United Reformed



1 Cowper

Street, Ipswich IP4 5JD

Web Addr






Ministers: Rev Adam Earle and Rev David Rees Office:
E-mail: Web:
Tel:01473 724961 (Cu rrently not available) secretary@stjohnsurcipswich.org.uk www.stjohnsurcipswich.org.uk
MINISTER’S LETTER Autumnal Change After the early part of autumn this year, when we often enjoyed unseasonable temperatures int o the early 20˚C, autumn actually ar rived overnight i n mid-October, literally. Inst ea d o f overnight temperat ure o f a mild 15˚C or so, the early morning was ar ound 5˚C. As we engage d in the British national p astime o f tal king about the weather, everyone I talked to said t hey had turned o n t he heating, fi na lly. Autumn i s a time of change in the weather, often dramatic change a s storms, h eavy rain and gale force winds head in from the At lantic, interspersed with cold, crisp and sunny days even if the wind i s decidedly chilly. This season of c hange highlights wha t we a ll know, though are often able to ignore, that life moves on. Change sometimes takes place over a period of ye ars - children and grandchildren growing up, our strength or e yes ight or hea ring become less robust. And sometimes change takes place almost over night a n a dvers e diagnosis, the loss of a loved one, an accident that a lters our circumsta nces. In the words of 1 Peter 1:21, “Through [Christ] you have come t o trust i n God, wh o rai sed him from the dea d a nd gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set o n God.” In moments o f uncertainty, our hope isn’t anchored in fl eeting circums tan ces but in th e enduring promise o f a rise n Savio ur. His resurrection illuminate s the dark est corners o f our lives, reminding u s that even in the shadow of despair, li ght fi nds a way t o bre ak thro ugh. It’s a hope that goes beyond wishful thinking— it’s a con fi dent expectation rooted in the faithfulness o f our God. The same God who breathed life into dry bones, who t urne d mour ning into da ncing, and wat ches over us in
the settled times and time of cha llenge. Let’s be aware o f the hope we carry, n ot just in church but into our homes, workplaces, and communities. Our hope is a cont agious force, capable of transfor ming t he ordinary into t he extr aordinary. In the fac e o f challenges, we can be bearers o f hope , spreading it like the autumn rain in a world par che d of th e life-giving wa ters o f encouragement. Whether it’s a simple gesture, a comforting word, o r a shared smile, let’s be conduits of the hope tha t resides in us . As we navigate the c hallenges a nd joys of life, may the hope we carry be e vident i n our words, actions, and th e way we love one another. Let’s be a community tha t ra dia tes hope, inviting others to e xpe rie nce the trans- formative power of a living hope i n Chr ist. Remembe r these words from 1 Peter 1:21: “your faith and hope are set on God.” May this truth anchor us in the storms, guide us in the mundane, and inspire us to live boldly with unwavering ho pe. Revd David Rees
What th  e World Needs What does the world need as we welcom e t he winter months in? It is ironical that within a we ek in November we ce lebrate two events. Which is the most important? On November 5t h we celebrate the Gunpowder Plot o f 1605, when G uy Fawkes and fellow Catholic conspirator s attempted to blow up Parliament and assassinate James I of Engla nd. Why oh why do we do this t radition, routine, a nd remembering he did not succeed. Less than a week later we c elebrat e Remembrance Day. The reason we observe Remembrance Day on Nove mbe r 11th is because hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour o f th e
11th day of the 11t h m ont h" in 191 8. Bu t have t he hostilities really ended world wide. The answer is NO because there is still war in eastern Eur ope, i n Israel / Gaza, Central Africa, Cameroon, Burki na Faso, Benin and other pla ces a s well. What ar e these countries fi ghting for? Democracy, fair government, fr ee dom from dict atorship, enough food, money, work! D o we appreciate what we have - no not really ! A day before Guy Fawkes we have a hym n s ing in the afternoon at St John’s . Let us hope we s ing the hymns with freedom, joy, a nd Holy Spirit as we a re able to do this without any friction or restr ictio n ! What the world needs is the one element o f life which is hard to achie ve, e ven in daily life sometimes - that of PEACE. So it was not unt il 1921 that the poppy became t he symbol of Remembrance. A lady named Anna Guerin fe lt certain that she could arrange for replica poppies to be made back in France and sold in aid of injured veterans and orph ane d children. She came to London that year and persuaded the British Legion to have a poppy appeal o n the 11th November. The poppies of silk o r cotton were made by Fre nch widows and orphans and r aise d £106,000. So please wear a poppy with pride whether it is red, purple or both because the purple one s ta nds for animals who worke d in th e wa rs . The white poppy is a fl o wer us ed a s a symbol o f peace, worn either in pla ce of or in addition to t he red remembrance poppy for Remembranc e Da y or Anzac Day. So please wear a po ppy for remembranc e but also t o show t hat we as Christians must work and st rive for World Peace . The first verse of t he Poppy Field po em is well known but not t he following lines: We are Dead. Short days ago WE lived, felt dawn, saw su n set glow, Loved and wer e lo ved, and now we lie In Flanders Fiel ds. SO as we enter November remember Philippians Cha pter 4 verse 7 God’s Peace which is far beyond human understanding will keep your hearts and min ds safe in union with Ch rist. Amen. Sara
