Around the churches

News from Dronfield Baptist Church

Dronfield blessing of rucksacksREVD Meghan Byerly writes: "Dronfield Baptist Church recently held its second annual Blessing of the Rucksack Service for the community of Dronfield.
"It is a service developed from the American tradition of blessing the ‘backpacks’ of students and adults in worship as a part of communal prayers and celebrations for the back-to-school season. The children and adults come forward for prayer and for their rucksacks, purses, nappy bags, and even suitcases to receive a tag such as the one pictured above.

"The younger children receive a tag for them to colour in themselves that is later laminated and handed back to them. The blessing concludes with a liturgy where the church (all ages and stages) together lifts up their hopes and fears for the upcoming year, covenanting to pray together and for one another."
Meghan added there were many reasons the church was keen to hold this service but there were three worth a special mention. "First of all, there are children who typically only attend a Sunday service during Christmas and Holiday Club Sunday (where the Rucksack Service is promoted), and we have found them keen to remember and come back to worship with us specifically for the Rucksack Service.  
"Secondly, there are university students who may struggle with finding a place in the church service during their summer holidays yet they were enthusiastically present to have their rucksacks blessed before going back to university.
"Thirdly, and most importantly, it’s an opportunity for the church to bless its young disciples in matters that are important and normative for them, and to be blessed in return. We highly recommend this service, and welcome questions you may have."

Anyone who would like to know more can contact Meghan by email - click here.

News from Wakefield Baptist Church

Wakefield Baptist Church Artwork

Exploring Art, Spirituality and Justice

REGIONAL Minister, Mary Taylor, who heads the YBA Justice Hub, invited two artists with a difference to Wakefield.
She writes:  "Art, spirituality and justice were explored in a number of ways over the weekend at Wakefield Baptist Church as Richard Kidd and Mike Lowe brought a rich offering of art works, poems and insights.

"The two Baptist ministers came together to form Painting for Freedom, now a collective of artists whose work is sold in aid of Freeset, a charity working in Kolkata to provide employment and a choice for freedom for the thousands of women trapped in the sex trade.
 
"Mike introduced us to a powerful series of journey paintings, each of which had a poem by Richard which reflected on the art in highly personal ways. We were invited to think about our own spiritual journeys and our relationship with God. In a workshop there was an opportunity to explore our God-given abilities to be creative – even for those of us who said we couldn’t draw! Following on from this Mike led the participants to think about how they could create a work of art that represented the Wakefield church in its diversity and call to bear fruit in all seasons.
 
"Richard told the story of Mina, bringing with him a newly-published book of her own drawings which illustrate her freedom journey out of the sex trade through Freeset. Mina now works for other women to have that same opportunity. His powerful sermon on Luke’s story of the woman who anointed Jesus with perfume, challenged us to think hard about our own response to matters of justice and how we too easily look at certain people as more sinful than ourselves.
 
"Richard and Mike believe their visits sow seeds in individuals and churches that will bear fruit for a deeper walk with Christ and a deeper commitment to justice into the future. They would love some more invitations from Yorkshire churches.  Get in touch through their website -  click here - and look forward to hosting a powerful and memorable event."

News from Mexborough Baptist Church

Scallywags posterPastor Denise Lancaster writes: "RATHER than having a themed one-week holiday club at Mexborough Baptist Church we decided to continue our usual playgroup sessions during the summer holidays. 
   Each member of "Scallywags" can bring their older siblings up to Year Six and we have 30 children regularly attending.
   Meanwhile their parents/grandparents can enjoy two hours of respite with their friends and freshly-made toast, and hot drinks - and our helpers sit and natter with them during snack time.
   We keep the cost down at only 50p per child which includes refrehsments and we include a 'seaside holiday craft' each session and games outside for the older children.  
   It's hard work for an ageing volunteer group which sets up and puts everything away twice a week, especially the heavy equipment like sand pits and climbing frames, but their enthusiasm and commitment is appreciated by all, and without them "Scallywags" wouldn't exist.
   We look forward to the children arriving and we're all ready for a much needed sit down and drink when they've gone!"

News from Wakefield Baptist Church

Wakefield Baptists

Kathy Smith, Centre Manager, writes: "Following a 4-week preaching series about ‘Being Invitational’, the folk at Wakefield Baptist Church put what they had learned into action by inviting friends and neighbours to our Church Away Day at Home.
      There were many activities to suit all ages and preferences. We began with breakfast followed by the choice of a debate or a walk around Pugneys Lake. 
      All members of our community were included and involved in the organisation and fun of the day. Lunch was excellent and provided by our Drop-In folk - and many of our Iranian folk also helped with this, so the groups were mingling really well.
     Wakefield Cakes Later, fun and games were had by all who popped up to Heath Common for races and rounders for all ages. Boy it was a hot day, but our tent and refreshments kept us going!
      Some stayed indoors and watched a film or made some crafts. A prayer station was also available. Afternoon tea was very popular with home-made cakes.
      The evening service was a triumph with Simon Hall from Chapel Allerton Baptist Church bringing us the Word, and the worship was led by Castleford Salvation Army Band. There have been many positive comments and the event is sure to be repeated."

Baptism Blessings in Hull

Priory Baptism

IT'S great to hear how God is at work around our region! And this week we have a good news story from one of our small churches Priory Baptist Church in Hull. 
   Doreen Gothard, a regionally-recognised pastor, writes: "Last Sunday evening we had our first believer’s baptism in over 10 years. 
   "Ainars, who is 26 and from Latvia, heard for the very first time that Jesus had died for him and he was saved there and then. It has been an amazing journey for him and a privilege  to travel that journey with him. 
   "The news doesn't stop there, we have a second baptism coming up in a few months and a possibility of a third one as well! This is a very encouraging time for Priory as we are also seeing an increase in Sunday service attenders as well."