Have an Out of the Ordinary Christmas...!
Cumbria District news
- Advent reflections – as part of the ‘Out of the Ordinary’ Christmas campaign you can sign up to receive daily reflections throughout Advent. Sign up for free here.
- Methodist Young Adults Fellowship – “Taking inspiration from the Wesley’s Holy Club, Methodist Young Adult Fellowship (MYAF) has been formed by a group of Young Adults within the Methodist Church as a group to offer fellowship to one another. Comprising of a WhatsApp group and monthly Zoom gatherings, MYAF hopes to be a safe and inclusive space for young adults to meet, chat, pray and get to know one another in a church which can sometimes feel very grey. The group is for 18-30 year olds who have connections with the Methodist Church and would like to spend time connecting with other young adult Methodists.” To find out more, email Naomi Prince from the Yorkshire North East District.
- Be a Secret Santa – Action for Children are again this year looking for people to donate and provide presents for children at Christmas. To find out more see the attached or visit their website.
- Synod Elected Representatives – in Cumbria we have opportunity for 12 representatives to Synod, aside from all the other identified District or Circuit roles. Currently we have some vacancies and if there is anyone who might be interested in attending Synod and being involved in the conversations and sharing fellowship, then please get in touch with me. The next Synod (27th April 2024) will be the final ever Cumbria District Synod, as from September 2024 we will be part of the new North West England District.
- Green Church Awards – the Church Times has just announced that they are again holding these awards to recognise Christian organisations and communities, of all denominations, for what they are doing to care for creation. The awards are open to church groups and church schools and there are seven categories: Green building award, Land and nature award, Congregation and community action, Green champion award, Training and education award, Green health award, Action on a shoestring award. The deadline for entry is 30 June 2024 and further information can be found here.
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- Advent Group at Ulverston – 28 Nov (Tues) at 9.30am at Ulverston & 29 Nov (Weds) at 7pm on Zoom - Advent Groups will be using The Methodist Church Resources titled Out of the Ordinary. Sign up for daily Advent Reflections via email on this theme here.
- Christmas Kal (Advent Reflections - Knitting optional) –
29 Nov (weekly on a Weds for an hour at 9.30am in Hawkshead) &
30 Nov (weekly on a Thurs for an hour at 2pm in the Farmers Arms, Lowick) &
1 Dec (weekly on a Friday for an hour at 4pm at Pennington CE primary).
Chat & fun, knitting is very much optional! This document tells you what yarn you’ll need, and the test swatch pattern. Ask Juliana for more patterns and info.
Barrow Carol Singing - Carol singing will take place in Barrow Town Centre on 16 December from 10am to 2pm; all are welcome.
- Volunteer Request – Did you know Hawkshead is the oldest building still in use as a Methodist church in the UK? As a circuit we've been developing the ministry to tourists that the chapel offers. With a high footfall being a place of peace and hospitality is a key part of the mission. As the next step we are looking to increase the team of people be available in the chapel each week. (On a rota basis) You'll chat to folk when they pop in, or quietly "be available" and a willingness to lead morning prayers would be a bonus. Full training will be provided. The regular slot is a Wednesday morning, but if you'd like to be available on a different day or time we can accommodate that too! Contact Grace for full details and a role outline!
- Singing the Faith Group – There will be one more gathering of the “Singing the Faith” group before Christmas. On December 13th at 7:00 p.m. in the Bedford Room at Ulverston Methodist Church, we will look at Christmas hymns. Remember, this group is for anyone in the South Lakes Circuit or the South West Cumbria United Area, and is aimed at helping people gain greater enjoyment from singing the hymns from our not-so-new hymnbook. David Jackson and David and Hazel Edmondson
- Coffee morning & soup lunch - Ulverston Methodist Church, Saturday 2 December 10am - 1:30, soup served from 12 noon. Stalls include Books, Bottles, Bric-a-Brac, Cakes, Christmas, New 2 You Clothes, Raffle, Tombola and Toys. Download a poster here.
- Hawkshead early notice - A traditional Carol Service on Sunday 3 December at 6:30pm. Sing along to the harmonium. More details here.
