In our church hall we have several very useful classrooms. Over many years these had become the beneficiaries of a variety of carpeting, kindly donated by members and friends of the church. Many hours have been spent cutting up pieces of carpet to fit rooms; taping edges down so that no-one trips up; putting chairs in strategic places to cover bare patches and cleaning.
Last year we decided enough was enough and investigated the cost of carpeting the whole floor in two of our larger classrooms. At the same time we decided to dispose of our old wooden chairs and purchase new stacking ones - these made the rooms more versatile (a 30 ft. length of carpet for bowls!). The Church was not in a position to fully fund these improvements so we approached the G.B.S.S.A. for a grant towards the cost, to which they agreed. The remaining funds were raised by sending our wooden chairs to the local auction rooms. (They are very popular, as are old oak tables, in whatever condition).
Now we feel happier about using the rooms for a variety of activities for children and adults throughout the week.
Perhaps you have rooms which need improvements or equipment which is in need of replacing, or there is something which you would find extremely useful in your work with children and young people such as an OHP, a whiteboard, a flipchart/easel, sports equipment, Bibles and song books.
Why not approach the GBSSA about a grant?(providing of course you are a member)
Pioneer Camp will be held at Root Hill Farm, Surrey this year, on the following dates: lst Camp: Tues 28th July-Fri 7th August (9 years of age or over but not 15 on the lst of September 1998) 2nd Camp: Mon 10th-Thurs 20th August (11 years of age or over but not 18 on the lst of September 1998) For more details, please contact Gill Hollman (see Contacts)
The subject for this years Scripture Examination is Daniel. For more details, please contact Peter Jermyn. Don't forget that there is a exam for teachers! How impressed would your Sunday School children be if they knew that you were studying too??!! ,
Go Teach publications produce literature for use in Sunday Schools and these are available either directly from them or your local supplier. But you may be interested to know that they are willing to lead Sunday School Teacher Training Days. Please contact them for more details, and please bear in,mind that you may need to give several months notice. The address to write to is:
Go Teach Publications, Unit 3T, Zan Industrial Park, Crewe Road, Wheelock, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 OQD. Telephone: 01270 768387.
Go Teach also require voluntary lesson writers, in order to keep costs at a minimum. Could you help in this way? Suggestions for ideas for visual aids and musical items to go with the lessons are also needed. So if you have any ideas or would like to investigate lesson-writing, please get in touch with Go Teach.
The 1998 Delegates' Meeting takes place on Saturday the 28th of March at the Baptist Church in Tring, Hertfordshire. Each group will have recieved a letter announcing the meeting, and inviting your class to send a represents ative. Could you be the representative from your group? It would be really encouraging to see as many classes represented as possible, so if you can make it, please do. In order to serve the Sunday Schools in the Associations to the best of our ability we need to know your specific needs. And besides all the information available at the meeting, the time of fellowship over lunch is also valuable. Drinks will be provided, please join us.
Robert Bannister from the church at Cuckfield in West Sussex has kindly agreed to take on the Chairmanship of the GBSSA. He is a busy man, as you will find out from the article below, but we are very glad that he feels able to share in the work of the GBSSA. For those of you who know nothing about him, please read on!
Robert and his wife Sally originate from Suffolk (what a good start!) and it was from the fellowship in Stowmarket that they moved to Cuckfield two years ago. They have 2 children, Bethany (7) and Joshua (nearly 5) and a new addition to the family is due in January 1998. Robert is a purchasing manager for a company dealing in Radiotherapy machines and has just started a BA course in Business Studies at University. Sally does a little hairdressing now and then, schedule permitting!
The whole family has settled in to the church at Cuckfield, and are actively involved in the work. Pastor and Mrs David Sprouse have just been inducted there. Back in the April of this year, a Sunday School work was started up, because up until that point, besides a Mother and Toddler group, there was nothing for the under 7 age group. There are now 12-15 children attending with 4 classes. A recent holiday club in August reached around 80 children, and during the School term there are the Pioneer and Warrior Clubs on Monday and Friday respectively.
We really hope that the new work and those actively involved at Cuckfield will be blessed. Once again, thanks to Robert for taking on yet another role in the Lord's work, and to Sally for her support of him.
In the March of this year, the teachers of the Sunday School decided to
issue a Prayer Diary for the church members and attenders to pray for a
different child every day. Since then, 3 significant things have
1 - we have had to add new children to the list,
2 - we have had to find 2 new teachers, and
3 - 3 children have been baptised and another will be so in the near future.