TREASU RER S RE PORT You are thanked for O ff erings in September o f £1,841 and donations to the Communio n Fund in October of £44.70 for the St Elizabeth Hospice. We are also pleased t o report a n excellent tota l for our Harvest Gift Day which amounted to £2,310, to which will be added Gift aid ta x refunds - giving a total o f a round £2,800. As always, we are very gra teful for gener ous a nd continued financial support. Mary A and Richa rd W A volunteer is needed still as Co ordi n ator for Fair Tr ade in St John’ s CHURCH REPR ESE NTATIVE DUTY 4.30PM TO 6.15PM EV ERY THURSDAY Our regular church rep who kindly sits on the church door every week while Rainbows are in the upstairs hall is going t o be away from January t o early May 2024 . We are looking for someone, or several people, who would be willing to cover this duty until she returns. If we could ge t 4 or 5 peo ple t o hel p it wo ul d mean only doing it once a mont h. If you t hink you can help or you would like more information pleas e speak t o me in church or c all me on 719609. Mary A The Church Gardens Plans have been dr awn up t o r epla nt t he front garden but we need your support in being able to achieve this. We need some soil conditioner and some fertiliser . Soil co nditio ner costs £3-95 per 25 litr e ba g and we will nee d most pro bably 10. Da ff odil bulbs are costing about £6.99 per bag and we will need plenty t o make a show as well a s tulip bulbs which c os t a nything from 3.95 for 7. So if you could help us by paying f or a bag it wo uld help us greatly. The shrubs will be small when plant ed but cou ld cost anything from £7.99 up to £ 16 or £17 s o again we will need some help to a chieve t he buying of them. You could always buy in memory of some one. We hope to be able to r epla nt th is by the end of October beginning of November if we can obtain all
the resources. Then we will be looking at bird boxes, so if any o f you can make some it would be lovely. It is our chance to suppor t God’s creatio n and show it t o the loca l c om munity. BENCH As part of the recons tr uction o f t he front ga rden we would lik e t o site a bench o n paving slabs cemented in s o that people a t the bus stop can use it. The bench would be bought from Marm ax who make recycle d pr oduc ts m ade from100% recyc led plastic, maintenanc e fre e a nd does not r ot o r splinter and it comes with a 25 year gua ra nte e. It comes in various colours and ca n be cement ed into the ground. Please help us be able to obtain this with donations. Thank yo u for your help! News of Member s and Frien ds Pauline S Pauline has now moved to the Lodge Residential Home, Copdock, which is directly oppo site the cricket ground. Bible Study Two choices: 1. Our November Zoom Pastora te Bible Stud y will be held on Tuesday 14 th at 10.30 am, sli ghtly late r in the month than you might expect, but this is still the second Tuesday. The lectionary Gospel reading for the following Sunda y whic h we will look a t i s Matthew 25: 14 30, a well known st ory but wit h much for u s to ponder and share. Do join us as we read, listen and chat a nd shar e our under st anding and thoughts. All ar e very welcome . When logging in the meet ing ID is 889 953 6542. If you have no internet you can use your phone by dialling 02034815240 o r 01304601196 and whe n prompted enter the num ber 889 953 6542. Elain e 2. ‘One Hit Wo nder s’ of the Bi ble’ This is in room 4 in St John ’s on the 2 n d an d 1 6 th November. Commun io n Offering I list below the charities you m ay wish to support over the next six m ont hs:- November Embrace the Middle Eas t December Embrace the Middl e East
We are watchin g t he events u nfold in t he Holy Land with horror and heartbreak. Together, we pray for restraint and an end t o the violence . Embrac e the Middle East has launched a Crisis Appeal . Your gift will support Embraces’ Christian partners i n t he immediate aftermat h of this huma nitarian c ris is a nd to help t o heal the wounds it’s caused across Israel and Palestine. We ask that you hold Israel, Gaza and the West Ban k (including Ea st Jerusalem) in your prayer s. January Emmaus Su ff olk February Emmaus Su ff olk March RNLI April RNLI Should you wish t o know more about any of these organisations, their current Newsletters can be fo und in the entr anc e lo bby ma gazine r ac k. Thank you in anticipation of your suppo rt. Val V Eco Ch urch Sadly, we’re no longer able to collect blister pa cks on your behalf. Superdrug, (Bury St Edm und's bra nch where there is an instore pharmacy) still receives them but only 1 carrier bag of blis ter pa cks a t a time, collecte d by a household. So we need to ‘recycle’/make us e of the collec tion bin. Kathleen has suggeste d we c ollect wrappers with the logo RECYCLE AT LARGE SUPERMARKET – Do n’t recycle at ho me. Th e biscuits available after morning worship ar e wrapped in such materia l so please make use of the collection bin available. If you don’t visit a supermarket that o ff ers a recyc ling bin, collect your clean and dry wrappers from hom e a nd bring them along o n a Sunday morning. This includes bread wrappers, some cris p packets, cling fi lm and plastic bags. PLEASE NOTE: Only clean, dry packets, free from food, should be left in th e recycling bin.
