PASTORAL LETTER – JULY-AUGUST 2014
This year, we haven’t has as many birds in our garden as in past years. The other morning I was in our garden and I heard and saw a thrush, and it was probably the same thrush that has entertained us for the last few years. I suspect it has its nest in one of the tall trees in the wood behind our house I was never any good at poetry when I was at school, unless it was put to music. I was reminded of a song by one of the fellow members in the Orpheus Choir – “The Darkling Thrush” – words were by Thomas Hardy and in it, the despondent poet on a bleak winters day comes across an ancient thrush-“ in blast be-ruffled plume” singing a “full hearted evensong of joy unlimited”. It makes Hardy wonder if the old bird knows something he doesn’t! But there is often something of beauty in everyday life, just waiting to be discovered, enjoyed and appreciated. It reminded me of Genesis where, after God created the world and the universe in all its varied splendour, he said it was very good. (I think it was better than that). The creation is given to be enjoyed. The Creator put aside one whole day a week so, as a Sabbath, people could rest from ordinary work and enjoy the natural order with praise and thanks to him. Do you remember this time last August when between the 17th and 24th, the magnificent Preseid meteor shower gave us a show unsurpassed before in our lifetime? This phenomenal show of wonder in our atmosphere will not happen again until the year 2125, but if you are an astronomer you could see the event every year when remnants of this meteor fly across the northern hemisphere. After the cold night comes the sunrise. It was the death and the resurrection of Jesus that enables us all to worship in our Church today. We consider the small birds so small and vulnerable yet determined to stretch their wings and take flight what-ever the risks out there. I am reminded of the words of Jesus that no one sparrow falls to the ground without our Heavenly Father’s knowledge or concern. We should be determined that, however timid or vulnerable we might feel at times, that with God’s help we would find the courage to be a better person and try to live for God’s glory. I was recently told about a man called Frank Smyth who, in 1947, just when things were beginning to settle down after the war, was very keen on walking and climbing. He used to go up to the Lake District at every opportunity to walk the fells and sometimes run these same fells that Jean and I have walked in the past. He was a rugged tough character often seen in a chunky woollen jumper, always smoking a pipe. He climbed many mountains all over the world. At that time many climbers considered him the best climber in the world. His greatest achievement was climbing Mount Everest to within 1000ft of the summit. He was alone, without oxygen, and wearing only boots thick tweeds and a hat. There was none of the insulated climbing gear and thermal clothing used by mountaineers today. He faced bitter cold, fierce storms, ice, snow, thin air and loneliness and it was a great achievement. Over the years, Jean and I have climbed and walked many of the fells and valleys in the Lake District, the lower slopes of Ben Nevis, Snowdonia and many parts of the Pennine Way. We have always used these occasions to reflect on God’s Glory, the fresh air, beautiful mountain streams, rocky inclines and breathtaking views from the summits give an unforgettable glimpse of God’s glory. But you do not need to climb mountains to see the beauty of God. A walk in the local village or town park, a stroll around the village green, an amble along the canal watching boats and admiring wild flowers, or an afternoon spent gardening can all awaken us to God’s presence. These moments when we are alone with the beauty and glory of nature can easily slip into a silent prayer of thanksgiving to the Creator of the World. Father we thank you for the beauty in our daily life, for all that we behold in our universe. We thank you for the human skills and exploration in your creation. We thank you for your love in Jesus today, giving us hope for tomorrow through joy and sorrow we thank you. AMEN
Lectionary Readings July & August 2014
