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Joe's Blog

 

Direction of Travel

 Direction

It’s been nearly a year long journey with On The Way and now we have a plan which is to be voted upon on 30th June by representatives of our 32 or so Churches across the Deanery. The Plan is a direction of travel that we hope will set our course and help us move forwards together; so that we are fruitful and sustainable. I believe it is a good plan and I commend it to our five Churches. However, please note that each Church and their Deanery reps are free to vote with their own conscience, and they should be allowed to do so.
 
One thing is for certain, we cannot stay as we are. If we just continue to do what we normally do for our long-standing members, the Church will continue to disconnect from our communities and spiral into further decline. But. if we chose to split our energies between serving our long-standing members and looking outwards to connect with, serve and reach the missing generations in new ways, then there is hope.
 
One thing we don’t want to be doing once the direction of travel is decided, is to have a tug of war.  If we put our energies into trying to resist change at every turn, then we will exhaust ourselves. This reminds me of a picture someone had of the local church as car that had broken down at the roadside and 20 people were trying to push it up an incline to a garage or repair. Sadly, there was no real movement because 7 others were at the front of the car pushing in the exact opposite direction. Let’s agree, once this Plan is decided upon, one way or the other, to set our direction of travel to move forwards together. We cannot simply do what we did 50, 100 or 400 years ago, we also need to do a new thing. Let’s not simply pull in a direction that demands we have a Church which only satisfies our own worship style. Let’s be pioneering in having a clear focus on all ages and backgrounds; not just our own demographic. Then we will move forwards to become a church that resembles an active life-boat station rather than a club just for its current members.
 
Christians are followers of Jesus. The gospel reading this Sunday is from Luke 9, where Jesus sets his course of travel to Jerusalem, even though it upsets those around him. On the journey, he calls several people to ‘follow him’.  One delays and fails to see the urgency of this call. Another is told there is no promise of luxury on this road. There are few certainties and probably lots of change involved. So above all, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
 
Blessings,
 
Joe (Rector)
 

Steering Wheel
Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tyre?

It was Corrie Ten Boom who asked the question

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tyre?”

 
This question is loaded with meaning about the importance of prayer. Prayer is something we are urged to do continually as Paul says: 

"Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit." 1 Thes. 5:17–19.

 
We can pray any time of the day or night, whether we’re walking, kneeling, or washing the dishes. It is not something we lock away in the boot and only fetch out when we have a puncture. Prayer is communing with God and seeking him at every turn of our lives. It’s asking for him to direct us, go with us, protect, and provide for us, often in very specific ways. We should never be so busy that we have no time to pray. The busier we are the more important it is that we do pray. This was the emphasis of Bill Hybel’s wonderful little book on prayer which was expressed in the title: Too busy not to pray

Oswald Chambers clearly believed prayer was the steering wheel of our lives:

“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be ourfirst line of defence. We pray when there's nothing else we can do, 
but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all."

 
The prophet Joel tells us that God sent an army of locusts to devour the crops of his people when they went away from him. But he calls them to return to him with all their hearts. If they do this, he will take pity on them and bless them with grain, new wine, and olive oil (Joel 2: 19). He promises to repay them for the years that the locusts have eaten. Then follows that great promise, which began at Pentecost, that he would pour out his Spirit and rescue any who call on the name of the Lord. We only need to call out, pray and he will feed us, give us new wine, and anoint us afresh with the Holy Spirit.
 
Before beginning a service remember to pray. Before starting a PCC meeting build in a time of prayer. Join a house group or fellowship group and pray for one another. Remember to pray with any who need it during or after a service in our buildings. Let prayer become part of the air that we breathe. Let it shape the direction of our agendas and saturate the unfolding of our plans and those of our Deanery. Pray for the people of the wider parish and ask God to give you his heart for them; because he wants them to know his love and power in their lives. He wants them to ask and receive the Holy Spirit. Let’s purposely decide to make prayer the steering wheel rather than treat it as a spare tyre.
 
Blessings,

Joe

 

            Jubilee 

 

 

We are now, at the time of writing, celebrating our Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. We’re getting extra Bank Holidays and there are enormous amounts of celebratory activities and parties throughout the country and the world. It’s an outpouring of affection for Queen Elizabeth who has served her people well. 

