November – December 2018 Newsletter

Dear Friends

At the beginning of October, the first Get-Together of the South Missional Partnership churches was held at Hollinshead Street URC, Chorley, kindly organised by Daleen ten Cate, the Lancashire Mission & Discipleship Mentor.

Each church was invited to speak for 5-7 minutes about their current mission projects. Chorley spoke about ‘Hollies’ charity shop in Chorley town centre, manned by their members, to raise money to re-develop their premises to make them more usable to the very many organisations that meet there. Penwortham spoke the development of their successful ‘Messy church’ held on Saturday afternoon. Christ Church Longridge described their newly formed Monday Menu and Round the Table projects (It was good to welcome Carol Spencer and Rev Jane Wild, who has taken over ministerial oversight for Christ Church)   We had prepared a PowerPoint which Margery ably presented, showing the many charities that we support because as a smaller church we don’t have the numbers to support a large project. Leyland described their ‘Little Mites’ playgroup activities.  Members from Adlington were unable to be present because a previous long-standing commitment, but Daleen described an away-day activity she had shared with them.

Because of the many activities that take place on a Saturday morning (hence the need for their development of more suitable premises), our get-together fully filled the room available which made it difficult to talk to everyone present. 

It is was well over 50 years ago since I first visited Hollinshead Street to play in a badminton match. It was good to learn that at least one of the names I remember still attends, and to be recognised by another lady who played badminton with us who now also belongs to Hollinshead Street.

Our thanks are due to Hollinshead StreetChurch and at Daleen for arranging such an encouraging day.

I understand that we are awaiting the Synod Pastoral Committee to identify and appoint an independent Convenor for our partnership to enable the Steering Group to meet and for the churches to start working together.

The prayer by Sian Jones, a member at St Columba’s URC, Oxford for this week in the URC Prayer Handbook 2018 seems most appropriate at this time:

Beauty on the journey
Loving God
as we journey together,
help us to abide with one another,
to come alongside each other, as friends.

Birth in us the courage
to leave behind what is familiar,
to trust You in everything,
to let go of all anxiety
of what the future may hold.
To let rest all resentment
about the past and its losses.

Birth in us the courage to be vulnerable,
to be open with each other,
to find our song and our strength in You.

And as we journey –
As Your face replaces ours for those we serve,
as they begin to recognise their own gifts,
help us to find our true beauty in You

 

Daleen has asked that we include her letter of thanks to those who attended at Hollinshead Street and her letter is included later.

We also include the information received from the Synod Clerk about the future of our Synod Moderator Rev Andrew Mills.

Writing in October, Christmas still seems at long was off, but the festivities will be over by our next Newsletter, so…   

… Wishing all our readers a blessed Christmas and a happy and peace full New Year !

Mac Dunsmore, Church Secretary

 

THANKFUL

A minister said to a precocious 6 year old boy, “So your mother says a prayer over you each night!  That’s very commendable.  What does she say?”

The little boy replied, “Thank God he’s in bed!”

 

LECTIONARY READINGS:  NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2018

November

1st  All Saints  Isaiah 25: 6 – 9; Psalm 24; Revelation 7:9-17 John 11: 32 – 44

4th Ruth 1: 1 – 18; Psalm 146 or Deuteronomy 6: 1 – 9; Psalm 119: 1 – 8; Hebrews 9: 11 – 14; St Mark 12: 28 – 34

11th   Ruth 3: 1 – 5, 4: 13 – 17; Psalm 127 or 1 Kings 17: 8 – 16; Psalm 146; Hebrews 9: 24 – 28; St Mark 12: 38 – 44

Remembrance Day Isaiah 52: 7 -12; Psalm 72: 1 – 19; Romans 8: 31 – 39; St Matthew 5: 38 – 48

18th   1 Samuel 1: 4 – 20; 1 Samuel 2: 1 – 10 or Daniel 12: 1 – 3; Psalm 16; Hebrews 10: 11 – 14, (15 – 18),19 – 25; St Mark 13: 1 – 8

