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Interregnum Prayer:

Loving God we pray that, with the help of your Holy Spirit, we may remain faithful in seeking your will for our future in this parish.  Help us to be united in prayer and purpose; faithful and loving in service to you and to one another, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

Weekly Prayer Focus:

God has made us one in Christ.  He has set his seal upon us and, as a pledge of what is to come, has given the Spirit to dwell in our hearts.  May we walk this week in the joy and peace of Christ.  Amen

NEW ELECTORAL ROLL: Every six years a new electoral roll is prepared for the parish.  Even if you have previously completed an application form, it is necessary to complete a new one this year if you wish your name to appear on the Parish Electoral Roll. If you consider yourself to be a member of either Holy Trinity Church, Lickey or St. Catherine’s Church,  Blackwell and have regularly attended church over the past six months and are aged over 16 then  you are eligible to add your name to the electoral roll of the parish.  Application forms are at the back of church and when completed should be handed to either Keith or Marlene Parsons, Nick Forknell or Sandra Smith before 30th March. Please ask any of these people if you need help in completing the form.  If you do not complete a form then you will not be eligible to stand for elected offices or to vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting which will be held in Holy Trinity Church on Sunday 28th April after a shortened morning service.

APPOINTMENT OF NEW ARCHDEACON FOR BIRMINGHAM:  The Bishop of Birmingham is excited to announce the appointment of a new Archdeacon of Birmingham. Reverend Canon Jenny Tomlinson, currently Mission and Ministry Adviser for the Colchester Episcopal Area, will take up the post from May 2019.

Bishop David says, “I am elated that Canon Jenny Tomlinson is to be the next Archdeacon of Birmingham. She joins us in Church of England Birmingham at an exciting time of development as we seek to grow churches at the heart of every community. Jenny’s experience of Parish Development will be particularly relevant as she takes up her new role.

Update on Recruitment of our new Minister

As briefed following our last recruitment event, we agreed with the Archdeacon that we should not go immediately in to another advertising cycle. Instead, we agreed to seek a meeting with Bishop David. Rob Fieldson has been in touch with Bishop David, requesting a meeting in the near future. As soon as we have an appointment, Rob, Maggie and I will meet with Bishop David to discuss and agree next steps.We will provide an update on how we will proceed as soon as this becomes clear.

Best wishes to all, Keith and Maggie.

Please save the date!!  Friday 15th February 6-10pm

We have set aside the evening to pray together before a Vision Day which is to be held on Saturday 16th February.  It is vital to our life together as a parish that we hear from God and know from Him what our vision is.  Proverbs 29 verse 18 puts is like this (The Message version): If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.

Please consider joining us for a one hour slot between 6pm and 9pm (we will finish at 10pm).  As we have done before, we will have refreshments available and will break around the finish of each hour so that you may feel free to join and leave at these points according to the time you have available. Please also consider whether God may be calling you to fast and pray: the Bible teaches us to fast and pray (Matt 6:16-18); Jesus fasted and prayed (Matt 4:1-2); His disciples fasted and prayer (Acts 13:2).    Any questions, get in touch.  Maggie

On World Day of Prayer 2019 – Friday 1st March an estimated 3 million people in over 120 countries will gather using an order of service written by Christian women from Slovenia and translated into over 1,000 different languages and dialects. In the British Isles alone over 5,000 services will be held. 

The WDP service is totally unique and its power lies in that prayer is offered continually around the world on that day. The day will begin when the sun rises over the island of Samoa, and continue until it sets off the coast of American Samoa some 38 hours later.

This year we are hosting the service at Holy Trinity, Lickey at 10.30am with refreshments to share afterwards. There is an open invitation at the heart of the service – ‘Come – Everything is Ready!’ come to God’s table (Luke: 14 15-24). We listen to the stories from Slovenia as they reflect on their political and economic situation. Further information: WDP website: www.wwdp.org.uk

Please encourage as many as you can to come and share the event – men and women, old and young alike COME – EVERYTHING IS READY! ALL ARE WELCOME! Contact: Jan Munro 0121 445 6105/07979 647604/ jan.munro1@hotmail.com

Safeguarding: Thank you to all those lovely volunteers who have now completed their on-line training. If you have completed the training and not notified me, will you kindly do so. Anyone unable to do or to complete on-line training please contact me to arrange assistance.Thank you once again for the wonderful work that you do. Marlene Parsons PSC  – Phone: 0121 445 1420  email: keith.parsons8@btopenworld.com 

BIBLE STUDY: One of the Thursday evening homegroups is doing the Bible Study of ‘ROCK’ by Roger Jones and Simon Cooper.  This is made up of 10 studies which will be over the next few months.  We start on Thursday 28th February followed by 7th March, 28th March, 4th April, 11th April, 9th May, 23rd May, 6th June, 20th June and 4th July. If you are interested in joining us please speak to Erin, Ollie, Jenny, Steve, Pauline, Alison or Clive.

