This weekly bulletin was started by Rev. Jo Rand when the first lockdown was imposed.  Since Jo's sabbatical began in summer 2021, Hazel Edmondson has stood in to produce it.  As we now have a monthly Newsletter (Mustard Seed - see here) this page will continue, but renamed as Update from Grange, as it chiefly contains breaking news since the latest issue of Mustard Seed.

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Grange Methodist Church

18 January 2022

Remember that the next midweek Communion service is in church at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday 19th January when it is our turn to host our friends from St Paul’s. The usual Wednesday coffee morning follows, starting at 10:30. Last time we hosted the joint communion it was good to chat with those from St Paul’s who stayed for coffee. If you’re at the coffee morning, do take the chance to meet them – or any other visitors among us. Folk do comment on the lovely welcome we offer.

It is particularly appropriate that we have the joint communion tomorrow as today is the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The next meeting of Churches Together in Grange and District will be in the Father Magner room at St Charles’ at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday 19th January, but circumstances have meant that there are no other joint gatherings locally this year. I have condensed the material provided for this year, which has been prepared by Christians from the Middle East; it is here, so if you wish you can use it in your own devotions, knowing that many others are using it too at this time. Remember too this invitation for those online passed on last week by Glenda:

The Methodist Ecumenical Office Rome and the Methodist Liaison Office Jerusalem invite you to the webinar “Voices from Bethlehem: Christian Unity in the Birthplace of Jesus” on Friday, 21 January 2022 at 08:00 UK/09:00 Rome/10:00 Jerusalem. The webinar celebrates the theme of the 2022 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – “we saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him” from Matthew 2 – which was selected by the Middle East Council of Churches. In this webinar Christian leaders from Bethlehem and environs will discuss the importance of Christian unity in contemporary times in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. The webinar is free and will last 90 minutes. The webinar will be conducted in English on Zoom. Visit the MEOR website to register for the webinar and receive the Zoom link.

Morning worship at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday 23rd January will be led by Rev Jo Rand, and on Sunday January 30th by Mr Andrew Lockley.

From Sue Nicol: “Fundraising Team: A reminder that our next meeting is planned for Thursday 20th January at 2pm in the church hall. We will look at the suggestions we made last time and make some plans, but new ideas and new members are very welcome! Please speak to Sue Nicol or Glenda Clark for further information.”

From Liz Jackson: “March will see the relaunch of our Wednesday morning produce stall. Please put March 2nd in your diaries for making and baking to produce items for our produce stall. Thanks from Liz.”

From Glenda: “Church Flowers: At present there are four members in the flower team, who take turns to source and arrange the flowers in church each week. These are delivered after the Service to anyone for a variety of reasons. There are various ways you can help to enable this to continue:

If you like doing flowers, you might like to be a regular helper on the rota.

You might like to deliver flowers to someone after the service, that is a great help.

If neither of these suggestions appeal, we are always grateful to receive donations towards the flowers.

Thank you, Barbara, Elizabeth, Maureen, Glenda”

Rotas: We know people are enjoying the after-service refreshments. We could do with some more help on the rota for making this happen! The list is on the table in the aisle, or have a word with Glenda. More volunteers would also be welcome for the Wednesday coffee morning rota; again, have a word with Glenda if you could help or to find out more about what’s involved. Baby group on Tuesday mornings would welcome a few more volunteers to come to meet the lovely smiley babies and their parents/carers; ask Glenda, Hilda or Hazel what’s involved.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. Speakers: January 20th Pam Dent, January 27th Rev Lis Mullen.

If you ever go to Barrow, you may like to know that until January 31st the Knife Angel, a poignant symbol against violent crime of all kinds, is on display outside the Town Hall there. It comes as part of the National Youth Anti-Violence Education Programme and Tour. The statue is a moving piece of art that helps raise awareness with a very strong message.

Do remember to let me know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

11 January 2022

From Pam Brook: “Action for Children:

Thank you very much to everybody who contributed to the Christmas Card display in Church and the hall, It did indeed look very attractive and more importantly, it generated £150.

As reported in an earlier update, the Christmas Day collection was £148.07; so, when Gift Aid was calculated under the GASDS scheme, we have been able to send a grand total of £372.59 to Action for Children. Thank you for your generosity.”

From Glenda: “Church Flowers: At present there are four members in the flower team, who take turns to source and arrange the flowers in church each week. These are delivered after the Service to anyone for a variety of reasons. There are various ways you can help to enable this to continue:

If you like doing flowers, you might like to be a regular helper on the rota. If this interests you, you are welcome to our next planning meeting at the home of Elizabeth Armstrong, Tuesday 18th January at 2 p.m.

You might like to deliver flowers to someone after the service, that is a great help.

If neither of these suggestions appeal, we are always grateful to receive donations towards the flowers.

Thank you, Barbara, Elizabeth, Maureen, Glenda”

If you wish to suggest a recipient for the flowers, please write in the notebook that is to be found in the porch. Specific dates and reasons can be noted.

Rotas: We know people are enjoying the after-service refreshments. We could do with some more help on the rota for making this happen! The list is on the table in the aisle, or have a word with Glenda. More volunteers would also be welcome for the Wednesday coffee morning rota; again, have a word with Glenda if you could help or to find out more about what’s involved. Baby group on Tuesday mornings would welcome a few more volunteers to come to meet the lovely smiley babies and their parents/carers; ask Glenda, Hilda or Hazel what’s involved.

Morning worship at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday 16th January will be led by Rev David Edmondson, and on Sunday 23rd January by Rev Jo Rand. The next midweek Communion service is on Wednesday 19th January when it is our turn to host our friends from St Paul’s

The next meeting of Churches Together in Grange and District will be in the Father Magner room at St Charles’ at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday 19th January.

From Sue Nicol: “Fundraising Team

A reminder that our next meeting is planned for Thursday 20th January at 2pm in the church hall.

We will look at the suggestions we made last time and make some plans, but new ideas and new members are very welcome! Please speak to Sue Nicol or Glenda Clark for further information.”

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. Speakers: January 13th Rev Martyn Coe; January 20th Pam Dent.

Thanks to Glenda for passing on this invitation for those online:

The Methodist Ecumenical Office Rome and the Methodist Liaison Office Jerusalem invite you to the webinar “Voices from Bethlehem: Christian Unity in the Birthplace of Jesus” on Friday, 21 January 2022 at 08:00 UK/09:00 Rome/10:00 Jerusalem. The webinar celebrates the theme of the 2022 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – “we saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him” from Matthew 2 – which was selected by the Middle East Council of Churches. In this webinar Christian leaders from Bethlehem and environs will discuss the importance of Christian unity in contemporary times in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. The webinar is free and will last 90 minutes. The webinar will be conducted in English on Zoom. Visit the MEOR website to register for the webinar and receive the Zoom link.

If you ever go to Barrow, you may like to know that until January 31st the Knife Angel, a poignant symbol against violent crime of all kinds, is on display outside the Town Hall there. It comes as part of the National Youth Anti-Violence Education Programme and Tour. The statue is a moving piece of art that helps raise awareness with a very strong message.

Do remember to let me know (email or 36213) if you have anything you want to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

4 January 2022

With best wishes to you all for 2022.

From Ruth Briddock: Thank you to all who supported Christian Aid's Afghanistan Crisis Appeal this Christmas. A total of £133.30 was raised. In the words of the appeal letter, this will go toward providing "life-saving food and support to communities on the brink of famine. Thank you."

The collection for Action for Children on Christmas Day raised £148-07; thanks to all who contributed.

There will be a Churches Together Men’s Breakfast at Grange Methodist at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 8th.

Toast church starts up again from 9:30 on Sunday, January 9th. The morning service at 10:30 will be led by Mrs Lesley Thompson.  

The Online Fellowship group starts again from Monday January 10th. We meet via zoom at 7:00 p.m. and the link is here.

This term we will be looking each week at the Gospel lectionary passage for the next Sunday. It’s Luke’s gospel this year, and we’ll be starting with an overview from Jo. All are welcome to come – it doesn’t matter if you can’t come every week.

The next business meeting of the church leadership team is on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 11th – do let any member of the team know of anything you wish to be discussed.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. Speakers: January 6th Judith Bartlett; January 13th Rev Martyn Coe.

Do remember to let me know (by email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

21 December

Christmas is nearly with us. Are you ready? Am I ready? Well no, not really. We’ve mostly got family presents sorted I think, but I’ve still not written a card for the board at church (sorry!) And I’ve not prepared anything yet for the services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, though thoughts are percolating. It’s still a little bit early for the final fresh food shopping, and I’m fairly confident that what we want can be found in Grange. And if it can’t, we’ll make do. In a sense, for any of us, whether we are ‘ready’ or not depends on what we expect of ourselves. All will be well!

I can’t help but wonder whether Mary and Joseph felt ‘ready’ that first Christmas. It takes me back to the day I started in labour with Amos. It was the end of January. We had had the house rewired just before Christmas. It was a West Yorkshire terrace built in the 1880s, so the place was full of that black lime plaster dust that gets everywhere. Trying to redecorate, steaming off the living room wallpaper had brought down even more (somewhat fragile) plaster. It was a mess, and we’d had to give in and book a plasterer to skim the whole room. We were working towards a due date most of the way through February, and on 30th Jan I was up a ladder painting the living room ceiling (yes I know…) Towards the end of the day though I had to accept that contractions were underway, and the decorating would have to wait – despite the fact that we were planning a home birth, in an inflatable birthing pool, in the living room! We weren’t sure whether the midwives would be happy with a half-painted room smelling of fresh paint, but we did our best to let out the smell and warm the room up before making the call. I remember protesting a few times during labour that I was too tired to have a baby right now. But of course, that wasn’t going to change anything. At 3.22am the following morning he arrived, at home, in the pool, just a few minutes after the second midwife had finally found the house!

Of course Amos didn’t care one bit that the walls were still bare plaster. And perhaps the way Jesus comes to us is not so different. Ready or not, God is with us!

Thank you to everyone who has played any part in the work of the church to share the message of God’s love this Christmas, through visiting and cards, through carol singing, preparing and serving refreshments, enabling and taking part in services, and the many, many labours that go unseen in the background, including praying for and encouraging others.

However you are spending Christmas, and whether you are ‘ready’ or not, I pray that you will know the presence of the Christ Child in our midst, turning the world upside-down with new hope. Jo

From Sue Nicol: Wednesday Prayers in Advent: The vestry will be open (and warmed!) from 10.30am until 12 noon on the Wednesdays before Christmas. This is timed to coincide with the coffee morning, so do come through for a few minutes to sit quietly – Mary and Joseph are there (!) and there are some printed prayers if you wish to use them.

There will not be any formal prayers said, it’s simply an opportunity, at this special time of year, to add a powerful dimension to the prayers we make every day as we go about our lives.

From Ruth Briddock: CHRISTIAN AID: AFGHANISTAN CRISIS APPEAL:

As a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee, Christian Aid has put out a special appeal. Here is some of what they write:

Humanitarian access has been extremely difficult, but Christian Aid’s local partners are already responding. We are providing food for the most vulnerable internally displaced people, including special nutrition packages to protect children and pregnant mothers. We are supplying hygiene kits to defend communities against Covid-19 and water-borne diseases. As winter sets in, we are working tirelessly with our local partners to provide kits to shelter displaced families from the bitter cold.

There will be an opportunity to make a donation at the Wednesday coffee morning on 22 December or at the morning service on Sunday 26 December. If you would like to donate online go to:

https://www.christianaid.org.uk/appeals/emergencies/dec-afghanistan-crisis-appeal

A reminder of our further Christmas and New Year services at Grange:

  • Christmas Eve: Communion service at 7:00 p.m. led by Rev Jo Rand

  • Christmas Day: Morning worship at 10:30 led by Rev Jo Rand

  • Boxing Day: Morning worship at 10:30 led by Rev Sue Nicol

  • New Year’s Eve: Watchnight service at 11:30 p.m. led by Rev David and Hazel Edmondson

  • Sunday January 2nd: Covenant service at 10:30 led by Rev Jo Rand

New Year’s Eve: We are still planning on holding the social, if it is within regulations in force at the time. It will start at 9:00 p.m. with a buffet supper. So we have numbers for catering, and in order to tailor our activities to those there, please contact David and Hazel (details below) if you plan to come to that. The service will start at 11:30 p.m. – no need to tell us if you are coming just for the service.

From Judith Shapland: Cartmel Chapel news:
We held our carol service on the 19th, which was led by Andrew Lockley, and a collection was made for Derian House, which amounted to £100. There will be no service at Cartmel on the 26th December. We have had to close the chapel to the general public, because of the number of visitors who come to the village at this time of the year. We were open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We regret this decision but feel it is wiser under the present circumstances.

Do visit the Christmas Tree Festival at St Paul’s Church if you haven’t been yet. It is open until Thursday 30th December from 10am-4pm (Closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and for any Services). Entry is by voluntary contribution for charity. Our tree is number 22, and if you didn’t manage to fill in a star at our church, there are some available by the tree if you wish to add one now. It has been good to see that some stars have been added by visitors to the festival.

Also remember to have a look at the Christmas cards displayed on a board, which moves between the church, and the hall so it can be seen at the coffee morning. There are greetings there from church folk, and the opportunity to make a donation to the work of Action for Children.

Thanks to all who have helped run the Baby Group this term. We’re taking a break now for one week, and will start again at 9:30 on Tuesday, January 4th.

Do remember to let me know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update. I'm not expecting there to be an update next week.

Love and prayers to all for Christmas and into the New Year,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

14 December

From Sue Nicol: Wednesday Prayers in Advent: The vestry will be open (and warmed!) from 10.30am until 12 noon on the Wednesdays before Christmas. This is timed to coincide with the coffee morning, so do come through for a few minutes to sit quietly – Mary and Joseph are there (!) and there are some printed prayers if you wish to use them.

There will not be any formal prayers said, it’s simply an opportunity, at this special time of year, to add a powerful dimension to the prayers we make every day as we go about our lives.

Prayer request from Rob Martin: “'Please pray for the NHS staff at Grange Health Centre and the volunteer Vaccine Stewards as they try to respond to the Prime Minister’s challenge to give the adult population Boosters by the New Year.”

The next joint communion service at St Paul’s is at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 15th and will be led by Rev Jonathan Brewster, the new Vicar.

It is now compulsory to wear a mask unless exempt as we meet together indoors, as we had already started to do again. This Sunday, December 19th, the morning service at 10:30 a.m. will be the Nativity with Toast Church. At 3:00 p.m. we hold our Carol Service, with light refreshments to follow.

A reminder of our services next week:

  • Tuesday, December 21 7:00 Longest Night service - a service of hope in the darkness for and in support of all who find Christmas difficult.

  • Christmas Eve: Communion service at 7:00 p.m.

  • Christmas Day: Morning worship at 10:30 led by Rev Jo Rand

  • Boxing Day: Morning worship at 10:30 led by Rev Sue Nicol

There are still some postcards at church with these details on for you to take for yourselves or to take one to pass to a friend or neighbour.

Do visit the Christmas Tree Festival at St Paul’s Church, which is open daily from Fri 3rd December – Thursday 30th December (inclusive) from 10am-4pm (Closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and for any Services). Entry is by voluntary contribution for charity. Our tree is number 22, and if you didn’t manage to fill in a star at our church, there are some available by the tree if you wish to add one now.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. Speakers: December16th Rev Martyn Coe, December 23rd Pam Dent

From Paul Rand: Having completed the church accounts for the first quarter of our financial year, I can report some good news and some not so good news.

The good news is that there has been some fantastic fundraising going on for the Development Fund, such that in this first quarter, we have raised £3071 from our fundraising activities, plus individual donations of £514. Added to the funds raised last year, less a couple of bills paid for surveyors work, that gives us a current balance of £42,214 towards the development project. Of course, a lot more has been pledged but is not yet in our bank account.

Another piece of good news is that the relaunch of coffee mornings has raised just under £630 for the church's General Fund so far this year, not counting the money raised from cards, books and produce which is going into the Development Fund.

The not so good news is that regular offerings from members' standing orders and Sunday collections are down to £8,487 compared with £10,356 at this point last year. This isn't because people have started giving less but simply because we have lost a few members since last year, which is leaving a bit of a hole.

So many people are doing so much for the life of the church at the moment, not only in fundraising but in making all sorts of wonderful things happen. I don't want anyone to feel pushed into giving more than they want or are able to, particularly as recent higher inflation will be squeezing some peoples' disposable income. But if anyone could manage to increase their regular offering to the church by just a little, it would help to start to fill that hole. Thank you. Paul Rand.

