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Midweek Musings – If We’d Only Known

Neil’s Reflections

Another week, another set of headlines highlighting governmental missteps. In our house, it’s not uncommon to hear rolling commentaries accompanying news reports. Recently they’ve had a familiar theme: ‘How did they not guess that this would happen?’

For a few months everyone called this year’s situation unprecedented. And that was true. But as things settled down, our troubles were not unforeseeable.

Trouble caused by cancelling operations was foreseeable.

Trouble caused by imposing travel quarantine with no notice was foreseeable.

Trouble caused by using algorithms for A levels was foreseeable.

Foreseeable events need to be prepared for. If you don’t, you carry some of the responsibility for the outcomes.

In Acts 11:27-30, a Jerusalem-based prophet visits a new group of Christians in a wealthy, cosmopolitan city 300 miles away. During a worship service, this man, Agabus, stands up and prophesies that a famine was coming that would affect everyone.

Famines were not unheard of, and they were always disastrous for the poor. During these times, Rome would buy up Egyptian wheat so that the empire’s capital could continue unhindered. The further you were away from Rome, the greater the problems you’d face.

Jerusalem wouldn’t have a chance.

They were about to face a problem that was foreseeable. God had told them. Why? Presumably, his desire was that these new Christians in this thoroughly modern city would use their wealth to help those who were in danger of being left behind. It was time for the church to step up, even though they would also have to endure another famine. They still had to act for those who would be the worst affected.

It may be that God will reveal some things that we need to be aware of so that we can respond. But there are some things we already know. They are not unforeseen.

We know that more people will be struggling financially as this year goes by.

We know that more people will be struggling to find work.

We know that more people will be angry at things that are happening to them.

We know that more people will feel fearful.

We know that more people will need other people to support them.

We know that more people will need Jesus.

It’s the main reason that we took the decision to relaunch The Vine as a Community Base rather than a trading café. We know that this is a moment where God will use whatever we offer to him as a way of blessing others around us. We don’t know what it will cost us, and we don’t know if we have everything we need, and we don’t know how we will manage because some of us will be facing the same issues. But we know that we have to offer what we can.

We want you to be part of the journey with us. If you want to be involved and sense what God might be getting your attention about, then talk to Ian or Neil about it.

We want to hear what the Spirit might be saying to us all.

And practically:

Donations for Food Parcels

As we plan for a new season of mission in The Vine, we are hoping to offer some food parcels and need non-perishable foods (Tinned tomatoes, tuna, soup, sardines, pasta, tinned peas, beans, etc.) in order to do so. 

If you are able to donate items with a decent shelf life (at least until the end of this year), then please contact Ian. 

Also, if you have some free time to volunteer through the week or have other missional ideas, let Ian know.


One of the things I have loved doing over the past 4 months is filming the interviews with people in church. And they will continue, but we will have a break in August. I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out more about the people who are in your church. If you would be willing to be interviewed in the future, please contact Neil.


1. Our Gatherings

Sunday gathering  

The link to this Sunday’s Gathering is here:

Meeting ID: 836 810 848 

Midweek Gatherings

This week we have chance to meet twice:

On Thursday at 7.45-9.00 Home Groups

If you still haven’t joined up yet, then let Neil know – you will be really welcome.

The link is here:

On Friday 10.30-12.00 there is a prayer meeting that doesn’t need Zoom! We use Whatsapp and it works great. If you want more information contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.

2. Prayer Ministry on Sundays

Over the past few months we have trialled a virtual prayer room via Zoom every Wednesday with the aim of offering a space for people to be prayed with. 

We have decided to try moving it to Sunday’s from September to coincide with our services on Zoom. There will be a few of the prayer team available in breakout rooms immediately after each service to pray with anyone who has need, just as we would do if we were meeting in the church building. 

You can either let Ian know in advance or just wait around after the service. 

If you have prayer requests but don’t want to be prayed with, you can also let Ian know and the prayer team will use that time to pray on your behalf.  

3. There’s no ‘Virtual Coffee Morning’ this week

If in doubt

All the links to the meetings are in Church Suite and on the ‘Calendar’ section of our church website:

4. You’re not alone

If you need help and don’t know where to turn, you are always welcome to contact Neil on 07771 558058

Links and Resources

1. A challenge to everyone:

Did you see Morag’s challenge? If not – have a go…

2. When you pray with your children you are teaching them how to pray

This a good article encouraging you to do it! And explaining why it’s a really important part of your work as a parent.

3. Reading along with an author

One of the books that has been really popular this year is ‘The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry’ by John Mark Cormer. It’s a good book that offers both help and provokes thinking. It’s a non-technical book that’s easy to get into.

To accompany the book is a new venture. Starting on 21st of September for 6 weeks we will be releasing weekly exclusive content by John Mark Comer to enhance your reading experience.  Each week you will receive access to an exclusive video, reading plan and discussion questions for you to use as an individual, a small group or a whole Church. You can find out more and sign up for the experience here.

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