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Showing posts from December, 2013

God gave them up! January Prayer Column

Does God really ever give up on anyone? In one place in the Bible it says three times that he does (Romans 1:18ff). It’s to do with attitudes to truth. If we suppress what we know about God, i.e., deny his existence when the evidence of his creation is all around us, his wrath is revealed from heaven. Our proper role as created beings is to honour the Creator God thankfully, and if we refuse to do so then he gives us up to spiritual blindness of hearts and minds. And when we exchange the truth about God for a lie, and worship the things he has made rather than him as Creator: e.g., the cult of celebrity; outward beauty (primping parlours); star signs; consumerism – then God gives us up to inner debasement, and a dishonouring of self and others. Those who choose to turn away from God are allowed to do so. It may seem a fine step of independence, but it does us no good at all: folly, futility, impurity, baseness, a downward spiral deserving death. Without Jesus there would be no…

The light of experience – first reflections on a pilgrimage to Israel/Palestine

Question: What’s the connection between a Bingley coffee shop and a late night   conversation by the Sea of Galilee? Answer: Sharon and Sarah!
It was on an early summer sunny day that we decided to make this unforgettable journey to the Holy Land.
So strange, there, to see the motorway signs to Biblical places: Tiberius, Nazareth, Mount Tabor, Bethlehem, Jericho and Jerusalem and to reflect on the stories, events and people of faith; from a boat on the Sea of Galilee watch the sun’s rays penetrate the morning haze. For a moment, the water and my life, calm and still – soon to be storm-tossed like Jesus’s fearful friends in their sinking ship.
So many beautiful churches built to mark the places of God’s presence in some special way. We saw in construction, beside the archaeological site of Magdala, yet another church with the communion table, looking through a boat shaped window over the Sea of Galilee to the hills, the Golan Heights, beyond. The past and present inextricably connecte…

Blenheim Brunch

BLENHEIM BRUNCH
Congratulations to Brenda Duckworth and her team from local Methodist Churches who catered for the Blenheim Brunch held at Haworth Road Methodist Church on 19th October.
The ‘restaurant’ was full (just short of a String Quartet playing in the corner!) The friendly reception committee were on hand to make us welcome.  As usual, the kitchen staff ‘kept their cool’ and kept the food, which was excellent, flowing.  The dietary variations were greatly appreciated.
Overstretched waiters and waitresses attended to our every whim (they didn’t even have time to accept their tips!). Setting up and clearing away afterwards was no mean task but somebody had to do it!  Well done, all the helpers - your hard work was greatly appreciated!

It is surprising how many inter-church friends we make as a result of numerous circuit activities over the years, and it is great to meet up with them on these occasions, if only for a short time. 
Everybody enjoyed themselves and our BlenheimProject ben…

A good news story from Haworth Road Methodist Church

NEWS FROM HAWORTH ROAD
SHOEBOX APPEAL FOR SMILE INTERNATIONAL

The picture shows some of the 52 Shoeboxes which were sent to Smile International, together with 3 large boxes of Humanitarian Aid and 3 large knitted Blankets.
These are now on their way to the Smile Centre in Kosova where they will be taken from there and distributed to children in time for Christmas.

A good news story from Christchurch, Windhill

The e-merge youth project, which operates in conjunction with Christchurch, Windhill, produces a monthly report for the church. The following are extracts from the report for October:-

This month has been very productive with the youth work and activities in Windhill. We started this month with preparing for the Family Church event, which was a hit on many levels. This event saw 35 people attend: 5 - 6 Young people from the estate, as well as new and local support from the street reps that have committed to help in the future. This event was a success and a good foundation stone for building on in the future.


