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An end of an era for Evangelical Alliance in Wales as Elfed Godding plans to step down

Elfed Godding will step down as national director for Wales and coalitions at the Evangelical Alliance at the end of September to embark on a new phase of ministry. The Evangelical Church in Wales will miss the wisdom and commitment that Elfed has shown to Wales over many years and without whom the Net Cardiff and Net Wales would not exist.    

After a three-year period seeking God's will for the next chapter in his life and service, Elfed announced in May that after 19 years at the organisation, he will stand down to focus on local church leadership and a national ministry which will see him share his wisdom and experience with church leaders across Wales.

As the longest-serving member of the Evangelical Alliance's leadership team, Elfed will leave behind a remarkable legacy, which includes partnering with CARE, Cornerstone Church Swansea and Tearfund to set up Gweini, the government-recognised council for the Christian voluntary sector in Wales.

Another one of the numerous accomplishments of the Evangelical Alliance in Wales under the leadership of Elfed was the launch of the Cymru Institute for Contemporary Christianity (CICC) in 2010, with the backing of several organisations including CARE and the Bible Society. CICC helps Christians in Wales understand their environments and engage biblically with contemporary issues and people.

Elfed commented, "It has been an honour to serve at the Evangelical Alliance with such great people, staff members and volunteers; we have a deep respect for each other. I'll miss sharing valuable insights. I'll also miss the banter, fun and staff conferences. But, as a personal member for more than 30 years, I'll continue to offer the team my support and prayers.

"God's call on my life a long time ago was to serve the nation of Wales through mission, and the Evangelical Alliance has been a means to fulfil this. God has blessed the team in Wales by working through us to create and catalyse indigenous movements and coalitions to make Jesus known in the nation. Now God is moving me into another phase of that call being fulfilled, through the encouragement and mentoring of local church leaders across Wales." 

Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, commented, "For the last 19 years, Elfed has provided inspired leadership to the Evangelical Alliance in Wales. During this time, he has become the respected 'go-to' leader, not just to the evangelical church, but of the wider Christian community within the nation. His wisdom and faithful service have meant many have sought out his council and guidance.

"Personally, I will miss Elfed enormously. He has been a source of tremendous encouragement and support during my time as general director. As he goes, we pray for him and his wife, Jackie, that they will know incredible fruitfulness in their next season of ministry."

Before Elfed joined the Evangelical Alliance in 1999, the Nazarene Theological College alumnus, who holds a Masters Degree in Theology, served as pastor of Carreg Llwyd Church in Oswestry, Shropshire, for 10 years, and Cranleigh Community Church in Bournemouth for eight.

 

Purple Shoot and starting up a Self-Reliant Group

Purple Shoots is an organisation we have featured before on the Net Cardiff and one of the projects there are involved in is the creation of what they call Self-Reliant Groups here is how it works. 

These groups aim to help their members develop skills and confidence in an atmosphere of mutual trust and support, and hopefully to develop income-generating ideas which will help transform their lives.

What does an SRG look like?

They are small groups (5-10 people) who are from a local community and have a similar background and who want to make differences in their lives.

How does an SRG work?

Each group meets regularly and members agree their own aims and common purposes, but they follow the principles of self-help, supporting each other and working together. They save small amounts of money regularly together, and they seek to build on shared interests, or to learn new skills together. Purple Shoots will help the groups get going and will be there to offer help and advice – but the groups will run and grow themselves. If the groups develop a business idea which needs a small loan, Purple Shoots can offer the funds for this.

How do I start an SRG in my community?

  • Believe that people in your community have skills and aspirations
  • Invite at least two people who have aspirations and potential for leadership to chat about starting an SRG
  • Organize a gathering in your community to talk about SRGs
  • Contact Purple Shoots at any time for support and resources

Purple Shoots works closely with Wevolution, a Scottish charity which sets up SRGs in the same way – to see some of their success stories follow this link: www.wevolution.org.uk

Lives Transformed - New "My Story" videos

It has been a while since we have been able to bring you any new stories to the "My Story" Collection but here are two great stories of men both living in Wales who's lives have been transformed by the power of God at work in thier lives. 