Do remember to let me know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

7 December

As most of you know from Sunday’s service, Jo has been diagnosed positive for Covid and is in isolation until midnight on Friday. Jo wants it stressed that she is OK; Paul assures us that she is gradually getting better. She has sent a message through: “You may or may not be aware that all who lost power during the storm are legally entitled to financial compensation. This not only helps those who have had costs due to losing freezer contents etc, but also helps encourage the power distributers to build more resilient networks. You can put in a claim here.

Just a thought – if you are entitled to compensation but don’t feel you need the money, you could consider donating it to the Building Fund, helping us towards the cost of more sustainable energy for the church building!”

From Sue Nicol: Wednesday Prayers in Advent: The vestry will be open (and warmed!) from 10.30am until 12 noon tomorrow (8th) and on the next two Wednesdays before Christmas.

This is timed to coincide with the coffee morning, so do come through for a few minutes to sit quietly – Mary and Joseph are there (!) and there are some printed prayers if you wish to use them.

There will not be any formal prayers said, it’s simply an opportunity, at this special time of year, to add a powerful dimension to the prayers we make every day as we go about our lives.

Reminder from Carol Lamb: if you have booked in to come, remember the afternoon tea from 2:00 till 4:00 on Friday, December 10th. Please let Carol know (32876) if, having booked, you are now unable to come.

Please continue to wear a mask unless exempt as we meet together. This Sunday, December 12th, Rev Jo Rand will be leading our worship at 10:30. This is a change to the plan, which says it is the Nativity with Toast Church. The combined effects of Covid and the power outage means that the Nativity has been moved back a week, to December 19th. That’s also the day we hold our Carol Service, at 3:00 p.m. with light refreshments to follow.

Do visit the Christmas Tree Festival at St Paul’s Church, which is open daily from Fri 3rd December – Thursday 30th December (inclusive) from 10am-4pm (Closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and for any Services). Entry is by voluntary contribution with all proceeds to charity. Our tree is number 22, and if you didn’t manage to fill in a star at our church, there are some by the tree if you wish to add one now.

A group from Churches Together in Grange and District will meet outside our church at 11 am on Saturday December 18th to sing carols there and (at around 11:30) outside the entrance to the Christmas Tree festival at St Paul’s. Please join us if you are able; words will be provided.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. Speakers: December 9th Rev Lis Mullen; December16th Rev Martyn Coe.

From Glenda Clark: Lost Property – the following items are in the choir vestry. If they belong to anyone, please will you take them? Man’s Olive Green Quilted Jacket, Plaid scarf, girl’s grey knitted headband and pink snood, walking stick, mini umbrella (red).

Cushions – there is a collection of cushions at the back of church. We do not know who they belong to, but again if any of them are yours, it would be appreciated if you could take them home. Thank you.

Rotas – the current rotas for Sunday Coffee need to be compiled. If you are willing to help with this in the future, please sign the list on the aisle table.

From Sue Nicol: Advent Quiet Morning – postponed until next year!

The power cuts prevented anything happening at church over the weekend of 27th/28th November and the other Saturdays in Advent are already spoken for, but hopefully we will be able to arrange a morning for Lent at the beginning of March 2022.

I don’t suppose this affects anyone else, but Andrew (who does notice these things as he faithfully puts each edition of the Mustard Seed up on the website – many thanks to him) has pointed out that we had two issue 12s. If you do keep them, please note that I have re-numbered the electronic version so issue 12 is October, issue 13 is November and the current joint December/January issue is now numbered 14!

Do remember to let me know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

30 November

Please find here the latest edition of the Mustard Seed, which covers December 2021 and January 2022. Thanks to all who have contributed to it. To update Jo’s letter, the Rands got power back on Monday afternoon and are safely based back in the Manse.

Thanks to everyone who rallied round so splendidly during the extended power outage in Grange. Making arrangements for joining with the URC for their morning service on Sunday and passing the word round, helping out at the Resource Hub at the URC, and all the individual acts of kindness and concern. Truly an example of “loving and serving our local neighbours”.

Thank you for adapting again to our recent decision to bring mask-wearing back in to protect others during the current spike in local Covid cases. Please continue to wear a mask unless exempt as we meet for worship. This Sunday, December 5th, the service at 10:30 a.m. will be a communion service led by Rev Sue Nicol. As it is the first Sunday in the month, there will also be evening worship at 6:00 p.m., a reflective service led by Rev David and Mrs Hazel Edmondson.

Reminder from Liz Jackson: “Our next produce stall for the building development fund is December 1st. Please support in any way you can. Carol & Mary have kindly offered to manage the stall at our Wednesday coffee morning so please support them by making things to sell or purchase.”

Thanks to those who have lent us star decorations and written on stars for our Christmas Tree at St Paul’s Christmas Tree Festival. There will be one last chance at the coffee morning on December 1st to write a message on a star shape to celebrate those who “Shine as stars in the world”. David and I will be decorating the tree at St Paul’s from 11:45 on Thursday, December 2nd and we’d welcome any help then.

The opening reception for the Christmas Tree Festival will start at 7pm on Thursday, December 2nd, when the trees will be lit and there will be entertainment by Grange Primary School pupils and Bay Community Singers. Drinks and nibbles will be available. St Paul’s Church will then be open daily from Fri 3rd December – Thursday 30th December (inclusive) from 10am-4pm (Closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and for any Services). Entry is by voluntary contribution with all proceeds going to Growing Well, Light Up Lives and The British Red Cross - specifically the Global Coronavirus Appeal and Afghanistan Crisis Appeal. Due to the rising number of COVID cases on the Cartmel Peninsula the organisers strongly urge all visitors to wear masks and sanitise at every opportunity.

There will be a Churches Together Men’s Breakfast at Grange Methodist at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 4th.

Thanks to Judith Shapland for this Cartmel News: “Sylvia Fairbrother’s thanksgiving service was held on Tuesday 30th November. The chapel carol service will be on Sunday December 19th led by Andrew Lockley. There will be NO SERVICE on Sunday December 26th as most of the congregation are away.

Thank you for the cards on the occasion of the Foundation Service on the 28th November when Paulette Bissell took the service; she had researched the history of the whole area, and linked it to the fact that Cartmel Methodists had started from the Ulverston Circuit 150 years ago.”

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. Speaker: Rev Lis Mullen on both December 2nd and December 9th.

STOP PRESS: Thanks to Jean Malkin who has contacted us this evening to ask me to pass on through the update the news that due to Covid the Grange Pantomime has been postponed. This means that the Pantomime Carol Service pencilled in for December 12th will not now take place.

Do remember to let me know (edmola11@yahoo.co.uk or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

23 November

From Eileen Hutchinson: “CHRISTMAS SHOEBOXES: What a brilliant effort! 344 boxes have been picked up by “Boxes of Hope” and they will soon be on their way to Romania. Thank you so much again.

For various reasons, I feel the time is right for me to hang up my “shoebox hat”. Grange Methodist Church have been doing the shoeboxes for a long time, but just while I’ve been spearheading the operation – 13 years now – we have delivered  3002 boxes. Think of all those smiley faces!!  and, more importantly – think of all the children who have seen God’s Love in action  – feeling the joy a shoebox brings, and knowing that someone cares for them enough to do this.

I really want to thank, most sincerely, EVERYONE who has helped in ANY way over the years. Each and every one of you have been so important:- from wrapping, brewing up (when we could meet at church), shopping, filling, writing cards, supplying the money to do more shopping and our very loyal band of knitters. Also to our friends at the URC, Cartmel Methodist Church and Silverdale and Arnside Knit and Natter Group for joining in. You have ALL been amazing and we should be proud of what we have achieved together. Very best wishes to you all, and again THANK YOU!! Love Eileen.”

Our thanks to Eileen for all the love, care and time that has gone into leading this project over the years.

From Sue Nicol: “You are welcome to come to a ‘Quiet Morning’ on Saturday, November 27th, at the beginning of Advent, as part of our preparation for Christmas. Coffee will be served at 9.30am followed by a time of worship at 10am. Then we have a time of quietness, with some notes for guidance should you wish to use them, and after that we gather to share thoughts together (but no pressure to do this) before a short service of Holy Communion to which all are welcome, finishing at 12 noon. Anyone who would like to stay on afterwards for lunch is welcome to do so – please bring your own food, drinks will be provided. Contact Revd Sue Nicol for further information: 015395 31044”

Thank you for adapting again to our recent decision to bring mask-wearing back in to protect others during the current spike in local Covid cases. Please wear a mask if you can this Sunday, which is Advent Sunday. The service at 10:30 will be a communion service led by Rev Sue Nicol.

From Judith Shapland: “On Sunday 28th November Cartmel Chapel will celebrate the 150 years of the foundation stone of the chapel being laid. If you pay a visit to the chapel it is on the corner to the left of the entrance porch, (needless to say right at the bottom!). It is inscribed thus:

“THIS MEMORIAL STONE WAS LAID BY MISS RIPLEY OF ULVERSTON NOVEMBER 28TH 1871”

We are fortunate that Mrs. Paulette Bissell will be taking the service that day.

Cartmel Chapel reports the sad loss of one of their congregation, Sylvia Fairbrother, on Thursday the 11th of November. She was a local preacher on the circuit, also a chapel steward. She will be sadly missed by all of us.” Funeral arrangements for Sylvia: Committal at Beetham Crematorium 11am Friday 26th November, Thanksgiving service at Cartmel chapel 12 noon Tuesday 30th November.

From Liz Jackson: “Our next produce stall for the building development fund is December 1st. Please support in any way you can. Carol & Mary have kindly offered to manage the stall at our Wednesday coffee morning so please support them by making things to sell or purchase.”

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. Speakers: November 25th Pam Dent, December 2nd Rev Lis Mullen.

For our Christmas Tree at St Paul’s Christmas Tree Festival, which is on the theme of “Believe there is good in the world”, we have decided to use the text from Philippians 2:15 “Shine as stars in the world”. We will then use stars as the basis for our decorating. If you have any (not too precious!) star-shaped decorations you would be willing to lend us, please bring them to a coffee morning or church. At the coffee mornings on 24/11 and 1/12 there will be star shapes on the tables for you to write messages such as “My neighbour is a star for getting my prescription for me” which we’ll then hang on the tree. David and I will be decorating the tree at St Paul’s from 11:45 on Thursday, December 2nd and we’d welcome any help then.

The deadline for the next edition of the “Mustard Seed” is this Sunday, November 28th. All contributions welcome – contact details as below. Please remember that this is a joint issue for December 2021 and January 2022.

Do remember to let me know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church


16 November

Please find here the minutes of the recent Grange General Church meeting, which have been agreed by Jo.

The date for the next General  Church meeting has now been set for Sunday, May 22nd, 2022.

From Jo: “I’m sorry to bring news of two deaths within our congregations. Ken McDuff, who has in past years been a member at Cartmel, and subsequently at Grange, died on Tuesday 9th November. His funeral will take place in December at Beetham Crematorium, but it will be family / invitation only, at their request. Sylvia Fairbrother, a member at Cartmel, died on Thursday 11th. Her funeral details have just been confirmed: Committal at Beetham Crematorium 11am Friday 26th November, Thanksgiving service at Cartmel chapel 12 noon Tuesday 30th Nov. Please do remember their families and friends in your prayers.”

From Judith Shapland: “On Sunday 28th November Cartmel Chapel will celebrate the 150 years of the foundation stone of the chapel being laid. If you pay a visit to the chapel it is on the corner to the left of the entrance porch, (needless to say right at the bottom!). It is inscribed thus:

“THIS MEMORIAL STONE WAS LAID BY MISS RIPLEY OF ULVERSTON NOVEMBER 28TH 1871”

We are fortunate that Mrs. Paulette Bissell will be taking the service that day.

Cartmel Chapel reports the sad loss of one of their congregation, Sylvia Fairbrother, on Thursday the 11th of November. She was a local preacher on the circuit, also a chapel steward. She will be sadly missed by all of us.”

From Su Lockley, Circuit Invitation Committee representative for Grange:

“Thank you to everybody who came along to the church bright and early on Saturday morning to welcome Rev Grace Cauldwell, prospective new minister for Ulverston Methodist Church and Superintendent of our circuit. Grace spent the day meeting people from round the circuit and visiting the churches. The outcome was positive on both sides and it has now been confirmed that Grace will be joining the South Lakes Circuit on 1 September 2022, subject to Conference confirmation in June 2022. She comes to us from the Nidd Valley Circuit in Yorkshire, with her husband Ben and children Edward and Emily.

Also on 1 September 2022 our present Superintendent, Rev Graham Ransom, will be leaving Ulverston and moving to the Ryedale Circuit in North Yorkshire. His invitation is also subject to Conference confirmation. We wish them both the very best in their new positions.”

This Sunday, November 21st, our morning service at 10:30 will be led by Rev David Jackson.

From Carol Lamb: “Hello Everyone, we have rescheduled the afternoon tea for Friday 10 December from 2-4pm in the hall. We know how many of you have missed meeting with friends for such a long time so come along, bring a friend with you if you wish and enjoy a light afternoon tea together. There will be no charge but donations to the development fund will be most welcome.

Please contact Carol (32876) or Glenda (32386) if you would like to come.”

From Pam Brook: “Action for Children/Christmas Cards: We will again be having a board available for anybody who wants to put a single Christmas Greeting Card for church & community friends who use our building. A suggestion has been made that we move it between the church and the hall depending on the occasion, and this seems a good idea so that all can be included. There will be a collecting box for Action for Children should people wish to make a donation for this important work. This will be emptied regularly. The board will be in situ from the beginning of December.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. Speakers: Nov 18th Rev Martyn Coe, Nov 25th Pam Dent.

We have again booked to have a tree at St Paul’s Christmas Tree Festival. The theme this year is “Believe there is good in the world”. Inspired ideas for decorations on this theme needed and offers of volunteers to help decorate the tree (to be put up and decorated on 2nd December) – please let me know.

The deadline for the next edition of the “Mustard Seed” is next Sunday, November 28th. All contributions welcome – contact details as below. Please remember that this is a joint issue for December 2021 and January 2022.

Do remember to let me know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church


9 November

Thanks to Paul for sending this message, for doing the recording and for sorting out the link:

“Our General Church Meeting last Sunday afternoon was video recorded and is available to watch on YouTube by following this link . This is an unlisted video on YouTube so will not be available to find by searching on YouTube, only by following the link given here.”

From Jo: “We’re sorry to hear that Richard Fletcher of Fletcher’s Greengrocers died on Sunday. Please keep all the family in your prayers.”

The family have been added to the prayer tree, which Joy has now moved into the church as it was rather out of the way in the porch. Do add to it – “leaves” and pens are by it. Concerns can then be used in the prayers of intercession in church, or in your own prayers for a particular concern that touches your heart.

This Saturday, November 13th, there is a Christmas Coffee morning at our church for St Mary’s Hospice from 10:00 to 1:00: “Cakes, Craft and Company”. Refreshments are £2 (50p for those aged 5-15). Elizabeth has booked a table at this where she will be selling cards and books in aid of our development fund.

This Sunday, November 14th, is Remembrance Sunday, and our service at 10:30 is a “local arrangements” service planned by the leadership team and led by members of the congregation.

There is a change of plan for the Civic Service, which will now only be held in the Memorial Gardens at 3:00, following the parade from St Paul’s at 2:45; no service at St Paul’s or refreshments to follow.

Reminder: Please bring your “Jar of Thanks” to Maureen Place by Sunday, November 14th so that it can be emptied and counted by Maureen and Barbara Leader. If you wish to keep your jar (to fill again!) please just put the money in a labelled bag, including your name if you are a Gift Aider.

There is a meeting at church which is open to anyone from the congregation at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16th. This is at the request of our superintendent minister, Graham Ransom, for us to meet with a couple of people from the circuit staff and stewards to share thoughts arising from the Circuit review, canvass opinions and seek a way forward in an informal way.

The first of the joint communion services that we are hosting at our church with our friends from St Paul’s will be on Wednesday, November 17th. Please remember that these services now start at 10:00 a.m. The service will be led by Rev David Edmondson.

From Carol Lamb: “Hello Everyone, we have rescheduled the afternoon tea for Friday 10 December from 2-4pm in the hall. We know how many of you have missed meeting with friends for such a long time so come along, bring a friend with you if you wish and enjoy a light afternoon tea together. There will be no charge but donations to the development fund will be most welcome.

Please contact Carol (32876) or Glenda if you would like to come.”

