Introducing the Rockin' Rev!

“I don’t do religion, ” they say.

“I’m not religious” they retort, and I reply,

“No, I don’t either”.

The look on their faces when I say this (and mean it), “but, but, you must, mustn’t you”, “No”, I reply.

Many people are religious but being religious can just be religiously doing something, like knocking on wood, having a very stable routine or religiously going to the gym. Some of us musicians religiously practice our scales (mmm).

When religion kills, maims, tortures, represses and leaves people without any hope, then I don’t want to know. What I have is a faith, not one that I will preach down your throats (unless you ask or turn up to a service), neither will I judge you for being who you are or what your life has been.

‘It’s not where you have been that matters it matters where you are going’.

What I mean by that is that we all have a path and if we have chosen the wrong one or life has dealt us a bad hand we should all help each other to find the right path, give a helping hand and a kindly nudge on our way. While training for the ministry I got told that my vocation was to come down my ladder and help others up it.

Time is also far too short to have religious differences. If we look back in history religion hasn’t done itself a lot of favors has it, and when did ‘religious wars’ get its name, for me the two words shouldn’t go together.

Congregationalism came about through civil war. Those that disagreed with the Church dissented. We were the non-conformists that said no to war, no to being part of a corrupt church and state.

Congregationalists ordained the first women minister, ‘Constance Coleman.’ This year we celebrate that anniversary and also the anniversary of Martin Luther pinning the 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg Castle church on October 31, 1517.

What came out of the reformation for the non-conformists was a sense of community, being a church not just going to church or doing what is seen but to do what is needed for the whole community in love with no other motive.   

I was asked just yesterday what kind of Minister I was and what my strengths are. Well, what I’m not is an accountant, plumber, painter decorator, computer scientist, the man of all the answers, one that can please everyone, I’m not a very good time keeper, I have a terrible memory, and I’m not an administrator or organizer. So looks like I’m good for nothing really…. but am I?

 I have love, empathy, compassion, I am driven, outward looking and out of the box thinker, a musician, I’m an entertainer and like to make people smile, open minded, want to see people achieve and encourage others to do so. I am (nearly) academic and I’m a teacher. I love people and have a great compassion for the local community. So that’s what I am, ‘a community minister, ‘The Rocking Reverend’.

So, what is my vision, my mission, my goal?

It is to bring a community together using the resources that I have. We are not a big congregation at the Congregational Church and neither are most of them, we hang on in there by our teeth. We may not be big but the people have big hearts and a bigger vision of how to grow. My favorite saying is, “Preach the Gospel every day, use words if necessary”.

Our church has been hidden for years, many of you have told me that you didn’t even know we existed. It’s not all about religion or preaching or converting, evangelizing, yes it is part of my vocation but when it’s needed, the rest of the time it should be about community and giving out the love. I have seen in the past few years that Wivenhoe is very good at that and I want to be part of it.

My vision also includes making the Church a Community Centre, youth group, food bank, soup kitchen, wedding venue and music venue.

How could you be involved in this exciting adventure? You don’t need to be religious but if you have faith in your town and its community let’s do it together in love. Have you any ideas of what we can do?

Do you have a gift that I described that I don’t have?

Would you like to volunteer?

Are you a student that wants to help me as an assistant.

Can you cook, mend, tidy are you an artist, a musician, administrator that can help.

Do you have ideas for the community, clubs we can put on, activities for the youth, training for the youth so that they learn some skills and are appreciated and encouraged?

Music nights, film nights, themed days, table top sale, art exhibition, poetry club, comedy club, daytime activities?

Maybe you would like to hire the church or hall or both to put on your own event or we can help you in the organization. We have a lovely building and resources and I don’t want it to be lost as so many Free Church buildings are today. How do you grow a community, well I say you take it to the people in ways that benefit all in that community.

Are you in with me?

Please get in touch, I would love to hear from you either on the forum, email, telephone or in person.

