Notices for Sunday 25th January 2015

Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.”
Mark 1:17 (Message)

Father God, help us to share our truth with others in a way that makes them feel that they have the freedom to make up their own minds about the truth.
Amen

We welcome our preacher this morning who is Mr Ken Drury
After service tea hosts Val and Beti

Organist: Joan McGowan

Sunday 1st February
11.00am        Preacher  Rev John Wiggall (Communion)
Vestry Stewards – Avril and Elizabeth
Door Steward – Chris
Tea Hosts – Chris and Joan

Diary Dates

January
Mon 26th      Every Day with Jesus Bible Study in Lounge 10.30am
Wed 28th     Bible Study at Avril’s home 7.30pm

February
Wed 4th       Training here on working with young attenders 7.00pm
Wed 11th      Midweek communion at Wrexham 11.15am
Tue 17th       Coffee Morning with Pancakes at Rhosnesni 10.00am – noon

Please pray for the following:
Richard Down
Phyllis Davies
Isobel Holroyd
Ernest Tait
Maurice Anderton
Ruth Hodson
Vanessa Woolrich
Kay Davies

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

Bible Study
The Bible Study Group meeting at Avril’s home have found Tom Wright’s book Romans for Everyone a bit heavy going. They have decided therefore to try something a bit lighter. Bob Gilston will lead the study on Wednesday and an opportunity will be given to discuss what form future studies should take.

This is a fledgling group still feeling its way forward and we hope that you will come and help shape its future.

North Wales Women’s Conference
“Seasoned With Salt”
Speaker Stan Baker
Saturday 21st March 2015 10.30am to 3.30pm
The Memorial Hall, Wrexham

Working with Young Church Attenders
Delyth Wyn Davies will deliver a training session at Caergwrle on Wednesday 4th Feb 7.00pm. If you are interested in working with young people ina Sunday School then you will be welcome to join the session.

Hooking up with Jesus
Mark 1:14-20

I wonder why Jesus has such a preference for fishermen? From what we can tell a third of the disciples he called, four out of the twelve, were from that profession. There may have been more because not all the professions of the disciples are mentioned. Was there something in the skill set of fishermen that made for good disciples? The patience? The need to observe the depths? Being able to be in tune with the elements?

Living here in Port Alfred, at the mouth of the Kowie river there are all sorts of fishing adages. “When the wind blows East, the fish bite least. When the wind blows West, the fish bite best” I wonder what the sayings around Galilee were?

Fishermen need to be able to face disappointment. Far more than hunters, they can come home day after day with nothing.

I will never know what it was that Jesus saw in fishermen, but John tells us that the metaphor of fishing became a metaphor Jesus used to describe the vocation of disciples, “I will teach you to fish for people”

Those of us who grew up in Evangelical churches will have had the song, “I will make you fishers of men, If you follow me… drummed into us from our Sunday School days.

When I think of how I as a child saw this fishing for people practiced I am not sure that the church really understood what the metaphor intended. Most of the evangelistic fishing for people I witnessed growing up, seemed more like throwing a stick of dynamite into the lake and collecting the fish that were killed in the blast and floated to the surface. The visiting evangelist, the tent meeting, the revival meetings were like whalers or trawlers that intended to haul in as many souls as possible.

I never saw the patience, the contemplation, the consideration that really good fishermen and fisherwomen apply to their craft. If I could meet up with my childhood “fishers of people”, those who seemed obsessed solely with “decisions for Christ” I would want to ask some questions.

I would want to ask about sustainability of their fishing methods. Watching the ongoing evangelical movements of today it seems that their methods have become as unsustainable and inappropriate as a whaler in Antarctic waters. Nobody wants to see (or hear it any more). The violence, the shouting, the imperialistic harpooning is just brutal and barbaric. I don’t think Jesus had this in mind.

Here in Port Alfred most if not all sport fishermen practice “catch and release”. Fish are caught, weighed and then returned to the ocean or river as soon as possible and so, respect for the species and the stocks is maintained. I wonder if the church is quite ready to approach “fishing for people” in this way?

How ready are we to encounter people, share our truth and then instead of manipulating, cajoling and trapping them, allow them the freedom to re-enter the waters of life and make up their own minds about the truth we have shared?

Something about fishermen appealed to Jesus. I would like to think those early disciples were stoics as well as strategists, patient and not merely plunderers.

I wonder if we can discover the insight Jesus had to examine their craft closely and come to understand why he wanted us to become “fishers of people” with them?

Peter Woods, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

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