Evangelist Update, 7th January 2016

As this new year of 2016 begins, Gambinos [384x288]
we rejoice with you in all the good gifts God has lavished on us individually and as a church family throughout the last year of 2015, and are looking forward with expectation to the blessings awaiting us all, in what promises to be a landmark year for the Birmingham church. As Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith….” (2 Thess 1: 3-4 NIV) So true!
“Proclaim among the nations what he has done…” (Ps 9:11b) Update from the churches around the North
It has been a great year in Birmingham and around the UK. For the last several years, Wil and Ronnaug Smith have heroically volunteered as lay leaders for the stable group of about 20 disciples in Glasgow. The church has prayed fervently and campaigned aggressively for full-time staff, and were rewarded with the arrival in July 2015 of Paolo and Cara Ugolini, who are settling in really well with their three children and are more than fulfilling all our great expectations as an addition to the UK staff.

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In December, God blessed the Glasgow church with the first woman to be baptised there in several years, a student from India called Jessie, who found the Glasgow church through their website. Amazingly, on the day that Jessie was to do her last Bible study before her baptism, one of the women’s ministers from our fellowship of churches in India, Caroline George, happened to be in Glasgow! Caroline and her daughter had planned to visit Paris together, but due to the terrorist activity in Paris at the time, they were not allowed to enter France on the type of visa that they had. Caroline rang up Cara in Glasgow and asked if they could come and visit, and joined in on Jessy’s Bible study. Amazingly, in a nation of 1 billion people, it turns out that Jessie and Caroline come from the same village in India! It turns out also that Caroline’s son, Joshua, and Jessie, went to the same high school…and have 20 Facebook friends in common! Jessie’s parents are medical missionaries in their village in India but not attending any church at the moment. Caroline was able to arrange for disciples from the nearest church of Christ (about 2 hours away) to plan a visit to their home and hospital.
Bradys [358x288]Ben and Nicola Brady in Edinburgh have made the decision to step down from the full-time ministry in 2016 due to Ben’s continuing health challenges from his congenital brain tumour. The Bradys never fail to inspire us with their faith and zest for life. They baptised their daughter, Ella, into Christ in 2015, and Ben has begun the process of reinventing himself to become a schema therapist (the same branch of psychology that some of us have appreciated in books like “I Choose Us” and “Good Enough Parenting.”, by John and Karen Louis). We have been assisting the church there in their interviewing process for the Bradys’ successors and are confident that God will bless the Edinburgh church this year with a wonderful, qualified couple to continue the work in that great city.
There have been some exciting developments in the last few weeks in the church in Manchester: Bruce and Maggie Miller, who have been the full-time ministers there for the last few years, after much prayerful consideration and discussions with many advisors, have decided to step out of the ministry and move to the Four Rivers region of the London church. We are so proud of the Millers, for their bold step of faith at the age of 50 to give up Bruce’s job of 24 years and focus full-time on serving the church, and for giving themselves heart and soul in every way. We applaud their decision to move to London at this time. While it is undeniably a loss to Manchester, there is no shortage of mature couples in Manchester who have great resources of life experience. It’s wonderful to see these people coming together to serve God and one another and we have no doubt that the future is very bright for sister church in that great city. The new lay leadership team, nominated by the church membership, consists of Archie and Geraldine Kendall, Brian and Gillian Miller, Pete and Sue Anti, and KB and Mumba Kafula. We have been present for two of their initial meetings, and been very encouraged to see the new team coming together and engaging to meet the challenges of shepherding a great church in such a magnificent city. Please be praying for them as they pray and plan to guide the church there into this new chapter in Manchester’s journey.

2015 in Birmingham HeenaEllaAF [384x288]
We had lots of reasons to celebrate this year, as Eliot (shown with his family in the very first photo in this article), Heena (at right, with her delighted friend, Ella Agerbak,  from the London church, looking on), Frances (not shown), Kurtis and Renee (below) were baptised into Christ, and our sister Joy was welcomed back and restored to the fellowship. We rejoiced at the purity and devotion of our brothers and sisters whose first kisses we witnessed as they entered into marriage before God and the church: Senyo and Kim Aidam, Gareth and Rebecca Macaleese, and Rory and Ruthie Dowd. We had an incredible women’s day, Father-Daughter Dance, Mother-Daughter Day Out, Gospel Jam, Gospel Showcase, and Marrieds Dinner-Dance; we had a blast bowling together, playing Nertz together, cleaning up Birmingham City Hospital together, and encouraging residents at several care homes around the city throughout the year. We consistently gave generously to Birmingham Food Banks all year. We learned about spiritual mindfulness from David Bruce and were inspired by guest speakers like Roger Frimpong. Franklin Walters and Scott Green. We welcomed a number of young professionals who moved to Birmingham and, for the first time in over a decade, the church has small groups in every age range, from preteens all the way up to our most mature members. We prayed all night together twice last year, and prayed in the New Year together at the New Year’s retreat at Smallwood Manor. We were blessed to have Stephen Whetzel (from the student ministry in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA) as a volunteer intern for a few weeks in the summer and welcomed back for a weekend most of our Uni alumni, who became Christians during their University years here in Birmingham. Our preteens and teens enjoyed life-changing times at the UK summer camps like never before. We celebrated one another’s birthdays and many different awards (even a PhD!) together, cried at family funerals together. Much to remember, much for which to thank God.
May God lead us confidently forward into this new year, strong in faith, prayer and ever-growing in our love for Him and one another.