 

Blessings, Justin (The Rocking Rev)

minister@wivchurch.plus.com

justinlunniss@hotmail.co.uk

07540 931 683


«1

Comments

  • Happy to be considered to run comedy workshops (have taught comedy writing and performance in schools - at least one now has their own after school comedy club run by pupils). Hazel www.wivenhoefunnyfarm.co.uk
  • Thank you Hazel it would be great if you could run comedy workshops, that is exiting. Please contact me and will have a chat over a cuppa. I also have an idea for a show that I would like to put by you. Blessings, Jus
     
  • Ace. Hope it is also exciting. Will be in touch soon :-)
  • To everyone who has contacted me by email, text, and forum a big thank you for your support and please keep in contact.
    I am now working alongside some wonderful people and will be coming up with some wonderful events. Please keep it coming.

    Do contact me if you are interested in hiring the church or hall. Also if you would like an internship, volunteer, help promote events, put on concerts or shows, art exhibitions, clubs etc then do get in touch

    Question? is there a need for an over 60's lunch club as I have had a few comments? I am also pitching at Wivenhoe soup for some money to take the youth out on trips. This will need volunteers. If you want to be involved or have any idea's please keep in touch.

    What other clubs are we needing in Wivenhoe, please let me know, I need your idea's.

    Blessings, Rev Justin
  • Some sort of computer club would be very useful.
  • There seems to be an overlap between this thread and the one headed "Wivenhoe Congregational Church as a Community Centre".  It would be better if they were combined as some ideas are going in one thread and some in the other.
  • Hi Justin

    I have text you a message about hiring the church for a gig :)

    Duncan
  • Hi Duncan, sorry about the text but I didn't receive it. Can you try again on 07540931683 or justinlunniss@hotmail.co.uk and we will sort the hire out, great.

    Any others wishing to hire the church for concerts or shows let me know.

    Anyone up for putting on a Beer Festival with bands. Jus
  • Greenback: Some sort of computer club would be very useful.

    Do you mean an internet cafe or a learning hub or just a general get together? Jus
  • Poopdecker,

    Sorry about the overlap, I do silly things late at night. I will keep this thread open. I'm still learning how best to use the forum. It's a great resource, thank you, Jason and team. Jus
  • Does anyone know who operates The Wivenhoe Encyclopaedia as a list of Clubs and organizations has not been updated?

    Please, could people list any clubs and organizations that could be collated into a list? Not only is this a great idea for newcomers and those who have been in Wivenhoe a long time or forever but it will also help me to know how to fill the gaps. Jus

  • Wivenhoe News has a current list we could build on perhaps?
    Also will mention the need for a keep fit class for older people would be great.

  • edited February 19
    Happy to publish and maintain a Directory on the forum. My only concern would be personal phone numbers as contact details. But if group organisers are OK to publish these, then a Directory could easily be set up as a new page.
  • Thanks, Jason that's really great. Best to just ask the organizers which contact information they wish to have published. I wonder the best way to gather all the info.

    Does anyone have any idea's how to collate all the clubs and organizations in Wivenhoe for a directory?
    Please let us know if you run a club or organization and wish to have your details published in a directory on the forum.
  • I thought, but I may be wrong, that the WTC was going to take over hosting (and organising?) the Wivenhoe Encyclopaedia.  There are links to it (with a message saying it is out of date) from the WTC site.  The Town Council would seem the obvious body to take responsibility for information about Wivenhoe - good publicity for the Town amongst other things.
  • WTC didn't take it over just provided a link to it. However the Wivenhoe History Group did contact me recently saying something about transferring the information to a new site but I can't remember the details.
  • RevJustin said:
    Does anyone know who operates The Wivenhoe Encyclopaedia as a list of Clubs and organizations has not been updated?

    Please, could people list any clubs and organizations that could be collated into a list? Not only is this a great idea for newcomers and those who have been in Wivenhoe a long time or forever but it will also help me to know how to fill the gaps. Jus

    Peter Hill still looks after the encyclopedia I think
  • Brian said:
    RevJustin said:
    Does anyone know who operates The Wivenhoe Encyclopaedia as a list of Clubs and organizations has not been updated?

    Please, could people list any clubs and organizations that could be collated into a list? Not only is this a great idea for newcomers and those who have been in Wivenhoe a long time or forever but it will also help me to know how to fill the gaps. Jus

    Peter Hill still looks after the encyclopedia I think
    Thank you, I will contact Peter, regards.