25th  Christ the King  2 Samuel 23: 1 – 7; Psalm 132: 1 – 12, (13 – 18) or Daniel 7: 9 – 10, 13 – 14; Psalm 93; Revelation 1: 4b – 8; St John 18: 33 – 37

December

2nd  First Sunday of Advent  Jeremiah 33: 14 – 16; Psalm 25: 1-   10; 1 Thessalonians 3: 9 – 13; St Luke 21: 25 – 36

9th  Second Sunday of Advent  Malachi 3: 1 – 4; Psalm 27 or St Luke 1: 68 – 79; Philippians 1: 3 – 11; St Luke 3: 1 – 6

 16th  Third Sunday of Advent  Zephaniah 3: 14 – 20; Psalm 45 or Isaiah 12: 2 – 6; Philippians 4: 4 – 7; St Luke 3: 7 – 18

 23rd  Fourth Sunday of Advent  Micah 5: 2 – 5a; Psalm 80: 1 – 7 or St Luke 1: 47 – 55; Hebrews 10: 5 – 10; St Luke 1: 39 – 45, (46 – 55)

25th  Christmas Day – Nativity of the Lord  Isaiah 9: 2 – 7; Psalm 96; Titus 2: 11 – 14; St Luke 2: 1 – 14, (15 – 20)

30th  I Samuel 2: 18 – 20, 26; Psalm 148; Colossians 3: 12 – 17; St Luke 2: 41 – 52

January

1st  The Naming of Jesus  Numbers 6: 22 – 27; Psalm 8; Galatians 4: 4 – 7 or Philippians 2: 5 – 11; St Luke 2: 15 –21

New Year’s Day  Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 13; Psalm 8; Revelation 21: 1 – 6a; St Matthew 25: 31 – 46

6th  Epiphany of the Lord  Isaiah 60: 1 – 6; Psalm 72: 1 – 7, 10 – 14; Ephesians 3: 1 – 12; St Matthew 2: 1 – 12

13th  First Sunday after the Epiphany (Baptism of the Lord)  Isaiah 43: 1 – 7; Psalm 29; Acts 8: 14 – 17; St Luke 3: 15 -17, 2 – 22

 

 THE UNITED REFORMED CHURCH VISION STATEMENT

Called to be God’s people, transformed by the Gospel,

      making a difference in the world for Christ’s sake”

 

 

WHAT SHALL WE PRAY FOR THOSE WHO DIED?

What shall we pray for those who died, those on whose death our lives relied?  Silenced by war but not denied,
God give them peace.

What shall we pray for those who mourn friendships and love, their fruit unborn?  Though years have passed, hearts still are torn;
God give them peace.

What shall we pray for those who live tied to the past they can’t forgive, haunted by terrors they relive?
God give them peace.

What shall we pray for those who know nothing of war, and cannot show grief or regret for friend or foe?
God give them peace.

What shall we pray for those who fear war, in some guise, may reappear looking attractive and sincere?
God give them peace.

God give us peace and, more than this show us the path where justice is; and let us never be remiss working for peace that lasts.

Thanks to Carnwardric Parish Church, Glasgow

 

 

THE NW SYNOD MODERATOR

Dear colleagues

A statement concerning the future ministry of our Synod Moderator, Andrew Mills, is attached for your information. As the statement says, it is not confidential and may be shared within our churches. Please respond to this news sensitively and prayerfully.

Brian Jolly
Synod Clerk

A STATEMENT CONCERNING THE FUTURE MINISTRY OF REV ANDREW MILLS

This notice is being circulated for information to ministers and congregations in North Western Synod. It is not confidential.

We write to let you know that Rev Andrew Mills, Moderator of the North Western Synod of the United Reformed Church, has accepted a call to return to local church ministry. Andrew is to serve in Southern Synod as minister of Christ Church (UM) Lewes, Cross Way (UM) Seaford and Alfriston Mission Project. He and Ruth expect to move there early in 2019.

