Post Tagged as ‘Uncategorized’

When is a virtue a vice?

For my sister’s 70th Birthday Celebration this weekend, I needed to take some savoury and some sweet contributions – I’d made some delicious anchovy pin-wheels for Christmas, which were a great success and relatively easy to make again…. and then found a yummy sounding recipe for little shortbread balls with lemon curd in the middle. They proved to be quite fiddly in the making, and were finished off by dipping the balls in slimy egg white and then dessicated coconut – I won’t confess to how messy I got: about the same as when I attempted to make scotch eggs! […]

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Waiting

“I waited patiently for the Lord” I wonder if, like me, that evinces in you a deep sigh, and maybe a little gritting of the teeth and clenching of the jaw? The other day I heard a little bit of teaching that allowed my shoulders to lower a bit and relax, as I wait for certain promises that seem a long time coming. It was that He wants us to wait patiently…. but impatiently – a sort of impassioned patience. And that the opposite of patience is not impatience…. it is in fact UNBELIEF! We are to actively wait in […]

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The Quality of Stillness

After my sixtieth birthday, Jo and I took a two-month sabbatical, staying in two very remote locations; first a month in the wilds of Ardnamurchan in the Highlands, and the next month in a tiny hamlet in the foothills of the Pyrenees. I started writing down my thoughts on the quality of stillness, as against purely quietness, both of which we were immersed in for those two months – no surprise to say that after twelve years, I seem to have lost or mislaid those notes! Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it again, as I surprisingly experience that quality of […]

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Two Sides of the Coin

My maiden name was Bland, and I always struggled with feeling therefore labelled as insipid, boring, characterless and unimaginative – the fact that bland can also mean soothing, tranquil or balmy never cut much ice somehow. Getting married at 18 wasn’t my brightest of life’s choices, but there was a relief at changing my surname, and breaking away from that image! The word meek is another “two sides of the coin” word: most of the time it doesn’t conjure up a very attractive picture for us does it, suggesting weakness or even cowardliness maybe? I read in the dictionary Meek: […]

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Death doesn’t have the Last Word!

  • By SusieM
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  • July 21, 2016

Talking through death and funerals yesterday with friends, one of whom has a probable prognosis of double cancer, but who has clung onto Jesus throughout a lifetime of painful loss of children, battling with depression and suicidal thoughts, physical health problems enough to fill a Merriam Webster Dictionary and family disappointments galore, we could only marvel at His faithfulness through it all, and trust Him with with the death bit and beyond! Today, I read that John Donne the poet, (“No man is an island, entire of himself; … therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it […]

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Christmas Eve 2015

Luke 2:6-7 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Are you tired and weary this Christmas Eve? (Now Jo is home, I have found taking over from a wonderful team of nurses, physio, cleaners and catering staff, utterly exhausting, and very distracting re. focussing on that manger!!) Are you anxious or stressed out or ill – needing comfort? Or hanging on as bravely as possible […]

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Stuck for Words

  • By SusieM
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  • November 21, 2015

“Skillful and godly Wisdom is more precious than rubies; and nothing you can wish for is to be compared to her” Ampl. Let godly wisdom guide you. She doesn’t always use words. Instead, she may simply listen: squeeze a hand, touch an arm, smile, or even cry.

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Mary’s Ponderings

  • By SusieM
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  • December 13, 2014

Being someone with a vivid imagination, and very much one to ‘live in my head’, I’ve often wondered about the ponderings of Mary’s heart that we read about in Luke 2:19 after Jesus’ birth and the visit of the shepherds, and again in v.51 when Jesus was 12, and stayed behind in the Temple. If I had been in her place, there would have been no end to the ponderings! The word’s meaning in an online dictionary is: “think about, give thought to, consider, review, reflect on, mull over, contemplate, study, meditate on, muse on, deliberate about, cogitate on, dwell […]

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More Advent Ponders

  • By SusieM
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  • December 2, 2014

Not an unusual thing to be doing at this time of the year, but I’ve been pondering again on the Angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary. Trembling with fear and apprehension, she heard his words ‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured!……. Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God.’ (Luke 1:28 and 30) I think I would have wished to be slightly less favoured! This word favour is translated from the Greek word ‘charis’, and is the same word for the grace and favour that is upon Jesus, as he grew through childhood, that we read of in […]

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Advent Ponders

  • By SusieM
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  • November 28, 2014

Around the time Jesus was born, there were apparently some 20,000 priests living in towns all over the country. They were each on a rota for a week’s service in the Temple at Jerusalem, twice a year, after which duty, they would then go back to their own home town. From the time of King David, the priests had been organised into 24 divisions, and one of their special duties was to keep the incense burning in front of the Most Holy Place, supplying it with fresh incense before the morning sacrifice, and again after the evening one. This priest […]

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Boring!

