Notices for Sunday 16th July 2017

“The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.”
Matt 13:23 (Message)

Help us Father God to bring our best soil, so that the Way of Jesus can take root deep within us.
Amen.

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Rev John Wiggall
After service tea hosts Bob and Evelyn

Our thanks for the flowers this morning which are given by Christina Wright in memory of her husband Percy
Organist: Lydia Edwards

Sunday 23rd July
11.00am          Mr Carl Squire
Vestry Steward – Bob
Door Steward – Warren
Tea Hosts – Warren and Vera

Diary Dates

July
Mon 17th       Circuit Meeting at Rhosymedre 7.30pm
Wed 26th     Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Sun 30th       Circuit Farewell Service at Regent Street as we say goodbye to our minister Richard Sharples, his wife Biddy and family. 4.00pm Followed by food and refreshments

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Gwyneth Williams

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

Matthew 13:1-9,18-23

For the longest time I’ve read the Parable of the Sower as descriptions of various groups of people. As if there are certain people who are, no doubt about it, just plain rocky soil. Then there are others who hang out with the thorns. The lucky ones are the healthy soil.

That would be convenient. Especially if you happened to be fertile dirt. It may even be convenient to be the impervious path, because it might just feel like a condition you had nothing to do with. As if being poor soil is kind of like having acne, or a receding hair line.

But, the uncomfortable reality is that I have good soil potential within me… And, it’s only a stone’s throw from some seriously rocky ground.

Not far from the thorns and weeds either.

They are all within me. And depending on the day, or the moment, or the circumstance, I end up presenting one or the other.

Years ago now my wife and I tried starting a garden next to our house. There was good soil – we lived right by the bank of a creek after all. But, there were also a lot of large rocks. It was amazing how many we pulled out of that little patch. We tried tilling it up, and it was incredibly tough.

We even broke the tiller in the process. Broke a blade right off.

Eventually, after a half-baked effort, we gave up.

I could apply that story as a metaphor to many, many moments in my life. Sometimes I come up all rocks. Sometimes I break things.

Sometimes, to heck with it, I just give up.

Jesus is asking us here to bring our best dirt, so that his Way can take root deep within us. This isn’t something that happens by chance, or because we’re fortunate to have good genes. It’s something we put effort into.

We’re the ones charged with tilling our soil so that the Life which Jesus sows may grow in us, and produce a bounty.

Even if we bust the tiller in the process, there’s no giving up.

Rev Rick Morley, St Mark’s Episcopal Church, Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA

The dreams of little people

All are to be sons of God. People used to call only the kings of Israel sons of God. But Jesus applies that term to anyone who is generous to his enemies. Everyone is then a king.

And is it not a privilege of the powerful to be able to give laws and
repeal old ones? What does Jesus do? He defines new laws. He says:

‘You have heard that it was said to those of old time,
You shall not kill,
and whoever kills is worthy of judgement.
But I say to you,
Anyone who is angry with his brother deserves judgement.’

Chuza had gone pale. He protested wearily:

But why does he present his teaching only to the little people? Why doesn’t he come to Tiberias? Why doesn’t he teach Antipas? I can think of only one answer. He dreams the dreams of little people:

Joanna agreed: ‘Of course he dreams the dreams of little people. He’s not addressing the rich and powerful. But what does he want to do? These little people are bent double by their toil. He wants them to walk upright. They’re bowed down by cares. He wants them to be free from cares. They’re people who feel insignificant. He gives them the feeling that their life has meaning. And you’re all worried about that. All of you and Herod Antipas, you’re worried that the little people might come to feel that they’re not little people. So you’ve spread the rumour that you want to kill Jesus. So that he disappears over the frontier. So that he leaves you in peace. So that the little people don’t hit on rebellious notions and become a danger to you:

Gerd Theissen, from The Shadow of the Galilean

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Notices for Sunday 9th July 2017

‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matt 16:28 (NIV)

Forgive us Father God for sometimes being proud and arrogant. Show us how to deal with our burdens by following the teachings of Jesus and living with his easy yoke.
Amen.

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Rev Richard Sharples
After service tea hosts Chris and Joan

Our thanks for the flowers this morning which are given by Ken Holroyd and family in memory of their parents Derek and Rhian Holroyd
Organist: Barbara Tinsley

Sunday 16th July
11.00am          Rev John Wiggall (Parade)
Vestry Steward – Bob
Door Steward – Bob
Tea Hosts – Bob and Evelyn

Diary Dates

July
Wed 12th      Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Fri 14th        Friday Lunch Club 12 noon in the hall £3 This will be the last Lunch Club until September
Sat 15th       Strawberry Fair at Rhosddu 2.00pm
Mon 17th       Circuit Meeting at Rhosymedre 7.30pm
Sun 30th       Circuit Farewell Service at Regent Street as we say goodbye to our minister Richard Sharples, his wife Biddy and family. 4.00pm. Followed by food and refreshments

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Gwyneth Williams

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

Please let one of the Church Stewards know this Sunday if you would like a copy of the 2017/2018 Methodist Prayer Handbook ‘Jesus the First and Last’.
Price £3.50

 

 

“Troubled? Change to Yoke Light.”
Mat 11:16-30

I happened to pass the living room and saw his face on the television screen.  He wore the robes of a monk and looked ever so serene. (The bald head helped) He was being interviewed on a chat show.  (South Africa’s own Oprah wannabe, Noelene)  Being interested in all things spiritual I stopped long enough to hear this dialogue…

Noelene: Are you telling me that you never get angry?

