Seen in Wormersley Church, near Pontefract
‘O God, make the door
of this house wide enough
To receive all who need
human love and fellowship;
narrow enough to shut out all envy,
pride and strife.
Make its threshold smooth enough
to be no stumbling block to children,
nor to straying feet,
but rugged and strong enough
to turn back the tempter’s power.
God make the door of this house
the gateway to thine eternal kingdom.’
Thomas Ken (1637-1711)
Thomas Ken was a Fellow of Winchester and wrote a Manual of prayers for college scholars. He refused to allow Nell Gwynn to lodge in his house when Charles II visited. The king said, ‘Little Ken tells me of my faults’ and made him Bishop of Bath and Wells.
Later he was a Non-juror, one of the Seven Bishops who were tried but acquitted for refusing to read James II’s Declaration of Indulgence. However, at the Glorious Revolution of 1688 he refused to take the Oath of Allegiance to William of Orange and was deprived of his bishopric.
He wrote the Doxology (no. 21 in our hymn book and well-known morning and evening hymns (nos. 378 and 416).
‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship…’
Acts 2.42 (NIV)
We’re now well into the Holy Habit of Fellowship. I’m writing this as we are just beginning our exploration of this Habit, and wondering how far we will have got by the beginning of February. By now we will have had some discussions at our Coffee & Conversation groups and the mission group will have met, and possibly the young people will have had a chance to meet together.
As I was pondering depth of fellowship, and looking through the Holy Habits resource, I came across a song by a Christian rock band from the US, called Casting Crowns. I’ve used some of their work in dance on occasions. I would describe much of their work as modern-day psalms, ones which, like David and other writers of the Psalms, come straight from the heart. The musical taste maybe slightly different though! (those intrigued can listen to it on YouTube, if you dare – enjoy!)
The song is about someone who doesn’t feel able to be himself in his local Church fellowship, and is wondering who else feels the same way. It’s called ‘Stained Glass Masquerade’, and below is most of it without the chorus in italics repeated at the end:
Is there anyone that fails? Is there anyone that falls?
Am I the only one in church today feelin’ so small?
‘Cause when I take a look around everybody seems so strong.
I know they’ll soon discover that I don’t belong.
So I tuck it all away, like everything’s okay.
If I make them all believe it maybe I’ll believe it, too.
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them.
Are we happy plastic people under shiny plastic steeples,
With walls around our weakness and smiles to hide our pain?
But if the invitation’s open to every heart that has been broken,
Maybe then we close the curtain on our stained glass
Is there anyone who’s been there, are there any hands to raise?
Am I the only one who’s traded in the altar for a stage?
The performance is convincing and we know every line by heart,
Only when no one is watching can we really fall apart.
But would it set me free if I dared to let you see
The truth behind the person that you imagine me to be?
Would your arms be open, or would you walk away?
Would the love of Jesus be enough to make you stay?
(Stained Glass Masquerade by Casting Crowns – lyrics taken from MetroLyrics)
This song begs the question of us and our Church fellowship. Do we feel we have to hide our real selves, do we feel others will reject us if we show the rough edges of our lives, or are we confident that arms will remain open for us because we’re all committed to showing each other the love of Jesus?
Something for us to ponder, and maybe a conversation starter.
Love in Christ,
Daniel, Claire, Henry and I would like to say thank you to our church family for their cards, prayers, kindness and support received on the death of David. God Bless you all. Susan
THOUGHTS ON CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS
Pop Up Student Support
1st December 2018
The Otley Run #2
Mandy crossed roads, Brian, Samantha and Pete headed into Headingley to fish for souls whilst Brenda applied the eleventh commandment: Thou Shalt not Pass
Janette and Joan prepared bread rolls, hot dogs and hot chocolate drinks – thank you to Sainsbury’s Headingley who donated some of the items that we used – Roger drew up and applied the risk assessment and Aleck provided the magnificent gazebo that kept us all sheltered, thank you.
