Mission 2

Social Responsibility

Support for the work of Practical Action in Bangladesh.

The church has long term links with the country of Bangladesh which began through a District visit to the Church of Bangladesh (Anglican, Methodist and URC) in the early 1980s. Contact was maintained through the Secretary to the Bishop of Dhaka (Moderator of C.O.B.) and church projects in Bangladesh were directly supported financially until 1990. The Church of Bangladesh felt unable to continue with feedback and requested that we continue support through an NGO (non government organisation). The Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG and now known as Practical Action) were willing to provide direct feedback on specific project support and were therefore chosen.

Bangladesh Project Mission Statement 1991

Purpose:

  • To develop awareness within our respective church communities of the realities of economic and social problems within the developing world with particular emphasis on Bangladesh.

 

  • To establish contact with a UK based aid agency active in Bangladesh who are prepared to direct parish funding to specific development projects and to provide information on its application.



  • To provide information to all churches within the ecumenical parish and thereby ensure continued awareness of and support for the project. This will require use of magazines, newssheets, notice boards and gatherings.



  • To instigate response to emergency situations as appropriate.



Success criteria:

  • Maintained/increased support (financial and personal) within the parish.

 

  • General awareness of developing world issues and particularly the Bangladesh project.

 

  • A close and developing association with the agency of our choice ‘Practical Action’ (was ITDG)



A range of Practical Action projects have been funded through our churches over the years including food processing and marketing, tomato crop preservation, light engineering, animal husbandry and fish farming. Recent initiatives are the development of floating gardens and other measures to adapt to the increasing impact of changing climate across this low lying country. Over £24.000 has been raised to date to support the work.

Two of our members visited Bangladesh in 2000 and witnessed the effectiveness of the Practical Action projects.

cow

 

Animal husbandry – improving cattle quality

 

 villager

Villager trained in chicken vaccination



making sugary snacks to sell in the market

Making sugary snacks to sell in the market

 

prototype finger fish farming cage

 

Prototype finger fish farming cage

Final result:

 

final result

 

with veena kalique and some of the itdg staff at the dhaka office 

 

With Veena Kalique and some of the ITDG staff at the Dhaka Office

Time was also spent with the Church of Bangladesh and the partnership between them and Practical Action was evident.

 

church of bangladesh and practical action partner madapur food products (su

Church of Bangladesh and Practical Action partner Madapur Food Products (Sue Barr on the delivery rickshaw)

 

Practical Action staff have visited us in Bishop’s Cleeve and Bishop Mondal, Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh, paid us a visit in 2000.

 practical action staff have visited us in bishop’s cleeve and bishop mondal

And Nikesh Amit of Practical Action Bangladesh joined in our One World Week Walk in October of the same year

 and nikesh amit of practical action bangladesh joined in our one world week

 

 

 ca-logo-2015

Dear Mr Barr,

Last month, Christian Aid supporters like you did something amazing. You chose to change the lives of women like Loko in Ethiopia.

Together, we heard Loko's story - how she had no choice but to make a back breaking, dangerous eight hour walk several times a week to collect firewood to sell - otherwise she feared her children would starve.

But Loko had faith; things didn't have to be that way. She dreamed of owning a cow, so she could feed her children and take control of her life.

Moved by the injustice Loko experienced every day, you responded. Whatever you did - whether you donated, collected, prayed, baked, walked, or abseiled - you've done something amazing. You've helped to lighten Loko's burden.

Thanks to you, Loko recently received the cow she dreamed of, as well as two goats. Your support has transformed her life.

Watch our moving Christian Aid Week round-up film, which includes an interview with Loko after she received her livestock.  

Click the link to see the video

http://view.e-mail.christian-aid.org/?j=fe671572756d067c7c14&m=fe9d15707664077f7c&ls=fdf71777756001797d177574&l=fec210747362067a&s=fe1e16737d6403747d1c74&jb=ffcf14&ju=fe1f1578736d05757c1270&r=0

 

The Methodist Church
September 2017

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E-News
The Methodist Church

Disaster relief for the Caribbean

  

The Methodist Church in Britain is raising money to support the humanitarian aid and relief work following the heavy rains and winds causing disaster across the Caribbean.


The Church is working with its humanitarian aid and relief partner in the Caribbean, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), which is supporting affected communities as soon as their needs are assessed.


Following Hurricane Irma, Bishop Otto Wade, the President of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, wrote that “Barbuda, Antigua's sister isle has been devastated. Anguilla, St Martin/Sint Maarten, USVI, and the British Virgin Islands were all greatly affected. As was the Turks and Caicos Islands of the Bahamas/Turks and Caicos Islands Conference. Many homes have been destroyed or have lost their roofs, as have some churches.”

 

You can read more details, including the effects of Hurricane Maria, on the Methodist Church website.


Image: NOAA/CIRA

In Brief

3Generate volunteers needed

 

More than 1,200 children, young people and leaders from across the country are booked into 3Generate, the annual Methodist children's and young people's assembly, which will take place at Southport in November.


The programme planning team are busy developing an exciting programme of workshops, worship and activities, that will see children and young people exploring life issues, experiencing different ways of worshipping God, taking part in 'world cafe' and open space sessions, and discussing and seeking truths in response to difficult and challenging world issues.

But to make this all happen 3Generate needs a team of dedicated volunteers from the Church to be stewards, to help in sessions, to do admin, to be part of the overnight team, to support the 19-23 year old age stream. Find out more about volunteering here.

Abolition of nuclear weapons

 

In a letter published in the guardian newspaper, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has called upon the British government to support a treaty between nations to work towards making the abolition of nuclear weapons a reality. Signed by Jill Baker, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, among others, you can read the letter here.


You can also take your own action by writing to your MP - more information is available on the Joint Public Issues Team website.

2017 Fernley Hartley lecture: Methodism and experience

     

The Revd Dr Nicola Price-Tebbutt will deliver this year’s Fernley Hartley, ‘Methodism and experience: the role of personal narrative in shaping the Church’s theology’.

 

The lecture will take place at the Queen's Foundation, Birmingham on Monday 9 October 2017 at 7.00pm. For more information, click here.

OneSound Get Vocal

          

OneSound was founded in 1974 as the MAYC Orchestra and Singers. It evolved to become a fresh, contemporary, forward-looking group, leading worship, events, and concerts throughout the UK. Working with young musicians from across the country, OneSound supports musical and spiritual growth in its members, whilst aiming to encourage and inspire communities and the wider Church.


OneSound Get Vocal is an exciting free nationwide singing workshop for young adults aged 16-26, taking place in:


Newcastle – 30 September 2017 at 5.30pm,

Heaton Methodist Church, Newcastle, NE6 5JX


Manchester – 2 October 2017 at 7.00pm,

Holy Trinity Church, Platt Lane, Manchester, M14 5NF


Nottingham -  10 October 2017 at 7.30pm,

Trent Vineyard, Nottingham, NG7 2PX


London – 14 October 2017 at 3.00pm,

Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London, SW1H 9NH


Over two hours, learn some of OneSound’s contemporary arrangements of worship songs in a broad range of styles, and well as experience what OneSound is over a bite to eat.


You can book your place here.

Holiday hunger

  

Earlier this month the President of the Methodist Conference the Revd Loraine N Mellor, along with other Church and charity leaders, signed a letter expressing concern over the health of some children returning to school after their holidays due to a lack of nutrition.


The letter (originally published in The Telegraph), called for action from the Government on the issue.

A Discipling Presence

    

This new workbook helps to promote and sustain an effective Christian presence in rural communities. It contains thinking about worship, evangelism, children and young people and making the best use of church buildings. It encourages, challenges and inspires.


Copies are available from Methodist Publishing priced £3.49 (plus postage and packing).

 

Important Dates in October

Prisons Sunday

8-14  Prisons Week

Advent Offering resources 2017

Advent Offering services will be taking place across the Connexion from 3-24 December. This year's theme is Comfort my people from Isaiah 40:1-11.

Free downloadable resources are available here.

Contemporary Wesleyean perspectives

A certificate in contemporary Wesleyan Perspectives is available to those undertaking this week-long course at Cliff College. It considers what a Wesleyan view of the world means in the 21st century.

 

Led by the Revd Dr Tim Woolley, a leading Wesleyan scholar, the course takes place between 30 October and 3 November. You can find more details here.

Bible engagement

What does it mean to engage with the Bible in the 21st century? Cliff College, in partnership with the Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF), is offering a short course next March exploring exactly that. For more information and booking details, visit the Cliff College website.

Explore churches

Explore Churches is a website from the National Churches Trust for those who want to visit and promote local churches and the stories behind them. You can register your church here and discover some fascinating themed guides.

Revival, reform and revolution in global Methodism

Applications are invited from across British Methodism to participate in the 14th Oxford Institute for Methodist Theological Studies at Pembroke College, Oxford from 12-19 August 2018. Full details can be found here.

DBS/PVG checks update

Following the news that the Churches Agency for Safeguarding will be closing at the end of the year, a message from the Connexional Safeguarding Team has gone out updating people of how DBS/PVG checks will be facilitated in the future.


You can read it here.

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Newsletter 87       June 2017

Principles of Justice at a Time of Political Expediency

 

This is the time of year when as a team, we begin to put together our workplan for next year. As we do so, we are all too aware of how difficult it can be to anticipate what will be happening, even a few months ahead, in the current political climate. If you had told us at the beginning of the year, that before the end of June, we would have been through a General Election and that the current Government would have lost its overall majority and be exploring a potential partnership with the D.U.P. we might have been forgiven for being more than a little sceptical.

   

It is clear that in the months ahead, both with Brexit negotiations moving forward, and the somewhat precarious situation for our Government, that the regular media channels will be dominated by the “politics” of these issues. Whether we are talking about welfare provision, social policy, immigration or even overseas aid, it is all too easy for these things to be presented as simply matters of political expediency, or indeed be overlooked altogether – and indeed for those who hold Parliamentary office to be similarly inclined.

   

In the light of this, it seems more important than ever that there are voices that will speak for the principles of justice, right and truth, that any civilised society loses sight of at its peril. As a JPIT team we remain committed to helping our churches speak with clarity, understanding and consistency on these issues, whatever political realities confront us. We are delighted to offer our latest edition of Praxis to outline some of that work in greater detail.

Nuclear Ban Treaty Briefing

   

For as long as nuclear weapons remain in existence there is a danger they might be used, either by accident, by miscalculation or as a deliberate action.

 

Even a limited nuclear exchange would cause death, destruction and contamination on a massive scale, leading to humanitarian disasters and refugee crises.

 

But there is hope. In 2017 the vast majority of the world’s nations are working together to agree a Nuclear Ban Treaty. A large number of states are expected to sign the treaty, and once it has been ratified by 40 nations it will enter into force.

 

This briefing serves to inform you about the negotiations, why the treaty is needed, and what you can do to take action towards the banning of nuclear weapons - forever.

Welcome your new MP

 

As our newly elected representatives enter this parliamentary session, we invite you to send your local MP, MSP or AM a postcard to say 'welcome', and 'we're praying for you'.

 

If you'd like to order some specially-designed and completely free-of-charge JPIT postcards (pictured right) from us then please contact Lucy on zwolinskal@methodistchurch.org.uk with the number of postcards you'd like and your delivery address.

Faith in Politics: event for 16-23 year olds

 

On 15 July in Leeds we are running an event for 16-23 year olds entitled 'Faith in Politics' alongside the Ecumenical Youth Forum - a group of young representatives from our denominations.

 

The day will be jam-packed with content, including keynote speaker Rt Hon John Battle, exploring the sustainable development goals with a UN Youth Delegate, and workshops on a range of issues from forced migration to leadership. Please spread the word to anyone who you think may be interested!

      

The day is entirely free with lunch included. More information and registration here.

Refugee Week/ Refugee Festival Scotland

    

As Refugee Week comes to an end and Refugee Festival Scotland gets into full-swing, we invite you to read this blog from Grace Pengelly, who reminds us that we're all connected.

 

Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees  has worked with Christian Aid Scotland to organise a pilgrimage up Ben Ledi. It's a sponsored pilgrimage to raise money for the Church of Scotland Needing a Neighbour fund to help refugees in South Sudan. If you'd like to take part, the event is on July 2nd and all are welcome. Registration via Eventbrite here. If you can't take part but want to support the Needing a Neighbour fund, you can sponsor our very own David Bradwell here!

Daughters of Dissent: Celebrating Constance Coltman

        

Saturday 16 September, 1.00pm at Dr Williams' Library, 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR

            

Free public lecture hosted by the URC and the Congregational Federation as part of the celebrations marking 100 years since the ordination of Constance Coltman, the first woman to be ordained into a mainstream British denomination. Three leading global scholars will address issues relating to the ordination of women, gender justice and empowerment. There will also be time for questions and conversations.  

 

 

Please contact Dr Eve Parker eve.parker@urc.org.uk as soon as possible if you would like to attend as places are limited.

Beckly Lecture   

      

This year's Beckly Lecture is entitled Religious Freedom: A God-given right, not a privilege with speaker His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom.

 

Copts in Egypt constitute the largest Christian community in the Middle East, as well as one of the oldest, and experience violence and persecution. Bishop Angaelos, an inspirational Christian leader in this country and around the world, works tirelessly and passionately to defend religious freedom and justice.

    

The lecture takes place on Tuesday (27th) at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham. More information, and a limited number of tickets can be found here. The lecture will also be available after the event as a podcast and as a video, watch this space!

Speak Up Week of Action

                                                   

July 1 - 9th is the annual climate week of action, where people up and down the country speak up to help protect the things they love from climate change. To see events happening in your area or to organise your own event go to the Speak Up website.                                   

If you would like to publicise an event or project, please contact Wendy Cooper, email wendy.cooper@urc.org.uk Telephone - 020 7916 8632 Address - 86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT
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 2015 street fair

 

 

 

 

 Church News

 

 

February 2017

 

 

 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”

Romans 12:15 (NRSV)

 

Milestones

Celebrating 200 years of Methodist presence in Haiti

In a letter dated 18 July 1815, President Alexander Pétion invited the Methodist Church to “bring teaching of Christian doctrine” to Haiti. The country only had primary schools at the time, so President Pétion also asked the Methodists to help establish secondary education. The Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society in London responded positively; John Brown and James Catts arrived in Haiti on 7 February 1817.

 

Eglise Méthodiste d’Haiti (EMH) leads the eight districts of the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA) in terms of church growth, and has been a leading contributor to development in Haiti. EMH has provided elementary education in over 100 communities, teacher training, professional schools, agricultural and rural skills training, microcredit groups and health initiatives through clinics and community health education. The Revd Ormonde McConnell, who later became the first Chairman of the District for EMH, established a formal written Haitian Creole and this led to EMH publishing the first ever journal in Creole, Zetwal Metodis (Methodist Star). EMH provided an important training for democratic citizenship in the time following the end of dictatorship in 1986. 

 

EMH is looking to the future, wanting to become self-sufficient. This will involve training church members in stewardship and equipping them to pass on the gospel message to bring other souls to Christ. The Church also provides training in disaster preparedness and seeks to improve its ability to respond to natural catastrophes such as Hurricane Matthew, which hit Haiti last year.

 

Representatives from the leadership of MCCA will be present at celebrations recognising the 200 years of Methodist presence in Haiti. On Sunday 5 February, there will be a service to commemorate the arrival of Methodism in Haiti; on 7 February, each of the 11 circuits will hold a thanksgiving service.

 

Please continue to pray for all members of EMH, the communities around Haiti that the Church seeks to serve and for strength and wisdom for the leadership who guide the Church through the huge challenges it faces. You will find information and prayers on day 13 of the Methodist Prayer Handbook to inform your prayers.

The tea in your cup            by Mervyn and Raing McCullagh

The plantations of Sri Lanka, the home of Ceylon tea, are extraordinarily beautiful. Vil-lages are surrounded by a variety of fragrant green shimmering tea plants forming ele-gant frills around undulating hills; colourfully dressed women pick tea tips and toss them into woven baskets; a rich variety of trees punctuate the low tea plants, giving them shelter from the noonday sun. 

 

However, there is a more challenging side. After three decades of conflict, Sri Lanka is an island that needs reconciliation across divided communities. Through our role with the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCCSL), we are working with an organisa-tion which, driven by its faith, seeks to build bridges to reconcile every part of Sri Lanka. Every community, every person. This includes the ‘silent community’ of nearly 1 million ‘up-country’ Tamils who work on the tea estates – some of the most powerless people in Sri Lanka.

 

The challenges this community faces are complex but include poor housing, poor access to education and a low daily wage of only about £2.60 for tea pickers. The women who pick tea can only claim that wage if they pick their quota of 17 kg of tea per day.

 

Though churches were originally set up to minister to the planters, many tea estate workers and managers are Christians. This means the Church cannot be silent. NCCSL, with the Methodist Church and other Partner Churches, supports tea estate workers in a truly holistic sense, empowering them to restore their dignity and enabling them to ac-cess their basic human rights.

 

This year, we are recognising 200 years of estate workers in Sri Lanka – and seriously re-flecting on the role of the Church. Whenever you have a cuppa, pray for the women who spend their lives picking 17 kg of tea a day for very little money to feed their families.

 

Mervyn and Raing McCullagh are mission partners of the Methodist Church in Britain and Ireland, serving as strategic consultants with the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka.

 

Live to tell                by Julia Edwards

Saturday 20 February 2016 will live long in the memories of those who survived – 44 people died and 40% of Fiji’s population was severely affected. 

 

 “I knew [Cyclone Winston] was coming”, said Faranisese Maisamoa, a resident of Rakiraki Town in northern Viti Levu. Having seen on YouTube the damage that Cyclone Pam had caused neighbouring Vanuatu in 2015, Faranisese was prepared. “My husband went on to the roof and removed the satellite dish on the Friday evening, and I made my three children empty their school bags of books and put in two lots of biscuits and tinned fish, and two changes of clothes each. I then wrapped all the appliances in tarpaulin and put them in the empty deep freeze, before wrapping that in tarpaulin. I couldn’t move the freezer, but Winston blew it 10 feet across my kitchen after ripping off the kitchen roof. It wasn’t a wind, it was a devil.”

