PASTORAL LETTER SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER 2014
When I last wrote the Pastoral Letter, for the May-June Newsletter, I referred to an article in the URC Reform Magazine written by the Rev’d Roberta Rominger, the URC General Secretary. It was entitled “Things I love about the United Reformed Church.”
How did her choices compare with yours?
Since then, we and the other three churches of the proposed Central Lancashire Pastorate have agreed the Constitution and approved the Memorandum of Understanding. The vacancy for the second minister has been declared. The Rev’d David Coaker has preached to a joint Kirkham and Fulwood URC congregation and both Church Meetings have unanimously agreed to accept secondary oversight from him, and the Pastorate Worship Team is up and running and meeting quarterly.
Throughout this process, I have been reminded in particular of two the Rev’d Roberta’s choices:
“We are committed to conciliar decision-making. It’s about the Spirit and the people, not hierarchical leadership” … and … “Ministers are called to churches. Very different from being appointed”.
Do we fully appreciate the privilege we have as Church Members?
During this period I have also been busy attending Induction Services. As Church Secretary I am invited to attend the Induction of all new ministers within the Lancashire Area and always try to attend, not least, as a regular reminder that we are part of the larger Lancashire Area as well as the wider denomination and that we should work together, share our concerns and celebrate our good times together.
One Saturday in May I went to Accrington URC to the Service of Induction of Rev’d Liz Jewitt to the newly-created Burnley, Nelson and Accrington Pastorate, and on a Sunday afternoon in June to Lytham URC to the Service of Induction of Rev’d David Phillips and the creation of the Fairhaven and Lytham Pastorate. At both of these services, it was good to have someone from Fulwood URC taking an official part in the service. Margery, in her new role as Secretary to the Lancashire Area Pastoral Committee, had the privilege of reading aloud the Nature, Faith and Order Statement of the United Reformed Church to which the whole congregation responded as appropriate.
When Rev’d Paul Pells inducted Jean (Fazackerley), Margery, Vivien and Norman to a further period of service as Elders of Fulwood URC on 13th July and Brian on 10th August, he also included the Nature, Faith and Order Statement as part of the church services.
On all four occasions, we affirmed that: “The highest authority for what we believe and do is God’s Word in the Bible, alive for his people today, through the help of the Spirit” which reminds of our duty to spend time in reading the Bible regularly, in studying its meaning for us and seeking to discern its relevance for today.
At the end of July, I was privileged to be invited to represent Fulwood URC at the Institution and Induction of Rev’d Shaun Baldwin as the new Vicar of St John Baptist Church, Broughton. It was an uplifting occasion, in a packed church, with a full choir and with friends from other churches. It was quite a salutary experience, however, to realise when the headmistress of Broughton Primary School was extending a welcome to the new vicar, that it was almost exactly 70 years since I first sat in the same pews when I started school at Broughton.
During the service, a Bible was placed on the lectern and the Archdeacon reminded the vicar that “It is the duty of the parish priest to be, like Christ, a teacher; to study and reflect upon the truth of the Holy Scriptures; through preaching and teaching to proclaim the truths of the Gospel; and to awaken all people to recognise the will of God for them and to respond in love and faith” and asked the question “Will you be faithful in studying, teaching and proclaiming the truth of Holy Scripture, ordering your life to reflect to others the Gospel of Christ?“
My thoughts went back to another occasion, only a few years after the time I started school, when a room-full of friends were crowded around a small black-and-white television at the home of Ida Lindsey, one of our then Elders, and hearing The Archbishop Canterbury say, “Our gracious Queen: to keep your Majesty ever mindful of the law and the Gospel of God as the Rule for the whole life and government of Christian Princes, we present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords.” As the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland presented a Bible to the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth, with these words “Here is Wisdom; This is the royal Law; These are the lively Oracles of God.”
As we look forward in faith to future service when a second minister with primary responsibility for Fulwood and Kirkham URCs will be inducted to the new Central Lancashire Group, we should reflect on these words and the affirmations we will be asked to make at this further induction service.
