From the Manse. Dear Friends,
There is a Bible verse chosen by the President of the Methodist Conference, I believe, each year, which is printed on the annual membership cards. I was interested to see that the verse for 2019/2020 comes from the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5.9 (NRSV).
Peace is a topic that is often talked about, both outside the church community and within it. We long for and pray for peace in different parts of the world where there is tension, warfare or violence.
We hear of ‘road-maps’ to peace, of peace-keeping forces, of peace talks, of the peace makers and peace-breakers. We treasure moments when we can personally enjoy some peace.
We share ‘The Peace’ in services of Holy Communion. Within the Bible the Hebrew and Greek words for peace (shalom and eirene) are frequently used.
Peace, in this context, is about wholeness and well-being. It is the parting gift of Christ Jesus to his followers. It is a quality or ‘fruit’ produced by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
In 1974, the Week of Prayer for World Peace was founded. It was a Christian initiative, but it soon became an inter-faith activity, and now welcomes everyone of all faith traditions, or none, to take part.
Its first Chairman, the late Dr Edward Carpenter, former Dean of Westminster, established the guiding principle of the week in the words “The peace of the world must be prayed for by the faiths of the world”, and this is still its basis today.
In praying alongside those who do not share our faith, we are not saying that our differences are not important, but we are recognising that there are common goals, which unite us with others, such that we can be partners together in praying and working for peace.
The road to peace is no easy path. As long as suspicion, fear, prejudice, ignorance, misunderstanding and the like persist there can be no true peace. Overcoming these things, especially when they are deep-seated and the result of long periods of conditioning, is never going to be quick or simple.
Yet each of us needs to do what we can, with God’s help, to live more peaceably with our neighbours, near and far.
I remember finding The Universal Prayer for Peace, which is printed below, at a time when I was encouraged to pray for peace.
Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth;
lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust;
lead me from hate to love, from war to peace.
Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.
As a New Year begins, may the God of peace and love be with you.
We continue to pray for and remember those who have recently lost loved ones. We pray for those who are not well at this time.
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.
Many families were represented in all the activities that took place in our Church over the Christmas period and we remember all of those families in our prayers.
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.
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MEET AND EAT CHURCH
The next three planned dates for this regular event, held:
- Monday 3 February 2020
- Monday 2 March 2020
- Monday 6 April 2020
We meet at 5.30pm for 6.00pm. Please sign up on the lists when they are displayed in the Primary Room.
LOTS AND LOTS OF CHILDREN, AND THEIR FAMILIES
During the Christmas period our Church Family enjoyed the seasonal celebrations in the company of hundreds of children, who were either using and visiting our premises or were present at two of our local schools when we went to visit them.
On Saturday 30 November some of our own children took part in ‘A Family Christmas Story’. (These same children, and others, are currently rehearsing for our annual pantomime on Saturday 29 February.)
The next day, Sunday 1 December, the Church was open during the afternoon. Lots of families looked in on the activities set up in the Hall and over 100 people, many of them children, called into Church to see the Christmas trees on display there.
During the afternoon of Sunday 15 December our Church Hall rooms were full of enthusiastic Messy Church children and their families.
They had come along to be fully occupied in a wide range of Christmas craft activities. Keith led an act of worship for the children and adults, round in the Church, and then they all returned to the Hall premises to enjoy a meal together.
Later some of the children stayed on to take part in our Carol Service. Other children who had not been at Messy Church were also present at the Carol Service.
The Sutton Methodist Pre School children took part in their Christmas performance on the afternoon of Monday 16 December.
Mums, dads, grandmas, granddads, family members, friends and members of our Church were thoroughly entertained and the children seemed to enjoy themselves too.
The children looked amazing in their special costumes. So much work goes on behind the scenes to prepare for an occasion like this and special thanks must go to the hard-working staff of the Pre School.
The next day, Tuesday 17 December, a group of us visited Cavendish Primary School to lead a whole-school morning assembly. We also visited Spring Cottage Primary School the same afternoon.
At both schools Christingles were made and their significance discussed. We performed a drama entitled ‘Jesus’ Christmas Party’. This involved some of the children and all of the children sang familiar Christmas carols.
The following day, Wednesday 18 December, Gillshill Primary School made a return visit to our Church so that Years 5 and 6 could hold their Christmas Carol Service.
The traditional Christmas readings were read by some of the children and all the children sang their hearts out to perform a wide range of carols.
