PASTORAL LETTER SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER 2015
In the collection of Newsletters from churches which Margery visited on her holidays, one item in particular took my eye and made me think. It was from the magazine of Parish of Dalton-in-Furness, Newton, and Ireleth with Askam.
“Whenever I’m disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott.
Jamie was trying for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen. On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement.
“Guess what Mum?” he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me… “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer.”
It so happens that this edition our Newsletter is the fiftieth one that your current co-editors have produced, since we took over from Margaret and Ben Edwards on their move to Manchester. We have endeavoured to maintain the same high standard of content, information and interest which Margaret established and judging by the very few comments we have received from our members, it seems that we may have been relatively successful.
We still produce about 120 copies of each edition, which go to a much wider readership than our own members – to other churches, retired ministers, users of our buildings, including Synod and Area Committees and to individuals who ask for their own copy. Quite often we receive complimentary feedback from some of these readers. Indeed one gentleman from a nearby church, regularly comments on the articles he has enjoyed. Such encouragement is most welcome and is very much appreciated after the efforts of writing, searching for material and meeting printing deadlines.
We read in the Acts of the Apostles that Barnabas was recognised as a man with the gift of encouragement. Acts 4: 36 (NRSV) “There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’).” In verse 47 we learn that he sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money to the apostles –recognising a need and encouraging others.
Later in Acts 9, after Saul had met Christ on the Damascus road, and had become a believer, the Church was suspicious and still scared of him.
“26When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus”
Barnabas encouraged Saul by offering friendship, support and love to him as a new believer.
In Acts 11 we read that many scattered after the persecution of Stephen and travelled as far as Cyprus, Phoenicia, and Antioch. On news of a religious revival in Antioch, the church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to make sure this church was teaching truth. Acts 11:22-23 says, ”22News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion; 24for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were brought to the Lord. 25Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they associated with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called ‘Christians’
Barnabas took the opportunity to encourage them. He saw the grace of God at work and reported accordingly. He was a bridge builder. He encouraged others by building partnerships.
Later in Acts 15:36-41 we read that Paul and Barnabas had previously taken a young John Mark with them on their first missionary journey and part way Mark had left them and returned home. When they decided to retrace their steps, Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them, but Paul refused. Barnabas took Mark one way, and Paul took Silas another. Barnabas sought to encourage by mending broken relationships.
Barnabas was an encourager, and during of our ministerial vacancy, I am sure we all need to be like Barnabas and to encourage each other by “clapping and cheering”
QUARTERLY CHURCH MEETING – THURSDAY 27 AUGUST 2015
The meeting opened at 7:30 with a reading from chairman, Duncan, and the Lord’s Prayer. Due to holidays and illness only five other members were present. We all shared updates on church members who are currently unwell or convalescing and we prayed for them and all not present.
After the minutes of the June meeting were agreed we moved onto matters arising: the first of which was the issue of same sex marriages. Earlier this year, each Synod had been asked to gain the opinion of each church. Assembly has now been tasked to consider a resolution that each church should be free to make their own decision on this matter.
The induction of the new Moderator of the North Western Synod of the URC, the Revd Andrew Mills will take place on Saturday 12th September at 2.30pm; the service will take place in St Peter’s Church in Manchester.
Hopefully the recent problem with the microphone has now been sorted however we would like to hear if anyone still has any difficulties.
Viv presented the accounts with the news that our income still exceeds our spending; this is due to an increase in lettings of the hall, the rent from manse and less maintenance costs than last year.
The Ministry and Mission Fund is the financial foundation of the URC and following an appeal, we as a church that is now paying less to the fund, have agreed to pay an additional amount this year to help other URCs. We also agreed to replace the fridge and the three main hall carpet runners that have become an accident risk. The side carpets have already been removed.
We all felt that is important for the issue of our vacancy to be a standing item at any Joint Elders’ Meetings with the new pastorate.
A coffee morning is planned from 10am to 11:30am on Saturday 26th September to raise funds for the Autumn Fair, which will take place on 24th October. Shoe boxes for Christmas Child need to be dropped off on or before the service on Sunday 8th November
Jean gave an update on Churches Together in Fulwood & Broughton and Duncan gave updates on pulpit supply; we will send thanks to two ministers who are having to cancel future services; Sandy Mailer and Glyn Eatock. Thanks go to Mavis Orrell for taking over the birthday card rota from Kath Farquhar.