From Pam Brook: “Action for Children/Christmas Cards: We will again be having a board available for anybody who wants to put a single Christmas Greeting Card for church & community friends who use our building. A suggestion has been made that we move it between the church and the hall depending on the occasion, and this seems a good idea so that all can be included. There will be a collecting box for Action for Children should people wish to make a donation for this important work. This will be emptied regularly. The board will be in situ from the beginning of December.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. Speakers: Nov 11th Judith Bartlett; Nov 18th Rev Martyn Coe.

We have again booked to have a tree at St Paul’s Christmas Tree Festival. The theme this year is “Believe there is good in the world”. Inspired ideas for decorations on this theme needed and offers of volunteers to help decorate the tree (to be put up and decorated on 1st or 2nd December) – please let me know.

At Grange, we have many word copies of the former hymn book, “Hymns and Psalms”, that we no longer need. If any of you don’t have a copy at home, and would like to have one, please let me know. The words of hymns can be very inspiring to use in your own private devotions.

Do remember to let me know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

2 November

The November edition of the Mustard Seed is here. Thanks to all who have contributed to it.

From Liz Jackson: “Produce stall reminder November 3rd. A big thank you to all of you who contributed to our last produce stall on behalf of the building development fund. November 3rd is our next one so I would be very grateful for any contributions i.e. tray bakes, small cakes, scones, savouries, jam, chutney or anything else you fancy making for sale.

Please contact Liz Jackson by email or 015395 92687”

From Paulette Bissell on behalf of the Circuit Stewards: “Dear friends, We are about to embark on the next stage of the process of appointing a Presbyter to be our Superintendent Minister. The Chairs of Districts meet at the beginning of November and we will hopefully find out on Thursday (4th) who will be coming to visit us. Please be on alert from next Friday onwards in order that you can be a part of the visit if needed. The length of time that they intend to be here will dictate the itinerary. You will be contacted the minute we know ourselves. Thank you once more for your time and commitment. Please pray for James and Graham.”

From Glenda and Sue N: “Reminder: the next meeting of the fundraising group is in the church hall at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 4th. Remember to come in by the hall door.

All are invited to join us for the Grange Methodist General Church meeting, which is on Sunday, November 7th. We will have refreshments as usual after the morning service, which will be led by Rev Jo Rand, to give us the chance to greet any visitors or those not staying for the meeting. Then please bring a packed lunch (rather than church trying to provide a light lunch under current restrictions) to eat in the hall. The meeting will start at 1:00 p.m. back in the church. All are welcome to come to help share in reviewing and planning the life of our church.

Our superintendent minister, Graham Ransom, sent me an email regarding the Circuit Review, which said: “As you are aware, we are currently undergoing a circuit review. As I mentioned in [a previous] pastoral letter, three groups are meeting to review the situation and discover ways forward. We are also aware that we need to do better at communicating our thinking to the churches, and, in our deliberations, feel we need to canvass your opinions on the options open to us. So, we (a couple of people from the circuit staff and stewards) would like to meet with the church folk to share our thoughts, canvass opinions and seek a way forward in an informal way with your church congregation. We'd like to organise a meeting, which will take around 1.5 to 2 hours, at a convenient time for you.” This meeting, which will be at church and is open to anyone from the congregation, has now been arranged for 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16th.

From Judith Shapland: “Sunday 31st October was Cartmel’s harvest festival, the preacher was Dare Holland. The “harvest” produced 90 items for the Kendal Food bank, plus £100.”

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. Speakers: Nov. 4th David and Hazel Edmondson, Nov 11th Judith Bartlett.

At Grange, we have many word copies of the former hymn book, “Hymns and Psalms”, that we no longer need. The leadership team have investigated possibilities for reusing these, such as sending them on to churches overseas, but there is no demand. If any of you don’t have a copy at home, and would like to have one, please let me know. The words of hymns can be very inspiring to use in your own private devotions.

Another opportunity to reuse/recycle: The local Soroptimists are organising a collection of items urgently needed by Barrow Women’s Centre: Boots, shoes, slippers, bags, purses, handbags, coats for women and children; Baby items – clothing, blankets, monitors and bottle sterilisers; Bath towels and toiletries;

Electrical items: kettles, toasters, table and floor lamps, hair dryers, hair straighteners; battery alarm clocks. The Father Magner room at St Charles is open for contributions from 1-3 on Sunday 7th November, so anything brought to our church before the General Church meeting could be taken across then.

Do remember to let me know (by email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

26 October

From Carol Lamb: “The afternoon tea is cancelled this week. We are planning to have one in December sometime but will give everyone plenty of notice and obviously adhere to any changes in the COVID situation.”

Please remember in your prayers all those attending and organising the 3Generate weekend (the Methodist Children and Youth Assembly) at the NEC Birmingham from Friday 29th to Sunday 31st. Amos is attending with a group from Preston. The theme this year is “In Tune”, “where we will explore what it means to be in tune with each other and with God and how we all have a part to play as part of the Body of Christ.” (For more information, click here).

From Eileen Hutchinson: We are very busy now “filling” the Christmas Shoeboxes and we will have a “token display” in Church on Sunday 31st October 2021 at 10:30 am. Paulette Bissell is leading worship that morning and she has kindly agreed to “bless them” and send them on their way with our love. It’s still not too late if you would like to help with a monetary contribution. Please just give me a ring (35431) and I will gladly come and collect. Thank you for your help.”

Reminder from Revd Sue Nicol: “Have you lost someone you love – recently or in the past? Would you like some quiet space to remember that person? Perhaps you would appreciate lighting a candle, or having prayers said for yourself or someone else? You are very welcome to come to this special evening service of THANKSGIVING and REMEMBRANCE at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, 31st October. Light refreshments will be served afterwards. Please think about inviting friends who have been bereaved. Further information on 015395 31044.

From Judith Shapland: “The service at Cartmel on 31st October will be a Harvest Thanksgiving led by Mr Dare Holland. We are decorating the church with products suitable for Barrow Food Bank.”

From Hilda Gardner: “Please be aware that the church and vestry are being used from 9-5 from Tuesday, 2nd to Friday 5th November for an open consultation meeting organised by the County Council and Network Rail to discuss the official closure of the Bailey Lane Crossing. So please only access our building via the hall door during those times.”

Tuesday November 2nd: In the church hall at 2:00  p.m. Open meeting of the Leadership Team with a focus on how we organise our pastoral care. Please come and share your ideas and experience. Remember to come in by the hall door!

From Liz Jackson: “Produce stall reminder November 3rd. A big thank you to all of you who contributed to our last produce stall on behalf of the building development fund. November 3rd is our next one so I would be very grateful for any contributions i.e. tray bakes, small cakes, scones, savouries, jam, chutney or anything else you fancy making for sale. 

Please contact Liz Jackson by email or 015395 92687”

From Glenda and Sue N: “Reminder: the next meeting of the fundraising group is in the church hall at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 4th. Again, remember to come in by the hall door.

All are invited to join us for the General Church meeting, which is on Sunday, November 7th.  We will have refreshments as usual after the morning service, to give us the chance to greet any visitors or those not staying for the meeting. Then please bring a packed lunch (rather than church trying to provide a light lunch under current restrictions) to eat in the hall. The meeting will start at 1:00 p.m. Please come to help share in reviewing and planning the life of our church. Click for the agenda for the meeting, the minutes of the May meeting and the Annual Report for 2020/2021. Do please read these!

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. Speakers: October 28th Pam Dent, Nov. 4th David and Hazel Edmondson.

The deadline for the November issue of the Mustard Seed is this Sunday, October 31st.

Do remember to let me know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

19 October

From Jo: “Marjorie Walsh died peacefully at Boarbank Hall Nursing Home on Saturday 9th October. Her funeral will take place at Beetham Crematorium at 2pm on Friday 22nd October. Our prayers are with Bill and the rest of the family”.

From Paul: “Apologies to those who couldn't hear the service very well on Sunday. We realised after the service that a key piece of equipment wasn't switched on which meant that the microphones weren't actually working. This also indirectly caused the problem with the music not playing - many thanks to Elizabeth for stepping in and playing the piano for us. Andrew and I are working to improve the quality of sound in the church and are in the process of replacing some equipment which should make a big difference. Thanks to the quality of the computer's internal microphone, the sound quality on the stream this morning was surprisingly good so if you have access to YouTube and want to catch up with bits you missed, you can find the full service here. If you want to watch the Sight Loss Sunday video which we were unable to play during the service, you can find that here.”

From Graham Ransom: “Dear Friends; Not all of you will know that Jo Rand has been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue. Her doctor has recommended that she works half time for the moment. The Circuit Stewards and Superintendent Minister have met with her and discussed how best the circuit can support her. For the moment, Jo will have pastoral charge of Grange Methodist Church, and we hope that the friends there will support her practically in her work. Graham will take pastoral charge of Cartmel and Windermere. Please do continue to hold Jo and her family in your prayers.”

From Carol Lamb: “Unfortunately so far we have only had 2 names for the afternoon tea for church friends on Thursday 28th October at 2.30 pm in the church hall in aid of the redevelopment fund. There will be no specific charge but donations will be most welcome. It would be preferable if anyone wanting to come could let me know by the end of the week (Sunday 24th) so that we know how many to cater for.”

And from Glenda: “A Reminder about WINTER QUIZZES! If you have not already ordered these with Barbara Leader, you still have a short time to do so! Please let her have your order by next Monday, 25th.

The quizzes cost £10 for 5, they will be published monthly from Nov.to March, the answers for the first one will come with the December Quiz and so on each month. A number have been sold ,but it would be good to sell more! If you don’t like doing quizzes, perhaps you know someone who does? and might like to support the Development Fund in this way? They will be posted to family or friends each month. Please think about who you could ask.”

From Judith Shapland: The service at Cartmel on Sunday 31st October will be a Harvest service led by Mr Dare Holland. The church will be decorated with products suitable for Barrow Food Bank.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. Speakers: October 21st Pam Noonan, October 28th Pam Dent.

Events coming up in Grange:

Wednesday October 20th: We join our friends at St Paul’s for a Joint Holy Communion service, at St Paul’s at 10:00 a.m. led by Rev George Wilson.

Friday October 22nd: Drop-in session from 3-7 p.m. at the Victoria Hall organised by SLDC to enable people to have their say and get involved with the Local Plan 2040; details on the community noticeboard.

Sunday October 24th: Morning worship at 10:30 led by Mr Andrew Lockley.

Tuesday October 26th: There is a meeting at church at 2:00 p.m. for anyone who would like to be involved in planning the Local Arrangements service at Grange on 14th November (Remembrance Sunday)

Sunday October 31st: From Revd Sue Nicol: “Have you lost someone you love – recently or in the past? Would you like some quiet space to remember that person? Perhaps you would appreciate lighting a candle, or having prayers said for yourself or someone else? You are very welcome to come to this special evening of THANKSGIVING and REMEMBRANCE at 6:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served afterwards. Please think about inviting friends who have been bereaved - there will be invitations available at the door this coming Sunday for anyone who wishes to take one. Further information on 015395 31044.”

Tuesday November 2nd: At church at 2:00  p.m. Open meeting of the Leadership Team with a focus on how we organise our pastoral care. Please come and share your ideas and experience.

Reminder: The Annual Report for the year September 2020 to August 2021 is due out in time for the General Church meeting on Sunday, November 7th. If there is an area of church life over that time that you wish to report on, please send me something by Sunday, 24th October.

Do remember to let me know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

12 October

Jo writes:

“I’m sorry to say that part of what I discovered through my sabbatical was that even with the substantial break, I am still feeling very tired. After consultations with the doctor, on Friday I was given a diagnosis of chronic fatigue, and been told that I should reduce my working hours to 50% for the time being while we try various things to improve my energy levels. I wish this were not the news I was bringing so soon after my return! However, I am still here (not at death’s door!) and the circuit and district are looking at what support can be put in place, and together we will be working out what areas of my role I should continue with, and which can be covered in other ways. Thank you again to all who have covered things during the past three months, particularly recognising that we will inevitably be asking whether aspects of that cover might continue a while longer.”

The morning service at Grange at 10:30 on Sunday October 17th will be led by Paul Rand.

Judith Shapland has been in touch to let us know that there will be no service at Cartmel on Sunday, 24th October.

We have been invited by St Paul’s church, who have a communion service at 10:00 a.m. every Wednesday to join with them when it is our communion service on the third Wednesday of the month, alternating between our two buildings. So on October 20th we are invited to join the service at St Paul’s, and in November we will invite those of their congregation who come to that service to join us here at Grange Methodist on the 17th.

From Carol Lamb: “We are planning to hold an afternoon tea for church friends on Thursday 28th October at 2.30 pm in the church hall in aid of the redevelopment fund. There will be no specific charge but donations will be most welcome. Please do not be deterred if you have no transport as lifts can be provided. If you would like to come please contact Carol or Glenda.”

From Liz Jackson: “A big thank you to the people who supported our first produce stall on Wednesday at the coffee morning either by baking and making or purchasing. We had an excellent spread of items to sell and made £102-10 which also included a £20 gift aided donation So please put November 3rd in your diaries which is the date of the next one; the following one will be on December 1st.”

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. The speaker on October 14th will be Rev Lis Mullen, and on October 21st it will be Pam Noonan.

The Monday evening online fellowship group has made a start on the “Plenty” course. What we discovered is that the six-session course has quite a lot of resources for everyone to look at in preparation for each session. We have concluded that rather than having lots of ‘homework’, it actually makes sense to spend one week looking at the ‘preparation’ and the next week following the actual session. We also decided to move the session earlier by half an hour, so 7pm-8.30. Please get in touch with me if you wish to join the group – there is a participant booklet that I can send you electronically.

The Annual Report for the year September 2020 to August 2021 is due out in time for the General Church meeting, which will be on Sunday, November 7th. If there is an area of church life over that time that you can report on, and that hasn’t come recently to church council, please send me something by Sunday, 24th October.

Do remember to let me know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

5 October

Welcome back to Jo after her sabbatical. First of all a word from her:

“Thank you to Hazel, David and everyone else for all you've done whilst I've been on sabbatical. It will take me a little while to catch up with all that has happened in the last three months! We've had a busy and emotional couple of weeks as a family, helping Martha move to university. One or two of you may have noticed me sneak into the porch to share in the harvest service that she and Hazel led. This Sunday at Grange we’ll be welcoming Harvey for baptism, brought by his parents Vikki and Jamie, and big sister Annabel, and supported by around thirty of their family and friends – something for us all to look forward to!”

Then a word of explanation about this weekly update in future. As secretary, I will continue to produce and send it out. I will collect information, notice anything that is going on that could do with wider sharing, and thus give Jo a way of communicating with us all that does not take up too much of her time. I aim to get the update sent out by a Tuesday evening. Thanks then to Rob and Pam who between them have arranged a very good system for getting the update photocopied, along with the printed services for those who like to receive them. There’s a bit of creative thinking to do on how we get the copies out to all who are on the list; it has been good in recent weeks to get some copies out during the coffee morning. We do know that many folk have been most appreciative of this regular contact with church, and of having the opportunity to worship using material they know others are sharing.

It is good to see the regular activities getting established again. We have our 10:30 Sunday worship, which is still available live streamed and/or to share in later, and where we can now enjoy refreshments and fellowship to follow, with the chance of getting to know friends old and new. We also have the online fellowship, which starts a new course, “Plenty!”, on Monday (11th), Baby group from 9:30 on Tuesday mornings (equally smiley babies today as last week!) and the Wednesday coffee morning from 10:30. Remember that tomorrow (6th) brings the first of the monthly produce stall for the sale of cakes, scones, tray bakes, savoury items and jars of jam or chutney, along with the regular card and book stall – thanks to all who have contributed.

From Martha (emailed to me the day after she moved to Cambridge!) “The Methodist Church has several young people who have been employed to work on issues relating to COP26 over the last year. Having led online sessions, they have written a letter to Alok Sharma which all British Methodists are able to sign if they wish. The link is here. To sign it people need to fill in an online form with some of their personal details.” The only details actually required are name and which Methodist Church/group you are from; there are other optional questions. The text of the letter is on the Toast Church notice board; please read it and see if you can sign up to it. If you would like to sign but don’t go online, let me know and I can record your name for you.

From Carol Lamb (who promises a detailed report about the Fashion Show for the next Mustard Seed, including a photograph of Elizabeth on the catwalk!): “After expenses, we raised a grand total of £1,167.50p which is a fantastic amount. Thanks to all the helpers on the night.”

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. The speaker on October 7th will be Rev Martyn Coe, and on October 14th it will be Rev Lis Mullen.

So do remember to let me know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

Thanks,

Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

28 September

Dear friends,

We hope you enjoy the October Mustard Seed - click here.