- Ulverston Oxfam shop – We have various Volunteering Opportunities available at our Ulverston Oxfam shop that may be of interest to you. Our current volunteer opportunities are cover Book sorters and Pricer’s/ Sales/Till Assistants, Stockroom Sorting and Pricing Assistants, Online Listing of Items for Sale/ Picking Packing and Postage volunteers, Social Media Experts, Shop Treasurer volunteers. Attached poster with more details.
- Loose ends project – This is a fabulous international project that matches crafters with bereaved families who have unfinished crafts from their loved ones, allowing that object to be completed, and a memory to be cherished. You can sign up to be a finisher, but they also need to get the word out to those who may have need of the service, if you know anywhere where a flyer could be placed they are available for download here.
- Read Easy – is a national charity providing free, one-to-one coaching for adults who struggle to read. We are Read Easy Morecambe Bay, an affiliated group who are now open for business with trained volunteer Coaches in Ulverston, Dalton and Barrow waiting to be introduced to prospective Readers. Click here for more information
- Thornleigh Hotel, Grange over Sands – why not look at their list of upcoming events here?
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Recently added or reissued resources. Latest information includes:
- Learning & Development events – the regional networks are being replaced with one to serve the whole Connexion. A calendar of training activities nationwide is here.
- Epworth Cash Plus Fund for Charities – we occasionally receive information about Methodist related financial matters, and this may be of interest to church or circuit treasurers. Please click here for the full information.
- Digital Technology Support – following discussion about the use of technology at the recent Synod we have been advised of an organisation, AbilityNet, that supports people getting online and making use of digital technology. As well as having resources online they have community volunteers who are able to support individuals in a local area. There is a poster attached and you can find out more on their website or by calling: 0800 048 7642.
- Methodist Way of Life – there is a new animated film available to help introduce this which you can find on the Methodist Church website: A Methodist Way of Life Videos.
- Justice-Seeking Church – the film introducing the Justice-Seeking Church report is now available at methodist.org.uk/justice, so please do view and share it in your context. A shortened version of the Walking with Micah, Justice-Seeking Church Conference report, with questions for discussion and reflection, is available for free from Methodist Publishing. Further resources to help churches engage further will be available soon.
- Property Matters – the September edition which includes information from Dialogue, the Methodist Insurance news, is available here. This month’s edition provides information about the Annual Returns including how the system has been updated, has news on how the National Churches Trust is putting more support into local areas, through local officers including one for Cumbria/Lancashire/Manchester and, as the Warm Welcome spaces continue, there is an opportunity to find out more at an online event on 4th October.
- Anti-Poverty Movement – ‘JPIT have been working closely alongside partners to develop the beginnings of a new anti-poverty movement, aimed at raising poverty higher up the political agenda at the next General Election. The hope is for a broad collection of organisations, faith groups and networks who will mobilise their communities to speak up and take action in the 12 months leading up the election. For the Methodist Church, this means making campaigning on poverty our priority ahead of the next General Election, and equipping our congregations to speak from their own experiences of social action and community engagement to argue that we want to see a poverty free UK. This is a really exciting opportunity for the Church to convene a cross-sector space with significant potential for public and political impact, and we’re excited about where it could go. Hannah Fremont-Brown has been appointed to coordinate this work in a new Methodist role, moving from her current role in JPIT to take this on. Please do get in touch with Hannah with any questions and keep an eye out for more information soon.’
- Advent & Christmas resources:
1. The Springs Dance Company are looking for venues to perform their production, ‘Journey of the Magi’, leading up to Christmas. This is described as, ‘a festive, light-hearted, joyful event with a moving and profound message’, for more details, please click here.
2. The Methodist Church are advertising an Advent and Christmas campaign called ‘Out of the ordinary’. Resources should be available from September.
- Lent 2024 campaign:
this may seem early, but resources will be available soon. This year the Methodist campaign is based on Charles Wesley’s famous hymn ‘Love divine, all loves excelling’ and is called ‘Unbounded Love’. There will be a range of resources that connect the Gospel readings from the Sunday lectionary throughout Lent to weekly themes, each one a line taken from the hymn. You can sign up individually (from 1st January) to receive emails during Lent, a poster for display in churches will be available from 1st December and there will be various social media posts that can be shared. To keep up to date with resources as they are released visit the relevant web page here.