  • By SusieM
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  • October 14, 2014

This week I read these words by Marcel Rebiai “For thirty years He partook in the absolutely unspectacular and ordinary daily lives of humans” Many of us have been deeply comforted when betrayed, rejected, rubbished, shamed or accused falsely of things we never even did at all, by identifying in an intimate way with Jesus, that “man of suffering, and familiar with pain – like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” as Isaiah puts it. We just know Jesus understands how it feels when we experience those things! And […]

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The Weak and Foolish Things

  • By SusieM
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  • June 13, 2014

1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. My brain is in a pretty frequent state of mutiny nowadays, on permanent “go slow” according to my GP, and I no longer trust myself to be reliable, or to communicate well in many everyday situations! I very much feel, like one of the “weak and foolish things”, but having reached out for 40 years or so to many of our community’s sexually and mentally broken and weak and foolish things, seeking […]

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Traffic Calming

  • By SusieM
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  • May 21, 2014

  I read a meditation this morning, which ended,  “We all need to exercise a discipline of clearing our heads of all the tasks that crowd our brains. Is it any wonder that we can find no time with God when the traffic in our heads is busier than the most crowded motorway?” For some of us I suppose, we would do well to prioritise our agendas more efficiently, discern the best over the good or just ok. I am increasingly aware of how many little “just ok” jobs, I do when I could be spending my time far more […]

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Bank Holiday Musings

  • By SusieM
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  • May 6, 2014

On Monday I read a poem called “Cries” by Kathy Galloway, and a couple of lines in it made me think;

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Unexpected Places

  • By SusieM
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  • December 21, 2013

Towards the end of “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”, one of the Narnia books by C S Lewis, Lucy and Edmund are heartbroken when Aslan tells them that not only is it time to go back to their world, but that never again will they return to Narnia. Aslan explains that he has been in their world all along, and the children are amazed to come to realise that he was there all the time, but they just hadn’t recognised him – although they must now learn to know him by another name!

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Christmas Resolutions

  • By SusieM
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  • December 16, 2013

  Following Sunday’s service, where there was talk of reflection and of making New Year resolutions, I have drawn up some Christmas resolutions (based on some thoughts of Joe Dallas). I thought you might like to see them, and then maybe make some of your own? 1. Before all the hullabaloo starts, I will continue to set aside daily time for focused prayer and genuine reflection. And I’ll consider it a farce to do anything less on Christmas Day itself, when I’ll seriously consider where my life would be were it not for the amazing birth of Jesus, and His […]

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Everybody can be great!

  • By SusieM
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  • November 6, 2013

Are you feeling somewhat small and inadequate today? Well according to the late Martin Luther King, “Everybody can be great.” Quite a statement eh! And we start muttering to ourselves, that it’s alright for him because he truly was a great man……

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Silhouettes

  • By SusieM
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  • September 28, 2013

  Only three verses into the Bible we hear our Almighty Creator proclaiming “Let there be Light!” And of course there was.   Having recently returned from 12 days travelling round Scotland from the Borders, where we saw a man camped by a stream in the Lowther Hills panning for gold; to walking beside the Forth and Clyde Canal in Glasgow with our Godson, and watching the light playing on the water and its mirrored reflections; to the mountains, sea, lonely wild glens with glittering burns, lochs and vast skies of the Highlands and Wester Ross, (and the wonderful sight […]

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Unexpected Gift

  • By SusieM
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  • August 29, 2013

The other day, I was again reading 1 Corinthians1, verses that we have often rejoiced in at OTCC v.26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.  Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.   God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. But I have […]

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Petal Requiem

  • By SusieM
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  • August 15, 2013

  The roses seem to have lasted no time at all this year (Or do I think that every year maybe?) I feel so sad to watch the winds of the last few days blow down first one or two, then great wads of velvety petals, still beautiful, still fragranced with heaven. My rose bushes seem so bare now – it seems such a waste – feels like the end of something. But then I am prompted to think that the rosehips cannot begin to form and then ripen until the petals fall; that it is all a process! (Many […]

