Ministry Update – Yeovil 4 Family

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In June 2016 Yeovil4Family, with the support of South Somerset District Council (SSDC) expanded their work to also include supporting vulnerable individuals in South Somerset.

Yeovil4Family are now able to consider referrals from across the South Somerset district where an agency or professional feel that our support may benefit an individual who has an expressed need for housing related support. Referred clients may have needs including sofa surfing, self-neglect, mental health, drug and alcohol issues.

Individuals are able to receive support and guidance from a trained Link Worker to help them address their needs, whatever they may be. The support is solution focused and relationship driven. The Link Worker will help the individual access services and provide them with a Volunteer Mentor if appropriate. Yeovil4Family can support individuals for 9-12 months, but it is agreed on an individual basis.

We are having increasing numbers of individuals and families being referred to us and therefore really need to widen our pool of Mentors to help support them.

As our Family Mentors & Link Workers walk the journey with various families they are finding that they have a key role in helping to show families there is a chance that things can be different, not just for now but also for generations to come. One Mentor recently said that “To be able to support a family that was very fragmented but who now see themselves as a ‘family’ has been an amazing privilege.”

Our next Volunteer Mentor training course is coming up in November and so if you have a heart to help others in need of support and could spare a couple of hours a week then Yeovil4Family needs you!

What does a volunteer Mentor do?

They offer one-to-one support for a family or individual either in the home or at an agreed meeting place.  They are a positive role model and help the family or individual to help themselves by supporting them to achieve small steps that help them lead to long term change.

How much time does volunteering take each week?

Being a volunteer Mentor takes approximately 2 hours each week; 1 hour with the family or individual you have been matched with and an hour with your Link Worker. You must be able to commit to being part of the programme for a minimum of 6 months.

What sort of person do I need to be a volunteer?

Mentors need to be good listeners, who can encourage and be non-judgmental.
They can come from any walk of life and be any age or gender. Mentors need to be able to have an understanding and empathy towards the different stresses and issues that can affect the people that we work with.

What sort of training do I have to do?

All our Mentors complete a 12 hour training course. These can be daytime or evening and are group based, interactive sessions.  There will be a streamed session as part of the 12 hours specifically related to the type of mentoring that you may wish to be involved in, either Family, Single Person or Young Person.

How will I be supported?

You will be supported and supervised by a Link Worker who is a member of our team responsible for the family or individual you have been matched with. They are there to assist and safeguard you and to ensure you have all you need to fulfil your role.

Upcoming Training Course
10, 17th and 24th November 9.30am – 2.30pm at the Gateway, Addlewell Lane.  Please get in touch and we will send you an application pack with further details.
Email info@yeovil4family.org.uk or call 01935 530050

A Rhetorical Question

Worship songs can, quite rightly, make you… …pause.

As I stand in worship, I’m glad to joyfully declare, with the rest of the congregation:

“Who can stop the Lord Almighty?”.

The assumed (and correct) answer is “no-one”.  And in asserting this I know I am echoing a refrain that runs throughout Scripture; in the Psalms and the Prophets, and in the New Testament too.

And yet there is an equally clear theme that permeates the whole of Scripture:

“Who can stop the Lord Almighty?”  Well, in a sense, I can.  And I do.

And so do you, and so does every free-will being in creation.  Much of the time.

In one form or another, this apparent paradox has occupied theologians throughout most of church history.  It seems like we are obliged to stand in one of two camps:

Either the Lord Almighty is never thwarted – which raises impossible questions as to why the world remains as tragically broken as it is

Or

The Lord is perhaps not so ‘Almighty’ after all – which shatters our biblical conception of God. (And also ruins our worship songs.)

I’d dare to suggest two factors that can help with this dilemma:

Firstly, it depends on what we assume by the word ‘almighty’; there is (quite literally) a world of difference between having the unquestioned power to impose our will, and having the loving wisdom to choose not to do so.  Ask any parent.

Secondly, much depends on our perspective; the time-horizon with which we typically operate is seldom sufficiently far-reaching and long-term.  Like young children, we can barely think past today.

I emphatically believe, not least on the basis of Jesus’ own words, that the day is coming when ‘the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our God and his Messiah’; when God’s will is done on earth as in heaven; when the triumph of the crucified-and-resurrected King is revealed in brilliance for all to see, and when all injustice and evil (and the evil one) that has distorted this creation are finally eradicated.

“But this is not that day”.  Yet.

And during this ‘overlap of the ages’ the sovereign Lord of all wields his power, not by means of irresistible coercion, but by sacrificial love; love that undermines & overcomes the principalities that currently dominate.  This power, so unlike any human (or demonic) conception of strength, is:

Deeply wise

Creatively resourceful

Unremittingly patient

Fiercely loving

and Utterly determined

Determined to bring his purposes to their appointed climax in partnership with, and working through, the people he has sacrificially redeemed.  He will not circumvent us, though knowing how fickle and failing we often are, I sometimes wish he would.  Learning how to host, and how to wield, his incomparable power is central to our calling.

Who can stop the Lord Almighty?  Ultimately no-one.  One day God will fully accomplish his purposes for this earth.  Only pray that our response makes this possible in our generation.

Marana-tha – O Lord Come!

Ministry Update – Prayer for Growth Nigel Rees

18632So when someone says to you “Prayer for Growth”, what might it mean?   Well, I suppose the clue is in the title, and you don’t need to add very much.   It is aimed at growth in our daily lives.

Often we work through our days, whether it at school, work, home or a mixture, often not giving much thought to anything else.  For many, time for prayer comes along at a Bible Study, Cell Group and at Church.  In your church you might pray altogether, or individually, but the topics can often be general.

A Prayer for Growth approach is focused on improving your daily walk with God.  It might be simply a re-focus, or there might be something in the past that is being used to prevent you having a fuller relationship with God.

Often a relationship or circumstance which simply diverts your attention and does not leave your mind free to focus on God’s Plan for you.  Sometimes we don’t realize that there may be some sort of obstacle.  This was certainly the scene for me.

By meeting on a regular basis and exploring issues through a prayer based approach I feel I have opened a new chapter. It feels as if I am I’m seeing each day through a new pair of eyes.  This is providing a fresh outlook on God’s world and God’s plan for me.

I find conversations are prayer led and inspired.  Conversations and opportunities are occurring that others are then independently referring to and supporting, that are confirming to me a God Driven and God Created plan for my life that is continually unfolding.

Exciting and scary (in a good way) all at once.  I can’t wait to see what is around the next corner.