Monk: No I experience anger but I choose not to act on it.

Nolene(Incredulous): So if you are on the freeway and someone cuts in front of you, you won’t hoot or yell at them?

Monk: I might think of doing those things but I will ask myself this question before acting, “What will this change?”

“What will this change?”

A skilful question to be sure. As a preacher I sometimes ask myself the same question before and after preaching!  Counting conservatively I realise that I have preached upwards of fourteen hundred sermons.  What did they change?

As I read the gospel this Sunday, I find a deep resonance with Jesus who is remonstrating far more vociferously with his congregation than I have had to courage to do with mine.  It is difficult to pin down the exact emotions Jesus is expressing, but they are incarnationally and beautifully human feelings to be sure! I can follow and serve a God who can experience these emotions that are so much part of my daily life.  Jesus not only confronts, he also condemns.  “Woe to you…”  Wow! He is ticked off!

And then suddenly he changes direction. Matthew marks the change with a time check, “At that time Jesus said,…”

I would love to ask Jesus what triggered the change?

Did he notice a facial expression, did he experience a change of feeling tone, or did he simply remember his own parable?  The one about the reckless sower who doesn’t care where the seed falls or what it produces,leaving the outcome to God. I will never know.

What I do know is that Jesus, having vented his spleen at the hard of heart, non-responders then turns to a prayer of thanks to God for those who are able, because of their innocence and of their liminal lives full of pain, to hear and receive what is being offered.

The proud and arrogant, those who have all the answers, those who think they are “self-made” will never see and receive what the burdened and heavily laden ones will see and receive.

There is something about the pain of human suffering, that tills the soil for the fertile seed of Jesus’ words.

If Jesus had an advertising bill board it could have read, “Troubled? Make the change to Yoke Light”

What did these words change?

If you ask the burdened heavily laden ones who have come to Jesus down through the ages, they will probably testify, that those words changed everything!

Maybe these words will do that for someone too?

Peter Woods, Pastoral Counsellor, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

 

Notices for Sunday 2nd July 2017

Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me.
Matt 10:40 (Message)

Help us Father God to welcome all we meet because by welcoming them we are also welcoming God in Christ.
Amen.

Our thanks to Ron Vaughan for leading worship this morning
After service tea hosts Val and Barb

Organist: Lydia Edwards

Sunday 9th July
11.00am          Rev Richard Sharples (Communion)
Vestry Steward – Ian
Door Steward – Chris
Tea Hosts – Chris and Joan

Diary Dates

July
Mon 3rd        Festival Praise at Llangollen 7.00pm
Fri 7th         Friday Lunch Club 12 noon in the hall £3
Sat 8th         Strawberry Tea at Brymbo 2.00pm
Wed 12th      Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Sat 15th       Strawberry Fair at Rhosddu 2.00pm
Mon 17th       Circuit Meeting at Rhosymedre 7.30pm

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Gwyneth Williams

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

Prejudice

One midnight when Rabbi Moshe Leib was absorbed in the mystic teachings, he heard a knock at his window. A drunken peasant stood outside and asked to be let in and given a bed for the night. For a moment the zaddik’s heart was full of anger and he said to himself: “How can a drunk have the insolence to ask to be let in, and what business has he in this house!” But then he said silently in his heart: “And what business has he in God’s world? But if God gets along with him, can I reject him?” He opened the door at once, and prepared a bed.

Martin Buber

Sit Up Straighter
Mat 10:40 – Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.

Doesn’t that make you sit up a little straighter? When you are welcomed into someone else’s presence, they are also welcoming Christ.

One could say that this is an extension of us bearing the Image of God. One could also say that this is an extension of our priesthood (of all believers), wherein we are given the gift of representing Christ to the world.

And one could say that because in Pauline Theology that we are in Christ, and in Johannine Theology that Christ abides in us, our mystical union with Christ puts his Life coursing through our veins. So where we are, so is Christ.

So, please do sit up a little straighter!

But, this also cuts in the other direction. With these words Jesus is speaking to us…but he is also speaking to those who are sent to us. When we welcome them, we welcome Christ.

In Matthew 25 we often get caught up in the moments when Jesus is hungry, and thirsty, and naked – and we feed, offer drink, and clothe him. But, there is also:

When I was a stranger you welcomed me. Mat 25:35

Hospitality is a basic Christian practice. We welcome others into our homes, around our tables, and into our lives. It’s an extension of loving our neighbour. And, because by welcoming them we are also welcoming God in Christ, it is also an extension of loving God with our hearts, souls, and lives.

