May Church Link
The Alabaré vision is to ‘enable a fulfilling life’ which is derived from Jesus‘ words in John 10.10 ‘I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly’. The opportunity to explore faith, belief and develop trusting relationships is a vital part of what Alabaré offers our clients, staff and volunteers.
Christian Chaplaincy is integral to life within Alabaré; our Chaplains provide pastoral and spiritual care through discussion and prayer and more recently through our Life Conversations initiative which provide the opportunity for people to reflect on life and move to enrich it in a way that brings further fulfilment. Growing active links with local churches means that people who use our services may increasingly find a place where they can experience welcome and hospitality and find friendship. They may also wish to explore faith. Our current hosting of the Alpha Course for Salisbury service users is also a way in which Christian faith may be explored.
I hope you find stimulation in this edition of Church Link. I would be delighted to explore further with your community how together we might support those within Alabaré to further explore faith.
Alabaré Christian Care & Support
What is Faith
Faith, trust and belief are inextricably linked and are pretty difficult to achieve when you have been let down many times by those who should have loved you and in whom we should have been able to believe in. This is the experience of many who use the services of Alabaré and in fact many of our own lives, if not all! But do we really need to have faith anyway having been already hurt by those in whom we placed our trust? I would argue that a life of disbelief and cynicism, without faith, where we no longer trust God or each other would be pretty empty and formless – much like this world was before the Spirit of God hovered over it.
Genesis 1:1-2 “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters”.
Until the Spirit of God came along that is!
So how can we learn to love and trust again? How can we learn to have faith in the people around us, the ‘system’, our friends and loved ones? In God even? How can we help others to have faith?
How Can We Have Faith?
Perhaps a good start is for us ourselves to start to be able to see the goodness in this world and then to also help those we are working with to see that too. The Greek word translated “goodness,” agathosune, is defined as "uprightness of heart and life." Agathosune is goodness for the benefit of others, not goodness simply for the sake of being virtuous.
Seeing goodness helps to restore or strengthen our faith.Seeing goodness for me was the small boy who gave up his seat without being prompted to an elderly lady on the train I was travelling on recently, and a guest in a hotel I was staying in showing kindness by recognising the needs of a man in a wheelchair, and helping him to a table for breakfast. It is seeing staff and volunteers who work tirelessly for either no or relatively modest wages within Alabaré to give a helping hand to those who have found themselves in difficult circumstances. Hallelujah – so there is goodness in the world after all!
Some might say this restores our faith in humanity. I would prefer to say that it builds my faith in a God who is good and in whose image we are made. Genesis 1:27 says “So God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them”. Psalm 136:1 says “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever”.
1 John 1 says this.
“5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
From the Bible, we can conclude that God is good, and any goodness we possess comes from God – but how? Galatians 5:22-23 reads "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." So we too can exhibit goodness by the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.
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We'd like to say a huge thank you to two remarkable young men who undertook some wonderful fundraising for us, helping to raise money for our life changing work. Rhys Hopkins who is 11 and Evan Beecham, 10, organised their own Big Sleep event, mirroring our flag ship fundraising drive and, with the help of their church (Tabernacle Chapel, Rhiwderin) they raised a staggering £419.00 which will make a huge difference to our work.
If you, or anyone in your church would like to fundraise for Alabaré, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how you can help us transform lives.
Information For Your Chuch Newsletter
One of the best ways to support Alabaré is to let people know about the Services we offer and how people can support us.
Each month, Church Link will provide information that can be included in your Church’s newsletters, shared on their website or community boards or spoken about at prayer groups etc.
This month, we're very excited to announce our first mass participation running event in aid of our life changing work.
‘Glow In The Park: Longleat’ promises to be a thrilling event for all the family combining the ultimate night time UV 6km run with the iconic backdrop of Longleat House.
Taking place on Saturday, 10th September, families and friends are invited to dance, jog or walk through a series of fun zones; including the Foam Zone, UV Paint Blast and Time Tunnel.
The event is open to anyone aged seven or above. Tickets are on sale now with a ‘Super Saver Early Bird Offer’ which enables participants to take advantage of a 40% discount - but hurry, this offer ends on the 6th July 2016.
Visit www.glowinthepark.co.uk to purchase your tickets.
If you would like to help promote Glow In The Park: Longleat in your community, please visit our website to download an event poster.