Newsletter July 4th 2021

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Dear Friends,

What a week of sport it has been!
In one room of our house Luke and I were sat on Monday evening shouting at the tele during the Euro's as two of the most exciting matches of all time took place with lots of last gasp goals and a win for the underdog — and that was the night before England played!
In the other room, Angela was to be heard cheering and clapping as Andy Murray recovered from a lapse in form and went on to win... tennis is so stressful!
And all this before England beat Germany 2-0 at Wembley to reach the quarter finals! Ever since the children were toddlers, we have always had an England flag stood in the garden for such matches and rush out to run around it when they score!

BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker was full of excitement and obvious pleasure as he covered the news story the next morning — of England winning, not the Simpkins' running around the flag!

Dan Walker is the son of a minister, and a committed Christian and despite his popularity as a broadcaster and sports presenter chooses not to work on Sundays in order to spend time with the family and attend church.
In an interview with Sorted Magazine Dan says:

"My faith plays a very significant part of my life. I don't take much seriously in life except for my faith and my family.
"I believe that if you have a strong faith in Jesus Christ, it has to make a difference to how you live your life.
It informs who I am and who I would like to be, where I'm going, the way I talk, the way I act, hopes, dreams, aspirations etc.
"It is a significant part of every day I live. It is the most important thing about me, and I can't imagine life without Jesus."
"I would like to think that it reduces pride and self-obsession and makes you think more carefully about the people around you, and the impact you're having on the community and society around you.
"For me, it's been an overwhelmingly positive thing. I know people sometimes choose to see it as a negative and that's fine. I never mind having a discussion about it.
He concluded: "For me, it underpins everything I am and want to be. Being a Christian is a very big part of my life."

It is always encouraging to hear such a man talk about his faith whilst being a high-profile TV and Sports Presenter.
If you get a moment, between watching all the sport, why not think about the way you would describe your faith, what it means to you and the difference you hope it makes to your life?

News Roundup!
This year's Methodist Conference in Birmingham has been accessible online — we watched one of the ordination services last Sunday afternoon when a fellow colleague was ordained.
You can read the Presidents address (Rev Sonia Hicks) and see her blue hair!

In her Conference address Mrs Hicks focused on her theme for the year, "God's Table: An Invitation for All", reflecting on the racism and marginalisation she and her family have experienced and how the Church can respond to injustice and division in society today.

She recalled the experience of her Great Aunt Lize, who had arrived from Jamaica with her Methodist membership card only to be rejected from her local Methodist Church because she was black. Sonia and her family eventually found a Methodist home at Walworth Methodist Church in South London.

"In a world where people are excluded because of their ethnic background, their sexual orientation, their gender or simply because, like me, they were brought up on a council estate, I believe that we are called to show God's love for all people. It is a calling that Christian people have always struggled with, but we can and should be better at making God's love a reality in the British Methodist Church, overcoming the systemic discrimination that exits.
Catch up on all the news and decisions made at conference go to https://www.methodist.org.uk

A new way to give to your church
Whenever you buy from Amazon online a small percentage of what you purchase will be donated to your favourite charity. Alton Methodist Church is now set up for this — other churches may wish to follow! Instead of going to Amazon you go to rather than amazon.co.uk and on the first occasion it will ask you to search for your favourite charity. This is of course "Alton Methodist Church". Then purchase as normal.

Dates for your Diary
Tuesday 6th July at 7.30pm in Church. Alton Church Council.

Sunday 11th July Alton Church Anniversary and Gift Day 10am.
Please see the gift day letter and ways to donate to the church if you wish too.

Saturday 17th July from 2:30pm
Cream Tea in the Alton Manse Garden

Monday July 19th
Farewell Service for Rev Chris Blake our retiring superintendent minister and Local Preacher Accreditation Service — for Liam Sheridan & our other newly accredited Local Preachers.
Arrivals, gathering & picnic from 5.30 pm
Service in the Garden 7pm by kind agreement of Paul & Mair Fry (Little Oakley, Boundary Road, Dockenfield, GU10 4EU )
(Bring your own picnic & chair, parking on site)
(If wet to be held at North Camp Methodist Church and all Covid Regs. allowing)
Please let your church stewards know if you are going so that we can plan accordingly and let you know if wet weather plans come into play.

Worship Services
The on-line Service this week is led by Rev Chris Blake via www.altonmethodist.org.uk.
Services in Church are as follows:
Alton — 10am led by Rev Chris Blake
Book via altonmethodist@hotmail.com or ring Liz George

Thanks to Brenda for the picture of her wonderful garden!

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