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Joe's Blog

 

Anniversary - Looking Back to Go Forwards 

noah-buscher-x8ZStukS2PM-unsplAs some of you may know already, it has been a year this week since I took up this post at the Cluster as your Rector.  This week I have been looking back at what Bishop Hugh spoke about in his address at my installation service.  In it he said that God is not waiting until the end of the pandemic to get things going again and every church is going to have to press restart.  He also said that we needed to design our lives around Jesus both in our churches and in our personal lives.  He posed a question at the end.  What do we need to do together to ensure many more people get to join in with us from the outside?  Certainly a good question to ponder.

I also looked back at your Vision Statement in your Parish Profile and was particularly drawn to this post by the sentences below.  In fact this is a large part of what I feel my calling to the Cluster is.  

'Whilst recognising our responsibility to maintain existing expressions of Church for as long as they are valued and supported, we acknowledge that these are not necessarily suitable for meeting the spiritual needs and aspirations of the society around us.  We believe that in 5/10 years we should have at least one, hopefully more, fully developed fresh expressions of church.'

Encouragingly, this week, the PCC at St Mary's Church unanimously voted to create space for the missing in our churches by creating a new fresh expressions service in their regular Sunday pattern; whilst also honouring and valuing the need for a more traditional service.  There will now be a more traditional liturgical service at 9am and an Informal service at 11am.   This decision was not taken lightly and  came after a period of consultation with the Church family. It has been and will be costly and so we ask all of you to pray for St Mary's as they step out in faith.  

There is lots across our Cluster that is encouraging and still lots to do.  What is important is that we grow together and recognise that we are connected to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit living in us.  The hand cannot say to the eye, 'I don't need you'.  Any one who plays a stringed instrument will know that they often need both these parts of the body to create music.  They are both connected to the mind just as we are connected, despite our differences and distances apart, to the mind of Christ.  We all need to take our place in the body of Christ in order to see His Kingdom come on Earth.  

With this in mind we are looking to launch Cluster wide house groups and courses to encourage us all to grow in fellowship with each other and in our faith.  If you would like to joint a house group then please get in touch with me.  We will of course also be launching a Lent Course.  We will keep you posted on that. 

On another but connected point.  Many of  our Safeguarding Officers are stepping down this year.  Firstly I would like to say thank you from all of us for the fantastic and sometimes thankless job that those in the safeguarding roles have done over the past years.  I'm not sure how many people are aware of the fact that whilst a church can survive for a time without a Vicar, it cannot work at all without safeguarding in place.  The churches would effectively have to close.  If you feel you have a calling to protect and care for the vulnerable in our churches please do get in touch with Joe.  Full training would be provided so don't be put off if you haven't done this sort of thing before.

Many blessings 

Joe (Rector)  
 

gareth-harper-dABKxsPTAEk-unspThe Tonic of Good News

There’s a proverb which says:
Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. (Prov. 15:30)
 
I so enjoy hearing good news and have sensed its power to rejuvenate the soul. This past year, we as a family have had the good news that our daughter had safely given birth to our first granddaughter. It was so joyful and such a tonic to hear both mum and baby were well. In past years, to receive the good news that the person you love is now free of cancer made me want to burst into tears of joy. This week, the good news that we don’t have to replace our boiler, but it was only a radiator that was leaking was a real encouragement. We’ve shared in the good news of others as they have passed their exams or got on a course, or they have safely come through a difficult time or experience.  
 
‘Good news’ or ‘gospel’ is used around 76 times in the New Testament. Amy was telling us at last week’s Advent Course that the Greek word is euangelion, which describes the announcement given by a ‘Herald’ (like a town Crier) of a victory or a message that brings joy. This specifically was the Good News that God in Jesus Christ has fulfilled his promise to Israel, that the way of salvation has been opened-up to all. Jesus often reminds us that what he is doing is in fulfilment of the promises made in the Old Testament.
 
The term ‘salvation’ implies we all need to be rescued, that we are lost and separated from God. The Good News is never really appreciated until we understand or go through a second life experience which shows how we are in the dark, lost and needing light, meaning and something other than simply the here and now. Often the very rich and powerful miss this because they feel they already have everything. They can feel no need for salvation and so miss out what is the most amazing treasure anyone could ever possess.
 