Andrew has been Synod Moderator since September 2015. During his years of ministry in the north west Andrew has encouraged the Synod to reflect carefully on what it means to Walk the Way of Jesus and on how members of local congregations can best be helped to develop their discipleship. As a consequence of his leadership the Synod Meeting adopted a Missional Discipleship strategy dedicated to helping churches focus on this aspect of their calling. Andrew has also led the Synod to reorganise the way in which stipendiary ministry is deployed, so that ministers’ time and gifts can be focussed in the most fruitful way possible on God’s mission. In the wider church Andrew has shared in the ministries of the Moderators’ Meeting and the Northerly Synods. In each setting he has been unstinting in giving of his time and energy, and his friendship and thoughtfulness have been highly valued.

Andrew offers the following reflection:

“It has been a privilege to serve the denomination in the role of Moderator of the North Western Synod and particularly during a period where the Synod has been wrestling with significant challenges that confront the whole church. The decision to move mid-term has not been taken lightly.

“One of the particular joys for me during this time has been to meet with groups from local congregations a few weeks prior to leading worship on a Sunday, so that we could get to know each other a little more and to explore some of the mission going on as they shared the Good News of Jesus in their community in varied ways. However, these times also stirred within me a sense of loss, in that I was no longer able to participate in such patterns of work directly and share in the witness of God’s people in these ways.

“Though I have really enjoyed working with many within the Synod and the wider URC, I have personally found the role to be very isolating, losing that deep sense of belonging within a local Christian community, and where relationships with fellow ministers are framed by my role rather than a common sense of colleagueship. Some of you know too that Ruth and I struggled with the way in which ‘ministry’ was no longer something which we were sharing in together but rather something which I now ‘did’ alone.

“I hope that in responding to the call of my heart I have also heard the call of God as I take up this opportunity within congregations to serve in a new phase of ministry.”

Let us be rightly thankful to God for Andrew’s ministry in the north west, sensitive to Andrew’s response to God’s call to him to return to local church ministry, and prayerfully supportive of Andrew, Ruth and their family as they prepare for the move to the south coast.

Let us also be prayerfully supportive of the churches of the North Western Synod, and of all who will be involved in the process of discernment concerning the impending vacancy.

Rev John Proctor                                           Rev Brian Jolly
General Secretary of the URC                       Clerk of North Western Synod
4th September 2018 

 

PRAYER

Great God, we bring before you in prayer all the members and friends of our Church family. We ask your blessing and assurance on all who are feeling unwell, those who are anxious awaiting hospital treatment, those who are lonely and feel their loneliness most at this time of the year, those who mourn the loss of loved ones. We remember all who are suffering throughout the world where conflict, poverty, disaster and hunger are prevalent and we pray for those agencies working to alleviate all suffering. We pray your blessing on us all as we prepare to hear again the Good News of Great Joy for All People.   In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

              

CHRISTMAS TREE SERVICE 8th DECEMBER

At the Christmas Tree Service we will be collecting gifts to pass on to the Salvation Army for their Christmas appeal.  Suitable items would be toiletries, fancy biscuits, sweets, chocolates, gift items for children or adults.  These should not be gift-wrapped as the Salvation Army would need to see the contents to allocate them appropriately.  The usual food bank items would also be welcome.

 

FAVOURITE CAROLS SERVICE

Jean & Brian will be organising a Favourite Carols Service for Sunday 30th December.  Look out for a request form on the weekly notice sheet.  Requests should be given to Jean or Brian no later than 9th December.

 

QUIZ FOR CHRISTIAN AID

Thank you to all who supported our Quiz for Christian Aid on 28th September.  It was an enjoyable evening and our thanks are due Stephen Garsied for again acting as our Quizmaster, to Ann Garsed for providing the FairTrade stall and to Margery for devising the Questions.

The sum of £ 215 was raised of which £200 pounds was gift-aided.

 

 

CHRIST CHURCH LONGRIDGE

MONDAY 17th DECEMBER at 7.00pm

The Valley Singers will be performing

Entrance by donation in aid of

SALVATION ARMY CHRISTMAS APPEAL

 

 

MISSIONAL PARTNERSHIPS – SOUTH AREA GET-TOGETHER

A huge thank you for each and every one of you that came along and took part in our first Partnership Get Together, last Saturday. A special thank you to Chorley URC for hosting us and to the choir for their joyous performance. I came away feeling inspired and uplifted, after listening to the part every church plays in God’s Mission. I cannot wait to see what God has planned for us as a Partnership together.

