With England now opened up for most activities – including unrestricted church services – we have taken the decision to concentrate on our onsite service and fellowship, and stop producing the online broadcast.
If you have followed us from abroad or afar, thank you for joining with us. We will decide in September (with our new minister!) what the next steps are for our online broadcasts. If you are local to Whitehaven, please feel welcome to join us at Woodbank on a Sunday at 11am.
We are delighted to announce that Woodbank Community Church’s new pastor will be Barry Appleby. He and his wife Natalie, and their three boys, Ethan, Isaac and Caleb will be joining us in August.
Barry is currently a minister at the Elim Church in Jersey, and he and his family travelled for a day and a night to meet us last month! However they didn’t always live so far away – he and Natalie have been to Cumbria many times and it has always been a special place for them.
Barry’s has been running a community centre for the last 7 years working in partnership with various local groups. He helped set up 2 churches among the Portuguese community on the island, and even learned to surf to outreach to surfers.
Both Barry and Natalie are looking forward to joining us and leading us into new things.
Have you ever watched houses being built? Not all at once, I mean over time. There is activity, lots of it, there are diggers and pipes and bricks being laid, but no house for what seems like ages. This is because the builders are preparing the site and laying foundations, this is so crucial that building control surveyors need to be on hand to sign off this stage. The house can only be built if this stage is done properly, otherwise it risks subsidence, or just collapsing one day.
Have you watched a farmer sowing his fields? He spends time plowing up the field, removing big stones and opening up hard ground. Over the years that he does this he improves the field, making it easier to plough each time. Only once he has prepared the ground will he sow the seeds of the crop he is going to grow.
The kingdom of God is a bit like this, we are working with God on his field or his building. It would be great if the plants would just grow, or the building be built over night. That all the people we meet could be transformed the minute we talk to them, lives set free, turning to Jesus! Have you heard of evangelistic meetings where many were saved, or longer campaigns where people were saved daily. Maybe you haven’t heard about the years of constant faithful prayer that predated these. These don’t happen overnight, God wants to work with us and through us.
As a church we stand at a crossroads, our Pastor John Campbell is moving into his next phase of ministry, retiring as an Elim Pentecostal Church Minister after over 40 years service. We warmly thank John and Pauline for their leadership and pastoring, and for the ways God has used them to bless and mature us. We look ahead at the path God has for us, and the new pastor that he will send to take us into new things.
The Elim Pentecostal organisation that we are part of, started back in the midst of World War I. God inspired men and women of faith to preach the gospel and to pray for healings. Many were added daily to the kingdom in campaigns in Plymouth, Belfast and Monaghan. In each case prayer was the foundation of these successes. The ground had been prepared, people young and old had devoted themselves to prayer.
Over to you
As we step into new things can I challenge you to commit to regular prayer for the next 3 months, for John and Pauline as they set out on their new path, and for us as a church and our new pastor and family.