For the first Christians, the Good News was explicitly that Jesus had come and laid down his life to rescue us. Proof of this is found in the resurrection. Jesus alone comes in power to lead us back into a right relationship with our heavenly Father. The Good news is also synonymous with the ‘word of truth’ which requires courage and boldness to enable us to share it with the world. This is because it will invoke opposition. Yet, if we dare not to dilute it, nor to hide it away, and tell others (through our words and our loving actions) there will be those who hear it and respond in faith. They will come to know its saving power and ability to transform our lives for good. It is wonderful to see lives transformed today through the power of the Gospel. The Gospel or Good News is essentially telling others about Jesus. Proclaiming Christ and proclaiming the gospel are interchangeable throughout much of the New Testament, as is the message of the cross and the message of reconciliation.  It all rests on him, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, Emmanuel: God with us. This idea of the need to be rescued and to know God is found in the famous lines from Hark the Herald Angel:
 
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth

 
Nikki and I pray that you will have a truly blessed Christmas and will come to know more of the joy of the Good News over the coming year.
 
God Bless
 
Joe and Nikki

 

 


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Share the Joy 

 
We’ve just completed week three of our Advent reflections and this week Amy spoke about sharing the joy as Christians and Churches to all generations. My first two videos are already up on Facebook and Youtube and Amy’s should be soon there for you to watch.  Please go and watch this if you can as it’s excellent. It highlights how there is both a need to preserve existing traditions as well as shaping new ones. This approach is crucial to reach each generation. A friend of ours who was fast approaching 80, who knew he was eventually going to die of cancer, declared that one of his purposes in life had been based on a couple of verses from Psalm 71 which says:
 

Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvellous deeds.
18 Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
 

I believe his prayers and openness had been a crucial factor in enabling that Church to grow both new and traditional forms of worship services. Our Advent vision reflections remind us that the key to reaching the next generation is connected to the former generation’s willingness to take up the challenge to pass it on and make space for the next. Whilst we want to preserve the style of worship that we love and adore, God also calls us as his people to be generous givers. I know, if I want my children, grandchildren to thrive I have to give up my desire to keep a tidy house and allow it to become very cluttered at times.  I am praying, as I become older (quicker than I realise) that God will give me a heart, like my friend, who reminds me of Caleb. Caleb was from the former generation of Israel at the time of the Exodus. He was one of the very few allowed to go into the promised land with Joshua. He had such strength and trust in God that he did amazing things. But, after being given his portion of the land and settling there, he does something that catches the imagination. Rather than holding onto the best he decides to pass on some of the best parts to make space for the next generation. Not only does he give his daughter land, but he also gives her the upper and lower springs near where she lived. She got land and she also got water, which was essential in sustaining and allowing that land and its inhabitants to thrive.
 
I want to thank all those who recently made contributions to the On the Way discussions this week. This is a significant process. Some have not grasped how important ‘On the Way’ is; in terms of what may come out of it to better enable us to be fruitful and sustainable.
 
Some of you may have seen The Surprising History of Christmas Carols in which Lucy Worsley explores the history of the Carols we’ve come to love and reveals the unexpected. Carols were not sung in church until the second half of the 19th century. People loved to sing Carols, but the Church didn’t think they were holy enough to be sung in their services. They were sung in pubs and taverns and on the street by groups of singers (Wassailers) and eventually the Church recognised what was going on in society and changed to include what were the pop songs of the day.  Of course, it now holds them dear, and these Carols have themselves become part of tradition. It’s wise to remember that traditions were once alien and unaccepted because they were too modern. Fortunately, the Church embraced them. As Churches, we need to pray and ask God to open our eyes so that we see what He is doing in our communities. We need to ask: What do we need to embrace so that we can pass on the real life-changing joy of Jesus' birth today?
 
