Asian Spring Food Festival

 

Foodies are being invited to tuck into delicious curry dishes and entertainment at a new mini festival.
In addition to homegrown recipes the Asian Spring Food Festival, in Walsall, will feature tasting sessions and a competition with a £50 cash prize for the person who impresses the crowd the most.
The fun event on May 25 is being held at Green Lane Baptist Church as part of a fundraising drive towards its kitchen revamp project.
Attractions include performances, tasting sessions and a guess the weight of the cake competition at the venue which is the home of the town’s Mend-It community project.
Doors open at 1pm and admission is free. Refreshments will be on sale.
The competition, for which it will not be compulsory to eat more than one meal, will start at 2.15pm and will see diners invited to tuck into chicken curry, rice and naan bread at a cost of £5 per entrant. The person who impresses the crowd the most will be presented with £50.
Food festival organiser Robert Silvera says: “It’s a bit of fun towards efforts to improve the catering facilities as we do host community events here where meals are provided.
“We’re looking forward to seeing people as possible come into taste the dishes and to pick up some recipes.
“And if you love your chicken curry, come and take part in the competition.”
Members of the public can also support the cause by sharing their own recipes. These will be put on special cards to be sold in aid of the fundraising effort.
Recipes should be delivered to the church, in Burrowes Street, or emailed to robertsilvera3@gmail.com by May 22.
There are plans to carry out kitchen improvements at the worship centre which hosts popular cooking, sewing and English classes, a summer fun day and a Christmas Day dinner for residents.

Green Lane Baptist Church
Burrowes Street, Walsall
01922 625821

Press Release – Pop-Up Restaurant

Dishes from around the world will be served when a new pop-up restaurant opens its doors in Walsall.

Aspiring cooks who shared their culinary skills at Walsall community project Mend-It at special cultural cooking sessions, are now inviting paying customers to dinner.

The project is running three temporary restaurant nights at Green Lane Baptist Church to give enterprising participants a chance to shine.

This Friday (20) the first pop-up restaurant will serve up a Nigerian feast along with entertainment. To book places visit the website https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mend-it-pop-up-restaurant-tickets-44308687477?aff=es2

The cost is £6 per person.

Kayon Blake, of Mend-It, said: “Following the success of Cultural Cooking – a regular event sponsored by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Active Citizens Fund,  which uses the proceeds of crime to make communities safer and cohesive, we are excited and delighted to invite you to come and experience a cultural explosion of food and entertainment.

“Three of our fantastic home cooks featured at Cultural Cooking have decided to launch start their own catering business with the support Mend-It, GLBC and local businesses.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for us to support local people within our community to showcase their talents in food and music. Everyone is welcome.”

All meals are priced at £ 6.00. Please do reserve your place early to help us plan accordingly. Come experience deliciously authentic cuisine, culture, food, lmusic and entertainment from a different culture each month.”

Non-alcoholic drinks, homemade cakes, tea and coffee will be available on sale. There is also free parking.

The restaurant will be open from 5pm to 8.30pm on Friday, May 18 for Indian and vegan food and on June 15 Caribbean food will be served.

SURPRISE INVITATION TO 10 DOWNING STREET

 
A tireless project worker at a Walsall church centre that provides education and skills training sessions for residents was treated to a surprise trip to 10 Downing Street, to a reception hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron for voluntary groups.