It’s one of those things that we ought to go out of our way to do.

And not just with the strangers who show up on our door. It’s sometimes easier to extend hospitality to someone we’ve never met before, or someone we just barely know…but at the same time forget those who are always around us.

I am guilty of this. I will overextend myself meeting the needs of others, at any time of the night or day…and then neglect to extend myself to my wife or children. I’ll come home so zapped, that I’ve left nothing to give to them.

This is not good, for they bear the Divine Image too. Taking their love and attention for granted is just as much an affront to hospitality as slamming the front door on a complete stranger.

Our task is to consciously attend to the Christ in everyone. Christ in the stranger. Christ in the enemy. Christ in the friend. Christ in the spouse. Christ in our sibling. Christ in the politician who makes our blood boil. Christ in the one who believes differently than I do.

Christ in everyone.

For when we can regard everyone as Christ…then, just maybe…they will see the Christ who is in us. And, who makes us sit up a little straighter.

Rev Rick Morley, St Mark’s Episcopal Church, Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA

 

Notices for Sunday 25th June 2017

All the workers you’ve exploited and cheated cry out for judgment. The groans of the workers you used and abused are a roar in the ears of the Master Avenger.
James 5:4 (Message)

Show us Father God how to treat people fairly and justly, and how to honour our obligations.
Amen.

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Rev Marian Jones
After service tea hosts Chris and Joan

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Pat Jones in memory of her mother Dilys Whitley
Organist: Ian Moore. Our thanks to Ian for stepping in and playing for us this morning.

Sunday 2nd July
11.00am          Local Arrangement
Vestry Steward – Ian
Door Steward – Val
Tea Hosts – Val and Barb

Diary Dates

June
Sun 25th       Messy Church in the hall 4.00pm to 6.00pm
Tue 27th      Oasis of Silence – Regent Street at 12.30pm for 20 minutes. Bring lunch to share afterwards
Wed 28th     Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Wed 28th     Circuit Bible Study at Regent Street, James 4: ‘Living for the Lord’. 6.30pm food, 7.30pm study
Fri 30th       Friday Lunch Club 12 noon in the hall £3

July
Sat 1st         Overton Garden Fete Holly Cottage 2.00pm
Mon 3rd        Festival Praise at Llangollen 7.00pm
Sat 8th         Strawberry Tea at Brymbo 2.00pm

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Gwyneth Williams

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

Confession

At the earlier Methodist class meetings, members were expected every week to answer some extremely personal questions, such as the following: Have you experienced any particular temptations during the past week? How did you react or respond to those temptations? Is there anything you are trying to keep secret, and, if so, what? At this point, the modern Christian swallows hard! We are often coated with a thick layer of reserve and modesty which covers “a multitude of sins”—usually our own. Significantly, James 5:16-20, the original context of that phrase, is the passage which urges, “Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

Michael Griffiths, Cinderella with Amnesia [1975]

A warning to the rich
James 5:1-6

Greed

In this small section of the letter of James, the writer takes time to denounce the exploiting activities of the rich. He is not denouncing wealth as such, rather he is attacking wealth obtained by corruption. He attacks ill-gotten gains and the motivations that drive us to these ends. So, the passage again exposes unrighteous behaviour, behaviour which is the product of a “useless” faith.

The first decade of the 21st. centaury will go down in history for spawning the fruits of a greed is good philosophy. The Global Financial Crisis, generated by corrupt merchant bankers, most of whom still ply their trade, virtually brought the world’s banking system to its knees. Then, as a consequence, Western governments, weakened by unsustainable debt, and now further weakened by taking over the debts of their banks, were paralysed in the face of a world-wide recession. And all this, down to greed.

Only in the kingdom of heaven will greed no longer drive us. None-the-less, our passage for study has something to say to us for the here and now:

1.                  The stupidity of hoarding, The things of this world are subject to decay, so it is best to wisely use what we have before we have nothing to use.

2.                  The sin of legal theft. It is not a nice situation to find people who proclaim their religion, but who don’t even pay their staff a fair recompense. They do not fulfil their honest obligations because they want to get more of this worlds things. Such behaviour does not go unnoticed by the Judge of the universe.

3.                  The trap of pleasure. As Richard Holloway puts it, “The pursuit of pleasure for its own sake is always ultimately unsatisfying … and becomes addictive.” The reason for this is that if we “pursue pleasure we fail to get it”, and this because you cannot “separate pleasure from the act that gives it.” The person who exploits does so for self-pleasing. Such is selfish greed and, in the end, is not satisfying.

4.                  Exploitation is as good as murder. To manipulate the structures of a society from a position of power, e.g. the legal system, so as to deprive the poor of the little they have to add to the excess of the rich, is as good as murder. In God’s eyes, it is that serious.

It is not easy for a believer to function untainted from the materialism of this world. If we do find ourselves in the greed-trap, willing to exploit for self-pleasing, then we need to humble ourselves before the Lord. “Come near to God and he will come near to you” and “he will lift you up.”