Juliette A asked me to share this with you. She does not know who wrote it but it mo re than speaks fo r itself.
John B Edi tor
I Corinthians 13 - a par aph rase If I talk a lot about God and the Bible and Church, but i f I fail to ask about your needs and then help you, I'm simply making a lot o f empty religious noise. If I graduate from s e mina ry a nd know all the answers to q ues tions yo u' ll never thi nk of as king, and if I ha ve al l the degrees t o prove it and if I say I b eliev e in God w ith a ll my hea rt, and s oul and strength, and claim to hav e incredi ble a nswers to my prayers to show it, but if I fail t o take the time to fi nd o ut wher e yo u're a t and what ma kes you laug h and cr y, I'm nothi ng. If I sell an extra car and some of my books to raise money for some poor starving kids somewhere, and if I give my life for God's service and bur n ou t after p ouring ever ything I ha ve i nto the wo rk but do i t a ll witho ut e ver once thinki ng a bou t the p eopl e, the r eal hurti ng people - the mums and dads and sons and daug hters and o rpha ns a nd wi do ws and the l onel y a nd hurti ng - if I pou r my life into the Kingdom b ut for get t o m ake it rel eva nt to those here o n earth, m y energy is was ted, a nd so is my l ife. Here is what love i s like - genuine love. God's kind o f love. It's patient. It ca n wait . It helps others, ev en if they never fi nd o ut who did i t. Love doesn't look for greener pastures or dream of how things could be better if i just got rid of all my current commitments. Love doesn't boast. It doesn't try to buil d itself up to b e something i t isn't. Love doesn't act i n a loose, imm oral w ay. I t does n't seek to take, but it willingly gi ves. Love does n't lose its cool. It doesn't tu rn on and o ff. Love doesn't think a bou t how bad the other pers on is, and certa inly doesn't think of how it could get back at someone. Love is grieved deeply (as God is) over the evil in this world, but it rejoices over truth. Love comes and sits with you when you're feeling down a nd fi nds ou t wha t is w ro ng. It e mp athis es w ith yo u a nd believes in you. Love knows that you'll come through just as God planned, and love sticks right beside you all the way. Love doesn't give up, or quit, o r diminish or g o home. Love keeps o n persevering, even when everything goes wrong and the feelings leave and the other person doesn't seem as special anymore. L ov e succeeds 100 p ercent of the ti me. That, my friend, is what real love is!
Something very large has been creeping through Ipswich on a Sunday Mornin g, and more are coming soon. Fortunately for us Adrian C was u p and ar ound ea rl y enough t o photograph the fi rst one.
Advent and Onwards Singing Group
Do you enjoy singing? St John’s and Castle Hill are looking to get together a group of singer s t o provide some musical items at shared services. Sunda ys 3 rd December a t 14:30 @ St John’ s an d 17 t h December at 18:00 @ Castle Hill. A sign up form for rehearsals is avai labl e in the ve st ibule.
Advent Carol Service 14:3 0 No Morning Service
Thought for the Day
Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican bishop and theologian (1931-2021)
To get in touc h and send con tributi on s to Advance please us e the ema il: advance@stjohnsurcipswich.o rg.uk Please note the deadline for the December Advance is 24 th November
After Service Coffee Rota
Services at St John’s URC are at 10:45 normally Date Ser vic e Lead er(s)
05 Nov 12 Nov
Morni ng Worship Sara Pells
19 No v
Morni ng Worship Rev David Rees
26 No v
Morni ng Worship Rev Pet er Ball
03 Dec
Morni ng Worship and Commun io n Rev John Coo k
Date Coffee Rota Names
05 No v
Jill B and J enn y 12 Nov Lesl ey and Bri an
19 Nov
Gwen and Jil l L
26 Nov Margaret N and Pauline 03 Dec Mau reen an d Jen ny
“If you a r e neutral in situations of injus t ice, you ha ve chosen the si de of the oppre ssor. If an el ephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse a n d you say that you a re neutral, the mouse will not appreciat e your neutrality.”
Morni ng Worship and Communion R ev Jo hn Co ok
10 Dec
10 Dec D orothy and C olin
Date Event
Not es
02 Nov Bible Study Room 4 10:30 04 Nov Hym n Sing 2: 30 pm 16 Nov Bible Study Room 4 10:30 am
03 Dec
Advent Carol Ser vic e
2: 30 pm 10 Dec Commun ion
Instead of 3 rd D ec
17 Dec
Carol Servi ce Castle Hill
6:00 pm
Shoe Box Appeal We will be as king f or do nati on s to supply Shoe Boxes provide d by Link to Hope at around £20 per box. Mo re details during October. The money has to be with them before 5th No vember. Link t o Hope have volunteer s at Worthing HQ who will choose items, pack a shoebox, wrap i t and even put a greetings card i n it on our behalf.
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