Our next Quarterly Meeting has been set for Thursday 26th November. The meeting was closed by the sharing of the Grace at half past nine.
LECTIONARY READINGS FOR SEPT & OCT 2015
6th Proverbs 22: 1 – 2, 8 – 9, 22 – 23; Psalm 125 or Isaiah 35: 4 – 7a; Psalm 146; James 2: 1 – 10, (11 – 13), 14 – 17; St Mark 7: 24 – 37
13th Proverbs 1: 20 – 33; Psalm 19 or Isaiah 50: 4 – 9a; Psalm 116: 1 – 9; James 3: 1 – 12; St Mark 8: 27 – 38
20th Proverbs 31: 10 – 31; Psalm 1 or Jeremiah 11: 18 – 20; Psalm 54; James 3: 13 – 4: 3, 7 – 8a; St Mark 9: 30 – 37
27th Esther 7: 1 – 6, 9 – 10, 9: 20 – 22; Psalm 124 or Numbers 11: 4 – 6, 10 – 16, 24 – 29; Psalm 19: 7 – 14; James 5: 13 – 20; St Mark 9: 38 – 50
4th Job 1: 1; 2: 1 – 10; Psalm 26 or Genesis 2: 18 – 24; Psalm 8; Hebrews 1: 1 – 4; 2: 5 – 12; St Mark 10: 2 – 16
11th Job 23: 1 – 9, 16 – 17; Psalm 22: 1 – 15 or Amos 5: 6 – 7, 10 – 15; Psalm 90: 12 – 17; Hebrews 4: 12 – 16; St Mark 10: 17 – 31
18th Job 38: 1 – 7, (34 – 41); Psalm 104: 1 – 9, 24, 35c or Isaiah 53: 4 – 12; Psalm 91: 9 – 16; Hebrews 5: 1 – 10; St Mark 10: 35 – 45
25th Job 42: 1 – 6, 10 – 17; Psalm 34: 1 – 8, (19 – 22) or Jeremiah 31: 7 – 9; Psalm 126; Hebrews 7: 23 – 28; St Mark 10: 46 – 52
1st Ruth 1: 1 – 18; Psalm 146 or Deuteronomy 6: 1 – 9; Psalm 119: 1 – 8; Hebrews 9: 11 – 14; St Mark 12: 28 – 34
All Saints (1st November) Isaiah 25: 6 – 9; Psalm 24; Revelation 7: 9 -17; St John 11: 32 – 44
8th 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
KILOMETRES FOR KENYA – a virtual sponsored walk
To further support this project the Preston Group are holding a virtual sponsored walk ,the Preston Christian Aid Committee are looking for as many volunteers as possible to take part to help us raise money towards our target of £5,000.00.
You may ask what a virtual walk is – well the answer is one that you do in your own time and at your own pace while undertaking your daily activities over a period of a month. This could be walking the dog, playing golf, walking upstairs at work instead of using the lift or any other activities you are doing. It could also be running, swimming or cycling. You will record each day exactly how far you have gone towards your individual target for the month and ask friends and family to sponsor you for the distance you cover. You might for example pledge to walk the 60 kms that represents the distance from one end to the other of the area that nurse Monica Asikuku covers visiting clinics and training traditional birth attendants, or you may prefer a lesser distance such as the 15 kms both Gladys and Doreen walked just to get to the clinic, or 30 kms to represent the round trip they made. Whatever distance you choose, and however much you raise doing it, you will be showing your solidarity with and support for these women and the money you raise will help fund improved clinics, motorbikes for Monica and her colleagues to get around their area, and ambulances to bring emergency cases to hospital even at night when it isn’t safe to walk.
For an information pack and to sign up please see Mac or contact Anne Garsed (07813 870641). To measure your activity, you could buy a pedometer. Otherwise you can gauge your distances from maps or the Internet.