 

 

As Christians, we are aware of the faith of our Queen who acknowledges she serves the King of all Kings. God, as King of all kingdoms, promised his people a jubilee which was a whole year off and where slaves were released and there was a sense of great national celebration and joy. It was a time to start afresh and renew a deep trust in God who watches over us as a gentle shepherd does their flock.

 

 

One commentator said this about the Jubilee mentioned in Leviticus 25

 

The Israelites should remain free from slavery for all time by instituting a Sabbath year every seven years. The Jubilee year – occurring after every seventh Sabbath year, thus, every 50 years – is an economic, cultural, environmental and communal reset.

 

God wants us to consider a spiritual reset that resets our lifestyle and our desire to worship and celebrate him as King of kings and serve others in sharing his love, his rule, and his message of hope that sets people free.

 

Blessings,

 

Joe (Rector)

 

When the Spirit Comes

 

I’ve been intrigued with the words Jesus said to his followers, hours before he was arrested:
I have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now.    (John 16: 12 The message)
 
There was so much he wanted to tell them, but the best teachers know it takes time and it’s best to not try and cram too much into the lessons. Stuff needs to sink in. And you can’t go straight to Calculus before you grasp a knowledge of algebra, trigonometry, and geometry. Jesus could’ve said more as part of his farewell, but he knew that until his followers received the Spirit – it’s not going to make sense. When that happens, then they will get it. The light will come on and they will know God living in them.
 
As we grow, we move from simply constantly craving what we want, for ourselves to then beginning to trust God to meet our needs. We start to consider the needs of others and what Jesus asks us to do. Sometimes we get stuck back at ‘I want’.  We find it hard, in present circumstances to move to a position of ‘I trust’.
 
With hindsight we learn that situations that didn’t make sense at the time, now appear vastly differently as we look back. I can recall times when I was upset by situations as I was going through them. Later, with reflection, I saw something different and understood that God was at work, and he saved me from making a bad choice. My upset turned into thankfulness. Pain and sorrow turned into joy. As the fog of confusion evaporated, I then saw the amazing landscape of God’s care. It made sense that God was working all along to do something far better than we could have imagined.
 
You may look back to when you didn’t get a job, that you went for, and that was upsetting?  A few years later, you realised that it was never the right job for you. You may look back at a time when you were led through a tough situation, because God was more concerned about refining your faith than he was your happiness? We know that our Father loves us so much, that he disciplines us, because he wants us to become the best person we could possibly become. None of us are perfect and yet God uses us all the same.
 
When the Spirit comes and dwells in us, Christ and the Father will come and make their home in us (The Trinity living in us!). When this happens, we start to look at the world and ourselves very differently. We become a new creation, and, after that event, the former things suddenly take on a new perspective. After I was filled with the Spirit, I saw Jesus in a new way in terms of understanding him and personal encountering him. The light came on and I understood how amazing it was to worship God and even spend time with other Christians (weird but true).
 
My heartfelt prayer is that The Holy Spirit does indeed come and fall upon us afresh to ignite deeper faith and trust. The scriptures tell us to go on being filled with the Spirit in a continuous way. Then we begin to grasp the words and calling that Jesus has for each one of us, that we couldn’t handle or even comprehend before. Let’s pray using the words of this song:
 
Holy Spirit You are welcome here, come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your Glory God is what our hearts long for, to be overcome by Your Presence Lord
 
Blessings,
 
 
Joe (Rector)
 

 

Connected 

If we want to think about the reason we exist and why meet together as Christians, then a good place to start is with Jesus’ words in John where he says:

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:8)


Notice the word ‘much’ which implies a good quantity of fruit. The vine is pruned and looked after to grow many of bunches of delicious grapes. Our lives are intended to bear fruit for God, and this not only brings him glory, it also reveals we truly are disciples. This happens as we live or remain in Jesus and are cleansed by his words and deeply connected to him through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. The vine is a picture of Jesus, and we are, as branches, told to stay connected to him. Our authenticity is related to our fruitfulness. It is not essentially about our activity or busyness or even our preferred worship style. Bearing fruit has two implications in the New Testament:
 
Firstly, there’s the sense of our natures being transformed as we grow deeper into Christ as our character is transformed to become more like Jesus. Evidence that this is happening in us is seen in the way we love others and have a sense of joy, peace, and patience. We visibly start to become more gentle, kind, and generous in the way we deal with others. Our level of faithfulness grows, as we stay committed to doing the right thing and as we stay in control of our emotions and temper.
 
