Standing together

On Thursday 25 May a minutes silence was observed outside the Civic Centre in Morden. Gavin was invited to share a few words with those who gathered there.

Minutes silence outside Civic Centre

Thank you all for being here. My name is Rev Gavin Murray, pastor of Morden Baptist Church, apologies for my informal dress, I didn’t have time to get home to change.

As we stand here in Merton, we are symbolically standing with the people of Manchester in their grief, pain and shock. The despicable, deplorable act that brought abject horror to a peaceful and fun concert filled with young people on Monday is beyond our comprehension. May I quote the wise brother and Muslim leader who spoke in Manchester at Tuesday’s vigil, this act has no place in any religion.

It was Martin Luther King Junior who said, “Hatred cannot drive out hatred, only love can do that”. The response in Manchester and indeed all over the country has been incredible. It has been just that. Love over hate. Freedom over fear. Peace over violence. We are so thankful for our country with its brilliant emergency services, security services, and warm public life.

So, we stand together in our common humanity. This day we, as Londoners, and I as a Liverpudlian, count ourselves as Mancunians. Committing ourselves to keep on living by our values, to keep on building communities based on love.

  • We pray for the bereaved families, for their comfort strength and hope.
  • We pray for the 64 injured people, especially the 20 critical ones, and pray for their recovery. For them to be strong and that their determination to live will go on and inspire people 1000 times more powerfully than any act of violence robs us.
  • And we pray for peace, for protection and for an end to such violence, that perpetrators and potential terrorists will be freed from their prison of hate.

Let us now be silent and remember the 22 people murdered on Monday. Let us honour them today, with thanks and prayers for their families.


May we take this opportunity to celebrate our ethnic and religious diversity here in Merton, reassuring our Muslim brothers and sisters in our community of our ongoing love and support in these challenging times, and as we continue to make Morden a better place together.

Church Family Meeting

Our next Church Family Meeting is on Sunday 11 June, following the 10.30 Gathering. This meeting will give an opportunity for feedback on a number of documents including the Church Profile, our policies regarding Safeguarding and Health & Safety – all of which will be made available prior to the meeting.

At the previous meeting the need for more Board members was highlighted, particularly someone who can help with finances. A number of people have proposed Sam Young stand for this role and he is willing to. Also on the agenda will be the re-election of Ruwani Trabelsi to the Leadership Board. Voting will take place regarding both of these proposals.

Below are profiles for both Sam and Ruwani:

Sam Young

I have been coming to MBC since 2011 and became Christian on an Alpha Course. I have been amazed by the powerful transformations that can happen in people’s lives when they accept Jesus and I understand the incredible depth of the meanings of words like forgiveness and saviour. My thoughts about faith before becoming Christian were something along the lines of “it’s fine, but I don’t really need it”, and I came to realise that actually Jesus could not be more relevant to my life. It is this realisation that inspires me to do more to serve others and I would love to see MBC as a real focal point for our community.

I am privileged to be married to Digna and we have two children – Tom aged 12 and 8-year-old Francesca. Family life is wonderful though my passions of travel and sports get less of a look-in as a result! I work as a finance director for an asset manager in London.

Ruwani Trabelsi

I was born in Sri Lanka but was privileged to have grown up in Africa. I worshiped at Catholic churches when I was in Sri Lanka and then went to various Christian churches in Africa. I moved to the UK with my family in 1989 and have been attending MBC since 1994. I was baptised in 1995 at MBC.

I am a mother to two beautiful and talented daughters Ruth (26) and Jasmine (15). I am engaged to a wonderful man, Tharanga, who supports me and loves sharing God’s love with others.

I am a mental health nurse by profession and have been working and supporting people with learning disabilities and mental health needs for the past 23 years. I love my job and thank God that He has blessed me with the skills and passions for this role. I have also qualified as a further education teacher and as it has always been my dream to be able to influence care by sharing my knowledge and experience with others. The Lord has recently blessed me with a new job as a senior trainer.

I am passionate about people and my varied life experiences allow me to connect with people from all walks of life and cultures. I am a Street Pastor and have a heart for connecting and sharing God’s love with the lost and needy on the local streets.

I am fully committed to the vision of disciple making whether it is in interactions with people at the base or out and about in various other expressions of church. I would love to continue to be part of the MBC board in taking forward God’s exciting plans for Morden and beyond and to represent the wider congregation.

Introducing Just-Ice

Gav and Sal are holding an evening to introduce the next chapter of their life, the social enterprise Just-Ice. Come along to Tariro Extra on Sat 10 June @ 7.30, find out what it’s all about and how you can get involved and, of course, taste some ice cream!

Entry is free but you need to get a ticket from Eventbrite.