 

Stories of sheer terror and incredible survival abound in Fiji, a nation known for its orators. Sharing stories is a way for people to come to terms with their experiences. Vendors in many of the markets in Fiji recall that with no produce to sell, they spent days just talking through the events with each other, remembering; children rolled in mats, stuffed into kitchen cupboards; people sharing hillside caves with goats, whole families squashed under floorboards.

 

#StrongerthanWinston was the hashtag used on social media in the immediate aftermath of the Fiji cyclone, a resolute stance that points to the resilience and resourcefulness of Pacific people. “Life and dry clothes, that’s all that matters,” said 74-year-old Lia Saqacala, President of the Nadi Vendors’ Association.

Celebrating unity and reconciliation

This year marks 20 years since the Methodist Church in Benin was divided. Today, after many years of crisis and failed attempts at reconciliation, the Protestant Methodist Church of Benin (EPMB) is finally entering a new era of unity.

 

“The big day has arrived. God has visited us. These are new times, let’s sing praise” sang Methodists from all corners of the country during the service of reunification at the Congress centre in Cotonou, on the 3 July 2016. Ministers from the two former divisions of the Methodist Church came together for the service, with various government officials and President Patrice Talon, the President of the Republic, who played a pivotal role in the unification proceedings.

 

The division, which originated in an organisational dispute rather than a theological one, finally reached a resolution in 2015. Then President Patrice Talon launched reconciliation proceedings that lasted 30 days.

 

During the reconciliation service, the Revd Nicodème Alagbada and the Revd Mathieu Alao (the respective presidents of the two ex-divisions) each addressed the congregation, imploring that henceforth the road to take should be one of peace and prayer. The Methodist Protestant Church in Benin is now undergoing a year’s transition period, at the end of which EPMB will officially recover the unity of former times. During this period a 15-member transitory management body, headed by President Nicodème Alagbada, will govern the Church.

 

Following the reconciliation service, EPMB held a pastors’ retreat for all the pastors of the unified churches. “It was so beautiful to see brethren once divided come together to work for the advancement of God’s work in Benin,” said President Nicodème Alagbada. “Glory be to God.”

KeMU: A challenging year

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Kenya Methodist University (KeMU). Starting with one campus in the eastern town of Meru, KeMU now has campuses in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Nyeri.

 

Sadly, KeMU has had a challenging year. “It’s been difficult for a variety of reasons,” says mission partner Peter Ensor, a theology lecturer at KeMU’s Meru campus. “We have experienced a period of austerity due to reduced student recruitment. The provision of university education in Kenya is a highly competitive market, and KeMU has been undercut by other universities that offer similar courses for lower fees. The consequent loss of income led to a general cutting back on expenditure, including reductions in staff.

 

“The outlook improved in September, when we received a large number of government-sponsored students. There are no obvious signs yet that KeMU is able to loosen its purse strings, but I am pleased to be able to report that in September we admitted four Ugandan students to train for the Methodist ministry, and are expecting a fifth. Most of them had attended the training weeks we have been holding in Uganda over the past three years. Their acceptance of ministerial training is a sign of hope for the future of the Methodist Church in Uganda.”

Legends from Bocas

This year, the Panama and Costa Rica Conference celebrates a century of mission work in the Cusapin area of Bocas del Toro, Panama.

 

The late Revd Dr Ephraim Alphonse pioneered mission work in the Cusapin area, with the support of the Methodist Church in Britain and the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas. Ephraim’s book, Legends from Bocas, is full of moving, amusing and insightful stories from the mission work there over the past 100 years.

 

Legends from Bocas has been reprinted as part of the centenary celebrations. The book costs £15, with proceeds going towards the purchase of a boat for use as transportation in the Cusapin area. If you would like to order a copy, contact Derek Stanworth on 0208 777 5794 or via email at derek_stanworth@hotmail.com.  

 

Haiti trip for young people - 24 July-4 August

This opportunity is organised jointly by World Church and Methodist Children & Youth. If you are aged 18-23 and interested in finding out more about what God is doing in another corner of the world (or if you know someone who is), download the application form from www.methodist.org.uk/haitivisit. The deadline for applications is 28 February.

 

 

The Methodist Church
June 2016

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E-News
The Methodist Church

First anniversary of the
Past Cases Review

   

Last week marked the first anniversary of the apology to survivors and victims of abuse, and the publication of Courage, Cost & Hope - the report on the Past Cases Review (PCR),

 

There is an update on the progress made so far including work with a survivors’ reference group to ensure that all policies and guidelines or training materials would be informed by a survivor/victim perspective.


A pilot programme of structured supervision for ministers has begun in two districts to ensure that there is appropriate accountability and support in terms of safe practice. Lessons learnt from this will be brought to the 2017 Conference for the implementation of the supervision programme across the whole Connexion.

 

There is also a special prayer:

 

For those who are abused and those who abuse;

for those who are careless about others

and those who are careful;

for those who offer guidance through the dark and those

who endeavour to safeguard the vulnerable: good Lord, we pray.

Good Lord, give hope to the hurt

and a sense of your love and rightness.

May we all be led into safe and sound living.

Give us your strength for today, your hope for tomorrow

and the light of your love to guide us in all things.

Amen.

EU referendum (23 June)

   

Don’t forget the resource for the EU Referendum is available to download. With non-partisan information, reflections and questions on a range of related issues, it encourages individuals and churches to think through Britain's membership of the European Union in the light of the gospel command to love your neighbour.

It is perfect for individual study or group discussion
.

In Brief

Methodist Conference 2016

    

The Methodist Conference opens at Westminster Central Hall, London at the end of June.

Free tickets are still available for the opening of the Conference and the induction of the President and Vice-President, as well as for some of the ordination services. You can order them online.

You can also download the agenda from the Conference website.

 

And take the time to watch this video where the President and Vice-President designates of the Methodist Conference invite you to Conference and suggest some things you might want to read, reflect and pray about in preparation.

One Programme host projects now recruiting!

The One Programme is a 'year-on' for young people aged 16-23. One Programme Participants (OPPs) are paid a living wage to work part-time in local projects, as well as receiving training and getting involved in activities (such as 3Generate) in the wider Church.

Also available is a One Programme internship in Rome. If you are, or know of a young person who may benefit from spending a year as an OPP, go to the job pages of the Methodist website, where vacancies will be advertised from now and through the early part of summer.

National month of prayer for toddler groups

 

1277*, an alliance of churches and other agencies that support the work of church-based toddler groups, have organised as month of prayer for toddler groups.

There are more than 20,000 churches estimated to be running toddler groups in the UK, and they are encouraged to pray for their groups and those who participate. The theme for 2016 is living life to the full, based on John 10:10. You can find more information and resources online.

*1277 refers to the average number of days a child has between birth and starting nursery education.

Methodist Homes Sunday: 12 June 2016

 

‘Creating communities that care’ is the theme for this year’s Methodist Homes Sunday. Worship Resources were included in every copy of the Spring edition of Heart and Soul, MHA’s free magazine, but they are also available to download. They feature suggested hymns and prayers, ideas for sermons and an all-age activity.

By holding a Methodist Homes Sunday Service, your church helps MHA to do practical things that help older people not just survive, but to thrive. Your support helps to provide 75 of the charity’s community networks throughout the country. Led by voluntary committees, they provide company, friendship and neighbourhood support to older people living independently.

reIMAGINE:
3-5 October 2016

 

This is a conference for all who love the Church and seek to nurture its mission in our world. It takes place at The Hayes Conference Centre, from Monday 3 October until Wednesday 5 October.

As well as a range of speakers there will be workshops on renewing and refreshing the local church, engaging culture, catalysing change in communities and developing mixed ecology circuits.

It is an opportunity for all who love the Church to learn more about how its mission may be refreshed and extended.


You can find more in
formation and booking details here.

Germinate 2016:
15 October 2016

      

Every two years the Arthur Rank Centre holds its Germinate Conference, to inspire, encourage and equip rural church leaders.

The theme ‘Making it happen!’ focuses on the challenge of deepening discipleship in order to inspire, encourage and equip flourishing rural mission, with lectures, case studies, workshops and resource information.


The key note speakers are the President of the Conference, the Revd Dr Roger Walton, and Fresh Expressions Team Coordinator Pete Atkins.


The conference costs £60 (including lunch) with a 20% discount if booked before 30 June.

You can find more details on the Arthur Rank Centre website.

Films new take on Bible stories

 

Six new short films that take a contemporary slant on Bible stories have been funded by the Methodist Church. Find the provocative, entertaining and often controversial films here, along with accompanying study notes.

 

Produced by Applecart, they are bound to create a response from those who view them.

Dates in June 

12   Methodist Homes Sunday

20-26  Refugee Week

30  Beginning of Methodist Conference

Refugee Week:
20-26 June 2016

Find out what is going on in Scotland, Wales and England during this year's Refugee Week.

       

Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees is running a day conference on 21 June. You can book tickets here.

         

All We Can have just launched a resource, To all the people we can, which focuses on Syrian refugees and provides material for worship events and Bible study.

 

All We Can is also encouraging people to 'lose a luxury' over the week, donating what you would have spent. Find more details here.

    

"It's time to take disarmament seriously"

Faith groups have responded in dismay at the UK Government's boycott of the UN open-ended Working Group Disarmament Meeting, including statements from the Revd Steve Wild and Dr Jill Barber, President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference.

Action for Children Sunday: 10 July 2016

Each year the Methodist Church helps Action for Children celebrate its anniversary by designating a special Sunday to the charity. The 2016 theme is ‘Time to transform’.


On Action for Children Sunday, you can celebrate by praying for the charity and raising money to support disadvantaged children and their families by holding special services, organising tea parties, fairs or fetes.

        

For more information on how you can support us, please email Karis Kolawole or go online.

Methodist schools' portal

A range of resources for Methodist schools is being been made available online. The growing collection of scripted assemblies, videos and links has been curated by the Revd Paul Glass, Chaplain at Kent College, Canterbury and Pastoral Visitor to Methodist Schools Group.

 

You can discover the resources here.

Rise and Shine:
24-26 June 2016

This Methodist young leaders’ weekend for 16-23 year olds takes place at Cliff College. The event will take place at Cliff College in Derbyshire on 24-26 June.

 

We are looking for church leaders and youth workers to identify young people with leadership potential to come and engage in discussions and leadership training. The weekend will be grounded in prayer and other forms of worship, and is an exciting opportunity hosted by Methodist Youth President Craig Gaffney.


Visit the booking website to find out more, or email Craig.

Songs of Praise want to visit you

The BBC TV programme Songs of Praise is looking for churches and individuals to help them share the story of faith in the UK.

If you're interested, or know of a church or person who might be, why not
get in touch after reading this for more information
? 

Booking for 3Generate 2016

Booking for 3Generate 2016 opens at 11.00am on Friday 10 June 2016.

    

Tickets for delegates will cost £110 for the whole weekend, including food, accommodation and activities. There will be a limited number of day delegate places (for Saturday 26 November) available for £55 each.

    

Further details will be available here.

    

As last year, there is also a separate event for youth workers and leaders bringing groups to the event. The Well @ 3Generate also costs £110 for the weekend. (There will be a limited number of places for Saturday 26 November for £70.)

    

Any queries should be directed to the 3Generate Team.

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These are common prayers shared from Pray4COP21.org
 
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December 10th: Hold on to the vision

 
Climate talks have a reputation for not meeting deadlines - but there's generally a real will to reach agreement in Paris, and the French leadership, which has been widely praised for its transparency and skill in handling the negotiations, has managed to keep everyone focused.
 
As a result, a new ‘clean’ draft of the Paris agreement was released on schedule on Wednesday afternoon. As we write this, the delegates are literally meeting through the night to get a new draft by this afternoon and agreement by Friday.
 
The new text is much shorter, and 75% of the 'bracketed elements' – things under debate – have been resolved. Overnight, COP President Laurent Fabius and French ambassador Laurence Tubiana have chaired discussion sessions around three key issues:  differentiation (how are the responsibilities of developed and developing countries defined?), 'support'  (including climate finance) and ambition (including potential temperature targets). Meanwhile the president of last year's talks in Peru, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, has chaired discussions on loss and damage, the preamble to the agreement and other key areas.
 
Many of the elements of a deal that involves climate justice are there in the options under discussion – but will countries choose them? Or will they follow selfish interests in a way that works against the common good?
 
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”                    Matthew 22:37-40                                            
 As the delegates continue to work, we continue to pray:
  • that they will have the energy, wisdom and courage to make decisions that care well for our common home and enable people everywhere to flourish
  • for areas of the world where climate change is already changing lives, especially small-island states and low-lying coastal areas, where rising seas are already endangering people's lives and livelihoods
  • for a sense of justice to underpin all the final negotiations in Paris and to move aside the final blockages, so that responsibilities to reduce emissions, finance adaptation, and compensate for climate-related loss and damage are shared fairly
  • in thanksgiving for the way God is moving people to pray together – may God use our joining in prayer for His glory and the good of all.
 
 'Holy Trinity, One God, be among the nations as they unite in Paris at this critical age of the world for the 21st session of the Conference of Parties. Grant those with earthly authority the wisdom to see the fragility, dignity, and goodness of all humanity and all creation, which you entrust to us, as one family, to nurture, protect, and love. Lord Jesus, send forth your Spirit among the powerful of the world so that they may observe the laws of the Father. May this fidelity result in lasting agreements that will ease the human causes and suffering of a warming climate.'
 
Prayers from Pray & Fast for the climate. Prayer excerpt from Prayer for COP21 Inspired by Laudato Si', contributed by the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

 




 
 
 
Photo credits: Pacific delegates pour over the draft text  COP21 

 

 

A joint statement on the situation in Calais from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church

 

Dr Jill Barber

Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

The Revd Lynn Green

General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain

The Revd David Grosch-Miller

Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church

The Rt Revd Angus Morrison

Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

The Revd Steve Wild

President of the Methodist Conference

As churches with members directly involved in assisting the people in Calais seeking sanctuary in the UK, we believe it is important that public debate is grounded in values of compassion and that decisions are made on the basis of facts. In recent weeks discussion has increasingly appeared to be based on the principle of self-interest. Our faith instructs us not to fear the stranger, but to love our neighbour. We view the situation with growing alarm and anger.

We are compelled to speak out on this issue. As Christian churches we follow One who was himself a refugee and who demonstrated that all people have an inherent, God-given dignity.

Our Scriptures teach the importance of love and compassion for all who are destitute, including people of other nationalities who come to live in our communities.

We do not speak out as detached, comfortable observers but as leaders of churches who are actively ministering to those involved. In east Kent our churches have publicly offered practical support and help to teenage asylum seekers due to be housed in their town. Through our international links with Baptists in France, we are also supporting work amongst unaccompanied children in Calais. St Andrews Scots Church in Malta, a joint Methodist-Church of Scotland congregation in Valletta, runs the

 

Out of Africa into Malta project to assist migrants. However we cannot play our part effectively without a political backdrop that seeks a sustainable and just solution in the longer term.

And we stand in solidarity with the remarks made recently by the Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, the Bishop of Dover, the Jewish Council for Racial Equality and in support of the pioneering work of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe.

We welcome the affirmation by the Home Secretary that Europe will ‘always provide protection for those genuinely fleeing conflict or persecution’.

However, the language in which the Calais situation is being discussed tends too often to demonise, denigrate or dehumanise the individuals seeking refuge in Britain.

To talk of those gathering at Calais as a ‘swarm’, or ‘marauding around the area’ encourages people to see those in desperation as less than human, and so less deserving of sympathy, respect or dignity. To incite fear that by offering the hand of friendship and welcome we may damage our own standard of living implies that British lives and well-being are somehow more valuable than those of others.

We share the concern of all involved to see a peaceful and humane solution to this particular expression of a far broader catastrophe. While we recognise the need for security to be increased at Calais, to better ensure the safety of all involved, we cannot see that more guards, sniffer dogs and fencing will alone bring such a solution.

We therefore call on the Government to promote a more informed and higher level of debate on the issue – one which acknowledges, for example, that:

„h many of the migrants congregating at Calais are people genuinely fleeing repression who have real stories of suffering and hardship to tell – and that some are unaccompanied children;

„h the numbers involved do not warrant talk of an ‘invasion’ or ‘flood’ of migrants;

„h the people at Calais represent a tiny fraction of the overall number of migrants who have entered the EU in the past year

„h in 2014 Germany took three times more asylum seekers than the UK's 14,000, and Sweden twice as many; France, Italy and even Switzerland also granted asylum to more people than the UK;

„h the disruption caused to travellers is also a consequence of issues unconnected with the situation in Calais, including industrial action by ferry workers;

„h historically the UK has welcomed people fleeing persecution, including Jews escaping from Germany during the Second World War;

„h the UK has been militarily involved in some of the situations that have given rise to the persecutions from which people are fleeing;

„h contributions to this debate should always adopt language which better reflects the British values of compassion, hospitality and respect for human dignity.

We also call on the Government, in its response to this emergency, to:

„h recognise that most migrants cannot be returned to their country of origin: in many cases it is not even possible to be certain of an individual’s country of origin due to a lack of documentation;

„h promote the establishment of proper, EU-run processing centres at key entry points in Europe (such as southern Italy and Greece);

„h accept the need for the UK to take its share of migrants as other European countries are already doing.

And we ask all our congregations and members to respond to an urgent call to prayer, to remember in our churches the importance and equal value God places on every human life, and to seek wisdom that we can challenge injustice and work for peace for the whole world. Let us seek direction and discernment for ourselves and for our leaders for solutions to this ongoing crisis, for the sake of all peoples.