Secondly, bearing fruit can also imply the impact we have on others to the effect that they see Christ in our nature and through our words, and so they become his followers too.  It’s very hard to disconnect our inner fruitfulness from that of our calling, to share what we have with others, so they are blessed too.
 
Our world is plagued by polarisation especially in politics and by social media. There is anger and bitterness as parties refuse to listen or respect each other’s differences anymore. People and culture become demonised and so society grows more and more divided. I heard today that our identity often gets confused with our views. So, if someone disagrees with us, we feel it challenges our identity. We need to get back to being able to agree to disagree and yet still be who we are. There is a Christian ethic here taken from Romans 14; where we are called to accept one another despite our differences. And that is essentially what a fruitful follower of Christ can do, because they have made space in their hearts to love those who are vastly different (even annoyingly so) to themselves.
 
A fruitful Church, then, is not going to be a monoculture of middle class spirituality. It will seek to bless the whole parish. It will not simply get stuck in an expression of worship that is no longer relevant to most people. It will reach out in kindness to make space for those who speak a different vocabulary. It will not be content with an approach that holds onto its own preferences but also seeks to be generous to others and find new ways of sharing the love God has for them too.
 
How’s your connection?  The proof we are connected to Jesus is seen both in the transformation of our nature and our love for the outsider, to the extent we sacrifice our own sacred cows so that they have a clear path to knowing Jesus too.
 
Blessings,
 
 
Joe (Rector)
 
 
 

Freeze the fear 

Have any of you been watching Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof on BBC One? It’s gripping TV, where celebrities chose to jump into freezing pools, swim under ice, and face their fears mostly by learning to adapt to extreme cold conditions.  It seems that Wim defies the laws of thermodynamics as he puts the celebrities through their weekly challenges with lots of ‘don’t try this at home’ warnings. This extreme cold therapy is supposed to bring all kinds of physical and mental benefits.

I once tried cold water swimming which was a shock to my system. I won’t forget how cold it was getting in, but I also did get a real sense of well-being afterwards. As the brits say in answer to the question ‘Is the water warm?’ Not, at first but it’s okay once you get in!
 
Probably the greatest fear we must face, is death; especially when we know it is just around the corner. I once met with an elderly lady, her children, and grandchildren to plan her funeral, as she was told that she only had about 2 weeks to live. There were lots of tears and sadness but also a real sense of peace as the Holy Spirit descended upon us.
 
I’m reminded of Jesus battling with his own struggles in the Garden of Gethsemane as he asks his Father if there is any way to take away the cup of suffering that he was about to drink? He had a choice, and for our sakes, he chose the way of the cross. Jesus reminds us that:

whoever does not carry their cross and follow
me cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:27).

 
I’m also reminded of Peter’s challenging words:

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving
you an example, that you should follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21).

 
I don’t like suffering or facing tough situations and I often ask God to spare me from them. But I know that God often calls me to walk through the valley where there are struggles to be faced.  We choose to face the fear of that because we recognise it’s his will and it will bring about his glory. The beauty is that we know it’s often in that situation that God takes us deeper and does something within us that is far more precious than gold. God calls us to the task of spreading the message and love of Christ to those around us, but we are called to face the fear and follow the example of Jesus. What he achieved is breath-taking and changes the spiritual well-being of the nations. We have a part in that amazing outcome if we take up our cross, die to self and daily follow our Master.
 
Blessings,
 
Joe (Rector)
 
    P.S. Put the following date in your diaries for the second ‘On the Way Roadshow’ to be held at
             St Mary’s Callington on Tuesday 24th May 2022 at 1pm.
 
 

Called to Partnership

                                                  Partnership
              

God invites us to partner with him. But this partnership is something of a mystery right from the start. We believe that we hear the Christian message about what Jesus has done for us and then we choose to believe it. And then we become followers. But we’re also told that the Father gives to Jesus his disciples or followers. That God calls them. So on one side of the coin, we have the freedom to choose God yet on the other side we discover he called us to follow. God is at work in our world calling people to follow the Son. But they will not be able to see the son, unless we tell them and show them his love for them through our actions, explanations and retelling of the message which brings life.

