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Grange Methodist Church

29 July

Dear Friends,

This will be the last Weekly Update for a while as I am taking some leave. I'm very grateful to Andrew and Su Lockley and David and Hazel Edmondson who will be continuing the Sunday morning service on Facebook while we're having a break. Coffee morning will also continue. The links for accessing everything online will remain the same, so make sure you keep a note of them if you need to for the coming 2-3 weeks. 

If any urgent pastoral needs arise while I am away, there will be colleagues available to cover. We are still advised that in-person pastoral visiting should be avoided if at all possible, especially to those who are in higher risk groups, because of the risk that ministers may potentially spread infection to large numbers of people - and I really don't want to pass on infection to any of you! But we can visit if alternatives of phone call etc are not sufficient. While I am away, contact details for my colleagues will be available on an out of office reply on my email, or on my answerphone message.

Pastoral news
The funeral of Geoffrey Ward takes place this Friday, 31st July, at 12.30. Please continue to remember Joan and family in your prayers. It is possible to watch the funeral service live online using the following details: 
website: www.obitus.com
username: Subu1283
Password: 859320

It is recommended that you try out this in advance - you can log in at any time beforehand to see a test message that will show you whether it is working. The live webcast will start approximately 5 mins before the service start time.

You  can view or download the order of service here.

Church correspondance
It does seem that quite a few people are not receiving this email update. There could be a number of reasons for this, most likely either their email provider is treating it as spam (check junk folders, and if possible add the email noreply@churchbox.co.uk to the 'safe senders' list). Alternatively, we may not have an up to date email address (email Hazel Edmondson,  or phone 36213) and she can provide you with a contact details form to give consent for us to hold your information. Obviously putting this information in the email people are not receiving is of limited use! So please if you hear of anyone in the congregation who has an email address but is not getting the emails, ask them to get in touch.

Hopefully if you have received this email you will also have received the email with a link to the survey about reopening our building for services. Thank you to everyone who has already responded - please do complete it if you haven't yet done so. Paper copies have gone out to those not on email, but using the weblink here makes it much easier for those of us gathering the information together! Let us know if you need any help with this.

Do keep on sending any news to Hazel for the Lockdown Newsletter - one of the challenges of not gathering together is that it is harder to share news informally, and obviously we always need to keep appropriate confidentiality. But if you have news you want to share, whether sadness or joy, do please send it in.

Online House Fellowship
The House Fellowship will take a break through August and will begin meeting again in September. I'll put information in the weekly update at the end of August to let you know what's happening. We're open for others to join at any point.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

21 July

Dear Friends,

Sorry for not sending an update last week - time ran out on me! And there wasn't a great deal of news last week anyway. This week I am attaching Lockdown Newsletter 2. If you have any news for the next edition, do please send it to Hazel (click to email; for other methods, see the newsletter.)

Pastoral news
A couple of sad pieces of news to share - Geoffrey Ward (father of Pam Brook) died on Friday in Lancaster Infirmary. Our prayers are with Joan, Pam, and all the family. His funeral will take place at Beetham Crematorium at 12.30pm on Friday 31st July. It will be invite only because of restricted numbers, but will also be live streamed, and the family would love as many friends as possible to be able to share in it with them. I will send the details out when they are available. 

Also I have been asked to share with you that Don Gabbitas is seriously ill in Warwick hospital. Some years ago Don was treasurer here, and June was Church Council Secretary. We were glad to know them for a short time between our arrival here, and their move to Warwick. I'm sure they will also appreciate our prayers. 

Church Council
The Church Council met last week, and of course one of the main items on the agenda was when we might consider re-opening the church building. The general feeling was that most of the congregation are feeling very cautious about gathering again too soon, so it was decided that at present we have no particular date in mind. However, members of the property team will be meeting online to have a closer look at the various requirements for reopening, including what would be required to enable some of the regular lettings to begin again, if they wish to. Along with some other Church Council members, I am also working on a short survey to send out to all our church family to ask how you are feeling about returning to church for services. I am planning to send this out in the next couple of days, in a separate email. It will also be printed and delivered to those who do not receive the emails. This will help guide our thinking about how fast to move forward. I do want to reassure those of you who are worried about meeting again that we plan to continue to offer some form of service online, and in written form, even when we do resume physical gatherings again. Hopefully in this way we can continue to provide better support to all those who are unable to meet in church, whatever the reason.

Do please look out for the survey, and respond as soon as you are able. We have arranged to have another online Church Council Meeting on Tuesday 25th August to look at the responses and hear what the property team think about the practicalities.

The usual links for coffee morning tomorrow and for Sunday services are below.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo


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Grange Methodist Church

8 July

Dear Friends,

I hope you are keeping well. Here at the Manse we are looking forward to the end of the school term. Although no one has been leaving the house, school has very much continued at home, both for Paul teaching, and for Martha and Amos studying. There is a week and a half to go, and we will be glad of a break when it comes! It is amazing how in the space of little more than one school term, new ways of doing things have emerged and developed and now seem almost normal. I guess much the same can be said of church. The way we do things may have changed, but our purpose remains the same, and we are finding new ways to fulfil God's mission. Among other things, our virtual house fellowship has completed the eight week series of The Character Course, and Church Council is meeting online on Tuesday, more of those below. And the usual links for coffee morning and services are here.

