Friday, May 20, 2022

Paul's Spring Update from England

 

Dear friends, I hope and pray that this update finds you well.  It was a blessing to be able to connect and share with some of you during my January visit to the USA.  For those I missed, maybe next time around.  It’s been a lovely spring in England.  It must be difficult being an atheist looking at all the spring flowers popping from the ground and having to imagine they came from nothing.

We know better and our hearts are filled with joy as they point us to the Creator of all things.

 CC York

The church is going well with all of its varied ministries.  I’ve been blessed with the privilege of teaching in the church every now and then.  The church is quite a mix of British and internationals with a number of university students attending.  We will be hosting our annual UK Pastor’s Conference the first week of June.  Please pray for the Lord’s hand to be upon that and that He would bring those in need of refreshment.

 Bible College

It’s been another blessed semester.  This semester I am teaching Acts and 1&2 Thessalonians.  We have students representing England, Ireland, Israel, America, Switzerland, Finland, and Canada.  Every semester we receive Israeli students through a scholarship program from the Joshua Fund.  Most of these students are former IDF soldiers or current reservists and bring a mature dynamic to the student body.

Speaker’s Week

For the past few semesters we’ve been able to return to the Jonas Centre in the lovely Yorkshire Dales for Speaker’s Week.  It’s a week-long break from the normal classroom setting where students are able to hike in an idyllic setting and hear the voice of the Lord.  Psalm 23 comes alive in the midst of the bleating of newborn spring lambs.

Outreach Week

In the post-Covid world we have resumed sending teams out for outreach week.  We sent a team to Sligo, Ireland where they assisted a local Calvary Chapel with evangelism and other community service projects.  I was able to go with a team to Millstatt, Austria (the Castle) where we spent a week cleaning and preparing the facility for the upcoming summer conference season.  We had morning devotions in 1 John each work day.  We were able to spend a day in Salzburg and met some Austrian street preachers and prayed with them (Michael and Stefan).  One of them had a banjo and played "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms” for us.  It actually sounded pretty good; no offense to banjo enthusiasts.

Coffee Shop in Salzburg

Austria Team


Schloss Heroldeck at Dusk


 



 




Lake Millstatt



























York Baptist Church

I was blessed with an invitation to speak at York Baptist Church recently for their Sunday evening service.  The message was on “Why the Resurrection Matters”.  York Baptist Church was pastored by F.B. Meyer in the 1870’s and it was from there that D.L. Moody began a fruitful evangelistic campaign.  England has an incredibly rich spiritual heritage but is in great need of a fresh work of grace.  Please join me in praying for this!

 Prayer Requests:

Please pray for our Bible college students as the semester ends and they seek the Lord for the right way to go

That the Lord would put together the student body for the upcoming fall semester

For the upcoming UK Pastors Conference

For the Calvary Chapel youth retreat that we will be hosting in mid June.

For a fruitful summer

 

About Me:

 

Paul Goodwin

I have been serving at Calvary Chapel York, England since 2016.  I teach at the Bible College and serve at the church in a variety of ways including teaching, prison ministry and leading worship.   If you'd like to follow my journey more closely, I have a blog (www.pfgoodwin.blogspot.com).  I can be contacted at pfgoodwin@hotmail.com.

 

If you wish to support this ministry, contributions can be addressed to "Shepherd's Staff" with account #1454 in the memo section of check and sent to Shepherd's Staff, 6739 Academy Road, Suite 320, Albuquerque, NM 87109. Automatic EFT can be set up through Shepherd's Staff website: www.ssmfi.org. Prayers are also greatly appreciated.  The Lord bless you!

 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

 

CC Bible College York

Dear friends, I hope this update finds you well.  We’ve just wrapped up yet another great Bible college semester with a wonderful group of students.  The Lord did a good work in all of our hearts this semester.  Covid protocols were eased for the most part up until the end and we were able to do many of the things we normally do including Speaker’s Week in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.  Four students were baptized in the River Ure during our week there.

