Community Newsletter – 2nd Edition

Community Newsletter – 1st Edition

Sienna (Pt 6) – I’m A Miracle

It doesn’t matter what you’ve gone through, or what you are currently going through. It may be small; it may feel like the biggest thing ever. You may not see a way out of your current situation. Know this: your story is not over.

Sienna (Pt 5) – I’m A Miracle

It continued to get worse. Despite me thinking my problem was a personality issue, the low self-esteem was about to take me down another harmful path. I began to hate more than just being shy, different and lonely. I began to hate the way I looked.

Sienna (Pt 4) – I’m A Miracle

With every night that passed, with the tears running down my face, the dull ache of loneliness sat heavy on my heart to the point that I started to internalise everything, over and over again. I hated being different. I hated being shy. I hated being alone.

Sienna (Pt 3) – I’m A Miracle

Looking back now, I know that during those hard times, through the times when I felt most alone, the only way the feelings eased back below the surface and out of sight for a time, was because of God. He was, after all, the only person I had.

Sienna (Pt 2) – I’m A Miracle

If you missed Part 1, go back and read it! It will only take a few minutes but to quickly recap: we’re about to explore my journey from a child, who could barely speak to non-family members, to an adult, who I’d say is only semi-shy…

Sienna (Pt 1) – I’m A Miracle

In the words of Gospel singer Anthony Brown, “I’m a living, breathing, walking, talking, moving miracle. People said I’d never, they said I’d never ever, but stop, look, watch…”.

Sometimes little things happen, or there’s something minor that I do that makes me take a step back and think about far I’ve come in life. Things most people wouldn’t give a second thought about, things that seem trivial because it’s so normal to them.

PA Training For A New Generation

Behind the scenes every Sabbath, an invisible team, currently led by Patrick Shepherd, runs the PA and Media at Willesden Church.

Willesden’s PA team were one of the first of the UK Adventist churches to start streaming and the department has grown and developed significantly over the years. What started off as a small piece of audio equipment in a cupboard, that simply supplied sound to the church, has become the fully-equipped, multimedia studio that is currently run by a passionate team of volunteers.

“Back when we started streaming, we could only reach ten people at a time,” said Darren Allen, who has been part of the PA department in one way or another for over twenty-years. “More recently, our challenge has been expanding the size and skills of the team.”

Over the past year, there has been an influx of young people interested in volunteering. This led to an immersive training day, run by Darren and Serene Allen, on Sunday, 19th February.

“We took the team through an entire demonstration of what it takes to run PA every Sabbath,” explained Serene Allen, who has served the department almost as long as her brother, Darren. “From unlocking the PA room door and turning on machines, to having audio, video and projection ready and set up before the first programme even begins.”

The ten young people participating were so engaged that they stayed long after the training had finished to ask in-depth questions of the trainers; even more exciting is that they all expressed how eager they were to put their training into practise straight away!

Love In Action – Willesden Adventist Church Leads On Community Outreach

A unique outreach event on 14 February, 2023, brought scores of people from the community to the Willesden Seventh-day Adventist church. Under the caption Love In Action – Touching Lives, Changing Communities, as the world focused on Valentine’s Day, the church’s outreach was demonstrable of God’s love, reflected in practical acts of love and service to its community. Departmental church leaders and volunteers from the church’s Centre of Help and Hope and Community Kitchen served each attendee with professionalism, care and compassion.

Continue reading the full article on the British Union Website ->

Willesden’s Mt Sinai Team Take 1st Place at PBE

Our Mt Sinai team are still in with a chance to go to Athens, Greece, for the Pathfinder Bible Experience (PBE) Finals, in April!

Having diligently studied the book of John, and its SDA Commentary companion, the team took a first place spot at the second round of the PBE competition, on Saturday, 11th February. They are now focused on the next stage; competing at the Union Level testing on 11th March.

Led by their captain, Jaedon Rose-Campbell, the team also consists of: Amanda Kabambe; Aalia Prince; Lynette Muchikange; Jediah Dawson; Joel Anderson; Kiara Welch; and Kynsi Welch, as their courier.

Please keep them in your prayers as they continue to study!

Sip & Paint for Willesden Teens

Teens from Willesden Church kicked off their 2023 social calendar with a ‘Sip & Paint’ event, on Saturday, 4th February.

Pauline Hutchinson, along with the Teens department team, pulled this activity together specifically to get to know the young people and give them a creative, social time with each other.