July 6th Genesis 24: 34 – 38, 42 – 49, 58 – 67; Psalm 45: 10 – 17 or Song of Songs 2: 8 – 13 or Zechariah 9: 9 – 12; Psalm 145: 8 – 14; Romans 6: 12 -23; St Matthew 11: 16 – 19, 25 – 30 13th Genesis 25: 19 – 34; Psalm 119: 105 – 112 or Isaiah 55: 10 – 13; Psalm 65: (1 – 8), 9 – 13; Romans 8: 1 – 11; St Matthew 13: 1 – 9, 18 – 23 20th Genesis 28: 10 – 19a; Psalm 139: 1 – 12, 23 – 24 or Isaiah 44: 6 – 8; Psalm 86: 11 – 17; Romans 8: 12 – 25; St Matthew 13: 24 – 30, 36 – 43 27th Genesis 29: 15 – 28; Psalm 105: 1 – 11,45b or Psalm 128 or 1 Kings 3: 5 – 12; Psalm 119: 129 – 136; Romans 8: 26 – 39; St Matthew 13: 31 – 33, 44 – 52 August 3rd Genesis 32: 22 – 31; Psalm 17: 1 – 7, 15 or Isaiah 55: 1 – 5; Psalm 145: 8 – 9, 14 – 21; Romans 9: 1 – 5; St Matthew 14: 13 – 21 10th Genesis 37: 1 – 4, 12 – 28; Psalm 105: 1 – 6, 16 – 22, 45b or 1 Kings 19: 9 – 18; Psalm 85: 8 – 13; Romans 10: 5 – 15; St Matthew 14: 22 – 33 17th Genesis 45: 1 – 15; Psalm 133 or Isaiah 56: 1, 6 – 8; Psalm 67; Romans 11: 1 – 2a, 29 – 32; St Matthew 15: (10 – 20), 21 – 28 24th Exodus 1: 8 – 2: 10; Psalm 124 or Isaiah 51: 1 – 6; Psalm 138; Romans 12: 1 – 8; St Matthew 16: 13 – 20 31st Exodus 3: 1 – 15; Psalm 105: 1 – 6, 23 – 26, 45c or Jeremiah 15: 15 – 21; Psalm 26: 1 – 8; Romans 12: 9 – 21; St Matthew 16: 21 – 28 September 7th Exodus 12: 1 – 14; Psalm 149 or Ezekiel 33: 7 – 11; Psalm 119: 33 – 40; Romans 13: 8 – 14; St Matthew 18: 15 – 20
From the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Waterperry Gardens, Oxfordshire: If ought thou hast to give or lend This ancient parish Church befriend. If poor, in spirit willing, Out with thy purse and give a shilling. But if its depths should be profound, Think of God and give a pound. Look not for record to be given But trust for thy receipt in Heaven.
QUARTERLY CHURCH MEETING, THURS 19th JUNE 2014
Opening at 7.30pm, Chairman Ian, Secretary Mac and Treasurer Vivien were at the top table, with 9 members also present. We heard first of the sad news about the death of Dorothy Danson, on the previous Friday in hospital. Apologies were received on behalf of Craig, Peggy and Richard & Frances. Minutes from 6th March were circulated and formally approved, together with a note of our Special Meeting after Worship on 4th May, when unanimous agreement to join the Central Lancashire Group of four U.R.Cs was recorded. Pastoral updates were next received regarding Margaret Wakeford, Marion Oakley and Margot Ferguson. Matters Arising included completion of work on our Church Sound System, as described previously. The results were generally felt to be a great improvement, particularly from the readers’ lectern, but obviously depend on the individual speaker’s expertise with their microphone. Mac reported that the previously approved combination of Elders and Finance/Property meetings, feeling that this arrangement was working well. On the Ministerial Vacancy, our agreement to the new group is noted above, and its new Interim Moderator was confirmed as Rev. Michele Jarmany of Clitheroe. The Pastorate Profiles had been complied and submitted. One extra stage was the secondary responsibility of Rev David Coaker for both Fulwood and Kirkham churches, and the need to consult on a “Preaching with a View” joint service, perhaps on 3rd or 17th August next. From Synod and Area Meeting, Mac emphasised the next Area open meeting arranged for Wednesday 9th July, 7pm at Symonds Road, with a focus on Climate Change and Fracking. He was also glad to announce Margery’s new appointment as the Area Pastoral Secretary. Local news items covered fixing Thursday 17ty July for our Church Fellowship summer lunch at Ferrari’s, just beyond Longridge. Our annual rotation of elders means that Norman, Vivien, Margery and Brian & Jean must retire. All five had now accepted re-nomination, and Mac therefore submitted proposal for their re-election, which we (thankfully) approved without dissent ! Turning to Financial Matters, Vivien presented her Treasurer’s Report, quoting 2014 income to date as £24.249, set against expenditure of £15,083. She notes that the former is boosted both by Manse rental, and by legacies from Richard Arton and Douglas Heaton. Conversely, pulpit supply expenses has almost doubled, but that is compared against a year when we had a Minister for the first three months. The Quinquennial Inspection remedial works at Church had progressed, with gutter/spouts/drain’s clearance, plus renewal of one rotten front porch canopy-brackets, all included in expenditure above. A problem with our small square tables, made unstable by bent metal legs due to welding failure. A short-term chance to replace them at £20 each had been referred to the Elders, and this action was now given retrospective approval. Under Other Business, our Sunday School teachers had asked that, when just James and Nathan are present, they may be taken by one lady teacher. Subject to written confirmation by each child’s parent/guardian (also present in the building) we voted unanimously in favour to accept the request. We also agree to consultations on the possibility of holding an Autumn Fair, on Saturday 8th or 22nd November 2014. Having selected Thursday 4th September at 7.30pm for our next Quarterly Meeting, we closed by sharing the Grace together at 8.14pm.
