Saturday was a long and exhausting day for the children of the Singing Company as they recorded nine songs for a CD to be issued shortly.
The recording took place at St Margaret’s of Troytown Primary School in Rochester and took most of the day to complete. Look out for more pictures and narrative during the week ahead.
Major (Dr) Eirwen Pallant was the leader for our Discipleship Sunday meetings assisted by husband Dean. Major Eirwen is an International Health Services Coordinator at IHQ based in London, a position she holds jointly with Dean, and a member of the The Salvation Army’s Moral and Social Issues Council (MASIC). She also works two days a week as a General Practitioner (family doctor) for the National Health Service in London. Major Dean is additionally Under Secretary for Programme Resources at International Headquarters.
In the morning we followed a fairly traditional format with the theme ‘Who’s life is it anyway?’ Songs used included ‘O God you are the Father‘, ‘Lord your praises fill both earth and sky‘ and ‘Show me how to stand for justice‘ together with 157 from the Salvation Army Song Book and 595 and 92 from Songs of Fellowship. Introducing the theme Major Eirwen used Psalm 139 and husband Dean sub-divided the meeting into three separate parts, ‘Who do you think you are?’, ‘Where are you now?’ and ‘What does a good life look like?’. Further scripture used was from Jeremiah 29:4-7, Galations 5:22-26 and Ephesians 4:11-15.
Major Dean spoke briefly on each of the three questions as follows:
Who do you think you are? – A challenging question! God is the source and foundation of everything. He created us. So, the answer is ‘I am a child of God’ and we are all, in a way, related to each other as his children. We are equal in God’s sight despite our many differences. We are made in his image.
Where are you now? – We don’t always like this question. All of us fall short of God at times. That’s where we are, in a chaotic world. But we must settle in and look after things in our own situation. God has put us here for a reason and he wants the best for us. We have great hope but must accept our responsibility here and now. Often these are tough issues but we must deal with them.
What does a good life look like? – There is nothing better than Jesus. He is the role model and worth being a disciple of. So how do we live up to that standard? We can express the gospel, in three words, Creation, Fall and Redemption. How can this be true? It seems bizarre but it is true and we must believe it. This changes the way we live and brings discipline to our lives. With this our future is certain. We are to be holy, like God. We are to be fruitful and we are to be united in Christ, having clarity in truth and love. Being a disciple of Jesus is the best way to live life.
Musical contributions were made by the Singing Company (A purpose for life) and Songsters (He’s the lily)
The evening followed an unusual pattern, beginning with baked potatoes to launch the Hot Potato theme.
Around 65 people shared group discussion on selected topics discretely drawn from Dr Pallants own medical practice and about which the groups were asked to focus on specific questions such as ‘what are the issues?’, ‘what are the ethical principles involved?’, ‘what would your advice be?’ and ‘what support would you offer?’. We may return to these questions on future occasions
Closing worship included Psalm 139 (again) together with songs 73 and 935 from Songs of Fellowship and 203 from the Salvation Army Song Book. The Songsters brought ‘I surrender all’ and Major Eirwen summarised using Romans 12:1-3 and said:
When dealing with ethical issues we need to submit them to God. Often there is no clear answer so we must involve him constantly in our decisions so that we can live with the consequences knowing that God is in everything.
We were recently able to bring news from the flood affected area around Brisbane, Australia, concerning Richard Proctor, a former member of our corps. This week we can include an extract from an email received from Janelle Ivers who returned, with husband Cameron and children Brandon and Cadence, to Brisbane in 2008 following a spell here at Chatham. Janelle says:
The floods have been terrible. Our house is OK but our town (Hervey Bay) was cut off from the main roads. The town ran out of petrol, milk, bread and just about any fresh food (meat, fruit, vege). Fruit and Vege is still in short supply as the floods have ruined all the crops. It will be at least 12 months until things are back to normal.
My sister lives in Rockhampton and her home was under water for some time. She is in the clean up stage now.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by these natural disasters.