Vicar's update 3rd September Steve4to5-3244373775-O

After a wonderful sabbatical I am now back at work and looking forward to the coming weeks and months at St Stephen’s.  Thank you to all who made my absence possible most especially my colleagues on the Leadership Team and Andrew Dand who has borne much additional responsibility.  I have had a great time away visiting Israel/Palestine, Spain, Wales, Devon, Cornwall, Norfolk, Somerset, Kent and Cumbria, and will no doubt share more with you all in the coming weeks.
 
As you will know from Andrew’s email earlier in the week, this Sunday we regather after the summer break and I hope to catch up with most of you at our usual services.  At the 10.30 All Age Service we will be praying for all who go to, or work in, schools as the new term begins (so if you have children at school or work in a school please come along).  We will also be hearing from Becky Young who is about to go to Australia with Youth with a Mission (YWAM).  After the 10.30 service we will be having a picnic in Cleveland Park (and at the moment the weather forecast looks fine).  It’s a wonderful chance to spend time with folk we don’t really have an opportunity to get to know on a Sunday morning, so come along with your picnic lunch – friends and family welcome!
 
The Ealing Half Marathon is just a few weeks away (Sunday 27th September).  This year we are cancelling both morning services so that we can concentrate on running the Water Station and the Community Café.  Instead we are holding a single service at 4.30pm.  This will take the form of a Cafe Communion service and include a light tea.  We are making this an afternoon service so that children can come too, so please do mark this change in the diary.  If you would like to volunteer to help with the Water Station in the morning, it’s a lot of fun and a great way of getting involved; please volunteer at http://www.ealinghalfmarathon.com/volunteer/ indicating that you wish to be in the St Stephen’s area.
 
There are lots of other events happening this month including a Men’s Breakfast, Women’s Dinner, the launch of our Alpha course, and our usual Connect Groups.  We are also planning a half night of prayer as we seek God’s vision for our future – more details will follow.
 
With my love
 
Steve