Thanks to everyone, particularly Martha Rand, who contributed in any way to our Harvest Thanksgiving and Climate Sunday service. There was an abundant display of goods for the Food Bank, and the collection for “All We Can” raised £231-18. Next Sunday, October 3rd, our worship at 10:30 will be led by Mrs Gillian Ransom. As it is the first Sunday in the month, there will be evening worship at 6:00 p.m. – a reflective service for Creationtide which we will be leading.

From Carol Lamb, as in Sunday’s notices: “There will be a Macmillan Coffee Morning on Thursday 30th September 10:00 a.m. to 12 midday at St Mary’s Church, Allithwaite.”

A reminder from Liz Jackson: “Wednesday coffee morning October 6th:

Produce stall for sale of cakes, scones, tray bakes, savoury items and jars of jam or chutney

Please come along to support our  building development fund by providing something to sell or come along to buy. Thanks Liz  Telephone 92687 or email

Thanks for this from Eileen Hutchinson: “Christmas Shoeboxes: By the time you get this it will soon be October – so we need to go “full steam ahead”. As most of you will be aware John and I are not able to come to church at the moment owing to my medical condition – we are not mixing with others indoors – so I can’t be there to remind you or pester you!  I am very happy to come round and collect gifts and contributions – so please just give me a ring.

I will be delivering the boxes this week to the helpers who are kindly going to wrap them. Then I will need to sort out the gifts, ready to take out so these boxes can be filled. If you have any gifts, or knitting or contributions towards the shopping, that is wonderful and I will come and collect as soon as you contact me.  I will need everything in by 12th October 2021 at the latest.

Thank you – I hope you can help again. Eileen (Tel. 35431)”

A couple of reminders:

from Judith Sharples: “Would friends who hold Home Mission or World Mission Boxes please let Judith Sharples have them for emptying. If anyone would like to hold a box or make a donation to this important work Judith would be very pleased to see you.”

and from Glenda: “After Sunday Service Coffee / Tea: We have been serving this in the Church since the end of August, it seems to work quite well. I do not think it means more work, just different work. An advantage is that it means large numbers of people do not have to move through a well packed vestry, tables and chairs do not have to be put out, cleaned and put away in the hall. If you would like to help to provide this facility, please will you sign the list, which is on the table in the aisle. Thank you in anticipation of your help, from the stewards.”

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. We are leading it on September 30th, and the speaker on October 7th will be Rev Martyn Coe.

And finally some news from this morning. Glenda and Hilda were the hosts for the first of our re-launched Baby Group sessions, now fixed as 9:30 to 11:00 on Tuesday mornings. They report having a good time with “gorgeous smiley babies and appreciative parents”.

Do remember to let us know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

21 September

Dear friends,

It has been really good this week to get contributions from so many other folk from church – thanks to all!

This Sunday, 26th September, brings our Harvest and Climate Sunday service, led by Hazel Edmondson and Martha Rand. Thanks to Glenda for these details:

“On Saturday morning from 10 a.m. we will be decorating the Church for Harvest, any items for the Food Bank will be most welcome, you can bring them between then and 10-30 a.m. on Saturday. The alternative is to pop in for coffee on Wednesday and bring items then. On Sunday ,there will be a retiring offering for ALL WE CAN. This Harvest will you help Shupikai, a farmer in Nkayi region in Zimbabwe, “Take the Next Step?“  All We Can’s local partner is working with her and her family to respond to the impact of climate change and COVID 19, in their Community.

You will find envelopes in the church which will enable gift aid to be claimed. Thank you."

Also from Glenda: “After Sunday Service Coffee / Tea: We have been serving this in the Church since the end of August, it seems to work quite well. I do not think it means more work, just different work. An advantage is that it means large numbers of people do not have to move through a well packed vestry, tables and chairs do not have to be put out, cleaned and put away in the hall. If you would like to help to provide this facility, please will you sign the list, which is on the table in the aisle. Thank you in anticipation of your help, from the stewards.”

From Peter Nicol: “At the end of last week we received the good news that SLDC planners have granted us planning permission to go ahead with our redevelopment plans. We have to carry out the work in accordance with the plans submitted and we have 3 years to start the work. I am waiting for final confirmation of costing, to include the result of the recent Quinquennial Inspection which has highlighted a number of repair or replacement works needed to maintain our building. The biggest items being the elderly gas boiler, the large, south facing window in the hall and the damp in the west wall and storage passageway from the hall. None of these are causing urgent issues but need to be addressed in the near future. The boiler has recently been serviced and continues to function after 30+ years! Our focus now needs to be on fundraising and my thanks to all those who are organising events and ways to raise money to add to that pledged or paid and the grant from the Circuit – we are off to a great start in addition to seeking funding from various grant giving bodies”

From Judith Sharples: “Would friends who hold Home Mission or World Mission Boxes please let Judith Sharples have them for emptying. If anyone would like to hold a box or make a donation to this important work Judith would be very pleased to see you.”

A reminder of a couple of events coming up, hosted at our church for the wider church community:

The ecumenical monthly Men’s Prayer breakfast, from 8:30 till around 10:00 a.m. re-starts on Saturday, September 25th, with a light breakfast followed by discussion and prayer. Then the first in-person meeting for a long time of “Churches Together in Grange and District” will be at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 28th, open to anyone who is interested in what the churches working together can do in our town.

We are pleased to be able to announce the re-start of our Baby Group, at the new time of 9:30 to 11:00  on Tuesday mornings. Thanks to all who have worked together to liaise with the local community through social media to find and publicise the best time, and to those from church who will “staff” it. Have a word with Hazel or Glenda if you would like to join the rota of helpers.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. The speaker on September 23rd will be Rev Lis Mullen, and we are leading it on September 30th.

This Sunday, 26th September, is the deadline for items to reach us for inclusion in the October edition of the “Mustard Seed”.

Do remember to let us know (email or tel. 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

14 September

Dear friends,

This coming week, 18th to 26th September, is “Great Big Green Week”, where people of all faiths and none will focus on what can be done about the Climate Crisis, in terms of worship, practical action and calling on the Government for decisive leadership at the COP26 talks in November. As an Eco-Church, we call upon all our members and friends to try to do at least one extra thing during this time to help “Save the Planet”. You’ll get a reminder of this on Sunday 19th, when Paul Rand is the preacher at our 10:30 morning service, and it will be a focus at our harvest thanksgiving and Climate Sunday service on the 26th. As in previous years, we will decorate the church with gifts of packets and tins for Barrow Food Bank, which can be brought on the 19th, and there will bewith a collection on the 26th for the work of “All We Can”.

The first in-person meeting for a long time of “Churches Together in Grange and District” will be at our church at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 28th. There are named representatives from each church, to try to ensure that each church is represented, but the meeting is open to anyone who is interested in what the churches working together can do in our town. Also starting up again, at our church, is the ecumenical monthly Men’s Prayer breakfast. The first one is from 8:30 till around 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 25th, with a light breakfast followed by discussion and prayer.

Thanks to Ruth Briddock for sending this account of a decision from the recent Circuit meeting:

“On 8th September, the members of the South Lakes Methodist Circuit met in person at Ulverston Methodist Church for the first circuit meeting of this Methodist year. Included in the business at the meeting was a request from Grange Methodist Church to the circuit for financial assistance for the Grange building project. A letter containing the request, supported by a summary of the building redevelopment at Grange and its progress to date had been prepared by Peter Nicol. This was discussed at the Circuit Leadership Team meeting prior to the circuit meeting and the letter had then also been circulated to all the members of the circuit meeting in advance. At the circuit meeting itself, Peter Nicol made a PowerPoint presentation which gave visual representations of the building project. Having shared detailed information and answered some questions, the meeting moved on to hear the recommendation of the Circuit Leadership Team which had given the application its careful consideration. The recommendation was as follows: whilst the circuit cannot fund the full request (£150,000) they are prepared to offer £100,000 and this can be transferred immediately. The thinking behind this decision was that, whilst the circuit has received £325,000 from the sale of Bowness Church, the circuit has commitments over the next 5 years and projects in hand that require the use of that money: an average yearly spend of £45,000 uses up £225,000, leaving £100,000 available which can be used for the Grange Project. The circuit meeting consequently received a proposal to give £100,000 to support the Grange Project and this was accepted unanimously.”

Graham Ransom (Circuit Superintendent) has written in his regular weekly letter this week about the wider thinking at Circuit level, which we want to be widely circulated. Many of you will receive this direct, but in case you don’t, a copy is here.

Then a couple of reminders for those of you who get this update by email of events coming in the next few days: On Wednesday (15th) Sue Nicol will lead a communion service at Grange at 10:30 a.m., and the next Leadership Team meeting is at 2:00 on Thursday, September 16th. If there are things you would like us to discuss, please let us know as soon as possible.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. The speaker on September 16th will be Pam Noonan and on September 23rd it will be Rev Lis Mullen.

Do remember to let us know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

7 September

Dear friends,

Well done all! Since the last update, we have started the in-person coffee morning (remember you can still join via Zoom), welcomed Toast Church back and re-started the monthly evening worship with a very meaningful Taizé style “Stillness and Song” service, which can still be seen on our YouTube channel. Thanks to so many people involved. The hall and church have looked really attractive (and sparkling clean!) for all these events.

From Sue and Glenda: FUND-RAISING TEAM – a gentle reminder! Our next meeting is on Thursday 9th September at 2pm in Church. We will review the progress we have made and encourage one another with future plans. Please come and bring your ideas, and if any new people would like to join us you are very welcome. We look forward to seeing you then.”

From Glenda: Methodist Women in Britain is holding a meeting at District level: Thursday 23rd September at Penrith Methodist Church from 10.30am – 2.0pm. A short business meeting followed by a Communion Service led by Rev James Tebbutt. Lunch and informal fellowship time to follow. (Drinks available from 10am and at lunchtime). Please bring a packed lunch. Have a word with Glenda (32386) if you would like to go as shared transport may be a possibility.

From the leadership team: “We have met twice just as the church stewards, mostly to discuss practical arrangements such as planning the local arrangements services and the details of how best to ensure smooth and safe running of events, as activities such as Sunday Worship with refreshments and the coffee morning start up again. We have also met with the vestry steward team to iron out a few misunderstandings and work out Sunday morning responsibilities. We are aware that the original promise was made that leadership team meetings would “normally” be open ones, with the hope that there could be a main focus for each meeting notified in advance. We’re sorry this is not proving possible with so many practical details to sort out. This is to let you all know that our next Leadership Team meeting is planned for 2:00 on Thursday, September 16th. We have many things we’ll need to discuss, including drawing up the agenda for the next Church Council meeting. If there are things you would like us to discuss, please let us know. Hopefully after the Church Council meeting there will be the chance for another open meeting; we have already thought that looking at our pastoral system could be a focus then.”

There are a couple of other activities we are looking at re-starting. Following some local interest, we have a one-off Baby Group this Thursday from 1:30 to 3:00 in the hall. We hope to discuss with any who come then when a good regular time to hold this would be. Let us know if you would be interested in helping. And we used to have a Holy Communion service on the third Wednesday at 10:30. We are in conversation with our friends from St Paul’s, who have a service at 10:00 every Wednesday, usually a Communion service. We could start a pattern where we join with them on the third Wednesday, sometimes at our church, sometimes at theirs. It would make sense for our start time to be the same as theirs, at 10:00. But before we change it, we need to check that factors such as bus times don’t mean that changing it would make it difficult for some who would like to attend. Please let us know if it would make a difference to you. Sue Nicol will lead a service on Wednesday September 15th; that one will be at 10:30 while we complete our research.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. The speaker on September 9th will be Pam Dent and on September 16th it will be Pam Noonan.

Do remember to let us know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

31 August

Dear friends,

Happy New Year to all Methodists and those in education.

Just a brief update this week as most information is in the September edition of the Mustard Seed, which is here.

Thanks to all who helped with the after service refreshments on Sunday – one more step along the road to whatever “normal” turns out to be. Remember the coffee morning is going back to being in person from 10:30 tomorrow (September 1st), though we hope our online friends will still be able to join us.  Online fellowship group also starts again on Monday September 6th.  All the links are here.

Apologies to our online congregation that the live stream failed again on Sunday, though we were able to record the service. If you haven’t found it yet, the direct link is here.

On 5th September, 10:30 morning worship will be led by Mrs Paulette Bissell and Toast Church will re-start that day. There will also be an evening service at 6:00, which will be “Stillness and Song” Taizé style worship.

One item from Sue and Glenda:

FUND-RAISING TEAMa gentle reminder!

Our next meeting is on Thursday 9th September at 2pm in Church.
We will review the progress we have made and encourage one another with future plans.
Please come and bring your ideas, and if any new people would like to join us you are very welcome.
We look forward to seeing you then, Sue and Glenda

Sue Nicol Tel: 015395 31044 Glenda Clark Tel: 015395 32386’

Those of you who read the “Methodist Recorder” should look out for an excellent article by Martha Rand about her time as an ecumenical youth representative – it’s on page 14 of the August 27th edition.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. The speaker on September 2nd will be Rev Lis Mullen and on September 9th it will be Pam Dent.

We still have a few copies available of “A Place for All”, the Methodist Prayer Handbook for 2021/2022 at the price of £4-15. Let us know you’d like one (contact details as below) and we’ll get it to you.

Do remember to let us know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

24 August

Dear friends,

Thanks to all who have helped to clean all the different areas of our premises and move chairs ready for us using the porch entrance and in preparation for the wedding on August 23. Thanks especially to Glenda for the lovely flower arrangement. The wedding was a really happy occasion; please continue to pray for Lizzie and David as they start their married life.

This Sunday, 29th August Rev Sue Nicol will lead us in worship which will include Holy Communion. We will be starting serving after service refreshments – how we have missed those opportunities for fellowship and catching up with one another! In order to limit movement, the tea and coffee will be served in church. On 5th September, 10:30 morning worship will be led by Mrs Paulette Bissell and we hope that Toast Church will re-start that day. There will also be an evening service at 6:00 on the 5th, which will be “Stillness and Song” Taizé style worship. On both Sunday mornings we hope to be joined by visitors staying at Thornleigh.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. The speaker on August 26th will be Judith Bartlett and on September 2nd it will be Rev Lis Mullen.

A reminder that our regular community Wednesday coffee mornings restart in person at 10:30 on September 1st. Liz Jackson has sent an update to say that the first produce stall will be on October 6th. Please bear in mind her earlier request: “I am hoping to organise a regular stall on the first Wednesday of the month to sell home baking, to include tray bakes, scones etc as well as any home-made preserves. If you feel able to contribute to this in any way please be in touch. Thanks in anticipation, Liz Jackson: 92687, or email.”

Remember too the notice that Judith Booth sent through last week: “Fashion Show by Kitty Brown Boutique of Carnforth to be held at Church on Friday, 1st October commencing 7.30pm Tickets £10. available from Carol, Ruth or Judith.  Please order these well in advance to be sure of a ticket and avoid disappointment.”

Thanks to Ruth Briddock for passing on this message from Jane at Thornleigh:

Details of Roger Jones week“Roger Jones will be at Thornleigh leading a musical week from Monday 30 August to Friday 2 September. The week will be open to day visitors. For anyone interested, further details are available by phoning Thornleigh: 32733 (office hours 10:00 till 4:00).”

We now have copies available of “A Place for All”, the Methodist Prayer Handbook for 2021/2022. They cost £4.15 and we’ll have them with us on Sunday, or let us know you’d like one (contact details as below) and we’ll get it to you. Thank you for contributions already received for the September edition of our Mustard Seed newsletter. This is the last call for contributions (email or 36213) - deadline date is August 29th.

Glenda has passed on an appeal from All We Can for donations for the dreadful situation in Haiti.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

17 August

Dear friends,

Thank you to everyone who participated in any way in last Sunday’s “Songs of Praise” service. It was both moving and inspiring to hear the stories behind the hymn choices and to be able to sing our praises once more. Thanks too to the skill of the “stream team” which meant that those from our online congregation who had chosen a hymn were able to share the service live. It also meant that we were able to catch up with it later, as we were both preaching elsewhere, which would never have been possible before lockdown forced us into new ways.

This coming Sunday ,if you are coming in to church, please use the porch entrance as we usually did. The preacher on August 22nd will be Rev David Edmondson. On Sunday 29th Rev Sue Nicol will lead us in worship which will include Holy Communion. From the 29th we plan to resume after service refreshments, with the associated opportunities for fellowship and catching up with one another. In order to limit movement, the current thinking of the leadership team is to serve the tea and coffee in church.

On Monday, August 23rd there will be a wedding here at Grange. Please pray for Lizzie and David, their families and friends as they prepare for and celebrate their big day.

