2012 is here - the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics ... and  the end of the world on December 21st, according to one interpretation of the ancient  Mayan calendar!
None of us know precisely what the new year will bring but we thank God for many blessings in 2011.  Our 125th Anniversary year was full of activity and opportunity to celebrate God’s faithfulness through the years, and we thank each one of you for the hard work this entailed.  The significant       moments of 2011 will be recorded in two, special editions of the FOCUS magazine. There are still a few copies of the first edition, which covered the year to June, available.  The second instalment is due out at the end of             February.  If you have any items you wish included in the magazine, please let Kathleen have them by February, 17th.  Sue Andrews will be taking over as editor of FOCUS, and we thank our previous editor, Verena Ozanne, for four memorable editions.
At the end of the year, two key members of our leadership team relinquished their positions: Jean Versey as Corps Treasurer and Simon Scott as Corps Youth Secretary.  We owe them a debt of gratitude for all that they have done in the Lord’s service, and we pray the Lord’s continued blessing on them both. 
During 2011 the corps set its sights on ‘feeding the soul’ as together we read selected passages from Genesis to Revelation.  Having read ‘the good news’, we believe that God is now calling us to ‘share the good news’, both in word and deed.  Much of our energies and special initiatives   during 2012 will focus on this goal.  To prepare the ground for all that we will do, we would like to prioritise prayer within the corps programme.  Last Saturday we held a Prayer Ministry Training day at the hall and it was a very special day.
On February 19th, we will have as our special guest Major Nigel Bovey, who comes to speak to us in the Sunday evening meeting about the Mercy Seat (place of prayer).  A few days later we will hold a 24/3 prayer event, co-ordinated by Kirsty Coldwell.  The plan is to have non-stop prayer taking place at the hall from 9am on Thursday, February 23rd, ‘til 9am on Sunday morning, February 26th.  Please make every effort to join with us in prayer at some point during the three days.  Our prayer time will conclude with a corps breakfast at the hall.
If you haven’t already done so, please sign the Corps Commemorative Bible, currently on display on the Holiness Table.  This Bible is not meant purely for decorative purposes and will be placed in the Prayer Room, so that it can be used and read by corps members in the years to come.
Kathleen and I have decided to co-ordinate our Sunday morning preaching with the teaching taking place in the small groups throughout the season of Lent.  We will therefore be using a study entitled: Words from Calvary,
as follows:
1. The Freedom of Forgiveness:   Feb 12th
2. The Hope of Heaven:    Feb 26th
3. Compassionate Care & Comfort:  Mar 4th
4. Forsaken, not Abandoned:   Mar 11th
5. The Divine Thirst:     Mar 25th
6. The Final Consummation    Apr 6th (Good Friday)
Some of you will already know that Anne Hall has taken on the role of Small Groups Co-ordinator.  Last year was a busy year for our small groups, as they shared together in the E100 Bible Reading Challenge.  For 2012, we want to encourage every member of the corps to join a small group.  Please speak to Anne, if you would like details of when the various groups meet, venue, leadership, etc. 

In the past few days we have received approval from Headquarters to proceed with our proposed partnership with Samaritan’s Purse (“SP”) in Belarus.  This is great news!  The partnership will give us the unique opportunity to share experiences, resources and prayer support with another Christian community.  SP’s Partnership Liaison Manager in Minsk will be visiting us soon to introduce himself and tell us more about Belarus and the work that is going on there.  In the meantime, the work of fundraising can begin here.  Those attending our Thursday morning           coffee will have noticed an increase in our prices.  This is          in aid of a good cause - half of the proceeds from coffee mornings will go to support our work in Belarus and half will go to support our community work locally.

It is wonderful to see our corps growing numerically and individual members maturing spiritually.  We praise God and thank him that he is at work within our fellowship.  To help Kathleen and I in our pastoral care of both new and long-standing members of the corps, we have expanded our Pastoral Care Council (“PCC”).  Members now include: 
Arthur Parker, John Cates, John Ranner, Christopher Poffley, Grahame Hall, John Pilborough, Maureen Cates, Shirley Hinds, Jean Versey, John Ellitson, Louise Brown, Maggie Cheadle,   Jo Emmerson, Mike Scott, Matt Girling and Lisa King.   

The PCC will meet monthly with Kathleen and I to pray for members of the corps and arrange visits, as appropriate. 

Forthcoming dates you might like to put in your diary:

Saturday, March 3rd: Divisional Youth Band Reunion

Saturday, March 11th: Children’s Music Day and Festival

Sunday, April 1st: Divisional Celebration at the Apex Theatre in Bury St Edmunds
The invited speakers for this special event are Commissioners Barry and Sue Swanson.  We will  be arranging a bus to transport corps folk to the event.  Please check the corps noticeboard for further information.

You will also find on the noticeboards sign-up sheets for the Thursday and Sunday morning coffee rotas, as well as the Youth Fellowship rota.  We invite you to sign your name to at least one of these rotas, as we desperately need your help!

We seem to have had something of a ‘baby boom’ in recent years, and we have decided to once again provide a crèche facility during the Sunday morning meeting.  If you require details, please speak to Dawn Wright who will be organising a rota.

2012 is going to be a good year, as we share the good news and become good news to our community.  Believe it! Think big!  Make it happen!

Yours in His service


The Salvation Army

Felixstowe Corps
Cobbold Road
IP11 7EL
Tel: 01394 276502

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 10:6

Blessings are on the head of the upright, but the face of sinners will be covered with sorrow.

Focus Magazine

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