 

The Methodist Church
December 2015

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E-News
The Methodist Church

Christmas greetings of welcome

       

The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have reminded people of the importance of 'welcome' in this year's Presidential Christmas message.

The Revd Steve Wild and Dr Jill Barber highlight the central significance of Emmanuel, 'God-with-us', and how we can encounter God through welcoming others.

Steve said, “Emmanuel, 'God-with-us', is not selective to one particular class or type of person. No one is inconvenient to the God who is with us, His great grace reaches to all people whoever they are.”

And Jill added the challenge, “We have received welcome. Can we now be that prophetic people who seek to offer welcome, to challenge injustice and take steps, however small, to work for justice and peace in our communities and in our world?”

Click here to listen to the messages in full, or, if you prefer, you can read them here.

In Brief

Cumbrian floods: give, act, pray

  

The impact of the floods in the North West of England will last long after the water has gone. Storm Desmond has left homes uninhabitable and Christmas in ruins for thousands of people. The Revd Richard Teal, the Cumbria District Chair, said, “The devastation this time is far worse than before.”

The Methodist Church is joining with organisations and individuals across the country to support and remember the people of the North West in their prayers. Read here how you can donate to the fundraising appeal.

Pray for peace

       

The President and Vice-President of Conference have made a statement following the decision for the UK to proceed with air strikes in Syria, encouraging people of all faiths to pray for peace.


We pray for peace in the UK, following a difficult decision that has created sharp divisions.

 

We pray for peace in Syria, and for the communities and families already devastated by aerial bombing and the violence of the past four years.

 

We pray for peace in the Middle East, that the distrust of governments in the region and beyond that helps to fuel radicalisation can be overcome.  

 

We pray for peace in the world, that peoples and governments do not ignore the cries of the innocent and that preservation of lifeis at the heart of our actions.

 

We pray for peace. Amen.

 

Prior to the debate in Parliament the Methodist Church joined with other denominations in releasing a joint Church statement on military action in Syria. You can read this here.

Invigorated by 3Generate

                

This year’s 3Generate took place in November at PGL Liddington Adventure Centre, Swindon, where nearly 600 young Methodists aged 8-23 gathered together to worship, learn and make decisions that will affect the life of the wider Methodist Church.

 

This year’s event was a sold-out success, which saw more than double the amount of young people and youth leaders attend compared to last year.

Highlights from the event included a variety of topical workshops, indoor and outdoor activities, debates and campaigns work. New additions this year included a specially commissioned
slam poetry session, club-style worship and zip wires.


Drawing breath after a packed weekend, the Methodist Youth President Craig Gaffney said, “It’s always amazing to interact with other young Christians and other young Methodists in particular. There was a lot of really cool stuff going on this year with the Silent Disco, Club Worship, Gospel Choirs... We really mixed up the worship and social formats that we’ve had in the past, which gave this year’s 3Generate a new feel and a vibe with lots of new exciting features."


For a taste of this year’s event, why not check out our YouTube channel,
3GenTV.

Tim Annan elected to be next Methodist Youth President

       

Tim Annan has been elected as Methodist Youth President designate to begin his term in September 2016, following his election at this year’s 3Generate (see previous story).

 


Tim, who has been working and training as a youth worker, said, “I have seen the difference that young people make for our churches and our communities. We are a passionate people, standing up for our causes. As Youth President, I will put forward the ideas of the young people of the Methodist Church to challenge and change our Church. Together we can make an impact not only on our Church, but on our society as well”.

COP21: a response

  

The Methodist Church in Britain has released a statement regarding the recent agreements made at the COP21 climate change summit in Paris.

 

The President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Steve Wild, said, "We are delighted with the historic achievement at the climate summit in Paris. Our Lord's call to us to be disciples is often challenging. When God entrusted his creation to our care he never said that it would be easy. In our churches we recommit ourselves to tread more lightly on the earth. We pray that we can work together for the common good remembering that we are called to be reconciled to God and to one another in love."

 

The Joint Public Issues Team has also written a blog post in reflection of the event, which you can read here.

Dates in January
3    Covenant Sunday
18  Start of Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity
24  Homeless Sunday
25  End of Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity
27  Holocaust Memorial Day
Homeless Sunday: 24 January 2016
Homeless Sunday is an annual opportunity to listen to what God has to say about homelessness.

With the three themes of Connect, Challenge, and Commit, churches across Great Britain are invited to reflect on, and address the problems of, homelessness.

Free downloadable resources are available to help you organise your dedicated service and any additional activities.

What in the world is happening?

December’s World Church News features the plight of refugees and the work that is being done to support them.


You can read about how more than £52,000 raised (so far) in support of the Methodist Refugee Support fund is being spent.

Walking to Lindisfarne
A few places remain for a walking pilgrimage to Lindisfarne organised by Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB) and led by Jill Baker in April 2016.  Email pilgrimages@mwib.org.uk for more information or visit the MWiB website.

Expressions of interest can also be registered for a similar event to take place in August 2016.

Vacancy: Chair of the Methodist Minister’s Pension Scheme (MMPS)

MMPS is a defined benefit pension scheme with 4,400 members. It has a Trustee Board which is responsible for the proper running of the scheme. The chair of the board is retiring in the summer 2016 and a replacement is being sought.

 

Find more details about this post and other job opportunities here.

 

The closing date for applications is Friday 15 January 2016.

Worship through music and dance
Are you passionate about faith and worship? Would you like to express this through dance?

ArtServe member Anna Gilderson of uC Grace will be running a Dance and Movement Worship Retreat from Friday 11 – Sunday 13 March 2016 at Kings Park Conference Centre, Northampton, NN3 6LL.

No experience is necessary, just a passion for faith and worship. Join us for a journey and let dance bring restoration, healing and peace.

Further details are available on the uC Grace website, or by emailing bookings@ucgrace.co.uk.
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The Methodist Church 
November 2015

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E-News
The Methodist Church

Enough is enough

Major UK Churches (including the Methodist Church) are warning that the government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill marks a dangerous shift away from a core principle of the Welfare State and will make poor people even poorer.

A YouGov survey commissioned by the Churches has also revealed that 61% of UK adults believe that welfare benefits should be set at a level that allows families with children to cover their basic costs. In contrast, only 25% of those polled said they thought that benefits should be set deliberately low to encourage families to find work or get more work.

“No child should be left without enough in order to motivate their parents,” said Paul Morrison, Public Issues Policy Adviser for the Methodist Church and author of the report. “If children live in a family which doesn’t have enough money, they are more likely to die young, do worse at school, and experience worse health. Many of these families are already in work and working very hard. Any policy that claims that taking £1,000 from a family will enhance the life-chances of its children, as the Bill does, is not only supremely questionable but morally flawed.”

The report, Enough: Our responsibility to meet families’ needs, highlights how the Bill threatens to undermine a founding principle of the Welfare State: namely, that the amount families receive in benefits should be sufficient to meet their basic needs. The Churches say the Bill will break the link between what people need and the amount of support they can receive. Families with children will be hardest hit by this change.

“As Christians we believe all people are made in God’s image,” continued Paul. “We do not believe that we should ever deliberately deprive a person, a family, a child of enough to thrive or to fulfil their God-given potential. We are asking that the Welfare State holds to its founding principles, and seeks to provide enough so that every child can have the best chance in life.”

The Churches are asking people to pray, to read the report here(along with a short video explaining why Enough matters) and write to their MPs.

In Brief

Statement on the Paris attacks

  

The Revd Steven Wild, President of the Conference, and Dr Jill Barber, Vice-President of the Conference have issued the following statement about the attacks in Paris:

  

“We, and all the Methodist people, pray for all the victims of the attacks in Paris on Friday night.  We hold in our prayers all those who seek to offer comfort and support in the days and weeks ahead.”

  

You can also read statements from the World Methodist Council and United Methodist Church in Central and Southern Europe here.

  

For those looking for hymns that reflect on the recent events in Paris and elsewhere around the world, To the dark place bring a candle by Richard Lucas (sung to the tune Scarlet Ribbons) and Andrew Pratt’s Hopeless to help in this violence, this crisis are both on the Singing the Faith Plus website..

Share A Gift of Christmas

In a time where your advent calendar is more likely to feature a pet than Jesus and almost half of people in the UK feel the birth of Jesus is irrelevant to their Christmas, the Methodist Church has produced a new booklet going back to the roots of the festive season.

A gift of Christmas is a beautifully illustrated, full-colour printed, 16-page booklet telling the nativity story through Scripture, prayer, poetry and pictures. The resource has been designed as a simple and appealing give-away gift for visitors at festive events or Christmas services, or as something to share with family members, neighbours and friends.

“Sharing the gospel doesn’t have to be hard,” said the Revd Steven Wild, President of the Methodist Conference. “Our brothers and sisters have produced this wonderful resource which tells the birth of our Lord in a beautiful and simple way. Why not give a copy to someone you know or someone new and begin a God-moment conversation?”

The brand new edition of the highly popular booklet, A gift of Christmas, can be purchased in packs of 50 for £5 (plus p&p) from Methodist Publishing online or by calling 0845 017 8220.

Feedback from customers who've already bought this year's A gift of Christmas has been overwhelmingly positive. One satisfied customer said, “An excellent well presented, well priced and well produced booklet, which we will be handing out to those who come to our Messy Church.”

Free ebook, PDF and PowerPoint versions are also available, ideal for personal devotion or to use in church services.

Send an extra card this Christmas

  

For its Christmas Friendship Appeal, MHA is asking if you could share the joy of Christmas with its residents and Live at Home scheme members by writing just one extra Christmas card. MHA can provide free cards for church members to write their own messages of goodwill and friendship and children’s cards to colour in - or you can use your own cards. 

 

You can find out more and get involved here.

Join in the Journey of the Magi

Springs Dance Company is inviting churches across the country to host a special performance of ‘Journey of the Magi’, a critically-acclaimed production with sparkle, songs and jokes for all ages. The show portrays the original Christmas story, while drawing hilarious and poignant parallels with our own preparations for Christmas day.

Bookings are available for Advent 2015 or 2016. See the Springs Dance Company website for more information.

Stuck for presents this Christmas

  

All We Can is offering the chance to buy extraordinary gifts. These help people in some of the world’s poorest communities to become all that they can. Our gifts directly support All We Can’s partners - creating positive, lasting change in poor communities.

 

Simply choose a gift for a friend or family member from the selection, and All We Can will send you a colourful card for you to personalise and give.

Dates in December
1  World AIDS Day

Beibl.net

Translated from the original Hebrew and Greek, beibl.net is the Bible in everyday Welsh – ideal for young people, those learning the language and native Welsh speakers. At the beginning of November, it was published in print form - both as a full hardcover Bible, and also as a colour-illustrated 365 story Bible. This is only the third ever full translation, following on from 1588 and 1988, and is the work of Arfon Jones and his team over a 15-year period.


For more information, visit the website or email Delyth Wyn Davies.

What in the world is happening?

November's World Church News focuses on how women are involved in the worldwide Methodist Church. There are stories about:

- a literacy project in Pakistan

- reconciliation in Rwanda

- empowering indigenous and Afro-American women in Columbia

- climate change in the Pacific.

Now and not yet

The Holy Biscuit in Newcastle-upon-Tyne will be celebrating their fifth birthday with a party on Thursday 26 November, where they will be launching their new publication Now & not yet, which explores the season of advent through art, writing and stillness.

 

You can find out more here.

Methodist Studies Seminar

The next Methodist Studies Seminar will be held at the Manchester Wesley Research Centre on Saturday 5 December. This bi-annual event is sponsored by a collaboration of Methodist-based colleges, universities and centres and provides an opportunity for established and emerging Methodist Studies scholars to present their findings and research.

 

For more information, including a programme of the day, click here.

Cliff College Principal

Cliff College are looking for a new Principal. You can find further details here, along with other jobs vacancies across the Connexion.

Making connections for reconciliation – European Methodist theological conference 

The Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham is very excited to be hosting the first European Methodist Theological Conference on 5-6 February 2016! It will a stimulating time of theological reflection where Methodists and others from around the world will share their experience of reconciliation. The keynote speakers are the Revd Professor Wesley Ariarajah from Drew University, and the Revd Dr Jimmy Dube, the Secretary of the Zimbabwean Methodist Conference.

 

More information about the programme is available from Donna Pryor, at Queen's.

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The Methodist Church
November 2015
The Buzz 
 Issue 148
The Methodist Church

Welcome to the Buzz!

 

 

The Buzz is a great resource that brings the whole Methodist Church in Britian together by sharing good news from across the Connexion. The stories below illustrate different ways in which the Church is working out the four aspects of Our Calling, with a particular focus on the current refugee and migrant crisis.

 

For a plain text version of the newsletter - click here.

 

If you have any stories to share, why not get in touch?

 

Toby

 

WORSHIP - Refugee Services
Shetland Islands and beyond

image 1 alt

 

Methodist churches and circuits across the Connexion have been putting on special services, events and fundraising activities in support of the current refugee crisis.

 

Just one example of churches in prayer and action for refugees can be seen in the combined ecumenical efforts of the churches in the Shetland Islands holding prayer vigils and services alongside bake sales, car washes, coffee mornings and more to raise community support and awareness of the situation.

 

Dr Val Turner, chair of the Shetland Council of Churches Trust, said “This is just a flavour of how Shetland’s church communities are responding in quiet, manageable ways to a situation which feels so enormous and unmanageable. We have been delighted that people are supporting the campaigns locally, through prayer, collecting money and taking supplies to Calais.”

 

Through services and fundraising efforts such as these, the Methodist Church in Britain has so far received around £40,000 in donations for the refugee crisis. For more information on how you can get involved through prayer, reflection, action and donation please see below.

 

  

Email: Stephen Drury (fundraising officer) drurys@methodistchurch.org.uk  

Website: methodist.org.uk/mission/world-church/world-church-news/refugee-crisis-resources-prayers-and-updates

 

 
LEARNING AND CARING - Providing Hospitality
Lincolnshire District Synod

image 2 alt

 

Methodists in Lincolnshire passed a motion at their Autumn Synod calling upon local councils to each provide hospitality and accommodation for at least 10 refugee families in response to the current refugee crisis.

    

Concerning the motion, the Revd Bruce Thompson said “It is our fundamental belief that as a society based on Christian principles we should meet our neighbours' needs providing food for the hungry, accommodation for the homeless and refuge for the persecuted.”

    

Directly in response to the motion, Winterton Town Council agreed to take in refugee families following support from both local schools and doctors.

    

In addition, the Synod encouraged its circuits to identify premises that could accommodate refugee families. Since then, a number have initiated or supported local groups seeking to work alongside local authorities in providing refuge.

 

Email: The Revd Bruce Thompson revbrucet@yahoo.co.uk

 
EVANGELISM - Standing in Solidarity 
London District Synod
image 3 alt

 

London Methodists en masse joined thousands of others on the streets of London in a march of solidarity in support of welcoming refugees as part of their Autumn Synod this year.

   

The District Chairs and Synod Secretary rearranged Synod business to allow for all Synod delegates and attendees to join the march, with a special reflection service being held for all those unable to join in. Having printed off hundreds of posters with the District logo and the slogan ‘#refugeeswelcome’, Methodists flooded the streets singing hymns of God’s love.   

   

After the march Synod reconvened at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, where they celebrated Holy Communion with reflections based around the refugee crisis.

   

The Revd Nigel Cowgill, one of the London District Chairs, added “Joining the march was a chance for the Methodist people of London to show, in a very practical way, that God’s love is for all people. The business of Synod is very important, but standing up for those in need of a place of safety and security is a greater priority.”

  

   

Email: The Revd Nigel Cowgill nigel@methodistlondon.org.uk  

 
SERVICE - Compassion in Action
Holmfirth Methodist Church, Huddersfield
image 4 alt

 

Ros Walker, of Scholes Methodist Church, Holmfirth, started a collection for Syrian refugees, after seeing harrowing pictures of the refugees on television. “From an initial point of wondering who I could write to, I realised that something more tangible needed to happen.” Ros was not the only one feeling the same way and through the local community group on Facebook, she linked up with other people determined to make things happen. “We contacted Holmfirth Methodist church, which had  a more central location and a small amount of storage, and they agreed to open the doors as a drop-off point. At the same time, another local village, Meltham, had opened the doors to their Carlisle Institute.”

     

From humble beginnings, the collection grew and grew with over 1,000 boxes of aid from local donors in West Yorkshire collected. Donations included a variety of warm clothes, sleeping bags, toiletries and more.

 

Initially housed in Holmfirth Methodist Church, the collection had to be moved to a larger venue because of the sheer overwhelming volume of support from the local community. Once sorted and boxed, the 1,000 plus boxes were sent on to Syria Relief in Manchester for distributing.

     

Ros added, “We learned a huge amount very quickly and we are grateful to all the volunteers, to Holmfirth Methodist Church for opening its doors, to all the donors, the Carlisle Institute in Meltham, a local van hire company and the Post Office for transport.”

     

If you would like to set up a collection point, but aren't sure where to start, why not get in touch?

     

     

Email: Ros Walker roswalker@me.com

 
  
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The Methodist Church
Nov 2015
World Church Relationships
The Methodist Church

   

Sunday 22 November is Women Against Violence Sunday, and so in this edition of World Church News, we look at how women are involved in the worldwide Methodist Church. This edition highlights how women are empowering those around them and transforming their communities for the better – be that in their local churches, their communities or, as demonstrated by our mission partners, further away from home.

