Welcome to the November edition of CfTW News. As England is plunged back into lockdown, there are a number of prayer initiatives Churches and Christians are invited to engage with. See below for:
information from 'Thy Kingdom Come' who are inviting Christians to pray daily at 6pm.
information about the Evangelical Alliance's Call to prayer for Friday 13 November
Information about Operation Christmas Child and how you can be involved
plus other information for your attention
Please be praying for Church leaders across the town as they continually seek to adapt to the ever changing guidelines being presented.
Stop Press.....As part of the Evangelical Alliance's call to prayer on Friday 13th November; Churches for Tunbridge Wells will be hosting a Zoom Prayer Meeting on Friday 13 November from 12-1pm, via Zoom. The Zoom link is here - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84632529912?pwd=YUt4dzdVMWlmdjhKU1psWmJEc1Jodz09 The Meeting ID is 846 3252 9912 and the Passcode is 969025
Do please join us, if you are able, for this time of prayer, besides taking part in whatever prayer initiatives your congregation is engaged with.
Evangelical Alliance UK Day of Prayer - Friday 13 November. We are working with networks, denominations and churches to bring people together to pray. As communities across the UK face further restrictions and lockdowns, as many churches are forced to stop their in-person gatherings, as suffering and loss affect so many families, we hear the call again to unite and seek God together in this time of trouble.
Many people in the Evangelical Alliance have asked for a UK-wide day of prayer in response to the ongoing crisis and the second wave of infections currently gripping the UK and beyond. Regardless of lockdowns, we have the great privilege and freedom to be able to call upon the Lord, wherever we are. Churches and Christians across the UK are being encouraged to come together, in one Spirit, to call on the One who saves – to bring light in dark places, to be the hope to the nations, to bring healing to our lands. Please join us.
We pray for all in leadership at this time, making decisions about the containment of the virus, for those working in health and social care, those working on a vaccine, those most at risk, and those suffering hardship and distress. Visit www.eauk.org for more information.
Thy Kingdom Come invite you to join us over the next 4 weeks of #PrayerfortheNation Every day we will pause and pray at 6pm for those impacted by the pandemic. You can set an alarm, light a candle or use a light on your mobile phone as a prompt to pray, or you may even hear a church or cathedral bell ring as a reminder.
Follow us on social media for daily prayers, and you can find an easy to use, printable prayer booklet here, to help you as you pray over the next 4 weeks. You can also explore the Church of England’s website for further resources.
Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal
Please read below regarding how you can be involved this year.
1. Pack shoeboxes to share God’s love
In what has been a year of uncertainty for many, our churches can bring great hope and joy - changing a child’s life this Christmas. Local churches overseas not only give out our shoebox gifts but share the Christmas message of new life in Jesus with the children.
There are two ways to send a shoebox this year:
Traditional packing. Fill shoeboxes with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items and drop them off at our collection centre next to Screwfix in Vale Road, Tonbridge TN9 1SU from 9-16 November. See samaritans-purse..org.uk/occ for more information.
2. Volunteer to check shoeboxes at our Kent warehouse to send thousands of shoeboxes on their way.
From Monday 16 November to Friday 11 December we’re looking for up to 26 volunteers at a time to check boxes for customs compliance and that all the gifts are suitable for the children. Our spacious warehouse means volunteers can be socially distanced and we have put in place a wide range of other Covid-secure arrangements. Our goal is to process all the shoeboxes from the greater South East. This could be up to 80,000 shoeboxes – more than triple what we checked locally last year.
This will also be one of the few service activities still allowed and is a ‘work’ context where more than 6 can gather. So this is an unique opportunity for church small groups and youth groups to be together safely as well as individuals and household groups. It’s also an activity that’s fun and appropriate to invite friends to experience something of the life and community of Christians they know.
Join them to give thanks for last year and to pray for future plans.
Nourish Community Foodbank is reaching out to businesses, places of worship, groups, schools and individuals to support those who are in extreme poverty in our community this Christmas.
Dawn Stanford, Operations Manager at Nourish Community Foodbank explains the reason behind the campaign, “We have seen an increase in demand for our services of over 100% during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have been blown away by the financial gifts and food donations that we have received from the local community to support those in need. However, the sad reality is that numbers are rising week on week, and we are preparing to deal with a peak at Christmas where we may be delivering to around 150-200% more people than an average week pre-Covid 19.” “Text FOOD £20 to 70085 to buy a Christmas Dinner for a family in crisis this Christmas” is aimed at individuals, companies, places of worship and groups that want to support those in need at Christmas in their local community. Local businesses have already expressed an interest in using this as an ethical alternative to gifts at Christmas for clients and staff.
Christ Church Community Transformation Leader
Please note that Karen Hickson-Smith has been appointed to this role and her email address is email@example.com
Who knows what Christmas will look like this year. It will certainly look different, that's for sure. Please look at this website - https://www.doorstepcarols.co.uk/ which encourages Christians to organise the singing of carols on your own roads and in your neighbourhoods. The link takes you to something quite organised, but don't feel you have to stick to that, improvise in some way to be and bring blessing to your street or road.
HOPE at Christmas magazine
Christmas is a wonderful time to share the joy of Jesus’ birth. Use the HOPE at Christmas magazine as a giveaway with details of your festive events. As always it is packed with features, competitions and giveaways. With churches closed, a home to home delivery is a good way to keep in touch with your community telling local people about online events and offering practical support. Find out more about the magazines here.