“I suggested this activity as I took part in a similar type of event at work”, shared Pauline. “I discussed it with the team and they believed it would be a great idea for our first official meeting with the Teens – something completely different! It was a great way of fellowshipping with each other, because who doesn’t love eating, drinking and painting!”

The charity Son Of A King (SOAK), who support men’s mental health, donated the canvases and easels for the evening, helping to bring all the details together perfectly for the painting session.

The twelve teens that attended enjoyed the evening so much that the event has been established as a regular feature throughout the year.

Willesden Comms

Relections On Time

(A Stewardship Article by Yvonne Cummins, Willesden SDA Church – July 2022)

What is time? It’s difficult to describe but perhaps indicates that things are constantly occurring and changing, without anyone intervening (the time and tide wait for no man idea). When did time commence? The Bible states “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). Beginning implies the start of a time recording system. As God creates, we are introduced to night and day, and the notion that morning and evening constitutes a day. So He is the author of time, without being subjected to the limits of time – He is Immortal!

Time is on a continuum, for after the flood the Lord God Himself ordained: “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)
Time cannot be escaped! In fact it is “inflicted” on us from the beginning and virtually everything around us reminds of time – we wear timepieces, clock in and out of work, and so on. At our birth, a birth certificate is issued, indicating that we are born at a certain time, on a specific day and month of a particular year. And as we know, time is measured – seconds, become minutes, minutes convert to hours and hours into days, days into months and months into years. And as most of us become familiar with life, we begin to recognise that every day is a countdown to death. Upon death someone will be issued with our death certificate stating the time, date and circumstances of our death.
We also know that tomorrow will become today (if an extra day is granted us), and today will transform to yesterday (and history). Every day we live then, is history in the making. And even, if tomorrow is not granted to us, life has taught us that there will be a tomorrow. What we commit to history through our decision making, generally speaking, cannot be undone, therefore we need to be careful how we use it (time) and make it count!! Good news – the righteousness of Jesus undoes our sins when we repent, and God forgets them (Hebrews 8:12).
So, we are born and die, and the baton of life passes from one generation to the next, similar to a relay. But we are not simply born for the sake of living and dying, God who created time wants us to redeem time, using every opportunity to do good and to have thankful hearts (Ephesians 5:15-20). Therefore, we are not to waste it consumed with trivial pursuits!
Each person is assigned a day in which to die – each of us has a timeline. Psalm 90:10, gives the average lifespan of a human as 70 years, extending to 80 years, if we are strong (implying that there are things which might be done to enhance longevity – the application of health

laws, perhaps). Within the timeline of life, God has promised to extend the life of individuals who honour their parents (Exodus 20:12). One thing is certain, we are finite beings, and none of us knows the time assigned for us to die, hence the Psalmist requests of God: “… teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

Using the example of ants, Proverbs 6:6-11 implores us not to be lazy, but to structure/utilise our time well. And in Luke 12:16-20 Jesus warns us not to be like the foolish rich man who stored up much riches, and even planned his retirement, but did not plan a relationship with God. “But God said unto him, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall all these things be, which thou hast provided?” (Luke 12:20). This reminds us to first seek the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all our needs will be supplied. (Matthew 6:33)
We might even be involved in very meaningful, essential activities, but with the wrong emphasis. This is clearly portrayed in the story related in Luke 10:38-42 where Martha is busy making food preparations etc. for Jesus, whilst her sister, Mary, sits at Jesus’ feet listening to His every word. Martha complains to Jesus about the stance taken by Mary, which she considers as unreasonable behaviour. However, Jesus tells her that Mary’s choice is better. So, prioritise time for God.

Because: “… God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16); crucially, time is set in motion for us to repent of our sins. Of repentance time, there is only now, and 2 Corinthians 6:2 reminds us “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” Further, Hebrews 3:15 warns “Today, if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts…”

Simply put, time is now; tomorrow is not promised, therefore we need to review whether we have accepted God’s gift of salvation, which will determine whether we spend ceaseless time (eternity) in God’s presence in the new earth.

Jesus is coming again, and no-one has knowledge of the timing, but He states “Behold I come quickly….” (Revelations 22:20). Here again, we see time reflected, as quickly implies speed, which is related to time.

There is so much more that could be said about time, the subject is vast, but this reflection is intended to be brief, so as Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that there are times to engage in specific matters, it’s time to bring this reflection to its closure. Be smart as ants and utilise time well! And like Mary, let the word, presence and focus of God dominate your time.

