Some Recent News
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December 10th 2017
Ebenezer held its annual Carol Service in the afternoon. This was a joyful occasion with contributions from Junior church and university students, a children's talk and an address by the Revd David Finnie. We sang carols in Welsh as well as in English. After the service there were drinks and snacks in the church hall. tjm
October - November 2017
So much has happened during the last few months it’s hard to know where to begin, so we’ll start with the core ministry of the church. Our minister David has commenced a new series on Ephesians on Sunday mornings and in the evenings he has been preaching on the 5 Sola’s of the Reformation, truths which were rediscovered 500 years ago. Michael Walters has also given a brief talk each week on the historical background to the Reformation.
The Fellowship Groups continue with the Anglesey Group studying Hebrews and the Bangor group Exodus. We have also commenced a group in Pontllyfni (currently studying Philippians) which aims to serve folk living in the Caernarfon area.
This year, we had a full coach load for the International Students tour of Snowdonia and many came back for refreshments afterwards, it proved to be a most enjoyable time. The Menai Bridge Fair took place on the 24th October and the church stall was manned throughout the day despite the inclement weather, by folk giving out fliers and gospel literature. As it is the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Welsh hymnist William Williams (Pantycelyn), we held a meeting in Benllech to celebrate his life. On this occasion Mr Wyn Thomas spoke on Williams’ life and we sang some of his hymns in Welsh and English.
In the first full week of November a group of us led by JP Earnest (OAM) went into some local schools in Bangor and Benllech to give a presentation of Pilgrim’s Progress. The children and teachers listened attentively and afterwards the children completed their work sheets. A children’s copy of Pilgrim’s Progress in Welsh ‘Taith y Pererin’ was donated to each school.
Fiona Earnest and Rebekah Culver have been to Albania to encourage the church in Memaliaj and to help with a CU mission in Girokaster. At the end of October we said farewell to two of our members Gareth and Ann Thomas who have relocated to Pontyates near Carmarthen. We wish them well and are grateful for their help in the church here.
John P Gough
August - September 2017
The recent Sunday School summer party had an unexpected visitor in the person of a soldier from 350 years ago complete with a soldier’s regalia of special hat, tunic, belt, bag and two swords! The children listened attentively as the ‘soldier’ (aka Michael Walters) explained a little about spiritual warfare before they returned to playing on the bouncy castles. Thanks are due to all who contributed in any way to make the party such a success.
Over the summer we have enjoyed fellowship with the Beach Mission team as they have attended our morning worship and taken evening service in Benllech. We welcomed to our services many visitors including a group of thirty young people from Dudley Baptist Church and the annual visit of the Allmand-Smith families. We are always delighted to see so many visitors as they greatly enrich our own small church fellowship.
A number of us were away at the Aber Conference so we missed hearing our brother Walter Johnson preach. We are grateful to him and to Oliver Allmand-Smith and Gareth Thomas for ministering God’s Word to us. Our minister David has returned to his series on Luke’s gospel on Sunday mornings and is completing his series on Isaiah on Sunday evenings. The normal mid-week activities have restarted including the English Language club and GOAL Youth club. The Ladies Bible Study group held a welcome lunch for their first meeting. Liz Gough, the leader of the group for many years has had to stand back for the time being due to her college commitments on Thursdays.
The students have returned to a full programme for their ‘Fresher’s Week’. At the Missionary prayer meeting, Elin Bryn Williams, the new UCCF Staff Worker shared with us her testimony and what her work would involve; she asked us to pray for her and the work in Bangor.
John P Gough
June - July 2017
Unlike Coverack in Cornwall we may have escaped the worst of the weather in terms of recent thunderstorms but we were reminded of them again when Andrew Young preached from Psalm 29 one Sunday morning. He made the point that a thunderstorm should not be viewed simply as something to be afraid of but is to be seen as a basis for meditating on the greatness and goodness of God. As a consequence of this we should ascribe glory to God which is what rightfully belongs to him.
Our minister, David Finnie and his family have been away on holiday so we have welcomed Peter Wilson, John Gough, Philip Eveson, Andrew Young and Irvon Parry to preach in his place. Our Fellowship Groups have concluded for the summer as have the Ladies meeting, the young people’s work and the English Language classes. We recently enjoyed an entertaining Board Game evening in Benllech Community Centre considerably enliven ed by a game of Snakes and Ladders!
Gareth Thomas and his team (Siop y Gair) have visited the following fairs; Bethesda, Criccieth, Llanllyfni and Llanberis (annual Snowdon Race). We had an encouraging Open Air meeting in Bangor town centre with JP Earnest and Gareth Thomas speaking and others giving out tracts. JP has also been taking assemblies in Hirael, Glanadda and Coed Mawr schools.
Saturday July 1st was the day of the church work party in which we sought to tidy up the premises, garden and drive. This was helped by the supply of cakes baked specially for the occasion by Huw Davies. On the same day the wedding took place of one of our former students, Caitlin Walsh to Tom Wederell in Above Bar Church, Southampton. Our minister, David spoke at the service and some from Ebenezer were able to attend.
