SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER 2017
I was pleased, along with Margery, to be able to attend the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the Windermere Centre held at Carver URC on 15th July. The Rev Stephen Thornton, who first conceived the idea of the Centre, the three successive Directors – Rev Graham Cooke, Rev Peter McIntosh and Lawrence Moore – and the immediate past and present ministers of Carver all took part in the Service.
The sermon was preached by Rev Tony Burnham , a former URC Moderator, who tried to cover the whole range of bitter-sweet emotions surrounding the closure felt by the many past and recent visitors to Windermere and of the now ex-staff who were in the congregation. Jan Berry from Northern College had written a moving and most appropriate hymn especially for the service and she has kindly given us permission to include it in the Newsletter.
Hymn for the Windermere Centre
Tune: The Bard of Armagh (R&S 583)
Praise God for a place of endeavour and vision,
off’ring a space for encounter and call,
the peace of the valleys, the awe of the mountains,
a home in the Lakes with a welcome for a
Praise God for a place of discussion and learning,
meeting with others to share what we know;
exploring hard questions and probing the mystery,
a home in the Lakes where our trust and faith grow.
Praise God for a place of communion and feasting,
sitting at table with stranger and friend,
relaxing, retreating, and sharing our journeys
– a home in the Lakes that now reaches its end.
We grieve for a place where the story is ending
doors and dreams closing on all that is lost’
in struggle and anger we hold to our mem’ries
a home in the Lakes that bears too high a cost.
We long for a place where new vision can flourish,
dreams and ideas springing up in dry ground,
we mourn for the passing of all that we’ve cherished,
and hope for a future where God can be found.
© Jan Berry June 2017 Reproduced with permission
Mission Council has repeatedly affirmed the value and lasting benefits to the Church of the work of the Windermere Centre, whilst acknowledging its struggle to secure sufficient users to provide long-term viability. The Mission Council resolution also recognised an increasingly apparent and urgent need for lay training and congregational development across the URC.
I have enjoyed my many courses at Windermere: the sheer exuberance of the annual ”Come and Sing” courses; the instruction and inspiration of Lawrence Moore’s Bible studies; the pleasant relaxing surroundings, and not least the wonderful fellowship and encouragement of meeting many like-minded members from churches from all over British Isles
I trust and pray that adequate provision will be made to fill the gaping hole in this area left by the closure of our “home in the Lakes”.
LECTIONARY READINGS FOR SEPT & OCT 2017
3rd 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
10th Exodus 12: 1 – 14; Psalm 149 or Ezekiel 33: 7 – 11; Psalm 119: 33 – 40; Romans 13: 8 – 14; St Matthew 18: 15 – 20
17th 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
24th 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
1st 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
8th 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
15th 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
22nd 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
29th 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
5th 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
11th Remembrance Day Isaiah 51: 1 – 6; Psalm 131; Hebrews 11: 32 – 12: 2; St Matthew 5: 1 – 12
12th 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
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 s sake
CELEBRATING WHAT WE ACHIEVE TOGETHER
Thank you for all that you give
Thank you for all that you give. For the time, the love and the money that is poured into local United Reformed churches week by week. Without the resources that are generously provided by you and the rest of the church family, the life of the local – and the central – United Reformed Church could not continue to operate and serve as it now does. Thank you.
The URC may be a relatively small Church, but its achievements – both locally and nationally – are substantial. We are ‘punching above our weight’ in many areas, not least in our commitment to social justice, illustrated through the work of the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) in areas as diverse as foodbanks, housing and refugees; the continuing innovation of the church related community work (CRCW) programme; large scale events like The Big Day Out and the URC’s associate partnership in the Greenbelt festival as well as initiatives like the celebration of Constance Coltman’s centenary and Walking the Way.
Alongside all these high profile success stories is the support of local churches, not least through funding the stipends of ministers and ensuring they are assured of reliable pensions and adequate housing in retirement. And, in addition to these things, we also invest in the long-term future of individuals – from training our ordained ministers and lay preachers to giving advice to new church treasurers.
The above list gives an idea of the many things the URC is involved in – there’s too many to list here – but all were started as a recognition and outworking of God’s never-ending grace to us; all came to fruition knowing that they would benefit some, but not all, and all were made possible because of the time and money you give to the URC’s work in mission and ministry. Thank you again.
The URC is a big family, and like a family, it’s at its best when it works together, everyone playing their part by working to their strengths and giving what and when they can. Not everything your money is used for will directly benefit you; and some expenditure won’t even appeal to you. But that’s the way it is with families – we seek to express our unity, our love for one another and our mutual commitment by supporting each other’s interests.