A Brief Take On “Talents”

(By Yvonne Cummins – June 2022)

We are bombarded with so much on the subject of talent. There are many and varied kinds of “talent shows” particularly on television, including X- Factor, and Britain’s Got Talent, where people showcase their talent[s] to the general public and compete for the winning position. These hopefuls seek to change their status in life, and might derive adoration, a new career pathway and/or fame, and even monetary reward.

We’ve also become acquainted with people who call themselves talent scouts, such as in the game of cricket, football, gymnastics, and ice skating, whose purpose it is to identify talented individuals, and make a name for themselves in the bargain. Generally speaking, this is the worldly perception of, and utilisation of talents.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines talent as “… a natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught.”

Let’s take a look at Scripture to see God’s perspective. Exodus 35 provides a very good illustration.
Moses said to the Children of Israel “The Lord has chosen Bezalel, the son of Uri from the tribe of Judah, to work on the Sanctuary. He has placed His Spirit on him and given him skill, ability and knowledge in all types of artistic works….” (Exodus 35:30)

There are a number of important things highlighted by this Scripture. Here we see that Moses doesn’t play the part of the talent scout, but points out the originator of

the talent as being the Lord. And God chooses specific people to endow (in this case Bezalel).
The Lord’s purpose for endowing Bezalel was for him to do works on the Sanctuary. In other words, God’s expectation when He gives us a talent is that it be utilised predominantly for the benefit of God’s works, in this particular example to work on the Sanctuary.

When God endows an individual with talents, the anointing of the Spirit of God is essential for that person to fulfil the ordained works with skill, ability and knowledgably.

We note that Bezalel was gifted with the ability to do various types of works. Therefore, is possible for an individual to be empowered with one, or several gifts or talents. We can also conclude, that without the Holy Spirit’s anointing Bezalel would have been just an ordinary, very good craftsman, like those whom God called him to teach!

Further, Exodus 35:34 indicates how God wants Bezalel’s talents to be utilised: “The Lord has given him and his assistant Oholiab son of Ahisamach the skill to teach.
From this statement, we can deduce that the Lord can choose to group skilled individuals together and give them clear roles. Bezalel is the main person, Oholiab is his assistant. It is also very clear to see from this example that Bezalel and Oholiab are both expected to teach and to skill others to work for the Lord. God therefore wants an attitude of sharing and building up/ enabling of others. He doesn’t want those He’s gifted to keep it selfishly.

But the ability to teach is not the only gift bestowed on Bezalel, and his assistant, we are given an indication of some of the talents God bestows as Moses states: “He wants him to design things to be made out of gold, silver and bronze.” (Exodus 35:32). “He wants him to cut and set precious stones, to carve wood and to use his artistic craftsmanship to help me to make His Sanctuary.” (Exodus 35:33). “He has given them skill as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers and weavers of fine linen and yarn dyed blue, purple and scarlet. They will do this with the skill of trained designers and craftsman.” (Exodus 35:35)

According to 1 Peter 4:10 each of us have some of God’s gifts which we should use to help others, “like good stewards, administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

There’s also an attitude which should exist when using our talents, i.e. “Whoever serves should do it with the strength that God has given Him, so that God will be praised through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 4:12).

So, let God reveal your talent[s] and use them, not for self-glorification but for the building of God’s kingdom and for His glory!

Baptismal Candidate Inspires Willesden’s 24-Hour Prayer Line

‘Marvellous, infinite, matchless grace’, were the song lyrics that opened Willesden Church’s third baptism since lockdown lifted. The church came together, on Saturday, 21st May, to celebrate the new journey of baptismal candidate, Gloria Patricia Edwards, who inspired the creation of Willesden’s 24-Hour Prayer Line.

Gloria had joined a prayer call, led by Willesden’s Pastor Mario Phillip, that ended up running over by several hours because of her contribution. It was because of this that the church decided to extend their prayer ministry and establish a 24-hour prayer line for anyone that needs it.

Yvonne Cummins, a Willesden church member and the candidate’s younger sister, welcomed everyone to a “two-pronged ceremony”.

“This is both a funeral, from which the devil is put aside, and a marriage service, where the Spirit of the Lord stands in allegiance with those getting baptised,” explained Yvonne. “This is our very own jubilee celebration!”

Yvonne also shared her sister’s story, of how their family is from a Sunday church background and Gloria’s hope that other family members and friends will accept the seventh-day Sabbath as the will and gift of God.