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Mountains and Molehills

  • By SusieM
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  • May 24, 2013

When Jo and I started looking into what really makes for healthy relationships, it became clear that one of the areas where I needed God’s help was around magnifying everything, and making mountains out of molehills.  We Magnifiers have the tendency to exaggerate events until everything seems like a catastrophe, and we cannot move on and let go of it.   We often use extreme words and phrases such as never, every, devastated, abusive, worst, ruined,  beyond repair, too late, nothing: for example, I would cook a lovely meal, but because one little bit was a shade burnt, the refrain in […]

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Lush and Lavish

  • By SusieM
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  • May 21, 2013

Looking out of my window when spending my early morning time with the Lord the other day, I was struck by the lush, almost opulent, ostentatious profusion of the trees and vegetation – it was all so extravagantly green – almost lurid and over the top. I thought what a picture it was of God’s grace, so dazzling, riotous and outrageous;  almost profligate, beyond propriety – it offends our sense of “rightness” if we dare voice it!  And I thought of Mark Altrogge’s song “How Great is Your Love” and the memorable phrase  “How lavish Your grace”.  And then I […]

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Easter Sheep

  • By SusieM
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  • March 28, 2013

Today, we received a parcel with insulated packaging consisting of thin plastic bolsters filled with brown wool, made by a company based in Taunton called The Woolly Shepherd! They are an ethical family business with its eye firmly set on a low-carbon future: “We are taking waste wool to places it’s never been before!”

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You Plural

  • By SusieM
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  • February 7, 2013

With Marriage Week starting today, Emma was talking on Sunday about our individual relationships, but also our corporate or circle relationships, and how the way Jesus loved the church, giving Himself up for her,  laying down His life for her was such an incredible example for all of us to follow with each other.

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Innocent as Doves

  • By SusieM
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  • January 26, 2013

 “As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.” Matthew 3:16 What do you think of when you see a dove?

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Hearts of stone

  • By SusieM
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  • December 21, 2012

A week or so ago, I read in 1 John 4:9 “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.”   The concept of us living through Jesus, rather than the more usual thought of Him living through us, really grabbed me;  it seemed somehow more expansive, more extensive, with immense and boundless potential for the abundant life we’re so seeking for. 

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Riches in secret places

  • By SusieM
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  • December 12, 2012

I think I’ve blogged before about my “training sessions” down to the beach – every day that I can – in an endeavour to strengthen my back and legs:  41 wooden steps down onto the beach, and then a series of very steeply banked stones and then shingle, sliding like an avalanche, with my sturdy stick to steady me. 

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Starstruck

I just love all the imagery of stars that we have at Christmas:  star candles, star biscuits, star street decorations, to name but a few.  Goodness knows how many stars of varying shapes and sizes I’ve cut out or stuck on Christmas cards this year, and last Saturday, Jo and I were to be found at an Advent Retreat making star fridge magnets!

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A bit put out!

  • By SusieM
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  • November 30, 2012

Do you, like me, struggle with some of the passages in the Bible? I think especially of those that talk of not eating or associating with “sinners” and putting people out of the church.

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Stormy Weather

After a stormy night of rain lashing against the house, and the wind whistling and moaning through the window, I properly awoke yesterday to a very dark and noisy morning, so grateful for a safe and secure home. With a grandson out at Cornell University, which is upstate New York, I was also grateful that they avoided the worst of Hurricane Sandy last week!

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Mother Hen Love

Recently, I seem to have shared the heart sorrow of a lot of mothers, who are aching about their grown-up children in one way or another.  It’s hard isn’t it when the days are long past where kissing to make it better, rubbing in some arnica, Mummy’s special bump cream, putting on a  plaster (I bought some for Jo the other day in the shape of red kissing lips!) or singing a special song did the trick! 

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Non-Perfect

  • By SusieM
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  • August 22, 2012

I was reading a book by Jeff Lucas this morning, and he was wondering why, today, people have such high expectations in marriage, and other relationships, and at the whiff of a disappointment or upset, move on to another, continually searching for perfection, never quite finding what we’re looking for.

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A risky post!