The basis of your gifts
Love and time are vital for the family life of the Church – but so is money. And it’s money that this leaflet focuses on. In the URC, part of the money that you give, week by week, month by month, is sent to the national finance team working out of Church House, and added to the ministry and mission fund (better known as ‘M&M’). Most of what the Church achieves in terms of mission and ministry is paid for from this fund
Through the giving of each church member, local congregations contribute to the M&M fund according to their ability to pay. The ministry that is available and affordable is allocated across the synods and then deployed within the Synods according to mission priorities. This covenant together is certainly very different from a consumer model, where the rich can always have more than those with more limited resources. We believe that it is important that all are willing to share. The URC’s adoption of this approach means that not only do we express our support for each other through M&M, but everyone can truly celebrate all that the denomination achieves – because it has been achieved together.
How do we spend our money?
In 2016 local churches gave a total of £19.3m to the M&M fund. The consistency and faithfulness of this giving is greatly appreciated. The broad areas of spending : Ministry 82% Publishing 1% Children’s and Youth Work 2% Mission Programmes 5% Education & Learning 10%
If you would like more information on what the M & M money is spent on, please speak to our Church Treasurer, Vivien who has more detailed figures
Produced by the URC’s communications department on behalf of the finance committee, June 2017
ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY UPDATE
SUPPORTING ARTISANS TO DEFY POVERTY
Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans (BFTA) was founded in 2009 and is made up of both an NGO and a company. The company helps Palestinian artisans to export their goods, giving them access to international markets while ensuring a fair price and taking on the export logistics. The NGO provides training and development opportunities, allowing some of the most vulnerable communities to have a livelihood and grow their business.
BFTA are currently working with 48 family-owned workshops, eight women’s cooperatives and four centres which support people with disabilities. BFTA buy their products and export them internationally.
The majority of sales are olive wood products (ranging from kitchen utensils to nativity scenes and ornaments), but other items include ceramics, blown glass, felt, kuffiya, embroidery, recycled paper,
recycled glass, silver jewellery, olive oil soaps and mother of pearl. BFTA supports around 460 people through the producers themselves and their employees, as well as their wider families and community.
Olive wood workshops
Through working with 48 family-owned olive wood workshops, BFTA came to understand some of the challenges these small and medium -sized businesses encountered when they tried to grow or develop. Accessing finance is one of the biggest challenges, leading businesses to work on an order-by-order basis and only able to buy materials once an order is received. This means that the businesses can’t take advantage of the fact that olive wood is both cheaper and of better quality when bought in the winter.
BFTA offered a micro-loan scheme, and 15 workshop owners were given loans to buy materials in bulk at the best quality and price. Having stocks of materials allowed the workshops to be able to fulfil bigger orders at shorter notice, and this has meant BFTA has been able to increase their orders and offer a wider range of products to their customers.
Nidal Dakkarat’s success
Nidal Dakkarat is a 30-year-old Palestinian Christian living in Beit Sahour. Nidal’s father died 15 years ago, leaving him supporting his mother and sister when he was just a teenager. He started workingIwith olive wood during his school summer holidays and then after having to drop out of university for financial reasons, Nidal started his own workshop which now employs nine people. Nidal began working with BFTA and received training in marketing his products and management of his workshop. BFTA also supported him with help on how to price his products to make sure he can make a profit. He is also now learning English through a course at the university, and uses his language skills to explain his business to tourists and visitors Last year Nidal received a loan of $3,000 from BFTA. This helped him to buy raw materials in bulk at a good price and as a result he has been able to take on and fulfil more orders from BFTA. With this loan, Nidal was able to increase his total sales through BFTA by 54% (from $19,733 in 2015 to $30,493 in 2016). Nidal said: ‘I’ve been working with BFTA for many years now and they have helped me to sustain my workshop and provide both income for my family and employment opportunities to others in my community. I believe that fair trade can be a powerful agent to help us defy poverty, and the support of BFTA has also helped me overcome the challenges in my life. I am pleased that I can now do the same for others.
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!”
AUTUMN FAIR BRING & BUY SALE
After the Elders’ reluctant decision that it is no longer practical for us to hold our traditional Autumn Fair, we held our first alternative Bring & Buy Sale to support St Catherine’s & Derian House hospices. On sale were toiletries, groceries, confectionary (including home baked scones and cakes) and a stall selling handmade cards and other gifts. The event was well-supported by church members and other friends and an enjoyable social event. Thanks to all who helped and supported the sum of £142.50 was raised.
We will be holding another Autumn Fair Bring & Buy Sale in aid of St Catherine’s & Derian House Hospices on Saturday 28th October but as we go to press, it has not been decided whether this will be in the morning or afternoon. Please look out for the weekly notices or on the notice board for the starting time.