Youth work on Wednesday evenings is going great. We have a regular attendance of 18 young people, sometimes on weeks hitting 24 young people. The next development for this is in the programme of what we do. We have started doing workshops alongside the Table tennis and Fifa competitions. The first workshop we are looking at is music and we are going to bring down a drum kit, as …

Circuit Consultation

Circuit Consultation
A special Circuit Meeting was held on Monday 2 December at Thackley, to have conversations about the future of the circuit, in the light of the work which has been undertaken over the last two years, and comments received from various sources about the operation of team ministry.
Questions which were addressed, and which need prayerful reflection by all who attend our churches, covered the following issues:-
What significant ministries are provided by our churches, and how can we ensure that these are continued and developed?In planning for the future, how do we judge whether a church is viable or not? Vision? State of building? Finance? Lack of officers? Proximity to other churches?Where is the best place to make decisions about the use of resources? Is the Circuit too remote? Should churches be grouped in clusters?If the notion of clusters is to be adopted, on what basis should these be formed?What is the relationship betwee…

A good news story from a young girl at Calverley Methodist Church

On the 20th of October, it was Lighthouse Sunday at Calverley Methodist Church and all of the children and some of the adults went on a walk around Calverley, trying to find objects starting with all the letters of the alphabet from A-Z, (it’s not as easy as it sounds!). We walked around Calverley going through the fields and the woods and luckily, the weather stayed ok. Here are some of the things we found: ·Flower ·Leaves ·Officer ·Yard ·Zig zag It was a very enjoyable and interesting experience for everybody and I think we would all do it again if we could!
By Caitlin

A Christmas message from our Lay Pastoral Visitor and Co-ordinator

Dear Friends,                                     Joyeux Noel!
A favourite group of mine is the Carnival Band with Maddy Prior. They have a song called ‘Stuff’. Some of the words are:-
Christmas time is here again, Time for family, time for friends, Time for church bells, time for snow, Tinsel, robins, firelight glow, There is time, but not enough – To get ourselves a load of stuff.
The song goes on to parody our greed at Christmas. 
During my Local Preacher training, we were introduced to the Charles Wesley’s Hymn (H & P 109) Let Earth & Heaven Combine. The last two lines in the first verse are:-
Our God contracted to a span,  incomprehensibly made man.
For me, this had a profound effect in my walk with the Lord. The fact that our God was reduced to a hand span (you can hold a baby in the span of your hand) and that we cannot comprehend why he did this. Yet he did this because he LOVES us. He gave his Son to be born and die for everyone. As Christians, how do we see this season of Adve…

Volunteers needed for Wrose lunch club

Wrose MethodistChurch, Thornacre Road, Wrose, Shipley, BD18 1JY
CAN YOU HELP PLEASE?
We run a Lunch Club at Wrose Methodist Church weekly on every Wednesday.   Due to unforeseen circumstances, after Christmas we urgently need a volunteer to cook the meals in our well-appointed kitchen, with the help of other volunteers.   If you are enthusiastic about cooking and love to feed a good number of people, then this might just be what you’re looking for!
The job entails planning menus for each week, buying the ingredients the day before (quantity dependent upon numbers booking a lunch) and cooking a main course and a dessert on the Wednesday morning.  Numbers attending range between 15 and 22.   Lunch is served between 12 noon and 1 p.m.   We are willing to discuss expenses if a volunteer has to travel any distance.  
We also require volunteers to help in the kitchen, and generally with the setting up of the tables, putting out crockery and cutlery, etc. and serving the meals.
If more than one …

December Prayer Column

Hey, have you heard...?
What about that, then?  It’s very human to gloat over the fall of someone, especially if they’re prominent or well thought of.  The news industry thrives on it, and always has.  You only have to lower your voice in a certain way to get instant attention from all around.  The words of the whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body (Prov 18:8).  But they don’t do any good when they get there. Gloating’s very human, but sub-Christian.  So how should we react when someone falls from grace or goes astray, especially a fellow believer?  Here are some suggestions:
1.There but for the grace of God go I.  Reflect on our own vulnerability and pray for continued protection and guidance (1 Cor 10:12). 2.Thus humbled, reach out compassionately to restore the fallen (Gal 6:1).  The gift of prayer brings everyone within our reach. 3.If we’ve been hurt, remember the ‘f’ word: forgiveness (2 Cor 2:7).  And we may have to pray for the streng…