Meeting on 7th October 2017 at Hexham
Synod’s thoughts and prayers were with our Moderator Dave Herbert as he continues to convalesce. Revd Ron Forster stepped in for the day, having been formally nominated by Dave Herbert. Thanks, were given to Ron who chaired the synod meeting in his own inimitable style!
The morning’s business covered topics as varied as messy church for the young at heart, the finances of our Trust and budgets for next year, as well as news of intern placements in our churches.
We also agreed churches forming a group of churches, need no longer be part of a mission partnership.
Holy Habits – coming to a church near you!!
Synod members all received a copy of the book ‘Holy Habits’. This helpful book is being used by individuals, groups and churches. Some churches are holding book groups and reading the book together. Every member of synod received a copy; ask the synod office, if your church is interested in ordering more.
Soup, stalls and grants
Over a lovely lunch provided by St Aidan’s, Synod members had the opportunity to learn how churches have used synod funding to develop local projects. Examples ranged from ambitious building projects, youth and school projects, outreach with people misusing alcohol and community gardens. If your church would like to apply for a mission grant please see the synod website.
News in Brief
♦ Introducing Revd David Grosch Miller, as the new convenor of the Trust body
♦ Afternoon tea and chat, crafts and baking are brilliant ways to bring people together and combat loneliness. This is what Vintage Messy Church can do. Want to know more about Vintage Messy Church? Get in touch with Hannah Middleton, Children’s Work Advisor!
♦ Ask your church representative about their Prayer gift bag, how could your church use the gifts to talk more about prayer?
♦ If your church would like an independent facilitator to help your meetings about church groups run smoothly – contact Alastair Forsyth from the Northerly Synods Facilitation Team. The northerly synods have a new team of people to help facilitate meetings, tricky situations and conversations which can go well, when held by someone from outside the church.
Mission in Community
A series of talks slanted different lights upon ways in which our synod and churches seek to bring God’s love to the places where we are:
Fiona Usher from Northumberland Industrial Mission, spoke of the varied forms of chaplaincy to be found in our region. She explained how chaplaincy is not limited to statutory agencies such as prisons and hospitals, many chaplains are in our shopping centres, work places, and other settings, including Newcastle International Airport. Chaplaincy strives to meet people in their everyday lives; nine out of ten people will not be in church on Sunday, they will be at work on Monday. Fiona encouraged churches to pray for chaplains, to support those they knew about and to prompt those who may have a gift or calling in this area of mission.
Jan Simmonds from Christian Aid North East thanked synod and churches for their continued commitment to Christian Aid through Commitment for Life and the many volunteers who support Christian Aid week. Jan reminded synod of the current Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for the refugees from Myanmar and communities in Bangladesh who are struggling to accommodate so many displaced people. Finally, Jan wished us all a Happy Christmas by sharing news of the Christian Aid Christmas campaign!
Lindsay Cross from the West End Refugee Service explained how the service has supported over 500 people in the past year, offering practical, much needed help as well as encouragement and guidance to help people develop independence. WERS is facing many challenges just now, and Lindsay thanked synod for the continued support shown through gifts, donations and prayer.
Taking us to a Bible holiday club in Uganda, Grant Wilson, Alphonsi Solomon and Inez Solomon alked about their summer trip to Uganda, and heard how the support of synod has helped this to happen. A third visit is planned for next year and Solomon invited anyone who is interested in volunteering, to get in touch with him.