The Bring & Buy Stall will be for toiletries, groceries, confectionary (including home baking) and there will be a stall selling handmade cards and other gifts – an early start for Christmas shopping? A quiz will be available shortly. Your support will be appreciated.
‘MUSIC & MISSION IN THE AFTERNOON’
Christ Church Longridge are holding their 14th ‘Music in the afternoon’ event on Sunday 24th September at 2:30pm. ‘Musical moments’ will be performed by Carol Rose, Ian Williams, Jason McMahon & David Rose and there will be updates from John Spencer and members of the District Mission Team. Admission £5 – see Margery or Mac for tickets or pay on the door, all proceeds are to support mission projects in Sierra Leone and Papua New Guinea.
Since the last Newsletter, the NW Moderator, Rev Andrew Mills, was invited to attend the Central Lancashire Pastorate Elders’ meeting at the end of July. This was not possible, but he agreed to meet the elders of the vacant pastorates, Kirkham and ourselves early in July. I felt this was a useful meeting. We were able to share our concerns and our occasional feelings of abandonment by the wider church after such long ministerial vacancies. Dr Michael Pickles, the new Lancashire Area Pastoral Committee convenor also attended.
Michael kindly agreed to come to the Joint Elders’ meeting at Fulwood, when I chaired what I thought was a useful and frank exchange of views.
Michael pointed out that as he is not Moderator he may not know the answers to all the questions raised but explained that Missional Discipleship had come about as a result of what happened 10-15 years ago. The Ministry situation was not a problem at that point so there was no worry. Now there is more concern and ways forward are being considered. Missional Discipleship is one answer but each Synod is responding in its own way. Walking the Way is an idea being explored by Church House and information will be released in autumn 2018. The URC originally guaranteed that all church fellowships would have input from stipendiary ministers, more emphasis being put on ministers than in the Congregational church so that ministry of others was diminished. Ministry of all is now being more valued because of the situation.
Dates and venues have now been set for the Missional Partnership Roadshows and the Lancashire Area ones will be on Thursday 21st September, 2:00pm at Poulton URC & 7:00pm at Fulwood URC
It’s everyone’s go-to ice cream flavour – vanilla! The precious pods hold one of the world’s most expensive spices, but sadly this doesn’t always mean the farmers earn big bucks. Madagascar produces 80 percent of the world’s vanilla but yields are volatile and some years farmers don’t know if they’ll earn enough to make it through the hungrymonths.*
In Madagascar there are currently 12 Fairtrade certified vanilla farming organisations representing over 12,000 Fairtrade farmers. They’ve worked hard to improve their livelihoods and invest in their community.
From the start they’ve made tackling child labour a focus – it’s a big problem in vanilla farming. The steps they’ve taken have been so successful that other organisations in Madagascar look to them for guidance.
The extra income from Fairtrade has gone into day care centres, more teachers and even a sewing project for girls age 14 -17. ‘My hope is that my child will not experience the same plight that I have had with an early pregnancy and being a single young mother.’ says a local teacher.
With Bake Off just around the corner, why not support vanilla farmers by getting your bake-on
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD SHOEBOX APPEAL
Our shoebox dedication service will be on Sunday 5th November but filled boxes can be brought to Church before that if you wish. We have some boxes that don’t need wrapping are available at church.
Samaritan’s Purse suggest a donation of £5 per box to cover costs of collection, sorting, shipping & distribution.
The type of items required are:
Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls or stuffed toys (with CE label), toy trucks, harmonica, yo-yo, skipping rope, ball, small puzzles etc.
School Supplies: Pens, pencils & sharpeners, crayons or felt pens, stamps & ink pad sets, writing pads or notebooks & paper, solar calculators, colouring & picture books etc.
Hygiene Items: Toothbrush and toothpaste, bars of wrapped soap, comb or hairbrush, flannel.
Other Items: Hat, cap, gloves or scarf, sunglasses, hair accessories, jewellery set, wind up torch, wrapped sweets (best-before-date must be at least March of the following year).
Do Not Include: Used or damaged items, war related items such as toy guns, play soldiers or knives; chocolate or other food items; liquids or lotions of any type including bubbles; medicines; hand-made or knitted stuffed toys; anything of a political, racial or religious nature; sharp objects; glass containers, mirrors or fragile items; playing cards of the 4-suit variety; clothing other than as listed above.
For the elderly minister’s 70th birthday, the congregation decided to give him the present of a new suit. He was so moved by the gift that the following Sunday he stood before everyone and began his homily with a tear in his eye and said: “Today I am preaching to you in my birthday suit.”
