told me it was the most powerful session he had witnessed! I love hove how God fans the spark into a flame! Fourthly, I get to play with the staff :)   On a Friday afternoon when the school week is done I get to play 5-a-side football with some of the teaching staff. Again, just an avenue to connect and affirm our shared interest in bringing out the best from the younger generations. 

So, to try and sum things up? From my foolishness in thinking that it might be a good idea to step back from this ministry to witnessing God's power and His constant promise to rely on His strength - that about sums it up!  His ways are so far above ours... 

Our organised classes at the church building are showing growth with the younger ones, primary school age. This was another indicator that God was in control. The class had dropped in numbers to around 8 after the year end break. However, by the summer the class was healthy with between 15-25 regularly coming. We have a lovely bunch and spread over the whole we range of 5-12 years old. I have the added bonus of having C.J, Jordan and Eden helping out with the class. There continues to be a nice balance of focus and fun :)

Our Wednesday nights are consistent and there is a decent group attending. We are only holding two classes above the adult class, due to struggling to get teachers. For the meantime it is working out, but is not ideal. Amy takes the younger kids up to age 12 and I take everyone over that age. Our class these past few weeks have been focused on organising a youth weekend. We have invited youth groups rom all over the UK to join us from 10th to 12th o June. This will be our first time to host one in over 20 years, so we are excited about that!

On Friday nights we meet up with the teens and young adults. This class has changed a fair bit. It has become a rather focused group and our purpose for meeting is becoming more service orientated. A few weeks back we spontaneously decided to o and visit one of our elderly ladies who has suffered a stroke and has not yet regained her speech. We took a bunch of chorus books and headed out to the hospital. It turned out to be quite beautiful for both us and Pat. Pat was delighted and beamed the whole time we sang around her bed and we were blessed knowing that joy had replaced loneliness. We spent a time in prayer before heading out. Just before the Easter break we did something similar and headed out to a nursing home where another of our elderly sisters is being cared for. We had tried a couple of different visits before finally heading out to Sunnybank care home. When you do things spontaneously you have to be ready with a plan B or even a plan D! When we got there we found Betty in the communal room and there were maybe 12-15 in the room. It was again very lovely! Betty was inspired and would just start singing a song for us to join in and every now and again would inject a statement of faith. We spent some time visiting with the others and set out for home after a time of closing prayer. 

Preaching and teaching continues to be a large part of my efforts. Whether it is with the church family of in the youth group or in the community, there are numerous opportunities for sharing our hope and joy! 

I had the honour of marrying a lovely couple who are very dear to our family. Stewart and Sarah (Ormsby) Haddow were married last October. It was such a lovely and easy wedding to perform because they were obviously smitten with each other. We have known Sarah for years and our girls have grown up knowing and being encouraged in their faith as a result of Sarah's devotion and heart for the kingdom. We have only known Stewart since he started dating Sarah, but it was easy to see why he won her affection! Stewart is a very grounded, humble and genuine young man. We love that they are now married and will have each other's love to spur them on to beauty and generosity.  

Another huge part of my recent ministry was being able to come alongside Madge-Louise Robertson.
There are no words that can describe the blessing and beauty that I witnessed while being near Madge and her family! Madge packed a lot of love and shared the best of herself while she lived. The memories and fondness I have as a result of being Madge's friend will always be precious to me. We shared some of the most powerful and painful moments I have experienced in my short ministry. Madge had a desire and resolve to know God's presence and to be protected by His grace, truly an example of the highest order! It was my joy to take Madge's funeral and be able to honour her life and beauty of spirit. 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Family latest...

Well, it has been a good summer for us in light of the fact that everyone's home :)   Both Amy and Beth have been home for a wee while and we are all the better for that! We have been home for most of the holiday's save one long weekend in Edinburgh when we went down to se Amy performing with the National Youth Choir of Scotland. We enjoyed some down time as well as visiting with our good friends John and Mary Mooney. Fenella was working through most of the summer, but took two weeks off at the start of August. 

Not sure if everyone has been introduced to our latest member of the family - Gus! He is our year old Yorkshire Terrier and has very quickly nestled into our families heart! We are always met with an enthusiastic welcome any time we come through the front door. The girls look forward to his welcomes whenever they have been away any length of time and they have created a 'Gus group chat' for when they are away to get their fix of him. 

Fenella and I went to Rome earlier this year in March. This was a little treat for us in light of our Silver Wedding anniversary on 1st December 2014. We stayed right opposite the Pantheon - it was beautiful!  We loved every minute of it, well apart from the sore feet after a day's exploration. Our favourite site to see was the 'Colosseum' which was greatly helped by our tour guide. She was an archaeologist and had some great insight into the history and events surrounding the site. I was rather taken by the Triumphal Arches and the significance of their purpose. We had a guided tour around the Vatican City, which was pretty overwhelming. We found it a rather bitter/sweet experience - yes, it was stunningly beautiful and outrageously opulent and that is why it left us feeling rather sick to our stomach. We had an afternoon amongst the Catacombs along the Via Apia. Again, it was quite overwhelming to be walking around in underground passages where communities of 'The Way' desired to be burried. Anyway, we loved walking together soaking up the history and beauty that we were surrounded by.