However, before I go further, I have some sad news to share - we heard on Monday that Revd Joe Daley, the minister here before me, died on Sunday. Our prayers are with his family, and so many others at this time, who are grieving in difficult circumstances.

House Fellowship
It has been such a joy to meet together that we will continue to meet on a Tuesday afternoon, 2-3.30. Over the next few weeks we are going to try out some other things as we decide what to do next. Anyone else would be very welcome to join. For the time being at least, each week will stand alone, so you are welcome to dip in and out. If you are not sure about using zoom, do get in touch - we can help.

Click to Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 832 1289 5721
Password: 611697

We want to hear from you!
A few weeks ago I reminded you of the questions below, and encouraged you to pray and respond. I have had some replies, but would welcome more. Church Council will be meeting online on Tuesday 14th July, and your thoughts would be really helpful as we begin to think about priorities for the future. I have attached the grid again, this time in an editable format, but you don't have to use this to send your response. You could just give answers to each question. If any more answers could be sent to Hazel Edmondson by this Sunday, 12th, she has offered to collate responses (which will be recorded anonymously). I'm sure our thinking will continue to develop, but it gives us a starting point. You can email Hazel,  or if you would prefer, we can pass on anything delivered / posted to the Manse (let me know if you need the address)

  1. What have we lost that we need to regain?

  2. What have we gained that we need to keep, and even develop further?

  3. What have we gained that we won't need after the pandemic is over?

  4. What have we lost that we need to leave behind?

As you consider these questions I would particularly encourage you to use our vision statement to guide your thinking:

We believe we are called to be a church where people of all ages and backgrounds are supported in:

  • loving and serving God

  • loving and serving our neighbours, both local and global

  • growing and sharing faith

Church Council will also be looking at the information about what is required to safely re-open church buildings. This is a big task. We won't be moving ahead with re-opening until the Church Council is happy that we can do so safely, and in a way that is manageable, bearing in mind that government advice is that people over 70 should still be taking extra care not to put themselves at risk.

That's all the news for now, but I leave you with the words of a new hymn written by Revd Rosemary Wakelin, a supernumerary Methodist minister. It was published in the Prayer Handbook for 2019/20, before the virus struck, but the words seem very apt.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo


The world we thought we knew is changing fast,
and longingly we cling to what is past:
that settled life which made no great demand,
a foretaste of the hoped-for Promised Land.

But as for you, dynamic, pilgrim God
you do not linger on the path well trod
but ever lead your pilgrim people on
to risk an unknown future with your Son.

The challenge of diversity and change
will take us well beyond our former range,
exposing us to things we do not know,
demanding all the love that we can show.

You take the stuff of chaos, fear and dread,
and make a path that we can safely tread,
and if we fear the wildness of the wave,
we know your outstretched hand is there to save.

(c) Rosemary Wakelin (Suggested tune: Woodlands)


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Grange Methodist Church

30 June

Dear Friends,

A much shorter update this week! Here is our first edition of the Lockdown Newsletter - thank you Hazel for putting this together, and thank you to those who have contributed news. Please do send Hazel any news you would like to share in the next edition.

This afternoon we had the seventh session of our house fellowship that has been meeting online. We've had about 15 people participating each week, and by the wonders of technology have been able to have conversations all together and in smaller groups of 4-5. Next week will be the final session of the materials we have been using, practising characteristics of Christian life through daily prayer exercises. This means that we need to think about what comes next. As we think about starting something new, this would be a good time to join! I am also happy to hear suggestions of materials we might use. 

Methodist Conference is in full swing. This morning Martha proposed a Notice of Motion to seek full disinvestment of Methodist funds from fossil fuel companies. The proposal was amended before it was accepted, asking (rather than directing) Methodist Council to take the step of asking for full disinvestment. But it was very clear from the debate that there is strong feeling that the Methodist Church is not moving far enough or fast enough on this issue. If any of you are interested in listening to the debate, you can watch it here.  (The discussion of the report runs from 2 hours 33 mins in to 3 hours 16 mins, Martha first speaks at 2 hours 47 mins)

The usual links for coffee morning tomorrow and for Sunday services are below.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

24 June

Dear Friends,

For those receiving the printed service this week, it has been prepared by Ralph Penny-Larter, pastoral worker at Carver Uniting Church, and a Local Preacher newly arrived in this circuit. We're grateful to him, and to Maggie for all the weeks she has been preparing written services for those around the circuit who don't have access to the online services. In future weeks we are hoping various preachers will be taking turns to prepare these services. We have directly contacted everyone we are aware of for whom we don't have an email address, and are delivering to all those who said they would like a copy, but if you know of anyone else who would appreciate it, please let me know. 

I'm sure you will be aware of changes to restrictions announced by the government this week. We are expecting that the Methodist Church will issue updated guidance after Methodist Conference, and we will not be considering opening the building until we have a fuller picture. It will be for Church Councils to decide what is safe and appropriate in each circumstance. Do please send me any thoughts in response to the four questions I sent last week. There is no doubt that things will need to be done a bit differently when we do start gathering again, and your reflections will help us discern together what God may be saying to us about the way forward.