The Visit

Kayon Blake, the fundraising and community manager at the town’s Mend-It community initiative, had the shock of her life when the last minute invitation from the Cabinet Office landed in her email inbox giving just 24 hours’ notice. She was invited after the project was nominated by an unknown supporter to attend the VIP gathering in London in March. Mend-It, based at Green Lane Baptist Church, operates four days a week offering English classes to foreign language speakers, sewing and handicraft workshops, tea and chat drop-in, free bread and keep fit sessions plus card making worKshops monthly. It attracts around 100 visits per week. Mrs Blake said: ” My eyes did a double take and my mouth fell open when I read the emailed invitation. I couldn’t believe it. Initially I thought it was a prank and then a million questions raced through my mind. Chief among them was, why was I chosen? In that moment I heard a voice in my head say, ‘why not you!’ “I telephoned Number 10 twice to make sure it wasn’t a wind up. Then as there was so many last minute arrangements to make that another church member and session volunteer Natalie Walker booked and downloaded my train ticket. “As I approached the gate at Downing Street a sense of nervous excitement welled up inside me. ‘Hello’ said the police officer at the gate. I replied, ‘Hi, Dave’s expecting me,’ trying to act and sound cool as I handed him my invitation. After producing that and my ID I went through the security checkpoint and the door to Number 10 opened. I was ushered up three flights of stairs into a large room that was already teeming with pastors, priests, other charity personnel and grant funders. Mr Cameron gave a speech about how Britain was a Christian country and that he was proud to be a part of it with its Christian values that respects and is tolerant of other cultures and communities. It made me think of Mend-It, as respect and tolerance are our core values and people from all cultures are welcome and encouraged to grow and form friendships.” “I didn’t get to speak to him because there was such a great clamour of folks surrounding him. But it was a great experience for someone like me. Downing Street was the last place I was expecting to get an invitation to. It was a very big shock and a big surprise for me and the church. It was an honour for Mend-It to be recognised in this way.

 Kayon’s Story

I got involved with Mend-It almost two years ago as a centre user at the fabric workshops because I was new to Walsall and I hadn’t made many friends. “Since then I started attending the services at the church, I got baptised by the former minister Rev Bob Morris and when the managers’ job was advertised last summer I applied for it and was eventually offered the position. “I am continually encouraged by this quote from the Bible in Philippians 1 and verse 6 ‘Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.’ I believe that God is not finished with Mend-It, Green Lane Baptist Church and by extension, me. There is still much more work to be done to his glory and activities we would like to introduce if we can attract funding support.” In addition to the weekly sessions there are health information drop-ins, fabric workshops and fun days hosted at the premises in Burrowes Street. Mend-It was set up in 2009 by former minister Mr Morris and his wife Valerie, who spearheaded the activities with the help of volunteers from the church and the community to promote healthy lifestyles and health attitudes in response to figures which showed that the Birchills area is among of the most deprived in the country. Mrs Blake was appointed to run the vital community service in September last year(2015). The service is funded by the church and with the help of grant funding which has included Walsall Area Partnership, Near Neighbours, Healthwatch, Walsall Housing Group, Heart of England Baptist Association. ESOL classes are provided by Walsall Adult and Community College. The doors are open during term time from 9.45am to 3:00pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; keep fit operates Wednesdays and Fridays at 10am.

30 Books Of The Bible

There are 30 books of the Bible in this paragraph. Can you find them?

This is a most remarkable puzzle. It was found by a gentleman in an airplane seat pocket, on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, keeping him occupied for hours. He enjoyed it so much; he passed it on to some friends. One friend from Illinois worked on this while fishing from his john boat. Another friend studied it while playing his banjo. Elaine Taylor, a columnist friend, was so intrigued by it she mentioned it in her weekly newspaper column. Another friend judges the job of solving this puzzle so involving; she brews a cup of tea to help her nerves. There will be some names that are really easy to spot. That’s a fact. Some people, however, will soon find themselves in a jam; especially since the book names are not necessarily capitalized. Truthfully, from answers we get, we are forced to admit it usually takes a minister or scholar to see some of them at the worst. Research has shown that something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have in seeing the books in this paragraph. During a recent fund raising event, which featured this puzzle, the Alpha Delta Phi lemonade booth set a new sales record The local paper, The Chronicle, surveyed over 200 patrons who reported that this puzzle was one of the most difficult they had ever seen. As Daniel Humana humbly puts it, “the books are all right there in plain view hidden from sight.” Those able to find all of them will hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown. One revelation that may help is that books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without there numbers also, keep in mind, that punctuation and spaces in the middle are normal. A chipper attitude will help you compete really well against those who claim to know the answers. Remember, there is no need for a mad exodus, there really are 30 books of the Bible lurking somewhere in this paragraph waiting to be found.

 

Starter For Ten

 

We are familiar with “University Challenge” where if one side answers the first question correctly, they can try three supplementaries and gain further points. Jesus used this method when telling parables. They were not intended to be just “nice stories”. He wanted His listeners to think about them and ponder what they should then do.

