“Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’?
I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” John 4:35
We aim to “know Jesus and make Him known”, whether that be in our parish or through the many other social networks that we are all part of through the week.
We believe that our calling is, with others, to bring the Kingdom of God to our parish, our city, our region, our nation and to the ends of the earth. This is a reflection of Jesus’ final words in Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 28.
We also know that Bath is a City which has seen the Holy Spirit move in great ways in the past, and we long to see a move of God through the whole City. We aim under God to ‘win, train and send’ labourers into this end-time worldwide harvest field.
As a helpful reminder to us as a church, here is a list of the main missional organisations that we are supporting.
The main focuses for our 2014 Gift Day were:
Five Talents (rep – Jamie Jameson),
Operation Mobilisation, John Bailey (rep — Tim Packer)
Open the Book (rep – Peter LeRoy).
As a church, we look to support the following missional organisations either at our Annual Gift Day or through the year...
Bath Youth for Christ: The local branch of YFC, working with young people in Bath, seeking to take the good news of Jesus relevantly to every young person in the city. Sam Packer, who works for Bath YFC, is our rep. http://www.bathyfc.co.uk/
Send a Cow: A local charity which started by literally sending cows to Africa. Now helps farmers in Africa to make better lives through training and provision of livestock from local sources. Ann Hatton is a Send a Cow Ambassador and our rep.
John Bailey: with his wife, Esther and their two girls were St Luke’s members for a long time, before leaving several years ago to work in Scotland, running a Christian Centre and working for Scripture Union, respectively. A couple of years ago, John moved to work with Operation Mobilisation, a global Christian organisation working to mobilise young people to live and share the Gospel, and demonstrate the love of God, in over 110 countries. You may have heard of their Gospel ships, MV Logos and Doulos ...and more recently, MV Logos Hope, which visits port cities throughout the world, supplying literature, encouraging cross-cultural understanding and training young people for ‘more effective life and service’. (480 ports, 150 countries; on average, over 1 million visitors a year). John runs much of the global IT system for the boats and for the organisation...which is a most onerous role; he lives by support from others... and OM needs him, and needs support, too! Esther still works for Scripture Union. They are among our St Luke’s missionaries, sent out, and it is our privilege to be in involved in their work. Tim Packer is our rep.
Julian and Monica Hawken: Julian is the son of a former vicar of St Luke’s. Julian and Monica have a lively, strategic ministry with the Hangzhou International Christian Fellowship, in the People’s Republic of China. Their sons are in University in New Zealand, but are very much part of their ministry! Jim and Liz Woods are our reps.
Dr.Andrew Leake and his family have been living in Argentina for years, indeed, Andrew was brought up there as a child in a missionary family. Many will remember the passionate and challenging talk given by Andrew a few months ago in church. He and his family have worked with the local church for decades, but through his professional skills, Andrew has found himself called into working with the local, indigenous Wichi Indians, whose communities have lived in the forests in the Chaco since time immemorial. Their way of life, their very lives and their futures have been progressively destroyed and undermined by the cynical selling off of their homelands by their own government to global corporations; these corporations raze the forest to the ground, and then plant vast fields of crops of biomass vegetation that is sold on the world market to enable the First World to create fuel to run our machines. The land sales bring no benefit to the local people, immediate or long term, and that is totally unjust. Jan Rich is our rep.
SIM, Hilary and Marc Deneufchatel: Hilary (formerly Inwood) is the daughter of a previous St Luke’s vicar, Bishop of Bedford (now retired!). She, and her French husband Marc, are serving as long term missionaries in Benin, involved in a Bible translation project. Would you like to receive their emails? St Luke’s rep. is Alison Stubbs.
Five Talents: Fights poverty by providing microfinance. Tom Sanderson, the UK Director of Five Talents, was once a member of the St Luke’s congregation. Jamie Jameson represents Five Talents in the South of England and is our rep.
Open the Book: Seeking to open the Bible to school children. St Luke’s members take Open the Book assemblies in the Moorlands Schools. Peter LeRoy is a trustee of Open the Book and is our rep.
The Genesis Trust is our local charitable trust, and has been working to alleviate poverty and hardship for local people in Bath for the last 20 years. They work with people struggling with everyday life – mainly as a result of homelessness, addiction, poverty or disability. They provide the practical support they need to get through today, and the emotional support to look forwards to tomorrow. They do this with compassion, skill and with an attitude of hospitality to all. They run nine projects across Bath, including the ‘Soup Run’, which a number of St Luke’s people help with every week. These projects help people meet local people’s needs for food, furniture, purposeful activity and one-to-one support and guidance.
The Genesis Trust was founded on a Christian vision and is driven by Christian values, and this ethos remains at the core of their work. However, the project exists to serve anyone in need, irrespective of their faith, background or gender, and they do not actively evangelise. The particular Christian values which underpin our work are love, justice, compassion, truth and a basic equality. The Bible depicts God as having a bias towards the poor and the marginalised in society and that all of us have equal worth in his eyes, and in their relationships with their service users, they seek to reflect this. Five of their projects are volunteer run, and four are run by professional paid staff. They have built a strong relationship with all the churches across Bath; Ian Mackay, a member of our congregation, is a trustee of the Trust and closely in touch with all that they do and is our rep.
Churches support them financially and by provide the majority of our 500 volunteers. They also receive support and donations from the general public who appreciate the work they do in Bath. They are entirely self-funded, and receive no statutory funding or Lottery money.
Please Pray for the work of these organizations and people. Is there one that you could take a particular interest in, and support personally? If so, speak to our rep.
Finally, either in our church life, or through activities in St Luke's, we are actively involved in or with the following:
Pinnacle Youth Outreach at the Rhenish Church, Capetown: Jerome Hartley’s inspirational work with young people in very hard places, drugs and ‘gangsterism’, creating ‘safe places’, projects (594 kids at a recent holiday club!), giving them a vision of the gospel, hope and a better life. (Sponsors; Bath Youth For Christ). Sam Packer is our link.
Children’s Society: One of our longest-standing relationships (formerly as the Church of England Children’s Society). We particular remember their work with children at Christmas time – e.g. a Christingle service. Mary Roberts is our rep.
Christian Aid: St Luke’s contributes to the humanitarian ministry of Christian Aid by organising the local Christian Aid Week collection. The last Christian Aid Week was 11th - 17th May 2014 and Tim Harris is our rep.
Samaritans Purse: Operation Christmas Child provides shoeboxes containing Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children in Africa and Eastern Europe. Many St Luke’s people are involved, and Frank Finney is our rep.
Mercy Ships: Lynne Melly, a member of our congregation, has recently returned from working on the ship in West Africa, and has given us several talks about her work, working with Africans who have no other access to medical care. Shirley Dewes is our rep.
St Mark’s School: St Mark’s is Bath’s Church of England secondary school. We, along with a number of churches in Bath, support the cost of the school chaplain. Angela LeRoy is our rep.
The Leprosy Mission: Working to eradicate leprosy, and minister to those affected. We encourage St Luke’s members to support TLM by using their excellent Christmas catalogue.
Traidcraft: Fighting poverty through fair trade. Polly McKay regularly runs Traidcraft stalls in church.