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Grange Methodist Church

21 May

Dear Friends,

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

Services

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

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

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

Christian Aid Week

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

Zoom coffee morning

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

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

Fellowship Group

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

A prayer for Ascension Day:

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

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

God bless,

Jo

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12 May

Dear Friends,

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

Christian Aid Week

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

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

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

Zoom coffee morning

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

Fellowship Group

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

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Services

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

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

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

God bless,

Jo

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5 May

 
Dear Friends,

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

Pastoral News

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

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

Zoom coffee morning

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

Services

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

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

Christian Aid Week Events

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

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

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

    Friday 15th at 7pm - Virtual Concert

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

While we're talking about money...

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless,
Jo


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29 April

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless,

Jo

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21 April

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Jo

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14 April 2020

Dear Friends,

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

Pastoral News

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

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

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

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

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

Online Services

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

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

Essential:

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

Optional:

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

Virtual coffee morning

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


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

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

God bless,

Jo

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Holy Week 2020

Dear Friends,

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

I wanted to remind you about services this week:

Maundy Thursday 7pm

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

Good Friday 12 noon and 3pm

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

Easter Day 10.30am

An Easter celebration.

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

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

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

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

Jo


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