Declan  - The Story of a Life Transformed 

Declan was brought up by nuns in an orphanage in Northern Ireland at the heart of the troubles. His life could have turned in many directions but as we see in this video his life as a orphan was to dramatically change as he discovered a Father. 

Will - A Prodigal Comes Home

Will's life is not unlike many who's start with a strong faith but when they hit the teenage years everything changes. Will's story shows that there is hope even for the Prodigal and that Father never looses sight over even the most wandering of sons. 

 

We hope to add some more new stories in the months ahead. 

 

 

 

 

Navigating Your New Normal, Thriving in the Aftermath of Trauma

When the trauma of serious illness, injury or bereavement hits, people's lives are shattered and devastated, according to Author, Coach and Speaker Bamidele Adenipekun.

Her new book is written to help people affected by trauma to transition from mere survival to thriving in the aftermath. It was released worldwide on Amazon and selected bookstores on September 26, 2017.

In the UK alone, stroke is one of the leading causes of disability with 1.2 million survivors, more than half being looked after by family members. There were also 352,000 new cancer cases in 2013[2], says Adenipekun, who is a breast cancer survivor.  "This book is not just for those directly affected but also their loved ones, whose lives are also changed forever as adjustments have to be made with respect to roles and responsibilities."

Navigating Your New Normal takes readers through the impact of breast cancer and loss on all family members as well as provide a practical 7-step framework for them to journey from drudgery to fulfilment in a future that is different to that expected.

No matter how dire current circumstances are, those affected are shown how to strike a balance between dealing with the facts and embracing hope required to create a satisfying life going forward. The importance of being informed but not overwhelmed by grim statistics is stressed by Adenipekun in "Navigating Your New Normal".

"A lifetime of thriving and achievement is indeed possible after a diagnosis of serious illness. It begins with a determination not to settle for arduous living devoid of joy," says Adenipekun.  "I am living proof."

"Navigating Your New Normal" Is available in paperback, Kindle (Amazon.com) and Nook (Barnes and Noble).

About the Author:

Bamidele Adenipekun believes that dreams are like birds that require wings to fly. Often adverse circumstances of life damage the wings of people's dreams. Bamidele's purpose and passion is tending the broken wings of people's dreams so that they can be inspired to soar above their troubles. An author, coach and speaker, she is the founder of Inspired To Soar Ltd which serves people seeking fulfilment in their lives after the devastation caused by the trauma of serious illness, injury or bereavement. She holds a Master's degree in International Development and Human Rights as well as a Certificate in Life Coaching Studies.

She has also built relationships with local charities having previously volunteered for Christian Aid a UK-based development charity. She is currently a volunteer for Breast Cancer Care which is a UK-based charity supporting everyone affected by breast cancer as well as raising awareness in the community.  No stranger to adversity herself, she is a breast cancer and childhood abuse survivor. She is a single mother of a fabulous daughter. Connect at www.inspiredtosoar.co.uk

 

Sports Chaplaincy Wales needs your help...

Globally it is reckoned that Wales is famous for 3 things: 1-  Singing – we are the land of song and our choirs are sought the world over. 2 – Sheep – out numbering the human population by over 3 to 1, you can’t go anywhere in Wales without encountering sheep. 3 – Finally Sport – Wales has a great reputation for playing and delivering sport at the very highest level and very much punch above our weight in the sporting world.

Just think back to the recent Commonwealth Games, we came home with a record medal haul. We are now always very completive on the rugby field and hopes, as ever, run high for the next world cup. Sam Warburton is the most successful Lions captain ever. The Blues won in Europe, the Scarlets nearly won the Pro 14 for the second year running. Geraint Thomas is as good as any cyclist with Gold medals and major event wins. Gareth Bale is one of the best footballers on the planet.  Wales is also a world leader in disability sport again doing incredibly well at many sports with gold medallists everywhere from VI downhill skiing and cycling to disability discuss, shot and javelin, table tennis and so on. Aled Davies is one of the most successful Paralympians ever!