Lectionary Readings September & October 2014
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
14th Exodus 14: 19 – 31; Psalm 114 or Exodus 15: 1b – 11, 20 – 21 or Genesis 50: 15 – 21; Psalm 103: (1 – 7), 8 – 13; Romans 14: 1 – 12; St Matthew 18: 21 – 35
21st Exodus 16: 2 – 15; Psalm 105: 1 – 6, 37 – 45 or Jonah 3: 10 – 4: 11; Psalm 145: 1 – 8; Philippians 1: 21 – 30; St Matthew 20: 1 – 16
28th Exodus 17: 1 – 7; Psalm 78: 1 – 4, 12 – 16 or Ezekiel 18: 1 – 4, 25 – 32; Psalm 25: 1 – 9; Philippians 2: 1 – 13; St Matthew 21: 23 – 32
5th Exodus 20: 1 – 4, 7 – 9, 12 – 20; Psalm 19 or Isaiah 5: 1 – 7; Psalm 80: 7 – 15; Philippians 3: 4b – 14; St Matthew 21: 33 – 46
12th Exodus 32: 1 – 14; Psalm 106: 1 – 6, 19 – 23 or Isaiah 25: 1 – 9; Psalm 23; Philippians 4: 1 – 9; St Matthew 22: 1 – 4
19th Exodus 33: 12 – 23; Psalm 99 or Isaiah 45: 1 – 7; Psalm 96: 1 – 9, (10 – 13); 1 Thessalonians 1: 1 – 10; St Matthew 22: 15 – 22
26th Deuteronomy 34: 1 – 12; Psalm 90: 1 – 6, 13 – 17 or Leviticus 19: 1 – 2, 15 – 18; Psalm 1; 1 Thessalonians 2: 1 – 8; St Matthew 22: 34 – 46
1st All Saints Day Isaiah 51: 1 – 6; Psalm 131; Hebrews 11: 32 – 12: 2; St Matthew 5: 1 – 12
2nd Joshua 3: 7 – 17; Psalm 107: 1 – 7, 33 – 37 or Micah 3: 5 – 12; Psalm 43; 1 Thessalonians 2: 9 – 13; St Matthew 23: 1 – 12
9th Joshua 24: 1 – 3a, 14 – 25; Psalm 78: 1 – 7 or Amos 5: 18 – 24; Psalm 70; 1 Thessalonians 4: 13 – 18; St Matthew 25: 1 – 13
LETTER FROM THE NW MODERATOR, REV’D RICHARD CHURCH
Dear friends and colleagues,
Many of you will know of the debate which took place at General Assembly this year concerning same sex marriage. The issue to which the Assembly gave time was whether the United Reformed Church would permit those local churches who wished to, to celebrate same sex marriage in their buildings. The relevant law passed in March 2014 permits such marriages to take place in churches so long as the governing body (in our case General Assembly) permits it.
In General Assembly, using Consensus decision making processes, the Assembly was unable to resolve the matter. In the end the matter has been remitted to Synods and local churches for their views to be canvassed on this issue.
Accordingly by the end of this month each local church will have received a revised copy of the report One plus One with an introduction from the General Secretary explaining what the Church is asking us all to do, what response we are being asked to make and by what date. Included in the mailing will be a response sheet to be sent to the General Secretary by the end of March 2015.
In order to help resource this process a number of facilitators will be trained in September to assist local churches, areas and Synod itself to hold a fruitful and enlightening conversation. It is unlikely that we will be able to resource every church in this way. I have attached to this letter a copy of guidelines which have been used when different parts of the Church have been discussing potentially divisive matters.
I have been asked by our Synod Executive to write to you explaining the process. When the booklets arrive together with the letter from the General Secretary, if you feel that I or any other Synod officer can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to get in touch,
NW Synod Moderator
WHAT IS NORMAL??
During a visit to the local mental institution, the visitor asked what the criterion was to have a patient institutionalised.
“Well”, said the director, “We fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the tub.”
“Oh, I understand,” came the reply, “a normal person would use the bucket because it’s bigger than the spoon or the teacup.”
“No,” said the director, “a normal person would pull out the plug. Now, do you want a room with or without a view?”
Thanks to Lytham URC magazine
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 There are now only four remaining sessions 10th September; 14th & 28th January and 11th February 2015
As part of our Bible study exploring the book of Isaiah we had a go at some poetry ! The style we attempted is called cinquain (sin–can), and has the following structure:
– Line 1 = a single word that is the subject of the poem
– Line 2 = two adjectives describing the subject
– Line 3 = three action words related to the subject
– Line 4 = four feeling words related to the subject
– Line 5 = a single word that acts as the conclusion or summary
Here are some of ours, and you may wish to try it yourself:
Bewildering Heart-breaking Consuming
Blessed Holy Patient Whole
Learning Believing Trusting
Supported Nurtured Hopeful Safe
Listening Telling Foretelling
Reproachful Honest Inspirational Hopeful
PULL THE OTHER ONE
The Vicar was visiting a new parishioner when he noticed her parrot. It had a red ribbon tied around one leg, and a blue ribbon round the other. “I like your parrot,” said the Vicar, “but what are the ribbons for?” “They are to do with my faith Vicar” replied the woman. “How to you mean?” asked the cleric. “Well, when my faith feels strong, I pull the red ribbon, and the parrot sings ‘Onward Christian soldiers’; and when my faith is weak, I pull the blue ribbon and the parrot sings ‘Abide with me’.” “Interesting,” said the Vicar, “what happens if you pull both ribbons?” This time the parrot replied, “I fall off course!”