Dear God, You are my light and salvation. You are my Hope. Please come into my heart and forgive all my wrongs and give me Your wonderful gift of eternal Life. Help me be an instrument of Your Love and cause Your light to shine on others through me.” Amen
DOROTHY MARGARET DANSON
Dorothy passed away suddenly on 13th June in hospital, following a short illness and our thoughts and prayers are with Ron and the family at this sad time. Her funeral service was held in Church on 30th June, conducted by Rev’d Nigel Lemon There was standing room only for some in a packed church with a congregation of family, church members, colleagues and friends from many areas of her life. We are pleased to be able to include Nigel’s tribute to Dorothy in this edition. Dorothy Margaret Crabtree was born in Preston on 25 Nov 1939: she was later known as Dorothy Crane following her mother Mollie’s second marriage. Her childhood homes were above the family’s confectioners’ shops in Friargate, and the Gardenia Café on Watling Street Road. Primary education included Woodlands School, then Dorothy attended the Park School: with younger brother John, she often returned home from school to clear and wash dishes after large groups had been accommodated at the Gardenia. Following school, she became a Civil Servant in Preston: a Tax Office posting to Warrington preceded return to the government offices in Penwortham. Around 1960 in the Winter Gardens Blackpool, Dorothy was invited to dance by one Ron Danson: he was from Garstang, his working skills were in building, later as employer as well as a practical tradesman. Ron’s may have been the first advance, but it was Dorothy who showed at least a reciprocal initiative by insisting he make some arrangement for a future date. The temporary Warrington transfer brought some inconvenience for Ron, but the liaison quite obviously more than survived that hiccough. Four years later in September 1964, probably on a Monday because of half-day closing, Dorothy and Ron were married in Lancaster Road Congregational, the family’s church after the 1952 closure of Cannon Street Congregational. Edward was born in November 1972, Elizabeth four years later: their respective families brought Euan and Lara, Oliver and Charlotte as grandchildren for Dorothy and Ron. She enjoyed them all; finding appropriate gifts interested her; and family photographs adorn the inside of the bungalow. Dorothy and Ron’s first home was in Ribbleton Lane; then to the Gardenia which they took over from Dorothy’s parents; they retired first to Fairways before finally moving to the bungalow in Hoyles Lane, Cottam. Poignantly, this June was within just months of their Golden Wedding. The Gardenia move demonstrated Dorothy’s far-sightedness, even vision. She and Ron developed it considerably; it welcomed business customers and did evening meals; it became a well-regarded normal venu for groups and individuals to meet. Dorothy was the Company Secretary: her tax office ability with system and numbers came into its own in dealing with the paper work and accounts; she had managed the book-keeping for Ron’s building business too. At home, Dorothy was a reader of many books and magazines; a slight addiction to some TV soaps might dominate evening arrangements, “woebetide anyone whose incoming phone call was not during an advertisement break” you might say. And her flower arranging skills beautified the home. There were boating holidays on canals, and a little sea-sailing by Anglesey; more recently, successive caravans permitted longer stays and varied destinations. But they needed to be near shops, so Scarborough when away and Fleetwood from home indulged that pleasure; but not self-indulgence, for shopping in even June, for example, might find other people’s Christmas presents for six months ahead. She relished eating out, perhaps the other side of the coin from her involvement in the Gardenia. Dorothy’s church pilgrimage must have contained mixed emotions. The successive closures of the Cannon Street, Lancaster Road and then Grimshaw Street churches cannot have been easy for her. But here at Fulwood United Reformed Church, where Dorothy was among the last members with a Lancaster Road origin, neither change nor disappointment could inhibit her attendance and participation: she loved whichever was her church. At Grimshaw Street, she first took a back seat because of the business involvement, but retirement from the Gardenia permitted a more active role. There was deliberate, faithful attendance at the Church Meeting, a good Congregational and Reformed trait; practically, she employed her flower arranging interests; she organized the subscriptions and distribution of the denomination’s “Congregational Monthly” and then “Reform”; and election as an Elder reflected other members’ respect for and trust in her abilities and integrity. A non-serving Elder here after the move, she continued as a pastoral-visitor, keeping particular contact with others whose journey she had shared. A