May-June 2016 Newsletter

PASTORAL LETTER – MAY-JUNE 2016

Dear Friends

Those who attended Rev’d Helen’s induction service way back  in 2007 may well remember the Rev’d John Proctor, who was one of Helen’s tutors at Westminster College Cambridge.  Those who more recently took part in the Big Day Out at Southport last July will remember the fascinating Bible Study John, now the General Secretary of the URC, presented on that occasion

At the March Synod this year, John led another very challenging Bible Study based on Ephesians 3:7 – 4:16.   As well as providing an historical and cultural background to life in Ephesus, with plenty of local colour, he referred to the gifts which Paul writes Christ gives to his followers. “1The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ “ (Ephesians 4:11-12 NSRV).

John Proctor then challenged Synod with two possible images of the Church today for prayerful and serious consideration – the Church as an Octopus or a Bicycle.

OctopusThe Church as an Octopus with five of its tentacles engaged in exercising the five above- mentioned gifts but with the remaining three tentacles firmly wrapped round a rock. These provided stability but prevented the other five from accomplishing anything fresh or going anywhere new.

Or the Church as a Bicycle, which of course won’t go unless you let go. A stationary bike is very unstable indeed. A bike with whBicycleeels, pedals, chain, limbs all working together can be both stable and mobile at the same time.

This Bible Study formed the scriptural basis for the main topic at Synod, a presentation by the NW Moderator, the Rev’d Andrew Mills on Deployment. Over the next few years there is an impending crisis in the denomination as the number of ministers reaching retirement age increasingly exceeds the number of new ministers in training. Over recent years the URC has formed committees, written reports, presented and discussed this issue, but it is now realised that the time has come to take some serious action.

Further information is included in the Synod Clerk’s “Update from Spring Synod” report, which we are asked to publish to help to bridge the apparent gap between Synod and the members in the pew.

A short discussion of the issues took place in small groups at the lunch time Area Meetings, followed by feedback to the Synod for further consideration.

For more general discussion, a series of Roadshows have been arranged to cover the NW Synod – the two in the Lancashire Area are both on 1st July, at Poulton URC, from 14.00 to 16.00 hours, and at here at Fulwood URC from 19.00 to 21.00 hours  to which all members are encouraged to attend and hear more of the Moderator’s presentation. These meetings will be part of the discussions to enable the various Synod and Area Committees to bring a proposed resolution to the next NW Synod to be held in October 2016.

In our current ministerial vacancy, this issue is clearly of great importance to Fulwood URC and it would be good if as many members as possible could attend and contribute to the discussions on 1st July.

I am pleased to also report that Synod recognised the contribution to the United Reformed Church of lay preachers. The Moderator presented Ernest Wrennall with a Long Service Certificate for Lay Preachers for over 50 years’ service (Cynthia Longden had previously received her certificate when Rev Alan Mills was at Cleveleys as reported in out March- April edition).  The 50 years ministerial service of Rev’d Arthur Baker of Garstang, who has conducted worship at Fulwood on a number occasions in the past, was also recognised and applauded.   We add our congratulations and thanks to all three.

Mac Dunsmore

 

 

Lectionary Readings May & June 2016Bible-693-x-4911

May

1st     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       Ascension Day  Acts 1: 1 – 11; Psalm 47 or 93 or Daniel 7: 9 – 14; Psalm 113; Ephesians 1: 15 – 23; St Luke 24: 44 – 53

8th     Acts 16: 16 – 34; Psalm 97 or 2 Kings 2: 1 – 15; Psalm 2; Revelation 22: 12 – 14, 16 – 17, 20 – 21; St John 17: 20 – 26

15th     Pentecost  Acts 2: 1 – 21 or Genesis 11: 1 – 9; Psalm 104: 24 – 34, 35b; Romans 8: 14 – 17 or Acts 2: 1 – 21; St John 14: 8 – 17, (25 – 27)