We give God all the glory! Please let me know if you have some good news of your own to share with the other Schools in the Association.
Do you surf the Net? Or travel the Information Super Highway? If so, you can access all the Grace Baptist Sunday School information on your computer screen. This is courtesy of an organisation called GraceNet UK, a voluntary organisation that issues information on the Internet free of charge. A Press Release was been included with the printed edition of Update and anyone interested in more details is invited to contact GraceNet.
Information can be posted, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is a lot of information, please email it or get it onto a computer disc. Are we up-to-the-minute, or what?!
On behalf of The GBSSA, I would like to thank Trevor Clarkson and Adrian Tribe for making us aware of their service and putting us on the Website. With so much unsavoury information whizzing around on the air waves, it is great that those with the 'Know How' are using their abilities for the Lord. Please let us know if you are going to use this service. We can publish the news in an Update Sheet and encourage others to use the service too!
You will soon be receiving the updated edition of the rules of the Grace Baptist, Sunday School Association. The only change is that of the Committee position 'President' to 'Chairman'. You can find out more about the Association's first Chairman by reading the article above! We are delighted that Robert Bannister is to take up this job and wish him every blessing.
Some really good news now. Many of you were no doubt aware of (and concerned about) the emergence of the Inclusive Version of the Bible and its exclusive availability in a very short time. Thankfully the issue has been resolved and versions of the Bible as we know them will be published for the foreseeable future.
Don't forget that the GBSSA has funds to give grants to Schools with specific projects to be undertaken. Forms are available from me and applicants are considered at Committee Meetings in November and March. So hurry - the next Committee Meeting is on the 1st of November!
John Gooch, our Treasurer, can be contacted on: 0181 460 7820.
Pioneer Camp has always been an important feature of our Church family life. The weeks of preparation and discussion amongst the children cause a real "buzz" in the church. Last year we sent a dozen children and five workers to the junior camp. Everyone loved it!If you would like the GBSSA to help you financially with the work in your Sunday School, please let me know and I will send you an application form. The committee has an amount to allocate each year, and meet in March and November to consider the applications, so please get in touch and let us know of your needs.
Back home again, we "relive" camp for weeks. We learn new choruses, laugh at the camp fire concert, hear in detail what was eaten, encourage new friendships and, most exciting of all, rejoice in the Lord for all the spiritual blessings. Over the years several of our young people have testified to the way the Lord spoke to them at camp. It is a very important feature in our church diary - it's effect spreads far beyond the ten days. If you have never been, you don't know what you are missing!
We had often read about videos and how useful certain recommended ones would be, but because the church did not possess a video or monitor we always quickly passed over the details. Until, that is, someone had the bright idea of asking the GBSSA for a grant. We had never applied before - in fact we didn't know if we were eligible, but nothing ventured, nothing gained! - so off went the request!
The whole church was delighted to hear that the committee agreed to give us a grant, plus loads of useful information! We can't think why we never asked before! Thank you, committee.
One of the things that the Clapham fellowship needed was a television In actual fact, they have now bought a monitor. Have you considered one of these as an alternative to a television? They are cheaper and do away with the matter of an annual licence! Display Electronics are a company that reconditions monitors. Their telephone number is 0181 679 4414 and their address is 32 Biggin Way, London, SE19.
Good news to start off with! Mrs Barbara Hoppé has very kindly agreed to be the new Visual Aids Secretary. We hope that she will really enjoy her role with the GBSSA. If you would like to borrow a video or film strip, or would like a catalogue, please contact her on 01959 534894.
Many of you will be using the Go Teach material for your Sunday School lesson We are very fortunate to have such useful teaching material available to us. But have you ever thought of writing lessons yourself? Go Teach are always looking for people to contribute to their workbooks. If you feel that you would like to try writing lessons, or would like to know more about how you can help them, please contact Go Teach at 2 Radford Road, Leamington Spa, CV31 1LX, telephone number 01926 426573.
Pioneer Camp will be held at Athelington Hall in Suffolk this year, and plans are already well under way for a very jolly time. As you will be able to read in the Annual Report, a very good time was had by all last year, and the gospel message clearly presented to the young people there. Please encourage your Sunday School members to consider Pioneer Camp. If you are not already aware the dates are 29th July - 5th August led by Keith Munford, and 12th August - 22nd August led by John Howells. If you would like to know more or need more application forms, please get in touch with Gill Hollman on 01732 822181.
Send your information to the Secretary: Charmaine Cooper (Tel: 01379 384256).
