EVEN WHEN HE IS SILENT
I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining
I believe in love, even when I feel it not
I believe in God, even when He is silent.
Ann Woodhouse heard these words sung by the Leeds Guild of Singers at a concert in June and she found the words and music most moving and wished to share them with you.
It is said that the words were found scratched into a wall by a victim of the Holocaust. They were spoken by the Prince of Wales at the end of a moving speech on Holocaust Day, 2015, when almost 50 years had passed since the liberation of the Concentration Camps.
The music was composed by Kim Andre Arnesen and was commissioned for the St Olav Festival in Trondheim, Norway and premiered in 2011.
If you are ‘tech savvy’ you can find a beautiful rendering of the piece by St Olav’s Choir in Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, and I am sure you will share Ann’s feelings.
‘…Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.’ (Job 1.20-22 NIV)
As I was thinking about what to write this month, my mind turned again to a similar theme as last month, thinking about how God looks after the birds of the air, and how much He cares for us. God is with us in all the situations in our lives.
This month, the focus in that is to praise God whatever happens. We probably all know the story of Job. The story goes that he was a man of great wealth, and had 7 sons and 3 daughters. Satan did not believe Job would continue to praise God if things were not going so well for him, so God allowed Satan to take everything away: Job’s sheep and shepherds died when lightning struck them, a band of Chaldean raiders took all his camels, and his sons and daughters all died when the house they were having a party in blew down on them in a desert storm.
As if that was not bad enough, Job came out in sores all over his body, his wife told him he was silly not just to curse God and die, 3 friends came to console him and ended up giving him lectures, and he cursed the day he was born asking God to take his life. But despite all the pain and the suffering he had been through, Job never cursed God.
There’s a worship song by Matt & Beth Redman based on Job. It reminds us to:
‘Bless the Lord’s name ‘…in the land that is plentiful …where streams of abundance flow …when the sun’s shining down on me’; yet also, ‘…when I’m found in the desert place …though I walk through the wilderness …on the road marked with suffering…’
The Refrain says:
Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise.
When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say:
Blessèd be the name of the Lord, Blessèd be Your name.
Blessèd be the name of the Lord, Blessèd be Your glorious name.
(Copyright © 2002 Thankyou Music)
It is not always easy at all to praise God when we are not feeling at our best, or when something goes wrong in our lives. We are tempted, if not to blame God, then to go off Him for a bit until the situation improves. When others ask us about why God allows suffering in the world we may find ourselves unsure of what to say. Deep down we wonder too.
It is often difficult to find things in our lives to praise God. Life goes on so quickly and sometimes we are so busy there can be few opportunities to pause and think through what we are doing or where we are going, or God’s action in our lives.
Yet it is good to stop and praise God and to give Him our thanks. In April I went on the Appreciative Inquiry course. In the context of what used to be called the Church Life Review, and is now called Inviting Forward, it’s about asking the right questions to help Churches realise the good things they are doing and build on those things. Participants are invited to go on their own appreciative journey, one part of which is to think of 3 things every day we can be thankful for, in a Christian context, to thank God for.
Whatever we think of how the story of Job is written, what we believe about God and suffering, the story reminds us to give thanks and praise to God in whatever happens in our lives, in the good times and in the times of suffering and hardship. It is good to stop at points in our day, every day if we can, to do that. When we get in a habit of doing that, finding things to give praise for every day, then when we find life hard going, it may be a little easier to praise God in those circumstances as well.
Every blessing, Clare.
FRIDAY, 5th OCTOBER 2018
Rev Geoff Ellis has kindly offered to lead a Quiet Day for us again at Parcevall Hall.
We shall meet at Parcevall Hall at around 10 o’clock when we gather for coffee; we shall worship together, share a meal and there will be time for quiet contemplation, reading and walking in the beautiful gardens. We set off for home at about 4pm following closing worship with Holy Communion and then Afternoon Tea.
If you have been before we are sure you will look forward to this peaceful day. Geoff will prepare the theme and compile meditations you may wish to follow during the quiet times. If you have not been able to join us in the past, we do hope you can come this time. Full details are in the programme Geoff has prepared and these are available from Aleck who will also be taking names and collecting the payments. We shall share transport, so let us know if you need a lift – don’t let this be a problem.
Places are limited – just 22 on this occasion – so please let Aleck know as soon as possible so that other churches may be invited if they are not all taken up.
The cost, including a full lunch, morning coffee and afternoon tea, is £26 – payable by Friday, 10th August, please, to Aleck Brownjohn.
July’s prayer meeting is on Wednesday 11th, a time to draw aside for a short time in God’s presence to pray in the quiet for those in need and for our Church. Do come if you can, or pray at home.
SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER. Please may I have all articles for the next edition by Sunday, 12th August either directly to me or via email to email@example.com. Thank you.
This year’s donations from Christian Aid Week were to build houses that stood up to Hurricanes, so we can be proud of how we have helped.
Can I take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped with Christian Aid collecting and donating in any way. We are a small older congregation but we still managed to raise over £1000.00.
It was necessary to cut down the number of streets covered. The Garage at Far Headingley allowed us to collect again this year. Here the majority of people now pay by card so there was not the loose change going into our tins. The garage clients did donate £270 and we are very grateful of this and to our collectors who stood with the cans. I know that most houses called at were turned away with no donations; students with no money left, householders turning the collectors away, sometimes not very politely, But there are others who look out for us and have their envelopes ready for collection. Some people donate regularly and have already donated.
Can you please let me have any suggestions as to how we can raise money other ways for Christian Aid? I would like to cover some streets and also the garage but only where collectors feel it is worth- while.
The breakdown of the collection is as follows:-
HOUSE-TO-HOUSE COLLECTION:- £515.19
CHURCH COLLECTION:- £216.40
GARAGE COLLECTION:- £274.01
CHRISTIAN AID WEEK TOTAL:-£1005.60
Very well done and Many Thanks
DATE FOR YOUR DIARY: Junior Church Book Sunday and Church Barbeque on SUNDAY, 9th SEPTEMBER. All welcome and sunshine guaranteed!
COFFEE & CONVERSATION
Come and join in the conversation over a cuppa and a Bible passage:
Tuesdays 17th July & 21st August at 2pm in the Iona room
Wednesday 25th July & 22nd August at 7.30pm. We shall meet at the Mint Café on North Lane. (It is on the left, a few yards before South Parade Baptist Church going west).
Join us for Lunch both in July and August: Tuesday, 10th July and Tuesday, 14th August. We meet at 12.30pm for lunch at 1pm and all are welcome.
The Guild are planning a visit to GOLDEN ACRE PARK on Tuesday 24th July. We hope to have tea at the Café and a walk round the gardens. Everyone is welcome. Keep in touch with Joan for details.
Over twenty years have now passed since the Prayer Diary was started. The idea came from the House Group hosted by the Morley’s which had been formed after the church had held an Alpha course. Janette was the first compiler and I took over later on. To commemorate all these years of having a prayer diary for the congregation I have reproduced four prayers from July 1998 in the July diary and four prayers from August 2008 in the August one. They all acted as a stepping stone for further prayers in the new diaries.
|Pat van Lemmen
Please advise the relevant Elder of any notice you wish to have given on a Sunday morning. It would be helpful to send it to them by the previous Wednesday.
|FLOWERS FOR JULY & AUGUST
|Mrs D Sowden
|Mrs J McShane
|Mrs E Grant
|Miss C Tweedie
|Mrs A Nelson
|Miss G Strawbridge
|Mrs A Woodhouse
|Mr & Mrs I Henderson
|Dr E Cameron
|Mrs S South
|Dr & Mrs D Nelson
|Mrs S Bollon
|Mrs R Reid
|Mr & Mrs Reid
Thank you, again, for all your help with the flowers. They are much appreciated in church and by those who receive them.
This is my home, this dappled gold and green
Of sunlit lawn, outside my window pane.
Surrounded by a tangled hedge, aflame
With roses, as July comes round again.
A gate, where ‘neath the old laburnum tree
The pansies peep, from out the gardener’s pots.
And mid the roses where they shouldn’t be,
The merry faces of forget-me-nots.
Each burdened stem, pink, purple, blue and white
Is mirrored here amid the sheltering green.
Birds trill, and even on the darkest night,
I feel my home is where God’s steps have been.
CHANGE IN THE CHURCH
Notes from the Yorkshire Assembly.
No doubt you are familiar with ‘Lightbulb’ jokes and here they are given full rein to have fun with the perceived differences between our Christian denominations.
How many Calvinists does it take to change a light bulb?
None. God has predestined when the lights will be on.
How many Baptists . . . ?
How many American TV evangelists . . . ?
One. But for the message of light to continue, send in your donation today.
How many Anglicans . . . ?
Ten. One to change the lightbulb and nine to say how much they liked the old one.
How many Methodists . . . ?
We choose not to make a statement either in favour of, or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey, you have found that a light bulb works for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship to your light bulb and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday Service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-lived and tinted; all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence through Jesus Christ.
How many URC members . . . ?
Eleven. One to change the light bulb and ten to organize the supper that will follow the bulb changing service. NOT us, surely!!
Our thanks to Janet Clarke for sharing this insight!