Rev Bryan Findlayson, Retired Anglican Priest, New South Wales, Australia

Notices for Sunday 18th June 2017

For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
James 2:15-17 (Message)

Forgive us Lord when we do not put faith into action. Help us to be generous in our support of those who are in need.
Amen.

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Ms Kate Lewis
After service tea hosts Warren and Vera

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Val Jones in memory of her parents Mr and Mrs Wythe
Organist: Lydia Edwards

Sunday 25th June
11.00am          Rev Marian Jones (Communion)
Vestry Steward – Bob
Door Steward – Chris
Tea Hosts – Chris and Joan

Diary Dates

June
Tue 20th      Oasis of Silence – Regent Street at 12.30pm         for 20 minutes. Bring lunch to share afterwards
Tue 20th      Social afternoon with Strawberry Tea at Rhosymedre 2.00pm £3.00 per person
Tue 20th      Circuit Bible Study at Regent Street, James 3: ‘Speech and Wisdom’. 6.30pm food, 7.30pm study
Wed 21st      Centenary College Choir at Regent Street 7.30pm
Fri 23rd       Friday Lunch Club 12 noon in the hall £3
Sat 24th       WI Strawberry Tea in the hall 2.00pm £2
Sat 24th       Skittles Stall at Overton Village Fete
Sun 25th       Messy Church in the hall 4.00pm to 6.00pm
Wed 28th     Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Gwyneth Williams

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,”

Emma Lazarus
From the poem “The New Colossus” at the Statue of Liberty

My Inheritance

A lot of my attitudes come from my granny and grandpa. They came to this country as children from Russia. My granny’s parents had died in a pogrom and the people in her village put a paper round her neck with her name and clubbed together to buy her steerage ticket to Lon­don. There, it was said, she had an uncle who wore a gold watch and chain and ate chicken twice a week. My grandfather was a young lad fleeing from conscription to Siberia and hopefully trying to get to America. In fact, when he landed here, he thought it was America and only discovered the truth some years afterwards, but by that time it was too late. He had married Granny (as they never knew their age, I wonder what birth dates they gave to the marriage registrar) and had set up as a cobbler near the docks in London. I don’t think Granny ever worked out where she was.

I learned to swear in Polish, Russian and Yiddish from Grandpa. I have not the slightest idea still what the words mean, but I once tried them out, experimentally, at an international conference. You read about some­one’s jaw dropping, but have you ever seen it? Well, I have.

I also learned from him how to make a good breakfast. He wasn’t into cereals and fruit juice, but black bread, raw onions, pickled herring and Russian tea laced with lemon and rum. They left me a strange inheritance. It didn’t consist of goods, because they hardly had any, and the little they had was blown up in the Blitz. It consisted of a bundle of attitudes I have never been able to change.

Granny, like many Eastern people, thought beggars were holy, and I was always instructed to give a small coin to every one I met because they were the closest we ever got to meeting God. This still makes a walk down Oxford Street torture. I have to provide myself with a bag of change, and the policemen get suspicious because I am constantly crossing to the other side of the street. Not being as generous as Granny, I try to walk down Wigmore Street instead. My fellow pedestrians there might feel down and low (all those psychiatrists lurking around Harley Street) but they are certainly not down and out, so I can still afford a cup of coffee by the time I get to Marble Arch.

I used to know an old beggar woman over thirty years ago when I studied at the Seminary in Upper Berkeley Street. She completed my religious education by telling me sharp truths my professors didn’t know or didn’t care to communicate. She once confessed her sins publicly in a local church and it brought the house down. She was ejected because they sounded far too lush.

I never got too near her, because she scratched a lot, but when I proffered a coin with an outstretched arm she burst into fits of laughter at my timidity.

‘Don’t worry, dearie,’ she cackled. ‘I’ll open a bank account, and that will let you off the hook nicely.’

Thank God Granny wasn’t there for she would have spotted the calculation in my charity and my coldness of heart. I could not have stood it.

Rabbi Lional Blue, “Bolts From The Blue”

 

Notices for Sunday 4th June 2017

Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks,
Acts 2:2 (Message)

Spirit of God, as gentle as a breath of air, as powerful as a stormy wind, fill us and shape us today with Your love. Where we are afraid encourage, where weary refresh, where deflated fill us with the hope that love is at the heart of all things, and all things will come together in Your love.
Amen.