As a nation we love our sport where more than 1 in 3 people are actively involved - playing, coaching etc, volunteering or regular fans. Sport is the biggest connecting community in our land. Given the size of the sporting community how do we as God’s people provide support to it? How do we interact intentionally with the sporting community seeing it as a great opportunity to serve them and be the hands and feet of Jesus and be “salt and light” rather than see sport as our “Sunday competition”?

Many Christians are finding ways of serving God through their sporting communities. One way is through Sports Chaplaincy UK – Wales where we now have 50 chaplains (mainly church ministers but also gifted lay people) working from elite sports down to local club level, in most sports, male and female and in disability sports where we are world leaders in our disability provision. We offer pastoral and spiritual care for everyone! Many visionary churches see the benefit of, as Dr Huw Osgood says, “leaning out” to connect with those around us. As we serve our sports people, clubs etc we can also over time influence them to the gospel. Church being connected to those in sport would help make us relevant to our world today.

Take the recent Commonwealth Games we had 2 of our Welsh sports chaplains serve on the international chaplaincy team. They helped people pastorally – those who needed a shoulder to cry on, share their frustrations with or even their joy. Those who just wanted to chat about life or share some challenges from home. Then spiritually there were daily bible studies and prayer times for athletes and coaches who wanted to join in, or 1-2-1s. A couple of remembrance services were held for athletes where loved ones had died but they couldn’t get home in time. And wonderfully we had the joy of Team Wales accepting a special badged new testament (see pics) which the Gideons produced for us and where 250 were taken by Team Wales and all many promising to read. Some even said they had never had a bible before with some posting their thanks on social media. Some asked for help to read the bible or work through the team prayer that was included. There seems a growing hunger to understand what Christianity is across Wales.

Wow – God is at work in sport in Wales but we need so many more chaplains to help. For example we need 2 chaplains at Carmarthen Town, 4 chaplains with the WRU all-ability rugby teams, powerlifting across Wales, local bowls clubs, rugby league – it’s endless. Can you or gifted Christians in your church help? Watch this short video   https://youtu.be/tTjbdKDdB8I

For more info please email me  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Evangelical Alliance UK make key appointment to equip young adults for mission

The Evangelical Alliance UK has appointed Phil Knox as its first head of mission to young adults as part of its drive to position a passion for Jesus and making Him known at the heart of its mission work. 

Phil joins the Evangelical Alliance following 12 years working for Youth for Christ, where he has most recently been director of church resources. 

Gavin Calver, director of mission at the Evangelical Alliance, commented on the appointment: "I am absolutely delighted that Phil will be joining our team. He brings wonderful experience, great passion and clear expertise in the area of mission to young adults. This is a fantastic appointment for us at the Alliance."

Phil's role will focus on the development and delivery of creative initiatives to engage young adults to serve the church in its mission. This is part of the Evangelical Alliance's ongoing work to catalyse young adults, and give them confidence as Christians, as they navigate challenges in society and changes in the church. 

Gavin added: "I know Phil will be a remarkable force for galvanising young Christian men and women, and their churches, into unity and mission, and will work day in, day out, to make Jesus known." 

Phil said: "It is with great sadness that I move on from Youth for Christ. It is an incredible movement with which I have seen thousands of young lives transformed. But, I am also so excited to be joining the Evangelical Alliance. I am full of hope that the church can relevantly engage a generation of young adults and look forward to playing a part in seeing something amazing happen over the coming years."

Youth for Christ is a member of the Evangelical Alliance and the two organisations will continue to work closely together. This appointment is an opportunity to strengthen an already good relationship.