Thanks to Guisborough Parish Church
CHURCHES TOGETHER IN FULWOOD & BROUGHTON
The CTFB Pilgrimage this year will to Chester and to Chester Cathedral on Saturday 20th September
The Annual Churches Together Songs of Praise Service is this year being hosted by Our Lady & St Edwards. As usual members of the Churches will be selecting and introducing their chosen hymns. The Service is at 2.30pm.on Sunday 28th September. Please support this enjoyable event!
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.
Saturday 22nd November
THANKS Christian Aid
I am writing to thank you and the members of Fulwood URC for your donation of £72 towards our emergency appeal in Gaza.
Working in an incredibly dangerous environment, PMRS are managing to operate two mobile clinics. They are providing comprehensive and desperately needed emergency healthcare and treatment to approximately 8000 people every day who have had to flee their homes and seek refuge in UN schools.
Right now, it’s too dangerous for many of our partners to leave their homes. Troops and tanks entered the Gaza Strip last Thursday (7th August), launching a devastating ground offensive. If and when it becomes safe enough to do so, our partners will be ready to respond to the desperate humanitarian needs emerging……… Please continue to hold the people of Gaza in your thoughts and pray that the leaders of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory can reach terms for a ceasefire soon and bring an end to the suffering in the region.
(Ruth is a regular visitor to Fulwood URC for the Preston Christian Aid Committee)
THANKS & BLESSINGS – Rev Malcolm Hill BA
“This month I shall mark the 60th Anniversary of my ordination to the Christian Ministry, and I wish to thank the congregations with whom I served.
It was on the 19th July 1954 that I was ordained by George Phillips of the Lancashire Independent College to the pastorate of Garstang Road Congregational Church. Thence, I was Minister in Fulwood until 1962, and I have many happy memories of my association with the Members of the Church. These years were obviously a time of much learning – how to cooperate with the Members, how to reach out to the community, how to conduct worship and to preach sermons. (The last took up many hours of preparation, often ‘burning the midnight oil’!) In all my service I received invaluable advice and support from several people, and my experience was fine preparation for the decades to come.
So, I must thank Fulwood United Reformed Church for so much. It could well be that no present Members of the Church knew me, but it is right for me to thank your predecessors for helping me to begin a career, which had brought me so much blessing of body, mind and spirit.
May God bless you as you continue the ministry in the coming years.
(This is a summary of my reply: “To the best of my knowledge, there are now no remaining members from the Congregational Church of that time still with us. John Lancaster, who you may remember, worshipped with us regularly until a couple of year ago when he and his wife Connie moved to Midsomer Norton to be nearer their family. However, I have clear memories of you coming to speak to the Student Christian Movement at Preston Grammar School in the late fifties and at least two of us have Sunday School Scripture Examination prizes signed by yourself as President of the Sunday School Union at that time.” – Mac)
GARSTANG UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
Thanks to one of their members, Brenda Fox, a history of the Garstang Church from 1777 – 1900 was published in August .
This book is predominantly about the early history of Garstang Independent Chapel/ Congregational Church c1777-1900. It may be of interest to church historians generally as there are some points of common interest to many churches. It begins with how Nonconformity began and tells of the Great Ejection of 1662 when almost 2000 church of England vicars were ejected from their parishes for having Nonconformist views.
Copies are available from the church priced at £12 each by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
REV’D DAVID COAKER
David begins his well-earned sabbatical next week when, after a short family holiday in France, he will be exploring the relationship between URCs and Progressive Christianity. His chosen itinerary will cover many parts of the country experiencing different church families before returning at the beginning of December. We wish him an interesting, refreshing and blessed sabbatical!
TEN LITTLE CHURCHMEN
Ten little churchmen went to church when fine
But it started raining, and then there were nine.
Nine little churchmen stayed up very late,
One overslept himself, and then there were eight.
One joined a Rambling club and then there were seven.
Seven little churchmen hear of Sunday flicks;
One thought he’d like to go, and then there were six.
Six little churchmen kept the place alive,
One bought a television set, and then there were five.
Five little churchmen seemed loyal to the core,
The parson upset one of them, and then there were four.
Four little churchmen argued heatedly
Over ceremonial, and then there were three.
Three little churchmen sang the service through,
Got a hymn they didn’t know, and then there were two.
Two little churchmen disputed who should run
The next Family Evensong, and then there was one.
One little churchman, knowing what to do,
Got a friend to come to church, and then there were two.
Two sincere churchmen each brought one more,
So their numbers doubled, and then there were four.
Four sturdy churchmen simply couldn’t wait,
‘till they found four others, and then there were eight.
Eight eager churchmen, searching round for souls,
Praying, working, witnessing, drew others in by shoals,
Shoals and shoals at every service, cramming every pew,
O God supply this grace and zeal in our own church too.
