From the Manse. Dear Friends,
We are now into a new edition of the magazine heralding the activities and seasons of May and June, but it is not so long ago that many of us were considering the events of Holy Week and Easter.
These events are full of accounts of people who saw things and thought about things very differently. Pilate could find no reason to charge Jesus; the chief priests were adamant he was guilty (John 19 v 6-7).
One of the criminals hanging pn a cross alongside Jesus hurled insults at him; the other recognised an opportunity for forgiveness and restoration (Luke 23 v 39-42).
Mary saw an empty tomb and thought Jesus’ body had been stolen; John saw the grave clothes and believed (John 20 v 1-8).
How often do we see that in our own lives or in the lives of people we know?
The perspective we have on a situation or on something that has happened to us, or the manner in which we choose to think about it, has a huge impact on our response to that situation and our ability to move forward from it.
A few years ago, somebody pointed out this statement to me: “You do not have more problems than other people – you just think about them more often!” You might want to reread that sentence and then take a moment to consider what it means.
Is it really what you think about that produces how you feel?
Well, try getting angry without first having angry thoughts or try becoming sad without first having sad thoughts.
It is impossible isn’t it? To experience a feeling, one must have the thought that produces it first.
So, it must follow that if you change how you think, you will change how you feel about things and how you see things.
The apostle Paul recognised the importance of what we think about. In his letter to the Philippians he wrote: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things!” (Philippians 4 v 8).
This verse suggests that whenever we find ourselves being negative about a situation or worrying about it, we do have a choice. We can choose to change what we think about and then our perspective will change as well.
As we read the Psalms, we discover that this is something one of the palmists, David, chose to do.
He focused his thoughts on the goodness of God. “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with love and compassion.” (Psalm 103 v 2-4)
Sometimes we have to be encouraged to think and believe that ‘Together We Can Do It!’ That is together with God and together with one another.
Over the years the church families of Sutton and Bransholme have proved that to be true on many occasions.
As people have caught a vision, thought positively and seen things through God’s eyes, then things have been done! So, I encourage you over these coming days to be thinking and praying about what it is God may be calling us to do or inviting us to share in. And to share those ideas.
Let us continue to think on those things that are pure, lovely and admirable and to seek God’s will and God’s way for us, trusting that God can fulfil his purposes in us, even now!
In Christ, Rev Debbie
We continue to pray for and remember those who have recently lost loved ones.
We continue to pray for those living in residential homes and we pray for those who are unable to come to worship due to ill health or mobility problems.
We give thanks for The work carried out in our church over the last two months and, upon completion, we look forward to moving back into the Church for Sunday worship.
We are particularly thankful for those church members who have coordinated all this work, liaising amongst a number of specialists, and providers of the various services that we have required, in order to get the work done and the cleaning up afterwards.
We also pray for Our Minister, Debbie, and the other Circuit Staff. The needs of the Circuit, the Circuit Stewards and individual churches in the Circuit and the issues that face the Circuit.
LINKS WITH SCHOOLS
A group from our church visited Cavendish Primary School in the week before the pupils broke up for the Easter holidays. Spring Cottage Primary School received a visit too, at the beginning of the new summer term.
Please pray for this continuing work as we strive to maintain our links with neighbouring schools in the future.
EASTER CRAFTS AFTERNOON – MESSY CHURCH
From 2 o’clock to nearly 6 o’clock on Thursday 18 April the Church Hall was very busy when over thirty children and around twenty parents/grandparents/carers attended this special event.
It was especially good to see lots of new faces. As well as preparing all the activities and bringing along the food.
There was a wide range of craft activities relating to Easter, and the weather was perfect for the ever-popular Easter Egg Hunt which took place outside at the back of the Church Hall premises. (Thanks to Church members who donated eggs for this event.)
Keith Thomas was with us to lead the Easter reflections in the Church. The children and their parents were the first people to use the Church after the new ceiling had been installed – the cleaners had left just 20 minutes before!
At the end of the afternoon a ‘Messy Church’ tea was served. We hope to see all the children, and their parents, again at the sessions planned for the summer term:
- Thursday 9th May
- Thursday 6th June
- Thursday 20th June
- Thursday 4th July
- Wednesday 24th July
- Sunday 28th July (Holiday Club)
SUTTON ANNUAL CHURCH MEETING
The Annual Church meeting will be held on Sunday 19th May after the church service. For those involved with church groups, a simple report for the Annual report is needed.
A Spring Market to be held on Saturday 11th May from 10am – 1pm. We would like donations of cakes, bric-a-brac and any other gift items plus help on the day please.
WEDDINGS AND OTHER CHURCH EVENTS
Perhaps, given the situation with the vital work required on the Church ceiling, it could be considered quite fortunate that we have not had a surfeit of requests for weddings, etc., so far this year.
However, we do have some, and it will be lovely for the families to have their event in our newly refurbished Church.
As last year, it would be nice if a few Church members were able to attend the weddings too. Details will be added to the weekly notices for those who may wish to represent the Church in this way.
All of you will know that the work on renovating the ceiling, and redecoration of the Church has been quite costly, and fundraising was on the agenda at a recent Stewards meeting.
From that I have agreed to compile a list of possible fundraising activities and events to assist in improving our financial situation.
I have a small list of possible activities, both large and small. Now I am asking all of you, if you have any ideas, suggestions or thoughts for events that will help replenish our funds, to please let me know.
The idea being that while raising funds, we all have a good time creating enjoyable events for friends, families and a wider community, as well as Church members.
Please see me in Church, leave a message in the vestry, or contact us via our Facebook page, with any ideas you, or people you know, may have.
Let’s make it a busy, happy year!
We hope to update the Remembrance Book early this year. If you have any names that you would like to add please pass them to Rev. Debbie Lucas.
FORTY YEARS AGO
The following appeared in the June 1979 edition of our Church Newsletter:
One Step Forward
We were able to welcome a much larger than usual congregation to the evening service on May 20th though we see bigger congregations for the Annual Carol Service.
A large team of visitors had invited almost all the families who have a close connection with the church during the previous four weeks; if you were missed off the visiting, then you have our apologies but we wonder why you are not on our church roll.
If you were unable to attend on that occasion but feel that you still want to take One Step Forward in your Christian faith, then do please return the leaflet in the collection basket or directly to me.
If you were missed off the visiting and wonder what we mean by taking One Step Forward, then please have a word with any one of the people who were on the working party that organised the mission. Their names are listed below.
The analysis of the leaflets (which will be done by myself only) will take a little while; I see that there are many responses from a quick inspection and that some of these will require help from others, though for many, the response is totally the responsibility of the people themselves taking One Step Forward.
Due to laws concerning GDPR we cannot list identifiable names (without permission) as well as address, emails or phone numbers in this digital copy of our Newsletter. Please, seek a copy of this Newsletter from one of our churches if you need to see extra missing information.