David's Update from 26th March:

As we adjust to this new reality of - home working, self-isolation, social distancing and the financial uncertainty faced by people who aren’t currently able to work, let’s continue to put our trust in the Lord and draw strength from him.  I have been reading my way through the book of Psalms recently and time after time in the face of trouble, fear and uncertainty the refrain comes ‘trust in the Lord’.  Even in the face of betrayal, fear of unseen forces and uncertainty the writer of Psalm 56 confidently declares

‘As for me I call to God, and the Lord saves me.’ Psalm 56:16’

Let us continue to place our trust in the Lord who sustains us.

Even though Church building may be shut for worship services the life of the church continues to go on; as we seek to be God’s people - knowing, growing in and sharing Jesus’ love in Burscough and beyond.  Here are a few updates about developments at St John’s.

Staffing

  • Children and Family ministry coordinator:  This post is currently being advertised through national websites
  • Pastoral Ministry and Social Action Coordinator: We have interviewed for this post and I’m delighted that we have appointed Dave Emmett to this role.  Dave and his wife Philippa have joined St John’s in the last year and he has a wealth of experience in Church leadership, social action work and pastoral ministry.  Dave will begin work in May.  We are incredibly grateful to Jeannie for her amazing service over the last few years and at some point in the future we will be marking Jeannie’s service and having a ‘do’!  Jeannie will continue to have a scaled down involvement in pastoral ministry and work in partnership with Dave.
  • New Reader - Diane Taylor-Harrison:  Dianne and Keith Taylor-Harrison began worshipping at St John’s at Christmas having just moved onto Yew Tree Farm Estate.  Diane was a licenced Reader at her previous Church in Manchester.  We are in the process of arranging to have Diane license transferred to Liverpool Diocese so she can be involved in ministry in our parish.
  • Clergy update
    • Elliott Ireton: Elliott is still looking for a new post – please do pray for him, Jo and the family
    • Chris Neilson: We will be getting a new curate starting in the summer.  In the midst of challenges related to coronavirus some details still need to be sorted but it is likely that Chris will begin work in the parish in July.  Chris is married to Laura and they have three children Barny, Caleb and Ben.  Chris brings with him a wealth of Christian experience heading up one of the Eden Teams in Oldham, working in partnership with The Message Trust.  He has a background in discipleship, church planting and community engagement; his skills will be a real asset as we continue to move forward with our five-year plan.  Laura is a doctor who combines working shifts in A+E with oversight of an organisation which helps manage and provide oversight a number of GP practices in the Greater Manchester area.  Barny and Caleb are at school in Manchester and Ben will be moving school to Burscough. 

 

Newburgh

We are having conversations with Newburgh Church, the deanery and diocese about forming a partnership with Newburgh church as part of our vision to be a resourcing church.  At the moment we are in the informal conversation stage and no definite plans are fixed yet.

APCM

At the moment we are seeking guidance about what to do regarding the APCM meeting this year.  As and when we have that information we will be in touch about arrangements. 

Church Chat

In order to combat the isolation that may be caused as a result of the suspension of church activities and advised self-isolation we are introducing a scheme called Church Chat.  This is telephone based system, although text message and an email option is also available, to connect people together.  This voluntary scheme links people together to offer contact by phone on a regular basis.  The idea is that perhaps 2 or 3 times a week a volunteer will be in contact by telephone (or text and email) touching base with someone who may feel isolated as a result of coronavirus.  The volunteers will simply ring for a chat and check if any practical help is needed with shopping or collecting medication.  It is possible for people to be both recipients of phone calls and to also act as a volunteer making phone calls to other people.  If you would like to be a part of this scheme, please contact Jeannie Holman who is coordinating this project. 

Jeannie Holman:        

Email: jeannie.holman@stjohns-burscough.org                     Phone: 01704 892183 

Please do continue to access the online worship we are offering via our website.  We are currently working on exciting plans for Easter and Holy Week.

https://www.stjohns-burscough.org/OnlineServices

 

Every blessing

 

David 

Our verse for 2020: Love one another as I have loved you - John 13:34