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Mature Movers Every Tuesday

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Messy Church Sunday 20th May 2018

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Quiz Friday 13th April 2018

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Messy Church 15th April 2018

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Messy Church February 2018

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

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”