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Friends Bulletin Number 1 December 2008


'Launch out into the deep' was the invitation of Christ to Peter and the other frustrated companions, after a long night when they had caught nothing. In life, it is sometimes only when we draw a blank in apparent failure, that we can begin to hear the call of Jesus as God is preparing to do some new thing. For those of us who are always happier when we are in control, it's not easy to turn to God in simple obedience and to respond to his commands which at the outset frequently seem to make little sense - sometimes even apparent nonsense. At Cana of Galilee, Mary said to the servants: 'Do whatever he tells you.' Obedience at such moments, leads to the most surprising and awesome miracles to which our response should always be: 'It is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes.'

In many ways it has been this way with the emergence of SPA over the second half of 2008. Soon Han Choi and I have felt led to offer ourselves for ministry and mission at the Church of the Annunciation, Marble Arch where on Friday lunchtimes the times of Prayer & Praise based on scriptural readings and spiritual songs have taken root. Each Friday, from 1.00-1.30pm for several months now, we have been fed through a time of silent and contemplative, corporate prayer. At the same time I have been helping out on those Sundays when I am not otherwise needed for Confirmations in the diocese at the Sung Eucharist at 11.00 am in the Church of the Annunciation Marble Arch.

The time has now come for both myself and for Soon to make a real commitment to the ministry of SPA as well as for working in the Annunciation. This commitment will enable the church to be open on weekdays throughout the week, as well as affording space for quiet, prayer and reflection to the shoppers and to those who work in the surrounding areas or who live nearby. Reluctantly, Soon is leaving his work as Lay Pastoral Assistant and Verger at Holy Trinity, Sloane Square at the end of December.

The Launch date for this new chapter of ministry is THURSDAY, 15TH January at 7.00 pm. It will take the form of a short service along the lines of the Friday half-hour lunchtime events and will be followed by a simple reception. The following day - Friday, 16th January - after the Christmas and New Year break, we will begin the next series of lunchtime prayer events, which have proved to be so helpful over the past few months.

Please do three things: pray for the ministry & mission of SPA: come along one Friday and see if perhaps this is something for you; tell your friends about this new venture, inviting them to come along with you to the Launch on Thursday, 15th January at 7.00pm and learn more about this new venture in ministry and mission, Perhaps SPA will turn out to be another one of God's many surprises in our day!

Bishop Michael Marshall
The Church of the Annunciation
Bryanston Street
Marble Arch

May I
Know Thee more clearly,
Love Thee more dearly,
Follow Thee more nearly,
Day by day.

Saint Richard of Chichester
The Church of the Annunciation

All Saints Margaret Street

The work of SPA is with the encouragement of the parish priest, the church wardens and PCC of the Annunciation.