Hello, It has been a long time since I last blogged! Time passes fast in a swirling blur of activity! Over the last couple of years I think Glyn and I have accepted the title of “pastors” and begun to settle into what this means (albeit in a “steep learning curve” kind of way). We have experienced many ups and a few spectacular downs! I can’t speak for Glyn here, but certainly for myself – I have never wanted to run away and quit something so sincerely (and so frequently) before! This role comes with immense privilege and blessing, and […]

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A little encouragement to keep going from The Message!

2 Corinthians 4  (The Message) Trial and Torture 1-2Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t manoeuvre and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of […]

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Church… or Community?

We’ve been thinking quite a bit recently in the OTCC family about ‘church’ and ‘community’; and some of us may be wondering if they mean the same thing in our ‘Old Town’ context, or whether ‘church’ and ‘community’ are helpfully distinct from each other. The answer, according to the Scriptures – and as Sir Humphrey would regularly respond in the TV show: “Yes Prime Minister” – is “yes and no, Prime Minister”!!

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I am a rock, I am an island?

I can hardly believe our daughter Kazy is going to be 50 this year;  I gave birth to her a half century ago!  One of the songs we all played and sang during her early years was Simon and Garfunkel’s “I am a rock, I am an island”, from their album “Sounds of Silence”, a haunting melody with words that used to make me cry:

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New Every Morning

There’s something within me that when I go on the beach, I just have to walk on the sand, and on every bit, even if its in patches all over; I just want to run on the impeccable newness of sand washed by the tide, (Ok, so I don’t do that running bit physically, but I do in my heart and mind!) and place my footsteps there, or write on it, or something. Somehow its the fresh newness of it that is so attractive and compelling.

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Parented not Reared

  • By SusieM
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  • June 25, 2012

I’ve been reading a book by Brennan Manning called “All is Grace”, and was interested by the following passage, as he looked back at his mother’s lack of affection in his childhood: “The word parenting , if you can believe it, did not become commonplace until the late 1950s; prior to that it was childrearing. The rule was discipline, regimentation, sternness and a minimum of affection.  Early Behaviourists advised: ‘Mother love is a dangerous instrument that can wreck a child’s future chance for happiness””

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Singing is good for you!

  • By SusieM
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  • June 19, 2012

Someone gave us an old black and white film on dvd for Christmas called “Top Hat”, a musical from the 40’s starring the legendary dancing and singing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. We only got round to watching it recently and it was lovely (any nostalgic souls want to borrow it?), but what surprised me was how I knew all the tunes, and found myself knowing many of the words and singing along.

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Royal Compost

Many of us deep down inside can feel like rubbish, or even at our worst times like filthy smelly rotting refuse. I always used to like the song years ago, (perhaps by Ishmael?), that had the lines “He took me from the dustbin, And treats me like a star”

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Big Ben

Recently I read that the 31st May is a significant date in UK history: it was on this day in 1859 that Big Ben first went into operation at the Houses of Parliament. This 13 ton bell was pulled to Westminster by a team of 16 horses, watched by crowds of cheering onlookers. What an exciting moment as the bell begin to ring out over the capital, at that time’ the biggest bell in the world!

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Becoming fruity

I became a Christian in 1970, and spent my first 5/6 years as an awakening believer just quietly reading my Bible and the occasional Christian book (didn’t really know where to get them!), going to a morning service at the parish church in Shoreham, Kent (there were no small groups or bible studies), praying as I best knew how, but without anyone to talk to about my faith or Kingdom things. It was a spiritually lonely time, and it won’t surprise you that I didn’t grow very much!

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Pavements and Prisms

A few days ago, I read the lovely words, “You are the jewel through which My light shines” and it took me back to those early years living at Ashburnham when day after day, before the children woke, I would walk round the main lake singing from the bottom of my heart, sometimes with tears rolling down my cheeks

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Cheerleading for Tom

I heard another talk yesterday on “Doubting Thomas”, as though that was all that defined him, and I feel like going on a campaign to change his name – he seems to have been stuck with some pretty poor PR! After all there are several other names he could have been given, like Devoted or Courageous.

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Tailors Tacks

  • By SusieM
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  • April 16, 2012

Because we were married in a Registry Office, Jo and I decided that on our twenty fifth wedding anniversary, we would ‘borrow’ Ashburnham Parish Church and have a celebration service, and affirm our marriage vows before God, family and friends.