First Elder Keith Allen led Gloria through her baptismal vows, after which the members unanimously accepted Gloria into the church’s fellowship. Pastor Mario Phillip shared an encouraging message, speaking of having to hide his own baptism from his mother as a young person.

“My mum said I couldn’t get baptised and so I put some clothes in a bag, left them with a neighbour and went to church,” he said. “When the preacher asked if my mother knew, I lied and said yes! That night she was so angry, but me getting baptised was the catalyst for other members of my family to get baptised. If I hadn’t made that decision, other people would have not been affected. I urge you, Gloria, to be a catalyst to others. He who began a good work in you will complete it to the very end.”

Gloria’s friends and family joined together, in person and from around the world via the live stream, to support and witness her baptism.

In his final words to Gloria, Pastor Phillip described how important baptisms are in the life of children of God.

“Noah preached for hundreds of years and only eight people came to God!” declared Pastor Phillip. “Today we are celebrating that the Kingdom of God has won again. He will enable you to lead the life that comes next; the same God that called you will sustain you. As tough as it gets serving Jesus, it is worse not serving Him.”

Willesden Communications

The Body Temple

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Besides the spiritual implications of this verse, we understand that we are to care for our bodies, since God gives them to us for his glorious purposes. They ultimately belong to him.

It is also important to note Paul’s statement in Ephesians 5:29-30 (ESV) that says, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church….” He makes the implicit assumption that we will naturally want to take care of our physical bodies.

Unfortunately, we are often guilty of taking our bodies for granted, abusing and/or neglecting them in various ways. This ought not to be so. Many of us fail to properly nourish our bodies through a healthy and well-balanced diet. We don’t take the time or effort to exercise like we should. Some people abuse their bodies through overeating, excessive consumption of alcohol, illicit drug usage, and even intentional self-harm.

Our bodies are intended to be holy instruments for God’s special usage. We are also supposed to enjoy our bodies and their remarkable functional capacities.

Our bodies are indeed amazing creations. Your nose has the capability of remembering 50,000 different scents. Your taste buds are replaced every 10 days. Your body sheds about 600,000 particles of skin every hour. Your blood vessels could circle the globe that is 100,000miles of blood vessels in an adult human body.

While awake, the human brain produces enough electricity to power a light bulb. Human bones are ounce for ounce stronger than steel, though they are composed of 31 percent water. The human eye can distinguish about 10 million different colours. If uncoiled, the DNA in all the cells in your body would stretch 10 billion miles.

Your brain uses 20 percent of the total oxygen and blood in your body. In a lifetime, your brain’s long-term memory can hold as many as 1 quadrillion (1 million billion) separate bits of information.

Your heart beats about 100,000 times a day pumping 1.5 million barrels of blood during your lifetime, enough to fill 200 train tank cars. When you take one step you are using up to 200muscles. These are just small fraction of the wonders of the human body.

Yes, your body is an amazing organism. It was made by and belongs to God. Therefore, take good care of it and use it for God’s purposes.

If you don’t take care of your body- your temple – where are you going to live?

Bible Teaching and Study (3)

It is not enough to know what others have thought or learned about the Bible. Everyone must in the judgment give account of himself to God, and each should now learn for himself what is truth. But in order to do effective study, the interest of the pupil must be enlisted. Especially by the one who has to deal with children and youth differing widely in disposition, training, and habits of thought, this is a matter not to be lost sight of. In teaching children the Bible, we may gain much by observing the bent of their minds, the things in which they are interested, and arousing their interest to see what the Bible says about these things. He who created us, with our various aptitudes, has in His word given something for everyone. As the pupils see that the lessons of the Bible apply to their own lives, teach them to look to it as a counsellor.

Help them also to appreciate its wonderful beauty. Many books of no real value, books that are exciting and unhealthful are recommended, or at least permitted to be used, because of their supposed literary value. Why should we direct our children to drink of these polluted streams when they may have free access to the pure fountains of the word of God? The Bible has a fullness, a strength, a depth of meaning, that is inexhaustible. Encourage the children and youth to seek out its treasures both of thought and of expression.

As the beauty of these precious things attracts their minds, a softening, subduing power will touch their hearts. They will be drawn to Him who has thus revealed Himself to them. And there are few who will not desire to know more of His works and ways. {Education Pg. 188}

Bible Teaching and Study (2)

The use of object lessons, blackboards, maps, and pictures, will be an aid in explaining these lessons, and fixing them in the memory. Parents and teachers should constantly seek for improved methods. The teaching of the Bible should have our freshest thought, our best methods, and our most earnest effort.