Our online services for the Circuit continue each Sunday morning at 10.30am - click here. This week we will be finishing our series on Ruth, looking at chapter 4. Our Superintendent, Graham, is also preparing a weekly recorded service which is uploaded to YouTube in time for Sunday evening. These can all be found here.
The virtual coffee morning continues each Wednesday morning, 11-12.
All are welcome to join the coffee morning and service, not just Grange people, and not just church members. It has been great to welcome friends from all over! The links are here - feel free to share them with anyone who might be interested (but don't post the zoom link publicly online please) If you need any technical help do give us a call on Grange 33164.

District Service, 3pm Sunday 28th June
The District service I mentioned last week will be available via zoom and YouTube. Our District Chair, Revd Dr James Tebbutt will be preaching. Some of the hymns will be led by Keith and Jill Hudson, leaders of the Phoenix Praise Band in Gosforth, others will be led by the Rand family! The service will include an opportunity to affirm Revd Andrew Sterling and Revd Zena Smith, who should have been ordained on Sunday.

The service begins at 3pm. It will be available on the channel of the church in Kirkby Lonsdale, here.

 If you wish to join via zoom, please arrive from 2.45pm - the service will begin promptly at 3pm. Click here - ID & password if you need them:-
Meeting ID: 813 6019 2473

Password: 284695

 

Methodist Conference
All the public sessions of the Methodist Conference will be live streamed here.

In particular, the following sessions on Saturday 27th may be of interest:

2.15pm Opening of Conference and Induction of President and Vice President, Revd Richard Teal (our former District Chair) and Carolyn Lawrence

3.15pm President's Address

4.15pm Vice President's Address

6.00pm Reception into Full Connexion (receiving and affirming those who would have been ordained this weekend) 

 

There is no Sunday morning worship from Conference this year. However, Revd Richard Teal will be preaching at the live streamed service from Methodist Central Hall, Westminster at 11am. This will be available both live and after the event here

Sharing News
A reminder that Hazel Edmondson has offered to put together a short email / printed newsletter, likely to be produced as often as there is news to fill it. News could be a recent or upcoming birthday or anniversary, something that has encouraged you during recent weeks, a new or rediscovered hobby etc. - tell us about what you have been up to! It doesn't need to be long, it will just be good to be able to hear from one another. Contact Hazel on 36213 or by email  (If the news concerns anyone else please make sure they are happy for it to be shared publicly.)

 

The theme we are exploring in our online housegroup this week is humour, which the author expands as joy, laughter, cheerfulness, gladness, so we are all looking out for moments of joy and laughter this week! I want to finish with this prayer for you all, from Romans 15:13:

May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Take care, and God bless,

Jo


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Grange Methodist Church

17 June

Dear Friends,

There is quite a bit of news this week!

Methodist Conference
Of course the Methodist Conference cannot happen in the normal way this year, but the 300+ representatives will be meeting electronically, beginning with the presbyteral session from 25th June, and then the full body of conference from 29th June - 2nd July. The business has been slimmed down to essential items, and others (such as the discussion of Marriage and Relationships) have been deferred to next year. Please remember all those involved in your prayers as they meet, as it will not be easy to do business this way, and it will be hard for representatives to feel the same sense of joy as comes with gathering together. Martha Rand is again one of the Youth Representatives this year.

On Saturday 27th at 2.15pm our former Chair of District, Revd Richard Teal, will be inducted as President of the Conference, and Carolyn Lawrence as Vice President. Richard will address the conference at 3.15pm. At 6pm the probationers due to be ordained will be received into Full Connexion, again online, but ordinations are postponed until a future date when they can happen in person. There are two probationers in our district who will be received into Full Connexion, Revd Andrew Stirling (Kirkby Stephen, Appleby and Tebay circuit) and Revd Zena Smith (South West Cumbria United Area). As usual, these and other sessions of conference will be streamed live online. I will share links once they are available

Conference Sunday Special Services, 28th June
There is no Sunday morning worship from Conference. However, Revd Richard Teal will be preaching at the live streamed service from Methodist Central Hall, Westminster at 11am. This will be available both live and after the event here.

In the afternoon there will be a Cumbria District Service at 3pm. This will include recognition of Zena and Andrew at this special but somewhat disrupted occasion in their ministry. Details are being finalised, but the hope is to offer this live on Zoom, and possibly also via YouTube. I will let you know the details of how to access it as soon as I have them.

We will still have our usual service from Grange Manse in the morning. If you want to also share in the service from Westminster Central Hall, it is possible to join one of them live and watch the other one later.

A letter to the Methodist Recorder
A group of Methodists including Martha have written a letter to the Methodist Recorder asking for further action to be taken to withdraw Methodist investments from fossil fuel companies. A copy of the letter is attached. The writers are inviting others who support what they are asking to add their signatures by emailing Michael Pryke at mikepryke@gmail.com. In the first 24 hours over 100 people have added their names. If you cannot email but would like to sign, please let me know as soon as possible and I will pass your name on.

'My heart is blue' - a song for the NHS
Our very own David Webster has written a song dedicated to all his NHS colleagues in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Those of us attending coffee morning were able to watch an interview with ITV borders during which David and Lucy performed the song. It is well worth watching, and is available here (as well as on music streaming services for those who have them.) Some of the "back story" to the song can be found here.

