Over Lent 2010, the people of the North East got together for “The Big Read “. Through a series of house groups and meetings as well as private reading, they worked their way through Luke’s Gospel using texts written by Tom Wright Tom Wright was formerly the Bishop of Durham, is a well-known broadcaster and author and recently took up a new appointment as Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews. The BigRead2010 was such a success that BigRead2011 went national.
So, for our Lent Bible Studies, we chose to study Matthew’s Gospel with the help of a lent lectionary resource by Tom Wright, Lent for Everyone Bible translation. For each day of Lent, there was a reading chosen from the Gospel plus a reflection by Tom Wright. On five Wednesday’s we met either in the afternoons at Fulwood Methodist Church, led by Rev’d Peter Sheasby or the evenings at the URC led by Rev’d Helen to study a particular passage from Matthew with the help of most interesting videos featuring Tom Wright, others’ sound reflections on the passages and lively discussions. All sessions were attended by members of both churches, choosing the most convenient option on the day, together with most-welcome members from Christ Church, Longridge and from other churches. We are greatly indebted to both Rev’d Peter and Rev’d Helen for all their efforts in making this year’s Lent Bible Studies so interesting, informative and, in my opinion, a great success.
I hope those who were unable to attend, but followed the course from the book, found it equally beneficial. I am sure we could arrange to show the Tom Wright videos again for them and anyone else interested, if requested.
Lectionary Readings May & June 2011
1st Acts 2: 14a, 22 – 32; Psalm 16 or Exodus 15: 1 – 11; Psalm 111; 1 Peter 1: 3 – 9; St John 20: 19 – 31
8th Acts 2: 14a, 36 – 41; Psalm 116: 1 – 4, 12 – 19 or Isaiah 51: 1 – 6; Psalm 34: 1 – 10; 1 Peter 1: 17 – 23; St Luke 24: 13 – 35
15th Acts 2: 42 – 47; Psalm 23 or Ezekiel 34: 7 – 15; Psalm 100; 1 Peter 2: 19 – 25; St John 10: 1 – 10
22nd Acts 7: 55 – 60; Psalm 31: 1 – 5, 15 – 16 or Proverbs 4: 10 – 18; Psalm 119: 9 – 32; 1 Peter 2: 2 – 10; St John 14: 1 – 14
29th Acts 17: 22 – 31; Psalm 66: 8 – 20 or Ezekiel 43: 1 – 7a; Psalm 115; 1 Peter 3: 13 – 22; St John 14: 15 – 21
5th Acts 1: 6 – 14; Psalm 68: 1 – 10, 32 – 35 or Isaiah 45: 1 – 7; Psalm 21: 1 – 7; 1 Peter 4: 12 – 14: 5: 6 – 11; St John 17: 1 – 11
12th Acts 2: 1 – 21 or Numbers 11: 24 – 30; Psalm 104: 24 – 34, 35b; 1 Corinthians 12: 3b – 13 or Acts 2: 1 – 21; St John 20: 19 – 23 or St John 7: 37 – 39
19th Genesis 1: 1 – 2: 4a; Psalm 8; 2 Corinthians 13: 11 – 13; St Matthew 28: 16 – 20
26th Genesis 22: 1 – 14; Psalm 13 or Jeremiah 28: 5 – 9; Psalm 89: 1 – 4, 15 – 18; Romans 6: 12 – 23; St Matthew 10: 40 – 42
3rd 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
BIBLE QUIZ ANSWERS: TWO INTO ONE WILL GO
Hope it wasn’t too difficult!
1 – Joseph & Mary
2 – Luke & Mark
3 – David & Saul
4 – Naomi & Ruth
5 – Noah & Shem
6 – Stephen & Paul
7 – Jonah & Moses
8 – Timothy & Andrew
9 – Esau & Jacob
10 – Samson & Delilah.
The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson.
Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible. His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could.
One day the grandson asked, ‘Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bible do?’
The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, ‘Take this old wicker coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.’
The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, ‘You will have to move a little faster next time,’ and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.
This time the boy ran faster, but again the old wicker basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was ‘impossible to carry water in a basket,’ and he went to get a bucket instead.
The old man said, ‘I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You’re just not trying hard enough,’ and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.
At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all. The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty.
Out of breath, he said, ‘See Papa, it’s useless!’ ‘So you think it is useless?’ the old man said. ‘Look at the basket.’
The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different. Instead of a dirty old wicker coal basket, it was clean.
‘Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.’
Moral: Take time to read a portion of God’s word each day; it will affect you for good even if you don’t retain a word.
