Alton Webteam: September 2016
The Methodist Church
Welcome to The Buzz!
The Buzz aims to share good news from across the Connexion. The stories below illustrate the different ways in which the Church is working out the four aspects of Our Calling: Worship, Learning & Caring, Service and Evangelism.
The Buzz needs 'good news' stories from you! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearly 1000 Methodists gathered together for the York Circuit Celebration at the York Barbican last month.
The vision behind the meeting was to draw everyone together from across the circuit, and offer a welcome break to those who work week after week in the service of their church.
Many practical preparations were needed in advance of the event, including locating a venue, planning coaches, arranging lunches and cancelling the regular Sunday services within the circuit.
Worship, led by One Sound (a UK leading Christian youth music ensemble), gave the day a truly celebratory feel as the congregation joined in with Wesley hymns and modern worship songs alike. Along with singing, prayers and sermons, a video was shown highlighting some of what had happened around the circuit in the past year.
Children and Youth sessions also ran alongside the main event, with Big Ministries taking the 5-11s and the Youth President, Craig Gaffney resourcing the 11-18s. The final part of the day saw all ages come together again for more worship and prayer.
Ex-President of the Conference, the Revd Steve Wild, spoke about the need for risk-taking mission, and encouraged everyone to show the generous love of Jesus in their communities. While Vice-President Rachel Lampard MBE spoke about God's desire for 'oceans of justice', challenging everyone to think about how we can stand up for justice in the current political climate.
Putting this message into practice, a collection was held for All We Can's Refugee appeal — raising more than £4250.
Email: Lois Cross email@example.com
LEARNING AND CARING
Free Bike Scheme Winterslow Methodist Church, Wiltshire
A church in Wiltshire has bought bicycles, helmets and reflective equipment to be used by the local community as part of a new initiative to bring people together.
Paul Hardiman, the organiser of the initiative, said: "So far several local groups have taken advantage of the equipment, including the Scouts, the Beavers, the Cubs, the Guides, the Brownies and even some adult groups too.
"The bikes are for all ages to use and have fun. The aim is primarily for enjoyment, but clearly learning to ride and increasing your confidence in cycling also come as part of the package.
"As well as promoting good health, it is yet another way that the church can show it is engaging with the community and sharing God's love for us all."
Email: Paul Hardiman firstname.lastname@example.org
School's Out for Summer!
Every year, during school summer holidays, churches across the country open their doors to their local communities for holiday clubs. Here are some stories from two of them:
Champion's Challenge Holiday Club
Ashby Wesley Methodist Church, Scunthorpe
Led by a team of nearly 40 adults and young helpers, the Ashby Wesley's holiday club saw around 50 children each day discover more about Jesus through craft, games, drama, teaching and song.
The week culminated in a celebration service on the Sunday, which saw holiday club families join the church family in a service of praise and worship with the children sharing what they had learnt during the week.
Email: Bronwen Braisdell email@example.com
Summer Special Holiday Club Cullercoats Methodist Church, North Shields
This year, Cullercoats Methodist Church's Summer Special holiday club followed the Scripture Union theme of the Guardians of ANCORA and had over 70 children attend.
"It's not rocket science, or even anything unusual, but holiday clubs are Kingdom building," said Sue Carr, holiday club leader. "Some of our young helpers have been coming along every year since they were four years old!
"Not only is holiday club great fun for the kids, but it really helps to build relationships with the parents too. It helps us to show that Christians have abundant life and aren't just stiff and stuffy."
Email: Sue Car firstname.lastname@example.org
147 Years Young
Hundreds gathered up and down the country in July to celebrate the 147th anniversary of Action for Children, a charity with long standing Methodist roots.
Lessingham Methodist Church was just one of the many churches that celebrate the charity's anniversary: holding a special service looking at the work of the charity. Community fundraiser, Abbi Lang, gave a talk about the different services the charity offers to disadvantaged children and their families, and shared information on their 'Fair By Five' campaign, calling on the Government to ensure that every child reaches a good level of development by the time they start school.
During the service, there was also a surprise presentation to Nancy Cook who received a framed certificate thanking her for her service. Now in her 80s, Nancy has supported Action for Children since she was nine years old through her farm shop with her husband selling jams, sunny smiles, League of Light lanterns and collections at church. Records do not go back far enough, but she has most likely raised over £50,000 for the charity so far!
Speaking to Nancy and all of Action for Children's supporters, Karis Kolawole, Head of Church Partnerships, said: "We can't thank you enough. Your thoughts, prayers and generous donations go a long way in helping us make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children. God bless you richly!"
Email: Karis Kolawole email@example.com
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