Sharing News
If all this feels very internet based, fear not - Hazel Edmondson has offered to put together a short newsletter, likely to come out as often as there is news to fill it. It will be sent by email to those for whom we have an email address, and delivered on paper to those who ask for a copy or who are receiving the printed service sheets. If you have any news you would like to share please contact Hazel on 36213 or by email.  If the news concerns anyone else please make sure they are happy for it to be shared publicly.

Moving Forward
Last but not least, a few weeks ago in our online service I suggested thinking about how life has changed and how we might move forward beyond the time of the pandemic by considering these four questions:

  1. What have we lost that we need to regain?

  2. What have we gained that we need to keep, and even develop further?

  3. What have we gained that we won't need after the pandemic is over?

  4. What have we lost that we need to leave behind?

I've had one or two people send me some thoughts, and it would be wonderful to have more. We are currently hoping we might manage to have a Church Council meeting on 14th July via zoom - more news about that to follow in due course. At some point soon Church Council will need to begin thinking and planning for the future as we emerge from the pandemic, and these four questions will be very important to work through. So please do prayerfully think about what God might be saying to you about the life of the church here, and share anything you feel able to. I have attached a template you could use to jot down thoughts over the coming days and weeks. 

Take care, and God bless,

Jo


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Grange Methodist Church

11 June

Dear Friends,

Apologies for not sending an update last week - it's been very busy with quite a lot of meetings in the last couple of weeks. One of the advantages (or is it?) of doing everything online now is that we can have meetings more frequently without needing to factor in travel time! And of course there is a lot of discussion going on about what is safe for us to do, when and how we might begin to think about opening church buildings, how to make sure we don't neglect those who need to continue to isolate once we begin to meet in some way, and so on. This means even more meetings than usual! 

To give a brief update on where we are at the moment, there are no plans as yet to re-open any of the church buildings in our circuit. At present the Methodist guidance is clear that buildings should only be in use to provide essential social support such as food banks. Windermere Methodist Church is one example of this, currently running the foodbank from the church porch with strict hygiene measures in place.

The Methodist Church has said that even though recent government announcements would permit opening churches for private prayer, there will be no change to this guidance until after Methodist Conference has met (25th June - 2nd July). The Connexional Property Team are working on guidelines for how buildings might be reopened safely. This will not be an easy task, and is likely to involve, for example, checks on the water supply to ensure it is free from legionella after standing unused for this extended period of time, as well as extra hygiene procedures that will need to be put in place. We need to carefully consider what is manageable, particularly remembering that many of our members who might ordinarily volunteer to help are themselves at greater risk from the virus due to health conditions and/or age. Once there is permission within the guidelines, it will be for Church Council to decide how and when is right for us to open.

For the forseeable future we will continue to broadcast a Sunday morning service from the Manse, rather than going unnecessarily into the church building. As a circuit we will continue to offer a printed service to those who would like it. So far Maggie has been preparing all of these, but in future weeks it is anticipated that other preachers will take responsibility for some weeks. Do please let me know if you are aware of anyone who might appreciate a copy, and we will arrange to deliver it. Graham is also uploading a pre-recorded act of worship for Sunday evenings, which can be found on YouTube via the circuit website.

I should also mention that we have recently discovered that some of those who do not have access to the internet via computer or phone may be able to watch the services on YouTube through their television. This will be newer 'smart' TVs, and I'm afraid I'm not very familiar with them so I'm probably not much help, but anyone with a TV with a YouTube app can use it to search for Grange Methodist Church and they should be able to find all the services there. Each week the new service should be available by noon on Sunday. Unfortunately we don't currently have the ability to stream live to both Facebook and YouTube at the same time, so the services are uploaded to YouTube after they have finished.

The links for services, coffee morning etc are the same each week. I've put them at the bottom of this email. I'll finish by sharing this prayer written by Nadia Bolz-Weber at the end of May. She's an ordained minister in the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Some of the cultural references might be lost to us (insert your own!), but the sense of it speaks to me deeply about encountering God in our day to day life.

As ever, take care, and God bless,

Jo


I do not know when we can gather together again in worship, Lord.

So, for now I just ask that:

When I sing along in my kitchen to each song on Stevie Wonder’s Songs in The Key of Life Album, that it be counted as praise. (Happy 70thBirthday, SW!)

And that when I read the news and my heart tightens in my chest, may it be counted as a Kyrie. ['Kyrie eleison' is the part of the liturgy meaning 'Lord, have mercy' - Jo]

And that when my eyes brighten in a smile behind my mask as I thank the cashier may it be counted as passing the peace.

And that when I water my plants and wash my dishes and take a shower may it be counted as remembering my baptism.

And that when the tears come and my shoulders shake and my breathing falters, may it be counted as prayer.

And that when I stumble upon a Tabitha Brown video and hear her grace and love of you may it be counted as a hearing a homily.

And that as I sit at that table in my apartment, and eat one more homemade meal, slowly, joyfully, with nothing else demanding my time or attention, may it be counted as communion.

Amen.

-Nadia Bolz-Weber

 

Links:

Services

 As ever, you can join in live at 10.30 on Sunday here.
Shortly after the service finishes it will also be uploaded to YouTube here.