 

"My Soul Magnifies"    

 

In the first chapter of Luke's Gospel, Mary's song of praise rings out: "My soul magnifies the Lord". In a context in which Mary would have been seen as a nobody, her song is a prophetic response to the outrageous injustices in our world. Read more

Literacy Empowers

       

This year, the Women's Desk of the Church of Pakistan has been carrying out a literacy project which has been equipping and empowering women (and some men) in different ways. Read more

 

  

  

 

Created in God's Image

   

The World Mission Fund supports CEPALC with an annual grant. This year, CEPALC used some of this funding to run training sessions for groups of indigenous and Afro- American women. Read more

 

Hotting up in the Pacific 

 

Continuing to exist, despite difficult circumstances, is a situation common to many people in the Pacific faced with the realities of climate change. Read more

  

"Mum Power"

   

"My job as a physiotherapist in Kigali has been varied and rewarding, despite its many difficulties". Read more

Reconciliation in Rwanda

 

"Rwanda. The land of a thousand hills. The country of mountain gorillas. Sure- but who doesn't think of the genocide first?" Read more

 

 

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The Methodist Church
October 2015

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E-News
The Methodist Church

Westminster turns blue

    

To mark 70 years since the founding of the United Nations, Methodist Central Hall Westminster, the first meeting place of the United Nations General Assembly, will be turning blue this Saturday 24 October.

 

To celebrate UN day, Central Hall will be joining iconic monuments, buildings, statues, bridges and other international landmarks in being bathed in blue lights. Pictures will be broadcast across the world through social media under the hash tag #UN70.

 

As well as turning blue, Central Hall is holding a unique ‘UNEARTH Exhibition’ for eight weeks, celebrating the achievements and history of the UN. You can find more details (including opening times) here.

In Brief

DWP “stubbornly ignoring” calls for sanctions review

    

A coalition of national Churches and charities has criticised the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over its refusal to undertake a full review of the benefit sanctions system. The DWP has issued its overdue response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry into benefit sanctions, but has failed to commit to a review as recommended.

 

The Select Committee, the government’s own advisors, the Social Security Advisory Committee, charities and Churches have all called for a full independent review of the regime. These groups have highlighted the extreme hardship caused, the inconsistent and unjust application of sanctions and the lack of evidence that they encourage people into work.  

The Methodist Church, Baptist Union, Church in Wales, Church of Scotland, United Reformed Church and charity Church Action on Poverty have called for an immediate suspension of sanctions against families with children and people with mental ill-health. They say the DWP’s response does not go far enough and have called again for a review.

Read more here.

Keeping hope alive – hope is coming this Advent

       

A free Advent resource, Keeping Hope Alive, is now available. Focusing on the significant works of the Methodist Church’s Mission in Britain Fund, it includes real-life stories, leader’s notes, a service outline and suggested prayers.

 

The Revd Steven Wild, President of the Methodist Conference, added, “The excellent Keeping Hope Alive resource is a great opportunity to see just a snippet of the good works done across Britain by the Methodist Church. Putting on an Advent Offering service is one way in which you can help support others and get involved.”

 

If you would like to put on an Advent Offering service in your church, you can find out more information and register your event here.

Connecting Disciples
7-10 March 2016

       

Connecting Disciples is the annual Methodist conference for all lay employees and children and youth workers. It is an opportunity for training, development, fellowship and community through workshops, worship, Bible studies, class meetings and networking.

The theme for the event is Then: Now - Passion - Prophecy - Prayer - Protest.

 

The conference takes place at High Leigh Christian Conference Centre in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. You can find more details and book a place here. (There is a discount on bookings made before 23 November.)

Evangelism and
missional communities

  

Professor Elaine Heath will be travelling through the UK in November to share her wisdom and insight in themes such as contemplative spirituality and missional engagement, confidence in evangelism and disciple-making in the modern world.

 

Elaine is the Professor of Evangelism at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology in Dallas. To find out when she'll be speaking at an event near you, click here.

Finding funding

       

Churches can apply for funding for faith projects from certain independent trusts, local bodies, central or regional government, or even through European sources. Some will fund Christian evangelism projects and others support community outreach activities to expand your local community reach. Each funder has their own application process, timescale and requirements in place.

 

Funders will expect your church to produce a project plan which explains clearly what you will do, how it will be achieved, what difference it will make and what resources you already have in place. You will need to explain why there is a real community need, and present your finances, funding plan and management expertise. You may need to write a simple, clear 2-page letter to request £2,000 or need a more extensive business plan, likely when seeking over £25,000.

 

To help you there is a comprehensive list of Funding Possibilities, with details of capital and revenue funding opportunities. Once you have read this and drafted a project proposal, send it to Julian Bond. He can help you through the ups and downs, encourage your church, check the funders you can approach and proofread applications.

Scholarship, research and innovation

  

The inaugural Methodist Research Conference is planned for Wednesday 27 April at College of St Hild and St Bede, Durham. This is open to all interested in Methodist-related research, and keynote speakers will be Prof Tom Greggs (Aberdeen) and Prof Mike Higton (Durham).

 

A Methodist Honorary Research Fellow scheme has been established with four institutions: Roehampton, OCMCH (Oxford Brookes), The Queen's Foundation and St John's Durham. The first research fellows are now being accepted and it’s hoped to develop this scheme further.

 

In addition to the Palestine Study Tour being run again in July 2016, an ecumenical study tour based in Rome is planned for June 2016.

 

You can find details of all these programmes and developments here.

Important dates in November

1  All Saints Sunday

8  Remembrance Sunday

15  International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

15  Start of Prisons Week

29  Advent Sunday (Year C of RCL begins)

What in the world is happening?

The latest issue of World Church News includes information on rebuilding Nepal, coronation celebrations in Tonga and a fundraising swim across Loch Lomond.

Across the ages

Autumn’s Heritage News features developments in the Museum of Methodism at Wesley’s Chapel, Bible Christians in South Australia, Methodism in the Shetlands, the 200th anniversary of Cloud Methodist Chapel (the oldest Primitive Methodist Church in the world holding regular services), and research into Hannah Ball, the founder of the first Sunday School.

Meeting at The Well
The recent edition of The Well - a newsletter for workers with children and young people - is now available. Alongside news and details of events and resources, there is information about church-based toddlers' groups, a report into childhood wellbeing, working with Messy Church and pregnancy twinning. Click here to read more or subscribe to The Well.
Holiness and mission
The second edition of the Holiness journal focuses on holiness and mission. It has articles on mission in Britain today, Methodism and Fresh Expressions, holiness, grace and mission, plus much more.

Church insurance made simple

Methodist Insurance has created a new set of easy to follow guides to help you understand your church insurance cover. They cover the main topics they are asked about by customers, in a straight-forward way.

 

Each guide includes links to more information including simple checklists, template forms and more detailed guidance.

Holocaust Memorial Day
Free resources for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) on 27 January 2016 are now available. You could display posters and booklets in churches with prayers on or around HMD 2016.

There are also HMD event organiser training sessions across the UK, which are open to all. You can find more information here.
Reach out to potential entrepreneurs
The Arthur Rank Centre is offering a free resource to Methodist churches who want to help create jobs in their area. Germinate Enterprise is a six-session course that churches can run to help people think about whether they could set up a small biblically-based business or social enterprise; what business to set up; and whether it would be viable. It is especially suitable for rural businesses but can be used anywhere.

There are further details, including the workbook and facilitator guide, here.

Further progress on safeguarding

The October meeting of the Methodist Council heard of the progress made by the Church in addressing the concerns of the Past Cases Review. This includes the creation of a draft supervision policy for ministers, guidance on best practice for record-keeping and storage and a review of the Church's safeguarding training material. 

 

You can click here for more details and here for the full list of Council papers.

Ready for a challenge?

Action for Children is challenging people to consider running the Brighton Marathon on 17 April 2016, to help them continue their support for the UK's most vulnerable children and families. Click here for more information.

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The Methodist Church

August 2015

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E-News
The Methodist Church

Although this August edition of E-News reaches you in September, it is hoped that you will still find the information relevant and useful.

Stop lowering the level of immigration debate, Churches tell government

   

Leaders of the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland and the United Reformed Church have issued a statement on the situation in Calais.

 

They call on the government to adopt language which better reflects the British values of compassion, hospitality and respect for human dignity and to promote a more informed and higher level of debate.

 

"The language in which the Calais situation is being discussed tends too often to demonise, denigrate or dehumanise the individuals seeking refuge in Britain. To talk of those gathering at Calais as a 'swarm', or 'marauding around the area' encourages people to see those in desperation as less than human, and so less deserving of sympathy, respect or dignity.

 

You can read the full statement here.

 

JPIT's Phil Jump has also written a prayer in response to the events in Calais.

In Brief

Responding to fake DWP stories

 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has come under fire after it admitted using made-up stories from fictional claimants to demonstrate the positive impact of benefit sanctions.

 

 

The Methodist Church and several partners have written a letter to the Daily Telegraph about this, which you can read here. And if you're interested in the real stories of real benefit claimants, check out the Rethink Sanctions report.

Seeing red

              

Inspired by the #RethinkSanctions campaign Deacon Tracey Hulme has created the Red Fridays campaign.


Tracey, who helps lead a foodbank in her church, says, "I am so distressed to see people having to resort to a foodbank because they have been sanctioned. I can't sit and do nothing anymore.


"After being at Conference and hearing Jill Barber's vice-presidential speech I decided that the quiet voice I had been hearing needed to be acted on and the t shirt campaign is what I felt prompted to do."

 

The idea is that people pledge to wear red and skip a meal on a Friday in solidarity with those who will struggle to eat because that have had their benefits sanctioned. You can order your organic, ethically and fairly traded T-shirts here.

the connexion

   

The new issue of the connexion focuses on the arts.


It tells stories from all over the world of how the people called Methodist have found the arts in mission to be a fruitful way to engage people with the gospel.


With puppets and pottery, fine art and friendship, we cover a range of creative outreach stories - and many of them could be replicated in communities up and down the Connexion.


Copies are arriving in people's letterboxes this week. You can read a pdf copy of the magazine or discover how to subscribe here.

Pilgrims of prayer

              

The new Methodist Prayer Handbook, Pilgrims on a Journey, is now available. Taking its titles from the well-known hymn ‘Brother, sister, let me serve you’, it looks at God's call to pilgrimage, both journey and destination, our companions on the way and the everyday realities of the road to heaven.


The handbook connects Christians from different times, places and walks of life. Classic prayers are interwoven with new contributions from Methodists across the districts and around the world. Arranged as a 31-day prayer cycle, the handbook also includes a lectionary of daily Bible readings* with a suggested hymn (from Singing the Faith) to accompany and guide you through the year.


You can order copies from Methodist Publishing at £3.75, with discounts for ten or more.


* Background note and questions for reflection are available on
A Word in Time - the Methodist Churches daily online Bible study.

Introducing EAPPI

              

EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel) brings together committed volunteers to live and work for a time on the West Bank, monitoring human rights and encouraging and supporting people under threat.

 

Theresa Mansbridge, a recently returned volunteer, will be speaking at Northgate United Reformed Church, Darlington DL1 1QU on Saturday, 3 October at 7:00pm, giving a first-hand account of what daily life under the occupation is really like and to ask what can we do to promote a just peace in Israel-occupied Palestine.

 

For more information please contact EAPPI on 020 7663 1144 or local contact.

Encounter worldwide

 

  • Do you want to put your faith into action in another part of the world?
  • Do you want to work alongside local communities, deepening your faith and knowledge of global justice and development?
  • Are you passionate about Jesus and have 6-12 months to meet exciting people abroad?
  • Are you ready for a life-changing challenge, putting your skills to good use and learning new ones?

 

If you answered YES to these questions, then Encounter Worldwide could be for you!

 

Discover more here.

Hospitality and Sanctuary for all

This is the theme of the 2015 Racial Justice Sunday (13 September), which  is especially poignant as our newspapers and television screens are filled with images of people in desperate states trying to find a place of sanctuary.


The free resources are written by the Revd Dr Inderjit Bhogal, past President of the Methodist Conference, and include an order of service, materials for Bible study, group discussions, activities and worship.

Get ready for harvest

Churches across Britain will be holding Harvest Festivals over the next couple of months.


If you're looking for ideas, All We Can has created some helpful resources to go along with their Harvest Appeal and for yet more ideas, the Evangelical Alliance has compiled a useful list.

Chaplaincy and mental health

On 12 November 2015, there will be a national day of retreat and reflection on the issue of mental health chaplaincy. It will take place in Birmingham.


For more information, contact Carol Anne Wilson, Head of Spiritual Care for Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (0121 301 1276).

World Church Bulletin

Read the latest World Church Relationships Bulletin to:

-  learn about how accountancy can be mission in the Solomon Islands

-  discover the latest news from the Leoni family - mission partners in Rwanda

-  find out how women are given a voice in Columbia.

2015 Beckly Lecture now online

This year’s Beckly Lecture was given by Andrew Caplen, President of the Law Society. He spoke on Magna Carta, the rule of law and access to justice in an age of austerity: a concern for the Church?

 

The lecture took place at the Methodist Conference in Southport. But for those unable to attend, the text is now available online on the JPIT website.

New website for Cliff College

Cliff College provides education and training with a particular focus on mission and evangelism. Historically, Cliff was a Methodist lay training college but today its student body is both lay and ordained, and from a range of denominational backgrounds.

 

The college has just revamped its website, making it more user friendly and easier to navigate.

Save the date for Rural Mission Sunday 2016 Beckly Lecture now online

In July 2015 churches nationwide took part in the launch of Rural Mission Sunday; an annual event by The Arthur Rank Centre celebrating the work of small rural churches. Some groups held open house events; others put on bread themed quizzes or more traditional style Sunday services.

 

Rural Mission Sunday 2016 takes place on Sunday 17 July, so there is plenty of time for planning. Our theme is ‘Sow and Grow’ and we will be looking to sow seeds of good news across the British Countryside. Look out for more details on the Arthur Rank Centre website.

A word version of E-news is available by  clicking here.
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The Methodist Church 
July 2015
 
World Church Relationships
The Methodist Church

MCCA appoints first Bishop

   

The Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA) has inducted the Revd Otto Wade as its first Connexional Bishop. 

The induction brings to an end 255 years of history during which the head of the Church was referred to either as Chairman or President.

Read more

CIEMAL pays

MCB a visit

       

In May, the World Church Relationships Team received visitors fom one of our partner organisations: the Council of Latin American and Caribbean Evangelical Churches (CIEMAL).

 

Read more

 

Methodism thrives

 

A recent event of a very public kind was the attack by Al-Shabab Islamist terrorists on Garissa University early in April, writes mission partner Peter Ensor, from Kenya’s Meru District. Over 140 students were shot dead, many simply because they professed to be Christians. Garissa is only about 150 miles away from the Kenya Methodist University (KEMU); some fear that Meru District may be the next target. 

 

Despite this, over 600 people attended an all-night prayer meeting in the KEMU Chapel in April.  Read more

Life in Nepal ‘post-earthquake’

 

It is becoming apparent to us that people who have never experienced an earthquake think of it (quite naturally) as a single terrifying event which happens, then is over, and fairly quickly recedes into the past.

 

We are learning here the hard truth that the initial earthquake is only a beginning.

 

Read more

Life as a 'mission partner kid'

 

Assisi and Scout Cook Collins are the daughters of mission partners Maura Cook and Paul Collins. 

 

They live in Ahuachapán, El Salvador, with their parents and younger brother, Saffi. Scout is eight and Assisi is six.

 

Read more

Young disciples

   

Carol Dunn works as a literature officer for the Methodist Church of the Caribbean & the Americas (MCCA), Jamaica District. 

Under Carol’s supervision, MCCA Jamaica District has produced a children’s devotional which ministers, school superintendents and teachers receive monthly.

Read more

Giving shelter

   

Freddy Nzambé, from the United Methodist Church, Central and Southern Europe (North Africa), now works as pastor of the Reformed Church of Tunisia, and as a social worker for students. 

Freddy and Sylvie run a women’s home and a student centre in Tunis.

Read more

      

Donate to the World Mission Fund

   

All the Partner Churches, partner organisations, NMA postholders, scholarship students and mission partners that you regularly read about in this news bulletin are supported by the Methodist Church World Mission Fund, through the sharing of both resources and personnel. 

You can donate online here

Alternately, send a cheque to: the Methodist Church World Mission Fund, Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR. Please make cheques payable to ‘Methodist Church

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The Methodist Church
June 2015
Methodist Publishing

Welcome to the June 2015 edition of Methodist Publishing News

                                                       

Called to...lead worship, preach, pioneer or ordained ministry?             

                                                    

God reaches out to us all in love and invites us to love in return through worship and service. For many, God’s call has prompted us to consider one of the lay ministries within the Church. Others have been called to ordained ministry as deacons or presbyters.

  

You will know that the new training pathways for worship leaders and local preachers will launch in September. You may also be aware that the pilot of a new pathway for pioneers will also launch in the same month. Each offers a new opportunity for conversations with those within your church or community who are still seeking to discern and fulfil God’s calling.

  

To help with these conversations, three booklets are available:

Called to Lead Worship?

Called to Preach?

Called to Pioneer?

  

They contain questions, quotations, testimonies and Scripture, as well as information and practical guidance on what is involved and the steps to be taken. They are designed to encourage reflection, prayer and talking things through with others.

  

Called to Ordained Ministry? has just published. The booklet is for those who wish to explore further a calling to ordained ministry as a deacon or presbyter. It is a revision of the Is God Calling You? publication and contains the latest information and guidance. The content and style of the new booklet remain largely the same as in its popular predecessor.

  

The team here at Methodist Publishing is busy producing the latest editions of our annual titles ready for the start of the connexional year. You will find details of some of these below. The latest edition of the Methodist Publishing catalogue is now available and contains details of all our new and forthcoming resources. If you have not yet received a copy, but would like to do so, you can request a catalogue here.

  

If you have any queries about our publications, you can contact our colleagues at Norwich Books and Music or call 0845 017 8220. (Please note that postage and packaging charges apply to all orders including non-priced items.)              

