Easter; and all around us now, the world awakes, the flowers bloom,
Here in the stillness of my room, I think Christ died and suffered pain.
How can it be, we loved, we lost, yet though He died,
He lives again.
Now once again, at Easter time,
as earth rises from its sleep,
Our hearts, our senses soar on high, to worship Him, our promise keep.
We love, we honour, we obey, Dear Lord, forgive mistakes we make,
At Easter, help us start afresh, to do our best, for Thy dear sake.
Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
Although we’re now into May, as Easter was late, we’re still in the Easter season, remembering we live as people of the resurrection. We live not for ourselves but for Christ, following in His Way. We live a new life, in fullness of life, bringing life to others in how we relate to others as individuals and as a Church.
As we have been exploring Holy Habits, which has come out of how the early church lived out their new life in Christ, it is to renew our discipleship. It is to think afresh about how we live as disciples, our attitudes to others and to each other, and in renewing our discipleship, the hope that others will be drawn to Christ.
Having explored the Holy Habits of Biblical Teaching, Fellowship and Breaking Bread – I hope you enjoyed all the fun and sometimes hilarity of the bread making as well as all we thought about – in May we begin the next habit, that of Prayer.
Prayer to me is the key to renewal, to renewal of us as individuals and as a Church. Some things came out of the Prayer Year when you explored Prayer under the Vision4Life banner. We may have opportunity to revisit that, how we’ve progressed since then, and what more we could do. My own desire is to get us praying more together, for our Church, our worship and our community.
Prayer is also the underpinning of the ‘Leading your Church into Growth’ programme, the conference of which takes place in October, as advertised in Church meeting. If you’d like to go on that conference, please let me know.
As yet, the Holy Habits planning group haven’t met to think about how we explore the Holy Habit of Prayer, so I am not able to wet your appetite as we did for Breaking Bread. However, as we move on into this next Holy Habit, maybe think yourself how you could explore praying more at home.
There is a prayer written for Holy Habits which I haven’t shared much so far, but maybe this is the right time for us to bring this prayer into our daily lives as we continue to allow the Holy Habits to form in us:
Help us always to be open to your Spirit in our thoughts and feelings and actions.
Support us as we seek to learn more about those habits of the Christian life which, as we practice them, will form in us the character of Jesus by establishing us in way of faith, hope and love.
(From Holy Habits Resource Booklets by Andrew Roberts, Neil Johnson and Tom Milton, published by The Bible Reading Fellowship, brfonline.org.uk/holy-habits)
Any ideas you have for our exploration of prayer, please let me or one of the Elders know.
Love in Christ,
Our monthly prayer meeting is on Wednesday 8th May, 10.30-11am. Please support it this month if you’re not going to the Synod Assembly in Scarborough, and pray for a good time of worship and fellowship for all who come.
Coffee & Conversation
Come and join in the conversation on Prayer:
Tuesday 21st May, 2pm
Wednesday 29th May, 7.30pm
So many of our national holidays and celebrations are based on our Christian faith, but May Day is certainly not one of them – in fact at one time the festivities involving ‘cavorting around the maypole’, crowning a May Queen and following ‘Jack in the Green’ in procession were banned. Riots followed the ban in the 16th century because of their pagan roots in Roman and Celtic traditions and 14 rioters were hanged – Henry VIII was said to have pardoned a further 400 who had also been condemned.
The Purtians described maypole dancing as ‘a heathenish vanity generally abused to superstition and wickedness’, which saw the end of village maypoles. But, Charles II, the Merry Monarch, reinstated them, having a maypole erected in the Strand said to have been 134 feet high and which remained for 50 years*. Our famous local maypole at Barwick in Elmet is over 80 feet high and the next May Day celebrations will be held in 2020; the Maypole will be taken down on Easter Monday, the pole repainted and decorated ready for the celebrations – they are already looking for volunteers to make the thousands of rosettes for the 4 garlands which decorate it.