Baptism in the River Ure

 We put on a full Thanksgiving dinner for the students and Bible college family followed by a (secret turkey) gift exchange.  This semester we also had a time of weekly worship and waiting on the Lord on Wednesday evenings in our coffee shop (Gatehouse Coffee) which is in a 15th century building situated on the city wall of York.

 Please pray that the Lord will put together the student body for the upcoming spring semester as He sees fit and that we as a staff would be sensitive to His Spirit.

Bible College flats





CC York

Calvary Chapel York is doing well with a number of new faces in our congregation as we have emerged from lockdown.  Men’s and women’s meetings have resumed as well as our university student ministry.  York has 25,000 university students, many of whom are international, and we provide a monthly lunch for those who come to the church.  We have a unique facility between the Bible college and church where we’re able to host missionaries who are passing through.  It’s a gracious place that represents a gracious and great God.  It’s a blessing to serve the Lord wherever we have been called, and I am blessed to be a part of this ministry.  I’m in the worship leading rotation and have had some recent teaching opportunities in the church.

 Prison Ministry

Praise God we have been able to resume our prison ministry and have conducted monthly services at HMP Humber in October, November and December.  In December we took a group of 15 students and church members in and sang Christmas carols in all 16 wings of the prison.  It was an all-day affair and a great blessing for us (and hopefully them also!).  “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor. 2:14-16). 

 Our Friend Rene

An unexpected sadness has come upon us at the Bible college as one of our fellow teachers and a good friend, Rene Etzold, has gone home to be with the Lord.  He was visiting family in Germany and had been ill for about a week and passed suddenly on Christmas Day.  We mourn the loss of him but rejoice in the truth that although he is absent from the body, he is present with the Lord ((2 Cor. 5:8).  Please pray for his mother and brother.  We will miss him around here.

USA Visit

Lord willing I will be in the South Jersey area from around January 7-25.  If you would like to meet up for coffee or have me share about what God is doing in England please contact me.

 

Wood-fired BBQ for students
 

About Me: 

I have been serving at Calvary Chapel York, England since 2016.  I teach at the Bible College and serve at the church in a variety of ways including teaching, prison ministry and leading worship.   If you'd like to follow my journey more closely, I have a blog (www.pfgoodwin.blogspot.com).  I can be contacted at pfgoodwin@hotmail.com.

 If you wish to support this ministry, contributions can be addressed to "Shepherd's Staff" with account #1454 in the memo section of check and sent to Shepherd's Staff, 6739 Academy Road, Suite 320, Albuquerque, NM 87109. Automatic EFT can be set up through Shepherd's Staff website: www.ssmfi.org. Prayers are also greatly appreciated.  The Lord bless you!

 

Friday, September 10, 2021

 

CC York/Bible College

Dear friends, I hope this update finds you well.  All is well in the Lord in York.  The leaves are beginning to turn a hint of yellow which means my favorite season is here.  It was a quick summer; the Bible College semester ended well and then we had our annual UK Pastor’s conference in late May.  It was a wonderful gathering, especially after having missed it in 2020 due to Covid.

Baptism in the North Sea
     Most lockdown restrictions have ended and the rhythm of the church is getting back to normal.  We had a baptism in the North Sea this past weekend with 13 believers getting baptized.  Praise God for that.  I’ve had some opportunities to lead worship and to do some teaching as well as a host of other practical things around the church over the summer.  It’s a blessing to serve the Lord and to be involved with a wonderful community of believers. 

     The Bible College students have arrived for the fall semester.  In-person classes begin this Monday.  The Lord is always faithful to put together a unique group.  This semester we have students representing England, Ireland, Switzerland, Israel, Canada, and the USA.  Please pray that their hearts and minds will be open to receive all the things the Lord has for them and that we as a staff would be sensitive to His Spirit.

Holy Island

I was blessed with the opportunity to spend some time this summer at a retreat house on Holy Island (also known as Lindisfarne).  Holy Island lies just off the coast of northeast England.  It gets cut off by the tide twice a day and is a quiet place.  There are less than two hundred residents and about the same number of sheep.

