Weekly Update - stamps

Alpha
Alpha begins on 28th September and will be in person at church on Wednesday evenings. This is a free course to explore Christianity and is great for those new to exploring the Christian faith. If you would like to join in or know of a friend please do contact Ruth Robinson (ruth@ststephens-ealing.or) or Caroline Newbold (caroline@ststephens-ealing.org) for more information. There will be refreshments and home-made cakes available each week.
 
Climate Service
This Sunday we welcome Richard Todd and Rosemary Croft, both Trustees of LAMB Healthcare who are guest speakers at our services. We have partnered with this organisation for several years, and they will update us on the work of the hospital in NW Bangladesh. Our money helps to provide hospital care to those who cannot pay. Bangladesh has long suffered severe damage from Climate Change. The seas are rising and taking land back in the south. Sudden floods from the Himalaya to the north destroys lives and livelihoods. Come and hear their stories and faith in God as together we can serve the poor.
 
Ealing Half Marathon
On Sunday 25th September St Stephen's will be supporting the Ealing Half Marathon. We will not have any morning services, but do come along and cheer on the participants. We will have a said Communion service at 6pm - no children's groups.

Mark Tate who runs the Grove Community is running in the Ealing half marathon, with a team, to raise £4,000 for the work there. He loves this it, the people and the ministry and is really excited to grow and develop the work there - things like; Sunday Services, English courses, trauma courses as well as establishing a Community Grocery but, they are in real need of finances for the coming year. Mark's personal target is £2,000, any money you can give will make a real difference to the work they do. Here is the link to the fundraising page, or if you prefer you can give cash directly to Mark. 
 
Big Green Fair
On Sunday 2nd October stay on after our 10:30am service for lunch or come back for our Big Green Fair that afternoon from 12.30am. We can now confirm that we have Dr. Bike coming, so bring your bike for safety checks and advice on active, carbon free travel. We also have Imperfect Catering providing wonderful sustainable lunches. Our Traidcraft Stall will have new Fairtrade stock freshly in. Come join in a short litter pick with Andrew of LAGER Can, and take part in the Recycling Challenge. Find out what happens at Wolf Fields Nature Reserve, Southall. Meet Ealing's Friends of the Earth. Make bird feeders, bug hotels, sow wildflower seeds and send messages to our Government asking for more action on Climate Change and Biodiversity. Lots of fun for all ages. Don't be depressed by the challenges we face - there are so many little things we can do together to effect change.
 
Harvest
We will be celebrating Harvest on Sunday 2nd October and all donations (non-perishable food or money) will be given to Ealing Foodbank who is the largest in the London area. They serve huge numbers each week, so stocks of food are very low. Please give what you can in kind (tinned, dried or long life food) or money.
 
Congratulations to Doreen Samaroo who recently celebrated her 80th birthday and our condolences to Valerie Harrigan whose mother died on Thursday 8th September, and to Harry, Hal and Holly.
 
Save the Date
Sat 18th November - 7:30pm, Tearfund Big Quiz - in person at church
Sat 26th November - Christmas Fair
Sun 11th December - Carol Service
 
Retreat at Douai Abbey
Douai Abbey has a Roman Catholic community of monks who will be running a retreat called 'Seven Bells to Bethlehem' from 2-4 December. Led by Br. Simon Hill OSB, a monk from the community, he will be reflecting on how the season of Advent developed. See how Isaiah, John the Baptist & the Virgin Mary stand out and fit into the whole Christmas celebration of the Birth of Christ. Total cost £160/ shared room £128pp (payable during stay). Andrew & Susan Dixon will be there. Contact them for more details but please book direct on 0118 971 5399 or email; guestmaster@douaiabbey.org.uk.
 
Parish Prayer
This fortnight we are praying for those who live to the west of our parish, where some church members live.
 
Prayer for the Week
Merciful God,
your Son came to save us
and bore our sins on the cross:
may we trust in your mercy
and know your love,
rejoicing in the righteousness
that is ours through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.