This Article is taken from Evangelical Alliance Website 

Phil will take up his role for the Evangelical Alliance on 3 September

 

‘Welcome one – Welcome all’ - National Month of Prayer for toddler groups – June 2018

The National Month of Prayer for toddler group ministries will again take place in June. This year’s theme is ‘Welcome one – welcome all’ with Luke 19v1-10 as the keynote scripture. This annual prayer focus encourages churches to pray for the work of their toddler groups as they reach out to serve the needs of families in the local community.

The story of Zacchaeus is a wonderful example of friendship and hospitality – 2 key elements to any toddler group. It involves a little man (lots of little ones at toddler groups) who wanted to be a friend of Jesus. As many groups offer an unconditional warm welcome to families in local communities, the love of Jesus is shared in practical ways. A life-giving experience for so many!

Roy Crowne, Executive Director of HOPE says, ‘During this month, as we pray for parentand toddler groups, let’s get close to the heart of God for children and their families and enable their spiritual wonder, love and trust to be flourishing. It is such a vital ministry within the church that will transform and effect generations to come.”

During the month, various activities are planned: making friendship trees with all the names of the group members on leaves; playdough mats involving making Zacchaeus climb up a tree; inviting people to visit the toddler group and share a cup of tea etc. Raising the profile of this vital ministry is so important and toddler groups up and down the country look forward to this annual event. The National Month of Prayer wants groups, the leaders, the children and their families to be supported in prayer.

‘Toddler groups are a precious gift offered by churches to the wider community. In a place ofwelcome, relationship, play, and care, toddlers and adults are invited to experience something of the character of the living God. In this National Month of Prayer, we pray that toddler groups will provide a space for children and adults to discover more of who they areand encounter the hope and love of Jesus Christ.’ The Rt. Revd. Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester

If you want to know more about Toddler Groups Dip into the ideas, activities and articles on the 1277 Facebook Group: facebook

For further information, please contact: Joanna Gordon, 1277 Core Group and Director of Daniel’s Den: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.777

What is 1277?

In the UK, a child has an average of 1277 days between birth and starting ‘nursery’. 1277 wants to make each of these days count, so in 2009 the1277 Network was formed. It is an ecumenical network, passionate about resourcing and supporting church-based toddler groups and the families whom they serve. It has a website www.1277.org.uk and active Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/1277makethemcount/

 

Church service at the National Eisteddfod this August

The National Eisteddfod of Wales will be in Cardiff, August 2018 and during the Eistedfod there will be a special service on Sunday 5th August. 

The service will be organised by Welsh Churches at the National Eisteddfod and in order to attend the service you will need a special ticket available from the Cytûn website: You need to request your tickets before SATURDAY, 30 June 2018. 

Tickets for attending the Service on Sunday 5thAugust will be available free of charge by contacting Cytûn. You can request tickets by following the link to the application form, which can be found on the main page of the Cytûn website: www.cytun.cymru

If you cannot submit your ticket application on the Cytûn website, you can call 02920 464 204 and we will fill out the form on your behalf.

If you are visiting the Maes, Cytûn will be co-ordinating the Churches Tent at the National Eisteddfod on behalf of Churches Together in Wales. We extend a warm invite to join our worship at 11 a.m. every day, to listen to music, discussions and presentations and to hear more about the work of the churches. There will also be a selection of discussions and presentations taking place at the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff, CF10 5FH a stones throw from the Eisteddfod Maes. A full program will be available on our website and in the Churches Tent (number 141-142). 

Please note the following:

  • Requests for tickets for the Service on 5thAugust 2018 will not be possible after 30th June 2018. 
  • There are a limited number of tickets and so they will be allocated first come first served basis. 
  • The Eisteddfod's day / week ticket will not guarantee access to the Service, a special ticket will be required. 
  • Tickets will be distributed from the Eisteddfod office, not from the Cytûn office. 