lesson-reader in church, at home the family heard her practising in another room, concerned to get it right. She enjoyed singing, although tunefulness was not her strongest point. And this church’s most recent Newsletter noted her still planned for welcoming duty for a Sunday morning service earlier this month. People mattered immensely to Dorothy. Across years and distance, she maintained valued friendships with school contemporaries and work companions, perhaps here today; her preferred means of communication was the old but highly personal manner of letter-writing and Christmas cards, with correspondents in Chester, Manchester, Germany, and elsewhere. Her excellent memory recalled anniversaries or expected births, invariably with cards as well as words. And one special meeting for Dorothy the royalist was when the Queen on a visit to Preston actually spoke to her among the larger crowds. Dorothy’s strength of personality showed in her generosity with time and effort: a helping friend to a shopkeeper; the determined and very successful hospice fund-raiser; the continual home provider of tea for family or friends; and even when her own health was becoming uncertain, that she took on a frail elderly friend who would otherwise have no one. Other people were important. We meet today in a Christian setting familiar to Dorothy; there is the sad realism that for all who knew and loved her, life has changed completely; there will come the awareness that through memory, and even imagined conversation, her presence will remain with you, to remind, support and perhaps amuse you; and with faith and hope in God’s future, we believe that the God to whom we entrust the care of those who now mourn, our God continues to keep Dorothy in his loving and safe presence, for ever. Amen.
Rev’d Nigel Lemon
Beauty in all things
There is nothing in creation which does not have some radiance, either greenness or seeds or flowers or beauty – otherwise it would not be part of creation.
Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179)
FROM YOUR ROVING REPORTER
Your Roving Reporter has been on her travels again, this time over the border into Yorkshire (even though my passport is out of date). Before I left I was given strict instructions by my co-editor to look out for Church Magazines to find snippets that we can use in ours. My friend is used to this by now and looks for them even when I’m not with her. Although we were heading to a B&B near Flamborough, as usual, we went the scenic route and went via Beverley so that we could visit the Minster and we also found St Mary’s Church nearby, an equally ancient and impressive building but no useful magazines in either. We continued our journey to Bempton where we were staying for a couple of nights and the following day we went to Bridlington which we had last visited 40 years ago (we were very surprised that we didn’t recognise everything…). We went to look round the Priory and just inside the gateway there was a tree which had been partially felled, leaving a stump about 10 feet tall. On the front, the bark had been removed from a section and a paschal lamb carved into the trunk – very appropriate for visitors from Preston. Inside we found a lovely series of appliqué panels depicting the history of the Priory from its foundation in 1113 and ending with a panel showing all the activities linked with the church now. Sadly, their magazine had no items suitable for reproducing in ours. In the evening we had a look round Bempton and went into the church which was across from the village green (complete with pond, Canada geese and goslings). As well as being a nice little church we found that their newsletter is a combined one for all the churches in the Flamborough area and contained a few articles which may appear in ours at some point. The next day we moved on to the holiday cottage near Whitby. We always plan where we might visit before we set off and this time we realised that we weren’t far from Ormesby Hall on the edge of Middlesbrough and that our route there could take us past Guisborough Priory. They do say that best laid plans don’t always work and this was one of them – it was the wettest day of our holiday and Guisborough Priory has been in ruins for a long time so we went into the Parish church next door. Their magazine also yielded a couple of pieces for ours but the most interesting item for us on holiday was a short biography of St Hilda who was born 1400 years ago into a pagan family but became a Christian thanks to her uncle. In ad657 she founded a monastery for both monks and nuns at Whitby where she was abbess at the time of the famous Synod of Whitby. In addition to their magazine, one of the members at St Nicholas had compiled some “Little books of smiles” which were on sale for church funds so I bought one which will provide snippets for our magazine for quite some time. On Sunday we went to Briggswath & Sleights Methodist Church for the morning service where we were made very welcome, although one