There are still communities with special celebrations: in Oxford, people gather before the Great Tower of Magdalen at dawn, with choir singing. In Maidstone, Morris dancers dance across Barming Bridge to open the new Morris dancing season; while in Cornwall an annual Obby-Oss (Hobby Horse) day is held, with dancers moving through the town singing a May Day song. In Scotland, large festivals and rallies are held, including Edinburgh’s Beltane Fire Festival, held on the evening before May Day. It is also an important festival in my brother’s Devon village where, following a procession the new May Queen is crowned on a huge stone throne in the village orchard – and some of the princesses may be princes. May Day was originally a celebration associated with farming and fertility for the land and livestock. It came at a time when the seeds were sown, when farm workers had earned a good rest and now May Day may be Labour Day when workers’ unions march in support of working men and women. Not a Christian festival, but often they are still celebrations that bind generations and communities together – not such a bad thing!
CHRISTIAN AID WEEK
Sunday 12th until Saturday 18th May
This year Christian Aid is focusing on
“CHILDREN IN SIERRA LEONE”
Christian Aid says:-
“As we work together to understand how changes in society are affecting the way people give to charities, we have been developing some simpler ways to combine the reach into the community that a classic House to house collection gives us with something that is easier for our volunteers to run.
For some time now, a number of our groups and churches have been undertaking delivery only collections, where envelopes are delivered but gifts are returned to a local drop-off point.
Our research shows high potential for success with a distribution only model. Delivery only envelopes bring in 75% of the income of the standard envelope (with much less than 75% of the effort). We have also used insights from behavioural science to design subtle changes to the Christian Aid envelopes that will help us increase the amount donated per envelope by 10 -17%”
Some of our collectors have decided to try this out, while others will collect in the usual way. We will also collect, as usual, at the garage in Far Headingley.
As our collection area is so spread out we will need more than one collection point.
Christian Aid are also altering the collection cans so that debit/credit cards can be used to donate. We may try that next year!!
Can I take this opportunity to thank all who collect and donate to Christian Aid.
Your response to the Cyclone Idai Emergency Appeal raised £517.00. Thank you .
|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.
|FLOWERS FOR MAY
|Dr E Cameron
|Mr and Mrs N Madill
|Dr E Cameron
|Mrs A Seaton
|Mrs M Koi
|Mrs M Koi
Thank you for all the gifts of money to the Flower Fund. Also my sincere gratitude to all who arrange or distribute flowers.
Please may I have all contributions for the next edition by Sunday, 12th May, if possible. You can either give me articles by hand or by email to email@example.com. I am always grateful for contributions and would like to thank Ann Woodhouse for those she has written on words she has heard set to music and poems she loves. Perhaps you have a hymn that has special meaning for you, or a poem – or even a few words that you feel you, too, can share.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE
On Sunday, 12th May, we will be holding our service at 4 p.m., as a result of the Leeds Half-Marathon road closures, meaning that many of our congregation will find it very difficult to reach our church for the regular service of worship at 10:45 a.m.
This afternoon service will be shorter than our normal morning worship, lasting about 45 minutes. There will be a time of worship, a short talk, and prayers, and we aim to make it a little less formal than our morning worship.
The service will be followed by Tea or coffee and cakes.
We hope you will be able to join us, and support this service, maybe learn a new hymn, and look forward with us, to similar, additional services in the future, which we plan to hold once a month, in the afternoon, in addition to our traditional morning service.
Our monthly lunch will be will be held on Tuesday, 14th May, meeting as usual at 12.30pm for lunch at 1 o’clock.
Our afternoon meeting will be on Tuesday, 28th May at 2.30pm when we have plans to hold a quiz – followed, of course, by tea, cakes and a chat! Do join us.
The Spa Scarborough
Wednesday 8th May 2019 11.30am – 4pm
Revd Kevin Watson, Synod Moderator
Mr Chris Powell, ‘Trash to Treasure’
Revd Clare Davison, Worship Leader
‘Seaside Uke Strummers’
(see the April newsletter for further details)
For flowers that bloom about our feet,
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet,
For song of bird, and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!
For blue of stream and blue of sky,
For pleasant shade of branches high,
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!
Ralph Waldo Emerson