Thanks to Ruth and David Webster for an update sent on Sunday about the Duchenne Research Relay: “Everyone completed the cycling challenge successfully and safely by 7.30pm yesterday in Newcastle. Over £30k has been raised for further research into the search for a cure for boys like Will.” Will is a 12 year old known to David and Ruth who was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy when he was five.

Thanks to Judith Booth for this notice: “Fashion Show by Kitty Brown Boutique of Carnforth to be held at Church on Friday, 1st October commencing 7.30pm Tickets £10. available from Carol, Ruth or Judith.  Please order these well in advance to be sure of a ticket and avoid disappointment.”

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. The speaker on August 19th will be Pam Dent and on August 26th it will be Judith Bartlett

Thank you for contributions already received for the September edition of our Mustard Seed newsletter. The deadline date is as ever the last Sunday of the month before, so August 29th. Do remember to let us know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

10 August

Dear friends,

Some tremendous news to start with this week. Having collected her A level results today, Martha  Rand tells us: “I got A*A*A*A, I have my place confirmed for Engineering at Newnham College, Cambridge. I expect to move at the end of September, but am awaiting further information this week.” We send congratulations to her from all the church family, and to Jo, Paul and Amos as extremely pleased and proud family. Martha has worked so hard and consistently through the very difficult circumstances faced by our young people during lockdown, home schooling and restricted lessons to achieve the next step she has dreamed of. We pray for her and for all those who have exam results this week.

Thanks to all those who have chosen hymns for our “Songs of Praise” service this coming Sunday and are prepared to share something of their faith story. It will be in person in church at 10:30, and those in church will have the option of whether to wear a mask or not for the singing. It will also be streamed here to watch at home live or later – we’re so glad the streaming worked last week. If you are coming in to church, this will be the last week of the one way system, with everyone coming in through the vestry. From August 22nd we will use the porch entrance as we usually did. The preacher on August 22nd will be Rev David Edmondson.

Attached for those who receive this by email is a copy of the new preaching plan for September -November 2021. The plan can also be accessed here. We have updated the links page to include the direct link to find this, and also how to find the information about our WhatsApp prayer group for the building project. The updated copy of the Links document is attached to the email version of the update. Those of you who receive this update as hard copy should find a copy of the plan printed out for you as well. Our thanks to those who week by week do the photocopying and delivering so that those not online don’t miss out.

Please remember in your thoughts and prayers this week Ruth and David Webster, who from 12-14 August are undertaking a mammoth bike ride of 380 miles in 3 days from Great Ormond Street Hospital to Newcastle in the Duchenne Research Relay for Muscular Dystrophy UK. Those of you on Facebook can read the post about this on our Church Facebook page. Ruth says her Challenge Target is “to arrive in Newcastle in one piece (mentally as well as physically!)” whereas David’s is “to enjoy myself”….

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. The speaker on August 12th will be Rev Martyn Coe, and on August 19th it will be  Pam Dent.

Do remember to let us know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

3 August

Dear friends,

This Sunday at Grange will bring the last of our three “transition” services as we take slow steps out of the restrictions. We will follow the same pattern as the last two weeks: masks on and no congregational singing during the service itself, then the chance to stay in church and sing for 10 minutes or so after the service (choosing whether to wear a mask or not), with all of that streamed too - search on YouTube for Grange Methodists to find the live stream or to catch up later. The service will be led by our Superintendent minister, Rev Graham Ransom – all welcome, in person at 10:30, or as part of our online congregation – apologies that last week’s streaming failed. 

Remember that the service on August 15th will be different. It will take the form of a “Songs of Praise”, fronted by Glenda. We invite everyone who wishes to choose a hymn which means a lot to them. The “price” is to be prepared to come and say – or write down for someone else to read - why that hymn has been chosen. A chance to tell something of our faith story. Please contact Glenda to choose a hymn; we’d like to know by August 10th. From that week we will be singing during the service. Folk will have the choice of whether to wear a mask or not for singing throughout the service. We will continue with social distancing, certainly for a few more weeks.

Thanks to Judith Shapland for news from Cartmel Chapel:

“We are glad to be meeting regularly again and enjoying fellowship with each other. We have had visitors from Thornleigh and the Caravan Park to our services which is good, having a track and trace in operation. We are in the process of mending our store shed and were paid a visit by the District property adviser to look at a crack in the kitchen wall. We have received an invitation to Alf Dawson’s 100th birthday party in September. Two of our members are still isolating and so are grateful for the hard copy of the services, which Rob provides. We have received generous donations from other people, including money and plants. Brian Lewis continues to help in the garden. It is certainly good to be singing together again, especially as we are blessed with two organists in our congregation.”

Thanks to those who have collected the prayer card for the redevelopment project and are faithfully using it. A reminder of the further initiative Andrew has taken:

“Other aids to supporting the project in prayer have been suggested, including a WhatsApp group.  If you use WhatsApp on your smartphone, and would like to be part of a trial group, send a text to Andrew (07563 234967) who will add you to the group.  We're not sure how this will turn out yet, but it's promising so far.” 

For those of you who can get online do remember to keep on exploring the Grange page on the South Lakes Circuit website. Under the “News” tab on the Grange page you will find links to all sorts of things, including (via the redevelopment project page) a step by step guide to how to install WhatsApp if you don’t already have it. The news tab on the circuit front page has an article about our Eco-Church award; we now have congratulations from the circuit. On our church page, beneath the map, there is reference to the story on our Facebook page about Ruth and David Webster’s preparations for their mammoth bike ride (380 miles!) coming up 12-14 August.

Hazel duly participated in the Churches Together Youth Trust prayer meeting last week. It was good to “meet” (albeit via zoom) and pray for Helen Hoyle, their newly appointed Community & Youth Leader, who will be starting her job in September. Please continue to pray for her.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. The speaker this week will be Rev Pam Noonan.

Do remember to let us know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

27 July

Dear friends,

Thanks for the many favourable comments about the opportunity to sing (choosing whether to wear a mask or not) in church at the end of Sunday’s service. An impressive sound was made, enjoyed both by those there and those online. We will follow the same pattern for the next two weeks: masks on and no congregational singing during the service itself, then the chance to stay and sing for 10 minutes or so after the service, with all of that streamed too - click here, to join us live or catch up later. The service on Sunday will be led by Mrs Gillian Ransom – all welcome, in person at 10:30, or as part of our online congregation.

The service on August 15th will be different. You’ll see on the plan it is down as a local arrangement, which gives us the chance to use the talents within the congregation. It will take the form of a “Songs of Praise”, fronted by Glenda. We invite everyone who wishes to choose a hymn which means a lot to them. The “price” is to be prepared to come and say – or write down for someone else to read - why that hymn has been chosen. A chance to tell something of our faith story. Please contact Glenda to choose a hymn; we’d like to know by August 10th. From that week we be singing during the service. Folk will have the choice of whether to wear a mask or not for singing throughout the service. We will continue with social distancing, certainly for a few more weeks.

A reminder that the “Jars of Thanks” (or a label if you’re using a jar from home already) are now available at church, or let us know if you would like one getting to you. Also available at church is a prayer card for the Building Project. It’s also here, or we can get a copy of that to you – we need as many faithful pray-ers as possible! We’re grateful to Andrew for taking the further initiative he outlines here:

“Other aids to supporting the project in prayer have been suggested, including a WhatsApp group.  If you use WhatsApp on your smartphone, and would like to be part of a trial group, send a text to Andrew (07563 234967) who will add you to the group.  We're not sure how this will turn out yet, but it's promising so far. If you have a smartphone but don't currently use WhatsApp, you can find out more here.” 

We wonder how many of you who can get online have explored lately the Grange page on the South Lakes Circuit website. Andrew works very quietly and efficiently on this – many thanks – keeping it updated and adding pages. Have an explore under the “News” tab on the Grange page and you will find links to all sorts of things, including (via the redevelopment project page) a step by step guide to how to install WhatsApp if you don’t already have it.

It’s good to know that Elizabeth is now home – lovely to see her out for a walk with her dog today. We were really impressed that last week she managed to join the zoom coffee morning from hospital to let us know she was coming home – we think that’s our first attender from a hospital! Get in touch with us if you’d like the zoom link to be able to join too on a Wednesday morning. Plans are being made to restart the in person coffee morning from the beginning of September.

At Grange Methodist Church we support the work of the Churches Together Youth Trust. We are asked to pray for Helen Hoyle, their newly appointed Community & Youth Leader, who will be starting her job in September, working part time with the Youth Trust, and part-time with St Mary’s, Allithwaite in community work. Hazel will be representing us at their zoom prayer meeting tomorrow evening and will pass on news and prayer points from them.

Remember that our friends at the United Reformed Church meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30 on Thursday mornings. The speaker this week will be Judith Bartlett.

Do remember to let us know (email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

20 July

Dear friends,

First of all sincere apologies to those of you who tried to join us online last Sunday. Despite valiant efforts we were unable to get the streaming going again once it stopped during the pre-service music. On the other hand, we were delighted to have the group of visitors from Thornleigh with us live, including Dorothy who was able to make good use of our Braille hymn books. Many of them are enthusiastic singers and it was a joy to have them joining the singing outside at the close of the service.

Two pieces of exciting news this week. One is that we have been successful in gaining the Eco Church Bronze Award – more details to come in the September Mustard Seed. Thanks especially to Martha for all her work filling in the application form about the many ways in which as a church and as individuals we try to be environmentally friendly, and to those who answered her many questions! The second is that our Toast Church scarecrow, illustrating the greening pledge to line-dry washing in the summer, was the winner in the Under 18s Best Message category. If you’re in Grange, do have a look at him sporting his rosette – we’ll keep him up for a few days after the festival finishes on the 21st so folk get a chance to see that. Have a look too at the pictures on the Facebook page.

Marjorie has particularly asked Glenda to share that Marjorie feels the Church has been very caring and considerate in keeping in touch with everyone. She has appreciated it very much. Our grateful thanks to those who have volunteered to be wheelchair pushers now Marjorie is able to get to church in that way. Elizabeth A is unfortunately still waiting for the expected appointment at Blackpool hospital to happen, but she remains in good spirits in Lancaster, ending her report to Glenda with “What an adventure!” and asking us to put out a request for books and jigsaws for the card stall when it can be re-started.

Also on the fundraising theme, we’ve had a message from Liz Jackson:

Cake & produce stall: Once the weekly Wednesday community coffee mornings begin again I am hoping to organise a regular stall on the first Wednesday of the month to sell home baking, to include tray bakes, scones etc as well as any home-made preserves. If you feel able to contribute to this in any way please be in touch – tel. 92687. Thanks in anticipation, Liz Jackson

The “Jars of Thanks” (or a label if you’re using a jar from home already) are now available at church, or let us know if you would like one getting to you. Also available from church from this Sunday is a prayer card for the Building Project. It’s also on the website, or we can get a copy of that to you – we need as many faithful pray-ers as possible!

Our friends at the United Reformed Church are re-starting their Thursday Fellowship this week. They meet for a time of worship and fellowship from 10:30, led this week by Rev Sue Nicol.

The service on Sunday will be led by Hazel Edmondson – all welcome, in person at 10:30, or as part of our online congregation. Do remember to let us know (via email or 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

13 July

Dear Friends,

It has been good this week to get a couple of items for this update from other people. The first is from Pam Brook:

“Action For Children Sunday was led by the Leadership Team and was informative, challenging and thought provoking. Thank you so much to them for such a well thought out service.

The retiring collection has enabled us to continue to support this worthwhile charity which has continued throughout Lockdown supporting vulnerable children and families. Through the generosity of our Church Family and beyond, the amount given, including Gift Aid was £305. A sincere Thank you to everybody. Pam”

What a splendid total – and we know in addition to that some people gave online direct to Action For Children. Especial thanks this week, as every week, to what Paul has dubbed the “Stream team” – those operating the IT equipment and in addition preparing items such as the hymn words for display on the screen. This week their skill in live streaming the service meant that Martha was able to worship with us whilst being at home with Amos – our commiserations to him and his classmates who find themselves, along with so many others, ending the school year with home schooling whilst having to self-isolate.

We have also had a couple of items from Glenda:

“WATCH THIS SPACE! The Fundraising Team met last Thursday, an enthusiastic group! We just want to let you know there are several interesting ideas which are at present ‘works in progress‘ which we plan to have ready by September. FOR NOW, look out for ‘The Jars For Thanks’ which will soon be available. We hope the residents at Berners Close will enjoy the delights of ‘Scones at Home Service’ to be delivered to them by Barbara from tomorrow.

If you have suggestions for fundraising, please share them with us.

Sue (Nicol), Glenda and The Fund Raising Team!

Coffee Mornings

At present we are uncertain when these will be able to start again, but we feel some preparations will need to be made before we re-open. I have met some of our regular customers recently who assure me they have missed this regular opportunity to meet together. One of the first things we need to do is to obtain STAFF! I will be pleased to hear either from any of you who were previously on the Rota or anyone who would like to come and help us. Please will you contact me by phone 32386 or email me. Thankyou in anticipation of your help. Glenda”

We send our love and prayers to Elizabeth Armstrong, who has been in Lancaster Infirmary and is expected to be moved to Blackpool Hospital.

The service on Sunday will be led by Rev Sue Nicol – all welcome, in person at 10:30, as part of our online congregation - search on YouTube for Grange Methodists to find the live stream or to catch up later.

Do remember to let us know (by email or call 36213) if you have anything to pass on through this update. Thanks to Pam and Glenda for their contributions this time.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

6 July

Dear Friends,

We are so thankful that at last Sunday’s service we were able to share in not one but two celebrations. It was lovely to welcome Joshua Howarth into our church family in baptism. Thanks to Simon, Lorraine and Isla for bringing Joshua and for the montage of photos put together to the song “The Lord bless you and keep you” so we could see something of Joshua despite the social distancing restrictions. Do remember that you can watch the service again on YouTube (and get a closer view of those pictures of Joshua and big sister Isla). Just before she went on sabbatical, Jo created a link that is slightly more memorable: https://tinyurl.com/grangemethodists.

For the first time for so long, we were also able to share together in the sacrament of Holy Communion, again with some restrictions but the core of the beautiful service was there. It was heartening to hear a comment later from one of our online congregation about how close they felt to us at that moment and how special it was.

We send our best wishes to Lynne Riddell, who has moved to near Penrith to be nearer her daughter. We give thanks for her presence here at Grange, for her friendship, care and willing service, in particular her part in the church flower ministry. Many of you will have been cheered by receiving a bunch of flowers from the church.

Just a reminder that this Sunday is Action for Children Sunday, and the service at 10:30 will celebrate and pray for the work done by that charity. There will be a retiring collection for Action for Children so you may wish to bring some cash (or a cheque payable to Grange Methodist Church). Those who prefer to give online can do so direct through the charity’s website, here. 

This will also be the first Sunday that the singing outside at the end of the service, which will continue (weather permitting!), will not be streamed. This is part of our reaction to the feedback received from the survey about services; thanks again to all who took part.

Those of you who get a copy of the “Grange Now” magazine will have received in the July issue a card with the Greening pledges on one side, and the logo on the other. If you wish to show that you think living in a sustainable way is important to you, and indeed is part of your Christian lifestyle, it would be good if you could display the card in your window.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

29 June

Dear Friends,

We send greetings from Grange Methodist Church to all who read this. We are so grateful to Jo for faithfully producing each week the update sheet that has done so much to keep us all informed and reassure us of our togetherness, whatever circumstances of lockdown and isolation we are in. We pray a blessing on Jo as she moves into her sabbatical time, that it may be for her the time of rest, re-creation and refreshment that she has described.

Those of us who are able to be present in person or online on Sunday morning, July 4th, will still see Jo as she leads our 10:30 worship which will include the baptism service for Joshua Howarth and our first communion service after such a long break, as described in her update last week. Don’t forget that at 6:00 that evening the Taizé style “Stillness and Song” service will be taking place in church offering a time of quiet and reflection together.

The July/August edition of the Mustard Seed is here. The open meeting about communication identified the Mustard Seed and this weekly update as our main means of sharing all our news and concerns and letting the whole church family know what is going on. Do read it carefully and prayerfully, giving thanks for all the hard work, faithful service and talents represented in it. And let us know if you’ve got something to flag up in a weekly update – we’ll continue to do those throughout Jo’s sabbatical. The Mustard Seed has in it the contact details for us and for Ruth Briddock, and the links for the coffee morning and the fellowship group which will continue (though the fellowship group is taking a break in August). The page of useful links is here.

May Jo’s time on sabbatical be a time of growth for us all as we seek to live out our vision.

