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Documents for Ukrainian Refugees and Hosts

Please find our library of documents and resources for Ukrainian refugees and hosts below. We hope these resources will be useful. For more information please contact:

Coretta Vogelberg at coretta.vogelberg@gmail.com

Mental Health First Aider

At BGBC we are considering establishing Mental Health First Aider roles within our Church Community. West Kent Mind can provide the two-day training for this Nationally recognised course. If you are interested in taking on such a role or would like to attend the course for your own personal and professional development, please contact Angela Painter (Deacon for Social Action) on 07842194108 or email: angelapainter01@gmail.com by May 20th.

Youth, Children’s and Students’ Newsletter March 2022

Hi everyone! I love sitting down to write these newsletters- it’s a great chance to reflect on whats been happening in the life of the Church over the past few months.

Youth Groups

Over the Christmas period we took both of our groups out for a festive meal…well, Pizza express but it was great! Our older group also had a fire pit evening at one of the young people’s homes. These social events are so important in the lives of young people- they offer great opportunities to form happy memories, deepen and strengthen relationships as well as playing a vital role in the general wellbeing of our youth.

This term at both of our groups we have been exploring topics around peer pressure, puberty, healthy relationships and a look into the teenage brain (no teenage brains were harmed in this). As well as the topics we look at each week, we play lots of silly games, including a new game which I have coined as “The FOAM BATTON OF DOOM”. We have also been in the kitchen recently, flipping some pancakes. Despite their best efforts
none were flipped high enough to get stuck on the ceiling! We are looking forward to our summer festival which is starting to take shape. Lots of our current group haven’t experienced a summer festival due to Covid, so I’m really excited for them to have this opportunity.

Children
Powerhouse this term has seen us looking at King David. We have welcomed some new children into the group and I’m sure those of you in the chapel can hear the fun we have on a Sunday morning! Baby Plus continues to be a popular group for local parents to come along to. Sarah Potter and the team do an amazing job at building relationships with the parents and carers who come along with their little ones. There are always some amazing crafts to take part in
and we love the joyful noise of children singing along with Jane when she leads the music slot.


Schools
I love schools work! The past few months have been a busy time in school. Myself and Andy have lead assemblies at Amherst and Riverhead and the girls’ football club continues to run on a Thursday afternoon. In February I had the privilege of helping to facilitate the prayer space at Trinity School which ran over 8 days. Over that time we welcomed over 1000 students into the space which focused on the Peace of God. It was an extremely powerful and moving experience for us as the helpers and more importantly the students who attended. Anna Graham and the chaplaincy team at the school are fantastic and the love and devotion they show to the students is inspiring. I have recently started leading the Year 8 Christian Union at Trinity School on a Wednesday lunchtime, which is a space for
the students to reflect, learn and think about practical discipleship.


Students
Sadly, our Christmas meeting for our students got derailed by Covid but it was lovely to see some of the group at various points over the Christmas break. We have lots of first year students who seem to be settling in well into
Uni/College life. Recently one our students joined our youth groups via zoom to share their testimony, it’s so important for our younger groups to be able see how faith is lived out in this sort of environment.


Prayer Points
• I know lots of our young people are feeling anxious about the state of the world right now, especially with the war in Ukraine. Please pray that they know how to navigate through this complex time and that they can experience the peace found in drawing close to God.


• Pray for all the students who experienced the prayer space at Trinity School. Pray that this wouldn’t be a one-time experience for them, that they may start to ask questions about faith and want to explore this more.


• A prayer of thanks for the amazing volunteers who give of their time and energy to bless our young people. The skill, kindness, devotion and knowledge they bring to our groups is phenomenal, we are so blessed as a Church to have an amazing team.


Short Thought
During the February half term, I had the privilege of being the guest speaker at my friend’s youth group’s weekend away. The theme for the weekend was Identity. During one of the sessions I shared this story that I had come across many years ago. A professor stood before her philosophy class and had some items in front of her. When the class began, she wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. She then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and
poured them into the jar. She shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. She then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. She asked once more if the jar was full… The
students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. ‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car… The sand is everything else—-the small stuff. ‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ she continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children.
Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.


Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand. One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.


Josh Amott- Youth, Children’s and Student Worker

Ukraine Appeal

As a church we feel the need to respond to the crisis in Ukraine in the best way we can, through prayer and financial support for those affected and those working on the front line.

There are lots of organisations running appeals and many of you may have already donated. We have decided to support the appeal of the European Baptist Federation as they are supporting Baptist churches in the region who are working directly with refugees from Ukraine.

Please follow this link to find out more about the work they are doing

If you feel this is something you are in a position to do then please send your donation to the BGBC bank account (sort code: 60-19-02; account no: 71570594) with the payment reference “Ukraine”. Or, you can give through our website using this link bgbc.co.uk/give and choose ‘Ukraine Appeal’ under Fund.