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Ms Biddy Crossfield
After service tea hosts Bob and Evelyn

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Norma Jones and Janis Carr in memory of their parents Trevor and Rose Jones and George and Marjorie Carr
Organist: Lydia Edwards

Sunday 11th June
11.00am          Rev Richard Sharples (Faith Lunch)
Vestry Steward – Sheila
Door Steward – Val
Tea Hosts – Val and Barb

Diary Dates

June
Sun 4th         Variety Songs of Praise at Regent Street 6.00pm Alan Birchall and Derek Harrison Jazz Trio
Tue 6th        Coffee Morning at Llangollen 10.00am
Tue 6th        Oasis of Silence – Regent Street at 12.30pm
For 20 minutes. Bring lunch to share afterwards
Tue 6th        Circuit Bible Study at Regent Street, James 1: ‘Doers of the Word’. 6.30pm food, 7.30pm study
Fri 9th         Friday Lunch Club 12 noon in the hall £3
Sun 11th        Faith Lunch in the hall for “Holiday Hunger”
Wed 14th      Informal gathering at Honey’s Bakery 10.00am
Wed 14th      Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Sat 17th       Coffee Morning at regent Street 10.00am – noon
Tue 20th      Social afternoon with Strawberry Tea at Rhosymedre 2.00pm £3.00 per person
Sun 25th       Messy Church in the hall 4.00pm to 6.00pm

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Gwyneth Williams

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

Dorreen Holroyd

We are saddened to hear of the death of Betti’s sister-in-law Dorreen on Thursday and we uphold her family and friends in prayer. Her funeral will take place here at 11.00am Thursday 15th June.

Hope & District Cytun
Informal Fellowship Meeting

Why not join us for a relaxing cup of coffee at Honey’s Bakery and Cafe and share the news between our churches in the Cytun? We want this to become a regular venue so come and make it a success.

WALKING
IN THE POWER
OF THE SPIRIT

Our minister Richard is undertaking a Pilgrimage from Englesea Brook to Caia Park from this Wednesday June 7th until Saturday June 10th 2017. If you can’t walk with him you can accompany him via his blog here:
thebrightfield

From Methodist Modern Art Collection

[Today] is the feast of Pentecost, celebrating the disciples’ experience of the Holy Spirit. A lot of people describe that moment as the birth of the Church. It’s a strange story full of images that are hard to imagine and ideas that are even harder to grasp. I wonder, sometimes, if we don’t over-complicate it, though, and if a normal use of the word ‘spirit’ wouldn’t cover what we mean. The Bible says that God ‘is love’, and perhaps that’s all we need to know about this awesome moment. God pours out the essence or spirit of himself upon a group of very unhappy men and women, and that changes everything for them.

One of the Resurrection stories tells of Jesus breathing on his disciples so that they can receive the Holy Spirit. You have to get pretty close to someone to feel their breath, as close as a mother to her child or perhaps two lovers to one another. To get close to God, so close that you can ‘feel God’s breath’, is a powerful image of the intimacy that is at the heart of a message about God’s involvement in the world. God need not be a distant creator or a stern moral authority, but may be as close as the air we breathe, and with the gentleness of a breath able to pour His Spirit into us, filling us with love that drives out fear and helps us become the people we’re designed to be.

Mark Wakelin, Radio 4 Prayer For The Day – 22 May 2010

 

Notices for Sunday 28th May 2017

When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”
Acts 1:6 (Message)

Help us Father God to realise that the Church is nothing other than the place within which and through which the kingdom is coming into being. Help us to be witnesses to the vision of the Church and to share your purpose and by your Spirit become your action in the world.
Amen.

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Rev Richard Sharples
After service tea hosts Chris and Joan

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Sheila Bullough
Organist: Lydia Edwards

Sunday 4th June
11.00am             Ms Biddy Crossfield

Diary Dates

May
Sun 28th       Messy Church in the hall 4.00pm to 6.00pm
Tue 30th      Oasis of Silence – Regent Street at 12.30pm         for 20 minutes. Bring lunch to share afterwards

June
Fri 2nd         “Enter the Silence” in church 11.30am
Fri 2nd         Friday Lunch Club 12 noon in the hall £3
Sun 4th         Variety Songs of Praise at Regent Street 6.00pm Alan Birchall and Derek Harrison Jazz Trio
Tue 6th        Coffee Morning at Llangollen 10.00am
Tue 6th        Circuit Bible Study at Regent Street, James 1: ‘Doers of the Word’. 6.30pm food, 7.30pm study
Wed 14th      Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Sat 17th       Coffee Morning at regent Street 10.00am – noon
Tue 20th      Social afternoon with Strawberry Tea at Rhosymedre 2.00pm £3.00 per person

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Dorreen Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Gwyneth Williams

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

TRINITY SUNDAY
11th June
After Worship

Join us for a Faith Lunch in aid of our Circuit Project “Holiday Hunger”.
This is an initiative by St Asaph Diocese supported by Wrexham churches to provide packed lunches for children during the school holidays. Our Deacon Lisa Rathbone is involved with the scheme in Caia Park.
You will find a list in the lounge so that you can indicate what food you would like to provide.
On the day of the lunch we would like you to make a donation towards the Circuit Project.

When the vision fails to materialise, what do we do?
Acts 1:6 “Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

Jesus proclaimed good news to a people living in poverty and oppression, broken in spirit, both spiritually and materially, both individually and corporately deprived. This was not just a heavenly hope. It was not just hope for the end of the age. It was not just hope for spiritual renewal for individuals and communities. It was not just hope for material well being and social justice for individuals and communities. It was all of these in enjoyment of the reign and presence of God. This was real hope. That is why the disciples’ question makes sense. Had it been fulfilled, they would have seen it. And it was this real hope that Jesus proclaimed as near at hand and for which he asked his disciples to pray.

