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Excited Obadiah passes his overseer exams and is now able to do everything an angel is gifted to do. But he misunderstands these gifts and has a hard lesson to learn in how to use them. Amazingly, he does this, and God Almighty is so impressed that Obadiah is chosen to take one of the most important messages ever to earth. But he doesn’t do the task in the expected way, and so discovers something about himself and God’s plan.
A great gift for children
This story is the prequel to ‘Albert the forgetful Angel’ and tells the story of how Obadiah became the kind overseer of that book. Oh and look out for Albert in this book too!
To find out more, order an e-book version of this book or to buy Albert the Forgetful Angel visit St Martin’or www.stewartjonesbooks.co.uk.
This book is written by the Rector of St. Martin’s, Stewart Jones and the sale of the books goes to support the work that the church does for the vulnerable.
We trust you all had a good Christmas and were able to receive and give many blessings during this time.
The passage from Isaiah 2 was very much part of our encouragement as we went out on Edgbaston Street in December. As it was expected the town was crowded with people and there were activities of all kinds to mark the Christmas festivities. We were one of them.
However, the verse we had on that day from Isaiah affirmed us we stand in a different position from all others: ‘In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s Temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills and all nations will stream to it… ‘Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord……He will teach us his ways so that we may walk in his paths’ ( Isaiah 2:2-3) The Land on Edgbaston Street were occupied by many and yet we had the sense that we owned the land. We thank God that he establishes his presence amongst his people.
Here are some of the effects of God’s presence amongst his people
1. A lady had a slipped disc. The team prayed for her. She felt something shifting in her back but wasn’t so sure what was happening. She couldn’t say if any healing had taken place. Who knows she may come back to tell us more.
2. A whole family came for prayer – for physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
3. A man with very painful knee – due to previous dislocations – experienced considerable reduction of pain after prayer.
4. A man with an unforgiving heart – left with a forgiving spirit and saying he experienced warmth and acceptance.
5. A mother whose son was just out of the army – her son is suffering with post traumatic stress disorder and blames her.
Please pray for this mother and son. There are many suffering because of wars. Please pray for many others who are suffering because of persecution and oppressive regimes. May they find the Mountain of the Lord established here with us. May they find us to be he hosts of God’s Spirit so that God’s presence will be raised above the hills and all nations will stream to it.
A blessed and happy New Year to you all! Revd Elsie Blair-Chappell
REVISED – Please note the opening and closing times of the church during the Christmas and New Year period:
Mon 23rd Dec: Open as usual.
Tues 24th Dec: Church Offices open till 1pm. CHH closed. Tea Lounge closed. Church open to include Midnight service.
Wed 25th Dec: Closed except for Church service at 11am.
Thurs 26th Dec: Closed
Fri 27th Dec: Closed
Sat 28th Dec: Closed
Sun 29th Dec: Church opened for the 9.30am and 11am services but closed after.
Mon 30th Dec: Closed.
Tues 31st Dec: Closed.
Wed 1st Jan: Closed.
Thurs 2nd Jan: Open as usual.
If you have any questions please contact the parish office.
Image Flickr – v1ctory_1s_m1ne
‘The Kingdom of God is among you’ – that was the answer Jesus gave to Pharisees when they wanted to know when the kingdom of God would come. (Luke 17:21)
Now read the following testimony and see for yourself if what Jesus said is true even today.
During our HOTS session on October 5th a young man asked us to pray for him as his course fees were due at the end of that week and he did not have any money coming into his bank account. We prayed for him and we gave him the ‘Why Jesus’ booklet.
On October 26th after the 2pm Saturday service at St Martins, while I was talking to some of our regular members of that service, a young man approached me and said he would like to talk to me. I recognised him and thought we had prayed for him in church but he said we had prayed for him outside on Edgbaston St. He wanted to tell us that he had received an answer to prayer. These were his words (I have his permission to write):
‘I was in a bad situation as my course fees were due at 11 o’clock at the end of the week end I was prayed for. I was helpless, feeling that I was the cursed one in my family. I got to the end and had no strength to even struggle out of that situation. I sat down on the chair where you invited people to sit and be prayed for. Three of you prayed for me that my course fee would be met. You also spoke to me about Jesus and his love. My fees were paid in on that week an hour before the deadline. It was magic. But the miracle is not only that I had my fees paid but it was the fact that I felt different. Something had changed in my life. I had power – power to struggle. There is still struggle in my life but it is different, I can tackle things. This strength is still with me and I can now continue with my studies.’
Then he said he had a question to ask me. He said: ‘Can you tell me who Jesus is’? We talked a bit more about who Jesus is and what Christians believe. Before we said good bye he asked if he could have a Bible. I didn’t have a Bible with me then but I asked him to come back and I would give him one. I did not see him for the next few weeks but on Wednesday this week Nov 13th he was back in church and I gave him a Bible. His face was radiant. He took the Bible and held it as if caressing it and asked: ‘what shall I read first?’ I briefly explained about the four Gospels and suggested he would start with Mark’s Gospel.
