This month the Community Fellowship were fortunate to be visited by Jessica Riley from Canine Partners, assisted by her golden Labrador Theo (Theo means "Gift from God"). Canine Partners, founded in 1990 and whose patron is the Duke of Gloucester, trains assistance dogs to transform the lives of people with disabilities.

Jessica commenced What if every movement gave you pain? It certainly made us realise just how wonderful it is that we have the freedom to move about without the use of an expensive wheelchair and a canine partner. Jessica showed us examples of young people who do require the invaluable assistance of a canine partner.

 

MAF began flying in Uganda in 1987 in response to the needs of agencies seeking to rebuild the country after the devastating presidencies of Idi Amin and Milton Obote.

Gwen and Bernie Collins are a couple who we won't be seeing much of for a while, but are very much part of our fellowship and our prayers.

Towards the end of 2013 they retired from full-time ministry in the URC and came to live in Hamble, to be near all their children. They made links with Avenue St Andrew's before leaving to spend two years in Papua New Guinea.

And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.

(1 Corinthians 12:28)

In the Autumn of 2009 I spent most of my three month Sabbatical being the guest of St Martin’s (Church of South Africa)in the township of Edendale near Pietermaritzburg.

It was a vibrant church, not only in worship, but also in the way the church was organized.

No, not the age of a time lord (Dr Who and all that), but the number of editions of the Messenger that have been produced since it was started in October 1933! ln the October 2013 and December 2013/January 2014 editions we celebrated those 80 years and reviewed changes since 1933. So, by way of contrast, we take a look at four "snapshots" in the life of the Church as reflected in the Messenger across those 900 editions. Since we have already reflected on issue 1, we look at issue 8 (the first time that the Messenger was officially titled thus), issue 100 (when the Monthly Messenger reached three digits of editions), as well as numbers 300 and 600, significant milestones as thirds of 900!