Thanks to Penwortham St Mary’s Magazine
MINISTRY OF FLOWERS
3rd Sept Dorothy Sumner
8th Oct Camille McCullough
15th Oct Jean Fazackerley
22nd Oct Jean Dunsmore
5th Nov Frances Fraser
AN UNSELFISH PRAYER
Lord, when I’m hungry, give me someone to feed
When I’m thirsty, water for their thirst
When I’m sad, someone to lift from sorrow.
When burdens lay upon me, lay upon my shoulders the burdens of my fellows.
Lord, when I stand, greatly in need of tenderness, give me someone who yearns for love.
May your will be my bread,
Your grace my strength,
Your love my resting place. Amen
URC DAILY DEVOTIONS
Every morning URC Daily Devotions offers a short Bible reading, reflection, and prayer to help shine Christ’s light in our daily lives. These are written by a team of over one hundred writers of different places and perspectives from around the United Reformed Church.
You can receive Daily Devotion by email by signing at devotions.urc.org.uk
CHURCHES TOGETHER IN FULWOOD & BROUGHTON
PILGRIMAGE TO LIVERPOOL ANGLICAN CATHEDRAL – SATURDAY 9th SEPTEMBER 2017
We hope that the members of our church and the other congregations of Churches Together in Fulwood & Broughton have an enjoyable day visiting Liverpool and its magnificent Anglican Cathedral next Saturday.
We extend our very best wishes to Rev’d Malcolm and Christine Hickox on their “retirement” to the North East. Those of our members who shared worship with them on a regular basis are most grateful for their care and support especially during our long ministerial vacancy.
We also pray God’s blessing on the ministries of Rev’d Jane Wild and Mr Darren Arnold, their Youth, Children and Family Worker, who start work at Fulwood Methodist this month
Best Wishes to our “chairtaker” for the last few years, Richard McClay who has decided to retire to his native Ireland.
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible – Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the chapter. Little Tommy was excited about the task – but he just couldn’t remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line.
On the day that the children were due to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Tommy was so nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly,
‘The Lord is my Shepherd, and that’s all I need to know.’
Freddy goes to the church and listens to the preacher. After a while, the preacher asks anyone with needs to be prayed over to come forward. Freddy goes up and the preacher asks, “Freddy, what do you want me to pray about for you?”
“Preacher,” says Freddy, “I need you to pray for my hearing.”
The preacher puts one finger in Freddy’s ear and he places the other hand on top of Freddy’s head and prays and prays and prays. After a few minutes, the preacher removes his hands and stands back.
“Freddy, how is your hearing now?”
“I don’t know, Reverend,” says Freddy. “My hearing’s not until next Wednesday
TALKING REFORM – HELP?
For several years Fulwood URC has provided a team to help produce recordings of the URC Reform magazine each month for blind and partially-sighted people. The recordings are made at Galloway’s Society for the Blind, Penwortham, on the second Monday of each month starting at 12 noon. The commitment would be only 2 or 3 Mondays per year. We are now down to a team of three volunteers so we need to borrow a fourth reader each time. We would be very grateful for a regular fourth member of our team. If you know anyone who might be interested, please speak to Mac.
A small boy asked his mother for a cucumber to take to Junior Church. A slightly puzzled mother complied. Later she asked him what it had been used for. “Sorry, mum,” he confessed. “I got it wrong. We were supposed to bring a newcomer”
A FEW THOUGHTS TO DWELL ON
- The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you
- The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
- God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
- Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
- When you get to your wit’s end, you’ll find God lives there.
HOW GOD WORKS
A grandmother was taking her young grandson for a walk in the park. The daffodils were in bloom and it was a beautiful spring day. Wanting to encourage her grandson’s spiritual understanding of the world, she said: “Doesn’t it look like an artist painted the scenery? Did you know God did all this?”
Her grandson replied: “Oh yes, and God did it left handed, too”.
In astonishment the grandmother asked what he meant. “Well he must have done,” said her grandson, “because we learned in Sunday School last week that Jesus sits on God’s right hand.”
Thanks to Penwortham St Mary Magazine
A gentleman called in church one afternoon recently and kindly left a copy of two booklets he has written on Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression), based on his own experiences. If you would like to borrow them to read, please speak to Mac.
ROTAS FOR SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER 2017
|Jean & Brian Fazackerley
|Mavis Orrell & Greta Temperley
|Mavis Orrell & Greta Temperley
|Jean Dunsmore & Margery Pitcher
|Jean & Brian Fazackerley
|Norman & Elizabeth Croll
|Mavis Orrell & Greta Temperley
|Jean Dunsmore & Margery Pitcher
|Joint Service at Leyland URC
|Norman & Elizabeth Croll
|Jean & Brian Fazackerley
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.