In arousing and strengthening a love for Bible study, much depends on the use of the hour of worship. The hours of morning and evening worship should be the sweetest and most helpful of the day. Let it be understood that into these hours no troubled, unkind thoughts are to intrude; that parents and children assemble to meet with Jesus, and to invite into the home the presence of holy angels. Let the services be brief and full of life, adapted to the occasion, and varied from time to time. Let all join in the Bible reading and learn and often repeat God’s law. It will add to the interest of the children if they are sometimes permitted to select the reading. Question them upon it, and let them ask questions. Mention anything that will serve to illustrate its meaning. When the service is not thus made too lengthy, let the little ones take part in prayer, and let them join in song, if it be but a single verse.

To make such a service what it should be, thought should be given to preparation. And parents should take time daily for Bible study with their children. No doubt it will require effort and planning and some sacrifice to accomplish this; but the effort will be richly repaid. {Education Pg. 186}

Reasons for Reform – Importance of Health Principles

I have been shown that the principles that were given us in the early days of the message are as important and should be regarded just as conscientiously today as they were then. There are some who have never followed the light given on the question of diet. It is now time to take the light from under the bushel, and let it shine forth in clear, bright rays. CD 23.3

The principles of healthful living mean a great deal to us individually and as a people. CD 23.4

All are now being tested and proved. We have been baptized into Christ, and if we will act our part by separating from everything that would drag us down and make us what we ought not to be, there will be given us strength to grow up into Christ, who is our living head, and we shall see the salvation of God. CD 23.5

Only when we are intelligent in regard to the principles of healthful living, can we be fully aroused to see the evils resulting from improper diet. Those who, after seeing their mistakes, have courage to change their habits will find that the reformatory process requires a struggle and much perseverance; but when correct tastes are once formed, they will realize that the use of the food which they formerly regarded as harmless, was slowly but surely laying the foundation for dyspepsia and other diseases.— CD 24.1.

Bible Teaching and Study (1)

In childhood, youth, and manhood, Jesus studied the Scriptures. As a little child He was daily at His mother’s knee taught from the scrolls of the prophets. In His youth the early morning and the evening twilight often found Him alone on the mountainside or among the trees of the forest, spending a quiet hour in prayer and the study of God’s word. During His ministry His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures testifies to His diligence in their study. And since He gained knowledge as we may gain it, His wonderful power, both mental and spiritual, is a testimony to the value of the Bible as a means of education.

Our heavenly Father, in giving His word, did not overlook the children. In all that men have written, where can be found anything that has such a hold upon the heart, anything so well adapted to awaken the interest of the little ones, as the stories of the Bible?

In these simple stories may be made plain the great principles of the law of God. Thus, by illustrations best suited to the child’s comprehension, parents and teachers may begin very early to fulfil the Lord’s injunction concerning His precepts: “Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sit in thine house, and when thou walk by the way, and when thou lie down, and when thou rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:7. {Education Pg. 185, 186}

Reasons for Reform – Why the Light on Health Reform

The Lord has let His light shine upon us in these last days, that the gloom and darkness which have been gathering in past generations because of sinful indulgence, might in some degree be dispelled, and that the train of evils which have resulted because of intemperate eating and drinking, might be lessened. CD 22.2
God has permitted the light of health reform to shine upon us in these last days, that by walking in the light we may escape many of the dangers to which we shall be exposed. Satan is working with great power to lead men to indulge appetite, gratify inclination, and spend their days in heedless folly. He presents attractions in a life of selfish enjoyment and of sensual indulgence. Intemperance saps the energies of both mind and body. He who is thus overcome, has placed himself upon Satan’s ground, where he will be tempted and annoyed, and finally controlled at pleasure by the enemy of all righteousness.—CD 22.4

In order to preserve health, temperance in all things is necessary,— temperance in labour, temperance in eating and drinking. Our heavenly Father sent the light of health reform to guard against the evils resulting from a debased appetite, that those who love purity and holiness may know how to use with discretion the good things He has provided for them, and that by exercising temperance in daily life, they may be sanctified through the truth.— CD 23.1
Let it ever be kept before the mind that the great object of hygienic reform is to secure the highest possible development of mind and soul and body. All the laws of nature—which are the laws of God—are designed for our good. Obedience to them will promote our happiness in this life and will aid us in a preparation for the life to come.— CD 23