Methodist Church News 2003
Winter 2003 News
Doesn’t time fly. It certainly has for us as a family over the last year. This time last year we had not the slightest inclination where Rolleston was. I was at college in Birmingham and the date uppermost in our diaries was January the 22nd 2004. This was the date we were to be told in what part of the Methodist connection we were to be stationed. Having been here just over two months we are very pleased that God has called us to this delightful part of the world. I am 53 years old & live in Stretton with my wife Jeanette, we have three grown up daughters who have remained in the family home town of Bicester Oxfordshire. For both of us this is our first time away from our roots. I am looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the coming months and if I can be of service to you please do get in touch. This offer is open to you whether you are a member of a faith community or not.
Doesn’t time fly. As I write this I am conscious that Christmas is under two months away. It is so sad that we can get so caught up in preparations that we do not take time to reflect on the meaning for the season. If its true that God actually entered our world as a small baby, subject to nappy rash, wind, teething troubles then that is amazing. Princess Diana who is again sadly the height of media attention; made news by touching someone with leprosy. For someone in her position, amazing, although actually there is no risk. For God to become a human being now there is a risk but one God took in love for me and you.
Perhaps like me, before I became a Christian, in the first few days of January you will ask yourself what the season is all about, is there more to it than a midwinter feast, and the legacy of credit card bills? Well yes there is, there is the promise of God’s Presence with us daily, there is a sense of how much God values each one of us as a unique unrepeatable miracle of his. A shampoo manufacturer says we should use their shampoo “because your worth it“. God sent Jesus because he thinks you are worth it.
On the 11th of January at the Methodist Chapel we shall be holding our Covenant Service. This is a very special service in the Methodist year at this service we renew our promise to God to serve in the year ahead. We do not commit ourselves to the Methodist Church but we invite God to exercise his Lordship of love over us. We make solemn promises but we are encouraged to do so as we reflect on God’s goodness to us all. Increasingly this service is being seen as a gift that Methodism can offer to the ecumenical scene and in many areas Churches are coming together for this service. If you are not committed to worship elsewhere on that day you are very welcome to join with us.
May I take this opportunity of wishing you and all those you care for a very happy Christmas and a peaceful new year.
God Bless, Mick Dilley
Christmas is coming, and on 14 December the uniformed organisations will have a Parade Service with carols led by Rev. Mick Dilley. All are welcome to come along and join the young people. And if you can come to any of our other services, on 21st or 28th December you can celebrate Christmas with us on those days too.
To help you get in the festive mood, you are invited to come to the Christmas Concert, with seasonal music and readings, followed by refreshments, to be held on Wednesday 17 December at 7.30pm. In the past few years this has proved a popular event, and tickets will be available from members nearer the date.
Autumn 2003 News
At the beginning of September we welcome our new minister, Rev. Michael Dilley, and wish him a happy time among us.
On 14th. September we shall celebrate Harvest Festival at 10.45 a.m. This will be a parade for the uniformed organisations, and we will have the circuit Praise Group with us. The preacher will be Rev. Julie Coates.
On Wednesday 22nd. October at 11.30 a.m. in the schoolroom there will be a talk by Mr. George Arblaster, the headmaster of the village primary school, about his work. This will be followed by a Ploughman's Lunch. All will be welcome, but if you intend to come to the lunch please help with catering by contacting any member of the congregation, or Joyce Lockley on 563327.
Summer 2003 News
Numbers at Pram Service are currently very small as the children who used to attend have moved on to Playgroup or school. New people would be very welcome, including mothers on their own, as some enjoy the relaxed brief service followed by coffee and a chat. There are always activities for children so that the adults can have a time of peace and quiet!
We have now sent five Aquaboxes to the depot at Wirksworth, and we know where some of them have gone. You may remember that these boxes are filled with good second hand clothing, items like toiletries, tools and household utensils, together with water filters to produce clean drinking water for a family, and despatched to disaster areas when needed by reputable relief agencies. Within a month each time our boxes went to Ghana, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Albania. We have enough goods left to start another box within a couple of months. This is not specially a Methodist venture but is operated by Rotary, and we welcome any help the village can give. Any church member would be pleased to receive enquiries.
Spring 2003 News
In my homeland, the coming of spring means melting snow, sprouting plants pushing their way free of the embrace of Grandmother Earth, and returning birds sharing the songs of their travels. As the land that once appeared so cold and barren begins to pulse with the vibrancy of spring, my mind always wanders to thoughts of awakenings. And with spring being the season of Lent, my mind drifts from awakenings from physical slumber to spiritual awakenings, which bless one with the eyes of God, able to see the weaving of land and people in all its beauty and sacredness. In this spirit, I wish to share a story from my homeland.
A water bearer had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself and wish to apologize to you." “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said. The water bearer felt sorry for
the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load and so, again, it apologised to the bearer for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walked back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, she would not have this beauty to grace her house."
May in this season, we be blessed with an awakening that grants us eyes to see cracks and flaws of our selves, our community, our world, not as sources of failure and marginalization, but as a source from which sacredness can flow.
Reverend Grant Schmit
We have despatched our fourth Aquabox for emergency relief agencies, and are preparing the next one. Footwear is in short supply, and some other items. Members are always pleased to receive offers of help with these.
Work on the disabled facilities should be well under way by now, and we hope that the inconvenience has been minimised for all users.
There will be united Lent groups for both churches in the village this year, to consider the proposed Covenant between the Anglican and Methodist churches. It is hoped that all people interested will support this initiative.
The united service for both churches will take place as usual on Good Friday at 11a.m. All are welcome.
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© Richard Bush
Last updated: 2 March 2004