HEATHER JOHNSTONE, our CMS partner in Tanzania, writes;

If Jesus were born in Tanzania, Mary would have become Mama Jesus, and Joseph would be Baba Jesus.  Often you never know a person’s Christian name, they are simply Mama or Baba so-and-so.  Let me tell you about two women I meet as I buy my supplies, or as I walk home.

Mama Emma and Mama Neema sell fruit and veg at the end of my street. I buy tomatoes and bananas from them.  Mama Neema always greets me with a massive hug and a ‘wow’.  She tries to teach me her tribal language, Kikurya, and laughs uproariously when I get the words wrong.   Mama Emma greets me with a big, beautiful, bright smile and is one of the few people who can pronounce my name.

Now I do not just buy my fruit and veg, but sit and chat.  They tell me about their days and a bit about their lives, their work and their faith.  I love it when I ask them how they are, their standard response is “thanks be to God, I am well.”

They both work seven days a week and get up at 5am in the morning.  Mama Neema, a mother of three, goes to a piece of land by a lake where she does her small scale farming.  It’s hard work, watering, hoeing, planting and harvesting various crops, ready to sell on her little market stall.  All before my alarm goes off at 6am.  As I make myself a cup of tea, she is carrying 25 litre buckets of water on her head from the lake to her home – a half hour walk.

Meanwhile, twice a week at 5am, mother of two Mama Emma takes a two hour bus journey to Tarime to buy her supply of bananas and other items for her stall.  Five or six hours later, she can start selling what she has bought.  On the days when she goes to Tarime, Mama Neema looks after her stall for her, and when Mama Neema is farming, Mama Emma keeps an eye on her stall for her. 

However, selling fruit and veg is not enough to sustain themselves and their families, so they bustle about and are proactive in doing other things to earn a bit of cash.  Roasting peanuts to sell, making tea or porridge to sell to parents and children who need sustenance.  They don’t stop until 8 or 9pm, when they pack up to go home, preparing to start again at 5am the following morning.

Life is a challenge for many and these ladies work so incredibly hard to provide for their families.  It is humbling to see them in action because, despite their difficult lives, these God-loving women are always cheerful, always welcoming and always greet you with open arms and open hearts.

Please keep Heather in your prayers.

OTHER DIARY DATES 

COMEDY WITH CHEESE STARRING Jo Enright – Friday 22nd Feb at Barnt Green Parish Centre, Sandrhills Road, Barnt Green, B45 8NR 7.345pm Tickets £15 from 079119839

TORN CURTAIN Communion Setting re-launch – March 2nd, 2-5pm at St Andrew’s, Barnt Green

This launch afternoon will provide an opportunity to learn both the old and new sections of the communion setting with Roger and a team from CMM.  Then at the end of the day we will use it together in a special worship time with Rev Rob Fieldson, vicar of St Andrews.  Each participant will receive a free copy of the music to take away and use, and have an opportunity to purchase further copies. To book your place or find out more information contact events@cmm.org.uk or call the CMM Office on 01527 576440.

MEN’S BREAKFAST:  Sat 9th March 7.45 – 9.30am Kings Norton Golf Club.

Speaker Andrew Briggs. Title “It keeps me seeking”. Cost £10 or £5 if it’s your first attendance). Andrew is a professor of Nanomaterials in the Dept. Of Materials at the University of Oxford. He is a scientist and committed Christian who is keen to explore the interaction of faith and science.

MOSAIC GROUP

‘Our first two series of Mosaic have been very encouraging to us all.  So far we’ve studied three paintings and enjoyed sharing poetry, extracts of literature, our own thoughts and responses together with music to which the art work has given rise.  In addition to learning about the subject matter of the paintings we’re discovering new ways of viewing and engaging with artwork in general.  A few participants have written and shared their own poetry, some first time writers, and this has enriched our appreciation of the paintings and each other’s perspectives. For further information please contact Maureen (revmodew@btinternet.com – 07546903908 or Maggie  )We’re looking forward to our next three sessions – details below – please come and join us.’

Monday 18th March, and 8th April at The Wheel, St. Catherine’s, Blackwell.  The date of the third session will be set later with the group participants.  We’ve changed the time of the meeting to 2.00pm/3.30pm. This is because as a few people were interested but couldn’t do Monday or other evenings. Everyone is welcome.

Wildfire musical at St. Stephen’s Rednal

Diary date:- Members of St Stephen’s Church, Edgewood Road, Rednal, B45 8SG invite us to join them for a performance of Roger Jones’ musical ‘’Wildfire’’, (which portrays the story of St. Stephen) on Saturday 23rd March at 4.00pm.  Admission is free, with a retiring collection.  Please see the posters at the back of both our churches.  If anyone would like to join the choir for this performance, please contact Libby straight away for details of rehearsals.

The Trinity Centre is hosting a TABLE TOP SALE on Saturday 30th March from 11.00AM – 2.00PM.  Light refreshments will be available.  Tables are £10.00 each.  To book a table please phone Alison on 0121 4456170 

Coming soon THE BIG PARTY save the date 22ND JUNE an invitation to the church family.