Pioneer Camp has also been a blessing to many who have helped and attended. We praise God for those who have professed conversion.
Go Teach and Scripture Exam have been used by the Schools to help teach the glorious truths of our salvation to the boys and girls.
Grants have also helped Schools to promote our Lord Jesus Christ. We have had letters of appreciation and thanks for help to decorate schoolrooms, buy equipment such as video players, OHPS, tables, etc.
Delegates meetings are poorly attended, although they have proved helpful to those who do come.
Considering the above things, it was felt that the President's task is limited to chairing the meetings and it was suggested that we replace the name President with Chairman. It was hoped that future places would be filled more easily as 'Chairman' sounds less daunting than President. We thank God for enabling us to encourage so many in the work of Sunday School.
The promise of many taking catalogues at the 1995 S E Area Association rally, at which I represented the GBSSA, have not materialised. I trust that the new visual aids secretary will be able to enthuse more interest in this service to add to the number of regular borrowers which have built up over the years.
The site was well situated, and the organised activities including walks, wide games, outings, etc, were enjoyed by all.
Morning Bible times included hearty singing, sword drill and a short talk by one of the staff. The theme for these talks were The Attributes of Jesus with New Testament references to Old Testament characters.
As usual, the meals were of a very high standard. The rapport between the staff was much better this year. There were no serious injuries, for which we thank God. Generally, the behaviour of the children was good with only one or two minor incidents which were dealt with quickly. One or two children briefly suffered home sickness but went on to enjoy their holiday.
We thank God for his provision for us once again. On the younger camp the numbers were well up on previous years. It appears that Camp has made a slight profit on the year but this will become clearer when the accounts are finalised later in the year. In view of this, it has been decided to keep the fees for 1997 at the current level of £80 + fare with a discount of £5 for early bookings.
A third camp was held again with Grace Baptist Mission, also at Root Hill Farm. The numbers were about the same as last year, with many not booking until the last minute, and some only coming for part of the time. Speakers included Richard Underwood, Peter White, John Peet, Peter Buss, Keith Johns and Simon Bowkett. Some missionaries on furlough were also present. Activities were varied and also voluntary. The camp generally ran very smoothly.
Two camps have been arranged for 1997 at Hall Farm, Athelington, Suffolk. The dates are:
29th July-8th August - led by Keith Munford
12th-22nd August - led by John Howells
Brochures and staff application forms are available. In 5 years time, Pioneer Camp will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary and we are hoping to contact as many old campers and staff as possible for a special reunion. A prayer letter has been prepared and has been sent to all schools in the GBSSA. Additional copies are available and names added to the mailing list.
It was disappointing too that only 3 teachers sat for the examination in their division. Although we have asked for comments as to the reason teachers do not participate, none have been forthcoming. The Examination Board will continue to address the matter, but it would help greatly if teachefs would let us know what might persuade them to enter.
14 GBSSA prizes were awarded of which 12 went to candidates in East Anglia. In addition, candidates from Grace Baptist Schools gained 7 Go Teach prizes.
We return to the New Testament for the 1997 exam entitled The Early Church, the passages being taken from the early chapters of Acts. It would be good if schools which used to take the examination decided to enter again in 1997 thereby helping to arrest the continuing decline.
Several potential new writers have been approached recently and some have already been asked to contribute. Some of these have never done anything like it before but are willing to try. Volunteers are very scarce. New writers are usually suggested by those already involved with the work of Go Teach who keep their eyes and ears open before pouncing! If you feel you would like to try your hand at writing lessons, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the possibility.
During the last twelve months we have been addressing the matter of the replacement of our former Managing Editor. Various persons have shown an interest, but, at the time of writing this report, no appointment has been made. However, we are very hopeful that interviews to take place shortly will. result in an offer being made.
The absence of a Managing Editor for much of the year means that we will probably have a good year financially but this is not the way we wish to be successful. We want to make real progress with what we do and to do so we need a replacement as soon as possible.
|General Secretary:||Charmaine Cooper||01379 384256|
|Treasurer:||John Gooch||0181 460 7820|
|Scripture Exam Secretary|
and Insurance Agency:
|Mr Peter Jermyn||0181 460 1376|
|Visual Aids Secretary:||Mrs Barbara Hoppé||01959 534894|
|Pioneer Camp:||Mrs Gill Hollman||01732 822181|
|Go Teach Publications:||Unit 3T, Zan Industrial Park, |
Crewe Road, Wheelock,
Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 OQD