Sheep grazing on Holy Island

The island has a unique spiritual heritage.  In the 7th century, King Oswald of Northhumbria became a Christian and desired that his subjects would turn from paganism and embrace Christianity.  To this end, he invited St Aiden of Iona to use Holy Island as a base for evangelizing Northhumbria.  Aiden was successful and much of Northhumbria embraced Christianity under his ministry.  The Lindisfarne Gospels were produced on the island by a monk named Eadfrith around 715AD.  This work is an ornately decorated illuminated manuscript containing the four gospels in Latin with an Old English gloss inserted around the 10th century.  It is the earliest surviving translation of the gospels into English and is on display at the British Library in London.  We have taken our students to the library and British Museum in the past and plan on doing so in the future depending on the situation in London. 

Aunt Margaret

Aunt Margaret a few years ago
When I moved to England in 2016, I was able to reestablish a relationship with my Aunt Margaret (my mother’s sister) and some other relatives.  She went home to be with the Lord just the other day after having suffered with dementia for about a year and a half.  I was able to visit her in Blackpool with my cousin the week before she passed and read Psalm 23 and put my hand on her head and prayed over her.  I almost didn’t make the trip but am so thankful that I did.  The Holy Spirit has a way of giving us a sense of urgency at the right time.  The funeral will be on September 22.  Please pray for the Gospel to go forth.  Also please pray for my cousins Jim and Charlie.


        

                    About Me:

I have been serving at Calvary Chapel York, England since 2016.  I teach at the Bible College and serve at the church in a variety of ways including prison ministry and leading worship.  I can be contacted at pfgoodwin@hotmail.com.

If you wish to support this ministry, contributions can be addressed to "Shepherd's Staff" with account #1454 in the memo section of check and sent to Shepherd's Staff, 6739 Academy Road, Suite 320, Albuquerque, NM 87109. Automatic EFT can be set up through Shepherd's Staff website: www.ssmfi.org. Prayers are also greatly appreciated.  The Lord bless you!


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Paul's Spring 2021 Update from CC York

 

CC York

Hello friends, praying that this update finds you well.  After a winter visit to the USA, I made it safely back to England and after the mandatory quarantine and Covid tests, all  negative, rejoined society.  England is slowly emerging from lockdown number three with more rules set to be relaxed in the next few weeks.  Praise God the church at York has been able to meet in person since last summer.  We were one of the few churches in York that reopened for in-person worship as soon as we were permitted.  Technology and the ability to connect remotely is a blessing but there is nothing like it when the people of God are gathered together and He is in their midst; the “shout of a King is among them” (Num. 23:21).

York Minster at Dusk
      It’s a great blessing to serve at CC York.  I am in the worship leading rotation and also had the opportunity to guest teach for Pastor Dave on a Sunday morning a few weeks ago.  I gave a message from Ephesians 5 on being light in the world in these peculiar days we are living in.  There’s really nothing more fulfilling in this life we’ve been given than to be used by the living God for His purposes.  It’s interesting the way that the Lord orders our steps; I remember visiting York as a 13 year old boy some years ago with my mother who was English and having no idea that one day the Lord would call me to live in this city.  A helpful piece of advice for one moving to England is to buy a good raincoat and make friends with the weather.  There are some beautiful, sunny days but we get our share of rain as well.  One of the things I love here that goes along with the rain are the incredible cloud formations and sunrises and sunsets.  Sometimes when clouds come into our lives we get to see the beauty of the Lord in new ways.  His glory illuminates the “problem clouds” and brings beauty out of them with radiant colors and light.