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Charcoal

Our visit to the Holy Land a few years ago with Riding Lights Theatre Group was life-changing on many levels, but tracing the steps of Jesus, actually treading on the stones he might have stood on (which had me taking off my shoes a few times to make better physical contact with my bare feet), climbing the same steps, looking at the contours of the land that remained the same for my eyes as His, felt and heard the lapping of the River Jordan on my legs was all so powerfully emotive for me, and connected in my heart in […]

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Happy Easter

  • By SusieM
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  • April 8, 2012

Thank you for the excitement of this day – the bursting out from the tomb, from the bands of death, the forever energy of resurrected life; for the joy of knowing such a delicious secret – the glorious and just too wonderful end of the story; for the “more than conquerors” feeling – the indescribable knowing of being at last on the right team, the right side “If God is for you, who can be against you”. And that same power at work in ME now, if I allow it, to bring others along to get to know Jesus – […]

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Feet

On the night before his crucifixion, on what we now call Maundy Thursday, Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them dry with the towel he’d wrapped around his waist, Jn.13:1-5.

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After Palm Sunday

  • By SusieM
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  • April 2, 2012

Perhaps not surprising for this week, I’ve been re-reading the events of Jesus’ death, always painful. Good Friday, we read in John’s account, was the day of Preparation for the following day, which was a special Sabbath, because it was the one that fell within the Passover Week of celebration.

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Picture on the jigsaw

  • By SusieM
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  • March 25, 2012

We may have fought against it in the past, or perhaps are still doing so, but apart from JESUS, there is no other way and no other name!  It might make us squirm;  we might dislike the theology intensely “but what about…..”;  it might challenge our desire to be independent and go our own way, shape our own gospel;  it might ruffle our feathers big time (do you sense a bit of personal testimony here?) – or when all the kicking and screaming has died down, it just might fill us with the kind of peace and security for which […]

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Piles of Washing

  • By SusieM
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  • March 17, 2012

When my firstborn arrived in this world, it was to a caravan in a field, deep within the Kent countryside. As Kazy celebrates her half century this summer, we are talking about a very different era!

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He Knew!

When Jesus was trying to prepare his disciples for his death, he explained that the Father himself loved them because they had loved him,  and that he was shortly going to leave the world and go back to the Father.  This drew a strong declaration of belief from the disciples,  “Now we can see that you know all things…..this makes us believe that you came from God.”

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Open-hearted

  • By SusieM
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  • March 10, 2012

I was given a challenging book called “Walk the Way” for my birthday, and I am using it throughout the season of Lent. Yesterday, I read a quote from John Bunyan, which really made me sit up; “Remember that Jesus did not protect his own heart against sorrow or suffering; for this would have meant him hardening his heart against you and me. On the contrary, he awakened himself and opened his heart with great compassion.”

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What’s in a Name?

  • By SusieM
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  • February 22, 2012

Over 20 years ago, when I was going through one of my insecure, feeling inadequate phases, I found myself quite upset, and wondering who I was to the Lord – was I really just a number in his vast Book of Life? And if he called me by name, what name was that?

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Paths

  • By SusieM
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  • February 15, 2012

At the beginning of the month, Jo and I visited a little Christian retreat centre in South Wales for 5 days – it’s described as being half way up a mountain side, though I think most would call it a hill, albeit a steep one!  The gardens and grounds are a delight, though being on a steep hillside they are somewhat rough and rugged underfoot, with the occasional outcrop of rock and are delightfully higgledy piggledy, with short mown grass paths through rough areas, enticing little wrought iron gates and tiny winding paths through tall heathers and shrubs.

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Stepping Up or Stepping Down

  • By SusieM
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  • January 24, 2012

No, not step aerobics, more a sort of spiritual exercise! I was reading an article by Jill Briscoe this morning on the Philippians 2 passage on how Jesus stepped down from heaven, giving up his Kingship to humbly serve us: What a step! Jill’s message read something like this little song that came into my head

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Just maybe……..

  • By SusieM
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  • January 15, 2012

We’re 2 weeks into 2012 already, and probably many a new year resolution has gone the way of previous years before them! This morning at Alive @ The Drive, Erik got us thinking again about such things, and changes needed in our lifestyles through 5 interactive stations “you, God and 2012 sacred space”. And then Graham sent us off with Ps.65:11“The Lord crowns the year with His bounty”, and a Bounty bar!