JP (teamleader) and Fiona Earnest together with some of the students have gone to Tenby for two weeks to hold the Beach Mission there. Richard Owens, Peter and Edi Wilson are involved in the WEC Warriors Camp near Criccieth here in North Wales.
John P Gough
April - May 2017
Our minister David Finnie supported by his wife Kyung-Ju has now been with us for twenty years since this April. We do give thanks to the Lord for David’s faithful ministry from the pulpit and pastoral visitation, also to Kyung-Ju for her work behind the scenes. David has now completed his sermons on the final chapters of Revelation. JP Earnest has been taking school assembles in local schools helped on occasion by Paul Kennedy. We have welcomed some new faces to our pulpit: Simon Facer from Penrhyndeudraeth and Deiniol Williams from Wrexham.
This Easter saw the church once again back in Benllech to hold a Good Friday service. It was encouraging to see so many folks there; many of them were family and friends staying in the area. After lunch Gillian led a group of us on a ramble around Benllech getting us back to our cars just as it was starting to rain! Talk about good timing! Fiona Earnest and Hannah French took the opportunity to visit the church that we support in Memaliaj in Albania. Their purpose was to teach English to some of the folks there, to encourage the Ladies and young people and to meet the pastor Geni, his wife Niki and church worker Alma. At our May missionary meeting Fiona and Hannah shared something about their adventures.
We were encouraged at our recent baptismal service held again at Capel Penuel to see Valerie Jones and Kelvin Riley being baptised. Both had recently come to saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; Valerie as a result of experiencing bereavements and Kelvin, a first year student who knew the gospel but had never accepted it until he was helped by a fellow student to see his need of personally trusting in Jesus.
John P Gough
February - March 2017
'Songs of praises, songs of praises, I will ever give to Thee.......' We sang the well-known hymn by William Williams Pantycelyn during our evening celebration of St David's Day in the Community Hall in Benllech. This proved to be an enjoyable occasion with plenty of bara- brith, Welsh cakes, a quiz based on our knowledge of Anglesey, a film of historical Christian events in Wales and a concluding talk on the life of St David. Thanks are due to all those who contributed in any way to the success of the evening.
February started with a church cleaning party, the aim of which was to declutter and clean the premises. The library was particularly targeted with old magazines, boxes and innumerable copies of bygone issues of 'Faith for Today' booklets being taken to the recycling unit. Amongst all this hard work we found time to eat cake and sing happy birthday to JP! At the end of the month a fellowship lunch was held; the services on that Sunday being taken by visiting preacher Ben Thomas from Criccieth.
In March Fiona Earnest took the young people away to the Quinta for the AECW weekend where church youth clubs from across North Wales joined together for teaching and games. Later on we welcomed Richard and Barbara Davies from the European Missionary Fellowship to share with us about their work in Marseille.
Our minister David has continued his expositions of the second half of Revelation on Sunday mornings and the OT book of Numbers on Sunday evenings. David and I have swapped over leading the Bangor and Anglesey fellowship groups. The Ladies' meetings are working their way through Hosea and numbers are encouraging at the English language classes.
In January we learnt of the death of our brother Ted Storkey, a former treasurer of Ebenezer. Ted and Liz had moved away to Exeter to be nearer their family so our condolences go to Liz. On a happier note, Steffan Joyner is due to be married to Wendy in Taiwan on Saturday 25 th March and the family have flown out there to celebrate the event. Congratulations to them both!
John P Gough
December 2016 / January 2017
Our newspaper and TV headlines have recently been dominated by the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45 th President of the USA. However, it's good to remind ourselves that though we at Ebenezer seem insignificant by comparison, we are part of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, a vast innumerable number. We are being prepared for a far greater and eternal destiny than that of any temporary occupant of the White House. Every time a believer in our Lord dies, he or she is welcomed home by the Lord. This was true for Mrs Nansi Jarrett whose funeral took place here on 15 th December last year. We continue to remember her husband Cyril and the other members of the family at this time.
Thanks are due to all those who gave out invitations to our Christmas Carol services in Bangor and at Benllech. These were preceded by Carol Singing in Bangor City Centre which was a joyful and happy occasion.
On Sunday mornings this year David has recommenced his series on Revelation. JP Earnest (OAM) has had increased opportunities to take school assemblies as a consequence of the Bible Exhibitions. Numbers have been steady in the English Language Club held weekly. Our student helper Paul Kennedy has attended various student events in January. Thanks are due to all those who throughout another year have helped out 'behind the scenes' in such activities as cleaning, serving cups of tea, coordinating fellowship lunches, playing the piano, taking Sunday School, providing flowers, preparing the weekly notice sheet, producing rotas, counting and banking the collection and stewarding to name but a few.
Some of us attended the recent EMW Leaders Training day held in Old Colwyn. The day opened with Phil Hill giving a stirring address on the subject of grace, followed by a choice of seminars covering children & young peoples' work, Godly leadership, evangelism, dementia etc. The closing address was given by Matt Francis; all in all a very good day.
John P Gough