The walk is to be completed between Thursday 17th September and Saturday 17th October. There will be a collective walk of the last kilometre through Preston City Centre on Saturday 17th October. You can still participate even if you can’t join the final kilometre
Our Autumn Fair will be a little earlier than usual this year in an attempt to avoid clashing with events at other local churches – the date is Saturday 24th October, opening at 2:30pm. As usual, the proceeds will be divided between St Catherine’s Hospice and Derian house. The stalls will be prepared on Friday 23rd. Please support this event in any way you can and invite your friends and neighbours.
There will be a Coffee Morning with Bring & Buy sale to raise funds, mainly to purchase stock for the fruit & vegetable, stall on Saturday 26th September from 10:00-11:30am. This will include a short planning meeting for stallholders and other volunteers from 11:00am.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD Shoebox appeal
Our Shoebox dedication will take place during the service on Sunday 8th November. The church will be open on Friday evening 6th November, 6:30pm-7:30pm for anyone wishing to drop off filled boxes. If you would like an empty Christmas Child box (which doesn’t need wrapping!) please ask Mac or Margery. A donation of £3 is required for each box to cover transport costs.
Please fill your box with a selection of new gifts from the following list, or similar items:
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; playing cards (of the 4-suit variety); sharp objects; glass containers, mirrors or fragile items; clothing other than as listed above.
CHURCHES TOGETHER IN FULWOOD & BROUGHTON
This year’s Annual Pilgrimage is to Warrington Churches on Saturday 19th September 2015. The coaches will leave at 9.30am with free time to explore Warrington. An ecumenical service will be held at All Saints Daresbury followed by a buffet meal at Walton Hall and departing for Preston at 7.00pm.
WESLEY’S RULES FOR THE SINGING OF HYMNS
- Learn the tune.
- Sing them as they are printed.
- Sing all.
- Sing lustily and with good courage.
- Sing modestly. Do not bawl.
- Sing in time. Do not run before or stay behind.
- Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually.
With thanks to ‘New Life’, the magazine of the Parish of Dalton-in-Furness, Newton, and Ireleth with Askham
REJOICE & SING HYMN TUNES – QUIZ – ANSWERS
Hope that you had a go at the last edition’s quiz. It was not as easy as you might think!! Here are the answers:-
- Come, Spirit, all our hearts inspire (No 312)
- The kingdom of God (No 200)
- Praise the Lord, ye heavens adore him; (No 116)
- Almighty Father of all things that be (No 485)
- Will you come and follow me (No 558)
- Give to me, Lord, a thankful heart (No 497)
- Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder (No 117)
- Silent night, holy night (No 147)
- Rejoice, the Lord is King (No 657)
- Love divine, all loves excelling (No 663)
- Put peace into each other’s hands (No 635)
- For all the saints who from their labours rest (No 658)
- Colours of day dawn into the mind (No 572)
- Angels from the realms of glory (No 163)
- Eternal God, your love’s tremendous glory (No 33)
- Thou whose almighty word (No 38)
- It came upon a midnight clear (No 144)
- I cannot tell why he, whom angels worship (No 265)
- Glory to thee, my God, this night (No 416)
- Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go (No 521)
- Fill thou my life, O Lord my God (No 406)
- From heaven you came, helpless babe (No 522)
A former chorister was asked why she had given up singing in the church choir. “I was absent one Sunday,” she replied, “and somebody asked if the organ had been mended.”
MINISTRY OF FLOWERS
6th Sep Harvest
13th Sep Jean Tosh
20th Sep Dorothy Sumner
27th Sep Tom Taylor
4th Oct ———-
11th Oct Jean Fazackerley
18th Oct Jean Dunsmore
25th Oct Camille McCullough
1st Nov Frances Fraser
STOP – LOOK – LISTEN and WALK
At the Farewell Service for the N W Moderator, reported in the March- April Newsletter, reference was made to Richard’s commitment to formation of the Emmaus Road Prayer Community , and space in that edition precluded further explanation.
Three years ago, we attended a Quiet Day arranged by the NW Synod Retreat Group at the beautifully re-developed Methodist / URC church at Little Lever, Bolton.
We spent the day, largely in silence, reflecting on the text for the day – The Walk to Emmaus Luke Chapter 24: verses 13-35. In four one hour-long sessions we were invited to :
STOP (24:13-17) “They stood still” – reflection and prayer
LOOK (24:18-24) – reflection – Where do we see Christ?
LISTEN (24:24:25-32) – listen to the scriptures
And after a silent lunch (this I found the hard bit!)