This year has proved to be a hard year in light of health concerns for Alexa, Beth and Amy. We found out that Alexa's health is very poorly. In light of this we are bearing a burden that is only made easier by the beauty and peace that Alexa continues to display in spite of trials. We are still struggling with Beth's health. She is due to start Back at Glasgow in September and is handling things in a very mature way. Amy is still living with the constant shadow of her illness. For the most part she deals well with it, but every now and again it catches her out. In everything we continue to rely on the reality that, although we are powerless to change anything, we rest in the knowledge that with only with God all things are possible.

Holly and Hannah have just began their 4th year at High School! They are both doing very well in their studies. It is quite crazy to think that they will be 15 in December! They are following in their bigger sisters footsteps and growing into lovely young ladies. It is a blessing to have all the girls at home, not only for Fenella and my good, but because the are close and bring out the best in each other :)

New term - new post...

The new school term is beginning today so I thought I would start off with an update :)  As usual I am having to think pretty hard to bring to my rememberance all that we have been witness too these past months. These updates are pretty therapeutic in causing me to recognise and acknowledge the joy and challenge of ministry, but more importantly the awareness of the creators hand being evident everywhere. I pray this post gives some encouragement and substance to those of you who cannot see first hand what God is doing here in Peterhead.

Where to begin...?  Schools seems to be as good a place as any. If I am honest during 2014 I thought my ministry within the schools was beginning to phase out and I was looking to other areas to be focusing on community outreach, but alas, 2015 has proved me wrong!  These past months there has been an overwhelming flood of opportunity within the local primary schools and the Academy, making it obvious that God is continuing to make this an avenue for ministry. I have continued to serve the schools by way of teaching assemblies and on a couple of occasions have had the joy of James Cantly's involvement. I may have mentioned James in a previous post, but want to express again the pleasure it is to see James desire to give back to the younger kids by way of this service. We have really good times planning our talks and working on how to bless the various groups of children. We have our first assembly talk nest Wednesday and James is already hugely enthusiastic at the opportunity! Another of the new opportunities I have thrived on this past term was the area of mentoring. Previously I was invited to work alongside a couple of young boys who were struggling to enjoy their school experience. I was given the challenge to help turn that around to giving them something possitive to focus on during their school week. God uses us in beautiful ways! With one of the boys we worked the whole term on a Toolbox that he wanted to give his brother for his birthday. We hoped to get it done in 4 weeks, but turned out to last 3 months. It was my joy to talk to the older brother a couple of weeks ago and listen to the impact our working together had on his sibling and also at his delight in receiving, in my opinion, the coolest toolbox ever made! The second of my boys turned out to be bigger than I had foreseen. We began talking about his interests and quickly decided on our project - we were going to dismantle an old PC and create some kind of art work with all the various components. Like the first we thought 4 weeks was a good timeframe, but again like the first we worked together the whole term. The amazing difference though was that during our journey he was transferred to a different school and I was requested to continue our sessions because of the impact for good they had. This has resulted in this new term, having an entirely new school group to be involved with! Not only do I have the opportunity to mentor in the primary schools, but this has now overlapped into the high school. Looks like I will have some involvement with the kids who are struggling there too - God is good!  Speaking of the high school, this past term has been pretty special up there. I have been part of the Chaplincy team for a couple of years now and we are really working well as a group to raise up Christ within the academy. This past term I was invited to join a group of the staff for 5-a-side football. I know on the surface that sounds a little tame, but on another level it is huge! One of the teachers who I help out on Friday lunch times at the academy asked if I would come to their Friday football sessions to further the Christian influence among the academy staff! How can you turn down that kind of invitation? I have to admit, by the time we are done with the session I am physically exhausted, but what a blessing! The good thing is that Jr is now coming too - both of us love playing football, but knowing it is motivated by one staff members desire for Christ to be seen, makes it all the sweeter.

Hmmm, just realised how blessed we are over again as this post is flowing and we haven't got to the good bits yet! 

Ok, I want to encourage you by sharing the conversions of two beautiful babes in Christ. Firstly we have Becca, who is in her mid 20's. It has been a joy to watch Becca's journey. I must confess that my part has been minuscule and primarily supporting and encouraging Jr as he studied and served in revealing Christ to Becca. However, the story begins with the witness of CJ Cowie. Becca had been watching CJ from a distance and was curious at how she was so happy and her Facebook was always filled with photos of an active community life outside of work. Becca and CJ work in the same office. Becca was burdened by what life and some painful times had caused. She approached CJ and asked if she could come to church with her to see for herself if CJ's reality could be hers too. Becca, over time, came to the conclusion that she needed Christ and to be part of the community of believers! 