The impact of the promise was so strong that for generations people were proclaiming it was just around the corner. Jesus had said it was at hand. But he had not said how it would come. Luke writes Acts to tell us not only that Jesus announced the kingdom, but also that the promise is being fulfilled. The Church is part of that promise. To that extent it is true: Jesus promised the kingdom and God sent the Church. The promise is not being fulfilled by a single stroke, as it were, but in two steps. First the Church and then the total fulfilment of the vision. The Church is nothing other than the place within which and through which the kingdom is coming into being. It is not itself the kingdom as if it, itself, incorporated God and were a little bit of perfection on earth. We know this is not true. But it witnesses to the vision and lives by it. The vision is the Church’s true agenda as well as its hope. The Spirit is the gift which enables the Church to fulfil that agenda. You and I are the place of the promise of the kingdom now. Yet ultimately the kingdom is God’s reign, God’s effort, God’s gift. We are not asked to usurp God, but to share his purpose and by his Spirit become his action in the world.

The two step fulfilment of the promise of the kingdom means we do not run away from the pain. We weep with those who weep. We mourn with those who mourn. We join Jesus as he weeps over Jerusalem. We refuse to take popular religious options which pretend Jesus never promised such a kingdom and pretend God is not god. The pain remains as long as the vision is not fulfilled. Each time we approach the Lord’s table the brokenness is set before us and the vision is re-enacted. Because it is the Lord’s table and the Lord’s world we receive nourishment to face the pain. Nourished by the pain and by the promise, we look at the world around us and within us and we ask with the disciples, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And we hear Jesus answer: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons God has set on his own authority. But you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and to the furthermost ends of the earth.”

Rev William Loader, Uniting Church, Perth, Western Australia

Notices for Sunday 21st May 2017

“If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.”
John 14:15 (Message)

Father God, help us through your Holy Spirit to show our love to others in deed as well as in word.
Amen.

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Mr David Young
After service tea hosts Warren and Betti

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Barb Cole
Organist: Joan McGowan

Sunday 28th May
11.00am             Rev Richard Sharples (Communion)
Vestry Steward – Ian
Door Steward – Chris
Tea Hosts – Chris and Joan

Diary Dates

May
Sun 21st       Anniversary Choral Concert at Rhosddu 7.30pm
Tue 23rd      Oasis of Silence – Regent Street at 12.30pm for 20 minutes. Bring lunch to share afterwards
Wed 24th     Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Thu 25th      Ascension Day Service on Hope Mountain 9.30am
Fri 26th       “Enter the Silence” in church 11.30am
Fri 26th       Friday Lunch Club 12 noon in the hall £3
Sun 28th       Messy Church in the hall 4.00pm to 6.00pm

June
Fri 2nd      “Enter the Silence” in church 11.30am
Sun 4th         Variety Songs of Praise at Regent Street 6.00pm Alan Birchall and Derek Harrison Jazz Trio
Tue 6th        Coffee Morning at Llangollen 10.00am
Tue 6th        Circuit Bible Study (see opposite)

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Dorreen Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Gwyneth Williams

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

May Melodies” Concert
Our thanks to all who supported the concert on Friday given by Joan McGowan. We were entertained to a variety of styles of music which was much enjoyed by those who came. Our thanks too for those who provided the cakes and biscuits. £200 was raised for the hall refurbishment project.

In June 2017, the Methodist Church is encouraging churches and circuits across the Connexion to run a ‘Bible Month’, 30 days focused on the letter of James.

The letter of James encourages Christians to live out their faith as well as to confess it. It reminds us that faith without works is dead, and so encourages us to love God and neighbour in deed as well as in word.

Our circuit will be holding a Bible Study at Wrexham Methodist Church on the following dates:

Tue 6th James Chapter 1: ‘Doers of the Word’.
Wed 14th James Chapter 2: ‘Faith and Works’.
Tue 20th James Chapter 3v1 – 4v12: ‘Speech and Wisdom.’
Wed 28th James Chapter 4v13 – 5v20 ‘Living for the Lord.’

Time 6.30pm with food and then 7.30pm the study.

We are encouraged to organise a ‘Bring and Share Lunch’ on one Sunday after worship and give money to our Circuit Project which this year is “Holiday Hunger” (ensuring that those children in receipt of free school meals in term time do not go hungry in the holidays.

The Weight of a Snowflake

‘Tell me the weight of a snowflake; a coaltit asked a wild dove. ‘Nothing more than nothing; was the answer.

‘In that case, I must tell you a marvellous story; the coaltit said. ‘I sat on the branch of a fir, close to its trunk, when it began to snow — not heavily, not in a raging blizzard: no, just like in a dream, without a sound and with any violence. Since I did not have anything better to do, I counted the snowflakes settling on the twigs and needles of my branch. The number was exactly 3,741,952. When the 3,741,953rd dropped onto the branch — nothing more than nothing, as you say — the branch broke off’.