For example:

After hearing the story of the Good Samaritan, they may well have come across a tragic situation later in life which forced them to make a decision. Jesus had planted a seed in their minds but their response to the situation would show whether it had grown or withered away. Many of us may have experienced something similar. When we are in church it is easy to say, “Of course I would have acted like the Samaritan!” but on Monday, surrounded by the world’s influence it is often harder to do so.

At the end of this parable, Jesus actually said to the inquirer “Go and do thou likewise” but even where He does not use these words. His challenge is the same. When the Prodigal Son reached home, his father laid on a great feast for him that day but how did the son respond in later days? Did he show real repentance by the way he then lived? How did the elder brother respond? Did he still resent him or was there a reconciliation? The story does not tell us but the real test of the homecoming lay after the feast had ended.

In the same way, some of Jesus’ shorter parables tantalise us not just by their meaning but in their challenge. The mustard seed describes the tremendous growth of the kingdom of God but how much are we contributing to it? The parable of the dough (leaven) describes how the Gospel is meant to change people. How much difference can we see in our lives? These are all starters. We should ask ourselves what they are leading up to.

Fred Stainthorpe

 

A Baptist Minister

A Baptist Minister, A Methodist Minister and a Church of England Vicar went fishing one day.

They patiently sat on the riverbank waiting for a bite. After a few hours the Baptist Minister stood up and said, ‘I don’t think we’ll get anywhere here so I’m going to cross the river and try upstream’. The Church of England Vicar pointed out that the nearest bridge was three miles away. ‘No problem’ said the Baptist who knelt down, prayed for a few seconds and then walked across the water.

The Methodist Minister started to pack away his fishing rod and shouted to the Baptist to wait for him. He knelt down and said a quick prayer and walked across the river to join the Baptist. The Church of England Vicar thought to himself, ‘If they can do that so can I’. ‘Wait for me!’ he shouted, ‘there’s no point in me staying here on my own’. The Vicar knelt down and said a prayer, stood up and walked to the riverbank, took one step out into the river then vanished beneath the surface.

On the other side the Baptist turned to the Methodist and said ‘Do you think we should have told him about the stepping stones?’

How well do we work together with other churches and other Christians in our community? How much do we relate to other Christians in the area as we seek to proclaim the good news of the gospel and to demonstrate God’s overwhelming love? Can we work better and more effectively together than apart?

 

The Spirit gives life

I sometimes find it hard to believe how quickly the months change and the years fly by.

I must be getting old!

Age does funny things to you. Time does appear to go faster as you get older. How many of us remember the “long summer holidays” of our school years? And now those six weeks, like every six weeks, appear to pass in a flash.

On the other hand, for some in their older years, time drags. This is especially so for those who live alone with only occasional visitors or phone calls. Or when that hospital appointment or operation has been delayed again and the pain or discomfort is getting too much to bear.

Time is indeed a strange thing. Dragging in some circumstances and flying by in others. It would appear that God shares something of this experience, but on a grander scale. “For the Lord one day is the same as a thousand years, and a thousand years is the same as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)

Indeed, in the Kingdom of God (that is, living under the rule and reign of God), the passage of time is not such an important issue. What counts is how we live in the present, in this particular moment, with all its challenges and opportunities. The future, and the past, are not the things that should dominate our thinking or our actions.

As Jesus taught us, “Do not start worrying: ‘Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?’ ….. Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what He requires of you, and He will provide you with all these other things. So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own.” (Matthew 6:31-34)

Similarly, the value of a human life is not to be judged by its length but by its specialness. Each person created in the image of God but reflecting that image through a unique character and set of life circumstances, whether an octogenarian or an infant.

We celebrate Whit Sunday, remembering when the Holy Spirit overwhelmed the first disciples of Jesus and changed them from uncertain witnesses of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus into bold proclaimers of the divine nature and vital saving work of Jesus.

It is the presence of this Spirit which can transform the life of any person, of what ever age, and draw them into a deep and effective relationship with God. As Peter said, quoting God’s words through the prophet Joel, “I will pour out my Spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message; your young men will see visions, and your old men will have dreams. Yes, even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will proclaim my message.” (Acts 2:17-18)

My life and priorities have not been the same since that first day God’s Spirit overwhelmed me and I’m glad that it was not a one off experience but that every day, whatever my age, His Spirit is there to guide, inspire and empower me.

