REV’D HELEN’S CALL
We were all much taken by surprise in mid January to learn that Helen has accepted a call from two URC churches in Gosport, Hampshire in the Wessex Synod and would be leaving at the end of March.
Her last Sunday service at Fulwood URC will be on Palm Sunday 24th March when we will serve a buffet lunch after the service where there will be plenty of time to say our good-byes.
Lectionary Readings January & February 2013
3rd Isaiah 55: 1 – 9; Psalm 63: 1 – 8; 1 Corinthians 10: 1 – 13; St Luke 13: 1 – 9
10th Joshua 5: 9 – 12; Psalm 32; 2 Corinthians 5: 16 – 21; St Luke 15: 1 – 3, 11b – 32
17th Isaiah 43: 16 – 21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3: 4b – 14; St John 12: 1 – 8
24th (Palm/Passion) St Luke 19: 28 – 40; Psalm 118: 1 – 2, 19 – 29
31st Easter Day Acts 10: 34 – 43 or Isaiah 65: 17 – 25; Psalm 118: 1 – 2, 14 – 24; 1 Corinthians 15: 19 – 26 or Acts 10: 34 – 43; St John 20: 1 – 18 or St Luke 24: 1 – 12
7th Acts 5: 27 – 32; Psalm 118: 14 – 29 or Psalm 150 or 2 Kings 7: 1 – 16; Psalm 2; Revelation 1: 4 – 8; St John 20: 19 – 31
14th Acts 9: 1 – 6 (7 – 20); Psalm 30 or Isaiah 61: 1 – 3; Psalm 90: 13 – 17; Revelation 5: 11 – 14; St John 21: 1 – 19
21st Acts 9: 36 – 43; Psalm 23 or Isaiah 53: 1 – 6; Psalm 114; Revelation 7: 9 – 17; St John 10: 22 – 30
28th Acts 11: 1 – 18; Psalm 148 or Leviticus 19: 9 – 18; Psalm 24: 1 – 6; Revelation 21: 1 – 6; St John 13: 31 – 35
5th Acts 16: 9 – 15; Psalm 67 or Deuteronomy 34: 1 – 12; Psalm 109: 21 – 31; Revelation 21: 10, 22 – 22: 5; St John 14: 23 – 29 or St John 5: 1 – 9
LETTER FROM THE SYNOD CLERK
I am delighted to share with you the news that, as a result of the meeting on 16 January 2013 of the members of the Synod Panel, the General Secretary and the Assembly Review Group, we were unanimous in our decision to endorse Richard’s reappointment as Moderator. I was present with Richard when the General Secretary shared with him the news of the Assembly Review Group’s decision and was able to convey to him the delight of the Synod Panel at this outcome. I also shared with him the submission we had made, as a Panel, to the Review Group, with its summary of feedback from churches, ministers and officers of the Synod.
When sharing this news it is necessary, of course, to stress that the decision of today’s meeting is subject to the endorsement of Mission Council at its meeting in May.
I wish to place on record my personal gratitude to the four members of the Synod Panel (Revd. Alan Poolton (for South Area), Mrs Ruth Clarke (for Cumbria Area), Ms Pat Oliver (for Central Area) & Mrs Elizabeth Fletcher (for Lancashire Area)) for their diligence and care in this process.
I am delighted to have had responsibility, in the closing days of my time as Clerk, for a process and outcome I believe to be such good news for North Western Synod. My thanks, in particular, to all those who responded to the Questionnaire requesting feedback for this process. Confidentiality regarding sources was maintained throughout but your comments and views helped shape what we were able to share with the General Secretary and Review Group.
We send our congratulations to Kathleen Cross, who was in our pulpit leading worship quite recently, as she will be elected as the new Synod Clerk at the Synod at Chorley URC on 9 March.
We also send thanks and best wishes to Rev Geoffrey Clarke as he moves on in his ministerial journey to The Crossings, Worksop – a Methodist/ URC LEP.
A museum had acquired a new exhibit. It was an item of tapestry, and when it had been unpacked the curator noticed it didn’t have a picture. Instead, it was just a jumbled mix of coloured strands. One day, the designer of this tapestry visited the museum and the curator was quick to confront him. The curator explained that the public disliked the designer’s contribution. It was offensive and had to be removed.
The designer was surprised at this reaction. Later, he went to see where his work was displayed and exclaimed: “It’s the wrong way round! You’ve hung my tapestry back to front!” When the tapestry was hung correctly, the curator now saw a magnificent picture. It was a masterpiece – an inspired work of art.
In this story, the tapestry represents our lives. The mixture of coloured strands are symbolic of all our human experiences and feelings. When we view our lives from one perspective, it can appear to be in a mess. All we can see is a confused jumble of pain, hurts, frustrations and difficulties. Life seems to be a puzzle and has no meaning. But our Creator God sees life from another viewpoint. He turns life’s tapestry around to reveal a true picture. God’s perspective shows life with a purpose, peace and power.
God is the Master Designer who can change the ugly into the beautiful. He can use all the colourful aspects of our life and interweave them to fill our lives with His light and love. With God’s Spirit within us, He can turn us around so that in His sight we become a picture of holiness.
