Newsletter – May 2018

‘Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit enabled them.’ Acts 2: 2-4 (NIV)

Dear friends,

Our Christian celebration of the Jewish Festival of Pentecost is called the birthday of the Church. It the time the promised Holy Spirit came on the disciples, and as we know from the Bible, they all spoke in various different languages which the people in Jerusalem at the time, come from many different countries to celebrate the Festival, could understand.

It’s called the birthday of the Church because it’s not until then that the disciples really understood what was going on, so they truly became Jesus’ body on earth, filled with the Holy Spirit, able to give witness to Jesus and to bring others to know His love and salvation. As we read the pages of Acts we see how quickly this good news spread and the Church grew at a phenomenal rate.

Before this, their Rabbi Jesus, whom many had been following for 3 years, the miracle worker and teacher, whom they came to believe was their awaited Messiah, had been crucified. Many of them had seen Him alive after this, risen from the tomb, and although we celebrate this every Easter, the first Easter was bewildering for them, and many of them doubted. We’re told they also doubted when they saw Him on the hillside before His ascension back to God the Father, and they were asking Him then when He was going to restore Israel. They still hadn’t got then what Jesus came to do.

But as the Holy Spirit came on them, just as Jesus promised, they recalled His words to them, and understood what was going on. They found themselves relying on the Holy Spirit to guide them and help them. They were taken to places they’d never been before, being people they never thought they would be before. As Jesus promised in Luke 24.49 they were, ‘clothed with power from on high.’ And so the Church were born.

We are part of that wonderful Church, Christ’s body here on earth, to witness to Him through that same power of the Holy Spirit, to those around us, and maybe further afield.

I have started a series of sermons on the Holy Spirit, as many Churches are unsure of this person of the Trinity, beginning with, ‘Who is the Holy Spirit’. In the coming weeks, starting on Pentecost Sunday, 20th May, we’ll be thinking about the following themes and readings:

The coming of the Holy Spirit Ezekiel 37: 1-14 & Acts 2: 1-8, 12-21
What does the Holy Spirit do? John 3: 1-13 & Romans 8: 1-17
Fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5: 16-26 & John 16: 5-15
Gifts of the Spirit Acts 10: 44-48 & 1 Corinthians 12: 1-11

If there are other questions about the Holy Spirit you’d like me to try to cover, please let me know. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into it, and I hope it will prove to be a helpful series for all.

In Christ’s love, Clare <><

Prayer Meeting
We are invited to this month’s prayer meeting on Wednesday 9th May. It’s 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. Do come if you can or set aside the time to pray at home.

Coffee & Conversation
Come and join in the conversation over a cuppa and a Bible passage:
  Tuesday 15th May at 2pm
  Wednesday 30th May at 7.30pm
  Venue: will be confirmed in the notices.


It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our friend, Mrs Milly Lund. Milly died in St James’s Hospital on the evening of Friday, 6th April after several weeks in hospital. Milly contributed a great deal to the life of the church and we shall miss her greatly.


Join us for lunch on Tuesday, 8th May at 12.30pm for 1o’clock. The lunch is an opportunity for all in the church to sit and enjoy each other’s company over a hot meal. No regular commitment is asked, but we do value knowing if you can join us (preferably by the Sunday) so that we can cater accordingly. The cost – £3.

On Tuesday, 22nd May at 2.30pm we have invited a guest speaker from the Royal British Legion. Please support this meeting. We are all aware of the annual Service of Remembrance and the Poppy Appeal to help fund the organisation, but it will be interesting to hear of their role in the support of veterans of our Armed Services as they face the difficulties of returning to civilian life.

A Message from Janette and Roger Morley
We would like to express our sincerest thanks for the most gracious and warm welcome we received upon our return to Headingley St. Columba URC, early last year. It meant so much to be made to feel like we had never been away. I will never forget the words “Welcome Home”, which were given to me on the second Sunday of our “re-appearance”.

We apologise for the delay in offering these thanks, but, as we are sure most of you are aware, not long after our return, we were faced with what has probably been the most traumatic period of our life together, when our elder son Matthew was so ill, and spent fifteen weeks in hospital. Around the Christmas period, we had the additional stress of several crises, during which we were warned that he might not survive, and having to spend most of Christmas day meeting with his nurse and consultant, who gave us that terrible news, having had a phone call in the middle of the night.

However, against all the odds, Matthew survived, and, with much help and support from the ward staff and other departments, a place was eventually found for him in Ghyll Royd House Nursing Home in Guiseley, which has proved to be ideal for him and his needs. Thankfully, he is now looking better than he has for a very long time.

So, we give thanks to our Lord God for what clearly have been miraculous blessings, along with our thanks for all your love, prayers and support, during this difficult time.

With our love in His name,

Roger and Janette.


A very early date for your diary: Friday, 5th October.
Rev Geoff Ellis has kindly agreed to lead another Quiet Day for us at Parcevall Hall. If you have been able to come in the past we are sure you will wish to return in the Autumn to enjoy the peace and beauty of the house and gardens and join in worship and fellowship together.
If you have not been before, do consider joining us – transport will be arranged between us and all are welcome. The cost, including a full lunch, is £26.

‘If another hurricane comes, we’d just die’

Yes, we are now in the run up to Christian Aid Week.