Thanks to Sheffield URC Magazine [Feb 2011]
Following Rev’d Helen’s article in the March – April edition of our Newsletter about this important initiative from the URC to be launched towards the end of 2011, a series of 2-hour long meetings has been arranged during May to inform Church Members about the campaign.
Those in this area are: 7th May (2.00pm) St Annes URC, 17th May (2.00pm) Bolton-le-Sands URC and 26th May (7.30pm) Burnley URC
If you are interested in attending please let me know.
THE MITE SCHEME
At every Morning Service, a wooden collecting box is brought forward for dedication along with the two collection bags. This is the Mite Box which I am sure most of you know is to collect 5p coins. Can anyone tell me for how many years we have been collecting – probably most of the scheme’s 25 years?
The Mite Scheme was created in 1986 by Roy Barnett MBE, a member of Long Buckby United Reformed Church in Northamptonshire. Since then it has grown and is now supported by almost 100 different organisations, mainly but not exclusively Christian churches of various denominations. The money raised by the Mite Scheme is used to fund Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) for severely dehydrated children. Diarrhoea is very common among children in developing countries. Though treatable, it remains one of the biggest causes of death in children under the age of five, accounting for around 1.8 million young lives every year. This is because children with diarrhoea may lose large quantities of both water and salts, causing dehydration. ORT is a simple and cheap solution of glucose and salt which is mixed with water and given to severely dehydrated children enabling them to absorb water and recover from the dehydration caused by diarrhoea. UNICEF and its partners distribute these life saving sachets which are provided by donations from Mite and others.
The following is a letter we have received from Roy Barnet MBE
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the birth of The Mite Scheme, I want to thank each church for its part in this great Christian journey.
Twelve of us began the journey in 1986, but have been joined by tens of thousands since. It feel like I have journeyed in the company of angels.
Through the past 25 years we have saved the lives of over 5,500,000 little children.
In addition, the parents of these children were strangers. Now they pray in thanks for the healing of their children, and they also pray for those who provided that healing. Once we were strangers, now we pray for each other.
Our journey goes on; our gifts of love go on. I pause at 25 years and look back and I see an earth, now looking more like heaven with each child we heal.
Thank you for your loving company and may the same spirit guide us on our onward course.
This may be my last letter to you, as I attain 90 years on 21st May. Thank you on behalf of so many children, and He who leads us.
My thanks, my love and God’s blessing to you all.
R.C.Barnet MBE (Founder)
Please continue to support the Mite Scheme with your 5p coins.
How brief is our span of life compared with the time since you created the universe. How tiny we are compared with the enormity of your universe. …yet during every minute and every second of our lives you are present, within and around us. You give your whole and undivided attention to each and every one of us.
Our concerns are your concerns. And you are infinitely patient with our stupidity. I thank you with all my heart….
The above prayer was written by Fulbert of Chartres (c970 – 1028) the son of a peasant family in Northern France who became Bishop of Chartres.
POINT TO PONDER
Each time you pray you cut off from the present and concentrate on the eternal and gain perspective.
(Pakistan cricketer and politician)
It is when the benediction has been pronounced that the service really begins.
(Thanks to Penrith & Penruddock Magazine)
Let God have your life; he can do more with it than you can.
D L Moody
My grand point in preaching is to break the hard heart, and to heal the broken one.
A real friend warms you by his presence, trusts you with his secrets, and remembers you in his prayers.
Thanks to Beaconsfield URC Magazine
The 2012 Preston Guild is growing ever nearer.
We have started the process of fund-raising on behalf of Churches Together in Fulwood and Broughton to raise money to cover the joint costs and the individual sections of the Churches procession.
We have arranged a concert by the June Baker Singers, who now rehearse in our premises.
Please support your church, the June Baker Singers and CTFB by buying tickets and coming to the concert
Melodies for Maytime
The June Baker Singers
Friday 13th May 2011
7:30pm Children £2.50 (pay at the door)
The concert is being held to raise funds towards expenses for the Churches Together in Fulwood & Broughton section of the Preston Guild Faith Procession.
Tickets available from Jean Dunsmore or Margery Pitcher
You can find more information about Preston Guild in general on the website www.prestonguild2012.com
At our March meeting, we were thoroughly entertained by Delma Whitman with a fascinating illustrated talk “Chile, Land of Contrasts” Delma’s son is currently working in Chile and we enjoyed hearing of her contrasting experiences on an extended holiday to visit him.
£ 39.50 was raised towards the Fulwood Methodist Building fund.