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Fixing our Voice on God

  • By SusieM
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  • January 13, 2012

As the deer pants for the water, So my soul longs after You. You alone are my heart’s desire And I long to worship You.

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More Big and Little

  • By SusieM
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  • January 10, 2012

I’ve been thinking more about Beattie, and how she came so unselfconsciously and naturally to Jesus, as a little, unaffected, spontaneous child would.

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Big or Little?

  • By SusieM
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  • January 9, 2012

Mark 10:13-16 Do you remember the story of people bringing children to Jesus for Him to touch and bless them, and the disciples pompously shooing them away as though they were just a waste of space? Having well told off his disciples for not seeing the value of children, Jesus shocks everyone by saying that in fact children were ahead of the field and top in line “for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

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Angles on Angels

  • By SusieM
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  • December 23, 2011

I’m not thinking of the sort that we entertain unawares, the kind that appear in the guise of man; and certainly not the chubby cherub variety, beloved of Raphael and artists and greeting card manufacturers; nor the pretty lace-gowned female sort that rival fairies in all the gift shops; I’m thinking of the mighty warrior and messenger angels of the Bible; of Archangels Michael and Gabriel, whose appearance paralyses people with awe and fear! There’s a fair sprinkling of them throughout the story of the nativity isn’t there, and what I’ve realised more this Advent, is that this awe and […]

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Grasping or Humble?

  • By SusieM
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  • December 14, 2011

I just love the beautiful passage in Philippians 2 where Paul speaks of Jesus, who after all, had equal status with God Almighty, but instead of grasping or clinging onto all the advantages and radiant glory of heaven, no matter what, set aside all the privileges of deity, becoming human, firstly as a vulnerable newborn baby needing a warm breast and constant changing of soiled strips of cloth, and as an adult taking on the status of a lowly servant, extravagantly spending his whole life for others. What an incredible story line, rivalling any novel! What has got me praying though, are […]

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After 1 Corinthians 13

  • By Stephen Brown
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  • December 12, 2011

If I bake a Christmas cake & dozens of mince pies, but have not love, I am just another harassed housewife. If I decorate my house with outdoor fairy lights & a twinkling Christmas tree, but have not love, I am just wasting electricity for no reason. If I write a hundred Christmas cards & stick a news letter in each one, but have not love, I only gain writer’s cramp.

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Stumps and Shoots

  • By SusieM
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  • December 10, 2011

Thinking about Isaiah’s stumps this week resonated with me. In Ch. 6 v.13, after Isaiah was awesomely given the prophetic commission to bring dire and scary warnings of judgement to rebellious Israel we read “Even if a tenth of the people remain there, the land will be completely destroyed again. But as a terebinth or oak tree leaves a stump when it is cut down, so Israel’s stump will be a holy seed.” I had to do a bit of Google research to find out what on earth a terebinth tree was, because they seem to crop up a lot […]

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When can we Throw Away our ‘L’ Plates?

  • By SusieM
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  • December 5, 2011

In order to keep growing, we need to keep living in the vulnerability of staying teachable. Hard that, when a part of us wants to appear as though we’ve got it all together, we’ve arrived; that we KNOW that! And when we admit we DON’T know that, there’s always the risk of appearing foolish!

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Watch Out!

  • By SusieM
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  • November 29, 2011

On Sunday, it being the first Sunday in Advent, mention was made of looking forward to Jesus’s second coming, amongst many things, something Graham will be speaking on in a couple of week’s time. When sitting on the grass of the Mount of Olives with his disciples one day, looking down across the Kidron Valley towards the Temple, Jesus alerted them to the dangers of deception. The whole chapter of Mark 13 is about the signs of the End of the Age, and how, if we don’t stand firm, we could so easily be deceived by false messiahs and prophets […]

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OTCC Psalm 3

  • By Stephen Brown
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  • November 22, 2011

You are my God and King, And I put my trust in You. O Lord, You know me through and through. Lord, help me to be the person You created me to be, To find the destiny You have laid out for me.

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OTCC Psalm 2

  • By Stephen Brown
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  • November 22, 2011

Why, Lord do you wait Why do you let our enemies seem triumphant Why, do you save your words of power for yet another day While my tears flow and my heart ache?