Secondly, there's Eden who is in his late teens. Eden has just fitted right into the family and it's like he has always been here. Eden's journey to Christ can best be summed up by his confession just before his baptism. When asked about his belief in Christ as the Son of God, in a very confident and matter of fact kind of way, responded, "Of course!" That response has definitely been the hallmark of Eden's early steps in his walk by faith.

After a couple of years absence from Camp Tayside, it was my privilege to re-engage this summer. I was delighted to be teaching alongside Patrick Boyns. We tag-teamed the first sessions before the kids split into their group classes. The theme for this year's camp was "Masterpiece" and certainly proved to be a potent one! The days were focused around the concepts of: image, mould, colour, building and living art. One of the added positives that was evident during camp was the development within our Young adults who were staff this year. Our Amy and Beth along with CJ and Jess made huge contributions to the success of camp. My sister Dianne was, again helping in the engine room (kitchen) making sure all were well fed. 

I want to quickly mention another of my endeavours with Alec Watson. We go out to Willowbank on Thursday lunchtimes to visit with a lovely group - people of all ages. We stay for an hour and make sure to support and encourage everyone there. Always a blessing!

Along with all the above we continue to maintain our consistent classes throughout the week. Monday nights I have the pleasure of working alongside CJ, Eden and our Hannah with the primary age kids. This class is so much fun and is aided greatly because of my helpers! Wednesday nights we meet with all ages from school age through to adult. We have 5 classes covering the various age ranges and needs. Friday nights we meet with the older kids, ages range from 12 to young adults. Then there are our usual Sunday gatherings. 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Some end of year stuff...

The last couple of weeks in 2014 were pretty cool and lots of activity.  We took our Monday night into Aberdeen to see the "Penguins of Madagascar" movie and then to Pizza Hut for something to eat.  It was a good night with pretty much everything going smoothly. On the way through we were delayed for a while because of a bad car crash, (fortunately there were no serious injuries) but we still made it on time and we're thankful for answered prayers along the way. There were 17 of us on the trip. I had help from Jr and Daisha, CJ and my Holly and Hannah. It was nice to be able to spend some time with the kids and the time in Pizza Hut was great for being able to sit and listen to their stories and hear the jokes that were printed on the napkins a thousand times :)  

The following Monday we had our final class and presented the trophies for their efforts during the period from August. This was a lot of fun! Since the summer we have been working a points table where the children accumulate points that go towards attendance, tasks, pick of the bunch and Bible. The attendance points are self explanatory, but every week CJ gives out "Task Forms" to the kids who then have to do them at home each day. The task may be to eat fruit and veg, to keep your room tidy, to help clear the dishes from the table etc.  The parent them circles the days they successfully completed their task and signs it ready to hand in the following week. The Bible points are awarded for their Quiz every other week. This past term we are going through the life of Jesus and the kids hear the lesson one week and the following week they are quizzed on what they were taught. The pick of the bunch are points awarded to the most outstanding child of the class. The helpers will all choose who, in their observation, showed exemplary character and who added something special to the class and we will award them additional points in recognition of this. So, with all that in mind we had our presentation! The overall points winners were Naomi Sheets and Robert Deans. The overall bible points winner was also Naomi Sheets. The one with perfect attendance was Calum Rose, who never missed a class! Calum also topped the Task points! Gideon Sheets deserves a mention having been runner up in both Bible and overall. 

Just fresh from our first couple of classes back this year and the early signs are promising for another good year with this group! We had 15 there last night and we are excited to be spending this terms Monday nights together and watching how things develop. 

Our Wednesday nights are in full flow again and we still get a snapshot of the future when we look at this group. Wednesday nights continue to be healthy and focused. There are a brilliant mix of ages on Wednesdays and with that comes life and a real sense of community. 

Towards the end of last year we took our Friday class crowd for a Christmas night out. We began the evening at the bowling alley and then off to Pizza Hut for food, next it was into the dogems and rounded off at Strikers for some late night football. It was a great way to wind up the year with this crowd. Our Friday night class is continuing to be a source of church community for a mix off young Christians, settled seekers and the fresh youth looking for the first time at a Christ focused community.
This past Friday we had a group of 28 meet together. We continue to work at the balance between outreach and integrating to the wider church family. We are seeing a number of teens and young adults looking more closely at Christ and making the church community a consistent part of their weekly focus. Jr and I are pretty aware of the potential within this developing group and it is becoming obvious that the seed is being obsorbed and roots are deepening :)  We are continuing to meet up regularly with those showing more of an appetite for Christ and helping to feed their faith.