Juliet and David write:
Happy New Year to you all! What are you looking forward to in 2008?
Here in Aston, we are looking forward to being involved in “Hope 2008”. Have you heard of this? If not, we would strongly urge you to participate in it, or, even better, get your church involved. It is an ecumenical initiative, supported by many churches, to go out and serve the neighbourhood in which we live rather than waiting for them to come to us. As one leader has put it, “we want to see two million hands reaching out rather than one million wagging fingers!”
How will this work out in our neighbourhood? To a certain extent, this year will see “more of the same”, as the churches in Aston aim to work together to bless our neighbours. There will be free food, free car-washes, free music, litter-picks, and other ways of blessing the people who live in this inner-city area. The first of a number of weekends will take place at the end of March 2008, so please pray for all those planning it, and everyone who intends to take part. What a privilege to be able to bless those around us by serving them!
You will see from Sandra’s contribution that she has decided to move on from being a member of this community. We are sad about this but accept that this is right for her. We are thankful for her valuable contribution to our community and for her support to us as a family, especially during our first weeks of settling in. She will remain living with us until she has formed her plans for moving on.
Please pray for us and especially that others will catch the vision of living in community in Aston and come and join us!
May God surprise and bless you all this new year!
As some of you may know, I was on sick leave for three months last year. This was due to stress-related illness and depression. Thankfully I am recovering, and returned to work last September. Partly due to being ill and partly due to the re-structuring of the Aston Household Community, it’s become increasingly difficult for me to maintain my role as a Community member. With sadness, therefore, I have withdrawn from being a Community member and returned to being a Long Term Resident in the house.
I have found it a great privilege to be a Community member at 121 Albert Road. There have been many challenges, but I have loved living here among the people of Aston. My focus now is on continuing to get well, as well as finding more paid employment and new accommodation. I am grateful to be able to continue living here at 121 in the meantime. I continue to take a part in the running and life of the house. Thank you for your prayers.