LLCC news

Longley and Lowerhouses Community Church

Trustees: Robert Price and Brian Goodall

Our Mission Statement

Longley and Lowerhouses Community Church aims to be a caring, open-hearted Christian community, worshipping God, growing in discipleship and making known the good news of Jesus through word and action.

 

BIRTHDAYS IN SEPTEMBER:

19th: John Crossland

COVID 19 is still preventing us from holding services or meetings, but we continue to look for creative ways to maintain fellowship during this time. Brian has been organising a meeting via Zoom, where we have shared Communion (bring your own!) prayed and shared together. If you would like to know more about this, email or phone Brian, Rob or Ian & Val.

 

BRIAN’S BIT - SEPTEMBER 2020

THERE are various questions that occupy the minds of those who contribute to the news media at this time. One question that has made me think is What have we gained from our time in lockdown?

For us personally, we’ve certainly managed to grow some impressive vegetables and soft fruit in the garden, and not going away on holiday has meant that the grass hasn’t got too long and the weeds have been kept at bay. We’re also producing an impressive amount of compost!

Meanwhile, Christian magazines testify to the huge take-up of online services and prayer opportunities. I was reading yesterday an article which said that 25% of the population have participated in some kind of religious service online, which is five times as many as usual.

For me, there has been quite a lot of tidying going on in my cluttered study and garage. Hopefully this physical tidying has been matched by some helpful sorting out of my thoughts and ideas.
Some people feel that life will never be the same after lockdown, that we will need to pursue our goals in new and different ways. Others perhaps are just longing for the time when everything gets back to ‘normal’, whatever that is. Of course, it will be necessary for many things to be restored to what they used to be, but I do rather incline to the view that we will have to accept a lot of change. Perhaps, for us, September will be a time of exploration as we look for ways in which our mission statement can be fulfilled in the future. Please join me as we continue to pray for the church and for each other and, if you have any inspiring ideas, let us know.

Yours in Jesus’ name, Brian

"Brian's Bit" (August 2020)

“What will become of us?” is a question I’ve written at the top of my ‘to do’ list recently. When I took on the role of being the Church’s official member of the Baptist Ministers’ Pension Fund, and then was appointed as a Trustee, it all seemed so simple. It was about preparing and leading services and writing up minutes of meetings – things I feel I can do reasonably well, and all at times and places that I could easily manage. What none of us realised at that time was that suddenly our ability to function in the accustomed way would suddenly be taken away by lockdown, and especially for those of us described as ‘most vulnerable’, we would be under a kind of house arrest for the foreseeable future. Personally, I have to admit that the whole thing has sapped my confidence, leaving me very unclear as to what can be achieved. Meanwhile the church building is being well looked after, as a recent report by Ian has shown, and the finances are good. Individually, I’m sure we all have hopes and plans for the future, but what of the Church? We have some serious praying and thinking and consulting to do and we value the prayers of everyone. As I was thinking about all this today, I was suddenly reminded of some powerful words from the Psalms. The verse occurs at least three times, in Psalm 42:5,11 and Psalm 43: 5 – “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God”.

Once again, if there are any developments, we’ll keep in touch and let you know.

Keep safe and keep well. Yours in Jesus’ name,

Brian

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR EACH OTHER AND THE NATION AT THIS TIME. Remember each other and all those who are dear to us, especially those who are unwell and those recovering from hospital treatment

"Brian's Bit" (July 2020)

SUNDAY June 21st was the 50th Anniversary of my ordination into Christian ministry. It took place in Wakefield Baptist Church, where I was a member at the time, and was a great and memorable occasion for me. Just a few weeks later I was on an aeroplane heading towards Brussels for my first experience of full time employment as a Minister at the International Baptist Church of Brussels, Belgium (we called it that so that Americans would not confuse it with Brussels, Idaho or Brussels, California!) It was another step in what was to be a massive learning experience, which still continues.

Of course, I knew very little of what the future would bring but my trust in God’s provision and guidance has never been disappointed.

A more recent learning experience was my attempt to hold a prayer time via Zoom on the 3rd of June. It was successful for the very small number who were able to join me. I would like to try again, and this time I will prepare it a bit more carefully and send you information by email as well as just through Zoom.

 

"Brian's Bit" (June 2020)

DURING the time leading up to Pentecost my daily Bible readings have been in the book of Acts.I’ve been  reading about the ascension of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit, and once again I’ve been inspired by this Bible book on which I must have spent many hours preaching over the years.

One thing that has struck me this time is in Acts chapter 6, ‘The choosing of the seven’. The young Church in Jerusalem was experiencing an amazing time of growth and opportunity, yet at the same time they were facing considerable hostility and persecution. Their leaders, the Apostles, found themselves overwhelmed by the needs of those they were trying to care for and called for a plan to be implemented: seven men, suitably qualified, should take on this responsibility. As a result, the Gospel continued to be proclaimed and the church grew. Instead of just a problem to be solved, the church took a massive step forward. It’s my prayer that for us too, with all the difficulties we face at present, the Lord will show us how to turn obstacles into stepping stones and move forward in his name.

"Brian's Bit" (May 2020)

SO, how are things as we move into the seventh week of lockdown? Our country and our world are in a terrible situation as a result of the COVID-19 virus, which affects us all in some way. It’s hard to see if or when things will ever get back to normal!

There is a part of scripture that speaks of this kind of experience. Some of the Psalms refer to it, such as Psalm 137 which describes the feelings of the Israelites taken to exile in Babylon, and the Book of Lamentations, where Jeremiah vents his agony about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

But Jeremiah finds hope, which he expresses in the well-known words of Lamentations 3:22 & 23: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”. Could it be that the experiences we’re going through might lead us to find help in the eternal truths that the church was founded in order to proclaim?

Meanwhile, in our own enforced exile, there are some things to be thankful for: the kindness of so many people who have volunteered their help, and the friendship of neighbours we’ve known by sight for many years who seem more ready to talk. Our frontline of mission has been pulled right back to the limits of our house and garden, but it provides a vivid illustration of the things we were talking about in church just a few weeks ago.