The circuit website is being regularly updated (thank you Andrew!) and has links to pretty much everything -  printed services & other linksGrange service videos;  &  newsletters etc. 

Zoom coffee morning

The virtual coffee morning continues on zoom, from 11am -12 noon every Wednesday. You can pop in briefly or join for the whole hour, just click this link when you want to join.

  • Meeting ID: 913 8670 2687

  • Password: 8BDE06

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26 May

Dear Friends,

Once more the sun is shining! I'm writing this having just had our second virtual house fellowship. This week the theme was Hope, and we've explored some inspiring and challenging things about hope in the big picture (the hope of a world restored to everything it should be) and hope in the immediate (Christ in us, the hope of glory, transforming things here and now). I hope that whatever these days are bringing to you, there is hope in them. 

Services
This coming Sunday is Pentecost! As we said in the last service, we're inviting everyone to send in a short video of yourself (or a photo if a video is not possible). Instructions are:

  • wear bright / flame coloured clothing if possible

  • using British Sign Language, sign the words 'Holy Spirit come'
    This video
    shows how to sign these words.

We will put these videos together and play them during the service - we will only see each person for a couple of seconds, but it seemed appropriate to find a way to see and pray for one another on this special day as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church.

Videos can be emailed to toastchurchgrange@gmail.com or get in touch if you need any technical support!

 As ever, you can join in live at 10.30 on Sunday here.
Shortly after the service finishes it will also be uploaded to YouTube here.

Zoom coffee morning
I'm taking a few days off this week as it is half term so the family are not busy with school work. David and Hazel have kindly agreed to host tomorrow's coffee morning (Wednesday at 11am) The sign in details are the same as always:

https://zoom.us/j/91386702687?pwd=by9xY053dUxZOW9qOW1td2RXSStrUT09

Meeting ID: 913 8670 2687
Password: 8BDE06

I will leave you with a hope-filled poem / prayer that I came across today - see below. I'm sharing with permission.

Take care, God bless,

Jo



Refresh

I think God will refresh the church
I think God will make a new start
All the weary, sluggish back story
Will become a new song
One of worship, dancing, singing, love

God saw the brokenness in the church
God saw the tears
God saw the unsatisfied
God saw the longed for
God saw the emptiness

And then as we reeled from this 'lock-down'
We became isolated
And vulnerable
Feared illness and death
Worried about money

But, this opened our eyes to those who were already reeling
And those who were always in lock-down
We became vulnerable
So we were alongside those who will remain vulnerable
We caught a glimpse of what it is like to fear illness and death daily
And be worried about money constantly

I knew I needed to be refreshed
I knew I needed a new start
The struggle of my worship effort
The recognition of my lacking prayer life
The ignorance of my unfulfilled spirit
Will become a new song
One of commitment, obedience and fire

God stepped in
God stepped up
We have had our eyes opened
Our hearts are unlocked
Our spirits released
A spirit of fire
Let us get ready!

I think God will refresh the church
I think God will make a new start
All the weary, sluggish back story
Will become a new song
One of worship, dancing, singing, love

Rev Liz England May 2020
Team Rector of Buxton

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21 May

Dear Friends,

I am sorry to be later than usual with this weekly update. Firstly a warning about a scam - I've received information that in another part of the country some church members have received emails that look like they have come from their minister, with a message asking them to make an online purchase on their behalf, e.g. buy a gift voucher for a family member because the minister is too busy. I would never ask a congregation member to do something like this! So please take care to check things out if you ever receive a message you are unsure about.

Services

Today is Ascension Day - when we enter that strange waiting time between Jesus' Easter appearances and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Perhaps this year as we wait with many unknowns, we can identify with the story. We will be exploring more of this in Sunday's service. As usual you can join in online at 10.30am. From about 10.15 there will be a picture and music, to give you a chance to tune in. And if you have a facebook account it is possible to 'chat' with others.  Click here

Shortly after the service finishes it will also be uploaded to YouTube here.

Please do let me know if you are aware of anyone who can't join online and would appreciate printed materials each week with hymns, readings and a written sermon. Deacon Maggie is writing resources each week and we are sending them out to various people. We can send out by email or printed copies.

Christian Aid Week

Our fundraising events went well last week. I am very pleased to report that the current fundraising total is £1,720, plus £342.50 in gift aid. This is an amazing achievement, so thank you to all who have donated, and all who have supported the events in various ways.

Zoom coffee morning

The coffee morning continues each Wednesday at 11am, so make yourself a coffee and come along if you can. Even if you cannot install zoom, it should be possible to join a meeting through your internet browser (e.g. chrome or internet explorer) though it's not always immediately obvious how to do this. If you would like us to talk you through it, do get in touch. We can give technical support! 

Feel free to invite others to the coffee morning, and give them the details for joining. We are being joined by various people who have been watching the services online, some of whom are regular visitors to Grange.  Please contact me for joining details.

Fellowship Group

The Zoom fellowship group met for the first session this Tuesday and had a good session, with about 15 people. We'll continue to meet at 2pm on Tuesdays for the coming weeks. If anyone missed week 1 but still wanted to join, I could give you a quick catch up on what we discussed this week and you would be welcome to join from week 2. Contact me if you would like more information, or joining details. 