        

With best wishes

                                                         

Suzanne Johnson

Marketing Coordinator

Methodist Publishing             

New Releases

Downloads

   

Chaplaincy Essentials A resource for nurturing chaplains in the essential skills for their work

Conference Agenda All of the reports tabled for discussion at this year’s Conference

Courage, Cost and Hope The report of an independent review of past safeguarding cases

the connexion The second issue (published in April) focuses on the vibrant work of our chaplains

Time to Rethink Benefit Sanctions A report by the Joint Public Issues Team containing new data on the severity and length of sanctions under Welfare Reform

    

Print publications

Annual Membership Ticket 2015/2016

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Other editions:

Large Print

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Welsh

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Methodist Conference Agenda 2015
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Presidential Prayer Card 2015/2016

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Called to Ordained Ministry?

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Methodist Publishing Catalogue 2015/2016
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Domestic Abuse/ Violence Helpline Card

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One Mission Matters

Thank You (Summer 2015)

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Coming Soon

Methodist Prayer Handbook 2015/2016: Pilgrims on a Journey

Please, Lord, keep me always journeying on the path to you. Amen. (Vickie Middleton, Gnosall Methodist Chapel)

   

Each new edition of the Prayer Handbook connects Christians from different times, places and walks of life. Classic prayers are interwoven with new contributions from Methodists across the districts and around the world. Arranged as a 31-day prayer cycle, the Handbook also includes a daily lectionary with a suggested hymn (from Singing the Faith) to accompany and guide you through the year.

   

Read and respond to daily Bible commentary (following the Prayer Handbook lectionary)



The Methodist Diary 2016

The three editions of The Methodist Diary 2016 are progressing well and we are working towards a publication date in August.


2015 JMA Materials (including a new Resource Pack)

 

The annual JMA materials for 2015 will be available from mid-July. We are also finalising a new JMA Resource Pack for 2015/2016. This will include everything you need as a JMA leader to inspire and teach young people about the role of mission within our faith. Inside you will find an annual planner, six small group session guides, a game, Rainbow magazine sample, and a set of the regular JMA resources. It will be priced £10 plus postage & packing (which includes a £2 donation to JMA) and is due to publish in August.

We’ve worked hard to ensure that all the information in this email is correct at the time that it is sent, but some details may be subject to change without notice.

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The Methodist Church 
June 2015
The Buzz
 Issue 143
The Methodist Church

Hello everyone and welcome to the Buzz. 

Another batch of great stories this month and many more in the bag for future editions. Thanks to everyone for sending news from around the Connexion. If you're thinking of sending any to me after you've read this edition please aim for around 250 words.


The Buzz is a great resource that brings the whole Methodist Connexion together and allows us to share what's happening in our districts, circuits, churches and church groups. If you have any stories you would like to share, which illustrate how your church is working out the four aspects of Our Calling and living out discipleship shaped for mission, then please get in touch with me. If you wish to change or delete your details please scroll to the foot of this page. 

You can advertise your church, circuit or district events and news on the Connexional Noticeboard on the Methodist Church website. Here's the link: www.methodist.org.uk/events     

After you've held your event, do let me know how it went. Your ideas can encourage and inspire others to try something similar and I'm sure the latest stories below will do just that. The contacts will be pleased to give you more information. 

If you include a link to the Buzz from your own church website, the link to the latest edition will always be: www.methodist.org.uk/latestbuzz A plain text version of the Buzz can be found here

Julian Bond

 

WORSHIP - ‘Open Church’

St. Andrew’s Methodist Church, Cheriton - South Kent Circuit

Back in June 2013 during my prayer time I received a calling to open the church doors at St Andrew’s. God was calling me to provide a place of prayer, worship and stillness - a haven for people away from the busyness of life.     

 

‘Open Church’ was launched on 20 April 2014 and has now completed its first year. Averaging around eight hours a day, seven days a week, and with the help of friends from across the church community, this has proved a real blessing to so many people. With creative use of the church space during the week we have held mid-week services, used prayer stations and given people somewhere to go to escape the outside stresses of life.        

 

Rather than just the normal ‘key holders’ enjoying access, many more people have been given the opportunity to come in throughout the week and this includes a number of our own church members. Individuals from all walks of life have experienced the sacred space ‘Open Church’ offers. Coming from all over the world people have shared their stories, asked for prayer and appreciated open discussion about scripture. Recently the President of Conference, the Revd Ken Howcroft, visited the South Kent Circuit where the Revd Sam Funnell is superintendent. During his time with us he came to St Andrew's where, amongst other things, he heard about the work of ‘Open Church’. 

 

I have always believed that God was placing in the hearts of people a desire to come into his church to meet with him and during the first year of ‘Open Church’ this great need has been revealed.

 

If you would like to read the reports sent out during the first year then please click this link.

 

Email: Anya Goldsack goldsas@live.co.uk

 

LEARNING AND CARING - Holy Habits

Birmingham Circuit, Birmingham District

          

The churches of the Birmingham Circuit were empty on Sunday 17 May, as congregations converged on the International Convention Centre to celebrate the start of an exciting new journey.

 

As a result of a Circuit review, the recently formed Circuit identified discipleship as an area for development. In Acts 2: 42-47, ten 'Holy Habits' can be seen shaping the church: Eating Together, Prayer, Making More Disciples, Gladness and Generosity, Breaking Bread, Fellowship, Service, Biblical Teaching, Sharing Resources. These Holy Habits will form the core of a Circuit-wide programme of growth in discipleship over the next two years.

 

Material for each Holy Habit is being produced by motivated and diversely-gifted working groups from across the Circuit. Every two months a new habit will be introduced at a Sunday service in each church using suggested worship and preaching resources. Then the habit will be explored and lived via small group activities (including Bible study), practical activities, spiritual practices and other appropriate experiences and actions, including suggestions for personal reading, studying and viewing.

 

The Revd Neil Johnson, one of the team of three circuit superintendents says, “The challenge for the Birmingham Circuit is about seizing this God-given opportunity to reclaim our roots, restate our aims and refocus our mission by using the Holy Habits resources. Then we will surely grow as individuals, as congregations and as a Christian community engaging with the world we are called to serve.”

 

Growth in discipleship is central to the District’s mission strategy. This is an excellent example of a circuit working collaboratively together and with their District Evangelism Enabler and a regional DMLN Officer.  

 

See a video introduction to the Holy Habits here.

 

Email: Michele Simms, bhamdee@mac.com

 

EVANGELISM - Christian presence at the Wickham Music Festival

Meon Valley Methodist Circuit, Southampton District

 

The Wickham Music Festival is held annually from 6 - 9 August. It’s an outdoor live music event over four days with many acts and tents on a field just outside the village of Wickham in the Meon Valley, Hampshire.

 

The headline act last year was James Blunt. The one day he performed over 7,000 people came to the Festival.

 

So, last year, deciding on an outreach project, and with a lot of prayer, Meon Valley Circuit Methodists were allowed a Christian presence for the duration of the Festival. We erected our ‘Elemental Tent’ within the Festival site, manned by several enthusiastic Christians from our Circuit.

 

We will be doing so this year (August 2015) as we have again been invited to the Festival by the organiser Peter Chegwin.

 

We call our Christian presence within the Festival our ‘Elemental Tent’. Festival folk are gently encouraged in their journey of faith. We aim to show a Christian presence of relaxation, welcome, crafts and some prayer in and around the Tent. We even held a Harvest Festival service within the Music Festival itself last year (well, the weather was sunny too – most of the time!). We discussed faith openly and we prayed with people who asked for prayers. We had a spiritual artist last year too, and hope he will be there again this year.

 

Our superintendent minister the Revd David Moss leads the project, assisted by his wife Ali, with the rest of us trying to keep up. We are about to start our training for this.

 

We are in touch with BBC Radio Solent and we are hoping they will be interviewing us at the Festival.

 

Email: Martin Letts mletts@talktalk.net

 

SERVICE - Tour de Yorkshire

North Duffield Methodist Church, Goole & Selby Circuit

When the folk of the Methodist Church in the little rural East Yorkshire village of North Duffield realised that the Tour de Yorkshire Cycle Race was to go right past their church door they decided to hold a full weekend of celebrations and invite the whole village, putting the church very firmly on the map. 

On the Friday evening there was a special (re cycling) Messy Church! to which some 48 children, mums and grandparents came. We re cycled an old bike and decorated it in Tour de Yorkshire colours, had a junk workshop with re cycled boxes, decorated biscuits and re cycled old newpaper into fancy hats as well as making bunting from re cycled yellow pages. The children thought how they could care for God’s world and sang a ‘cycling song’ before enjoying supper together. 

On Saturday morning, the day of the race, we offered a Yorkshire breakfast of Yorkshire bacon butties (150 butties were served) accompanied by mugs of tea to those gathering to watch the race, and on the Sunday morning we held a special celebration service which included an audiovisual presentation on a big screen of the weekend's events. It was a great chance to put our little church at the centre of village celebrations and we pray that all who came into the building will have felt welcome and felt a bit of the love and joy that the Christian faith has to offer.     

                   

                      Email: Revd Sue Pegg revsuepegg@outlook.com

 
  

 

The Methodist Church
March 2015

Can't read this? Click here 

E-News
The Methodist Church

Time to rethink sanctions

    

In 2014, one million benefit sanctions were imposed on people. This means their payments stopped for a period of between one month and three years. The most common reason for being sanctioned is being late or not turning up for an appointment. The result is often needing to turn to a foodbank.

 

This is one person’s story: “During the first three weeks of my sanction I continued to look for work as I was required to. By the fourth week however I was exhausted, unwell and no longer had it in me. I was not eating as I had no food and was losing a lot of weight. I told the Job Centre I was unwell through not eating but was sanctioned for another three months for not looking for work properly.”

 

The report, Time to rethink benefit sanctions published by a large coalition of churches, including the Methodist Church, looks at the sanctions regime and argues strongly that it is not working and is damaging some of the most vulnerable people in society.

 

Click here to read the report, see the video or take action to challenge this unjust system. For further information see this page on ITV News.

In Brief

Calling all photographers

      

The Local Preachers and Worship Leaders Photo Competition aims to showcase the diversity of worship leaders and local preachers across the Church.

 

Entrants will be asked to submit two photos for their entry. The first should be of the local preacher or worship leader engaging a congregation through worship or preaching. The other should depict the subject in an aspect of their daily life that informs their ministry - perhaps in their day job, enjoying a hobby or engaging with a community project.

The competition is sponsored by the Leaders of Worship and Preachers Trust (LWPT), which launched Preach Resources in September 2014.

The competition is open to all (there are separate categories from entrants below and above 18) and the closing date for entries is Sunday 31 May. Click here for more details, including tips for taking a good photograph.

Inspirational women:

from victim to activist

  

Hari Kumari Sahi married her husband when she was just 13 years old. “From the beginning, he was very abusive, and used to hit me and beat me.”

For Hari, support from All We Can’s local partner Kopila Nepal has been a life-line. “I have learnt about domestic violence, abuse and how to talk about that. I’ve gained lots of self-confidence. It is a big change in my life.”

By supporting All We Can’s Inspirational Women Appeal, you can help more women like Hair to escape poverty, discrimination and violence. Watch the film here and donate today.

A church for everyone - 18 and 25 April 2015

            

Organised and endorsed by 23 denominations and organisations in Wales, these are exciting days for church leaders, worship leaders, childrens’ & youth leaders and anyone with a heart to reach out to families and create a church for all ages.

The days will include great speakers, practical exercises, workshops/seminars, models of all-age worship and prayer, inspirational video examples, resources exhibition, opportunity to talk with experienced practitioners and of course … coffee!

Held on different Saturdays they take place in North Wales (Blaenau Ffestiniog) on 18 April and in South Wales (Swansea) on 25 April.

The day costs £15 and includes lunch for all those who book in before 11 April.

Discover more details here
.

Love your neighbour: think, pray, vote

 

Our identity as disciples of Jesus is something that should impact every aspect of our being – including the way we vote. This new resource from the Joint Public Issues Team will help you and your church community to reflect on how being a follower of Jesus will affect your behaviour at election time.

 

Love Your Neighbour: think, pray, vote offers four short videos on the themes of truth, justice, peace and well-being; prayers linked to these themes; postcards which link these themes to questions for hustings or for your own reflection; and four short Bible studies. This pack can be used during worship or to inform Bible-study and house groups. Available from Methodist Publishing it costs £7.50 (plus postage and packing).

Faith and politics

            

Through JPIT (the Joint Public Issues Team) the Methodist Church has produced Faith in Politics a free downloadable guide to 16 issues central to political debate, including the economy, immigration and asylum, human trafficking and the environment. This briefing contains one page summaries of each issue and questions for MPs or personal reflection.

The JPIT General Election 2015 webpage also contains numerous links with further information about issues, what other Churches and organisations are saying about the election and further information, including guidance on holding hustings.

One Mission
Bible study resource

 

The One Mission Bible study will help house groups to engage and explore One Mission in today's context, bringing together the local and global aspects of mission.

The five-session study series uses a short film based on the final journey of the Revd Thomas Coke in 1813. As the drama unfolds we gain an insight to those going on the journey overseas and those left behind to look after the work at home.

The material is available online and without charge.

Working together in rural mission

                    

National Rural Officer for the Methodist Church, the Revd Elizabeth Clark, spoke in support of Released for Mission at The Church of England General Synod last month.

One of its key recommendations is greater ecumenical working.

“The report captures authentic grassroots voices in rural multi-church groups,” says Elizabeth. "Their stories tell of the current realities in the countryside: creative ideas and opportunities; complexities and difficulties. I look forward to working with colleagues to ensure ecumenical working is at the heart of mission in the countryside.”

Released for Mission, and accompanying paper GS1985, were commissioned by The Church of England Rural Affairs Group and prioritise changes to release capacity and energy for mission and growth.

Download the full report here.

Big SleepOver 2015

 

The Big SleepOver resource enables 8-18 year olds to take an active and participatory role in the life of the Church and creates a link between the Methodist Children and Youth Assembly (3Generate) and the local church and circuit.


The resource aims to assist you in running a residential event that will enable children and young people to think, talk and be disciples.

The Big SleepOver resource for 2015 is now available here.

Important Dates in April

2 Maundy Thursday

3 Good Friday

5 Easter Sunday

Prayers following attack in Pakistan

The Church of Scotland, the United Reformed Church and the Methodist Church came together this week to issue a joint statement following Sunday's terrorist bombings in Lahore. You can read it here.

 

Click here to read a prayer written in response.

What in the world is happening?

The latest World Church Relationships Bulletin features:

- peace and reconciliation in the Balkans

- marching for free speech in Pakistan

- evangelism in Zambia

- young people coming to faith in the Solomon Islands

Lifting the lowly - Spectrum annual conference

SPECTRUM (formerly Fellowship of the Kingdom) will be holding its annual conference at Willersley Castle, Derbyshire, from 27 to 30 April.

 

The theme is 'Lifting the lowly: bias to the poor revisited'. The speakers are the Revd Dr Joel Edwards and the Revd Dr Andrew Pratt.

 

Find out more here.

Power to be free, Methodist European Conference - 11-17 July 2015

The 14th Methodist European Conference for lay persons takes place in Albania from 11-17 July 2015.

The theme, 'Power to be free', focuses on the persecuted and emerging Churches in Europe through talks, discussions, workshops and times of sharing with participants from all over Europe.

Places are limited -
email Gerald Barley for more information.

Are you aged 18-29 and interested in visiting Taize?

Join a group of students from Cliff College to experience a week of worship, reflection and spirituality with the Taizé community in France, in a programme designed for those of university age.

This will take place on 14- 21 June 2015. There is an additional option to complete a Cliff Certificate in Christian Spirituality using your reflections on the week in Taize.


For more details, click here. (Note: the b
ooking deadline is Monday 13 April 2015)

The good and the beautiful: living as apprentices in the kingdom of God

The Bible Society is hosting two seminars at Westminster Central Hall on Friday 5 June.

 

Both led by James Bryan Smith the first (10.30am-11.15am) explores the inner life of leaders and key spiritual practices for their your life with God. The second, Helping others become more like Jesus (11.45am-12.15pm) asks how does transformation happen? And how can we help others to be apprentices of Jesus?

The morning costs £15 (plus £1.55 booking fee). For more details, click here.

Can you be a volunteer 'meeter and greeter'?

On Sunday 21 June and Monday 22 June 2015 the World Church Relationships (WCR) team will be welcoming representatives from around the world for their annual pre-Conference Consultation. If you enjoy meeting people from different countries, live in London and have a spare morning or afternoon on the aforementioned days then we would love to hear from you! WCR need volunteers to meet the visitors at either Heathrow or Gatwick airport. All travel expenses would be covered.

For more information, email
Syntiche Dedji.

Methodists for World Mission conference- 29-31 May 2015

Hear the voices of Christians in the Pacific and listen for the still small voice speaking through the insights, stories and songs of the liquid continent. The weekend will explore Pacific culture, hear and join in stories and music, investigate Pacific theology and examine the consequences of climate change.

Speakers will include the Revd Dr Cliff Bird from Australia, and Dr Ruth Valerio from A Rocha, with other contributors including serving Methodist mission partners. There will also be singers from the Pacific. There will be a children’s and youth programme too.

More details and a booking form are available
here.

Don't drop the ball - Engage 2015

The Rugby World Cup, the third largest international event of its kind, takes place in the UK this autumn.

Engage 2015 is a cross-denominational campaign set up to help churches serve the rugby community during the World Cup event. It aims to provide the Church with inspiration, information and resources and to build bridges between the Church and the rugby community.