Cytûn wishes to thank the churches of the Eisteddfod area, again this year, for their enthusiasm and their co-operation in all the arrangements. 

www.cytun.cymru

http://www.eisteddfod.cymru/

Speak Up - a great resource from Evangelical Alliance

Evangelical Alliance Wales and The Net Cardiff hosted an event this May on the subject of our religious freedom called "Handling Religious Freedom in 21st Century Wales." The key speaker was Simon McCrossan. Much of the basis for his talk came from a great resource called Speak Up is a resource from the Evangelical Alliance and the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship to equip and inspire Christians with confidence and knowledge of the current legal freedoms we have to share our faith. 

The good news of Jesus is something Christians all have a part in sharing. Through our everyday lives – in the local playground, at the bus stop or over a cup of tea – we all have amazing opportunities to introduce people to Jesus.

We won't always be sure how it will be received, but the Christian message must be proclaimed. Romans 10:14 says: "And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" In this country we've got the freedom and privilege of being able to speak up and demonstrate the love of God and the transforming power of Jesus in our communities.

We want to give you confidence to speak up. Sometimes Christians may face hostility or rejection, but we also have many rights and freedoms. This resource aims to equip Christians wishing to share their faith by providing a clearer understanding of the current legal freedoms we have

The 'Talking Jesus' research showed that in the UK one in five non-Christians, after having a conversation with a Christian about Jesus, say that they are open to an encounter with Jesus. This is a huge opportunity. Amid the religious illiteracy, confusion, and attempts by some to 'chill' the atmosphere for the public expression of Christianity in the UK, we hope this resource will provide a clearer picture of the wonderful freedoms we all have to talk about Jesus.

The full resource is available to view online below or download, as is a 16 page summary guide. You can buy copies of the full resource

Bo Bakes - just one example of the great work of Purple Shoots

Many of you will know of the great work done by an organisation called Purples Shoots working out of South Wales. We thought you might like to hear just one of thier good news stories:

The story of BO GRANT

We often think that we don’t shout out enough about our amazing clients who achieve incredible success in the face of often quite terrible circumstances and don’t give up even when they come up against multiple setbacks and rejections. A great example of this is Carolyn Grant – known to all her friends as Bo, now the owner and proprietor of a successful Welsh business based in Swansea called Bo Bakes.

Bo is a lazer clinician and for a number of years owned a salon and cosmetic clinic. The clinic did well but the beauty salon always struggled, although she kept going. In 2012, her son was seriously ill and had to have open heart surgery – she realized in the long hours waiting in hospital that she couldn’t continue with both businesses and be there for her family. She closed the salon and continued with the clinic as her son recovered but then she struggled financially.  She had hit a low point both financially and emotionally, exhausted from everything, and gave up the business.

As she recovered herself, she returned to an old interest in the drinks market, particularly smoothies and milk shakes, and decided to start a new business initially from a trailer going round the festivals in the summer season. She sold equipment from her old business to get the trailer and stock but she needed help with the fees for the first few festivals. Because of her by now poor credit score, no funder would help her – but Purple Shoots was able to offer her a small loan so she could get the business off the ground. She was so successful that the loan, which was repayable over 2 years, was fully repaid in 6 months.

Whilst at the festivals, Bo baked her speciality shortbread to her own recipe and sold that alongside the drinks – it was so well received that this sowed the idea for the expansion of her business into a Welsh baking company. She started to sell to cafes and artisan shops in her local area around Swansea and as demand grew, she had another small loan from Purple Shoots to enable her to set the business up fully with good branding and packaging. She now has a premises and staff. Bo Bakes is producing Bo’s Welsh shortbread and selling it right across the UK – a flagship for Welsh produce as well as a successful business in its own right.  She supplies hundreds of cafes across Wales and England, as well as hotels, restaurants, artisan and tourist shops and her aim is to get it into Harrods and Fortnam and Masons in London, and to export her products around the world. She also makes bespoke items for weddings, baby showers and other events and although shortbread is the main things, the product range is expanding into various other delicious cakes and biscuits. www.bobakes.co.uk

 

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