A prayer for Ascension Day:

O God of earth and sky,
as Jesus came among us in Bethlehem to raise us up to heaven,
so today we recall his departing from us at Jerusalem to be in all places.
Though he is hidden from our sight,
enable us to abide in him
by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit,
until his mercy and grace fill your whole creation. Amen.
Copyright © 2000 Order of Saint Luke Publications. Used with permission.

As ever, do take care, stay safe, and keep in touch.

God bless,

Jo

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12 May

Dear Friends,

I hope you're keeping well. Here is the news for the coming week:

Christian Aid Week

A reminder of our zoom quiz tonight, to raise funds for Christian Aid. 7pm start; contact me for joining details. We have the questions ready - hopefully something for everyone in there. Really looking forward to it!

Also, on Friday, don't forget the Youth Theatre's Christian Aid concert, also 7pm, on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/grangemethodists/live
 It's always a great evening, so although it will be a bit different this year, do 'come along' if you can.

If you feel able to make a donation to Christian Aid, the circuit has a fundraiser here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/southlakesmeth
 All donations go directly to Christian Aid. I'm really pleased that we already have donations amounting to £475 (a couple of other donations have been made via the facebook page)

Zoom coffee morning

Last week we tried splitting into 'breakout groups' - like sitting on different tables for a chat. It seemed to work well, and people told me they felt they were able to have much more of a real chat in smaller groups, so we'll try that again. We'll be meeting again on Wednesday at 11am, so make yourself a coffee and come along if you can – contact me for details

Fellowship Group

So far, I've had around 10 people saying they're interested in the Zoom fellowship group. We'll be meeting at 2pm on Tuesdays from next week (19th May) I will be contacting those who have expressed an interest, but the details for joining are below. You will see there are phone numbers at the bottom - it is possible to join a zoom meeting by phone, though you obviously won't be able to see anything! I would be happy to discuss this option with anyone who would like to try it, although part of the session is watching a video, so we would need to look at sharing that on a DVD or something in order to be able to watch it before the session. But it would be possible. Contact me for joining details.

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Services

Services continue as usual at 10.30 on Sunday morning. You can find all our services here:
 https://www.facebook.com/grangemethodists/live 
Shortly after the service finishes it will also be uploaded to YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAjjn_mCrNDNqBW9KryuHrw

As I said last week, if you or anyone you know is not able to see the online services and would appreciate a printed service to read through, Deacon Maggie is preparing an act of worship each week particularly for the folk in Ambleside and Windermere, most of whom do not have internet access. I can print a copy and send it out, or I can email it for you to pass on a printed copy.

Take care, stay safe, and do get in touch if you need a chat or any practical support,

God bless,

Jo

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5 May

 
Dear Friends,

Spring continues to burst into life around us. The chestnut tree we pass near Clare House on the way to the prom seems to have bigger leaves every time we see it. I think they're probably full sized now, but still have that fresh green of new growth. Whenever I'm tempted to feel fed up with the current situation I remind myself how thankful I am that we live where we do, surrounded by nature and beautiful views, and with such a caring community.

Pastoral News

We're sorry to hear of the death last week of David Hawkes, who quite recently moved to Scotland to be closer to his daughters after his wife Mary died in September. We remember the family in our prayers.

I'm also taking a funeral this Thursday of Bob Davies, who was a resident at Cartmel Grange. I don't think he was known to the congregation, but I am sure the family would appreciate your prayers as well.

Zoom coffee morning

As numbers at the virtual coffee morning grow, we're going to try something slightly different tomorrow morning. Having paid for a subscription to Zoom I can now create different small groups - like having different tables at coffee morning! I have been in a meeting organised by someone else where we were put into groups and it worked well, but I've not yet been in charge of making it happen... we shall see how we go! We're all learning new skills we never expected to need! Do join in with the fun from 11am until about 11.40. We'll have some time all together before we split into groups and just like real life I should be able to pop from one table to another to say hello. We shared a lot of laughs and stories at our second virtual coffee morning last week. The details for joining in are the same as before - if you haven't been with us yet, call Jo (015395 33164, or click here to send an email)

Services

As usual we'll be live on facebook at 10.30 on Sunday morning. This Sunday is the start of Christian Aid Week, and Dare Holland will be contributing to the service. You can find the service here.  Shortly after the service finishes it will also be uploaded to YouTube here.
If any of you have been having difficulty watching the service, do get in touch. We've managed to solve a few technical issues when people have had problems!

Also, if you or anyone you know is not able to see the online services and would appreciate a printed service to read through, Deacon Maggie is preparing an act of worship each week particularly for the folk in Ambleside and Windermere, most of whom do not have internet access. If you let me know, I can print a copy and send it out, or I can email it for you to pass on a printed copy.

Christian Aid Week Events

A reminder below of our events during next week for Christian Aid. If you'd like to make a donation to Christian Aid's work, we've set up a Just Giving page here.  You can make a donation using a bank card. This sends donations directly to Christian Aid, but will tell us the total we have raised. No envelopes to deal with and no money to count! It also deals with reclaiming any gift aid. Christian Aid really would prefer donations to be given online, but if that's really not possible, you can phone 020 7523 2269 to make a donation over the phone.