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OTCC Psalm 1

  • By Stephen Brown
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  • November 22, 2011

A few weeks ago we asked people to write their own Psalms and bring them to share on a Sunday morning. We’ve typed some up and will put them here in the next few posts. If you brought one and would like it placed here for others to read please email it to Stephen. So here’s the first one: O Lord, my God, You are amazing!

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All Roads May Not Lead Home

  • By SusieM
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  • November 16, 2011

Recently, I downloaded from iPlayer, 3 episodes of BBC 2’s “All Roads Lead Home”, where Stephen Mangan, Sue Perkins and Alison Steadman travelled the UK each week for a specific destination, each of them leading the other 2 on foot to their original home, but without any maps, sat.navs or compass, in fact none of today’s navigational aids. 

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Hostage Negotiator

  • By SusieM
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  • November 13, 2011

Hostage Negotiator A few weeks ago, Val mentioned that Caregroups were thinking about redemption. In the Bible the Redeemed are those the Lord has delivered from bondage. Isaiah (his name means “The LORD saves”) talks a lot about God redeeming his people, both from sin and from Babylonian exile: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you…” In ch.41:14, the Lord refers to Himself as “your Redeemer” and further on describes Himself as paying a ransom for his people.

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Another 24/7…

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  • October 30, 2011

The danger of not blogging regularly is that too much happens and important and exciting things get forgotten and lost! So before the events of the past couple of months disappear these next few blogs are the highlights… 24/7 As you may remember, back in the summer OTCC held it’s first 24/7 prayer week. Just to reiterate – there is nothing “magical” about praying like this. It isn’t a “formula” or method – it could just as easily be a 23/6 and have the same impact! It is more a helpful tool. There is something significant about these focused, united, […]

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Spiritual Networking

  • By SusieM
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  • October 17, 2011

As OTCC, with Glyn and Emma’s encouragement, we have been getting more into prayer, experimenting with places and different ways of talking to and hearing from God, both individually, as couples and in groups. And getting excited at how God is bringing changes in us, in our relationships, and in the lives of others.

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Chinese Whispers

  • By SusieM
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  • October 14, 2011

I was reading the story of Jesus in the Temple, with an angry lot of Jews working up a lather and demanding a miraculous sign to demonstrate his authority. His answer did nothing to calm them down, and didn’t make an awful lot of sense to his disciples at that time either!

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Opportunist Seagulls

  • By SusieM
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  • October 11, 2011

I don’t know about you but seagulls squawking raucously on rooftops in towns bring out the worst in me. They shouldn’t be there, they’re in the wrong place – after all, they are seagulls, not towngulls! They are often to be seen raiding bins or take-away boxes discarded on the pavements, fighting noisily amongst themselves.

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Keep on, keeping on!

  • By SusieM
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  • October 6, 2011

During the last few weeks, whilst I’ve been writing letters to the Iranian Ambassador and praying earnestly about Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani’s sentence of execution, I read the following

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A Good Story

  • By SusieM
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  • October 5, 2011

A Good Story Emma asked us the other Sunday about what the gospel is – Mark starts his ‘Gospel’ with “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God……”

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All Round Healing

  • By SusieM
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  • October 3, 2011

Was having a little ponder about the healing of the woman with the continuous hemorrhaging for 12 years (puts my monthly moans over earlier years in the shade!), and how in Mark 5 verse 34 Jesus says “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

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Moving

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  • September 14, 2011

What does God want of us? Does He want us? Where does He want us; this nice house in Bexhill, or the house in Old Town (both houses are still up for sale with no prospective buyers)……. or somewhere else entirely…….Somerset…….the Highlands??

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Learning

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  • September 14, 2011

With the schools going back this week, I have found myself praying a lot for teachers from both natural and church family – and for several teachers who would like to be teaching, but cannot! For grandchildren, both natural and church, (someone suggested the phrase “Godgrandchildren” – I like it!) who are going to new schools, colleges and courses; those with new teachers and subjects; those who like Matt’s Theo have learning difficulties, and struggle with any sort of literacy or numeracy; those who face bullying or other social problems.

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Prophesy or figment of imagination?

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  • September 14, 2011

Prophesy or figment of imagination?   Did those 2 people, who separately told us 18 years ago that we should live in a certain house in Old Town, not for sale at that time, bring us a prophetic word, or was it a figment of their imaginations? (Neither knew about the other’s words!)

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Cardboard testimonies!