Advent Blessings,
 
Joe (Rector) 
 
 
 

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On the Way Vision


The Draft Vision from our On The Way Leaders has been written this week and it starts with: We have been listening. Bishop Hugh at the launch of On The Way in East Wivelshire stated:
‘We cannot go on as we are - being unfruitful and unsustainable’
 
These words also relate to Bishop Philip’s five priorities for Mission from The Saints Way:
  • A Church that conspicuously celebrates children and young people at its heart,' because Jesus placed a child in the centre as a model for us all.
  • A Church that unashamedly embraces an innovative pioneering culture,' because Jesus is 'the pioneer and perfecter of our faith' who in his incarnation, cross and resurrection crossed every boundary.
  • A Church that is increasingly confident in its calling,' because Jesus was wholly obedient to his Father's will.
  • A Church that rejoices in strong, warm and mutually encouraging international links,' because we proclaim that Jesus is Lord of all, and his Kingdom knows no boundaries.
  • A Church that rejoices in the generosity of God,' because Jesus trusted wholly in his Father's provision.The output from the recent Community Survey, together with input from a number of Focus Groups, has given us a snapshot of how quite a few within the churches see what the church offers - and as important, how well some of those outside the church or on the fringes feel we are meeting the needs of our communities.
A review of the surveys and reports from the various natter and focus groups was made in the light of these priorities.
 
THE VISION
So where does that leave us? We know the priorities and have a feeling for the challenges they bring us. As we acknowledge the need for change, the thing to do next is to agree a common purpose and vision to headline our Deanery Plan. That will give us a sound basis for setting goals for each of our churches and on which to think of ways in which we can support each other across the Deanery in achieving them.
 

Starting points for discussion:
Community engagement -  to be available - to respond to their needs - to use our churches in a wider sense -  to be generous and open for occasional offices -  to promote the work of the church and the many excellent things that are done in God’s name.
  • Reaching out to families
- to be welcoming & inclusive
- to be creative in serving and worship
to work with schools and colleges
 
  • Taking faith seriously
            - our discipleship     
            - growing in our faith
            - learning about our faith
            - Worship; Witness - sharing our faith with others
 
  • Working together

            - Benefices, Deaneries. 


David Watters, who leads our Deanery Team has asked the following:
    ‘Read the document, dream dreams, pray about what might be, discuss with your
     congregations and people who are interested in a new vision for the church - and pray more,
     seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you do so.’ 

The need now is to focus on ‘priorities and what is important’. David continues:
    Thoughts are always welcome - email them to me so that we can benefit from your
    prayerful thoughts. It is prayerful thoughts that we seek - not opinions!


This is something we have been considering during our Advent reflections which started last week (see the weekly sheet or the website for details about the three groups). It is good to see a number across the Cluster joining in as we seek God’s will for our lives and his Church across the land.
 
We could pride ourselves in the Cluster by thinking we are already working to achieve the above vision that had come out of the On the Way findings. However, there is some way to go in making these goals a reality so we cannot relax. Someone on our cluster vision day said: ‘Church is base camp’. It’s not the apex of our faith each week but the base camp where we gather for the climb as we work together to build the Kingdom in this world. We need ropes, else we won’t make it. Ropes symbolises the kind of prayer that pulls us together. It unites us in our dependency, trust and faith in the living God who is calling us this Advent to:

                     “Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD!   Make a straight
                       highway through the wasteland for our God! (Isaiah 40:3  NLT)
 
Keith, Amy & Joe (Working Group, Callington Cluster)

clemens-van-lay-un1s8VOLRC0-unWise investment

I was reading the Parable of the ten minas in Luke 19 and reflecting on the servant who wrapped his coin (a mina, which is a coin worth about 3 months wages) in a cloth and laid it away. It was out of sight like a precious hand-me-down in a safe box. This Sunday, we celebrate that Christ is our King. Luke 19 presents a challenge to not lock away what our King has given us to do as his subjects. Instead, He calls us to invest our time and energy in building his kingdom. Several people have been asking about what was covered on the Cluster Vision Day and what will be the outcome? In a nutshell, the day was the beginning of a journey exploring what it means to be a church for all (including the missing generations). This involves a degree of self-awareness as we tune in to who and what we really are. Then, we need to look outward and tune into our local community and its needs and culture. The discovery here is that we need to really listening as we engage in conversations with those who have no connection with week-to-week Church family life. Unfortunately, The On the Way survey and focus groups have mostly concerned talking to those who either come to church, or are directly connected to it. It seems we struggle to connect with the wider ‘unchurched’ Parish – is this a symptom of our inward gaze? As a Consequence of the above finding, the On the Way leaders have asked us to now consider those who are ‘truly’ outside our Church walls the following two questions:

1. What could we do to make the church more relevant to you?
2. What could we do to support you more?


Please return any responses them to me, Keith or Amy and we will forward them on to David Watters. In order to enable the whole Cluster to experience something of the focus of the vision day, Amy and I, are hoping to run four weekly Advent reflections. Advent is a time of preparation and making way for God’s kingdom in our lives, our Churches and our communities. So if you want to find out more about growing Vision, these four sessions will give you a taster; whilst connecting to the over arching themes of Advent and its meaning for the world. We will also put online the videos and the discussion questions, for those who cannot attend. So please join us in person, if you can, or online on the following Mondays 2 till 3pm at St Mary’s Church in Callington:

Mon 29th Nov Facing Hope
Mon 6th Dec Church as Kingdom
Mon 13th Dec Sharing the Joy
Mon20th Dec Love in Action


Blessings

Joe

 
Glenys
Hello and welcome to our church. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

A Warm Hello

 

Where and When

We are one church in five locations which offer a wide variety of styles of service from vibrant family friendly services to something more contemplative.  We have services starting at 8am, 10am and 11.15am across the Cluster of five churches.  You can find details of the services and what to expect here.  The calendar not only gives you the place and time but also a description of what you can expect from the service.

What you can be sure of is a warm welcome at whichever church you decide to visit.  Refreshments will be on offer either before or after the service when Covid restrictions allow it.
 

images: Services

What about my kids?

NB:  Our Sunday Childrens groups are not currently running due to covid.  We are hoping to have them up and running again very soon.  Keep and eye out for the start in the weekly news section of the website.  
There are children's groups during the services at St Mary's Callington on the second, third and fourth Sundays.  You will find All Age services at St Mary's Callington, Stoke Climsland Parish Church and St Sampson's South Hill.  Stoke Climsland also have a Family Service on the second Sunday of the month.  Please see the calendar for more information.

We have a great programme lined up for kids of all ages:

  • Creche (0 months to 3 years). Children under 6 months are welcome but must be accompanied by their parent/grown-up at all times.
  • Livewires (3-7 years)
  • Encounter (7-11 years)
  • Katalyst (11-15 years)
  • Young people (15+ years) Stay in service.

Children stay with their parent or grown-up at the start of the service for the welcome, songs and notices. We really value worshipping God all together as a family. At the end of the notices someone will announce that it’s time for the younger members to go to their various groups. You will need to go with your children to their groups and register them as part of our child safety policy. Whilst you are dropping your kids off at their groups, we pause to take time to chat to someone sitting near or next to us, giving folk a chance to come back before the sermon begins.

The kids group activities vary depending on the age but usually there is a friendly welcome, bible stories, testimonies, praying, music, craft, drama, fun games and free play. Please pick your children up as soon as the service finishes.

Children

Getting Connected

 

Life Groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our small groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week, some afternoons and some evenings. Check out Small Groups and see if there’s one that you could join, or we can put you in touch with a small group leader who will be more than happy to invite you along to their group.

Get on a Team!

Serving on a team is a greatly way of getting to know people better.  If you want to get involved in the life of the church and to help us make Sundays run smoothly, you can sign up to serve on a team. 

Other Ministries

We also run the following ministries:

  • Men's Ministries
  • Women's Ministries
Get in touch with us to plan your visit
If you would like to come and visit the church beforehand you are more than welcome! Get in touch and we can arrange a time that suits you.
 
Name:
Telephone:
Email Address:
Comments / Questions or anything you would like to say?

Next, we will contact you by email to say hello and help arrange anything necessary for your visit.
 

Leadership 

6C66FEB3-E530-4A76-9807-3B403B   No Photo icon
Rector    Leader 2
Rev Joe Lannon   Leader Intro
 
We hope that whoever you are, you will feel at home at our church.

Best Wishes

Joe and Nikki