God bless,

David and Hazel

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Grange Methodist Church

24 June

Dear Friends,

This is my last Weekly Update before I go - Methodist Conference begins this afternoon. Please do pray for the Conference - there is an awful lot of business, partly because of work carried over from last year, hoping a 'normal' Conference would be possible in 2021. Sadly that is not the case - just in the past couple of weeks the decision has been made to dramatically reduce the numbers attending in person. Now fewer than one fifth of representatives will be physically present, and the rest, including all of Cumbria's representatives, will be joining online. These will be long days on zoom, from roughly 9am to 6.30pm most days, and occasionally some need for evening meetings too, so even though I am not 'away' I am not going to be available for anything locally! Please pray for all involved, especially those managing the technical arrangements and the business agenda, and those being ordained on Sunday.

Leadership Meeting - Communication
We had a very positive meeting last Thursday, attended by about a dozen people. We haven't solved all the world's troubles(!) but the outcomes include:

  • The Mustard Seed will be our primary form of written communication, produced monthly and compiled / edited by Hazel (but with double issues for July / Aug and Dec / Jan, for obvious reasons.) It will continue to be distributed electronically for those able to receive it that way (lower cost and easier!) Some hard copies will be printed and available to pick up from church, and those who are not on email are being contacted to ask whether they need one to be delivered to them. 

  • For more immediate communications, the Weekly Update will continue to cover anything that needs to be shared before the next Mustard Seed (and therefore may not be produced on a Mustard Seed week). Again, this will be emailed to most, but some printed copies will be available at church - preferably only for those who don't receive it by email. This takes the place of the news sheet we used to have each week. In my absence David Edmondson will put the Weekly Update together. When I return there will be a conversation about who is the most appropriate person to do this longer term.

  • Andrew Lockley has agreed to look into how our emails / contact database is managed, and see if there is a better option than the one we are currently using. 

  • We have noted that we need to take more time to consider communication with those outside the church, but we will be working in the interim to produce a leaflet people can take from the leaflet holder on the noticeboard with some information and contact details, and efforts to keep the notice boards up to date will continue - thank you to all who do this.

Mustard Seed Deadline
The deadline for the next Mustard Seed is this Sunday, 27th June. This is for a double issue, covering July and August. Please email any content to Hazel Edmondson, or phone: 36213 or post: 16, Charney Court, Grange-over-Sands, LA11 6DL.

Survey about Services
Thank you for all the survey responses - there will be a summary of what you have said in the Mustard Seed. But for the meantime I will let you know the main decisions made as a result:
We will share communion together for the first time on Sunday 4th July! I will be taking the service before starting sabbatical the following day. Having considered Covid advice we will use gluten-free wafers, and the usual grape juice in small glasses. These will be prepared with careful hygiene measures, and will remain covered while I am speaking. The congregation will remain in their seats and the elements will be brought to you by me and the person assisting me. Anyone who prefers to bring their own bread and 'wine' is welcome to do so, but we recognise this is not easy to package up and bring in a suitable way! Grape juice is generally only available in 1 litre cartons, but it does freeze. Please no alcoholic wine - it is not permitted in the building by Methodist rules! Although it may seem strange, the official theology across all denominations is that 'communion in one kind' (i.e. only the bread, or only the wine) is still fully receiving communion, so if you want to bring your own bread and not have any 'wine' that is completely acceptable.
For those joining online - next week Methodist Conference is considering officially allowing people at home joining an online service to share communion at home using their own bread and wine. At this point I can't pre-empt that decision, and we certainly can't announce anything publicly, but in principle I am supportive of anyone wishing to share communion at home.
For the time being we will continue as we are with singing. There are mixed views about having a live singing group, and we want people to feel safe to attend if possible. We are very limited on the availability of organists, so for the time being we will mainly continue to use recordings. We will probably stop streaming the outside singing after 4th July.

More about services on 4th July
As well as being our first communion service, on 4th of July we will be baptising Joshua Howarth. It will be lovely to have Simon, Lorraine, Isla and Joshua plus godparents and immediate family present rather than joining the service online as they usually do. Of course we will continue with all the covid measures, and anticipating that we may not quite have space for everyone in the church, we will set out some seats in the hall and open the window / screen between the hall and the church. Some of the seats in the church will be reserved for the baptismal party, and we will be very grateful if some of the rest of the congregation are willing to sit in the 'overflow' on this occasion if needed. Communion will be brought through to you!

Also a reminder that on 4th of July we will be holding a shortened Taize 'Stillness and Song' service at 6pm. This will have a live music group including a singer present in the building, but obviously the congregation are still not permitted to sing. All are welcome for what we hope will be a meaningful time of quiet reflection and prayer.

I think I have remembered everything I needed to include this week! All that remains is for me to say thank you to all who make it possible for me to have this gift of sabbatical time. I hope it will be of benefit not just to me, but to you and the whole circuit and the communities we serve as well. I will continue to remember you all in prayer over the coming three months, and I am grateful for your prayers too.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church


17 June

Dear Friends,

In case you're wondering if you have missed this week's weekly update - no, I just hadn't managed to send it out yet. Actually I'm not sure there is a great deal of news to share this week - it is very late notice for me to remind you about tonight's meeting about communication! But all are welcome at 7.30pm. We'll meet in the church with the same sort of safety measures as for services.

Thank you for all the survey responses - we've had 22 so far, and they're really helpful for us as we try to work out what to do at this current stage. If you've not yet filled it in there is still time. Here's a link again.

Next week will be my last update before I go on sabbatical, but depending on what thoughts are shared tonight, there may be something continuing - I will let you know next week. Online coffee mornings will definitely continue, and the online Fellowship Group plans to continue until the end of July. Links for these will not change, and are here as usual.

Take care, and God bless

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

10 June

Dear Friends,

After three weeks, we are beginning to get used to having services in the building again. If any of you who haven't been attending would like to, we have space to take a few more than have been attending.

Survey - we'd like to hear from you!
At last night's Church Council we spent some time thinking about some aspects of services, in particular the way music is included in the service, and whether we might celebrate communion again in the current circumstances. It was decided to send out a survey to seek the views of the whole congregation. You should be able to complete that here.

Please complete it by Sunday 20th June if possible. If you have any problems using that link let me know and I can send it another way or give you a printed copy.

Open Leadership Meeting - Thursday 17th June, 7.30-8.30pm
A reminder that all are invited to the first of our regular open leadership meetings next week. We are hoping to make our leadership more open, with opportunities for everyone to contribute (without having to take on a job, or promising to attend next time!) We will have meetings on various aspects of church life, for you to bring your ideas. This first meeting will be about communication - newsletters, notice boards, notice sheets, emails, deliveries, local press... any of the ways we communicate within the church, and how we communicate with those outside of the church. It's important that we do it well, so let us know what you think.

As background to our communication, the Leadership Team has been looking at how our governance structures work and could be improved.  This structure map, very much a draft at present, shows what we might be working towards. I hope it is reasonably clear. The boxes with heavy black outlines show which committees are required under Methodist rules, and their responsibilities are set out in Standing Orders. Others the Church Council may decide to set up, where it is useful. For example, we imagine that where we have had the 2020+ team (which is due to continue until the end of 2021) it would be helpful to establish a Mission Team to continue that work. I'm not particularly expecting that we'll discuss this at the meeting but we wanted to share it widely as we work on it. We would happily hear your thoughts as we will be continuing to work on it.

Online things
Just a reminder that the online coffee morning continues, 11-12 every Wednesday morning. You are welcome to drop in for all or part of it. The online fellowship group is continuing to meet on Mondays, 7.30-9pm. At the moment all the sessions are 'stand alone' so feel free to come from time to time even if you can't be there every week. Links for both these are here - let me know if you need any more information. 

Boarbank Garden Sale
Sr Margaret from Boarbank has asked me to share that there will be a Garden Sale at Boarbank Hall on Sunday 20th June, 2.30-4.30. Please observe 2 metre distance while in Boarbank grounds. Thank you.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

3 June

The June edition of The Mustard Seed is here, with lots of news, updates and prayer pointers. Please do take particular note of the first of our open leadership meetings. We will be discussing communication - weekly updates, paper deliveries, notice boards, etc. What communication do you find helpful? How do we make sure we reach everyone with the right information? How can we present ourselves well to the local community? Details of the meeting are inside - do come and share your thoughts.

One thing I meant to give Hazel to put in, but didn't (sorry Hazel!) is that we are planning to have a Taize service on Sunday 4th July at 6pm. This will be shorter than previously, around 30-40 minutes, and without congregational singing, but we will have our live music group. If you've not been to one of these services before, they offer time and space for stillness and prayer, guided by the music, some Bible readings, and a time of silence. Because we have removed pews, we are now more able to hold this service in the church, rather than in the hall. We hope to have the music sung by one singer, in the back pew, and probably screened as a precaution. But we will keep that under review until we have more idea of the guidance at the time.

Links to other online resources are here.

Cartoon of disciples in Zoom meetingHere's a little cartoon Andrew Lockley shared at the coffee morning this week - it made us chuckle, and one or two people asked for a copy, so I thought I'd share it more widely!



Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

26 May

Dear Friends,

We were glad to have 31 people gathered in the church building on Sunday to celebrate Pentecost, welcomed beforehand by members of Toast Church singing outside (at a suitable distance!). We can't promise this welcome every week, but we hope to repeat it again soon. I've attached a picture of the 'congregation's eye view' taken by David Webster.

I know a few people had difficulty finding the service online, but it has now been watched by around 55 people. The YouTube channel is called 'Grange Methodists' and you can find it either by searching for the name, or by using this link. I've now set it up so you should see the upcoming live stream at the top of the page, and last Sunday's service below that. If you're trying to watch soon after the service has finished, it may not be visible - this is because YouTube is processing it. If you try again a bit later it should be there.

A couple of small fundraisers for the building project:
Are you in possession of a piano but in want of a tuner? Mr. Chris Bethell, a Professional Tuner who is trying to develop his business in this area, has offered to tune the Pianos of five people who do not have a regular tuner. The cost is £60 for each  of five pianos - he will give £50 from each one to the Re-Development Fund, a total of £250. Three people are interested in taking up this offer; if there are two more please contact Glenda (32386) leave a message if she is out.

Methodist Insurance - if you're looking to switch home, buildings or combined insurance, Methodist Insurance offer a special deal for new customers - if you choose to take out a policy with them they will donate 20% of your first year's premium as a donation to the church or charity of your choice. You can get a quote here or by calling 0345 606 1331, quoting MDL21 (Please note: I am not recommending this insurance to you - do check that it is right for your needs before taking it!)

Mustard Seed
Last call for any items for the June edition of The Mustard Seed. Please send any material to Hazel Edmondson by 30th May. Email her, telephone 36213 or post to: 16, Charney Court, Grange-over-Sands, LA11 6DL

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

20 May

Dear Friends,

Sunday is nearly here! Thanks to a dedicated and hard working team of folk, ten rows of pews are
removed, dismantled, and safely stored in the organ loft, the carpet is being neatly patched, and
everything is being cleaned ready for our first service in the building. I don't want to start saying
thank you to everyone by name because I know I will miss some, but particular thanks to Peter
who has spent hours and hours at church, and co-ordinated so much, and to everyone else who
has helped out in any way. I'm sorry this information is out later than I had hoped - there has been a lot of detail to work through!

Services - What you need to know if you are coming to the church in person:

  • 10.30am start. Please don't arrive before about 10.20 as we still need to limit the time we are indoors together.
  • Please wear a face mask covering your nose and mouth unless you are exempt. We will need to keep an attendance list, so your name will be taken on the way in.
  • Weather permitting, we hope a small number from Toast Church will be here to welcome you with some songs - only outdoors, and at a significant distance!
  • We will have 30 chairs in church, set out singly and in pairs, set at 1.5 - 2m distance. Please only sit in a pair with someone if you are in the same household or bubble.
  • Alternate pews at the back will still be in use if needed.
  • The 'rule of 6' currently allows 6 people / 2 households to interact, but we are not supposed to 'mingle' - i.e. chat in one group of six, and then move on to another group.
    And within the group we are still expected to keep distanced from one another. I know this seems much stricter than a lot of what has been happening, but as an organisation responsible for a public gathering we have tighter rules to follow than, say, a family gettogether. Please help us to keep to the rules and keep one another safe!
  • After the service, weather permitting, we hope to sing a hymn outside. On the driveway we have space for up to 16 individuals or couples to stand at 2+ metres distance. We will need to be strict about not 'spilling out' onto the pavement with this because the rules about gatherings in public spaces are different from what we are allowed to do on church property. If you prefer not to be among people singing that is absolutely fine - we will give you time to leave before we begin.
  • There is a lot to get used to here - please bear with us as we work things out!

Streaming the service - What you need to know if you want to join online:

  • From this week we will be streaming live at 10.30 on YouTube, instead of Facebook.
  • Although you can create an account / sign in / subscribe to get updates, this is not necessary. (YouTube is much easier to access without an account than Facebook. Some people can also watch it directly on a Smart TV rather than needing a computer, iPad, smartphone etc)
  • We are using a different YouTube channel from before (we have been 'borrowing' Toast Church's channel until now) Our new channel is called Grange Methodists and can be found either by going to www.youtube.com and searching for that name, or using this link.
  • Although you don't need to subscribe, if you are able to it will help us, because once we have 100 subscribers we will be able to choose a shorter link rather than that long string of letters and numbers!
  • For the time being at least we will try to make sure Facebook is also updated with information about where to find the service.
  • If you go to the channel now you can find a very short welcome video of me, and last week's service has also been uploaded, just to get us started. (All the previous services can still be found on the Toast Church channel)
  • Because the congregation in church cannot sing, we are trying out a new format - half an hour or so of prayers, readings and sermon, followed by a time of singing after the congregation have left the building, which will be led by one or two households together, suitably distanced. If you are interested in going on a rota to lead this time (any instruments or voices welcome), please speak to Joy Campton.
  • There will inevitably be a slight gap between the spoken part of the service, and the singing. Those who attend the service in the building are always welcome to go and 'catch up' with the singing at home later!
  • As above, there is a lot to get used to here - please bear with us as we work things out!

Church Leadership

Services and seating are not the only things changing in church. There is at least one more 's' - stewarding! We will be commissioning our new stewards in the service this week. Our new Vestry Stewards haven't formally been appointed yet, but will be keeping things in order on Sundays (there is still time to offer to join the team!) The core of our new Leadership Team, Church Stewards plus minister, met for the first time yesterday to begin to map out the work that needs attention. We will report to Church Council on 8th June, and then as promised, Leadership Team meetings will be open to all, for you to bring your thoughts and ideas, questions and concerns. We will publicise in advance the main subject(s) we plan to discuss, which may be things Church Council have asked us to look at, or may be things you have asked to be on the agenda. Our first meeting will be 7.30-8.30pm on Thursday 17th June, at church - you are invited! If you would like to be involved but don't want to attend in person, please speak to Jo - for those online, joining by Zoom is a possibility, or you can send us your thoughts in advance.

We won't be able to solve all the world's problems at the first meeting(!) but if there is something you would like us to add to the list for this or a future meeting, please speak to me, or one of the Church Stewards - Joy Campton, Glenda Clark, Hazel Edmondson, Su Lockley, Sue Nicol.

Mustard Seed

The deadline for the June edition of The Mustard Seed is coming up soon. Please send any material to Hazel Edmondson by 30th May. Email, telephone: 36213 or post: 16, Charney Court, Grange-over-Sands, LA11 6DL.

Of course this week there is a special fourth 'S' to think about - it is Pentecost, so we are celebrating the Holy Spirit, with us now and always, but it is good to remember the new beginning God's Spirit worked in and through that rag-tag bunch of believers when they gathered together that day. I pray that we too, amid all the challenge and change, will know the Spirit journeying with us at every step. Come, Holy Spirit!

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

12 May

Dear Friends,

Following the General Church Meeting on Sunday, I can confirm that we will be restarting 10:30am Sunday services in church on 23rd May, which is Pentecost. We think we should be able to accommodate all who wish to attend, without setting up a rota or booking system. Some people have helpfully indicated to me that should we find we have insufficient space e.g. due to visitors, they would be willing to give their space to others and catch up online at home.

As we are still awaiting the detailed government guidance, it is hard to be exactly sure of the specifics, but I have been told that the relaxation of distancing requirements does not apply to cafes, restaurants etc. We will continue to have distanced seating in the church. Please be aware that even if you feel ready to be close to others, many will not find it easy to be among people again for some time. We are still expected to have increased ventilation where possible, but hopefully as the weather is now warmer, this will not be so problematic. As before, you are welcome to bring a blanket (hot water bottle, thermals etc etc!) for yourself if you think this would be helpful. Services will be kept to 30-40 minutes maximum, face coverings will still be required, and congregational singing is not permitted indoors. However, once the congregation has left the building, we do plan to stream a time of hymn singing which people will be able to share in online either live, or catching up later. Of course if you are able to join the services online, you are still welcome to choose to do that instead.

