We had a Day of Prayer on the 30th of January. Some folks shared their Day of Prayer experience. Here are the reflections of Joan Brown about FELLOWSHIP.

As I near my three score years and 10, I realise that I have spent almost half my life as a member of the St Stephen’s family. Over these years I have had the privilege to know and share fellowship with so many devout people who were/are shining examples of witnesses to God’s love and instruction.

Last year saw nine people die from within our congregation. I will not see them on this earth again, but my life and so many others’ were enhanced by the lessons we learned from them.

The latest death was that of Jean Brown. Our names were so similar, so I often received calls from people thinking we were one and the same person. If only I could be like her!

I think of May Fischbacker whose deep faith never wavered despite the loss of her sight in her later years. May enhanced our Home Group discussions with her quiet wisdom and well-chosen quotes.

“Each of us is gifted differently, and each of us is gifted perfectly. The Holy Spirit in His divine wisdom has given to each of us the precise gift, or gifts that will enable us to function most effectively in the body of Christ.”

This is a quote from the ‘You are Gifted by God’ material that Jacqueline shared with us. It spoke to me. Without Fellowship how else could we function and care for each other and the community we serve?

I had booked two prayer slots which was fortunate because as I considered the fellowship, I personally have experienced I started to recall so many people and events that I ran out of time, but it was a wonderful trip down memory lane. I prayed prayers of gratitude. Thank you, Father, for the people you have placed in my life.

In my second prayer slot I prayed for individuals within our congregation who are unable to join in with Zoom on Sundays. EW, 87 just the other Sunday, and so many others whose names are on our ‘Pastoral List’. These people are contacted by telephone, post or just by a knock on the door (difficult during COVID-19 restrictions). Our fellowship is in our ongoing prayers and Newsletter delivery. Currently we cannot join in worship in our church building, share coffee, news, and precious time together after the service. They are not forgotten, and we can pray for God to bless them.

We also remember that we share Fellowship with people who find their way to our ‘Church on the Corner’. I prayed for AS who had been homeless for so long. He knew he was and is still welcome at St. Stephen’s.  Some of the people who came in to ‘Open Church returned to join with us on a Sunday and found a welcome. We had people who were passing through on their way to other countries, but they joined with us for as long as they could. Thank you, God, that we were able to share Fellowship with them. There will be no strangers in St. Stephen’s, everyone is welcome.

Over the years people came and went but our ‘family’ is strong. New talents emerge as technology advances, services and worship have moved with the times but all of us, those in the past and those still with us all have one thing in common.

We want to go to Heaven, why? Because we want to be with Jesus.

[from Joan Brown]

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