EVERY DONATION RECEIVED BY TUESDAY 15TH MARCH WILL BE MATCHED, SO YOUR GIFT WILL BE WORTH TWICE AS MUCH. 

If you are a UK taxpayer and you haven’t in the past completed a gift aid form for us then please complete and return the one attached.

Neil Hudson

Treasurer

For the latest updates from the EBF please visit www.ebf.org/post/ukraine-situation-report

Pray for Ukraine

Candlelit Vigil

Monday 7th March, 7-8 pm

The Green at Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent

Free Parking at Riverhead Infants school

(please bring a torch!)

Christmas 2021

A Time to Remember

5th December 5pm
A service of reflection for all those who have lost loved ones in the last 2 years.

Powerhouse Nativity

12th December 10am

Carols by Candlelight

19th December 4.30pm & 6.30pm
This year we are holding two carol services, the first at 4.30pm will have an emphasis on families, including activities for younger age children. Both services will be followed by refreshments.

Booking essential, please use the buttons below to book

Christmas Day Celebration

25th December 10am
Children, please bring a present to show us.

26th December – No services

New Year Communion Service

2nd January 10am


Our services will return to normal from the 9th of January. We do hope to see you back in person in 2022. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Youth, Children’s and Students Newsletter November 2021


It’s been a while, actualy it’s been far too long
since I last wrote a Newsletter! I plan to do
these every term going forward to keep you
all updated on the work the Church does with
the young people in our community.


Youth groups
Since starting back in September both our youth groups (Flip Flop’s on Tuesday and Un Baja on Wednesday) have been a place of laughter, fun, learning and a sense of deepening relationships amongst the young people who attend. Both groups are supported by fantastic leaders who give up their evening to come and be a blessing to our young people.


Over the summer with no festivals to go along to we held a youth group hunted event towards the end of the holidays, have you ever watched the channel 4 show Hunted? it’s like a massive wide game that we play across the whole of the Sevenoaks area. We had a great day and was a really nice way to end the holidays. For our younger group at Flip Flop’s we held a weekend at home at the end of July just before schools broke up. We had kids camping out in the Church and we headed out on day trips to Carroty Wood and Bexhill as well as a treasure hunt in town. Graham Marchant kindly let us use one his fields to hold a huge bonfire on our opening night, Graham came and shared his testimony and we had a fantastic time. It was all around a brilliant weekend that I hope will live long in the memory of our young people who could make it.

More recently we took our older group out for an end of term meal in town, we had loads of fun and good conversations. There really is something special that happens when you sit down for a meal with people.

Working with our young people across both these groups continues to be a real source of
joy for me, even if it means sleeping on a cold hard floor! They are kind, funny, thoughtfull,
self aware and quick to encourage and look after others. I’m looking forward to the festive period with our groups, we have a few trips planned and I hope to watch Elf with them at least 3 times!


Children
It was lovely to head downstairs into the back hall and see Baby Plus back in the swing of things in mid-September. Sarah Potter and her team do a fantastic job of running the group which has been so successful for so many years now. Sarah also runs a number of groups for children with ASD, supporting both the children and the parents. Powerhouse started back again in September, it was amazing to see the children again, wow they have grown! We have an amazing team of dedicated leaders who run Powerhouse each week, without them we would not be able to offer anything like this, thank you. Powerhouse are currently learning about Joshua and will soon move onto learning about King David before the Christmas Nativity rehearsals begin!


Schools
I deeply missed schools work over the past year or so, myself Charlie and Andy made video assemblies for the schools during lockdowns but it’s not the same as having 300 children screaming at you at a face to face assembly! Myself and Charlie were able to take our first in person assembly at Amherst a few weeks ago and we have a few more coming up over the next term or so. I have been able to start the Girls football club again at Amherst, we have our first tournament next week! Back in March this year I had the privilege of becoming an Amherst school Governor, it has been a steep learning curve getting used to all the jargon. I’ve been asked to sit on the staff and pupil welfare committee and have taken on the role of Governor with responsibility for R.E within the life of the school.

Students
We are blessed to have such a large and healthy student group at BGBC, just this year we had 8 young people heading of for their first year! We try to meet on Zoom once a term and have in person meetups when they are back for the holidays. A lot of the students who headed off this September were just starting in year 7 when I first started my role, makes me feel super old but a real privilege to have journeyed with them to this point.


Prayer points

  • Please pray for all of our students as
    they continue in their studies,
    especially that if they choose to they
    will find a Church to settle in while
    they’re away.
  • For our young people who have been
    and continue to have life disrupted
    due to necessary Covid isolation
    periods. Pray that in the confusion
    and disruption they will know the
    peace and comfort of God.
  • For our youth groups, that they will
    continue to be a place where our
    young people feel like they belong
    and are loved. For them to know
    God’s love for them in what can often
    be turbulent teenage years.