 If you have any concerns or questions about any of this please do get in touch. We want to do everything we can to help one another be and feel safe.

Streaming services
As we move back to having services in church, we will continue to stream those services online for those who can't or choose not to attend. We are working on putting together a system which is as simple as possible to operate but we need volunteers who would be willing to be shown how to do this and then be on a rota. We are buying a computer and all the other equipment to keep at church. Please email Paul if you are willing to give it a go.

Church pews
Grange church with some pews removedThe work to remove ten out of fifteen rows of pews is well under way! While we work on fundraising for the full project, this will give us a good deal more flexibility than we had before - we have chairs we were given free when the Bowness building was sold, and will be able to set these at an appropriate distance. Thank you to all the team who are working hard on this.

If anyone has any spare, dry storage space (e.g. a garage) and would be able to store some of the dismantled pews for a time, Peter Nicol (015395 31044 or email) would be very glad to hear from you. The larger pieces of wood are approx 3 meters (9-10 ft) long and 45 cm (18 inches) wide, but there are some hefty but smaller pieces as well (the pew ends). Some has been stored in the organ loft, but it won't be able to take all 20 pews.

Christian Aid Collection
If you have missed the person coming to collect a Christian Aid Donation and you still want to give, you are welcome to put your envelope through the vestry letter box, or alternatively contact Ruth Briddock (015395 32235) and she can arrange for someone to collect it from you.

Food Bank Collections
There are plans for further collections for the food bank outside church on Friday 11th June and Saturday 19th June 10.00 am - 12 midday. Thank you for your support.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

6 May

Dear Friends,

This week, along with clergy across the country, I had the strange and historic task of closing the marriage registers for my churches. The marriage registration system has changed, and from now on churches will no longer keep marriage registers or issue certificates. Instead, couples, witnesses and officiants will sign a piece of paper issued by the registrar, which will then need to be returned to the registrar, who will issue a certificate in the weeks after the wedding. At some point soon the registrar will give me a time to deposit all of our registers with them, and the duplicates will go into county archives. (The main reason for keeping the duplicate registers at church was so that we could issue certificates if someone needed a replacement - much easier for those researching family history to be able to find everything in the archives, and anyone wanting a certificate will need to go to the registrar anyway.) I have never conducted a wedding at Grange, and just three at Cartmel, but at Grange in particular there have been many weddings - six full registers and one part used, stretching back to 1927. Some of you I know will have attended some of those weddings, or even been married here yourself. Some of those married here will have long since died. Some will have had long and happy marriages. Some of those marriages will have ended in divorce, or been abruptly curtailed by early death. We never know exactly what lies ahead for couples who make a marriage commitment in our churches, but in faith we support them in seeking God's blessing and strength for the journey.

All this causes me to reflect on the space we offer, for those within our church family, and those beyond it, to mark turning points and change, decisions and commitments, and to seek God's blessing and strength as we go forward. Change can be non-negotiable - like the bringing in of the new marriage system, or the pandemic. Sometimes we have no option but to accept it. Other change may be carefully chosen, such as the decision to marry, or move house. Many of us do not find change easy, but often it helps to have people travelling the journey with us, perhaps giving advice, but maybe just being there to listen and encourage. I am wondering what, as a church, we might be able to offer as a space for listening and reflection and support, both for one another and for the wider community too.

The changes of the past 14 months have been profound, and the effects will continue for some time. Much of that change has not been chosen, but we are not without choices about the way ahead. Many people have been prompted to consider some of the really big questions of life, and some have found faith in a new way or even for the first time, but may not have had personal contact with a church community. I have been wondering about how we might seek to make connections with them and offer support. At the same time, the 2020 plus team are looking at how we discern the needs in the community, and would welcome your thoughts - what needs do you see in our community? We may not know at first what we could do about them, but I think we have more to offer than perhaps we realise. If you are able to attend the online General Church Meeting on Sunday afternoon, this would be an opportunity to share any thoughts and ideas, or you are welcome to speak to me at any point.

I also just want to remind you to be considering whether you might be able to offer to take on one of our new stewarding roles - as Vestry Steward or Church Steward. Thank you to those who have already offered - we have a good number so far, but a couple more would be a great help, so that the work can be shared.

Christian Aid Week

There will be an envelope collection for church members during Christian Aid Week, 10 to 16 May. The envelopes will be delivered to, and collected, by a small team of volunteers. Please respond as you are able. If you have any questions, please phone Ruth Briddock 015395 32235. The funds raised during Christian Aid Week this year are going to support work to "build a better future, where everyone has enough to live life to the full, free from devastating climate chaos."

Giving thanks for vaccines

Also Christian Aid, but not specifically connected with Christian Aid Week, Cumbria Methodist District has partnered (along with other Districts and Diocese) to support Christian Aid's appeal to make a donation in thanks for Covid-19 vaccinations that have been received. A District Give Thanks page has been set up which can be found here.  At the time of writing, £1,480 has been raised since it was launched a week ago. There is more information here.

Reopening the building for services

We are still working towards having our first service back in the building at Pentecost, 23rd May. Many people have already responded to say whether or not they feel able to start attending - thank you. At the General Church Meeting on Sunday we will hear where those numbers are up to, and soon after that we hope to have information about how we will manage attendance. There will be a considerable amount to work out, including in the coming weeks finding people to take a turn at managing the technology (all training and equipment provided!) and also providing music. If you feel able to offer, or want to know more about what it involves, please get in touch. As I think most of you are now aware, I will be on sabbatical from July, returning in early October. Also a full circuit preaching plan has been made from June, and so I will need to be at other churches in the circuit on several Sundays in June. Thank you for your patience as we work our way through the various challenges of the coming weeks of transition.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

27 April

This Weekly Update comes with quite a bit of attached reading matter, and so I won't add too much to it within this letter.

Firstly, the May edition of The Mustard Seed is here. Thank you once again to all who have contributed - it is wonderful to read the news and stories people have to share. Thanks too to Hazel for bringing it together.

The proposed Circuit Vision can be found here. This Vision was presented to the Circuit Meeting on Thursday last week, and we are asked to give it careful and prayerful thought and consideration, and feed back any comments to the ministers or circuit stewards. If you want to get in touch you can send a message through the web page. The vision document will come back to the Circuit Meeting in September to be fully adopted.

At the Circuit Meeting some important decisions were made in relation to staffing and the wider work of the circuit. Firstly, the decision was made that the Tourism Chaplaincy Project will be ended in its current form next year (August 2022), and the diaconal post will be closed at the end of Deacon Maggie Patchett's five years with us. The appointment of our superintendent, Revd Graham Ransom, also comes to an end in August 2022. Graham and Maggie will be entering the stationing process to move on to new appointments, and the circuit will be entering the stationing process to seek a new Superintendent to serve the South Lakes Circuit from September 2022. Over the coming months there will be continued prayer and reflection as stationing profiles are drawn up and the process of matching ministers with circuits takes place. Please do hold the whole process in your prayers.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

22 April

Dear Friends,

As always, returning from a break has a very long 'to do' list! Apologies for a late update this week. We've enjoyed having some time off together as a family. One highlight has been hearing the natterjack toads at Sandscale Haws after sunset last week - though only just, as they seemed determined to wait until we had left. We had given up and were almost in the car by the time they started up! It has also been good to see my parents for the first time since last summer - and thankfully the weather has been kind for our outdoor meeting.

General Church Meeting - 2.30pm, Sunday 9th May

General Church Meeting will take place on Zoom. Papers have been sent by email – if you have received them, please email me.  They can also be downloaded from the Links section.  In the next few days we will deliver paper copies to those church members who have not received them, so the more replies we get, the easier that task will be! There is information in the papers about significant changes to the role of stewarding to share the duties differently. Please read and consider whether there might be a role here that you could take on.

Important Church Council decisions about services - please read and respond!

Church Council met on Tuesday, and made the decision that we will aim to restart services at Pentecost - 23rd May. All being well, this will come at the start of the next stage of lockdown, Step 3. This is the point when social restrictions ease to allow 2 households or 6 individuals to meet indoors, and larger numbers (under 30) to meet outdoors - although still with distancing measures in place.

There are still a lot of details to be worked out, but the intention is that services in church will take place at 10.30am, and will also be streamed online for those not able / ready to attend in person. However, covid safety measures mean that it cannot be 'back to normal' - we still need to limit the length of service to around 30 minutes so that people are not indoors together for too long, and it will be some time before congregational singing is permitted - although of course those at home are able to sing! It was suggested at Church Council that one way of accommodating as much as possible would be for the 30 minutes of gathering to be primarily readings, prayers and sermon, and then once the congregation has left the building, a small group (maybe up to 3 distanced singers / one or two households, depending on what is permitted) could continue to stream a time of hymn-singing. Those who have been present at the service could 'catch up' with that later if they have internet access. It was suggested that the congregation might be able to join the singing outdoors - we need to check on how we could do this both practically and safely, and of course it would be somewhat weather-dependent!

In order to help us make plans your response is needed! Please get in touch to let us know whether you would like to attend the services. This would help us know whether we need to have some sort of booking or rota attendance arrangement again. Please let us know by contacting Hazel (email, or phone 36213) before the General Church Meeting (9th May) with a yes / no (or uncertain), or let us know at the meeting. This is just a general indication of whether you want to attend services in church, not a booking or commitment to any particular dates. Please also feel free to add any comments or ideas about the suggested format described above.

The Mustard Seed

The deadline for the May edition of The Mustard Seed is this Sunday, 25th April. Please contact Hazel as soon as you can with anything for inclusion. Her contact details are as above, or by post to 16 Charney Court.

Circuit Treasurer

Our current circuit treasurer, Russell Longton, is due to step down (and as he no longer lives in the circuit, he has already gone beyond the call of duty in continuing the role from a distance for so long!) Russell has very helpfully produced a detailed summary of the role and time commitment, which is here.  As a circuit we must have a treasurer.  Anticipating that it may not be easy to fill the role, the Circuit Leadership Team have discussed whether there might be a possibility of paying for book-keeping, though obviously this would place additional demands on circuit finances. In any case, a treasurer would still be needed to oversee that work, but there could be some negotiation about exactly what parts of the role a new treasurer carried out themselves. For some time, many of the circuit offices have been filled by members of the Ulverston congregation, and in the smaller churches there are few people to draw on, so please consider whether you or someone else in the Grange congregation might be nudged to consider this role. Russell is happy to have a no-obligation conversation with anyone! Please email him.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

29 March

Dear Friends,

This is the last Weekly Update you'll get from me for a couple of weeks - I am taking two weeks leave after Easter. While I am off David, Hazel, Su and Andrew will be taking the online services from the church (as two households, they can legally meet in the church to stream a service but are not allowed to be indoors in a house together). They will also be keeping the zoom Coffee morning going. The whole Rand household is very grateful to them for enabling us to have a break!

If you need a minister while I'm off there will be a message on my email and answerphone telling you who to contact.

The Mustard Seed

The April edition of The Mustard Seed is now available here. Thank you once again to everyone who has contributed, and to Hazel for putting it all together. It's great to hear more about what's going on. You are welcome to share The Mustard Seed with others.

Holy Week and Easter
If we really engage with the story, Holy Week can be tiring for us all (not just clergy!) All the ups and down, hopes and heartbreaks can take us to spiritual and emotional places we might otherwise avoid. Please do pop in to church for some quiet time to reflect and pray if you would find that helpful. The Lent Cross is set up, and there are booklets available with prayers and reflections. And we've got the heating on! Open Mon - Fri this week, 10.30-11.30am. A reminder that we also have online services for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday - details in The Mustard Seed.

Wishing you all God's blessing in this holy season, and the joy of Easter when it comes.

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

24 March

Dear Friends,

Holy Week and Easter are fast approaching. Next week the church will be open for individual prayer for an hour each morning, 10.30-11.30am from Monday 29th March until Good Friday on 2nd April. You are welcome to drop in at any point during the hour.

Holy Week online services:

  • 10.30am Palm Sunday

  • 7 pm Maundy Thursday

  • 12 noon Good Friday

  • 10.30am Easter Day

As usual these services will be available afterwards if the 'live' time is not convenient.

Breaking Day - Riding Lights Passion Play

The URC group of churches have invited us to join them to see Riding Lights Theatre's online passion play. It will be shown in three 15 min acts, with time for reflection in between. They are showing it this Sunday (28th) at 7pm, and repeated on Good Friday at 10.30am. Email Jenny for details of the log in information. Alternatively, we will be watching it in the Fellowship Group this Monday evening, 29th at 7.30pm - join the zoom meeting using the usual link (links here.)

Breaking Day: A Lockdown Passion Play by Les Ellison

Daybreak on Good Friday. The Governor's grip on authority is slipping, his wife plagued by dreams, and their servant clearly knows more than she should. Torn between the Capitol, the Sanhedrin & the mob, the lines between personal & political begin to blur. The teacher at the centre of it all remains silent.
Flimed remotely in lockdown, Breaking Day is an innovative passion play for Easter 2021, immersing us with stark intimacy in decisions that led to crucifixion. Watch the trailer here.

Easter Pack

This weekend look out for an Easter pack coming out to you. If you don't receive one we probably don't have your postal address - let me know if you would like one.

The Mustard Seed

The deadline for the April edition of The Mustard Seed is this Sunday, 28th March. We will aim to get this out before Easter. Please email any items to Hazel Edmondson, or tel: 36213, address: 16 Charney Court.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

17 March

Last week I promised that I would share the outcomes of the Church Council meeting last week. There were three key issues on the agenda. The first is the proposed building project; the second was about the Circuit Review.  If you would like me to forward a letter on either of these, please email me.

The third item discussed was opening the building for services. The Church Council felt that it is too early for us to be holding gathered services yet. In the autumn when we were operating under the tier system the Church Council decided that if our area were to be placed in tier three, we would stop holding services. This was because the rules required us to have no social interaction between those attending, and it was felt that this was almost impossible to expect people to adhere to, or expect those stewarding to enforce. We now do not have the tiers, but the nearest equivalent in the Government's 'Roadmap' is Step 3, which will commence on 17th May at the earliest. We do have another Church Council meeting on 20th April, and at that meeting we will look again at this. If the roadmap is not delayed, this could mean we open for services from Pentecost (23rd May). However, we all need to be prepared to understand that it will be considerably longer before services are able to be anything like what we have been used to pre-pandemic. The Government Roadmap is clear that even beyond Stage 4 when legal restrictions are lifted (21st June at the earliest) we are likely to continue to need to distance and wear face coverings. It is also quite likely to be later than 21st June when we will be able to reintroduce congregational singing. But of course all continues to be under review.

In order to offer something to mark Holy Week, it was decided to open the church for individual prayer 10.30-11.30 daily, from Monday 29th March until Good Friday on 2nd April. We will need two stewards at a time for each day. Stewarding instructions will be provided. If you would like to volunteer to steward please let me know which day(s) you are available, and whether you are willing to do one or more of the days. If you would like to attend to pray you do not need to book - just turn up at any point between 10.30 and 11.30am.

Greening Cartmel Peninsula

I have received an invitation from PEAT (Peninsula Environmental Action Together, formally GCAN), a group that was meeting in our hall before lockdown. They are holding an online public meeting on Weds 5th May, 7-8pm, to kick off a local campaign to emerge from lockdown to a greener, kinder future. They are using a model that has been successfully followed in over 100 communities. The meeting is open to anyone who lives or works in the Peninsula, including businesses, societies, churches and schools. If you are interested in attending alongside others to represent the church, please get in touch and I will give you more details.

Taize Evening

St Charles's church is organising a Zoom Taize evening on Friday March 26th at 7.00 pm. If anyone would like to join, please contact Greg Tagney for details, either on 07776 252937 or by email.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

10 March

Dear Friends,

Well done to those who spotted my error in the online service on Sunday - in the prayers I mentioned Church Council meeting on Tuesday, when I should have said Thursday! (Thursday 11th - as I write, this is tomorrow.)  I hope I have not caused too much confusion. This is an extraordinary meeting that was arranged primarily to make some decisions about the proposals for building redevelopment, but we will also be discussing the circuit review and of course the question about how and when will be right for us to open the building for services. Please do remember these things in your prayers, and we will do our best to keep everyone updated. In the meantime, online services and printed service deliveries continue as usual. This Sunday, Mothering Sunday, is where we began with online services last year, with our first streamed service from the church very nearly (but not quite) a full calendar year ago. It is a strange thing to look back over all that has happened in those months - things we never expected or imagined possible.