man teased us about being from the wrong side of the border. However, the joke was on him later as an elderly lady with a twinkle in her eye told him that at least we were from the north and not a southerner like him. Over coffee after the service, several people spoke to us and it was surprising how many people we met whilst on holiday had relations or friends around Preston or had worked in the area (even the owner of the B&B). We got a few back copies of their magazine which will also provide some items to include in ours. Our visit to Robin Hood’s Bay took us past Old St Stephen’s church, Fylingdales which is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. The church is perched on the top of the hill with spectacular views over the bay. The interior hasn’t been changed since 1882 and still has box pews and a three-decker pulpit half way along one side. As it was open I couldn’t resist trying the organ in the gallery but it was quite hard work as it had to be pedalled to get any sound. On our way up the steep hill back to the main road we got stuck behind a double-decker bus, unfortunately it was struggling with the gradients and had to stop a couple of times before it reached the top. I had never really appreciated my driving instructor spending almost a whole lesson on hill starts before… On our final day we went to Whitby Abbey and the nearby St Mary’s church. As we have just had our sound system upgraded it was interesting to see three large, flat trumpets fastened to the side of the three-decker pulpit in St Mary’s. Originally these had tubes attached to the ends which could then lead to the ear trumpets of some of the parishioners! No batteries needed, but anyone hard of hearing would need to sit close to the pulpit. It may sound like we spent all our holiday visiting churches but we also explored the beautiful countryside and the lovely old town of Whitby and we were lucky that for most of the time the weather was good and the views across the rocky bays or open moorland were very clear and I’m sure my co-editor will be pleased with all the material I’ve gathered to fill in corners in our newsletter.
A LETTER TO GOD
A man worked in a post office. His job was to process all mail that had illegible addresses. On day a letter came to his desk, addressed in shaky handwriting to God. He thought, “I’d better op-en this one and see what it’s all about.” So he opened it and it read: “Dear God, I am an 83 year old widow living on a very small pension. Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had £100 in it that was all the money I had until my next pension cheque. Next Sunday is Mother’s Day and I had invited my last two friends over for dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with. I have no family to turn to and you are my only hope. Please help me?” The postal worker was touched, and went around showing the letter to all the others. Each of them dug into his wallet and came up with a few pounds. By the time he made the rounds he had collected £96, which they put into an envelope and sent over to her. For the rest of the day all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of the nice thing they had done. Mother’s Day came and went, and a few days later another letter from the old lady to God. It read: “Dear God. How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me? Because of your generosity I was able to fix a lovely dinner for my friends. We had a very nice day and I told my friends of your wonderful gift. By the way, there was £4 missing, it was no doubt those thieving beggars at the post office!”
Thanks to ‘The Link’, the monthly magazine for Briggswath & Sleights and Littlebeck Methodist Churches.
A YORKSHIRE TREAT
A Yorkshireman and his wife walked past a swanky new restaurant. “Did you smell that food?” she asked, “Wonderful.” Being the ‘Kind-hearted Yorkshireman’, he thought, “What the heck, I’ll treat her!” … so they walked past it again … (as this was found in a church magazine in Yorkshire, we should be safe repeating it on the other side of the Pennines…)
Thanks to “A fifth book of little smiles” – compiled by a member of St Nicholas Church, Guisborough
PLANT A TREE TO REMEMBER THE DEAD OF WWI
This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The Woodland Trust is honouring all those who took part in the war effort by hoping to plant millions of trees that will stand tribute for centuries to come. Will you support them by planting a free tree pack in your community? The Woodland Trust has more than 4000 packs to give away this autumn, and they come in three sizes – 30 saplings, 105 saplings and 420 saplings in various themes ( hedge, copse, wildlife, wild harvest, year-round colour, working wood, wild wood an wetland) You can apply for more than one pack and theme, with 420 saplings being the maximum quantity. Find out more at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees. The deadline for applications is 4th September, but apply soon to make sure you get your trees.