I would like to quote one of the members, because her words sum it up, so beautifully.

“Now we as a congregation have been given the opportunity to form a partnership with the other URC congregations in our area, to get to know each other, to use each other’s strengths and support the weaknesses, to learn from each other and together make a greater impact on our communities”

I am looking forward to this journey together.

Yours in Christ
Daleen ten Cate

 

VENI IMMANUEL

(We have repeated the article which the late Donald Oakley wrote several years ago to draw attention to our beautiful Nativity figures)

 The season of Advent is fast approaching and it will evoke different and special memories for each one of us. Amongst the things which we eagerly anticipate are the services leading up to Christmas Day and the lighting of the Advent candles week by week as well as the candles on our Christmas tree. We are particularly fortunate in our own church in having the beautiful and unique crib with its figures acting as a focal point for our worship.

As many will know, the nativity tableau was crafted by Rev. Bernard Jones, a former Minister at Kirkham U.R.C. Following his retirement, Bernard moved to Preston and attended Grimshaw St. Church. Although he had some tutoring in woodwork in his school days he never received formal training in woodcarving. His skills were self-taught and crafting in wood became his hobby and a means of relaxation.

The figures for the Nativity scene were carved at the rate of one each month using a variety of types of wood. For example one of the Wise Men is crafted in a darker wood to represent the more African origins of this particular man. The carving is extremely intricate and the set consists of the Holy Family, the manger, the three Wise Men, the shepherds and a donkey.    The crib and tableau were dedicated in church in December 1994 when Bernard presented them to us and they now belong to Fulwood Church

Not a man to do anything by halves, Bernard also made a strong wooden box fitted with softly lined fabric to keep the figures safely from year to year. They are a prized possession and are totally unique. Do please have a close look at our Nativity scene during the Advent season and marvel at the skill involved in its creation.

 

UNEXPECTED ENTERTAINMENT                         

I recently had a hospital appointment and had been sitting in the waiting room for a while when an elderly lady got up, stood at the front and announced that she was going to do a recitation for us.  She then recited the following anonymous poem called ‘My Medication’ which I later found on the internet

A row of bottles on my shelf caused me to analyse myself.
One yellow pill I have to pop goes to my heart so it won’t stop.

A little white one that I take goes to my hands so they won’t shake.
The blue ones that I use a lot tell me I’m happy when I’m not.

The purple pill goes to my brain and tells me that I have no pain.
The capsules tell me not to wheeze or cough or choke or even sneeze.

The red ones, smallest of them all go to my blood so I won’t fall.
The orange ones, very big and bright prevent my leg cramps in the night.

Such an array of brilliant pills helping to cure all kinds of ills.
But what I’d really like to know… is what tells each one where to go!

At the end she sat down to a round of applause from the dozen or so people in the room (including the two receptionists).  She said she had resolved to try and make someone smile every day, so she had just got herself in credit for a week or two.  A few minutes later she asked us what you call an alligator wearing a vest?  No-one knew so she told us it was an investigator!  A little later she gave the best rendition I’ve heard of Stanley Holloway’s ‘Albert and the Lion’ and got another round of applause.  The waiting people were all laughing and smiling.  When her daughter arrived to take her home several people called ‘Goodbye’ to her as she let the room with a cheery wave.

I’ve no idea why she was at the hospital but she certainly fulfilled her resolution by putting smiles on a roomful of people that day.

Margery Pitcher

 

MINISTRY OF FLOWERS                    

4th November      Frances Fraser                        

11th November    Mavis Orrell

18th November    Camille McCullough                                                                               

 

COFFEE MORNING AND BRING & BUY SALE

Thank you to all who attended our second coffee morning to support St Catherine’s & Derian House hospices. A pleasant sociable morning was shared by all.  £213 was raised to which will be added the proceeds of the quiz (entry forms still available from Margery)

 

CHRISTMAS EVE

A star shines huge and bright in a dark sky, A jewelled sky, as shepherds watch their sheep on Galilean hills. The night is clear, cold as death. Still far away, the wise men keep their eyes upon the face of heaven.  Guards salute the Roman captains as they rest from census-taking, and a watch fire burns. The inns are full: an outhouse, at the best, is what is offered.  Meanwhile, midnight comes and a sad donkey droops beneath the load of woman great with child. Joseph is tense, His face lined with fatigue, tired by a road that seemed unending, yet expectant, too.  The world around him waits with bated breath As Herod sleeps uneasily and turns, troubled by nightmares and strange thoughts of death.