WALK (24:33-35) – the pilgrim way – Where am I going?
Concluding with a most meaningful Communion Service “Bread for the Journey“ led by our Moderator, Rev’d Richard Church. It was doubly meaningful service as Richard has just returned from his Sabbatical which included a five week walk on a ancient pilgrim way in Spain as a pilgrim walking with the bare minimum in his rucksack .He reflected how his experience had focussed his thought on the real necessities of life and the plight of the many millions who every day have barely enough.
Soon afterwards, meeting at the Windermere Centre, five members of the Synod Retreats Group took the decision to establish an embryonic “Prayer Community” within the Synod – The Emmaus Road Prayer Community. An idea which had been on the Moderator’s mind and heart for some time.
The idea is that small groups of lay and ordained members would commit to a private pattern of prayer and pray for members of their group weekly. For more details speak to Mac or Margery.
Forget Newton and Galileo, here are the real laws of nature.
- Law of mechanical repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.
- Law of gravity: Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.
- Law of probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.
- Law of Random Numbers: If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.
- Supermarket Law: As soon as you get in the smallest line, the cashier will have to call for help.
- Variation Law: If you change traffic lanes, the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.
- Law of the Bath: When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.
- Law of Biomechanics: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
- The Coffee Law: As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.
- Murphy’s Law of Lockers: If there are only 2 people in a locker roon, they will have adjacent lockers.
- Law of Physical Surfaces: The chances of an open-faced jam sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.
- Brown’s Law of Physical Appearances: If the clothes fit, they are ugly.
- Wilson’s Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy: As soon as you find a product you really like, they will stop marketing it.
- Doctor’s Law: If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you’ll feel better… But don’t make an appointment and you’ll stay sick.
Thanks to “The Wesley News”, Stourport-on-Severn
Sorting our books for the local fete, a parishioner came across some well-worn and dusty illustrated encyclopaedias, treasured from his childhood. Unwilling to part with them, he put them on a shelf in the garage where his small grandchildren found them and spent many happy hours looking at the pictures.
These books, however caused him great embarrassment the day the minister came to visit. One of his grandchildren suddenly said: “Grandad, can we go and look at those dirty books you keep in the garage?”
With thanks to ‘New Life’, the magazine of the Parish of Dalton-in-Furness, Newton, and Ireleth with Askham
Two old Cumbrian farming brothers decided that it was time to embrace new technology and were persuaded to buy a tractor to take over the work of their horses. The farmers were so proud of their decision that they told all their neighbours about the impending arrival of the new machine.
Some of the other farmers got rather tired of hearing about the tractor and being told that they were old fashioned. On the day the tractor was delivered they collected some horse manure in a bucket and after dark, placed the bucket under the exhaust pipe of the tractor. Next morning the brothers were amazed to see the full bucket and one said to the other “Well, the salesman told us it would do everything a horse could do…”
With thanks to Lakeland Model Village, Flookburgh
A FEW QUOTATIONS
As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind – every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder. – John Glenn
When the white missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said “Let us pray.” We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land. – Desmond Tutu
The only reason they say “Women and children first” is to test the strength of the lifeboats. – Jean Kerr
The best cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree. – Spike Milligan
We are here on earth to do good unto others. What the others are here for, I have no idea. – W H Auden
I don’t believe in astrology. I am a Sagittarius and we’re very sceptical. – Arthur C Clarke
If God had intended us to fly he would have made it easier to get to the airport. – Jonathan Winters
I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad, I take something for it. – Robert Benchley
Thanks to the magazine of the United Parish of Scorton, Barnacre & Calder Vale
ROTAS FOR SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER 2015
|6th Sep||Viv Manners
|Pauline Collier &
|13th Sep||Pauline Collier
|20th Sep||Brian Fazackerley
|Mavis Orrell &
|27th Sep||Duncan Farquhar
|Jean Dunsmore &
|4th Oct||Jean Dunsmore
|11th Oct||Norman Croll
& Mavis Orrell
|18th Oct||Mavis Orrell
|Jean Dunsmore &
|25th Oct||Kath Farquhar
|1st Nov||Viv Manners
& Mavis Orrell
|8th Nov||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.
* * * 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.