Comments from students and professionals were mostly positive and a couple thanked us for what we were doing. Those who asked us why we were doing it were given answers like: Because;
We’re a Church and we want to support our local community
We’re a Church and we want to support our students
Yes, a couple didn’t trust us and wondered about food poisoning but as Roger told them:
‘There’s no catch’.
To which one might add:
Unless you count the aforementioned spread net fishing for souls, in which there might have been at least one 🙂
Making it all worthwhile.
Thank you to all who helped and supported us.
Francis Byrn, 7th January, 2019
And now the party . . . . .
‘Fantastic!’ That was the opinion of the children who attended the Christmas party. And it was.
A huge thank you to Gilly and Malcolm Proctor who entertained forty three children (and nearly as many adults) with games and activities until tea was ready. Thank you to dear old Santa (DS) who delivered presents to the children, he never fails to turn up. We even had a baby Santa who sat on Santa’s knee and helped hand out the presents. Can I just add a massive ‘thank you’ to all the congregation who gave so generously so all this could happen and to the people who gave their time on the day to help make it a success. Our best party ever I think. An email from the Refuge reads, ‘The families thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the children were especially beaming. We cannot thank you all enough for your hard work and dedication each year.’
Thank you to Margaret and Aleck for providing refreshments after the service on Christmas morning. It was lovely to relax and catch up with people we don’t often see at church as they live far away and was most welcome.
FLOWERS FOR FEBRUARY
|At Headingley Methodist Church
|Mrs E Grant
|Mrs J McShane
|Mrs B Mackintosh
|Mrs R Reid
Our gratitude goes to all who help with the flowers. There are still quite a number of blanks on the calendar. Please enter your name if you would like a particular Sunday.
REMEMBERING THE FALLEN
Remembrance Sunday is always an emotional time for many of our congregation as they remember loved ones who were affected by armed conflict and who in some cases made the ultimate sacrifice. 2018 was especially poignant as it marked 100 years since the end of the First World War. It was fitting that it fell on the 11th November and the 2 minutes silence was observed at 11.00am the precise hour when the armistice was signed and all hostilities ended. The poppy wreath was laid and the Ode of Remembrance was read by Gwen Collins. In addition, the names of the fallen were also read out which amounted to 75 victims who had either been members at Cavendish Road Church or Headingley Hill.
A few weeks before the service, I paused in front of the Great War memorial which is situated near the steps leading to the vestibule. One or two people also stopped and remarked that they hadn’t taken much notice of it before. I made a note of some of the names and whilst looking at the large wooden plaque along the corridor also dedicated to the fallen, I discovered that it listed a different array of names. Apparently this had been at Headingley Hill and the stone plaque at Cavendish Road, both of which amalgamated to form Headingley United Reformed Church.
I decided to carry out some research on some of the names and accessed the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and the Leeds PALS where I managed to trace some additional information. Many of the Leeds PALS were volunteers who signed up at Leeds Town Hall to fight a common cause. Several years ago my husband and I visited some of the war grave cemeteries in Belgium and France and also attended the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, Ypres, which takes place every evening at 8.00pm. There are 57,000 names listed on this memorial which commemorates those who died in action but have no known grave. In addition, the Tyne Cot Memorial which is close to Ypres lists another 35,000 men of the British and New Zealand forces who have no grave but nearly all died between August 1917 and November 1918. This area on the Western Front was the scene of the 3rd Battle of Ypres also known as Passchendaele. The huge amount of human loss is almost too difficult to comprehend.
Another significant battle took place on the Somme in northern France and many thousands lost their lives on the 1st July 1916 which was the first day of that particular offensive. I managed to trace at least 6 former members of our former churches who all fell on this particular day. Two sets of brothers Norman and James Stanley Summerscale and Robert Watt McEwan and David Grant McEwan were among those who died – the latter were residents of Chapel Lane, Headingley. John Charles Millar Stewart of Cavendish Road Presbyterian Church was ‘killed in action’ on 3rd July 1916. Most of these men were in their early 20s and served together in the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own). At least 4 of those lost in the Battle of the Somme are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial which lists 72,000 names of United Kingdom and South African forces. James Petch who fought in the Durham Light Infantry is remembered more locally in Lawnswood Cemetry.