The children filled the downstairs of the church and upstairs there were over 120 seats occupied by supporting family members and friends.
Finally, our traditional Christmas Eve Christingle Service was held at 5 o’clock on Tuesday December 24.
The downstairs of our Church was once again packed with children and adults who were all given the chance to make a Christingle, join in the singing of carols and watch another performance of ‘Jesus’ Christmas Party’ featuring the very grumpy Innkeeper. On seeing the baby Jesus, however, the Innkeeper’s life was changed forever.
So, all in all, it is no exaggeration to say that hundreds of children were ‘involved’ in our Church over the Christmas period!
A big thank you to all who helped to make the circuit event for Martin House so successful. A fabulous evening of stories, poems, sketches and songs woven through the Christmas Carols brought laughter, joy and fun and helped raise £609 for the work of Martin House.
Many thanks to everyone from Sutton who supported, especially the singing group for their contribution to the evening. Next year the event will be on Thursday 3rd December.
Saturday 25 January, 3 – 5pm, Beetle Drive and Afternoon Tea Primary Room Sutton. Please add your name to the list on the notice board in the Primary Room.
Saturday 29 February 2020 Cinderella – The Pantomine at Sutton Methodist Church 2.00 pm and 7.00 pm. Tickets available on the door.
COME AND JOIN US AS WE PRAY WITH ZIMBABWE
World day of Prayer Friday 6th March 7pm at Holderness Road Methodist Church. The Theme is: Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk A Service for Everyone.
APPEAL TO SPONSOR GRACE PENN-TIMITY TO GO ON S.A.C.T.S MISSION FOR THREE MONTHS
From 1st April to 1st July 2020, the SACTS Chair Lady will be taking an unpaid leave from her work as a Nurse to go to Malawi and Sierra Leone to support children and their families to improve health and wellbeing through education.
What does she hope to achieve?
The SACTS chairlady aims to provide buckets with taps on for schools. This is to encourage regular hand hygiene (Hand washing) in schools where they lack running water.
Conduct lessons on Basic First Aid and CPR in schools across Sierra Leone and Malawi for children. Helping them to understand recovery position for people with epilepsy (when they are fitting/seizing), perform CPR (for cardiac arrest, feminine hygiene, how to look out for signs of Stroke (F.A.S.T. approach), and basic diabetic care.
Provide support and encouragement for teachers and families on simple tips to promote good health and well being.
GRACE IS HOPING TO RAISE £1600 TO COVER SOME OF HER COST WHILE ON THIS MISSION.
Here are ways you can support Grace:
- Go fund me page: “Taking love, hope and helping hand to Africa”. SACTS website www.give.net/sacts2019 with specific note to say “for Grace’s mission”
- You can give to Grace or Lansford when they are around. Or send a donation.
Please donate to help Grace fulfil this mission.
Many thanks, from SACTS Admin.
Cinderella – the Pantomime
Sutton Methodist Church, On Saturday 29 February, 2pm and 7pm. Tickets: Adults £6 Children £3 Available on the door.
BRANSHOLME METHODIST CHURCH
Weekly services at Bransholme Methodist Church have been temporarily suspended, but are expected to return in one form or another. Some services may be held during the fortnightly women fellowship meetings, obviously, these will be open to men and women.
Information about services will be disseminated through regular activities at the Church and possibly through Sunday notices at other Churches.
Please bear with us while we work out the best way of continuing our formal worship at Bransholme. Meanwhile, all the weekly activities continue as normal. Bransholme Methodist Church will value your prayers at this time as to our vision for the future.
BRANSHOLME WEEKLY DIARY
|Tuesday||9.30 am||Table Top Sale|
|1.30 pm||Women’s Fellowship (twice monthly)|
|Wednesday||1.00 – 2.10 pm||Baby Soft Play (closed during|
|4.30 – 6.30 pm||Messy Church (once a month)|
|Thursday||9.30 -11.30 am||Parent & Toddler group (closed during school holidays)|
SEND A CHILD TO SCHOOL
The circuit is supporting the Send a Child to School charity, details of which are on the circuit website.
We are no longer collecting hymn books, bibles or other books for Sierra Leone and Malawi. We are still collecting cash or cheque donations for school fees, stationary for school children, used computers, laptops, children’s clothes, toys, shoes, school bags, stacking or folding chairs and tables and any other school related items.
Many thanks for your continued support to these poor and vulnerable children of Africa.
In His Service, Lansford Penn-Timity.
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