Pastoral News

I have been asked to share a request to pray for John Warrington, one of our members who moved to Grange during the past year, and therefore has had very little chance to get to know any of the congregation. John is father of Amanda Fogg, who many of you will have known when she worked at Abbott Hall. John is in hospital having had two very serious strokes, and the family would greatly appreciate your prayers.

District Ordinands Testimony Service

You may be aware that in the Cumbria District we have two ordinands. Zena Smith (South West Cumbria United Area) and Andrew Sterling (Kirby Stephen, Appleby and Tebay Circuit) have been in post since September 2018 and were due to be ordained it the Methodist Conference in Summer 2020. However, the ordinations have had to be postponed, and then postponed again because of the pandemic. Last year's ordinations are now planned to take place locally, rather than gathering everyone together from around the Connexion, and Zena and Andrew should now be ordained on 19th June at Penrith.  Before Ordination it is the Methodist custom to have a Testimony Service at which those who are being ordained share something of how God has brought them to this point. This too has been postponed, but will now take place online this Saturday, 13th March, at 3pm.
You can join on YouTube here. If you find this direct link doesn't work, try the Heart of Westmorland Mission Community channel here.

Beyond lockdown - a webinar

A really large number of training opportunities arrive in my inbox, so many that I'm afraid I rarely share them as I think it would be overwhelming if I shared them all. However, one that has caught my eye this week is a webinar entitled 'Community engagement beyond lockdown: What is God asking of us now?', at 7pm on Weds 14th April. I'm not able to go, but it is open to anyone. Perhaps you are also thinking about this question? The description says:

'It's been a very tough year: we've been through a lot, and so have our communities. Our churches may well look very different than they did in 2019, and our communities' needs may well have changed. Join Mission and Community Engagement Officer, Emma Nash, in conversation with others who are responding to God's call in a variety of ways. You will hear of fresh mission opportunities, pick up ideas and resources and, most importantly, you'll find a space to ask yourself: what one thing is God asking of our church now?'

Anyone can sign up, and it's free. Details about this and a number of other webinars on different themes can be found here.

I am always glad to hear thoughts from any of you about ideas for the life of the church - God can speak to any and all of us with promtings, and calling us in new directions!

I hope you all have a good week,

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

2 March

Dear Friends,

This week's update comes with the March edition of The Mustard Seed. Thank you to all who have contributed, and especially to Hazel, who is doing such a brilliant job of highlighting the breadth of our church life, even in these difficult times when we can't meet together. I hope you enjoy reading it, and I encourage you particularly to look at the Prayer Pointers on the last page, with information about upcoming dates for us to bring to God in our prayers. Perhaps this might become a regular monthly feature. A printed copy of The Mustard Seed is distributed to all who have asked to receive the printed weekly services, but please do pass it on to anyone you know who might be interested, whether in Grange or further afield – view or download here.

The World Day of Prayer this Friday is mentioned in The Mustard Seed. I have also received information about the official online WDP service which is already available on YouTube, here. This is another way to be encouraged as we join in prayer with others from all around the world. The service is prepared and led by the women of the Vanuatu Islands.

The Methodist Women in Britain Spring Newsletter can be found here.

Here's a prayer that I'm sure echoes what's in our hearts as the warm sun cheers us:

Awakening by Jan Berry,
published in 'Friends and Enemies' by Ruth Burgess. Wild Goose Publications

Praise be to God
for winter awakening to spring,
for budding branches bare against a sunlit sky
and the tough fragility of snowdrops
speaking of promise to come.
Praise be to God
for the stirring of hope
and new dreams growing. Amen.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

25 February

Dear Friends,

This is the first week of FairTrade Fortnight. I wonder which FairTrade products you like most? Chocolate was the first, 27 years ago, and has to be top of my list! Though there are now a very wide range of things available, from bananas and roses to cotton. Do have a look here for some information about FairTrade Fortnight this year, which is focussing on the disproportionate effect of climate change on farmers and workers in countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Honduras, who have done the least to contribute to climate change - and most importantly, how fairer trade can help them.

'Visit' from the President of Conference, Revd Richard Teal

Our former Chair of District, Revd Richard Teal, is 'visiting' Cumbria this weekend! As part of his visit he will be preaching at an online service hosted by the Kendal Circuit, this Sunday, 28th February, at 4pm. The service will be streamed live on YouTube by the Kirkby Lonsdale Church, and you can watch it using this link.

The Mustard Seed

Final call for items for The Mustard Seed! The deadline is this Sunday, 28th Feb. Please send any items to Hazel, by email or tel: 36213

Lent Group

The online fellowship group got off to a good start with the Lent resources on Monday. The resources we are using can be found here - they can also be used individually if you wish. They are being followed all around the county by many different denominations, so it is one way to feel a part of something bigger. You're welcome to join the group on zoom for any sessions even if you can't make it to all of them. Details of how to join are here.

Recent letter to all Grange members

Thank you to all who have sent responses to the recent letter about the building project - we've had around 40 responses so far, which is very encouraging. If you are still planning to respond but haven't yet done so, a reminder that the deadline is 1st March, to enable the Church Council to make decisions about next steps at the extraordinary meeting on 11th March. (Please do remember all this in your prayers!) If you need any of the information again, please let me know. If you don't feel able to respond in any way at this time, that is absolutely fine, please don't feel pressured to do so.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

10 February

Dear Friends,

As I begin this email it is a bright but cold day. It is lovely to see the sunshine bringing hope of warmer days to come. Next week there won't be a weekly update as I am taking a week's leave for half term. Even if we can't go anywhere it will be a welcome break for all four of us not to spend so many of the daylight hours staring intently at computer screens! I will be endeavouring not to check emails or phone messages, but as ever, colleagues will be available if a minister is needed urgently.

Lent begins next week. Here are a few things coming up:

'Let's Live Lent' Leaflet

As mentioned in services, the 2020plus team have put together a leaflet for Lent. We normally talk about giving something up in Lent, but we've 'given up' a lot in the last year, so instead this is encouragement to count the days to Easter with positive actions. Each day of the week has a theme - be thankful, connect, create, give, creation care, notice, self-care - and there are a whole range of suggestions for things to do, suitable for all ages. A pdf version of the leaflet is here, but a printed copy will be going out to church family in the next few days, and there will also be copies available by the notice board at church by Friday this week. Do pass them on to friends, family, neighbours etc, whether in Grange or beyond.

Coffee Morning Wednesdays 11 am - 12 noon

We enjoyed some good conversation this morning, including sharing some wonderful pictures of ice formations, and some amazingly detailed snowflakes on a cobweb. Hazel and David will host the coffee morning next week (which will be Ash Wednesday). Details of how to join are here, along with information about everything else online.

Online Fellowship Group Mondays 7.30 - 9 pm

Fellowship group will take a break on 15th Feb, but will be back on 22nd, to begin a Lent series written for Cumbria by Bishop Emma Ineson. We'll be looking at the Gospel Reading used in the service the previous day, and also linking with the four themes of the Cumbria God for All ecumenical vision. These materials will be used by churches of different denominations across the county. Details for joining the Zoom meeting are here - they are the same details as the Fellowship Group has already been using. If you need any further info or help using Zoom do email me.

Dial-a-Prayer

The Methodist Church continues to offer FREE phone lines for prayers and news from the Methodist Church
Listen to a prayer: 0808 281 2514
Listen to the President and Vice-President: 0808 281 2695
Listen to news: 0808 281 2478
The content is updated weekly, and particularly for those who can't get online, this is a great way to stay connected, with no cost for the phone calls.

Climate Webinar Tuesday 16th Feb 7.30-9pm

This is a free webinar exploring how the Methodist Church can support a just and green recovery ahead of COP26 by divesting from fossil fuels and investing in clean alternatives. It is sponsored by Operation Noah, Christian Aid and the Methodist Zero Carbon Group. The keynote speaker is Bill McKibben, author, environmentalist, and co-founder of 350.org (and himself a Methodist). Among the other speakers is Martha Rand, Vice Chair of Methodist Zero Carbon Group. Click here for more information, including how to register to attend. If you want any further information do get in touch with Martha by email.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

2 February

Dear Friends,

Although January has seemed very long, I also can hardly believe it's already February! And with an early Easter this year, we'll be into Lent before we know it.

The Mustard Seed

We mark the beginning of the month with a new edition of The Mustard Seed, which is here. Once again there is lots of interesting news and things to think about, so do read it. Feel free to pass it on electronically or print and share if you know anyone else who might appreciate receiving it.

Circuit Prayer Day this Thursday

This Thursday has been chosen by the South Lakes Circuit as a day of prayer for the circuit, as we face some challenging decisions about our future. Hopefully all members will have received a prayer card through the post, but if it hasn’t reached you, an electronic copy is available here.  If you can, please do take some time to pray (and I'm sure God will still hear our prayers for the circuit on other days too!)

Online services

Some people have been finding that without a Facebook account they are no longer able to watch the live services on Facebook. Just a reminder that the service can usually be accessed live on the Circuit website as well – click here. We are also hoping to try a new piece of software that will enable us to stream live to both Facebook and YouTube at the same time. If it works, this will mean that those watching on YouTube will be able to join the service at 10.30am if they wish.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

27 January

Dear Friends,

This week I have very little news to share in this update! Except to remind you of three things:

  • Our Chair of District, Revd Dr James Tebbutt will be preaching at our online service this Sunday.

  • The deadline for the next edition of The Mustard Seed is also this Sunday - please get any contributions to Hazel as soon as you can: email her, or tel. 36213

  • A Prayer day for the Circuit Review will take place on 4th February, encouraging us all to pray for the future of the Circuit.  We are all invited to set aside some of the day to pray. Prayer cards will be distributed soon with some details and a prayer to pray; an onscreen version is here.

The links for all the usual things are here.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

20 January

Dear Friends,

For many of us, whether we're busy or don't have very much to do, life is feeling quite monotonous. Some regular things continue, though in strange formats, and of course it is hard to plan ahead. There continues to be uncertainty about when vaccination might enable easing of restrictions, and I know colleagues around the country are variously talking about whether services might restart at the beginning of March, or maybe for Easter, or perhaps not until the Autumn. I quite honestly don't know yet what will be right for us here, and if the past year has taught us anything it is that we can put lots of time and energy into planning something, but it may not be wise, or possible for it to happen when we get there! It is a challenge, and perhaps a discipline too, to find small moments of joy and encouragement somewhere in the midst of the present, rather than only looking to future hopes.

Coffee morning and Fellowship Group

The zoom coffee morning continues each week - we often get about 16 people dropping in at some point or staying for the full hour. Today we shared some memories and laughter, including stories of the lido, and highlights of our current circumstances being the appearance of the street sweeper and drain cleaning vehicles! We also often get a glimpse of the handiwork of those present, today some beautiful cross stitch. On Monday evenings, also on zoom, the fellowship group is going strong. This week we spent time in four small groups of 4 for conversations about how we pray (anything and everything from structured patterns of daily prayer, to ad hoc conversations with God as we do practical things, to consciously holding before God those we are thinking of without the need for words). Next week's session will include thinking about the relationship between belief and practice. You can join the group at any time, or just drop in for one session to try it out.

Online services

Our service this Sunday will conclude our series of three thinking about the Covenant Service, and will include an opportunity to join in making that covenant commitment. Although it is not the same as sharing in the full service together in person with communion, I hope it can still be a meaningful thing, and a future echo of being able to gather again in person! You can download the words of not just the covenant words we say together, but also the preamble, which is well worth reflecting on; .also a more visual version of the words which some of you may remember from a few years ago. If you find doodling or colouring helps you reflect and pray, do make use of it.

Next Sunday, 31st January, our preacher will be our Chair of District, Revd Dr James Tebbutt. We look forward to what he has to share with us.

Network Youth Church

Chris Mason has sent a short Network Youth Church Update - download here. Please do continue to pray for our schools - students, teachers and parents - as they continue with these strange ways of working and continue to face uncertainty over the future. I continue to send a weekly video assembly to Cartmel Priory School, but it is very odd not to have really had any way of building relationships with the students there, or at the primary school.

Mustard Seed

The deadline for the next edition of The Mustard Seed approaches - if you have any items to put in please send them to Hazel. The deadline is 31st Jan, but earlier is good!

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

14 January

I hope you are managing to stay warm and dry in this cold and snowy / wet weather! It is good to see a few bulbs starting to come up, reminding us that longer, warmer days will come eventually.


Pastoral News
These announcements are coming far too frequently at the moment, but I am sorry to say that I heard on Monday that Audrey Larkins has died. Audrey came from Levens to live at Grange Cottage two years ago, and transferred her membership here. She died on 28th December, and Revd David Stretton will be taking her funeral tomorrow (Friday 15th Jan).

Shirley Rothery's funeral will take place in church this Monday, 18th January, at 3pm. Obviously because of the restrictions attendance is by invitation only, but technology permitting, we will be live streaming the service to YouTube. This is a slightly new technical venture for us, but streaming to YouTube rather than facebook enables us to make the service only available to those who have the link, rather than the entire online world, which seems more appropriate in the circumstances. Hopefully you can click here. If you try this in advance you should see a picture of the church and a little message telling you when the service is due to start. Let me know in advance if you have any problems with this and I can try to help. The order of service is here - though I apologise that this is not quite the final version as I only have an electronic copy of an earlier draft.

New for 2021 - Finding the Way
I now have copies of the 'Finding the Way' booklet I mentioned last week, and they are on their way out to those who have asked for them. It's not too late to ask for a copy, or to join the Fellowship Group on Monday. The link, and others mentioned, are here.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Grange Methodist Church

7 January

Dear Friends,

I want to begin this email with the words 'Happy New Year'. I do very much want to wish you well now and for the coming year, however, I am acutely aware that those words can feel a little hollow in the present circumstances! Things have changed again, and continue to change rapidly. Following the new lockdown, although we are still legally permitted to hold services, there are no churches in our circuit meeting physically at present, for the safety of our congregations. This decision rests with each individual Church Council, and we do have a Church Council meeting on Tuesday at which we will review the decision made by email just before Christmas. However, at a Cumbria District ministers meeting this week there has been talk of a strong recommendation that churches do not hold services at present.

A more unexpected outcome of the new lockdown is that it seems we are no longer permitted to open for private prayer. The list of reasons a person may leave home is quite specific, and while it says you may leave home to attend communal worship, it does not mention private prayer. This could be an oversight in the detailed guidance, but for the time being we need to stop opening on Monday mornings. 

We continue, as ever, to offer live services online each Sunday, and a weekly printed service delivered to those who request it. If you know anyone who would like to be added to the delivery list, please let me know.

Also, if you, or anyone you know of, needs practical help in the new lockdown situation - with getting shopping, medication, etc, please get in touch. Please take care, especially in the icy weather - don't risk broken bones, as I shouldn't think the hospitals will thank you needing emergency attention!

Pastoral News
I am very sad to tell you that Shirley Rothery died yesterday (6th January). Details about her funeral will follow, but please do remember Norman and the family in your prayers.

The order of service for Brian Holding's funeral yesterday can be downloaded here.

New for 2021 - Finding the Way
All of you who received Christmas packs will have a little booklet and card: 'Methodist Way of Life'. To accompany these, there is larger booklet, 'Finding the Way', written by Revd Dr Roger Walton, former President of Conference, and former Chair of the West Yorkshire District (and my Chair when I candidated). I have ordered 30 copies, because I think these would be helpful for encouraging our thoughts and reflections as we enter this new year. And because they are free!! As well as things to read, there are questions to think about and exercises to try. I can order more if we need them.

You can use these booklets:
a) on your own, or:
b) read and then discuss over the phone with a friend, or perhaps meet to walk and talk together in a safely distanced way (current lockdown restrictions allow you to meet with one person from outside your household for exercise), or:
c) try out the Online Fellowship Group on Monday nights. We will be using these resources in four sessions, 18th  and 25th Jan, and 1st and 8th Feb. The zoom link is in the Links, but please ask if you need any help.

Just let me know if you would like a copy of the booklet and I'll get one to you.

Coffee Morning
Our online gathering continues each week, 11-12 on Wednesday mornings. Details in the Links, but do ask for help with using zoom if you need it. Thank you to David and Hazel for hosting over that last two weeks.

Online Fellowship Group
Group meetings will restart this Monday, 11th Jan at 7.30pm, with a stand-alone session of some sort before we begin the new resources the following week.

Take care, and God bless,

Jo

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Note: material from 2020 has now been archived, but can be supplied on request