BIBLE STUDY AT PENWORTHAM URC – The Book of Isaiah
An open and relaxed ten-session exploration of key passages at Penwortham URC on the following Wednesday’s 7.30-9.00pm: 2nd & 30th July; 6th & 27th August; 10th September; 14th & 28th January 11th February. Manyof the verses of Isaiah are familiar to us as beloved passages we read and sing each Christmas and Easter season. But Isaiah is more than just a holiday reading. Isaiah speaks of God’s relationship to the prophet, the people, the kings, and the servant. Isaiah’s message invites us to explore God’s personal character and develop a deeper understanding of the living God, the Holy One of Israel. See notice board for details.
The CTFB Pilgrimage this year will to Chester and to Chester Cathedral on Saturday 20th September. Booking Forms available from Jean Dunsmore – need to book as soon as possible.
CHURCHES TOGETHER IN LANCASHIRE
Lancashire Sings Christmas is back! Please note that this will take place on Thursday 18th December in partnership with Radio Lancashire. THANKS Our thanks are due to the Heather Fitchett School of Performing Arts for their invitation to the congregation to the School Performs at the Charter Theatre, Preston in May. Those who were able to attend thoroughly enjoyed the excellent performance.
Our June Summer Fellowship Lunch will take place at Ferrari’s Restaurant Longridge on Thursday 17th July: 12.00 for 12.30 All welcome, see list in the Church foyer. On Thursday 11th September we are holding a Coffee Evening and Bring & Buy Sale in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. We are still asking for ideas for future meetings and/or offers to help in arranging a meeting If you think you could help in this way please have a word with Margery.
Israel and the Palestinian Territory
Ne’ama lives under Israeli occupation in a village near Bethlehem in the occupied Palestinian territory. The separation barrier, which is being built on Palestinian land next to Ne’ama’s home, cuts her and her family off from their community. They live with the constant threat of their home being demolished by the Israeli authorities and are subjected to aggressive visits by the Israeli defence forces. For the last eight years they have been fighting a legal battle to stay in their home. They are at serious risk of being forcibly displaced from their home and land. Christian Aid partner the YMCA Women’s Training Programme has supported Ne’ama for several years. She successfully completed their Women’s Agricultural Training programme, and then took a loan offered to graduates of the scheme. She now has a successful grape business and grows many vegetables for sale. Being able to use her land has helped her and her family hold onto it, when previously it was at risk because of a policy that says that untended land can be confiscated by the state of Israel. She earns enough to send her children to university, to improve her home, and to fight the ongoing legal battle against its demolition. Ne’ama and others like her are being supported by the YMCA to stay on their land and in their homes. Furthermore, the education that Ne’ama has now been able to pay for has empowered her daughters, and transformed their lives too. Christian Aid was recently among a group of aid agencies who spoke out about Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes, which, according to the UN, are now at a 5-year high. The demolitions have meant that aid organisations operating in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem have faced increasing restrictions in responding to the needs of Palestinians and delivering aid. Ne’ama’s land is under threat, but safer now with support from Christian Aid partner, YMCA. In 1992 the United Reformed Church (URC) launched Commitment for Life (CforL), a scheme raising money for key partners in the developing world through Christian Aid with the World Development Movement. In 1996 CforL was re-launched with a special focus on the key countries of India, Palestine, Brazil and Zimbabwe. By 1999 the scheme had been a great success with many more advocates and a lot more churches getting involved. “ I will show you my faith by what I do ‘ James 2:18
What Is It? It is the highest Council of the United Reformed Church, meets every two years, and is made up of representatives from each Synod, Assembly officers and convenors of Assembly Committees. This year it meets in Cardiff over the first weekend in July and 25 representatives of our Synod, and our Moderator are attending. What’s Different This Time? Budget cuts agreed at the last Assembly mean that it is a day shorter than before, has fewer ecumenical guests, no crèche or Children’s Assembly and has a much reduced budget. The changes mean that we’re experimenting with some procedural changes in order to try and save some time. A number of non-controversial resolutions are being dealt with en bloc and Assembly will break into parallel sessions to discuss reports of the various committees. We will also use, for the first time, an electronic voting system. Bible studies, each day, are being led by younger ministers and we’re pleased that the Revd Kate Gray from our Synod is one of the presenters. What’s Being Discussed? Amongst the things being discussed are:
- The admission of three new Mission Projects (MediaCity Church in Salford and Metropolitan Church in Chorlton are two from our Synod)
- Efforts to make the URC more friendly to people living with mental health issues
- The establishment of a fund to assist students training for ordained / commissioned ministry
- Efforts to help us make our conciliar structure work better
- The establishment of a task force to look at authorising Elders to preside at the Celebration of the Sacraments.
