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ALTON TOWN PASTORS NEWSLETTER — 7th July 2015

The view from the frontline

We are blessed by some many conversations each week and many of those praise our ministry. From 'I'm not a Christian but I think what you're doing is great!' to 'I'm not sure why you'd want to bother with likes of us, but glad you're out here all the same,' we are encouraged; however, unsurprisingly, not all comments have been positive.

But how do we respond to those opposed to us? Few, though they are, what can we take from negative remarks and, more importantly, give in return?

Peter tells us we are blessed if we bear insults in the name of Christ (1 Peter 4:14), so with this we can be reassured that whether comments are positive or negative, we continue to be blessed.

Paul who suffered a good deal more than harsh language gave some advice to the church of Colossae:

Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
(Colossians 4:4-6)

So among our range of responses, we have an opportunity to show God's grace two-fold to those who are antagonistic. It is easy to be gracious when being praised and commended, but by returning condemnation with love as we are commanded, we do the reverse of the norm. By meeting anger or dismissiveness, skepticism or cynicism with love we give a powerful witness to the Gospel indeed — literally, in deed!

Alton needs you!

The lighter days are (still) upon us! This offers an opportunity to extend our shift times to cover early evenings. This is likely to be a different kind of ministry, to the youth rather than drinkers at our pubs. If you had thought of getting involved but did not feel your constitution ran to staying up late, this might suit you better. Starting at 5pm on a Saturday, it would involve patrolling the streets including Public Gardens and other areas where young people gather, to offer a friendly chat and help out if need be.

Alternatively, a Friday evening might be preferable to you, especially if you worry about being awake for 8am Communion. Currently we have sufficient numbers to sustainable cover Saturday late evening, but with more volunteers we can look at Fridays, too.

The best way to find out if this is for you is join us one Saturday evening.
Contact us...
phone: 07502 691899
altontownpastors@gmail.com

Since beginning the ministry last November we have had many, many serious discussions often with the same people who are seeking God or who have fallen away from church. In order to further our support, we now offer a follow up chat (and a free coffee) in Costa Café between 4 and 5 of a Sunday afternoon. Would you like to be part of our team of 'follow-uppers?'

We publish an anonymised prayer sheet fortnightly by email. If you would like to receive these please email us at the address above. These can provide a focus for use in small prayer groups or to include in your private devotions. It goes without saying that our ministry, like any other, survives, thrives and provides through prayer and our prayer team is therefore essential.

We are still recruiting for town pastors. If you are interested please contact altontownpastors@gmail.com for a (very) simple application form or return the tear off strip to the ATP Coordinator, c/o Harvest Church.

PRAISE GOD FOR...
Continuing acceptance and support of the people of Alton
For placing people in our path
For the support of the police, the publicans and the town council

PLEASE PRAY...
For the sustaining encouragement of the Holy Spirit
For energy and protection for the team at 9pm each Saturday
For God's leading over extending our ministry
For more opportunities to tell people about our Saviour and God's redemptive plan for us all, especially
through follow up meetings in Costas.

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