Soon, we will begin to celebrate the period of Advent. The time of year when Christians look forward to the coming of Christ both as a baby and His second coming.
We want to try something new this year. So during the period of advent, there will be a number of posts on the website which will have some readings, some thoughts and reflections to help you engage with advent.
If you subscribe to the TH website (which you can do at the bottom of the website) then you will receive an email every time there is a new post.
But we don’t want to this just to be you reading the posts, we encourage you to join in, and add your own comments to the posts. Thus though we may be individuals celebrating advent, we can in a sense be celebrating together. The initial post provoking comments, and possibly those comments going on to encourage further thoughts and further comments.
If you do leave a comment, you can elect to receive an email whenever somebody else contributes on that post.
We aren’t exactly sure how this will work, but we want to give it a try and see if this could be another way to let God into our lives.
(And if you are wondering if you will be signing up to receive emails from the TH website for the rest of your life, you can unsubscribe whenever you want.)
This year we took part in Operation Christmas Child again. Filling boxes with little toys, toothbrushes and presents to be sent by Samaritan’s Purse to children who would not otherwise get presents.
Here are some of the boxes, brought by the church this morning.
News on our search for a new minister!
On Wednesday, we met for a special church meeting and discussed how we all felt, and how we thought God felt, about asking Gill Isterling to serve as our new minister. After some discussion in groups, we voted and overwhelmingly agreed that we should ask Gill.
Great News! I’m really pleased to announce that Gill Isterling has accepted our invitation:
“I would be privileged to serve as Minister of Thomas Helwys Baptist Church and so am also delighted to accept your invitation.”
As has been explained in the past, Gill is still a minister in training, which means that she can’t start with us until after she qualifies next summer. What happens next is that the deacons will work with Gill to sort out the details. I’m sure lots of people in the church will want to know how much, if at all, Gill can be involved with us before she begins ministry here next year. Please can we ask for your patience and support as we try to answer this question.
And please carry on praying: for Gill, for the deacons and for everybody in the church. Let us thank God for this good news, but also continue to uphold the church and Gill in our prayers, as there is still much to do.
As was mentioned in the last post, Gill Isterling preached this morning, and the church met over a bring and share lunch after the morning service.
Gill is also speaking in the evening service. If you weren’t able to make it to church, you can listen to the podcast of the morning service.
The next thing to happen in the process, is a vote about whether we should ask Gill to consider becoming our minister at the church meeting this Wednesday 14 November at 7.30pm. All are welcome to take part in the discussion, but you must be present for your vote to count!
News on our search for a new minister!
In case you don’t know where we are up to in the process, let me bring you up to speed on what we have done:
- We’ve had a visioning evening, where we talked about what kind of a church we are and what kind of a minister we think we might like, and God might like us to have!
- We wrote a profile together and we’ve agreed it together.
- The deacon’s have met as a ‘search committee’ and received a number of ‘lists’ of possible ministers.
- The search committee has met some of these ministers and heard some of them preach, but either we hadn’t felt that they were right for us, or they hadn’t felt that TH was the right place for them.
Now we have some good news to share!
Gill Isterling came on to the list and she has been to preach (you can listen to a recording of the service here). The search committee has met with her and believe that she might be the right minister for us now, so we have invited Gill to come and preach with a view. Furthermore Gill has accepted, which means that she is coming again to preach and meet us as a church. The aim being to discern whether both parties think this would be a good idea for Gill to become our minister. It is worth mentioning at this point that Gill is a minister in training, which means that she couldn’t start with us until after she qualifies next summer. Although that sounds a long way off, it is unlikely (with Christmas not that far away) that we would have been able to get a minister much quicker than that even if they were already ordained.
Gill is coming to preach on Sunday 11 November in the morning and evening, and the church will have an opportunity to meet with her and ask questions (also a chance for her to ask questions of the church) over a bring and share lunch after the morning service. So please do come!
There will be a vote about whether we should ask Gill to consider becoming our minister at the church meeting the following Wednesday 14 November, where all will be able to take part in the discussion.
More details on these events will be announced at church as they become available. But please put the 11th and 14th of November in your calendar now!
And don’t forget to keep praying: for Gill, for the deacons and for everybody in the church as we consider this.
A podcast has been added of the Harvest service, for those who are interested. The service was lead by Gill Isterling.
Men in TH enjoyed a cooked breakfast yesterday – and some good conversation. Between mouthfuls, we talked about some of the blockers to people coming to church, and in particular to men coming to church. Discussing lots of excuses that people use it seemed it depends on the type of church and the type of man as to the whether these were excuses, or real reasons. We turned our thoughts to the positives and discussed some of the good things we get out of coming to church – a sense of grounding and belonging … and sausage, bacon and egg, of course!
A podcast has been added of today’s service, for those who are interested.
Folk from Thomas Helwys, Lenton Methodist and Holy Trinity met at TH for a short and thoughtful service. It was a bright but cold day for the walk around Lenton today. Splitting up for a short, medium or long walk – a cross being carried by those on the medium walk. Joining together outside the flats to sing, then a quick retreat to the Methodist church for soup and bread.
To celebrate the anniversary of the forming of Thomas Helwys Baptist Church, we had a fish and chip supper and talent show. There were some super acts – pianists, flautists a song about dinosaurs and some story telling also. The winner was a trio, acting the story ‘My cat likes to hide in boxes’. Well done to all the acts, and to Alice for organising the event.