 

 

The Methodist Church
March 2015
World Church Relationships
The Methodist Church

A Touch of Hope

  

   

The Revd Clive Fowle was recently awarded the Krunoslav Sukic Award for the promotion of nonviolence, peace-building and human rights by the Centre for Peace, Nonviolence and Human Rights in Osijek, Croatia. Read more

  

Young People Assemble

    

 

A boatload of young people berths at dusk at Kokeqolo wharf after travelling by sea for almost five hours from Choiseul; a common sight during the start of the Convention due to the remoteness of some of our outlying islands. Read more

March for Free Speech

   

The Rt Revd Humphrey S Peters, of the Church of Pakistan, recently led various Christian political leaders, elders, and religious leaders in condemning the publication of blasphemous cartoons by the French media. Read more

 

My Testimony

 

Herold Ambrocio, a Methodist minister from Perú and a student at Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana – the Latin American Bible University, shares this powerful testimony. Read more

"Thank you"

   

Graeme Halls, chair of the Nationals in Mission Appointments stream of the Connexional Grants Committee, represented the Methodist Church at the United Church in Zambia's fiftieth anniversary celebrations. Read more

      

Mission Partner news

 

Glen and Wendy Lund are mission partners in Zambia, where Glen is a lecturer at the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) Theological College. They share this experience from one of their students.

Read more

 

The Methodist Church
March 2015
The Buzz
 Issue 140
The Methodist Church

Karen BurkeHello everyone and welcome to the Buzz.

The Buzz is a great resource that brings the whole Methodist Connexion together and allows us to share what's happening in our districts, circuits, churches and church groups. If you have any stories you would like to share, which illustrate how your church is working out the four aspects of Our Calling and living out discipleship shaped for mission, then please get in touch with me. If you wish to change or delete your details please scroll to the foot of this page.

                         

You can advertise your church, circuit or district events and news on the Connexional Noticeboard on the Methodist Church website. Here's the link: www.methodist.org.uk/events    

                         

After you've held your event, do let me know how it went. Your ideas can encourage and inspire others to try something similar and I'm sure the latest stories below will do just that. The contacts will be pleased to give you more information.

                         

If you include a link to the Buzz from your own church website, the link to the latest edition will always be: www.methodist.org.uk/latestbuzz  A plain text version of the Buzz can be found here.

                         

Please accept our apologies that in the last edition of the Buzz, the Bentley Methodist Church referred to in the Learning and Caring Story was in the Walsall Circuit, not the Doncaster Circuit.

 

I should add that this will be the last edition of the Buzz with me as editor as I am moving on to pastures new. Thank you so much for sending me your stories over the years. Although I have not been able to publish every single one, I can assure you that they have all been read and I am sure that the next editor of the Buzz will continue to read them all too.

 

All the best!

 

Karen Burke

 
WORSHIP - Mosaic Church
Endike Methodist Church - York and Hull District
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In December 2013, Mark and Deana Button took on the leadership of Endike Methodist Church in Hull as part of the work of the Pioneer Connexion partnership between the Methodist Church and the Pioneer Network. Their work is jointly funded by the York and Hull District, Hull West Circuit and Pioneer Trust.

 

In January this year, the church began a new phase in its journey, relaunching as Mosaic Church. The Revd Ken Howcroft, President of the Conference, and Gill Dascombe, Vice-President of the Conference, were in attendance at the Friday evening launch, as were the Revd Stephen Burgess, District Chair of York and Hull, and the Revd Dave Perry, Superintendent of Hull West Circuit.

 

Nigel Bailey, Partnership Development Director of the Pioneer Network, said: "The launch was a lively affair with about one hundred people coming from all around the country to show their support. The new start will provide fresh hope and inspiration for the membership and help to make new contacts and opportunities for connecting with the community around about. Worship is in a modern style and Mark and Deana have also launched a new creche and a children’s program for 4-11 year olds."

 

Much work has gone on over the past year and to modernise the worship space. A new kitchen-café area has also been completed. You can find out more about Mosaic Church and their vision for the future here.

 

  

Email: Nigel Bailey nigelbailey@me.com

 
LEARNING AND CARING - Caring for the planet
Methodist Schools
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Thirty year five and six students made history recently and made a statement about the planet while they were about it.

    

For the first time, students from the three Methodist schools in the Canterbury area (Boughton-under Blean, St Peter's Canterbury and Kent College Canterbury) came together to take part in an art day supported by World AIMS (part of All We Can).

    

The theme for the day was Planet Earth. The pupils researched forms of wildlife in danger of extinction because of climate change, creating artwork to demonstrate their understanding.

    

The Revd Dr Paul Glass, Chaplain of Kent College and Methodist Schools Visitor, said: "The Canterbury and East Kent Circuit is the only circuit in the Connexion to have both maintained and residential Methodist Schools within it. This pioneering work between MAST (Methodist Academies and Schools Trust) and MIST (Methodist Independent Schools Trust) schools pushes forward the continued working together that was a key recommendation of the Methodist Education Commission report. It's been fantastic to work with colleagues in All We Can and the three schools in the circuit to create this wonderful opportunity to raise some really important issues."

    

Email: The Revd Dr Paul Glass pglass@kentcollege.co.uk

 
EVANGELISM - Beacon of the community
Erdington Methodist Church - Sutton Park Circuit
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The Erdington Methodist Church in the Sutton Park Circuit has celebrated the completion of the major part of its vision project. The church's two-fold aim was to transform the drab, 1970's building, where no one could find the front door, into one that stood out, proclaiming the Christian message and welcoming everyone in the community.  

 

Hilary Price, Trustee of Erdington Methodist Church in North Birmingham, said: "There is more to be done but we have a new, visible entrance, disabled ramp and path with lighting up to the entrance. The red brick wall is rendered in cream and a new cross and large signage tell everyone who we are. Inside, an extended foyer will provide a café area to be able to offer refreshment and friendship in a social setting, to all who want to visit during the week."

.

The church held a Community Day to celebrate the refurbishment with free teas, coffee and biscuits. The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Shafique Shah, opened the event and a group of Scouts helped him cut the ribbon.

 

"The number of people who came overwhelmed us," said Hilary Price. "The cost of the bacon baps meant that they were very popular! We were also pleased to welcome the Erdington MP, Jack Dromey, and local councillors who had helped us with an award from Community First."

 

The Veolia Environmental Trust made a contribution to the project. Derek Goodenough, Chair of the Veolia Environmental Trustees, and his wife, Pam, were there to enjoy the day.

        

Email: Hilary Price a1revsmum@blueyonder.co.uk

 

    SERVICE - Local John Lewis store supports ‘Community Kitchen’ 

                                                project

                     Stratton Methodist Church – North Wiltshire Circuit

 

image 4 alt

Stratton Church was pleased to receive a £1,000 donation from the town’s John Lewis store towards its community kitchen project.

The people who were part of the project were delighted that John Lewis chose to support it. The church funded the project itself and was committed to making it a free service to all who come.

The Revd Debbie Hodgson said: "Volunteers from the church work hard each month to offer hot meals, and more, to anyone in the community who would like to join them. This is very intentional as a way to build relationships rather than simply supplying a need."

The project began three years ago, with breakfast and a cooked lunch on offer to everyone, no questions asked. Folk from the Salvation Army hostel in the town centre are among those who are brought in a minibus to be able to share in all that is on offer. Volunteers also share in the meals with those who come as a way of providing company and someone to talk to.

Email: The Revd Debbie Hodgson debbie.hodgson@methodist.org.uk

 

The Methodist Church 
January 2015
The Buzz
 Issue 138
The Methodist Church

Karen BurkeHappy New Year everyone and welcome to the Buzz! 

The Buzz is a great resource that brings the whole Methodist Connexion together and allows us to share what's happening in our districts, circuits, churches and church groups. If you have any stories you would like to share, which illustrate how your church is working out the four aspects of Our Calling and living out discipleship shaped for mission, then please get in touch with me. If you wish to change or delete your details please scroll to the foot of this page. 

You can advertise your church, circuit or district events and news on the Connexional Noticeboard on the Methodist Church website. Here's the link: www.methodist.org.uk/events    

After you've held your event, do let me know how it went. Your ideas can encourage and inspire others to try something similar and I'm sure the latest stories below will do just that. The contacts will be pleased to give you more information. 

If you include a link to the Buzz from your own church website, the link to the latest edition will always be: www.methodist.org.uk/latestbuzz A plain text version of the Buzz can be found here

Karen Burke

 

               WORSHIP - Light in the Darkness Aspects of Advent

               Wealdstone Methodist Church, Harrow and Hillingdon Circuit

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During the first week of Advent, Wealdstone Methodist Church stacked up the church's chairs in order to create a space in which to set up prayer centres.

  

Each centre explored one focus of Advent through words, pictures, poems, colours and Bible texts. A single candle shone in the centre.

 

Helen Schoon, church member and local preacher in the Harrow and Hillingdon Circuit, said: "Themes for reflection included Waiting, Watching, Preparation, Penitence, Hope, Light and God’s Coming to the World.

  

"Open every day from Monday to Saturday, this offered everyone time and space to pause and explore the season of Advent." The week came to a close with a service of evening prayer.

  

Email: David and Bronwyn Milne themilnes@sky.com

 
                   LEARNING AND CARING - Nativity Boxes 
                Sheldon Road Methodist Church, Chippenham Circuit
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The congregation of Sheldon Road Methodist Church rose to the challenge when their minister, the Revd David Alderman, handed out 100 cardboard boxes, asking people to create a nativity scene inside.

The idea was to fill the church premises with cardboard boxes so people could “peek” inside and see the Christmas family.

“I have been amazed at the inventiveness and the way people have embraced the challenge,” said David. “People have not stopped talking about it since I handed out the boxes. One person told me that she had to tell her husband that he couldn’t spend that amount of money decorating a cardboard box! Another person ordered his camels on the internet. Such has been the demand for our nativity boxes that we have had to order over 100 more.”

 

The wider community was invited to make nativity boxes as part of the church Advent preparation day in a joint venture with Christians Against Poverty (CAP).

The church hosted an afternoon, which included interactive prayer stations based on the song "12 days of Christmas" as well as the screening of the film “The Cross” and craft activities.

Email: David Alderman david.alderman@methodist.org.uk

 

EVANGELISM - How cakes, cappuccino and chocolate charm customers at Copplestone’s cafe

                     Copplestone Methodist Church, Ringsash Circuit, Devon

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If you drive along the A377 in mid-Devon towards Barnstaple, three miles after leaving Crediton you will see a cross in the village of Copplestone. It’s a striking pillar 12 feet high with 1,000-year-old carvings. Some say it marks the place where Putta, Bishop of Devon, was murdered in 905.

  

These days things are quieter in Copplestone and bishops are treated with proper respect. A few metres from the cross, opposite the Cross Hotel, you will find Copplestone Methodist Church – the only place of worship in the village. If you come to Copplestone on any Thursday morning between 9am and midday, you will find the main church transformed into a cheerful and attractive café serving a wide range of drinks: cappuccino, latte, mocha, hot chocolate, or just a plain filter coffee or a cup of breakfast tea, unless of course you prefer a speciality or fruit tea.

  

Roger Steer, local preacher and cake baker at the café, said: "The café is famous for its range of fabulous home baked cakes, though toasted teacakes also have a loyal following.Over the past three years, the café has become an established part of the life of Copplestone village. Children can play in a soft play area while their mums and dads, and people of all ages, return week after week to chat. No charge is made for the drinks or cakes but donations are invited and the profits are given to a different local charity every month." 

  

Some people, whose first introduction to the church was through the café, have begun to attend the Sunday worship services. On the first Tuesday of each month, lunches are served and these, too, are a popular part of life in the village, particularly for the older community. If you would like to know more about Copplestone Methodists’ successful café, you can visit the website www.copplestonechurch.org.uk.

  

  

  

Email: Debbie Pinhey: debulizer@hotmail.com

 
SERVICE - Oldest church member opens new chapel room
St Andrew's Methodist Church, Sheringham
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The blessing of the newly refurbished side chapel at St Andrew's Methodist Church, Sheringham, took place on St Andrew's Day last year. Following a reading and prayer by the Revd David Philo,  St Andrew's oldest church member, 95-year-old Doris West, cut the ribbon to formally open the new side chapel.

The side chapel has been transformed into an area suitable for quiet reflection, prayer, bible study. It's always open to the community. A stunning feature of the refurbished chapel is the new stained glass window, depicting the cross on Beeston Hill overlooking the sea and the town, surrounded by poppies.  

The design for the window was created by church member, Kim Wordie. Artwork by other church members is also on display and reading material is available for anyone who uses the area.    

Rosa West, secretary of St Andrew's, said: "We give our grateful thanks to church members Kim Wordie, Helen Barnwell and Helen Middleton for their vision for this area; to local artist Colin Seals for transforming Kim's design for the window into the beautiful feature and to Graham White and other church members for all their work. We also give thanks to Doris West for opening the chapel. Mrs West is a lifelong Methodist and member of the former Station Road chapel before the building of St Andrew's in 1968."

Church members were asked for come up with names for the "new look" area, electing the name "The Poppy Room". There will soon be a box of toys for the enjoyment of younger church visitors.

Email: Rosa West riwest19@msn.com
 
  
The Buzz needs 'good news' stories from you! 

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Action for children
 
 
January News from Action for Children
Hello Jerry! Are you ready for a new challenge? 

2015 is upon us, and we're all keen to keep to our New Year's resolutions - so what will your challenge be? Whether you want to take on a marathon or a bike ride, or whether you'd prefer to help out behind the scenes as a volunteer, we've got opportunities for you to start 2015 off right!

New Year. New Challenge.
 

With the start of a new year, you might be looking for a new challenge. Lucky for you, we have a full calendar of exciting events for 2015 across the UK; whether you’re a beginner or an expert, we have something for everyone.  

If cycling is your new challenge, we have places in RideLondon 100. Or maybe you’d like to try long-distance running in the Great North Run or the Brighton and Edinburgh Marathons? Or perhaps you’d like to do something more extreme...

Whatever your challenge, we'd love to support you. So email us at challenge@actionforchildren.org.uk today.

Read more...  Forward Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 
Join our Volunteering Squad!

Maybe you'd rather get involved behind the scenes? 

Action for Children hosts, or is involved in, a large number of fantastic events each year - including big, exciting fundraising events like Byte Night and the London Marathon. By joining our Event Volunteering Squad, you can help us at these events and make a real difference.

Please email eventvolunteers@actionforchildren.org.uk with “I’m in” as the subject if you’d like to get involved.

Read more...  Forward Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Take Action. Campaign With Us.


Our latest report and campaign is called Paying the Price: We want to raise concerns about young people who have not learnt about money in the usual way – through school or home – because they aren’t positive places for them.

We are calling on governments across the UK to prevent vulnerable young people from experiencing financial difficulties. Help us bring this hidden problem out into the open. Help us campaign for positive change today.

Read more...  Forward Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
And Finally... A Thank You From our CEO

For some families in the UK, Christmas can be a stressful time of year. That's why our Christmas appeal is so important. We want to make sure that every child, family and young person feels safe, happy and loved - the whole year round.

Our CEO, Sir Tony Hawkhead, was so moved by your responses to this year's Christmas appeal that he wanted to thank you himself. Watch his video to hear about how your donations will keep children safe in 2015.

  Forward Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

 

The Methodist Church 
December 2014

Can't read this? Click here 

E-News
The Methodist Church

Make space for Jesus this Christmas

 

The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have urged people to make space in their homes and lives for Jesus this Christmas.

 

In their Christmas message, the Revd Ken Howcroft and Ms Gill Dascombe asks people to consider what kind of dinner guest Jesus might be.

 

You can read their message in full here. Alternatively you can listen to it.

In Brief

Love your neighbour: think, pray, vote 

Demand for the Love your neighbour: think, pray, vote conference has been incredible, with workshop spaces filled in under a month! As such, the Joint Public Issues Team has worked with Coventry Central Hall staff to make 200 additional tickets available to hear the keynote address given by Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Taking place on Saturday 21 February 2015, the day starts at 10.30am. Keynote ticketholders will be able to participate in the opening worship, followed by the keynote address and time for questions and answers with Archbishop Welby, with this session finishing at 11.45am.


Go here to find out more about Love your neighbour: Think, Pray, Vote - and to book your keynote ticket.
Feeding Britain

Earlier this month, the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the United Kingdom launched a report entitled Feeding Britain.

The report makes wide-ranging recommendations aiming to eliminate hunger in the UK by 2020, from making easier the redistribution of surplus food and shoring up foodbanks to tackling the poverty premium and calling for a more responsive benefits system.

You can read an initial reflection of the report on the Joint Public Issues Team blog.
Mental health matters (5-7 June, Cliff College) 

Mental health matters is a conference that aims to equip Methodists to understand issues of mental health, reflect theologically on the issue, and find ways to support those affected. In 2015, the theme of the conference will be ‘Equipping churches to respond’ and will include keynotes and workshops covering mental health issues experienced by children and young people, adults and the elderly. 

For more details, visit mental health matters.

People, places, possibilities ...

   

The 2015 Joint Property Strategy Group roadshows are aimed at local church officers, circuit/district property officers and those with an interest in mission within their communities. They are designed to encourage participants in the creative use of church buildings, motivate those already engaged or willing to engage in this work, show models for change and also to enable a wider discussion in terms of mission within the community.

 

Visit the pages on the Methodist website for more details on dates, venues and registration

 

For further information, contact Kim Medford-Vassell.

Join the One Programme 

The One Programme is a paid year for young people aged 16 to 23. One Programme Participants (OPPs) are paid to work an average of 15 hours a week, the majority of which is spent working in a local project with some hours ‘banked’ and used for connexional work and training. Each year the Methodist Church funds ten placements for OPPs, which are selected by a panel of young people and key workers following an application process. 

Churches and projects that have a link to the Methodist Church are invited to apply to host a young person on placement with the One Programme. We are currently searching for hosts for next year, which will run from September 2015 to August 2016.

Download more details from the Methodist Children and Youth website. The deadline for applications is Friday 6 March 2015.

A major step in Anglican Methodist unity

        

The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have welcomed a major step towards in Anglican-Methodist unity. Last month, the Church of England's General Synod debated a report on the Covenant between the two Churches and voted overwhelmingly in favour of its recommendations. The recommendations, which include steps towards greater interchangeability of ministries, were also overwhelmingly passed by the Methodist Conference this summer.

