Kevin and Jennifer Cable of Church Mission Society are our new church mission link and will be our mission focus for April-June.
Following approval by the PCC, we are pleased to introduce our new mission link partners to you.
Who? Kevin and Jennifer Cable are mission partners with Church Mission Society (CMS). Kevin has been an ordained priest of the Church of England for nearly 12 years, most recently in a parish in Bournemouth. He was formerly a police officer. A Messianic Jew (a Jew who has become a Christian), he speaks Modern Hebrew (though it does require improvement!). Jen has been a nurse for over 30 years and has spent much of her working life working in practice nursing. She has been active in church all her life, after coming to faith as a teenager.
Kevin and Jennifer Cable
Where? Kevin and Jennifer are heading to Jaffa to reopen St Peter’s Anglican church. It has been closed, lying damaged and disused, since the Arab–Israeli War of 1948 (which established the modern state of Israel). They have been invited by the Diocese of Jerusalem to reopen and lead it. Both locals and the expatriate community have been increasingly calling for an Anglican presence and worshipping community there. (Jaffa is a place of great biblical significance. It is the historic Joppa: the place from which Jonah attempted to sail to Tarshish, the port where the cedars of Lebanon arrived to build the temple in Jerusalem, and the place Peter received his vision to go and preach to the Gentiles.) Situated near the historic port, the church is ideally placed to be a witness to Christ in the cosmopolitan community that makes up modern Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
St Peter's Church
Why? The Bishop of Jerusalem, Archbishop Suheil (whose father served at St Peter’s until its closure) and the Diocese of Jerusalem have been working towards this and praying for many years for the church to reopen. Kevin and Jennifer’s part in this began when exploring sabbatical opportunities while in Israel in 2019, but their call to ministry in Israel developed over a long period of time prior to this. They have sensed God confirming that call every step of the way.
To do What? By re-opening the historic Anglican Church in Jaffa, the intention is to strengthen the presence of Christ in the Middle East, an area of the world where the Christian community has sadly declined in recent years. Kevin and Jennifer see three clear priorities: the expatriate community; the local community; seafarers in the local ports of Jaffa and Ashdod (the latter working with the charity Mission to Seafarers).
When? Kevin and Jennifer’s (online) training with CMS finished in March. At the time of writing, they are waiting for visa approval and hope to travel out in the second half of April. We hope to join up with them during our Sunday services sometime in May.
Firstly, we can support them in prayer: so, do pray that everything falls into place and that they can travel. Then we can each sign up to get regular updates from the Cables so that we can continue praying.
Also, of course, they need financial support. The Diocese of Jerusalem is spending a large sum refurbishing the church and providing accommodation. At this stage it cannot pay them as well (do visit the diocese website to see the excellent mission work, such as education and medical work that the diocese is involved in across a wide area of the Middle East). So, CMS is seeking support to enable the Cables’ ministry. As a church we are committing to regularly support them from the PCC’s annual allocation to mission. However, individuals can also support them with regular or one-off donations. To do that, and to sign up for updates, visit their CMS webpage: churchmissionsociety.org/people-in-mission/jennifer-and-kevin-cable or pick up one of their leaflets from the display in church to fill in and send to CMS.
St Peter's Church Interior
And Help? Then, at some stage in the future, there may be opportunities for groups from the church to travel out to help in some way … we will how things develop.
We will continue to update the church on this exciting new mission link over the next months and years. If you want further information in the meantime, do speak to Keith or to David Tester who would be only too happy to help.