May this be true for us all, so that each day, at whatever age, we are responding to the presence of God’s Spirit, receiving inspiring visions and boldly demonstrating and proclaiming the life-transforming message of Jesus.

Yours in Him

Bob

 

Movie Church

Watching films is a major part of the life of many people – not just the “Big Screen” experience of going to the cinema, but the night-by-night viewing of films on tv or DVD, the down-loading of films to PCs, smartphones and portable media players, and the daytime re-runs of old black and white Hollywood classics.

Although some films are completely fanciful, many deal with real life issues, reflecting the way things are in life, or the way things might be and how different people approach those issues. Even films with other-worldly storylines explore themes which are very relevant in our world. Films can therefore affect the way we approach life, and can affect the way we think other people approach life.

“Movie Church” provides an opportunity to view a recently produced film and spend a bit of time exploring the themes and issues and asking what impact it has on us, how it might affect our way of thinking and living.

Every film producer and film director has a reason for producing a film and is wanting to influence the viewer in some way. We want to give people the opportunity to explore this. We want to help people ask the questions: What story is this director trying to tell? In what way is he or she trying to influence me? Do I want to be influenced in that way? Does God have something to say on this matter?

“Movie Church” is usually on the first Sunday of each month. Take a look at the Church Diary to check when the next one will be.

Everyone is welcome, although age restrictions may apply for certain films.

(Due to the conditions in our license we are not able to advertise the title beyond our own membership.)

 

L Before G

Although the New Testament letters appear after the Gospels in the NT, they were written well before them. We can date them by various means and the earliest probably appeared about 50 AD. By reading them, we can gain a good idea of the life of the early Christians, their successes, failures and problems and can learn much from them. We can see that they faced problems very much like ours.

Some like Romans were written to explain the Christian faith systematically. Others were written in response to questions that some early Christians asked the apostles. Yet others were fighting letters, sent to help Christians who were in danger of drifting from their faith. Every letter has its own particular message.

Briefly, we might say that the New Testament letters were intended to teach young Christians what to believe and how to behave. Some of them were Jewish and needed to learn that God does not save us because of what we have done, but because of what His Son has done. Others were Gentiles and had been brought up believing in many gods. They needed to learn that God is One. Jewish believers needed to learn that God’s grace did not mean that they could live as they liked but that love was the fulfilment of all the Old Testament laws. Gentile believers needed to know that the one God, unlike pagan gods, was righteous and wanted His people to live holy lives. So the NT letters meet different people’s needs.

Romans and Ephesians are the most systematic NT letters. Paul’s mind was very orderly and in these letters he explains what God has done. The death of Christ on the Cross makes it possible for God to forgive us. The resurrection of Jesus vindicated Him and brought new life into the world, which all believers can share. This means that they must live new lives according to the power which God has given them in the Holy Spirit.

The 2 Thessalonian letters, Philippians and Philemon are the most personal of Paul’s letters. He writes to young Christians , expressing his love for them and urging them to live lives worthy of their Lord.

Galatians and Colossians are “fighting” letters. Paul is trying to help young Christians who were in danger of moving away from their faith. The Galatian Christians were being taught by others that, having taken the first step by believing in Jesus, they needed to follow all the Jewish Law to become perfect Christians. The Colossian believers were being taught that Jesus was not the only Mediator between man and God and that they needed to be inducted into certain practices and secrets which only a few (called Gnostics, which means “knowledge”) could attain. In both these letters, Paul insists that we are saved by Jesus alone and by faith in Him alone.

The Corinthian letters are somewhat different. They deal largely with the questions which the Corinthian church put to Paul or the problems they were experiencing about which he had heard. The list in 1 Corinthians is surprisingly modern-divisions in the church, sexual immorality, Christians going to secular law courts to settle their internal disputes, idolatry, the role of spiritual gifts and the fact or otherwise of the Resurrection of Jesus. Christian truth comes out in all the answers he gives. 2 Corinthians also deals with forgiveness, the authority of apostles, and generosity in giving.

The other NT letters, by James, John, Peter and Jude are much less systematic, showing that every writer had his own style. They deal with general pastoral matters. Finally, Paul wrote some personal letters to Timothy and Titus, giving them advice on Christian leadership.

Although these letters were written a long time ago, as we go through them carefully, we can transpose them into our own age and find help in our Christian lives. They are worth reading!