Newsletter Nov. 22nd

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Dear Friends,

It was a long time ago when I candidated for the Methodist Ministry!

Having completed two years at Moorlands Bible College I was working as a Lay Pastor in East Yorkshire looking after the members and friends of four very rural village churches. Pastoral visits included many a farm which on one occasion included the calving of a cow! There were often three services on a Sunday to lead followed by a youth group. It was a good job I was young!

My superintendent minister encouraged me to offer as a candidate for the Methodist Ministry and so began a long process of study, exams, interviews, and trial services before finally being accepted for training at Wesley College, Bristol.
On leaving college I was stationed by the church to serve in the Bude Methodist Circuit (I had never heard of Bude so was excited to find that it was on the Cornish Coast and had sun, sea and sand!).

There followed two years as a probationary minister before ordination at Westminster Central Hall in London in 1997.
Within our own circuit we are excited to have two people who are starting out on this long journey. Anna Carrington (North Camp) and Catherine Reeves (Fleet) who are inviting the church to test their sense of call to the Methodist Ministry.

This Sunday we are delighted to say that Anna will be leading our on-line service as one of her assessed services. I am sure that you will have enjoyed meeting Anna when she has led worship before and will greatly appreciate the message that she brings to us. The whole candidating process is very challenging, and even more so this year with our various restrictions, so please do pray for Anna and offer her all the encouragement you can.



Just as Jesus called fishermen by the shores of Galilee to 'Come, follow me.' So, God is still calling people to serve him in so many different ways. Some, like Anna and Catherine will feel called to Presbyteral Ministry whilst many of us are called just as importantly to serve God in our local church and community.

I wonder if God might be prompting you to follow his lead and use your gifts, talents, and passions in his service?

I love the words of the hymn:

Lord, you call us to your service,
Each in our own way.
Some to caring, loving, healing;
Some to preach, or pray;
Some to work with quiet learning,
Truth discerning,
Day by day.
(Marjorie Dobson StF 664)

Sad News
Rev Brian Whitlock, who served in the Farnham Circuit sadly died recently. For more details please contact Ian Sergeant (Farnham).

Local Christmas Card Delivery (Alton)

Good News! Despite the Covid-19 restrictions, our Boys' Brigade Company will still be able to operate their Christmas Card delivery service!
The charge is the same as last year, 30p per card, which is less than half the cost of 2nd Class Royal Mail postage. But they have had to make some changes to the service:

BB will deliver cards to Alton and Holybourne only. Beech and Medstead will NOT be covered.
As the Church isn't yet open, you needn't worry about the stamps this year!

What to do:
1. Write your cards as usual.
2. Write a cheque for the correct amount (at 30p each), payable to "2nd Alton BB". (If you prefer to pay by cash, this is OK, but we won't be able to offer any change!)
3. Seal the cards and the payment in a paper or plastic bag.
4. EITHER bring the bag containing cards and payment to David Allan's home OR phone him to arrange for someone to collect it from your house.

Philip will collect bagged cards from Willow Court and Clover Leaf Court. (Please let me know when you have some to pick up!)

Because we will be keeping the cards isolated for 72 hours to ensure that they're Covid-free, the last posting date is Wednesday 16th December. The BB team will deliver your cards in the week running up to Christmas.

The BB Company do hope that you will choose to use this service. They have had no income at all for nine months, yet many of their outgoing commitments remain. The BB team usually delivers more than a thousand cards, bringing in a welcome £300+ to their funds, and they hope that this year's delivery service will be equally successful.

Buy Your Christmas Cards Now!
This year in aid of Alton Methodist Church funds.

The designs have simple, colourful nativity scenes on them. They have the greeting inside 'Wishing you a Peaceful & Blessed Christmas'.
They cost £2.25 per pack of 10 cards and you can pay by cheque or bank transfer to Alton Methodist Church. We will deliver them to you!
Please contact Debby Bridger (Alton Methodist)

On-Line Worship
The recorded on-line service this week is led by Anna Carrington.

Pause for Thought
This is uploaded onto the church website on Wednesdays with our series on the Fruit of the Spirit concluding with a reflection on 'Self Control' led by Liz George.

Next week (Nov. 29th) the on-line worship service is led by Rev Keith Underhill who was initially invited to preach at Alton with it being the 10th anniversary since the completion of the refurbished church. I watched the video of the opening service this week — it was great... and you haven't changed a bit in 10 years!

Let us bless the Lord — Thanks be to God!

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