22nd   Trinity  Proverbs 8: 1 – 4, 22 – 31; Psalm 8; Romans 5: 1 – 5; St John 16: 12 – 15

29th  1 Kings 18: 20 – 21, (22 – 29), 30 – 39; Psalm 96 or 1 Kings 8: 22 – 23, 41 – 43; Psalm 96: 1 – 9; Galatians 1: 1 – 12; St Luke 7: 1 – 10

June

5th     1 Kings 17: 8 – 16, (17 – 24); Psalm 146 or 1 Kings 17: 17 – 24; Psalm 30; Galatians 1: 11 – 24; St Luke 7: 11 – 17

12th  1 Kings 21: 1 – 10, (11 – 14) 15 – 21a; Psalm 5: 1 – 8 or 2 Samuel 11: 26 -12: 10, 13 -15; Psalm 32; Galatians 2: 15 – 21; St Luke 7: 36 – 8: 3

19th  1 Kings 19: 1 – 4, (5 – 7), 8 – 15a; Psalm 42 and 43 or Isaiah 65: 1 – 9; Psalm 22: 19 – 28; Galatians 3: 23 – 29; St Luke 8: 26 – 39

26th  2 Kings 2: 1 – 2, (6 – 14); Psalm 77: 1 – 2, 11 – 20 or 1 Kings 19: 15 – 16, 19 – 21; Psalm 16; Galatians 5: 1, 13 – 25; St Luke 9: 51 – 62

July

3rd     2 Kings 5: 1 – 14; Psalm 30 or Isaiah 66: 10 – 14; Psalm 66: 1 – 9; Galatians 6: (1 – 6), 7 – 16; St Luke 10: 1 – 11, 16 – 20

10th  Amos 7: 7 – 17; Psalm 82 or Deuteronomy 30: 9 – 14; Psalm 25: 1 – 10; Colossians 1: 1 – 14; St Luke 10: 25 – 37

 

Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!’       Luke 11: 28 (NRSV)

 

60+ YEAR OLDS

Question markQ:  How can you avoid that terrible curse of the elderly wrinkles?
A:  Take off your glasses.

Q:  Is it common for 60+ year olds to have problems with short-term memory storage?
A:  Storing memory is not a problem, retrieving it is the problem.

Q:  As people age, do they sleep more soundly?
A:  Yes, but usually in the afternoon.

Q:  Where should 60+ year olds look for their spectacles?
A:  On their foreheads.

Q:  What is the most common remark made by 60+ year olds when they enter antique shops?
A:  “Gosh, I remember those!”

Thanks to Lytham URC magazine

 

CHURCH FELLOWSHIP

Our grateful thanks to Margery for arranging our recent Hot Pot Supper and table-top games evening.

It was a splendid evening of fellowship and fun and greatly enjoyed by all who attended. Those members and friends who weren’t able to come don’t know what they missed!!

 

FROM THE NW SYNOD WEB-SITE…  DRIVEN BY GRACE

The Reformers of the 16th Century drew the Church’s attention again to the New Testament message of God’s grace – God’s loving kindness. This meant that instead of trying to earn God’s love by ritual, behaviour, or obeying various laws, Christians came to realise, again, that God’s love is given to us even though we don’t deserve it. We can’t earn it, but have to learn to accept it – and to accept it in the context of a community of faith.

God’s love is greater, more radical and wider than we can ever imagine. God’s love motivates us to include others, to live lives of love, and to accept that we’re loved and accepted unconditionally. This is what we try to emulate in the Church. God’s love drives us to find ways to meet the needs of our world, to help people find healing and wholeness, and to find a spirituality which nurtures them, helps them grow and understand more about God.