 
God is at work in our community and he asks us to ‘partner with him’. As a former Archbishop said we only have to discover ‘what God is doing and join in’. This task, as Paul says this is quite a responsibility and therefore
 ‘we work hard to persuade others’ (2 Cor 5:11).
 
We can choose to keep it all to ourselves and just enjoy our own brand of spirituality, but that is going to lead to us greatly missing out and will lead to our the Church’s decline. God calls us to partnership: to persuade, to courageously ‘tell out’, to explain, to clarify, to help, to love, to meet needs, to discuss and gossip the message about the love of God seen in Jesus. This all has to be done respectfully, gently, graciously and in a relevant way. Not as some negative Bible bashing evangelism has done in the past. The word ‘evangelism’ holds negative connotations for many and the early Christians have a lot to teach us about how we partner with our Father and together as a Church. The Father calls us to follow Jesus and then simply point others to him in love.
 
Let’s partner with our Father in heaven in prayer and ask for a fresh filling of the precious Holy Spirit. That we’ll encounter the risen Jesus and have our hearts warmed and excited enough to run and tell others; or pick up the phone if our running days are over.
 
Blessings,
 
Joe (Rector)
 
 
 

Second call pic
Second Calling

 

This morning I’ve been thinking about Peter’s second calling. He was first called after hearing Jesus speak to the crowd on the shore, whilst Jesus was stood in his fishing boat.  Jesus told him the fishermen to cast their nets and, even though they’d caught nothing all night, they took Jesus’ advice and caught a huge number of fish. Peter realised something of who Jesus was. When Jesus said ‘follow me’ he instantly left his livelihood as a fisherman and off he went on the journey of a lifetime.
 
However, the wheels came off a few years later, when Jesus was arrested, and Peter denied three times that he was a follower ( or a disciple) of Jesus.  We’re told, after the cock crowed three times and then looking at Jesus, he went outside and wept bitterly. A massive sense of failure and brokenness hit him, and he realised, for all his boasts, that he was not as brave as he thought he was. He must have felt his failure very keenly. But the reading for this coming Sunday tells us that Jesus doesn’t give up on us when we let him down (John 21:1-19). Instead, he comes and meets Peter and the others back at their work place trying to catch fish.  Again they’ve caught nothing after a whole night. Jesus, then appears as someone they don’t recognise, and instructs them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. The parallels here, with the first calling of the fishermen some three years earlier, are striking. They also catch a lot fish (a 153 to be exact).
 
Peter, having denied the Lord three times now says he loves him three times. And Jesus doesn’t tell him off and demote him for his failure. Instead, he commissions him to feed his lambs and his sheep and then he says those words that first got into Peter’s soul: ‘follow me’.
 
These events recorded in the gospels are dear to me. My story is one where, a good few years ago, the wheel came off.  I felt my time of feeding lambs and feeding sheep had come to an end (I was even trying to give all my Christian books and commentaries away). But Jesus let me know he hadn’t finished with me yet. He called me a second time; and I know that being here is part of that plan. Jesus goes looking for us wherever we are, he cooks us a meal and he deals with our guilt and shame! He does something miraculous and it has such a pull on the centre of gravity of our being. And then he calls us afresh.
 
Is God calling you afresh to some form of new ministry? He’s not given up on you, even if you’ve given up on yourself. He says: ‘Follow me’.
 
Blessings,
 
Joe (Rector)
 

Walls 

         Wall plus cyclist in red

As we approach Holy week, we consider Jesus riding on a young Donkey in Jerusalem. The crowd celebrate, but Jesus knows another crowd will soon shout ‘crucify’. There is a deeper purpose to his arrival into the capital City of Israel’s faith. The sacrificial system of the Temple had failed to deal with the problem of sin. He arrives to lay down his life and by his sacrifice he would make perfect for ever those who become his children.
 
The letter to the Ephesians says
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one
and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
 
He not only destroys the barrier between us and God, he destroys the dividing wall of hostility that keeps the non-Jewish nations from entering the presence of the living God. He is the only one who can bring about the healing of the nations. I saw this during my time in Northern Ireland. There was a peace wall which was there to stop two heavily divided communities from continually fighting and killing each other. Initially, I thought it was a place where Republicans and Loyalists met to get along with each other. But little did I know it was, at times, a place of extreme hostility.  Jesus removes all walls of hostility when people from opposite communities discover his love and forgiveness, they then begin to cross what were insurmountable barriers because Jesus destroy the barriers between us.
 