The Yorkshire Dales
CC Bible College York

This is my 6th year teaching at the Bible College and it’s been one of the greatest blessings of my life.  Even in the midst of lockdown, the Lord has blessed us with another great in-person semester with students from the UK, Ireland, Israel, and the USA.  We’ve been having weekly worship nights with times of waiting on the Lord.  Lord willing next week we will be heading to the Yorkshire dales with our students for a modified Covid-friendly version of Speaker’s Week.  Please pray that the Lord will speak and also for good weather as we will be in a beautiful part of England with lots of sheep and stone fences.

 

 UK Pastor’s Conference

We are planning on having a smaller version of our annual UK Pastor’s conference in late May; please pray for the Lord’s wisdom and favor as we put the details together.  We weren’t able to have the conference last year and there is a yearning among the churches to be able to come together in fellowship in the manner of Psalm 133:

 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore.
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore.

Do we ever need to dwell in unity and to experience His Spirit in our midst!

Other prayer requests:

That we would be able to resume our prison ministry at HMP Humber; we have not been allowed to go in since the initial lockdown over a year ago.

 That each of our students would finish the semester well and hear the Lord’s voice concerning their next steps

 For the Lord’s will concerning summer outreaches in the UK

 Pastor Dave Sylvester’s daughter recently had twins.  One of them (Wesley) required open heart surgery which he had last week (at age 5 weeks) and has not been able to breathe without a ventilator.  Please pray that they will be able to remove the ventilator soon and that he will be able to breathe on his own.  The heart surgery helped but he is not in the clear yet.

About Me:

I have been serving at Calvary Chapel York, England since 2016.  I teach at the Bible College and serve at the church in a variety of ways including prison ministry and leading worship.  I can be contacted at pfgoodwin@hotmail.com.

If you wish to support this ministry, contributions can be addressed to "Shepherd's Staff" with account #1454 in the memo section of check and sent to Shepherd's Staff, 6739 Academy Road, Suite 320, Albuquerque, NM 87109. Automatic EFT can be set up through Shepherd's Staff website: www.ssmfi.org. Prayers are also greatly appreciated.  The Lord bless you!


Monday, August 17, 2020

Summer 2020



Hello friends, hope this update finds you well.  

CC York & Bible College

CC York

CC York has resumed limited in-person Sunday services and a few prayer meetings during the week but we are still operating online as well.  We’re not sure when we will be able to resume the full gamut of our other ministries such as coffee morning for the older folks and prison ministry but we will walk through those doors when the Lord opens them.

After being surprised by Covid, we were able to finish the spring semester online and had a wonderful graduation ceremony via Zoom.  The students worked very hard and embraced a difficult situation.  They even continued meeting online for devotions several times a week.  Praise God for their diligence.  

We have decided to move full speed ahead for the fall semester of the Bible College.  We have a number of students planning on coming and barring any unforeseen circumstances are looking forward to seeing the Lord’s hand at work in yet another group of students who have drawn apart for a season to study His Word.  I am planning on teaching the book of Joshua and the Gospel of John.  Please pray for the Lord's good hand to be upon us. 

Evangelism

It’s funny- in conversation I quite frequently tell people that I don’t have the gift of evangelism and that I’m an introvert and such and that I dislike walking up to people for the unsolicited purpose of initiating a conversation about Jesus and salvation.  I’m just being honest.  But the Lord has a way of regularly bringing people to me just as I'm out and about and they initiate a conversation and then I steer it toward the things of the Lord.  Not long ago I was walking down by the river in York and a group of young people (3 girls and 2 guys) asked me what my favorite football team was so in jest I said the Philadelphia Eagles (the correct response would have been more along the lines of Liverpool or Manchester United) but it was all in good fun.  My South Jersey accent always gives me away so that was their next question and after chatting for a few minutes I asked them if they had ever heard the gospel before and would they be willing to listen. 

River Ouse in York
They said yes and put down their cigarettes and I shared the message of the gospel with them and then a bit of my own testimony and they were very polite and allowed me to pray for them when I was finished.  It was one of those encounters that had the Lord’s fingerprints all over it and I could feel His Spirit at work.  I didn’t extract a commitment from them but they allowed me to pray for them and they heard the clear message of the Gospel and I encouraged them to search the Scriptures and to seek after the Lord.  