Please pray for our leaders across all
our youth and children’s work, we give thanks that we are so blessed to have so many amazing leaders who serve our young people. Please pray that they will know how much they’re often unseen work is valued.


Short thought
I was at the Valley at the weekend watching the mighty Charlton finally win a game! I was chatting to the bloke next to me, he said it was his first time back since the pandemic started, “I’ve missed it so much, it’s like coming home” You get a real sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself when you support a team. As a young person
myself I had the same feeling when I attended youth groups at BGBC, it’s so important growing up to feel like you are a part of something bigger than just yourself, it’s a huge part of how we form our identity and vital to our growth. It’s my hope and prayer that at BGBC our young people feel the same way I did when I was growing up here.

Josh Amott- Youth, Children’s and Student
worker

Summer Services 2021

A reminder of the details of our summer services this year. We are planning for a full return to the new normal from the 5th of September.

In Our Darkest Night


The Evangelism Team would like to challenge all the ladies to watch the virtual breakfast with Hettie Brittz (if you haven’t yet) and then do three things starting with the letter P:

– Pass the link on to a friend  – https://youtu.be/pC8w2gGAy2w

– Pray for that friend

– Put the kettle on (which of course means – follow up with a conversation and a coffee, or even just a whatsapp)

Hettie Brittz’s testimony is chock-full of first hand experiences of the goodness of God. It continues to be a powerful reminder of Christ’s presence, even in our darkest moments and shows how His grace and forgiveness stretch so much further than we can ever imagine. I’ve found that sharing Hettie’s story with a friend can open the door to a deeper conversation in which questions about church and forgiveness flow naturally. It may even lead to an opportunity to share our own story with a friend.

Coretta shares: “I really believe God will be touching your heart through Hettie Brittz or her husband’s music. For me, it was just one word that sprang into my own personal story: Fingerprints….and gave me new hope. For me, it was not the miracle, it was just the simple fact that Jesus reminded me of him being with me in the darkest times of my life…and that he is still with me in the (very long) process of healing.

Watch it …and if you were touched, then don’t miss the opportunity to share it with someone you love.”

With warm wishes

Marilie and Coretta

Release International Events in May and June

All Out For God: Take your shoes off – it’s time to go outside!

This Sunday, May 30, Release International has organised a special online event where you can hear from guests who know first-hand what it’s like to suffer persecution for their faith. Sharing a message with us in a Facebook Live event starting at 3pm (also on YouTube) will be Susanna Koh, whose husband, pastor Raymond Koh, was abducted four years ago in Malaysia and who is still missing, and also Release friends Petr Jasek and Helen Berhane. Petr was imprisoned in Sudan, sharing a cell with Islamic State fighters, while Helen spent two years in an Eritrean prison, suffering abuse and torture, simply for proclaiming the gospel. After hearing from our guests, we’ll head outdoors – barefoot! – to pray for our persecuted family. Yes, this year Release is asking you to go outside in your bare feet – to show your solidarity with those who sacrifice so much for the name of Christ. More information and how you can take part is available here:  https://releaseinternational.org/all-out-for-god/

Christians in Parliament and Release International: National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast 2021 Online

Release International would be pleased if you could join them at the 2021 National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast Online, which will be livestreamed on Friday 25 June from 8:00-8:45am. The theme this year is Life Beyond Covid: A Renewed Hope. The main speaker is The Rt Revd Professor NT Wright. The event will include prayers led by parliamentarians, hymns led by special guest singers and the keynote address. Following the breakfast event, Christians in Parliament principle partner Bible Society will be hosting a webinar for church leaders from 10:00-11:00am, titled Re-imagining Mission, and this will be followed by a programme of webinars hosted by partners from 11:00am-3:00pm. Release International will be hosting an online Zoom meeting as part of the webinar programme, entitled Blessed are those who are Persecuted: Hearing Christian Voices from around the World from 1pm to 2pm on that day hosted by the Revd Imtiaz Ashraf. Our special guest partners include Pastor Eric Foley from Voice of the Martyrs Korea, Dr Berhane Asmelash from Release Eritrea and Revd Hassan John, Release partner in Nigeria, who will be sharing about their work with our persecuted family. More information and how you can take part is available here: https://releaseinternational.org/breakfast

Day of the Christian Martyr

Release International is planning a very special online service on June 29th to commemorate the Day of the Christian Martyr. This online event will start at 7.30pm and is expected to run for approximately one hour. Please do join for what promises to be a moving and inspirational evening as we remember those of our Christian family who have paid the ultimate price for following Christ. There will be a special contribution from Release partner Revd Waseem in Pakistan who recently interviewed relatives of the victims of the 2016 Lahore park bomb blast. More information and how you can take part is available here: https://releaseinternational.org/docm/

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