This year, the children have been learning about the importance of trusting and obeying God from the stories of Genesis. We plan to continue the theme as we work through the Book of Exodus in 2017.
The highlight of the year has been their performance of ‘The Magi and the star of Bethlehem’ at the recent Sunday special.
Bao Kie Taylor
Ladies’ Home Group
For the first half of 2016 we studied and completed ‘Hearing God’ by Ron Kalmier and since September we have started the ‘Essential 100, Your journey through the Bible in 100 readings’ by Whitney T Kuniholm and have estimated this may take us several years to complete! However we are in no rush, as we continue to deepen our relationship with God and each other during our time together, in a supportive open environment, endeavouring to learn from God’s Word and apply this to our everyday lives. A regular core of 6 currently meet fortnightly during term-time on a Thursday morning in one of our homes, with others knowing they are always welcome to join us as and when able.
For the past year and a term, Cherubs has been running more or less as it was run by Ali Mansfield and Louise Ah-Sun. Linda Whittred and Peter Hornsby have continued to serve in a support role – organising food and drinks for both Mothers/Carers and the Toddlers themselves; moving furniture and toys at the beginning and end of the sessions and cleaning up afterwards. Good friendships have been made by Katharine Hornsby, Bao Kie Taylor and Anne Sanders with many of the adults attending the sessions and several of the latter attended both Christingles that occurred since September 2015, along with their wider families. A few have attended other services. Mei Li McNay has helped out on several occasions when other people were away. Kate Walton, who lives in the village, is a great supporter and recruiter for Cherubs. The order of the day is usually play with a variety of toys but includes simple crafts e.g. rolling out gingerbread and cutting shapes then having them baked and making cards with foam stickers.
A family fun morning was run in the Easter holidays 2016, to which several older children came with their younger siblings. Michael Davey gave a talk on chickens, bringing one to be stroked, Muriel Wigston helped with refreshments and Joyce Evans oversaw a craft activity designed for the older ones but enjoyed by all.
An attempt was made to provide similar mornings throughout the summer but these were not generally well attended. Numbers coming to a normal Monday vary greatly – from as few as 3 Mothers/Carers to as many as ten – some of whom bring more than one child. We currently have about sixteen adults on the books. It would be quite challenging if all turned up at once!
So far we have not been doing the lunch time Mother’s work that Ali used to do. We do pray openly for the children and all present to find Jesus as friend, Saviour and Lord near the end of each session. Come4fellowship have offered to put on an event involving this group which could then be followed up with some lunchtime meetings. This might entail the need for extra personnel to entertain/look after the children at this time.
We continue to serve older folk in our community with a chance to catch up with each other over a coffee twice a month and we have a beautiful hot lunch cooked by Julie Lisley once a month. Before lunch we always have a short message and time of prayer or worship. Some of our members have moved in to nursing homes this year but we still have a core of regulars and some new people too. We offer a lift home to those who have arrived in a taxi and we rely on help from the church for this for which we are very grateful. As always we enjoy friendship and often find that sharing our difficulties with each other brings an opportunity to pray and much needed support.
“Fancy a Walk”
This is a new initiative from the ladies home group, but is not just for ladies. We meet on alternate Tuesday mornings for an hours’ walk with the dogs. So far it has only been ladies who have come, but it is open to anyone who fancies a short walk, enjoying conversation, a bit of exercise and some of God’s wonderful creation. If you would like to join us please let me know. No need to come every time.
We also enjoyed a fellowship Christmas walk on 29th December for the first time this year which proved very popular. We walked for an hour and a half along the beautiful Chess valley and returned to Chenies, met by some who had opted not to walk, for a bowl of Andy’s legendary hot soup and bread.
Little Chalfont Home Group
The Little Chalfont Home Group is grateful to meet at the home of Angelina and Daniel Adikurniawan, with Bao Kie and John Taylor also providing hospitality when Angelina and Daniel have been away. We have studied a variety of subjects – Discipleship Explored, Chenies Baptist Church’s Statement of Faith, Making the Connection by J. John and Prayer. Apart from studying, the group has continued to develop both its worship and prayer. The group is 15-strong but with work and family commitments not everyone can make it every week. We try and make sure we keep contact with those folk who used to come but who, for various reasons, can no longer do so. The group also look forward to enjoying more social times and fellowship through the sharing of food in 2017.
Wellsprings is a monthly meeting for women* at which a meal, a short Christian talk including a gospel message, and an activity or a pampering session occur. This meeting, mainly on the 3rd Thursday of each month, and mainly for ladies only has had a mixed reaction in terms of numbers. There have been some meetings with 8-10 coming – even more when *husbands etc. were also invited – and some where only 2-3 came. Long ago the Lord suggested that numbers are not important to Him (cf. Gen 32:12; 2 Samuel 24: 1-4, 8-10; Matt. 18:20 ‘For where two or three gather in my name, there I am in the midst of them.’). Both well attended and seemingly poorly attended meetings have been a blessing in their own way with at least 2 individuals feeling more comfortable in sharing deeper thoughts in the smaller groups.
We have re-organised the provision of food so that it is now mainly a bring and share event. This has made sure that the burden of preparation does not fall on only one person. Thanks are due to all those who have contributed and especially to Jenny West for leading a session where we learned to play simple tunes on harps, and to Caroline Johnson for her sessions on flower arranging.