Then again a few weeks ago I was walking by the seashore in Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast and I had a similar experience sharing the gospel with an older man named Patrick.  There’s a beautiful choreography of heaven as we’re led by the Spirit.  The Lord has a way of using the things in our lives that we perceive to be deficiencies for His glory: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Cor. 4:7).  To be a servant of Christ is one of the greatest blessings in all the world.  Jesus said that "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work" (John 4:34).  As we walk by faith, we get to step in and take part in the work that He is doing in the world. 
Scarborough
The Harbor in Scarborough

God knows how to diffuse light

I've recently been reading in Job and chapter 38 provides an awesome account of God answering Job out of the whirlwind.  The answering is really a series of rhetorical questions that the Lord asks Job.  He asks the following question:

 “By what way is light diffused, Or the east wind scattered over the earth?” (Job 38:24) 

I was thinking about this and one thing is clear, that God is able to diffuse light and also to withhold it.  The physical phenomenon of light and the incredibly complex process by which the human eye perceives it are remarkable; even more so is the idea of spiritual illumination that physical light is representative of.  As our Lord Jesus was being crucified, light was withheld over the earth from the sixth hour until the ninth hour (Matt. 27:45) in a divine demonstration of the gravity of what was happening as human sin was being atoned for.  As the Israelites were on the verge of deliverance from bondage, the ninth plague caused a situation where the Egyptians were stymied by the darkness but the Israelites had light in their dwellings (Exod. 10:21-23).  God is able to give light to His people and at the same time withhold it from those who oppose Him.  "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it" (John 1:5).  We are living in some pretty dark times if we look on the externals but from God's perspective there's quite a different thing going on.  Jesus said, "I am the light of the world.  He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12).  The world doesn't see it, but we see it.  We have light in our dwellings.  These are truly exciting days as we behold the face of Jesus and walk in His light.  Praise God for the Rock of our salvation!  Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!


Sunday, May 3, 2020

Thoughts from York

Hello friends, hope you are well and that you're experiencing the joy of the Lord in the midst of the current situation.  Much has been written from a spiritual perspective concerning the Covid-19 pandemic so in giving an update from York I didn't really feel a pressing need to add to the many articles and social media posts that are already out there.  But there is a word the Lord has spoken to my heart during these days of quarantine:  Don't try to live in any season other than the one you're in at present; the next one will roll around soon enough.  God in His wisdom has caused the whole world to slow down.  All the ministries were in full stride at CC York & Bible College just as they were in many other places around the world and in a matter of a few weeks it all went silent with the exception of ramped up online ministries.

York Minster
York is normally bustling with tourists this time of year; instead the bells of empty churches echo down empty streets.  It's very peaceful.  The Spirit is burning deep and it's a beautiful thing.  It's very quiet at the Bible College.  The students have all returned home to their various respective countries but we are continuing the semester online.  I've been teaching through the Book of Acts and the Gospel of Mark and those classes are now available here on YouTube for anyone.

I've been reflecting on the idea that the church is not the apparatus.  The church is a living spiritual kingdom that cannot die.  We its members are living stones being built up into a spiritual house that cannot be destroyed (1 Pet. 2:5).  It is in this temple that we worship the Father in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24).  It seems quite likely that we will resume meeting in buildings in the near future and that will be a great blessing when it happens, but if for some reason that were not to happen, the church will not have lost her identity because her true identity is in Christ, not in infrastructure.  Over the last 2,000 years the church has been underground and above ground, meeting everywhere from catacombs to cathedrals in different seasons and places.  Her identity has always been the same, regardless of the apparatus particular to any given season.  Jesus said that He would build His church and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18).  He is building His church and I for one will be eternally grateful that He has included me in His doings.  I believe the Lord is doing good things during these days.  Job in the midst of his suffering speaks of a tree that has been cut down and all that remains is the stump in the ground, apparently dead.  Everything above has been lopped off, similar to our present situation.  This is what Job says of that tree:

For there is hope for a tree,
If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And that its tender shoots will not cease.
Though its root may grow old in the earth,
And its stump may die in the ground,
Yet at the scent of water it will bud
And bring forth branches like a plant (Job 14:7-9).