 

Discover more about this here

Free table talk app 

 

Table talk for Christmas is an all age family game that creates space for friends and family to explore the big and not-so-big questions of the Christmas story. Players are given an opportunity to articulate their views and engage with the opinions of others. The resource was written by Lucy Moore (Messy Church), the Revd Jo Cox and Paul Griffiths. 


The app is currently free to download - through Google Play (for Android devices) and at the App Store.

The right time, the right place...

        

Thank you to the many churches who remember Action for Children at Christmastime by holding special services, having collections, carol singing and organising events. The charity is profoundly grateful for this support and invite you to visit their website to find their worship resources, The right time, the right place, along with other materials to support your Christmas activities. You can also call their Supporter Care Team on 0300 123 2112.

Dates in January

4  Covenant Sunday

18   Homelessness Sunday

18  Start of Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity

25  End of Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity

27  Holocaust Memorial Day

 

What happened at last month's 3Generate?
Young Methodists tackled political issues and elected Craig Gaffney as the Church's Youth President for 2015/16 last weekend. Find out more about what went on at 3Generate and about Craig here.

World Church news

The latest World Church Relationship bulletinfeatures:

• an update on the floods in Managua, Nicaragua

• the relocation of villagers from Vunidogoloa, Fiji

• a reflection from a mission partner in Cameroon, on the logic of fear.

Summer fellowship in Manchester

The Manchester Wesley Research Centre is now inviting applications for their summer 2015 Visiting Fellow Programme. In addition to accommodation, they are offering a modest weekly stipend to the fellowship recipient.

Applications are due by 31 January and you can find out more here.

Building a politics of Hope (24 February, London)

From foodbanks to education, economic justice to community empowerment, faith-based organisations are playing an increasingly central role in local communities. In the run-up to the general election, this conference offers a chance for faith and community leaders, faith-based organisations and public policy makers to explore the impact of faith-based organisations; how they relate to ‘secular’ authorities; emerging models of political leadership and engagement.


Organised by the Joint Public Issues Team in collaboration with the William Temple Foundation and the Church Urban Fund, the day takes place at St Bride Foundation, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EQ from 10.00am-6.30pm.

Tickets costs £15. Book your ticket here.

Let us play

In March 2015, Cliff College is introducing a brand new weekend course exploring issues of spirituality and play in children. The weekend should be helpful for those who work with or alongside children, especially focusing on 5-11 year olds. It's an ideal introduction to issues of child spirituality, and for those exploring the healing and therapeutic aspects of play with children. More details are available here.

Easter School in Cambridge

Wesley House, Cambridge, is now taking bookings for its Easter School 2015.

 

This is an opportunity for preachers and worship leaders to hear from and quiz leading academics on the theology of the Passion. With time for devotions and reflections as well, it’s set to be a really inspiring Holy Week course.

 

Find out more here.

Seeking a lead editor/writer

The Connexional Team is recruiting a lead editor/writer for a six-month contract to manage the editorial unit and to provide an editorial, proofreading and writing service for the Methodist Church’s print and electronic publications. The closing date fior applications is 12 noon on Monday 5 January 2015..

A word version of E-news is available by  clicking here
If you have any suggestions for stories or comments about E-News please contact newseditor@methodistchurch.org.uk 

 

The Methodist Church
December 2014
World Church Relationships
The Methodist Church

Managua floods: an update

 

The World Mission Fund recently agreed a grant of £9,310 for the Methodist Church in Nicaragua, to help provide emergency relief to people affected by heavy rainfall in Managua. Read more

Students against climate change

 

Students at the United Church in Papua New Guinea’s School of Theology and Mission recently released a public statement on the issue of climate change.


Read more

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation!

 

The villagers of Vunidogoloa, Fiji, are settling into new homes on a hillside on Fiji’s second largest island, Vanua Levu. 

 

Every day, they give thanks to God for their many blessings. Read more

Signs of hope

 

NMA postholder Ricardo Moraleja is the general coordinator of the National Department of Youth Ministry in the Iglesia Evangelica Española.

 

"It’s comforting to see that the group is slowly growing, with five new members this year," says Ricardo. “We are also happy that in Cataluña, the group of young people is meeting once more."

 

Read more

Devastation continues to hamper relief

 

A news update from mission partners Cati and Malcolm Ramsey in Nepal where last month a devastating landslide completely destroyed a mountain village killing 150 people.

 

Read more

Bikes deadlier than snakes

 

A reflection from Daniel Pratt-Morris Chapman, a mission partner in Cameroon, on the logic of fear.

 

Read more

Donate to the World Mission Fund

 

Youth work is a priority for NMA postholder Igor Petrovich Gladkih from the United Methodist Church in Eurasia – Russia. The Church is establishing and developing ministry to young people through a number of creative means – including Alpha courses, outdoor events, puppet theatre, cartoon nights and summer camps.

 

You can support projects like this by donating online at www.justgiving.com/mcfworldmission/donate.

Prayer Points

 

Pray for situations and people across the globe.

 

Read more

 

If you have any thoughts or comments about the World Church Bulletin we would love to hear from you! Please email wcr.admin@methodistchurch.org.uk.
   

Unsubscribe  Subscribe to other newsletters from the Methodist Church

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Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR 020 7486 5501 (Help Desk) www.methodist.org.uk
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The Methodist Church
December 2014
The Buzz
 Issue 137
The Methodist Church

Karen BurkeHello everyone and welcome to the Buzz.

The Buzz is a great resource that brings the whole Methodist Connexion together and allows us to share what's happening in our districts, circuits, churches and church groups. If you have any stories you would like to share, which illustrate how your church is working out the four aspects of Our Calling and living out discipleship shaped for mission, then please get in touch with me. If you wish to change or delete your details please scroll to the foot of this page.

You can advertise your church, circuit or district events and news on the Connexional Noticeboard on the Methodist Church website. Here's the link: www.methodist.org.uk/events    

After you've held your event, do let me know how it went. Your ideas can encourage and inspire others to try something similar and I'm sure the latest stories below will do just that. The contacts will be pleased to give you more information.

If you include a link to the Buzz from your own church website, the link to the latest edition will always be: www.methodist.org.uk/latestbuzz A plain text version of the Buzz can be found here.

Karen Burke

 
WORSHIP - Modern Mission - Poetry for the housebound
Wye Methodist Church, Kent
image 1 alt

Wye Methodist Church is a small worshipping community situated in a village in Kent. The listed chapel hosts many community and ecumenical groups as well as the "tea service" – an innovative style of worship with cake.

 

Recently, the church offered a bursary for a community service or social welfare project. It was eventually awarded to Robert Graham for his unusual and imaginative proposal which, in fact, met both criteria.

 

Robert writes poetry. "I try to bring spoken, uplifting poetry and listening skills to places which people find it challenging or impossible to leave," he said. "I aim to bring this poetry back into the everyday, in a non-threatening, safe, social, and enjoyable environment. In two words, 'poetry calling'."

 

One of his poems is about a centipede who sets about putting on 50 pairs of wellingtons after hearing that rain is expected. But when the centipede finally picks up his umbrella and steps outside, he discovers that the sun is shining.

 

"I visit people who are housebound or who find it difficult to get about," Robert said. His unusual version of pastoral care has been warmly welcomed by people in the community.

 

Email: Philip Luscombe: pl230@cam.ac.uk

 
LEARNING AND CARING - The listening ear project
Gillingham Methodist Church, Kent

image 2 alt

For a year now, Gillingham Methodist Church has been running combined therapy and exercise sessions for anyone with emotional issues. As well as lending a non-judgmental, listening ear, the open-door sessions offer chair exercise classes for people suffering from chronic pains.  

Medway Community Healthcare assisted with the set-up, providing a defibrillator, basic "life support" training for volunteers and 25 therapy balls through their charitable arm, Medway Cares.

 

Colin Waldock, a local preacher in training, said: "Whilst my wife and I are both experienced physiotherapists, our other volunteers are now coming into their own. Four or five of them have successfully led the relaxation element of the exercise class. Perhaps the most exciting part is that this year we are holding a carol service for the group on a Friday just before Christmas.

 

"It has been our pleasure to be asked to pray for some folk on occasion. Recently, the questions started to involve God, which gives us the opportunity to share our witness with a group of people who do not attend church regularly or have a faith."

 

The church has access to two counsellors who also attend the sessions.

   

                            Email: Colin Waldock colinwaldock22@gmail.com

 

                                         EVANGELISM - John Wesley Mural

                                       New Romney Methodist Church, Kent

image 3 alt

A chemist shop has recently been refurbished in the little town of New Romney in Kent and, to mark the event, a local artist painted a mural on the wall adjacent to the Methodist church. The mural depicts John Wesley who opened London's first free clinic and dispensary in 1745.

 

Terry Preston, a circuit steward and local preacher in the South Kent Circuit, said: "In the time of John Wesley, there were very few skilled doctors around, and the poor could not afford to consult them. Wesley employed an apothecary and a surgeon so that the poor could obtain treatment and medicines.

 

"In 1747, Wesley produced a little book which proved more popular than anything else he wrote. It was called 'Primitive Physick' or 'An Essay on the National Method of Curing Most Diseases'. This was a collection of popular remedies for all kinds of illness. Many of his cures seem very strange to us today: bruises were to be treated with treacle spread on brown paper, and boldness could be cured by rubbing the scalp with a mixture of honey and onions. But he also recommended fresh air, exercise and simple food."

 

The mural has given Methodists in New Romney the opportunity to explain who John Wesley was to people living in the local area.

 

 

Email: Terry PrestonTPre220889@aol.com

 
 

                    SERVICE - Remembering World War One

    Aire and Calder Methodist Circuit and Christ Church URC, Castleford

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Between Saturday 8 November and Tuesday 11 November, Kippax Methodist Church hosted a community event to remember the people of Kippax and the surrounding area who fought in World War One.

 

An exhibition retold the stories of the men recorded on Kippax and Ledston Luck’s War Memorial, as well as the story of a local woman who was killed while working in a munitions factory.

 

Schools and youth groups from the neighbouring area provided musical entertainment and poetry recitals throughout the weekend. There was also the opportunity to sample food made from recipes of the era.

 

The Revd Andrew Checkley said: "The Sunday evening service focused on specific people who are recorded on the memorial. They included the youngest - a sailor aged just 19 - who was the first to be killed; the men killed on the first day of The Battle of the Somme; a munitions worker and the last man to be killed, just six days before the end of hostilities."

 

A candle was lit for each of the 63 men who were killed in the World War One. On the Monday, more than 100 pupils from the local primary schools viewed the exhibits. They brought wreaths that they laid on the graves of the men buried in St Mary’s churchyard. More than 300 people visited the exhibition on Saturday and Sunday.

 

The event culminated on Tuesday with 35 people congregating to observe the two minutes silence. Funding from the Kippax Parish Council, Leeds City Council, Outer East Community Committee, as well as individuals, made the event possible. Donations were invited for The Royal British Legion and SSAFA (Armed Forces charity).

 

Email: Andrew Checkley revacheckley@btinternet.com

 
  
The Buzz needs 'good news' stories from you!

Contact burkek@methodistchurch.org.uk if you have a story for the Buzz 

Sign up for your e-mail copy of the Buzz at www.methodist.org.uk/signup

 

The Methodist Church
December 2014
Methodist Publishing

Welcome to the December 2014 edition of Methodist Publishing News

                                               

Celebrate the second half of life, say the Church of England and the Methodist Church            

                                          

“Often when we talk about the demographic of church attendance, we concern ourselves more with those who are not within our church communities than with celebrating and resourcing those who are. Seasons of My Soul is a creative way of redressing this balance. It offers us an opportunity to explore themes which can often be avoided but which, when unpacked, can lead to the most amazing possibilities for us all.” Doug Swanney, Connexional Secretary for the Methodist Church.

          

Seasons of My Soul has been published jointly by the Church of England and the Methodist Church. Through creative discussion material it offers those of us in the ‘second half of life’ a chance to explore and share with one another key aspects of our lives and experiences. It focuses on eight themes for discussion: identity, memories, transition times, wisdom, roles and relationships, forgiveness and reconciliation, death and dying, and the celebration of life. Each theme is a standalone session so you can choose whichever theme you like, mix and match the order or follow them as they are presented.

       

The resource can be used flexibly in different group or ministry contexts: from home, house or fellowship groups to Lent and Advent courses or quiet days and retreats. There is plenty of material which can be used individually and for further reflection as well.

            

You can view sample pages here or order online (priced £8.99 plus p&p).

    

Advent, Christmas and Easter

Now that Advent is upon us and the countdown to Christmas has begun, you will find below details of some seasonal titles including the new edition of the ever popular A Gift of Christmas, as well as the Advent Offering. And for those of you who are already thinking ahead to the new year, the Easter Offering 2015 materials are now available. 

            

If you have any queries or would like to place an order please contact our colleagues at Norwich Books and Music on 0845 017 8220 or resources@methodistchurch.org.uk. (Postage and packing charges apply to all orders including non-priced items.)

 

Please be aware that the last date for the despatch of orders before Christmas is 19 December. (The last orders will go out at midday.) Norwich Books and Music will be closing on the 24 December at midday and will re-open on 2 January.

   

Wishing you a happy Christmas and peaceful new year

                                               

Suzanne Johnson

Marketing Coordinator

Methodist Publishing             

New Releases

Downloads

   

A Gift of Christmas – ebook and powerpoint editions of the new edition of the charmingly illustrated booklet are now available. 

   

Advent Offering 2014 – it's not too late to hold an Advent Offering to support the work of various mission-based projects all over Britain. Check out the downloadable worship resources.

   

Easter Offering 2015 – and it's not too early to start planning your Easter Offering for next year. All the downloadable worship resources are here.

    

Print publications

A Gift of Christmas

£5 (plus p&p) for pack of 50
Order now

Seasons of My Soul
£8.99 (plus p&p)
Order now

Methodist Diary 2015
£7 inc VAT (plus p&p)
Order now

   

Other editions:
Interleaved
£10 inc VAT (plus p&p)
Order now


Personal Organiser Inserts
£10 inc VAT (plus p&p)
Order now

Mental Health Cards
Children (under 12 years)

£2.50 (plus p&p) for pack
of ten
Order now

Other editions:
Young People (12-18 years)
Order now

 

Young Adults (18-30 years)

Order now

 

Youth Workers

Order now

Our Calling and Priorities
Revised Edition

£5 (plus p&p) for pack of 50
Order now


Other editions:
Welsh Revised Edition
£5 (plus p&p) for pack of 50
Order now

  

Methodist Heritage Handbook 2015/2016
£0 (£2.50 p&p)
Order now

Mission Matters
Change (Autumn/Winter 2014)

£0 (£2.50 p&p)
Order now

Easter Offering 2015
Order of Service

£2.50 (plus p&p) for pack
of ten
Order now


Other resources include:
Leader's Notes
Order now

 

Publicity Poster

Order now

 

Collection Envelope

Order now

  

Rainbow  
Winter 2014

£0 (£2.50 p&p)
Order now

Comi

 

The Methodist Church
November 2014

Can't read this? Click here 

E-News
The Methodist Church

Follow 3Generate on 3GenTV

3Generate, the Methodist Children and Youth Assembly takes place this weekend.

You can keep in touch with what's happening through its own YouTube channel 3GenerateTV. Videos will be regularly uploaded to keep everyone across the Methodist Connexion informed about the discussions taking place and the decisions that need to be made.

Through social media (Twitter: @3Generate2014 #3Gen), the elected 3Gen Reps (Twitter: @3GenReps) and the Methodist Youth President (Twitter: @YouthPresident), children and young people can add their voices to the conversation.

 

The It’s Not Fair

As part of 3GenTV, Rhema Theatre has permitted a livestreaming of its production of The It's Not Fair, a play all about the issue of trafficking, which is a major focus of the weekend. To watch just visit the 3GenTV UStream page on Saturday 15 November. The play will be broadcast from 4.00-5.45pm. (The page will go live about 30 minutes ahead of the show's broadcast.)

Unfortunately we aren't able to load the production on to the 3GenTV YouTube channel, so this is a once-only opportunity, but there will be plenty of other interesting videos uploaded for you to watch!

For more information about 3GenTV and the 3Gen Big Weekender resource - which is designed to help you deliver 3Generate locally - click here.

In Brief

Building Hope (Prisons Week: 16-22 November)

Prisons Week will take place from 16 to 22 November and this year's theme is Building Hope. It's an opportunity to pray for and raise awareness of the needs of prisoners and their families, victims of offenders, prisons staff and all those who care.


The Revd Dr Stan Brown, the Methodist Church's church and community development officer who specialises in the support of chaplaincies, said, “Prisons Week is a wonderful opportunity to remember the needs of those in prison, their families, prison staff and the victims of offenders. It’s also a time when we can celebrate and support the work of our prison chaplaincy teams. There are currently 56 Methodist prison chaplains working across 58 institutions – as well as the many people who volunteer to help prison chaplaincy work. Prison chaplaincy now reaches out into the community with a network of community chaplaincies which continue to support ex-prisoners, helping them to find new direction in their lives and reducing re-offending.  So there are opportunities for local churches to become involved in this wider work.”

Find out more and check out resources here.

Holiness

Wesley House Cambridge plans to launch its new, international journal, Holiness, in time for Pentecost 2015. The journal will appear three times a year, and will be available online with free access for all readers. No subscription is payable, but readers can register to receive an email prompt when each issue is published.

Aimed at an intelligent readership with Methodist/Wesleyan sympathies and interests, Holiness welcomes proposals for contributions from scholars and practitioners worldwide. It will include an academic peer-reviewed section, but also seeks shorter articles that may arise from sabbatical studies or other theological reflection on practice, along with creative contributions such as poetry, prayers and devotional audio files. There will be a regular column: ‘What have the sermons of John Wesley ever done for us?’ as well as book and film reviews.

Click here to discover more.

Doing all we can for Ebola-hit Africa

Methodist charity All We Can is stepping up its response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Since the Ebola outbreak was confirmed in January, over 5,000 people have died as the deadly virus has spread. Find out more and donate to All We Can's appeal here.