God’s hand rests powerfully upon the earth.  Angelic legions mass within the skies As Mary sinks down in the straw and beasts watch, undisturbed, with large and wondering eyes.  A heavenly choir alerts the world to some great mystery at the dawning of the day.  The long tread of the camels nears its goal; A star shines huge and bright to show the way.

Anon

 

ROVING REPORTER FAILS HER TASK………

Your Roving Reporter was on her travels in September, with the usual commission to bring back some church newsletters – unusually, despite trying, no churches were visited during the week!  There were two churches in Melrose, one Roman Catholic and one Scottish Episcopalian with sung Eucharist.  Instead we set off for Dryburgh Abbey which was established by Premonstratensian canons in 1150 but the Protestant Reformation on 1560 brought the end of monastic life at the Abbey.  The abbey contains the graves of Sir Walter Scott (who lived nearby at Abbotsford) and Field-Marshal Earl Haig.  As I had asked for photographs to use in our Remembrance Day service, I tried to take one of Earl Haig’s grave but it was fenced off so when I saw a guide walking past, I explained that I was taking the service and asked permission to climb over the rail to take the photo – as there were no other visitors around permission was granted.

Monday found us heading for Kelso and another of the Border Abbeys.  Benedictine monks from Tiron Abbey in norther France established the abbey by 1128 and due to the patronage of King David I of Scotland, it became one of the most important in Scotland.  Wednesday found us in Jedburgh which had been an important religious site before the Augustinians arrived in 1138 at the invitation of King David I, but only became an abbey in 1154 although the abbey church wasn’t completed until the early 1200’s.  The town jail at the top of the hill is now an interesting museum with good views over the town.

As Wednesday was rather wet and very windy we didn’t visit any ruins but went to Old Gala House, a museum in Galashiels where there was a display of mini quilts commemorating people and events of WW1 – some more photos for Remembrance Sunday.  Thursday was another ‘abbey-free’ day as we went to Selkirk and Harestanes country park.

Although we were staying on the outskirts of Melrose, we didn’t visit that abbey until Friday.  This was founded by King David I in 1136 and was the first Cistercian monastery in Scotland with monks moving from Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire.  Monastic life continued until about 1590 but the abbey church continued to be used as a parish church until the new kirk was built in 1810.

We went past various churches but none were open so I failed in my quest to find some newsletters to bring home!

Margery Pitcher

 

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, PROVINCE OF JUDE

Dear Sir,

A recent inspection of your property known as ‘The Key of David’ Public House, situated in the town of Bethlehem within this province, found you in breach of government regulations.

On the night of 24 December, your inn, with licensed accommodation available for a maximum of thirty persons, had approximately seventy-six people sleeping on the premises.  Our Inspector was told that forty-six of these individuals were members of your family.  However, the recently completed census clearly shows that your family consists of five people.

Whilst visiting the town, our Inspector received a quantity of complaints from your immediate neighbours of music played at an unacceptable volume for a built-up area.  As one informant out it, the music ‘seemed to fill the whole sky’.  May we remind you that your licence does not extend to music and dancing.

You are further accused of exceeding the prescribed licensing hours for serving intoxicating beverages.  As you are no doubt aware, summonses have been issued for out-of-hours drinking to a number of your patrons, including several shepherds employed by the municipality to watch over their flocks by night.

However, this notification is chiefly concerned with the fact that our Inspector found a new-born baby in a part of the inn reserved for domestic animals.  Apart from the obvious disregard for basic hygiene, further investigation adduced the information that no midwife attended the birth, that the parents were itinerants, and that the said stable or cowshed was visited by foreign people without valid immunisation certificates.