Having said that, the coaltit flew away.

The dove, since Noah’s time an authority on the matter, thought about the story for while, and finally said to herself: ‘Perhaps there is only one person’s voice lacking for peace to come to the world:

Kurt Kanter, from New Fables, Thus s poke the Marabou

Notices for Sunday 7th May 2017

I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture.
John 10:9 (Message)

May going through the gate lead us to Witness, Love and Service
Amen.

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Rev John Wiggall
After service tea hosts Chris and Evelyn

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Marilyn Edwards  in memory of her mother Dilys Whitley
Organist: Joan McGowan

Sunday 14th May
11.00am             Mrs Naomi Squire (Parade)
Vestry Steward – Sheila
Door Steward – Val
Tea Hosts – Val and Betti

Diary Dates

May
Mon 8th        “Square Mile” Study in the lounge 2.00pm
Tue 9th        Oasis of Silence – Regent Street at 12.30pm for 20 minutes. Bring lunch to share afterwards
Wed 10th      Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Fri 12th        Friday Lunch Club 12 noon in the hall £3
Mon 15th       Circuit Men’s Supper at Gresford 7.00pm
Fri 19th        Joan McGowan “May Melodies” Concert 7.30pm in the hall – Tickets £5
Sun 21st       Anniversary Choral Concert at Rhosddu 7.30pm
Sun 28th       Messy Church in the hall 4.00pm to 6.00pm

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Dorreen Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Gwyneth Williams

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

Finding unity in communion – Acts 2:42-47

It is a singularly unpleasant thought that a book about Holy Communion is more likely to produce disagreement and controversy than one written on almost any other Christian subject. It seems a truly terrible thing that this Sacred Appointment, which was surely meant to unite, in actual practice divides Christians more sharply than any other part of their worship. Christians of various denominations may, and frequently do, work together on social projects, they may study the Scripture together, and they may . . . pray together. But the moment attendance at the Lord’s Table is suggested, up go the denominational barriers. . . . I would make a strong plea that we do not exclude from the Lord’s Table in our Church those who are un­doubtedly sincere Christians. I cannot believe that to communicate together with our Lord should be regarded as the consummation, the final pinnacle, of the whole vast work of Reunion.

J. B. Phillips, Appointment with God [1956]

In the lounge
Four Mondays in May
Starting tomorrow 1st May
2.00pm

 

Square Mile is a study which aims to catalyse and equip Christians to take a truly integrated approach to mission, expressed in four dimensions:

Mercy: demonstrating God’s compassion to the poor.
Influence: being salt and light in the public life of the community.
Life Discipleship: equipping Christians for missional living as workers & neighbours.
Evangelism: faithful and relevant communication of the gospel.

Led by Rev Richard Sharples

PLEASE NOTE

Only one person turned up for the study last week. This could have been for a number of reasons, a) it was a Bank Holiday, b) people were on holiday, c) people were ill, d) Monday wasn’t a suitable day, e) 2.00pm wasn’t a suitable time.

Whatever the reason, it is not fair to take up Richard’s valuable time by agreeing to hold studies like this one if in fact people don’t want them.

It would be helpful if you could let Bob know whether you intend to be there tomorrow. This will give an opportunity to let Richard know in good time whether to lead the study.

The study is intended to help us think through how we can be a church centred in our community and best we might plan a way forward.

The intention is to have session 1 tomorrow and agree at this first session when to fit another session to replace the one we missed last week.

There won’t be any notices next week so we take this opportunity today to give our good wishes for a special birthday.

Congratulations
And every blessing
To
Betti Hughes
Sat 20th May
John 10:1-10

 

 

We talk about the shortage of vocations. We wonder about a time when hundreds joined every year. This brings up all sorts of questions about the future of the church. Vocations is not about priesthood only, or religious life. The first big moment of vocation is baptism. The anointing of chrism is the anointing of vocation.

Witness, Love and Service

The baptismal vocation is for Witness, Love and Service. This will be expressed in ways in which people take on their baptism. In married life, single life – within the single life, religious life, priesthood.

Witness – to our faith, the love of God. To the life and the values of Jesus in our lives. Teaching is not itself a vocation for example but the way we teach is a way of living out our vocation.

Love – the ordinary relationships of life. In the special promise of marriage, in family and in friendship. Any love is a sharing in the love of God and a sharing of the love of God. In the moments of unselfish love in any relationship we are living out the vocation. When you love, you are doing God’s will!

Service – the wider world. Love of the poorer world, here and elsewhere. A way of welcoming the stranger. Christian love doesn’t always mean knowing a person. We want to make the lives of all deserving of the name human.

Donal Neary SJ, The Sacred Heart Messenger, Dublin, Eire

 

Notices for Sunday 30th April 2017

And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn’t find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive.
Luk 24:21b-23 (Message)

Help us Father God to understand that faith – not knowledge, but trusting, courageous faith – will change how we look at our way of living.
Amen.