13th – 19th MAY 2018

Marcelin lost his home and livelihood when Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti in September 2016. ‘I lost pigs, goats, everything in the house. I have nothing left,’ he says.
He now lives in an old concrete shower block, a tiny space he shares with his teenage daughters. There are no windows or doors, and the only furniture is a single bed that the girls sleep on. Marcelin and people like him have shown incredible resilience in the face of such hardships and are working hard to bring up their families.
Of the 700 houses we built following the 2010 earthquake, just one needed to be repaired after Hurricane Matthew.
The donations from this years Christian Aid Week’s collections will help build homes in Haiti that will last and help families like Marcelin’s to weather future storms.

I have approached my usual collectors. Thank you to those who are able to collect this year. I still need at least 3 House-to-House collectors to cover the streets we have collected over the last few years. I will be contacting the garage to ask to collect there again. We have noticed over the last two years that the Friday evening collections have been very poor. The garage has been very quiet then. It is proposed to collect for a few hours on the Sunday afternoon at the end of the week if we can get collectors. If you can collect either House-to House or at the garage please let me know.
I will be away until 10th to 15th May but will see that the collection things are available before I go,


6th May Pat van Lemmen
13th May Susan Bollon
20th May Aleck Brownjohn
27th May Elissa Grant

Please advise the relevant Elder if you have a notice to be announced in church, preferably by the previous Wednesday.

6th May Dr E Cameron Dr E Cameron
13th May Mrs M Philips Mr & Mrs Madill
20th May Flower Fund Mrs A Seaton
27th May Flower Fund Mrs M Koi

Thank you to everyone who helps in any way with the flowers.
When you put your name on the calendar, it is our usual practice for you to pay for them. Either arrange them yourself, or ask someone to do it for you.

Very generously people give me money throughout the year to use as needed. These are gifts from you to your church, they are much appreciated.

There is a Church Flower Fund Bank Account, to deposit money or cheques. This requires two of three designated signatures to obtain cash for use week by week.

Rosemary Reid takes care of the distribution, unless you inform her if you wish the flowers to go to someone in particular. Otherwise they go to the sick or housebound, or anyone in need of comfort.



Please may I have contributions for the next edition by SUNDAY, 13th MAY either to me directly or via email to Your contributions are always most welcome.

Margaret Brownjohn


Many thanks to all who supported the Easter coffee morning. A further £114 was raised towards our Lent Project. A lot of covert operations go on but no secrets are given away until the big day and it never ceases to amaze me what can be done with an egg!

Penny, Holly and Henry had great fun hunting for eggs, sharing the eggs and the challenges then hiding the eggs for Ian and Richard who had been coerced into helping.

Thinking caps on for next year!

Easter eggs were also distributed to children who attend our parties and the Women’s Refuge. They were all very grateful for Headingley St Columba remembering them.


A big ‘Thank you’ to Sue for all the above, including organising the Coffee Morning, judging the entries (!) and buying and distributing the Easter Eggs. We do appreciate all you do to support our contacts through the Social Services and the Refuge.


Our Lent Project in support of the Macular Society realised a total of £1,662.65. In addition the Society will be able to claim an additional £172 in Gift Aid – bringing the total to £1,834.65.

Our decision to choose this charity, which both funds research and support to sufferers, was prompted by Len Bower who requested that some of his artwork and Sadie’s be sold to raise funds for it when he moved into a Care Home. He has suffered from this disorder for some years, making daily life progressively more difficult. Denis Greig also gave us a most interesting insight into research in Leeds to encourage our understanding and giving.

So far, the sale of paintings has raised a wonderful £440 and many of us are enjoying the works of the talented Bowers.


We have learned to live with Voicemail (Also known as Automated Answering System) as a necessary part of modern life. But . . . have you wondered what it would be like if God decided to install Voicemail?

Imagine praying and hearing this:

Press 1 for requests;
Press 2 for thanksgiving;
Press 3 for complaints;
Press 4 for all other enquiries.

What if God used the familiar excuse, ”I’m sorry, all our angels are busy helping sinners right now. However, your prayer is important to us and will be answered in the order it was received, so please stay on the line”?

Imagine getting these responses as you call God in prayer – – –

“If you would like to speak to:
Gabriel — press 1
Michael — press 2
For a directory of other angels — press 3
If you would like to hear King David sing a psalm while hanging on — press 4
For reservations at God’s house please enter P E T E R followed by 316
For any other questions, please wait until you arrive here.

Our computers show that you have already prayed once to-day. Please hang up and try again to-morrow.

The office is closed for the weekend to observe a religious holiday.

Please pray again on Monday after 9.30am. If you need emergency assistance when the office is closed, contact your local minister.

Thank God, Heaven does not have Voicemail.
And God always listens when we pray.

Thank you, Joan, for sending in this amusing piece.



In the busyness of this day grant me a stillness of seeing, O God.

In the conflicting voices of my heart grant me a silent calmness of hearing.

Let my seeing and hearing, my words and my actions

Be rooted in a silent certainty of your presence.

Let my passions for life and the longings for justice that stir within me

Be grounded in the experience of your stillness.

Let my life be rooted in the ground of your peace, O God

Let me be rooted in the depths of your peace.

From Celtic Benediction  by J Philip Newell