Prayer for Growth – Update

It might help to first of all set the scene to unveil the mystery – what is Prayer for Growth?

It is simply that.  Prayer. For. Growth.  No fancy marketing, it just does ‘what it says on the tin’.  It is one of many stepping stones / tools we use along the road to becoming all that God created you to be.

It is between 2-6 one and a half hour sessions with typically two people who are prayerfully selected from the P4G team and who best fit your needs.  It is not counselling, but it is taking time to listen to both you and God to see God bring freedom in your life.

The team is made up of people with a variety of backgrounds experiences and gifting, typically with a caring or insightful bent and passionate about prayer.  However, all of the team have confidentiality as their first priority.  All of the team have themselves at some point been through P4G and are on the team because they have experienced the benefits of the sessions.

So now you’re up to speed on what it is; who’s it for?

I’m sitting writing this blog on my birthday.  I’m feeling great.  Lots of cards and some cool (and not so cool) presents, but generally I’m ‘feeling the love’.  Everyone I meet, even those who don’t know me, when they find it’s my birthday will wish me ‘happy birthday’.  If I’m in the right restaurant (my latest experience was at the Sugar Cane in Yeovil – it’s hilarious; you have to go) with much gusto and enthusiasm a huge cake with sparklers is produced.  Why? Because somewhere deep in most of us we know that the day we were born for at least one person was the happiest day of their life.  Birthdays are precious.  “Why do birds suddenly appear…” is the annoying tune that’s now running through my head…

On my birthday I feel invincible – with that much love and attention I’m buzzing for days after (particularly if I have the pleasure of a birthday meal with friends a couple of days later it draws it out too – haha!).

However, (look out-revelation coming!) not every day is like your birthday.  Life happens without your permission and people come in and out of your life bringing good and bad in their wake.  People’s actions hurt us, their words hurt us.  So we learn to put up barriers, and justifiably so.  “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will break my heart” is a variation on the school rhyme oft recited of old.

I’m recently inspired by the latest Guiness advert on TV (read in a Welsh accent):

“Strength, size, power…these are the things a man needs to play rugby..and you have none of these Williams”

“too small to play rugby”, they said,

But they were wrong.

It was the size of his heart.

The power of his ambition

The strength of his character

Shane Williams.  87 caps. 58 tries.  For Wales RFC”.

If you’ve not seen it here’s the link on YouTube:

Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death…” and James talks about it being a restless evil, full of deadly poison…with it we curse human beings…

So maybe you have had something “spoken over you” constantly, or perhaps you struggle with a particular way of thinking due to the way we were bought up, maybe you’ve got into some bad habits or maybe you feel guilty for perhaps even no reason at all!

Whatever it is (and you know if there’s something niggling you – you might even say it’s stopping you “feel closer to God”) ask Jan Stevens (or your small group leader) for a form ‘in confidence’ – we’d be delighted to help you overcome these blockers to your potential.  We’ll gladly talk with you about alternative thinking and learning to forgive too if that’s something you want to discuss.

The key is you’re not the only one going through what you’re going through, and we all struggle with something!

But remember, Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and life in all its fullness”. John 10:10

– Martin Mason

Yeovil4Family – Update

Meet the Team

 

(Back Left to Right)

Debbie Curtis (Link Worker), Sue Whitlock (Link Worker), Rachel Dyer (Programme Coordinator), Vicki Pritchard (Link Worker), Claire Worth (Link Worker), Nicola Baker (Admin), Caryl Plewes (Link Worker), Hilary Knight (Link Worker), Sonia Floyd (Link Worker), Gill Jones (Senior Family Link Worker).

Many of you will be aware that for the past two years Yeovil4Family has been the delivery organisation for the Family Focus programme at South Somerset District Council.

As of March 31st 2015 we will no longer be taking any new referrals through this programme.  We will however continue to work with the families that we have begun working with up until this date to the end of the year and hopefully beyond.  We have worked with almost 150 families as part of this contract!

It is an exciting time here at Yeovil4Family as we reflect on what we do well, where we can improve our programme and evaluate the impact our work has on the lives of families.  We will keep you updated with any information as this next year unfolds.

We are holding a Celebration Event on 4 June 2015 here at the Gateway. Those invited include all agencies and professionals that we have worked with over the last couple of years and are looking to continue to partner with in the future. It will be an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the work already achieved and look forward to the future and what that might look like for Yeovil 4 Family. Please pray for a successful event.

Your country needs you.

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I am tired today! I am tired because I stayed up all night to watch the most dramatic election night for many years. And I am tired because the mountain just got bigger.

You might think I am talking about the mountain of division in our nation. The mountain of families breaking under the strain. The mountain of gaps in our education system and social care system, inviting more children to fall through them. The mountain of pressure on our NHS. All of which increase the risks of a rapidly growing mental health mountain. And you might think that I am blaming the conservatives for these mountains. But that is too simple. These mountains all just got bigger because, as a nation, we bought into politics of fear and division.

Conservatives played on our fear of Scotland and financial ruin. Labour played on our fear of the rich elite. SNP played on our fear of the English. UKIP played on our fear of the foreigner and Lib Dems played on our fear of the two party system.

We are all culpable. And so we are all responsible.

Nick Clegg’s resignation speech touched on some of these areas:

‘Years of remorseless economic and social hardship following the crash in 2008 and the grinding insecurities of globalisation have led for people to reach to new certainties: the politics of identity, of nationalism, of us versus them is now on the rise.’

‘I hope that our leaders across the United Kingdom realise the disastrous consequences for our way of life and the integrity of our United Kingdom if they continue to appeal to grievance rather than generosity and fear rather than hope’.

Grievance and fear lead us down dangerous paths. Paths of division, disconnection, dehumanization and selfishness. It causes us to abandon our principles of generosity, compassion and hope. It causes us to blame the oppressed and poor and needy rather than serve them. It causes us to become mean rather than generous. It causes us to choose selfish ambition over selfless love. It causes us to choose greed over sacrifice.

And so today we survey a new landscape. A landscape of increasing poverty. Not just financial poverty, but social poverty, emotional poverty, spiritual poverty and political poverty.

Poverty tells us that it will always be like this. Nothing will ever change. I will always be poor. It will always be each man for himself. I will always be alone. It will always be an unfair system.

Poverty disempowers.

But the antidote to poverty is not just money, the antidote to poverty in all its forms is hope. A belief that this is not the end of the story. This is good news for the church, because hope is the currency we trade in.

We believe in a God who says that tomorrow does not have to be defined by our past. A God who’s heart is for the oppressed and marginalized. A God who releases the captives and restores the ruins. So our nation needs the church more than ever today.

A church who demonstrates hope.
A church who loves unconditionally.
A church who stands alongside the neediest and poorest.
A church which includes and values everyone.

So get involved. Love actively. Live generously. Be people of hope and grace and mercy.

Your country needs you!