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  • August 13, 2011

Have a look at the above video for some insight into how God can change lives :0)

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24/7 prayer

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  • August 12, 2011

24/7 wow –  what a week! OTCC has recently completed it’s first 24/7 prayer week. 168 hours of continous prayer! It was AWESOME! The idea was that we would have a room dedicated for prayer, a rota so people could take 1 or 2 hours slots (as they wanted), and we as a church would endevour to fill the rota. At first some folks were hesitant (“what do you do for an hour? Sit in silence?!”), and some shared doubts of “will we realistically be able to fill a whole week? Would it not fall on a small willing few?” […]

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Night light! An alternative event for halloween!

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  • August 12, 2011

Fire in washing machine drums, sky lanterns and marshmallows… Must be halloween! On the 31st October (Halloween) our estate is probably the same as any other place in the Western world! Hoardes of young people (age range from babes in arms to huge teenagers!) dressed up in all manner of scary, freaky and funny costumes out for a night of trick or treating. So what can a church do? We have a few options which basically boil down to: 1/ Nothing! 2/ Hide! 3/ Hold a prayer meeting! 4/ Hold an alternative event!

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Alive at the Drive – our monthly “spiritual experience” event!

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  • August 12, 2011

A Spiritual experience! The great hand over! where we can write down our fears and anxieties and place them in the hands of God Once a month we have been holding a different type of gathering at “The Drive” pub. Rather than calling it a service we call it “A spiritual experience”. There is no preach or lengthy worship time. It is a complete “All senses” interactive event – a great thing to being visitors to!

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Indulge! An event for women!

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  • August 12, 2011

INDULGE! A special event just for women! We recently held a new women’s event called “Indulge”. The idea was to give local women from the estate a chance to be pampered and spolit for an evening – all for free! A number of lady volunteers from the OTCC loaned foot spa’s and their hands to serve the ladies that came along. We had hand, head and foot massage, manicures and pedicures, henna tattoo’s and the lovely “fish pedicure! shown below. Also a clothes swap and beauty give – aways (not to mention gorgeous nibbles!. We had over 70 ladies attend! […]

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Glyn and Emma Moreton update 15/05/2011

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  • August 12, 2011

  Hello there, this is another update to let you know what is happening @ OTCC (Old Town Community Church) and in our lives. If there was ever a “typical week” here this hasn’t been one of them… It has been “full on” to say the least! Events and situations have ranged from surprising and extraordinary through to exhausting and heart breaking. One thing is sure – life is never dull!

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Glyn and Emma Moreton update 29/03/2011

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  • August 12, 2011

Old Town Community Church   –   Ordinary people, an extraordinary God! 29/03/11 On the 26th December 2010 Glyn and I became the new pastors of “Old Town Community Church”. We are very much enjoying the role (a steep learning curve) and finding it an immense privilege – along with being very challenging, adventurous, stretching and at times tiring! We  believe that people are made up of body, mind and spirit so when we work with,and minister to people, we try to keep this balance in mind. We live in an area of social and spiritual need, and with our present climate […]

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December 2010 Glyn and Emma Moreton update

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  • August 12, 2011

Moreton update December 2010   Dear all,   Happy Christmas everyone! It’s Christmas eve today – we have very excited children here!!!   It seems like a year since we wrote the last update (well it is a year actually!) How time flies!. We have passed our 1 year anniversary of being back in the UK – wow! It was on the 7th December that we arrived in the UK last year and it seems impossible that it is just one year! We feel like we have been here for far longer and feel very settled. So much has happened […]

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The next bit of the story!!!

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  • August 12, 2011

August 2011 Hello again, We are waiting for the first sounds of the red arrows to scream over the house – yes – it is Eastbourne Airbourne! It has been a very long time since we have published a blog – this isn’t because we have stopped recording what is happening – we have been sending out news updates to friends and supporters but were unable to access our blog site! However, OTCC now has it’s own blog spot so we are now able to inundate you with updates, testimonies, info, and will include in this our own story of […]

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Glyn and Emma – originally posted on 4th December 2010 on old blogspot site

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  • July 4, 2011

Hi there, we are Glyn and Emma Moreton. Parents to Sam and Carys and still fairly new arrivals to Old Town Community Church (OTCC). We were missionaries with BMS World Mission for 8 years prior to returning to the UK last December (2009). One day we will add to the blog the story of how we came to return to the UK to OTCC!

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