‘Rest in the Lord’ (Psalm 37:7)
Here at Ascension, our vision is to see God’s kingdom come to our communities through making and growing whole life followers of Jesus. As part of being followers of Jesus, it is important that we get to rest just as Jesus did. So as a church, August will be a “Fallow Month” for us here at Ascension – a time of less activity, fewer meetings, simpler service patterns, more time for taking a breath, enjoying the lighter evenings whilst they are still here, having a pause and generally ‘resting in the Lord’.
Assistant Archdeacon Gary Philbrick wrote in his letter to the diocese last month, “to leave the land fallow is to give it a rest, to allow it a bit of time to recover, to let it breathe before it is planted again – see Exodus 23:10-11. And it’s not a bad idea to follow the same pattern in our churches and in our own lives in August – take a bit of time out, time to rest, reflect, enjoy, pray, and spend time with God. And then, in September, at the start of a new school year, you will hopefully feel a new energy, the fresh water of the Holy Spirit welling up within you, new ideas, more creativity, a fresh closeness to God, having ‘rested in him’.
So, although we have less on at the moment, we do still have some news to share with you this month:
Sundays in August
Throughout August, the 9 am and 10.45 am services will both continue. However, the 10.45 am service will be shorter than normal and designed to be family-friendly, with activities provided for the children within the main service so that all ages can meet together. (Please note that there will not be separate children’s groups during this time while our volunteers have a well-deserved break). Edge+ will also take a break in August.
New Wine – report from Simon
In the depths of the Kent countryside, 10,000 Christians uniting to worship, to encounter Jesus and to hear what God is doing across the country and world. For those who have come, it has been an opportunity to get to deepen relationships. It has been a real encouragement and look forward to sharing more with you. We also want to thank everyone who contributed to the New Wine Support Fund, which raised £670 (plus £154 in Gift Aid). This enabled families and individuals to go who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to attend.
Edge+ Summer Pop-Up Event
Although Edge+ will not meet on Sundays in August, we are excited to announce a Summer Pop-Up event for families at Townhill Park Green (opposite Townhill Park Community Centre) on Tuesday, 29th and Wednesday, 30th August, from 10 am – 4 pm. Tuesday will feature games and art and craft activities, and on Wednesday, we will have a special visit from a mobile farm. We do still need volunteers, please contact Ruth (email@example.com) if you can help with some or all of the event.
The Art Group will be hosting their annual exhibition in the Grace Hall from Saturday 19th – Sunday 27th August which will be open 10 am – 5 pm on weekdays and 2 pm – 5 pm on Sundays. There will be paintings for sale, Cream Teas, and refreshments, with money raised for the UNICEF Ukraine appeal. Contact Jenny for more information (02380 554097).
If you are new to Ascension, we invite you to stay after our 10:45 service on Sunday, 17th September, to share a meal with us. We would love to get to know you, introduce you to others and tell you more about what goes on in our church. All are welcome, but please do sign up using this link to let us know you are coming so we can be sure that everyone is catered for.
Care for the Family events
A Mind of Their Own is an event run by Care for the Family aimed at building our children’s emotional well-being. It will be held at Kings Community Church on Wednesday 11th October. Please visit cff.org.uk/moto for further information and to buy a ticket. Another Care for the Family events, An Evening with Rob Parsons, will be coming to Portsmouth on Tuesday, 14th November. Please visit cff.org.uk/robparsons for information and tickets.
Thank you to those who have been donating to the Food Bank each week. We will keep our collection crate open all summer, so please keep bringing in your donations each Sunday.
Blessings to you all in this season of rest and refreshment,
The Ascension Staff Team