It is our duty to warn you that we shall be applying for a closure notice on your business and that a substantial fine will be levied for the above breaches of health and safety regulations.

Yours faithfully…
                                                                                                        From “Bible Voices” by Anthony Geering

 

THE CHRISTMAS CARD LIST

I have a list of folks I know all written in a book,
and every year when Christmas comes I go and take a look.
And that is when I realise that these names are a part,
Not of the book they’re written in, for they are in my heart.
Now each name stands for SOMEONE who has crossed my path sometime.
And in that meeting they’ve become the rhythm in each rhyme.
And while that sounds fantastic for me to make this claim,
I really feel that I’m composed of each remembered name.
And while you may not be aware of any special link
just meeting you has changed my life a lot more than you think!
For once I’ve met somebody the years cannot erase,
the memory of a pleasant word, or a friendly face.
So never think my Christmas cards are just a mere routine,
of names upon a Christmas list forgotten in between,
for when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you,
It’s because you are on the list folks I am indebted to.
For I am but the total of the many folks I’ve met,
and you happen to be one of those I prefer not to forget,
And whether I have known you for many years, or few,
In some way you have had a part in shaping things I do!
And every year when Christmas comes I realise anew,
The best gifts life can offer is meeting folks like you.
So may the peace of Christmastide, that thankfully endures,
Leave its richest blessings in the hearts of you and yours.
Anon

 

WHAT IS SUCCESS ?

Success is speaking words of praise,
In cheering other people’s ways.
In doing just the best you can,
With every task and every plan.

It’s silence when your speech would hurt,
Politeness when your neighbour’s curt. 

It’s deafness when the scandal flows,
And sympathy with others’ woes.

It’s loyalty when duty calls,
It’s courage when disaster falls. 

It’s patience when the hours are long,
It’s found in laughter and in song.

It’s in the silent time of prayer,
In happiness and in despair. 
In all of life and nothing less, 
We find the thing we call success

Anon

 

REMINDER TO THE EDITORS

Your machine is subject to breakdowns

during periods of critical need.

 

A special circuit in the machine called a ‘critical detector’ sense the operator’s emotional state in terms of how desperate he or she is to use the machine.  The ‘critical detector’ then creates a malfunction proportional to the desperation of the operator.  Threatening the machine with violence only aggravates the situation.  .  Keep cool and say nice things to the machine.  Nothing else seems to work.

(Never let anything mechanical know you are in a hurry.)

          

ROTAS FOR NOVEMBER & DECEMBER 2018

Welcoming Reading Refreshments

4th Nov
~
Norman Croll
Mavis Orrell
Mac Dunsmore
Jean Fazackerley
Jean Dunsmore &
Margery Pitcher

11th Nov
~
Viv Manners
Brian Fazackerley
Viv Manners
Craig Millar
Mavis Orrell

18th Nov
~
Mavis Orrell
Viv Manners
Brian Fazackerley
Viv Manners
Jean & Brian Fazackerley

25th Nov
~
Jean Dunsmore
Brian Fazackerley
Craig Millar
Mac Dunsmore
Norman & Elizabeth Croll

2nd Dec
~

Craig Millar
Viv Manners
Viv Manners
Brian Fazackerley
Mavis Orrell

9th Dec

~
Brian Fazackerley
Mavis Orrell
Jean Dunsmore
James Millar
Norman & Elizabeth Croll

16th Dec
~
Norman Croll
Craig Millar
Mac Dunsmore
Jean Fazackerley
Jean Dunsmore &
Margery Pitcher

23rd Dec
~
Viv Manners
Jean Dunsmore
Brian Fazackerley
Jean Dunsmore
Jean & Brian Fazackerley

30th Dec
~
Craig Millar
Norman Croll
Craig Millar
Viv Manners
Mavis Orrell

6th Jan
~
Mavis Orrell
Viv Manners
Margery Pitcher
Mac Dunsmore
Jean Dunsmore &
Margery Pitcher

13th Jan
~
Brian Fazackerley
Craig Millar
Mac Dunsmore
James Millar
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 notify

Mac Dunsmore or Margery Pitcher.

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