Green fingers needed

On Saturday 8 April from 9am to 1pm, under the professional guidance of Rachel Stammers, we need help taming the greenery around our building. We need:

  • People to come prepared to chop, cut and trim – please bring gardening tools if you have them
  • Drivers willing to take rubbish to the dump
  • People to make drinks and bacon butties

If you are planning to come please let us know so we have an idea of numbers and what is possible on the day.

Winter Night Shelter 2017

The Night Shelter is now over for another season and we have been part of this amazing scheme that has given a group of very vulnerable people a literally life-transforming chance to move on. Whilst in the 3-month long scheme, they not only receive food and shelter but access to a whole host of other services, health care, help with job applications and pursuing housing.

Many of our guests got jobs during this period and were going to work from the ‘shelter’ each day until such time as they could get into their own accommodation. Of the 31 guests who benefitted over the period it was running, 26 are now housed and progressing with their lives. Please continue to pray for them, life is not always straightforward.

Our guests talked of the care and kindness they received from venue to venue, some had never experienced that before and all were impacted by it in a big way.

So to every volunteer who helped on the shifts and to everyone who donated money, supplies, skills and time, a HUGE thank you, this would not happen without you!

Download a copy of the Night Shelter Annual Report 2016/17

Pastoral care update

Following on from Sunday’s Rebuilding Day, the notes from the meeting, we wanted to make sure everyone knew about the developments in pastoral ministry at MBC. Here are some bullet points to summarise from John’s update on Sunday:

  • After 14 years as administrator and Gav’s PA, Kay Harvey is feeling a very strong call into pastoral ministry. She approached the Board with this sense of call back in Jan 2016. Kay graciously held on while we looked for an Operations Manager, but over Christmas decided to take a step of faith and hand her notice in anyway.
  • We have been well aware of the massive hole left pastorally, by Ellen Wild (our old Associate Minister), and then Ruth, stepping down from coordinating clusters. And now with the Murray’s leaving. These holes have been difficult to deal with and fill.
  • However – we are now very pleased to be in a position where we can announce a new part time post: Leader of Pastoral Ministries. The job description is now available from Barry – barry@faithinmorden.com.
  • We didn’t want to shy away from the obvious issue here, which is that it sounds like it’s a done deal… Kay hands her notice in and Kay will get the new job. It is anything but that – and in many ways – Kay’s desire to follow her calling – and in turn, handing in her notice, means that she, more than anyone has the most to lose. Kay has said that she feels so passionately about this calling for her life that if she’s not successful here, she won’t leave the church(!), but look for an outlet elsewhere to follow God’s clear call on her life.
  • A lot of how this post was shaped was from Kay and Gav’s unique perspective of seeing things from the centre … but we do hope too that others who have a strong desire to build up this faith community will also apply.

Kay has bravely decided to follow God’s call into ministering into people’s lives, in the power of the Holy Spirit and as a church, pastoral ministry is high on the agenda – at a time where we will need to be closer, stronger, more caring, and better equipped to hear God’s voice for our family.

Closing date for applications for this new role is Thursday 30 March. If you are interested in applying please send your CV and a covering letter explaining why you are applying.

Rebuilding Day

Thanks to all who attended all or part of our Rebuilding Day on Sunday 19 March. The day was important and significant as we look to make the next steps on our journey together as a church.

The day started with corporate worship. Thanks to all the musicians who gave their time, not just on the day but in preparing during the week. Paul Harvey then delivered a message based on the prophetic word God gave to Haggai, before outlining how our vision statement has been tweaked (see below) and introducing three core objectives designed to help see our vision become reality.

Vision

Growing Disciple-Makers

Who Transform Morden and Beyond

Following this Ruth Merriman provided feedback on the recent Foundation sessions giving us an overview of the findings. A copy of Ruth’s slides are available to download.

The three core objectives – Growing a vibrant base, Growing people, Growing together in mission – were introduced by different members of the Leadership Board before they led discussion groups around each of these areas. These discussion groups enabled us to explore how these objectives can work out in practice. It was obvious from the discussions that clarification is required on some of the language and terms being used. Over the coming weeks we will be communicating more information that will hopefully bring more clarity on these objectives.

Following lunch all present were invited to participate in an act of unity. Each person was given a small candle and invited to light their candle from a large candle displayed at the front. This symbolic act signified commitment to the vision and to working out the objectives in practice.

If you would like to contribute any feedback on the core objectives please email the Leadership Board at board@faithinmorden.com.

Small Groups

Meeting with a group of Christians regularly to study the bible, help each other apply its teachings and pray for one another, is a great tool for growing and developing your faith.  So if you are not in a Small Group, is God calling you to join one or lead one?  We are especially keen to see small groups emerge insupport of the 10:30 gathering.  If you are in a Cluster, there is already a Small Group for you, so do make every effort to join in this excellent feature of community life.

If you would like to join a group  and/or if you would be interested in finding out more about leading a group please sign up at the Engage Board in the foyer.