This is an exciting season where God is doing something new, and there will be new things on the other side of this.  More than just the scent, we have living water of the Spirit (John 7:38) and our root is the Root of Jesse, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 11:10).  Surely we will see His hand in the coming days and one day soon we shall see Him face to face!  Amen.


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Christmas 2018 Update


CC York
Hello friends!  England is getting chilly, wet and dark so Christmas must be on the way.  York is lit up and festive, which balances out the gloominess this time of year.  It’s a great blessing to be a part of Calvary in York where there are so many people from different backgrounds but united in the love of Christ.  We have ministries that reach out to every age group, from moms with tots to care home residents.  Last Sunday we sang Christmas carols in a local care home.

Bible College
Yet another Bible College semester is wrapping up quickly.  Graduation is this Friday.  It’s been a great semester with a very sincere group of students representing England, Ireland, USA, Canada, Israel and Germany.  I’ve been blessed with the privilege of teaching through the gospel of John and it’s been a wonderful journey.  Next semester Lord willing I will be teaching through Acts and the gospel of Mark.

Prison Ministry
We are still doing our monthly service in HMP Humber prison.  Tomorrow (12/9) we will be having our Christmas service and I will be leading Christmas carols for the prisoners.  With staff and chaplaincy changes in the prison, we are praying about what the future holds and also looking into some opportunities to minister in other prisons (all in Yorkshire).  Please pray for the Lord’s will regarding this.



Hull Outreach/Bible Study
We have consistently been doing street worship and evangelism in Hull on Friday evenings.  One of the remarkable things is that we have never gotten rained out, which is purely God’s grace given how much it usually rains in the north of England.  Many times it has been raining in the car on the way over but by the time we get to the city center it stops and then sometimes it starts again just as we are finishing.

Hull City Center Fountains


     We’ve had some really great conversations with atheists, agnostics, Muslims, nominal Christians and a few strong Christians as well.  Hull is a bit of an immigrant destination with people from all over the European Union as well as Africa and the Middle East.  Sometimes the enemy would have us believe that no one is interested in hearing about the gospel but we have learned that many are open to at least listen.  We sow the seed and entrust the results to the Lord.




Busking Sign


The “No Money” sign pictured to the right is part of the gear I take with me when doing street worship.  Busking (playing music on the streets for money) is a common and accepted practice in the UK and throughout Europe.  The sign helps to clarify our motives and facilitates our presenting the simple gospel with no strings attached.  The sign has also turned out to be a great conversation starter.  Every week people come up and ask why we are not collecting money, and it turns into a great opportunity to share the message of the Gospel.
     In other news, over the past few months I have been getting together to pray with a group of ministers in Hull who recognize the spiritual needs of the city and want to see new churches planted in various parts of the city.  This group has been welcoming and encouraging for which I am thankful.

Prayer Requests
Please pray regarding my involvement with a pro-life group in York (abortion became legal in England in 1967).  Back in the fall some of us from various churches went into the York city center and manned a display the purpose of which was to present the realities of what abortion is.  We engaged people in a Spirit led loving way as best as we were able (speaking the truth in love).  It was an emotionally intense experience but some of us feel a strong leading of the Spirit that He wants us to be involved concerning this issue in an ongoing way but we are waiting and praying for the specifics and timing.

Please pray for the ongoing uncertainties surrounding Brexit.  Parliament is set to vote on December 11 regarding Theresa May’s recently negotiated agreement with the EU.  Uncertain times are ahead; please pray that the Lord would use this to touch many lost souls and that the Holy Spirit would be poured out in the UK.   

I will be in New Jersey from Dec. 15-Jan 8 and hope to connect as the Lord leads.  Many thanks and may the Lord bless you!