Wherever they fell, they will always be remembered for their sacrifice and in the words from John’s Gospel chapter 15, verse 12-13:-
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
It is impossible to comprehend the suffering of the men and their families during this terrible conflict. Thank you, Sue, for your research honouring the men who had been part our church family.
It is with sadness that we record the passing of Dr Sheila Hamilton on 12th November 2018. She was a loyal member of Headingley St Columba and worshipped regularly with her husband, John, until ill health no longer made it possible. Her funeral was held in the church on Thursday, 29th November and it reflected the deep affection and respect in which she was held. The service also reflected her Scottish roots, partricularly when family friend, Marjorie Brown, sang ‘O Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast’ and ‘O, My Luve Is Like A Red, Red Rose’ by Robert Burns. It was moving tribute to a much loved wife, mother and family doctor.
We have just learnt of the passing of Mrs Marjorie Brown of South Milford on Tuesday, 15th January. She had been infirm for some years and unable to attend worship but had been visited regularly by David Nelson as her Elder. She entertained him with her happy memories and good-humoured stories. She attained the fine age of ninety-nine years.
Clare’s Service themes and readings:
|Matthew 18: 15-20 & 1 Corinthians 3: 1-11
|Holy Habits – Fellowship, conflict and division
|John 17: 20-26 & 1 Corinthians 12: 12-20
|Holy Habits – Fellowship, all one in Christ
Don’t forget our monthly prayer meeting, on Wednesday 13th February, 10.30-11am, a time to draw aside for a short time in God’s presence to pray in the quiet together, for those in need and for our Church. If you can’t come to the Church, how about setting that time aside at home to pray.
We shall be holding our monthly lunch on Tuesday. February, 12th, meeting at about 12.30pm for lunch at 1 o’clock. All church friends are welcome – just let us know if you can join us to help with catering numbers. The cost is £3 and help with clearing up is much appreciated!
Our afternoon meeting will be on held on Tuesday, 26th February at 2.30pm when we shall be remembering ‘How we used to be’, helped by old films and personal memories. Be prepared for Dads on the beach in suit and tie, some modern technology and some official advice and information.
|At Headingley Methodist Church
|Pat van Lemmen
Please let the relevant Elder know if you have a notice you wish to be read out in church that Sunday. If possible, by the previous Wednesday.
– – –
CHRISTMAS IS NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS
What is that they’re saying? ‘Read it in the press’
Heard it on the grapevine, ‘Miracle’, no less.
Could it be a gimmick? Don’t trust all they say,
Could it be they’re pulling legs as on ‘All Fools Day’?
Saying dignitaries coming from afar,
Bringing gifts most precious; Following a star;
Saying in a stable, for the good of man,
There’s a tiny baby, part of heaven’s plan.
But, can we believe it? BET YOUR LIFE WE CAN!
Coffee & Conversation
Come and join in the conversation about the Holy Habit of Fellowship:
Tuesday 19th Feb, 2pm
Wednesday 27th Feb, 7.30pm
We will be looking at the story of Genesis 18: 1-16 in the context of discussions on fellowship.
OTHER BEVERAGES (Tea) ALSO AVAILABLE!
MARCH NEWSLETTER: please may I have all articles for the next edition by Sunday, 17th February either directly to me or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
WORLD DAY of PRAYER SERVICE,
FRIDAY 1st MARCH, 2019.
The Service this year is to take place in St. Chad’s Church, Far Headingley at 1.30pm on the 1st. March. (The start time will be confirmed nearer the 1st. March).
The Theme is ‘Come – Everything is Ready!’ and has been prepared by the Christian Women of Slovenia.
Do come and join in this ‘Day of Prayer’ Service – everyone is welcome.
The Local Group of Churches WDP Committee is holding a meeting on the 4th. February, at 10.30am in St. Chad’s Church in preparation for the Service.
New Committee members would be very welcome. If you are interested please see me for further details.