Thanks to ‘The Link’, the monthly magazine for Briggswath & Sleights and Littlebeck Methodist Churches.
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
AT THE PEARLY GATES
One day, a man arrived at the gates of Heaven, where he was greeted by St Peter, who asked him a number of questions about his life on earth. Among these, he asked whether he’d had any interesting hobbies. The man replied that he’d been an international Rugby referee. Later, St Peter asked if he’d done anything heroic during the course of his life. The man replied, “I was refereeing the England versus Wales match at Cardiff Arms Park. The result would determine who won the five-Nations Championship and the Triple Crown. Wales were winning 18-16 and in the final minute I awarded England a penalty right in front of the Welsh posts.” “That’s very interesting,” said St Peter, as he searched through his files, “but I can’t seem to find any record of that here. When did it happen?” “About five minutes ago,” the man replied.
Thanks to ‘A Fifth little book of smiles’ from Guisborough Parish Church
THE WINDERMERE CENTRE – IT’S YOUR PLACE
Several years ago, the Windermere Centre set up a circle of Contacts in churches around the country to pass on information about forthcoming events and publicise the Centre and I became the Contact for Fulwood. You may remember from a previous newsletter that in January I joined a working party at the Centre to help make new curtains for some of the bedrooms while other people were painting other rooms so when I received an email headed Windermere Management Committee I assumed that another working party was being arranged…
I was wrong! The WMC had agreed at their last meeting that it would be useful to have a Contacts representative on the committee and I had been suggested as someone who had supported the centre over many years. I agreed my name could be put forward and this was formally accepted in July and my first meeting is in September. It should be interesting as the Centre has introduced a new charging system for the coming year where people are asked to pay what they think their stay is worth (guidelines of last year’s prices are available as a basis). The programme for the year is not yet full as they are emphasising their motto of “It’s your place” and are asking what courses people would like to see at the centre. If you have any suggestions please let me know and I will pass them on.
People seem to be finding me plenty of jobs to keep me occupied since I took early retirement last summer!
I was visiting my son and daughter-in-law last night. When I asked if I could borrow a newspaper my son said “This is the 21st century, old man. We don’t waste money on newspapers. Here, you can borrow my iPod.”
I can tell you, that fly never knew what hit it! Who said that newspapers were dead?
“OUT OF THE MOUTHS…”
A primary school teacher collected well known proverbs. She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. Here is a selection of their answers….
Love all, trust … me.
The pen is mightier than the … pigs.
An idle mind is … the best way to relax.
If you lie down with the dogs, you’ll … stink in the morning.
Where there’s smoke there’s … pollution.
Happy the bride who … gets all the presents.
A penny saved is … not much.
Two’s company, three’s … the Musketeers.
Don’t put off till tomorrow what … you put on to go to bed.
Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and … you have toblow your nose.
Children should be seen and not … spanked or grounded.
You get out of something what you … see pictured on the box.
When the blind lead the blind … get out of the way.
Thanks to “A fifth book of little smiles” – compiled by a member of St Nicholas Church, Guisborough
O God the Holy Spirit, you know how amidst the burdens and anxieties of our daily lives, we so easily forget you. Fill us with a continual sense of your presence, that we may know you more real than anything else beside, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
ROTAS FOR SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER 2014
|7th Sep||Viv MannersPauline Collier||Pauline CollierGreta Temperley||Norman &Elizabeth Croll|
|14th Sep||Mavis OrrellGreta Temperley||Viv MannersCraig Millar||Pauline Collier &Kath Farquhar|
|21st Sep||Brian FazackerleyDuncan Farquhar||Elsie HuntJean Dunsmore||Jean Dunsmore &Greta Temperley|
|28th Sep||Kath FarquharElsie Hunt||Ben MillarDuncan Farquhar||Norman &Elizabeth Croll|
|5th Oct||Norman CrollJean Dunsmore||Brian FazackerleyJean Fazackerley||Mavis Orrell& Elsie Hunt|
|12th Oct||Derek OrrellGreta Temperley||Greta TemperleyIan Ferguson||Pauline Collier &Kath Farquhar|
|19th Oct||Donald ScottPauline Collier||Craig MillarMac Dunsmore||Norman &Elizabeth Croll|
|26th Oct||Viv MannersJean Dunsmore||Ben MillarRichard Fraser||Frances &Richard Fraser|
|2nd Nov||Duncan FarquharMavis Orrell||Jean DunsmorePauline Collier||Jean Dunsmore &Greta Temperley|
|9th Nov||Brian FazackerleyElsie Hunt||Duncan FarquharMargery Pitcher||Mavis Orrell& Elsie Hunt|
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?
We are particularly short of people able to help prepare & serve the refreshments and wash up afterwards – if we have more people on the rota each one would need to do it less frequently.
Please see Margery if you feel able to help. Thank you.