    Tuesday 12th May at 7pm - Circuit Quiz Night!

    The Rand family will be your quiz masters for the evening, live on Zoom - feel free to invite your friends to join online by sharing the link below. At or just before 7pm, get a pen and paper ready and join us on Zoom. Just for fun (no prizes) and we will invite donations to support the work of Christian Aid.
   If you haven't Zoomed with us yet, call Jo for details (015395 33164, or click here to send an email)
    

    Friday 15th at 7pm - Virtual Concert

    Grange Youth Theatre normally put on a fantastic concert each year, under the brilliant direction of Jean and Mick Malkin. We can't gather together, but we're hoping that various members of the Youth Theatre will record their perfomances and send them in to be streamed. Join us on Facebook live at 7pm, in the same place as the church services:
    https://www.facebook.com/grangemethodists/live
    Again, we will invite donations for the work of Christian Aid, which is needed all the more at the current time.

While we're talking about money...

A short (and positive!) message from the treasurer about church finances:

We're very grateful to all who are continuing to give financially to support the work of the church. Those who have standing orders set up for their regular offerings may notice a change on their bank statement. The switch from NatWest to the Cooperative Bank is about to go through. You don't need to do anything - it's set up to automatically switch across all existing regular payments.

We're also very grateful to John Hutchinson for encouraging so many to give by standing order in the past. It means now that we should still balance the books this year even though we are not able to have services in church.

If you don't currently give by standing order, could you consider setting one up with your bank now? (sort code 089299, account number 65894617). If that's not possible, you can send offerings by cheque (payable to Grange Methodist Church) to The Manse, Fernleigh Road, LA11 7HN. Please don't send cash.

I [Jo] would like to say the change in bank accounts is no small triumph. Thank you very much to Paul for his persistence in making this happen. It will enable us to make electronic payments with dual authorisation - the same as needing two signatures on a cheque. This will make it much easier to pay the bills, especially while we're not really able to go round gathering the necessary signatures!

I think that's everything for now, well done for reading this far! As ever, take care, please stay safe. Although there is talk of 'easing lockdown', there is much concern that there are still high infection rates in Cumbria and other parts of the North West. If you need any support or just a friendly phone call, do get in touch.

God bless,
Jo


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29 April

Dear Friends,

Last week I mentioned our need for rain, and today rain has arrived... I don't think it was my fault! And the gardens and wildlife will be very glad of it.

Zoom coffee morning
We shared a lot of laughs and stories at our second virtual coffee morning last week. I'm sorry that this email is a bit late to remind you that we'll be gathering again tomorrow morning from 11am until about 11.40 Again, if you'd like to join, click this link at or after 11am tomorrow. You can drop in for just a short time if you want. The link should remain the same each week. Feel free to share the link with others in Grange who might appreciate joining us, especially any coffee morning regulars.  If you haven't Zoomed with us yet, call Jo for details (015395 33164, or click here to send an email)

Services
As usual we'll be live on facebook at 10.30 on Sunday morning here, and shortly after the service finishes it will also be uploaded to YouTube here.

Christian Aid Week 10th-16th May
Some advance notices! Obviously many of the usual fundraising activities are not possible in their normal form. However, we have some exciting plans for Christian Aid Week!

  • Sunday 10th May at 10.30am - Christian Aid Service
    Our live streamed service will follow the Christian Aid themes, with guest speaker Dare Holland.

  • Tuesday 12th May at 7pm - Circuit Quiz Night!
    The Rand family will be your quiz masters for the evening, live on Zoom - feel free to invite your friends to join online by sharing the link below. At or just before 7pm, get a pen and paper ready and click the link to join in. Just for fun (no prizes) and we will invite donations to support the work of Christian Aid.  If you haven't Zoomed with us yet, call Jo for details (015395 33164, or click here to send an email)
     

  • Friday 15th at 7pm - Virtual Concert 
    Grange Youth Theatre normally put on a fantastic concert each year, under the brilliant direction of Jean and Mick Malkin. We can't gather together, but we're hoping that various members of the Youth Theatre will record their perfomances and send them in to be streamed. Join us on Facebook live at 7pm here (in the same place as the church services.)
    Again, we will invite donations for the work of Christian Aid, which is needed all the more at the current time.

If you want any more information about these events or anything else, or if you need any help or support, do get in touch.

God bless,

Jo

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21 April

Dear Friends,

I hope you are keeping well, and that even in lockdown you are able to enjoy something of the amazing sunshine we're getting at the moment.The Hospice on Hampsfell The big blue sky from the hospice on Hampsfell the other day.  Although gardens will soon be wanting some rain!

Pastoral News
I have been asked to pass on the news that Margaret Berry died peacefully in the early hours of yesterday morning. She was formerly a member at Cartmel before moving into a care home down south after Westerly closed. She was also aunt of David Edmondson. In many ways her death is a much longed for release from the ravages of dementia. Our prayers are with all her friends and family.

The funeral of Harry Mercer will take place at 2pm on Monday 27th April at Beetham Crematorium. At the moment it looks like the service will not be available online, in accordance with family wishes. Click here to view or download a resource recently produced by the Methodist Church for prayers at home when not able to attend a funeral, which you may find helpful.