Thanks to St Bartholomew’s, Chipping and St Michael’s Whitewell Magazine
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
Operation Christmas Child has reached the milestone of delivering 100 million shoeboxes to vulnerable children.
More than 17000 gift filled boxes from Lancashire have been exported to vulnerable youngsters in places including Belarus, Liberia and Romania.
Regional Manager Ian Taylor, said “We’re so grateful that despite the recession and the hardship, everyone is feeling people have really gone the extra mile this year to pack shoeboxes with love and because of that we’ve been able to reach our 100 millionth shoebox.” (LEP 31Jan13)
Thanks to Ian Ferguson
Q What excuse did Adam give his children as to why they longer lived in Eden ?
A “Your mother ate us out of house and home.
At our January meeting, Rev’d Helen gave an illustrated talk about her visit last June to the Holy Land. It was good to see and to hear of her impressions of some of the places familiar to most of us only through Bible stories. £33.50 was collected for McCabe’s Education Trust which includes a Blind School in Bethlehem.
Ruth Bruce made a return visit to speak about her long walk from John O’Groats to Land’s End – in particular, from “Preston to the Lizard” Due to our interest in the places she visited and one or two technical difficulties which added to the excitement, we only got as far as Minehead. Ruth has agreed to return in May to continue walk and hopefully we will make it to the Lizard. A collection for Ruth’s chosen charity – Life Education Lancashire realised £34.00
By popular request on Thursday 13th March we will hold another Hot Pot Supper and table top games evening. Please sign the sheet to order hot pot or let Margery know
On Thursday 11th April Veronica Frost who entertained us last year with her experiences from her Singing Safari in South Africa returns to give her illustrated talk entitled “ A Tour of Thailand “ Collections will as usual be taken for the speaker’s chosen charity
Q Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible ?
A Samson – he brought the house down.
CHURCHES TOGETHER IN FULWOOD & BROUGHTON
Ecumenical Service A well-attended Week of Prayer Ecumenical Service was held at St Anthony’s in January.. The new vicar of St Cuthbert’s Rev’d Eric Bossward preached the sermon, the members of the clergy again signed the Covenant and Margaret Thompson encouraged us to celebrate us the 25th Anniversary of formation of Churches Together in Fulwood & Broughton and reminded us many of the activities we have shared together.
Rev’d Sydney Fox On 3rd February conducted his last services at St John the Baptist, Broughton. We wish him a long and happy retirement.
Lent Series A new series of Lent Bible Studies based on Ephesians has started at Preston Minster on Monday Evenings 7.30pm to 9.00pm It started on 18th February and continues to 25th March and follows the format of the successful. Each evening consists of worship, prayer, a talk from one of the charitable organisations active in the city and a short Bible study comprising, a talk and brief discussion and refreshments. All are welcome
Change in the Year
It is the first mild day of March;
Each minute sweeter than before,
The redbreast sings from the tall larch
That stands beside our door.
There is a blessing in the air,
Which seems a sense of joy to yield
To the bare trees, and mountains bare;
And grass in the green field.
NEED WE SAY ANY MORE?
God you have given me another day of totally gratuitous life: my health, my eyes, my ears, my mind, my taste, my family, my freedom, my education, clean water, more than enough food, a roof over my head, a warm bed and blanket, friends, sunshine, a beating heart, and your eternal love and guidance. To any one of these we must say, “And this is more than enough!”
If we begin our day with any notion of scarcity, not-enoughness, victimhood, or “I deserve”, I promise you the day will not be good – for you or for those around you. Nor will God be glorified.
“OUT OF THE MOUTHS….”
On a cold day in December, some years ago: A little boy, about 10-years-old, was standing before a shoe shop on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached him and said, ‘My, but you’re in such deep thought staring in that window!’
‘I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,’ was the boy’s reply.
The lady took him by the hand, went into the shop, and asked the shop keeper to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.
By this time, the shop keeper had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she bought him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, ‘No doubt, you will be more comfortable now.’
As she turned to go, the astonished child caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her: ‘Are you God’s wife?’
Thanks to Beaconsfield URC
Q Which servant of God was the most flagrant law breaker in the Bible?
A Moses. He broke all ten commandments at once.
A FEW THOUGHTS TO DWELL ON
+ The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.
+ The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
+ God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
+ Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
+ When you get to your wit’s end, you’ll find God lives there.
SUNDAY MORNING BLUES
One Sunday morning, a mother went to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, “I’m not going.”
“Why not?” she asked. “I’ll give you two good reasons,” he said. “(1) they don’t like me, and (2), I don’t like them.” His mother replied, “I’ll give YOU two good reasons why YOU SHOULD go to church. (1) You’re 59 years old, and (2) you’re the minister!”
LANCASHIRE AREA MEETINGS
These are held at Penwortham URC as open gatherings for fellowship, discussion and exploration. They commence at 7.00am with bring and share refreshments on the first Wednesdays of each month.
The February meeting was most instructive about the work of Derian House – one of the charities supported by our Advent Fair.
6th March Changing Church…? By Linda Rayner (URC Co-ordinator for Fresh Expressions) Full details on Notice Board.