  • Daisy said:
    Wivenhoe News has a current list we could build on perhaps?
    Also will mention the need for a keep fit class for older people would be great.

    Is there anyone out there that is able and willing to start up a keep fit class for older people, please 
  • greenback said:
    Some sort of computer club would be very useful.
    Does anyone have any ideas on how we could start a computer club and what we could offer? Thank you, Rev Jus
  • @RevJustin speak with Code Club? A couple of locations already exist in Colchester.

    https://www.codeclub.org.uk
  • RevJustin said:
    greenback said:
    Some sort of computer club would be very useful.
    Does anyone have any ideas on how we could start a computer club and what we could offer? Thank you, Rev Jus
    In answer to the second question, something covering cyber security/safety and cyber crime (phishing scams, viruses, ransomware etc etc) might be of benefit to a lot of individuals and local businesses alike. I suspect it is an area that many of us are woefully ignorant about considering that more and more of our financial transactions and business are conducted online.


  • adrian said:
    RevJustin said:
    greenback said:
    Some sort of computer club would be very useful.
    Does anyone have any ideas on how we could start a computer club and what we could offer? Thank you, Rev Jus
    In answer to the second question, something covering cyber security/safety and cyber crime (phishing scams, viruses, ransomware etc etc) might be of benefit to a lot of individuals and local businesses alike. I suspect it is an area that many of us are woefully ignorant about considering that more and more of our financial transactions and business are conducted online.


    I will definitely be looking into this. Maybe we could start a Computer club at which we invited professional computer experts on subjects that home users and businesses alike could learn from and ask questions, get help and make contacts. Would this be something people would be interested in?
  • I'm sure professional computer experts will be falling over themselves to provide free consultancy to businesses.
  • You may be right, although it is not unknown for professionals in a variety of industries to offer free advice to people, knowing that it gets their name out there as an expert in their field - they may then become people's first port of call when a paid service is required. Demonstrating your expertise to a group can be an effective referral-generation strategy in networking.


  • edited February 24
    I volunteered my time for free to run silver surfers courses when I worked as an IT professional for Hampshire Council and helped people set up internet favourites to help them pursue hobbies and interests, taught basic cyber security and helped people negotiate purchasing things online. It was great fun! Although I am never sure if "silver surfer" sounds patronising or not... "Surf School" might be a better term. :-)
  • edited February 24
    I'm sure professional computer experts will be falling over themselves to provide free consultancy to businesses.
    I don't think we need anyone to fall over themselves. Just one or two community-spirited people who have a small amount of spare time and enjoy empowering less able folk.

    My bet is that Wivenhoe has quite a few of these people. Those who cannot see any benefit of giving to their community are under no pressure whatsoever.
  • It might be worth having a chat to CSEE at the University of Essex about this (the computer club) if you fix a regular date, as outreach is part of their remit. Depending on what you think should be covered (from basic IT skills to webpage coding through to machine coding on Raspberry Pi), I'm sure we could find someone to give a short talk and demo/teach skills. As a professional computer expert I'm happy to help a group get the ball rolling and see if it's a viable idea.
  • JonC said:
    It might be worth having a chat to CSEE at the University of Essex about this (the computer club) if you fix a regular date, as outreach is part of their remit. Depending on what you think should be covered (from basic IT skills to webpage coding through to machine coding on Raspberry Pi), I'm sure we could find someone to give a short talk and demo/teach skills. As a professional computer expert I'm happy to help a group get the ball rolling and see if it's a viable idea.
    Jon, thank you, that would be so great. This is what I hope will happen that I offer the space and the community together develops clubs and organisations that benefit the community. All we need do is charge a small fee to cover the cost of the room. If anyone is interested let us know and when we have a few people we can start the ball rolling. I know for one that I need seriously to learn how to make and keep up a website (if anyone one has viewed ours lately you'll see why. Rev Jus
  • Does anyone know of a fitness trainer that would start up a keep kit fit class for those in their later stages of life? Rev Jus
Sign In or Register to comment.