Another friend from the Methodists, Ray Armstrong spoke to our April Meeting on his “Experiences as a Postman” initially in London, then elsewhere. £ 30.00 was collected for Vine House, Ray’s chosen charity.
On Thursday 12th May, our speaker is no stranger, John Spencer from Christ Church, Longridge. John will be speaking about his visits to Sierre Leone and his involvement with the Methodist mission work in that country.
Our June meeting is on Thursday 16th June (please note the date) when Colin Higgin-Botham will speak about his experiences as a Street Pastor in Preston.
We will take a collection on behalf of the speaker’s chosen charity.
A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a man who is dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket and jeans.
St. Peter addresses the man wearing somewhat sloppy clothes, “Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?”
The man replies “I’m Jack Thomas, London cabby.”
St. Peter consults his list. He smiles and says to the cabby, “Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The cabby goes into Heaven with his robe and staff. Then it’s the minister’s turn. He stands up tall and booms out, “I am Joseph Snow, pastor of St. Mary’s Church for the last forty-three years.” St. Peter consults his list. He says to the minister, “Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
“Just a minute,” says the minister, The man before me was just a cabby and he got a silken robe and golden staff. Why? How can this be?” St. Peter looks to the minister and says “Up here, we work by results .While you preached, people slept. While Jack drove, people prayed.”
Thanks to Port Sunlight URC Magazine
CTFB Pilgrimage – Sat 3rd September
The day will include a tour of Stonyhurst College with a picnic lunch in the Tea Room. This will be followed by free time in Skipton and a Prayer Service at Holy Trinity Anglican Church at 4.00pm. The day will conclude with a meal at Shireburn Arms, Hurst Green. Total cost will be £24.50 – full details later.
LANCASHIRE SINGS CHRISTMAS
For those members who enjoyed taking Christmas to the community last December, and other who would like to join this year, please note that the date is Thursday 22nd December
Thy way, not mine, O Lord, however dark it be.
Lead me by thine own hand, choose out the path for me.
Smooth let it be or rough, it will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads right onward to thy rest.
Choose Thou for me my friends, my sickness or my health;
Choose thou my cares for me, my poverty or wealth.
Not mine, not mine the choice in things of great or small;
Be thou my guide, my strength, my wisdom, and my all.
A little boy was attending his first wedding.
After the service, his cousin asked him, “How many women can a man marry?”
“Sixteen,” the boy responded at once.
His cousin was amazed that he had an answer so quickly.
“Why do you say that?”
“Easy,” the little boy said. “All you have to do is add it up, like the minister said, 4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer, 4 poorer.”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
When I say ‘I am a Christian’ I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.
When I say ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak and need His strength to carry on.
QUARTERLY CHURCH MEETING OUTCOMES
At our November 2010 Quarterly Church Meeting, we agreed to resume contributions of goods for the use of the Fox Street Community services. The yellow box is now positioned at the rear of church. The suggested donations for each month are:
May – tinned fruit
June – rice pudding
July – soup
August – jam, coffee
September – razors, shaving foam, deodorant, body spray
October – socks, boxer shorts, t-shirt,
November – gloves, scarf, hat
December – chocolate, cakes, biscuits, comfort food
At our February 2011 Quarterly Church Meeting, we agreed to re-instate an Annual Gift Day. Gift Day envelopes will be made available to be collected either at a Bring & Buy Coffee Morning from 10.00am to 12.00 noon on Saturday 11th June or at Morning Worship on Pentecost Sunday 12 June.
FULWOOD FARMERS’ MARKETS WITH FAIR TRADE
You may be interested to learn that our neighbours, Fulwood Methodist Church are holding Farmer’s Markets with fresh local produce and fairly traded goods. Saturdays from 10am to 2pm on:-
28th May, 23rd July, 24th Sept, and 26th November.
SYNOD BIG DAY OUT in MORECAMBE – SATURDAY 9th JULY 11am-7pm.
Worship, Guest Speakers, Games and Activities for all the Family.
Application forms and full details of all activities available on table in foyer or from Mac Sign up those activities that suit you, send off your application form together with £3 to help towards the costs and see Mac to arrange to share transport.
CHRISTIAN AID WEEK 15th – 21st MAY
On Sunday 8th MAY we are holding our usual Fellowship Lunch after the Morning Service. There will also be a Traidcraft stall and Christian Aid envelopes will be available for donations. Regrettably, in the absence of a successor to Vivien Manners who has so faithfully been our Christian Aid organiser for several years, we have decided that we are unable to take part in the house-to-house collections this year
THE LAST WORD
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no-one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40: 28-31)