 

COMMITMENT FOR LIFEC_for_L_logo_small (250 x 59)

As a grace-driven community we involve ourselves in practical ways to help others – getting involved in the local community, giving money to our” programme which helps the developing world, and trying to be a positive blessing for our world as a sign of God’s loving kindness. Being grace driven also leads us to try and include all those who come along.  Commitment for Life is the world development programme of the United Reformed Church. We encourage participating churches  to take action, pray and give for people across the world but especially in our four partner countries/region of Bangladesh, Central America (Honduras, Guatemala. Nicaragua and El Salvador), Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory and Zimbabwe. We work in partnership with Christian Aid and Global Justice Now raising around half a million pounds a year from contributing churches.

Several years ago our Church Meeting decided to support Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory as our Partner Country.  Here are two of the latest stories from our partner country…

FOUR YEARS ON

In the area around Bizzaryah, in the West Bank, many farmers have seen the great results of the reclamation programme supported by Christian Aid partner, PARC (now called the Palestine Agricultural Development Association).  Looking out across the valley the separation barrier is visible with its gates and large swathes of agricultural land made into sand tracks on either side. Here valuable Palestinian land has been lost; land that would have provided local people with food and income for their families. Many farmers also can’t access those parts of their land that are the other side of the border, making it difficult for them to farm.

Shafiq, a local farmer, is happy to tell of the change to his quality of life since being part of PARC’s reclamation programme. Although a civil engineer by profession, like many Palestinians he relies heavily on what he can produce and sell from his land. With two sons and a daughter, he is proud they all want to be involved in agriculture. Indeed one of the sons wants to be an agricultural engineer, whilst his daughter is at university studying agriculture.

He applied for his land to be reclaimed about four years ago, with support from PARC, and it has made a real difference to the crops he and his family can eat. PARC helped him clear the land, fence it off and then plant fruit trees. It has taken about four years for them to produce a good harvest but now there is enough to feed the family and take some to market. His wife sells chutney there too, made with vegetables he grows in between his fruit trees. Shafiq is constantly thankful for the expertise of PARC in reclaiming land that he thought was unusable for anything.

Christian Aid support PARC. This funding is vital in keeping hope alive in areas where restrictions of movement and lack of openings into the wider market are part of everyday

FOCUSSED SKILLS TRAINING

For more than 20 years the YMCA in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem in the West Bank, has been working with young men, with disabilities, to live active and fulfilled lives. In the beginning young men came to the centre with a clear idea of what job they wanted to train for. However,   when they started it became clear that sometimes the job was unsuitable for their skill set. Many became despondent, telling their trainers “I cannot do anything!!!” So something had to change.

Whilst on an exchange programme in Canada, trainers were introduced to VALPA, a series of assessment tests that measure a person’s mental and physical capabilities and link these to suitable careers.  The tests has proved very successful and empowering for those taking part. Once the results of the tests have been shared and job opportunities discussed, the young men work with local trainers on developing these stills and looking for suitable employment. This means training is more focussed and rewarding. An exciting development of the work has been agreements with local business to provide job experience. Finding new businesses to take part is a constant challenge as unemployment is high in the West Bank. Those living in places such as Bethlehem often have to pass through checkpoints to go to work in Jerusalem because work is hard to find in Bethlehem. Even this has its problems as many people cannot get permits to work in Jerusalem and those that do often have to rise as early as 3am to queue to get through the checkpoints. Access through is not a right and you can be refused passage on a technicality.

Because of the continual pressures of living under Israeli occupation coping mechanisms are also taught as, although therapy is useful, it is not enough in this ongoing volatile environment

Through this programme, as well as the many others they run, the YMCA feel they are providing the skills for  the young men  to find a path that will allow them to be full members of their local community.

 

PRAYER

Praying hands 2 (100 x 112)Almighty God, we bring before you in prayer all the members and friends of our Church family. Be especially close to those who have recently lost loved ones and are feeling alone. Assure them of your love and nearness. Be with all who are anxious, those who are unwell, those awaiting hospital results or treatment, those who are house-bound; those who are unable to come to Church.  Make each one of us more aware of the needs of others and more willing to help in whatever way we can

In Jesus Name we pray. Amen

 

CHURCHES TOGETHER IN FULWOOD & BROUGHTONCTFB logo

Annual Pilgrimage to Lake District and Cartmel Priory, Saturday 10th September.