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Yours wholeheartedly in Christ,
Andy and Tammy Fleming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JoyRestSyb  Joy’s Restoration

 

 

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Christmas 2015!

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Come feel the Christmas Spirit!

Sunday Worship during Christmas and New Year:

  • 4pm Services: Sundays, 6th, 13th, 20th of December; King Edward VI School for Girls, Handsworth B21 9AR. We meet in the former “Villa Road Methodist Church” building, which is now the music building for the KE VI Girls School. A lovely venue!  

    (Join us for a favourite annual Christmas tradition, as our Children’s and Youth Ministries present their version of a Christmas nativity. Participants from Kingdom Kids  & Young Disciples Squad will inspire us at the 4pm worship service on Sunday 20th December at KE VI Handsworth School for Girls. )

  • 3pm All-Ages Family Services: Sundays, 27th Dec. & 3rd January;  St. Mary’s Selly Oak, B29 6ND (on the Bristol Road,  across the road from the Christian Life Centre; on the same side as Sainsbury’s and just a few minutes’ walk past Sainsbury’s on the way to Northfield & in the opposite direction from city centre. Please note, there will be a parent-staffed creche room provided for the smallest children at these Family Services. The service is arranged such that we hope all ages of children will be interested to remain in service with their parents, and the service is slightly shorter than usual. 

     

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    Other events during the Festive Season:

  • Informal, open Bible discussions for students.  Bring your tough questions, Tuesdays during term time, 134 Oakfield Road, Selly Park (just across the road from the South Gate of the University of Birmingham); B29 7ED. 7-8:30pm. Refreshments. (There will be no Tuesday student Bible discussion on 22nd, 29th of December. We will resume on Tuesday 5th January.)
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    Carol Singing at Care Homes. We service three care homes where we have members as residents, as well as the Selly Park Care Home on Oakfield Road near University of Birmingham’s South Gate. If you would like to join a group bringing cheer to the elderly and the lonely this Christmas, please contact Tammy at 0779 298 4435 or e mail the website.

    Students and Ministry Staff visit Selly Park Care Home in November 2015

    Students and Ministry Staff visit Selly Park Care Home in November 2015

  • Donate festive holiday items to Birmingham Food Banks and help the homeless and needy have Christmas too! Bring your contributions of festive non-perishable items, toiletries, infant formula, nappies, etc, to any of our worship services and place them in the donation basket provided;  or e mail our website and we will be happy to arrange a way to collect items from you during the Christmas season.
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Gospel Showcase

Stay connected to the Birmingham Church Website for announcements about the exciting Gospel Showcase Events coming up in 2016!

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People of Honour Workshop, Sunday, 17 May 2015 – Practical Biblical workshop for anyone who has ever struggled with negative thinking

People of Honour Flyer

Click on the link above for all the information you need about tomorrow’s workshop

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"and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

“and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

 

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The Birmingham Church goes bowling tomorrow, Good Friday, 3 April, at Bowlplex, 5 Ways, Ladywood Middleway, Broadway Plaza, B16 8LP. 1:45 for a 2pm start. £3 per person per game, up to 3 games per person. Friends, family, colleagues, come join us, to smash a few pins or just enjoy the fellowship

The Birmingham Church went bowling together for a Congregational Fun Event,  on Good Friday, 3 April, 2015. You can have a look at our photos in this websites media gallery, or on our Facebook Page: Birmingham Church of Christ UK

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Looking Ahead to Christmas 2015: “CONNECT” in Chennai: An Opportunity to Strengthen Our Families and Serve the Poor Together with Disciples From Around the World, in Chennai India

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The 2015 International Conference of Youth & Family Ministry is unlike any previous ICYFM.   The conference is designed around two experiences for leaders and families.  The goal is to help families grow in their ability to CONNECT with God, CONNECT with family, and CONNECT with the poor.

Experience One (December 23–27, 2015)

The journey begins as you CONNECT with families from the Indian churches, CONNECT with the poor on Christmas, and participate in a Family Workshop in one of four cities: Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai.

Experience Two (December 28–31, 2015)

Evangelists, Elders, Youth & Family Leaders, and Parents journey onward to Chennai, India with your family for the ICYFM where you will be trained how to CONNECT.  During the conference, Teens (ages 13 and over) will be serving the poor, and children (ages 12 and younger) will participate in a vacation Bible school run by the Chennai church.

Registration is limited and begins on February 1, 2015.  

Information about the conference will be released monthly at: www.ICOCFamilies.com

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