Zoom coffee morning
Around 12 or so people from 6 or 7 households joined last week's virtual coffee morning last Wednesday. It seemed to go well. I'm hoping this can be a regular gathering for those that find it useful. We'll do the same again this week, from 11am until about 11.40 (there is a 40 minute limit on the 'free' service). If you'd like to join, call Jo for details (015395 33164, or click here to send an email)


Services
All our online services continue to be available on Facebook here
and on YouTube here.

It was great last week to have contributions from so many different Toast Church friends! Thanks to all involved. We'll be live again at 10.30 this Sunday.

As ever, do be in touch if you need any help or support, practical or otherwise.
God bless,

Jo

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14 April 2020

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter! It may be a very strange one this year, but Easter is still Easter! Perhaps the circumstances this year give us a small glimpse of how the disciples might have been feeling - the tomb was empty, but they were hidden away, afraid of what might happen if they ventured out. And yet, Jesus came among them in the home they were in. May each one of us know that Jesus is with us in our home this Easter.

Pastoral News

I'm sorry to share the news that Harry Mercer died yesterday. Do please remember Andrew in your prayers. When we have the date and time of the funeral I will let you know.

The funeral of David Sharples takes place on Thursday this week at 2pm. Click here to view or download the order of service.  The service will be available live online. Here is the information about how to do that:

Instructions for connecting to the webcast.  It is strongly recommended that the link is tested ahead of the day:

  1. Follow this link: www.obitus.com
  2. log in via the username and password boxes in the top right corner
    The username is: beetham5260
    The password is: 921338
    Type, or copy and paste these into the username and password boxes
  3. Click on the Log in button
    You should then come to a page that says the Service of David Miles Sharples.

If you try this out before the service you will get a picture of a waterfall with a duck swimming across the bottom of it.  If you can view this (with the sound) you know that you will be able to watch the webcast. You can login to the website at any time to view the test connection but you'll only be able to view the Live Webcast between approx. 13:55 and 14:35 on Thursday 16 April.

Online Services

We continue with our live services online, which can be found at  www.facebook.com/grangemethodists/live/  live as we broadcast, and can also be watched afterwards. Soon after the service has finished they are also available on YouTube on the Toast Church 'channel' here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAjjn_mCrNDNqBW9KryuHrw

This Sunday's service at Grange was due to be a Church to Toast Church service, so Toast Church will be leading. The service will still be at 10.30am. We will have a very simple craft activity which we would love you all to join in with. The only equipment you need is a pen or pencil and a piece of (preferably white) paper. However, if you feel a little more adventurous here is a fuller list:

Essential:

  • pen or pencil
  • Piece of paper at least A5 size (preferably white)

Optional:

  • scissors
  • a piece of newspaper or coloured paper or another white piece of paper
  • coloured pens / pencils / crayons
  • glue, sellotape or bluetack

Virtual coffee morning

This is a bit of an experiment - a lot of meetings are now happening online by video. If anyone would like to 'come' to a virtual coffee morning tomorrow (Wednesday) morning from 11am, I am hosting one! It's a chance to see each other's faces and say hello. It won't last longer than 40 minutes, but you can pop in for as long or short a time as you like. If this works, we could make it a regular weekly thing.  If you haven't Zoomed with us yet, call Jo for details (015395 33164, or click here to send an email)


Even if all this online stuff is too much for you, do keep on picking up the phone for a chat! Especially with those who don't have access to the internet. Do let me know if there is anyone who would particularly appreciate a call from me.

Take care, keep safe, and let us know if you need any support.

God bless,

Jo

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Holy Week 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all keeping well. Do remember that there is help available if you need some shopping or someone to chat with on the phone. I am glad to hear how many of you are keeping in touch with one another by phone.

I wanted to remind you about services this week:

Maundy Thursday 7pm

We will be sharing a service from around the kitchen table, remembering the meal Jesus shared with his friends. It won't be a communion service as the Methodist Church does not allow for sharing communion with a congregation online. We would be able to live stream a communion service, but I am not permitted to invite you to participate by providing your own bread and wine. As it does not feel appropriate for our household to receive communion when the rest of the congregation cannot, we will not have a communion service until we are able to do that all together again in church.

Good Friday 12 noon and 3pm

Marking the hours of Jesus' crucifixion and death, we will have two shorter acts of worship reflecting on Jesus' 'seven last words' spoken from the cross. (The first three 'words' at noon and the remaining ones at 3pm)

Easter Day 10.30am

An Easter celebration.

These services can all be found at https://www.facebook.com/grangemethodists/live where you can also find our past services.

For any of you who have Facebook accounts, if you like, you can also join a new group I have set up, Online from Grange Methodists where you can currently 'vote' on what hymns you would like to sing on Easter Day! If you're not on Facebook, feel free to email me with your favourites. (I'm not promising that we will strictly follow the votes, as it depends what we can manage musically, and what makes for a reasonably balanced service.)

There is still time to send us a few seconds of video of any signs of hope (see last week's email) - please send to toastchurchgrange@gmail.com by this Friday evening. If you are having trouble sending by email do get in touch. There are other ways we might be able to help you send it to us.

With my prayers for you all as we experience a Holy Week like no other we've ever known. May you know the presence of Christ with you through these days.

Jo


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