Leave Preston – 9.00am; 10.30am – Explore Churches in Grange over Sands; 12.45 pm – Lunch/ own sandwiches in Bowness; 4.00pm – Tour and Service at Cartmel Priory; 6.00pm – Evening meal at County Hotel Carnforth; 8.30pm – Preston.  Cost £25 – early booking would be appreciated.

 

More volunteers are still urgently needed to staff the Information Desk at the Hospital as, for various reasons, a number of existing volunteers have been lost.  Please consider and pray about the possibility of helping and speak to Vivien, Jean, or Mavis to learn more.

                                                                                         

MINISTRY OF FLOWERS

Daisy1st May   ——
8th May   Elizabeth Croll
15th May   Myrtle Smith
22nd May   Ellie Russell
29th May   ——

5th June   ——
12th June   Christine Lawson
19th June   ——
26th June   Gill Gilmer

3rd July   Mavis Orrell

 

THE MONK’S TALE (ONLY JOKING!!!)

Monastery Life
A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand.

He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript. So, the new monk goes to the head abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up! In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

The head monk, says, ‘We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.’
He goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery  where the original manuscripts are held as archives in a locked  vault that hasn’t been opened for hundreds of years. Hours go   by and nobody sees the old abbot.
So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing,Smiling Face 2 (100 x 100)

“We missed the R!     We missed the R!       We missed the R!’

His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he was crying   uncontrollably. The young monk asks the old abbot, ‘What’s wrong, father?’
With a choking voice, the old abbot replies,  ‘The word was…  CELEBRATE!!!

Source unknown

 

 

 ROTAS FOR MAY & JUNE 2016

 

  Welcoming

 

Reading

 

Refreshments

 

1st May

 

Norman Croll

Brian Fazackerley

 

Margery Pitcher

Greta Temperley

 

Jean Dunsmore &

Margery Pitcher

 

8th May

 

Brian Fazackerley

Mavis Orrell

 

Jean Dunsmore

Jean Fazackerley

 

Richard & Frances Fraser

 

15th May

 

Viv Manners

Jean Dunsmore

 

James Millar

Mac Dunsmore

 

Mavis Orrell &

Greta Temperley

 

22nd May

 

Mavis Orrell

Brian Fazackerley

 

Greta Temperley

Craig Millar

 

Norman & Elizabeth Croll

 

29th May

 

Norman Croll

Jean Dunsmore

 

Brian Fazackerley

Viv Manners

 

Jean Dunsmore &

Margery Pitcher

 

5th Jun

 

Brian Fazackerley

Mavis Orrell

 

Mac Dunsmore

Ben Millar

 

Jean & Brian Fazackerley

 

12th Jun

 

Margery Pitcher

Viv Manners

 

Craig Millar

Jean Dunsmore

 

Mavis Orrell &

Greta Temperley

 

19th Jun

 

Jean Dunsmore

Norman Croll

 

Ben Millar

Greta Temperley

 

Norman & Elizabeth Croll

 

26th Jun

 

Mavis Orrell

Margery Pitcher

 

Viv Manners

James Millar

 

Jean Dunsmore &

Margery Pitcher

 

3rd Jul

 

Viv Manners

Jean Dunsmore

 

Jean Dunsmore

Brian Fazackerley

 

Jean & Brian Fazackerley

 

10th Jul Norman Croll

Brian Fazackerley

James Millar

Craig Millar

Mavis Orrell &

Greta Temperley

 

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 notify Mac Dunsmore or Margery Pitcher.

 

* * * CAN YOU HELP? * * *

Could you help with some of the duties on Sunday mornings?

 

Our team of people willing to help prepare & serve the refreshments and wash up afterwards is dwindling – please consider if you could help occasionally.  The more people we have on the rota the less often each team would need to be on duty.

 

Please see Margery if you feel able to help.  Thank you.

 

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