Will you pray for this young man who has experienced God’s kingdom within him and is reading Mark’s Gospel to learn more about Jesus?
The team prayed for many more passers-by who accepted the invitation to sit on the chairs. Here are some of the prayer requests:
Stories, testimonies and prayers like these are signs of God’s kingdom in us. We see God providing for very practical things like money for a course fee but we also see God working in people’s lives to transform them so they can have life in abundance.
‘As you go preach this message: the Kingdom of God is near; heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received – freely give. (Matt 10:8)
Revd Elsie Blair-Chappell
Exhibition until 25th Nov 2013; 10:00am – 4:30pm
Following on from a dark period in her life where illness and a failing Relationship were weighing Ruth down, she began using her drawing skills on a very personal basis to express feelings and her hopes and doubts about the future. The original pencil drawings were very personal and were largely hidden from view for five years before Ruth was persuaded to turn them into paintings and began to share her thoughts, first through working with small groups and mediating and later through wider exhibitions. Ruth has now given her paintings to Westhill Charity so that they may have a wider viewing nationally.
The exhibition is a series of 19 paintings, with a booklet to guide you around.
On Tuesday 19th November Ruth Goodheir will be joining us all the ay from the Isle of Skye to led us in a workshop:
Art Retreat Workshop; 2:30 – 4:00pm; A 30 minute reflection on four of Ruth’s paintings followed by 60 minutes working with pastels to create
our own interpretation of The Mother Root. The workshop is free and you dont need any experience, but its helpful for us if you let us know you are coming.
Who will become the ‘brains of St. Martin’s’ for 2013? It could be you!
Find out by attending the Quiz on Friday 22nd November in the Tea Lounge @ St. Martin’s.
Door Open at 7pm, Quiz starts at 7.30. Fish and Chip supper (or pre-order the vegetarian option when buying tickets), prizes and a raffle.
Teams of 4 (or we will make up teams on the night). Tickets £5.50 each from Tom & Yvonne Thompson or from the Parish Office (0121 600 6020).
[Image – Gerogie R, Flickr]
After careful, prayerful discussion and consultation, listening to what God is call us as a church to do, we have recently launched our new Vision Document.
There are many challenges here but with the power of God through the Holy Spirit, a willingness on our part to serve and give sacrificially we can and will see God in his grace and mercy do amazing things through the life of St Martin’s.
Three clear priorities have emerged out of the comprehensive consultation and discernment process that we followed between May and July 2013. They are:
For further details of what we mean by these terms and how we will work on them over the next three years are laid out in the document that you can download by visiting Our Vision Page.
Please do read through this document prayerfully and carefully asking God to show you how you can help to see this vision become a reality in your life, the life of St Martin’s and the life of this city.
If you would like a copy please contact the parish office.
On Saturday 19th October, the Rector, Stewart Jones, undertook a Stationary Sponsored Walk – walking from 10.00 to 16:00 hours on a treadmill, outside the Church doors.
Funds were raised by sponsorship, competition entries (guess how far he would go) and donations. So far, £2,100 has been raised, although further sponsorship monies are still to be collected. The competition was won by Serephine Nyiramimani, who is shown receiving the £100 BULLRING gift card.
Well done to Stewart and many thanks to all those who supported him. If you would like to donate, please go to https://mydonate.bt.com/events/howfarwillhego/105305
To view more pictures of the day please visit our Dropbox page.
‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’. This is what we saw on Oct 5th during Healing on the Streets on Edgbaston St by St Martin in the Bull Ring.
This is what happened. I’ll start with this one.
Let me give you now some more prayers people requested.
1 A lady suffering from stress
2 A lady needed employment
3 Another one had financial problems
4 A lady with a painful family history and low self-esteem.
5 Someone suffering from hypertension and another from bi polar.
7 Peace of mind
8 To be free from drugs
9 Accommodation for family including a baby on the way
10 Suffered a drop in salary
There were many more requests but these will give you an idea (perhaps you know) that there is suffering around us. These are passers-by who responded to the invite: ‘Would you like a prayer today?’…. Many of them are from a non-Christian background but somehow they are happy to accept prayers in Jesus’ name. I finish now with this account:
‘M’ was asked ‘would you like a prayer today?’ He stopped and did not say anything. He walked towards the chairs and then he said, ‘I am not a believer’, but he sat on the chair. Quickly the team member summoned up another two members and all knelt down by M. He said he and his family need to be safe. His wife is expecting a baby and they also have a two year old girl. They need better accommodation.
As we prayed for M the sense of God’s presence increased and that’s when we realised we were visited by a touch from Heaven. We asked for the Holy Spirit to come and bless M and do whatever He wanted to do in M’s heart and life. We waited for a bit and we saw a smile appearing on his face. Yes! We didn’t have to wait any longer. We gave him ‘Why Jesus’ booklet. He stood up with the booklet in his hand and the smile was all over his face by now.
Revd Elsie Blair-Chappell