I remember the elation many felt when the Berlin wall was literally being torn down by bare hands and a nation divided became one. Oh, that this would happen between Ukraine and Russia! Only the Good News about Jesus has the power to tear down the walls and the strongholds that divide us. We may not agree on a lot of things, we may prefer different things but Jesus has extraordinary power to bring hostile nations together when they see each other as Jesus sees them. He can do this with nations, Communities and Churches. So, let’s pray, using the words of the contemporary worship:
 
Come and tear down the walls I've built up
Every wall I've built up, Every wall I've built up
 
Blessings,
 
Joe (Rector)

And Breathe...... 


It’s not everyday that you get a call from the BBC asking you when a church should be kept in repair and when it should be closed. They wanted to talk about the repair work that was going on at South hill. I’m not sure what the angle is of this report is but there is obviously a concern out there about local church buildings closing.
I do believe wholeheartedly that the Diocese of Truro do want the Church across Cornwall to be both fruitful and sustainable. They are looking for ways forward through what has been an awful time for the whole world. There is an attempt to allow each area (i.e. Deanery) to come up with its own proposals and plans. It’s difficult to please everyone during this creative process and the uncertainty has left some communities reeling.  Knowing the outcome of this process is well above my pay grade. I too, face a degree of uncertainty concerning my own future in all of this. At such times I am reminded of the serenity prayer which says:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage
to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
 
Maybe, this is a testing time and a time to pray as the Shepherd King David prayed:
 
Search me O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
 
David obviously knew what it was to live under a cloud, for he faced the constant threat of attack from his enemies. But he asked God into that anxious heart of his to come fill the space. He also wanted that divine testing to lead him to become a better person, as he continued (in Psalm 139):
 
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
 
This kind of examination of the soul shows up any cracks in our nature. Anxiety, fear often leads to over reactions and David knew he had to keep himself under control during this difficult time. Above all he wanted to walk along that path that is right and true and leads to best kind of behaviours and helps build the richest relationships.
 
I’m afraid that when there is major change looming on the horizon it so easily leads to bad behaviour and we can let the side down. So maybe consider meditating on the serenity prayer or the wise words of David and ask that your anxieties and troubles be known in a deep way by God. Invite God into the middle of all that whirling emotion and anxiety. Ask for a light to come on and for something to fall into place. Then you may discover the path you need to take, that enables you to breathe once more the oxygen of life.
 
 
Joe Lannon (Rector, Callington Cluster)
 
 
 
 
 

 
Glenys
Hello and welcome to our church. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

A Warm Hello

 

Where and When

We are one church in five locations which offer a wide variety of styles of service from vibrant family friendly services to something more contemplative.  We have services starting at 8am, 9am, 10am and 11.15am across the Cluster of five churches.  You can find details of the services and what to expect here.  The calendar not only gives you the place and time but also a description of what you can expect from the service.

What you can be sure of is a warm welcome at whichever church you decide to visit.  Refreshments will be on offer either before or after the service.

images: Services

What about my kids?


Childrens groups at St Mary’s Callington on Sundays are temporarily suspended due to unforeseen circumstances.  However, there will always be an activity for children to do, a place for them in all 11am services and the Tower Room is available for play and fun throughout.

Children

Getting Connected

 

Life Groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our small groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week, some afternoons and some evenings. Check out Small Groups and see if there’s one that you could join, or we can put you in touch with a small group leader who will be more than happy to invite you along to their group.

Get on a Team!

Serving on a team is a greatly way of getting to know people better.  If you want to get involved in the life of the church and to help us make Sundays run smoothly, you can sign up to serve on a team. 

Other Ministries

We also run the following ministries:

  • Men's Ministries
  • Women's Ministries
Get in touch with us to plan your visit
If you would like to come and visit the church beforehand you are more than welcome! Get in touch and we can arrange a time that suits you.
 
Name:
Telephone:
Email Address:
Comments / Questions or anything you would like to say?

Next, we will contact you by email to say hello and help arrange anything necessary for your visit.
 

Leadership 

6C66FEB3-E530-4A76-9807-3B403B   No Photo icon
Rector    Leader 2
Rev Joe Lannon   Leader Intro
 
We hope that whoever you are, you will feel at home at our church.

Best Wishes

Joe and Nikki