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Rev Richard Sharples
After service tea hosts Chris and Evelyn

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Beti Hughes in memory of her husband Vic
Organist: Joan McGowan

Sunday 7th May
11.00am             Rev John Wiggall
Vestry Steward – Ian
Door Steward – Bob
Tea Hosts – Bob and Evelyn

Diary Dates

May
Mon 1st         “Square Mile” Study in the lounge 2.00pm
Tue 2nd        Coffee Morning at Llangollen 10.00am
Tue 2nd        Oasis of Silence – Regent Street at 12.30pm for 20 minutes. Bring lunch to share afterwards
Fri 5th         Friday Lunch Club 12 noon in the hall £3
Wed 10th      Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Mon 15th       Circuit Men’s Supper at Gresford 7.00pm
Fri 19th        Joan McGowan “May Melodies” Concert 7.30pm in the hall – Tickets £5
Sun 21st       Anniversary Choral Concert at Rhosddu 7.30pm
Sun 28th       Messy Church in the hall 4.00pm to 6.00pm

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Dorreen Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Gwyneth Williams

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

In the lounge
Four Mondays in May
Starting tomorrow 1st May
2.00pm

Square Mile is a study which aims to catalyse and equip Christians to take a truly integrated approach to mission, expressed in four dimensions:

Mercy: demonstrating God’s compassion to the poor.
Influence: being salt and light in the public life of the community.
Life Discipleship: equipping Christians for missional living as workers and neighbours.
Evangelism: faithful and relevant communication of the gospel.

Led by Rev Richard Sharples

Resurrection Doubts

Here’s my brief take this vignette from Luke’s larger narrative about the resurrection appearances of Jesus: if you don’t have serious doubts about the Easter story, you’re not paying attention.

Seriously.

I mean, just read the story. Actually, all of the stories. For while the four gospels have many interesting variations in their account of Jesus’ resurrection, they are absolutely consistent on one thing: no one believes the good news of Jesus’ resurrection when they first hear it. No one. And that includes Jesus’ own disciples, the ones who were closest to him and spent the most time with him. In fact, that level of disbelief starts with the disciples.

Earlier in the verses before this reading, Luke tells us that the disciples dismissed the testimony of the women who had been to the empty tomb as an “idle tale.” Actually, that’s not what Luke tells us, that’s the water-downed translation we’re used to. The Greek word Luke employs – leros – is the root of our word delirious. So in response to the testimony of the women, the disciples say they are out of their freakin’ minds. Nice.

But perhaps expected. You see, here’s the thing: the earth is generally unwilling to cough up the dead. And testimony that it has – that one who died has actually been raised – kind of upsets the natural order and causes you to lose confidence in pretty much everything you thought you could count on. Two things, Benjamin Franklin once wrote to a friend, are certain in this world: death and taxes. Except, according to these women, not death.

So no wonder the disciples doubt their testimony. Except it’s not just their testimony, they doubt; it’s even Jesus. That’s what’s so astounding to me about this passage. Thus far in Luke’s account, the disciples have heard and dismissed the women’s testimony, Peter then ran to the tomb and confirmed at the very least that it’s empty, two disciples on the road to Emmaus were encounter by Jesus and have returned to tell their tale, and now…wait for it, wait for it…now Jesus has appeared among them and invited them to touch him to dispel any doubts they may have that he is real. And then Luke writes, “While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering….”

Doubt is not the opposite of faith. Doubt, in fact, is probably a necessary ingredient to faith. Faith, by definition, is trust in spite of a lack of evidence. Faith is not knowledge. Faith is more tension-filled. It is acting as if something is true even when you have no proof that it is.

Which means that when we talk about the “gathering of the faithful,” we’re not talking about the gathering of those who’s faith/knowledge is absolute or certain or bedrock. We’re talking about those people who have all kinds of questions and doubts but still find joy and wonder in this message of good news about new life. Or maybe who want to find joy and wonder, haven’t yet, but keeping coming because of their hope.

It’s okay to doubt. In fact, it’s probably a requirement of faith. Because, honestly, in light of all the death and trauma and disappoint and tragedy that colours every human life, if you don’t have at least some difficulty believing the promise that God not only raised one person, Jesus, from the dead, but also promises new life and second chances and forgiveness and grace to all, then you’re probably not paying attention.

But if it’s true that God raised Jesus from the dead… If it’s true that God promises to renew the whole creation and grant us new life… If it’s true that nothing – nothing we’ve done or has been done to us – can separate us from the love of God… If it’s true that God will not turn God’s back on any of us but always reaches out to us in grace, mercy, and forgiveness… If any of this – let alone all of this – is true, then how might we live our lives this week differently? How might this faith – not knowledge, but trusting, courageous faith – change how we look at our relationships, and our politics, and our work, and our resources, and our future?

The promise of resurrection, new life, and grace is so outlandish, so uncommon, and so desperately necessary that it has always elicited a measure of doubt. But it has also always elicited changed lives as well.

David Lose, The Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, USA