 

Still unclear on how Ebola spreads? The United Methodist Church has produced this fantastic animation to dispel the myths. (Please note that you may find some parts of this the video upsetting).

Celebrate the second half of life

In today’s society, growing older is often seen as a reason for sadness or regret. But the Church of England and the Methodist Church have published a new resource which urges Christians to celebrate and affirm the ‘second half of life’.

Through creative discussion material Seasons of My Soul offers people a chance to explore and share with one another key aspects of their lives and experiences. It focuses on eight themes for discussion; identity, memories, transition times, wisdom, roles and relationships, forgiveness and reconciliation, death and dying, and the celebration of life.

For more details click here, or you can order copies from Methodist Publishing. Copies cost £8.99 each (plus p&p).

Promoting mental health in young people

Mental health is an issue of growing concern among children, young people and those who work with them.

The Methodist Children and Youth Team has joined up with Young Minds to provide a series of four age-specific cards for children (aged under 12 years), young people (12-18), young adults (18-30), as well as youth workers. These portable and pocket-sized cards are available in packs of ten.

 

Each provides tips on how to stay mentally healthy and information on where to get help. Price £2.50 for 10 cards (plus p&p).

Methodist Summer Fellowship: 1-7 August 2015, Swanwick

The Methodist Summer Fellowship happens every two years at The Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire, providing a week of friendship, prayer, listening, reflection, conversation and fun. This holiday aims to provide the environment, support and stimulation for personal and spiritual refreshment and growth.

Next year it will run from 1-7 August, with community theologian Ann Morisy, Director of Citizens UK and campaigner for the Living Wage Neil Jameson, and journalist and Head of Media at the Evangelical Alliance Chine Mbubaegbu.  Bible Studies will be led by the Revd Dr Calvin Samuel, Director of the Wesley Study Centre, Durham.

For more details go to the Methodist Summer Fellowship website.

Dates in December

1    World AIDS Day
25  Christmas Day (Thurs)

Volunteer position - Lead Connexional Treasurer

The Methodist Church is seeking a volunteer with significant financial expertise to act as the Lead Connexional Treasurer. The Connexional Treasurers oversee investment and reserves policies for a wide range of general, restricted and designated funds that form the Consolidated Accounts of the Methodist Council.

 

The closing date for applications is Monday 15 December. Click here for more details, or for an informal chat about the role call Laura Marcus on 0207 467 3788.

Volunteer position - Methodist Council Investment Committee and Methodist Council Audit Committee

Do you have an active interest and experience in business, finance or investment management?

The Methodist Church is looking for three suitably qualified volunteers to serve on the Methodist Council’s Investment Committee and the Methodist Council’s Audit Committee. The roles involve supervision of the investment management of the marketable assets under the managing trusteeship of the Methodist Council.

Click here for more details. (Closing date: Monday 8 December 2014)

Faith in Politicians?

The Joint Public Issues Team asked Christian young people about their attitudes to voting and politics. The young people were clear - they cared about politics, their faith had a major impact on how they voted - but they didn't think their voices were heard or have faith that politicians would deliver positive change. Find out more here.

 

There are still places available for those Under 25 to attend the day conference Love Your Neighbour: Think, Pray, Vote in Coventry on Saturday 21 February 2015.

A gift of Christmas

This new 16-page booklet celebrates the birth of Jesus with Bible passages describing the details of the nativity, verses from Singing the Faith and thought-provoking illustrations. Price: £5.00 for 50 copies (plus p&p).

 

You can order copies from Methodist Publishing.

Make an extraordinary difference this Christmas

Extraordinary gifts from All We Can are practical presents that will help people in some of the world’s poorest communities to become all that they can.


All of the gifts – whether a water pump, carpentry training, a goat or a fruit tree – directly support All We Can’s talented local partners to create positive, long-term change in poor communities. You can see and purchase the gifts, (priced from £9) online.

To order catalogues, email All We Can or call 020 7467 5132. Catalogues are also available at Methodist Church House.

 

Join us online
News from All We Can

Anghou Glory at work in her shop. © All We Can/Erica Bertolotto

A gift for life

 

Anghou Glory lives in Munyenge, Cameroon. She used to juggle working as a labourer on other people’s farms with selling rice and vegetables at her roadside stall. Now Anghou no longer has to work both jobs to support her three children. With the help of All We Can’s partner NADEV, Anghou has received a loan to expand her business into a permanent shop. She has also received training on how to develop good relationships with her customers, which has increased her regular customers. Her income has doubled! This Christmas a gift of £12 would make an extraordinary difference to a widow like Anghou, providing her with training on how to run a small business.

Purchase a practical present

More news
Going the extra mile

This autumn, supporter Hannah Baker strapped on her running shoes to raise money for All We Can. Encouraged by her sister Natalie, a keen runner, the pair took part in the Windsor Half Marathon. Hannah explains, “Having done very little running over the past few years, this seemed somewhat daunting, [...] but I was determined to complete the 13.1 mile (21km) course.”

The Big Give Christmas Challenge 
All We Can is participating in the Big Give to raise funds for our work in Burundi. Donate online between 4 - 6 December at 10am and your gift can be matched. This year we are aiming to raise £35,000 for our partners in Burundi, equipping people with farming land and the tools and skills to grow enough for their families to eat.
Do all you can

Support All We Can's Ebola emergency appeal

Please give all you can. 

 

Donate now

The Methodist Church

November 2014
The Buzz
 Issue 136
The Methodist Church

Karen BurkeHello everyone and welcome to the Buzz. 

The Buzz is a great resource that brings the whole Methodist Connexion together and allows us to share what's happening in our districts, circuits, churches and church groups. If you have any stories you would like to share, which illustrate how your church is working out the four aspects ofOur Calling and living out discipleship shaped for mission, then please get in touch with me. If you wish to change or delete your details please scroll to the foot of this page.

You can advertise your church, circuit or district events and news on the Connexional Noticeboard on the Methodist Church website. Here's the link: www.methodist.org.uk/events    

After you've held your event, do let me know how it went. Your ideas can encourage and inspire others to try something similar and I'm sure the latest stories below will do just that. The contacts will be pleased to give you more information.

If you include a link to the Buzz from your own church website, the link to the latest edition will always be: www.methodist.org.uk/latestbuzz A plain text version of the Buzz can be found here.

Karen Burke

 
WORSHIP - 175 years of blessings
Tibberton Methodist Church in Gloucestershire
image 1 alt

People from churches and communities across Gloucestershire and beyond packed into Tibberton Methodist Church last month to celebrate 175 years of worship and witness in the rural community.

The milestone birthday also coincided with their annual Harvest Festival which, for a rural farming community, is a time of thanksgiving and praise, “when all is safely gathered in”.

 

Visitors saw the usual harvest displays together with floral and photographic illustrations of the life and history of the chapel. In the evening, one of the church members, Dr Helen Shields, gave a talk about Malawi and her work as a doctor in a palliative care clinic there.

 

On the Sunday afternoon, people packed the church to capacity for a service of celebration and thanksgiving led by the Revd Chris Cory. He read out messages from several former ministers. More than £330 was raised towards the work of the clinic in Malawi and it's hoped that this total will be matched by a government-backed scheme.

 

Gloucestershire Methodist superintendent minister, the Revd James Tebbutt, said: “It was a wonderful service of celebration that included an exhibition about the church’s history, life and service. It also included support for projects abroad. Ministers and preachers, past and present, recalled memories of earlier times. The chapel was packed and a tea followed the Harvest celebration. The whole weekend underlined the loyal and faithful service of so many people.”

Email: Peter and Christine Gardner gloucestershiremethodistmedia-newsrelease@outlook.com

 
LEARNING AND CARING - Raising the roof
Solihull Methodist Church
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Over the 2012/13 Connexional year, Solihull Methodist Church in the West Midlands raised a little over £10,000 for the Kebba Jarjou Memorial Nursery School in Wellingara in the Gambia.   

Church members, Joyce and Bryan Fitter, both teachers and regular visitors to the Gambia, were made aware of the need for more shade in the outside area of the school. The money raised was used to improve the toilets and the library as well as purchase solar panels.

 

Joyce said: “Initially the school was uncertain about these panels but when we were last there, the staff and children were truly delighted. They had saved £483 in the first 10 months since the installation.They could run all their lighting and fans in the classrooms and they had even started hiring out their generator for £5 a day!”

Bryan added: “Often capital projects like this struggle because there is no money for maintenance, but this saving and extra income has allowed them to re-decorate the school and should help with other running expenses.”

The Gambian nursery school's technology upgrade has not gone unnoticed by the local community. A neighbouring school, also backed by church sponsors, has followed suit and is now installing its first solar panels.

Email: Richard Balmer richardbalmer162@btinternet.com

 
EVANGELISM - 'Get out of church Sunday'
Great Lumley Methodist Church in County Durham
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Some Methodist churches in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne District stood completely empty during normal Sunday service times in October. Why? Because the entire congregation had left the building to go out and serve their communities.

This was part of a new mission initiative instigated by their District Evangelism Enabler, Elaine Lindridge, called 'Get out of church Sunday'.

Great Lumley Methodist Church was just one of the churches in the area to take part. The minister, the Revd Ian Kent, started the day with prayer. Afterwards, five teams filed out of the building.

The first team was largely made up of children alongside a couple of Sunday School teachers. Carrying a large box of games, they headed off to the park to play games with any other children who happened to be around. The next team decided to go to the village green to do some gardening and pick up litter. Then came the team that wanted to "prayer walk" around the village and ask for God's blessing on the community. The fourth team set off for the coffee shop in the community centre to chat with people, while the last team made its way down to the local sports field with flasks to offer hot drinks to parents watching their children playing football. A couple of people stayed behind at the church to get a barbecue lunch ready as everyone was going to gather back there and invite others to join them for some free food.

The Revd Elaine Lindridge said: "Seeing folk out and about and engaging with their communities was amazing. Although they went in order to bless others, they returned having been blessed themselves. Prayer walks, litter-picking, community singing, bible studies in cafés, kids activities  ...the list goes on. All on one day in October. A Sunday when Christians decided to 'get out of church'."

Email: The Revd Elaine Lindridge: info@togethermission.co.uk
 
SERVICE - Giant puppets
Birstall Methodist Church in Leicester
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Birstall Methodist Church in north Leicester is working with Bishop Street Methodist Church and other local churches in Leicester city centre in order to create a range of giant nativity puppets for use in outdoor events in the run-up to Christmas.  

The creative team was inspired by a similar project called "In Another Place" by a church group in Crosby who were happy to share their puppet-making methods with Birstall and Bishops Street Methodist churches. The project has two parts: to involve as many community groups as possible and to tell the story of Jesus' birth to people on the streets.  

The Revd Rachel Parkinson said: "We will be using a pre-recorded soundtrack as a backdrop for the puppets to act out a contemporary nativity play. Our puppets will be appearing at the switching on of Christmas lights in Leicester and Birstall, and taking part in the Christingle service at Leicester Cathedral."

The puppeteers are all young people between the ages of 14 and 19. You can follow their progress on the website www.artatthechapel.com under the category "Giant Puppets".

Email: The Revd Rachel Parkinson rachel.parkinson64@gmail.com
 
  
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August 2015

 

Stop lowering the level of immigration debate, Churches tell government

Leaders of the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland and the United Reformed Church have issued a statement on the situation in Calais.

 

They call on the government to adopt language which better reflects the British values of compassion, hospitality and respect for human dignity and to promote a more informed and higher level of debate.

 

"The language in which the Calais situation is being discussed tends too often to demonise, denigrate or dehumanise the individuals seeking refuge in Britain. To talk of those gathering at Calais as a 'swarm', or 'marauding around the area' encourages people to see those in desperation as less than human, and so less deserving of sympathy, respect or dignity.

 

You can read the full statement here.

 

JPIT's Phil Jump has also written this prayer in response to the events in Calais:

 

God of all humanity

when your people were enslaved and displaced,

you led them to a land that they could call home;

when your people were in exile;

your promise was that one day,

they would live in streets of play and laughter.

When your disciples were afraid and uncertain,

you spoke of a Father’ house

with mansions and places prepared.

 

We pray today for all those who have no place to call home,

hearing the heart-cry of your word

for those who are without refuge.

Where shelter is ours to offer

grant us the will and resolve to reflect the generosity of our creator.

Where others stand in the way of those who need safe haven

may our cry for justice never falter.

May the idols of self-interest and economic gain

never deflect us from the ways of your kingdom.

Through Christ our Lord. AMEN
Responding to fake Department of Work and Pensions stories

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has come under fire after it admitted using made-up stories from fictional claimants to demonstrate the positive impact of benefit sanctions. 

 

The Methodist Church and several partners have written a letter to the Daily Telegraph about this, which you can read here. And if you're interested in the real stories of real benefit claimants, check out the Rethink Sanctions report.

 

 

Seeing red

Inspired by the #RethinkSanctions campaign Deacon Tracey Hulme has created the Red Fridays campaign.


Tracey, who helps lead a foodbank in her church, says, "I am so distressed to see people having to resort to a foodbank because they have been sanctioned. I can't sit and do nothing anymore.


"After being at Conference and hearing Jill Barber's vice-presidential speech I decided that the quiet voice I had been hearing needed to be acted on and the t shirt campaign is what I felt prompted to do."

 

The idea is that people pledge to wear red and skip a meal on a Friday in solidarity with those who will struggle to eat because that have had their benefits sanctioned. You can order your organic, ethically and fairly traded T-shirts here.

 

 

the connexion

 

The new issue of the connexion focuses on the arts.

 

It tells stories from all over the world of how the people called Methodist have found the arts in mission to be a fruitful way to engage people with the gospel.

 

With puppets and pottery, fine art and friendship, we cover a range of creative outreach stories - and many of them could be replicated in communities up and down the Connexion.

 

Copies are arriving in people's letterboxes this week. You can read a pdf copy of the magazine or discover how to subscribe here.


Pilgrims of prayer

 

The new Methodist Prayer Handbook, Pilgrims on a Journey, is now available. Taking its titles from the well-known hymn ‘Brother, sister, let me serve you’, it looks at God's call to pilgrimage, both journey and destination, our companions on the way and the everyday realities of the road to heaven.


The handbook connects Christians from different times, places and walks of life. Classic prayers are interwoven with new contributions from Methodists across the districts and around the world. Arranged as a 31-day prayer cycle, the handbook also includes a lectionary of daily Bible readings* with a suggested hymn (from Singing the Faith) to accompany and guide you through the year.


You can order copies from Methodist Publishing at £3.75, with discounts for ten or more.


* Background note and questions for reflection are available on
A Word in Time - the Methodist Churches daily online Bible study.

 

 

Encounter worldwide

·         Do you want to put your faith into action in another part of the world?

·         Do you want to work alongside local communities, deepening your faith and knowledge of global justice and development?

·         Are you passionate about Jesus and have 6-12 months to meet exciting people abroad?

·         Are you ready for a life-changing challenge, putting your skills to good use and learning new ones?

 

If you answered YES to these questions, then Encounter Worldwide could be for you!

 

Discover more here.

 

 


Introducing EAPPI

 

EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel) brings together committed volunteers to live and work for a time on the West Bank, monitoring human rights and encouraging and supporting people under threat.

 

Theresa Mansbridge, a recently returned volunteer, will be speaking at Northgate United Reformed Church, Darlington DL1 1QU on Saturday, 3 October at 7:00pm, giving a first-hand account of what daily life under the occupation is really like and to ask what can we do to promote a just peace in Israel-occupied Palestine.

 

 

In brief

 

Hospitality and Sanctuary for all

This is the theme of the 2015 Racial Justice Sunday (13 September), which is especially poignant as our newspapers and television screens are filled with images of people in desperate states trying to find a place of sanctuary.


The free resources are written by the Revd Dr Inderjit Bhogal, past President of the Methodist Conference, and include an order of service, materials for Bible study, group discussions, activities and worship.

 

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Get ready for harvest

Churches across Britain will be holding Harvest Festivals over the next couple of months.


If you're looking for ideas, All We Can has created some helpful resources to go along with their Harvest Appeal and for yet more ideas, the Evangelical Alliance has compiled a useful list.

 

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Chaplaincy and mental health

On 12 November 2015, there will be a national day of retreat and reflection on the issue of mental health chaplaincy. It will take place in Birmingham.

 

For more information, contact Carol Anne Wilson, Head of Spiritual Care for Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (0121 301 1276).

 

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World Church Bulletin

Read the latest World Church Relationships Bulletin to:

-  learn about how accountancy can be mission in the Solomon Islands

-  discover the latest news from the Leoni family - mission partners in Rwanda

-  find out how women are given a voice in Columbia.

 

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2015 Beckly Lecture now online

This year’s Beckly Lecture was given by Andrew Caplen, President of the Law Society. He spoke on Magna Carta, the rule of law and access to justice in an age of austerity: a concern for the Church?

 

The lecture took place at the Methodist Conference in Southport. But for those unable to attend, the text is now available online on the JPIT website.

 

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New website for Cliff College

Cliff College provides education and training with a particular focus on mission and evangelism. Historically, Cliff was a Methodist lay training college but today its student body is both lay and ordained, and from a range of denominational backgrounds.

 

The college has just revamped its website, making it more user friendly and easier to navigate.

 

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Save the date for Rural Mission Sunday 2016 Beckly Lecture now online

In July 2015 churches nationwide took part in the launch of Rural Mission Sunday; an annual event by The Arthur Rank Centre celebrating the work of small rural churches. Some groups held open house events; others put on bread themed quizzes or more traditional style Sunday services.

 

Rural Mission Sunday 2016 takes place on Sunday 17 July, so there is plenty of time for planning. Our theme is ‘Sow and Grow’ and we will be looking to sow seeds of good news across the British Countryside. Look out for more details on the Arthur Rank Centre website.

 

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