- The use of “expansive” language to expand our descriptions of God.
- Some changes to the URC’s Structure
- Changes to the Section O process which is the disciplinary process for Ministers and CRCWs.
- The removal of the age limit for non-stipendiary ministry
- A suggestion for each church to raise their giving to the M&M fund by 1%.
There is also a discussion scheduled about the change in law which now allows lesbian and gay couples to marry. A booklet called One plus One has been produced and is available from the URC website to stimulate discussion across the church. No specific resolution is being proposed on this issue but it is thought that one will emerge at Assembly How You Can Find Out More
- All the papers for General Assembly are in the General Assembly section of the URC website (www.urc.org.uk)
- The Assembly will be filmed and broadcast over the Internet each day. The link to this live “stream” will be on the URC website. Do take some time to log on and watch the proceedings. The programme is on the Website so you may wish to log in to specific discussions or for the worship.
- We will publish a report soon after Assembly giving the perspectives of our representatives on the matters discussed; you will also find a roundup of decisions on the URC Website and Facebook page and in Reform.
IT’S JUST THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS… A man was driving in the country one day and he saw an old man sitting on a fence rail watching the cars go by. Stopping to pass the time of day, the traveller said, “I never could stand living out here. You don’t see anything, and I’m sure you don’t travel like I do. I’m on the go all the time.” The old man on the fence looked down at the stranger and drawled, “I can’t see much difference in what I’m doing and what you’re doing. I sit on the fence and watch the cars go by and you sit in your car and watch the fences go by. It’s just the way you look at things.”
I am here, can’t you see me? I am with you, in heart and soul I am here, in the Word and the deed I am here, your support in time of need. I am here, can’t you hear me? I am here where silence is loudest I am here in shouts of elation I am here in the cries of a nation I am here, can’t you feel me? I am here where you are hiding I am here in the wind and rain I am here in the fruit and grain. I am here, can’t you share me? I am here where you say you know me I am there where I’m unknown I am where a seed of love is sown. I am here, and here I will stay. I am here, listening when you pray I am here, don’t you know me? I am here, come follow me. M Ellinor Pugh
Thanks to “The Wayfarer: Spring 2014 – Quarterly Magazine for the Whitby Section of The North Yorkshire Coast Circuit of the Methodist Church”
Miss Smith asked her primary school class what exercise their parents took. Some said dad played football or man did yoga or similar. Jack’s hand shot up, “My dad must be very fit, because mum told grandma that he’d been out five nights running.”
Rotas for July & August 2014
|Viv MannersMavis Orrell||Ben MillarIan Ferguson||Pauline Collier &Kath Farquhar|
|Derek OrrellPauline Collier||Greta TemperleyMac Dunsmore||Mavis Orrell& Elsie Hunt|
|Norman CrollDonald Scott||Craig MillarMargery Pitcher||Pauline Collier &Kath Farquhar|
|Viv MannersElsie Hunt||Duncan FarquharPauline Collier||Jean Dunsmore &Greta Temperley|
|Duncan FarquharGreta Temperley||Jean DunsmoreViv Manners||Norman &Elizabeth Croll|
|Kath FarquharFrances Fraser||Jean FazackerleyRichard Fraser||Frances &Richard Fraser|
|Brian FazackerleyMavis Orrell||Ian FergusonBen Millar||Pauline Collier &Kath Farquhar|
|Derek OrrellElsie Hunt||Margery PitcherElsie Hunt||Jean Dunsmore &Greta Temperley|
|Donald ScottJean Dunsmore||Mac DunsmoreBrian Fazackerley||Mavis Orrell& Elsie Hunt|
|Viv MannersPauline Collier||Pauline CollierGreta Temperley||Norman &Elizabeth Croll|
Tea, coffee, biscuits etc are supplied by the Church
If you are unable to attend when you are on duty,please arrange a swap with someone and notifyMac Dunsmore or Margery Pitcher.