Newssheet Oct 4th 2020

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Dear Friends,

This weekend we celebrate harvest in our on-line service and at Alton where we begin live worship at 10am on Sunday.
We have watched from the Manse window as the fields opposite us have been harvested in recent days. The combine harvesters, tractors and trailers were hard at work bringing in the wheat harvest. Over the next couple of days, the lying straw was baled up, stacked, and collected.

It wasn't long before the field of Maize standing tall and proud next to it was gathered in with a flurry of activity as the chopped up crop was shot into a nonstop procession of trailers which raced away to a storage barn.

At harvest time we often sing:

'We plough the fields and scatter
the good seed on the land...'

And within days of the fields being harvested cultivators and seed drills were busy planting next year's crop — not scattering but precision drilling! Already the new shoots of next years crop are showing as the young plants germinate and push through the soil.

We are invited to share in the joy and wonder of the harvest as we give thanks and praise to God.

Praise God for the harvest of orchard and field;
Praise God for the people who gather their yield -
The long hours of labour, the skills of a team,
The patience of science, the power of machine.

Praise God for the harvest that comes from afar,
From market and harbour, the sea and the shore:
Foods packed and transported and gathered and grown,
By God-given neighbours, unseen and unknown.

Praise God for the harvest of science and skill:
The urge to discover, create and fulfil;
For plans and inventions that promise to gain
A future more hopeful, a world more humane.

Praise God for the harvest of conflict and love,
For leaders and peoples who struggle and serve
To banish oppression, earth's plenty increase,
And gather God's harvest of justice and peace.

(Brian Wren, b1936, Singing the Faith 126)

'All We Can' our Methodist Relief and Development Agency.

As we share in the harvest celebrations in our section of churches over the next two weeks, we are also invited to participate in supporting the work of 'All We Can' our Methodist Relief and Development Agency.
This year's appeal is entitled: 'Change begins with a bicycle'. Angela and I have two bikes under cover at the Manse — you may never have seen them in use! However, for some around the world, like Nawalat owning a bicycle has made all the difference as she was able to ride the 10km to school each day to fulfil her dream of one day training to become a nurse. This will help her to break the cycle of poverty and bring a better quality of life to Nawalat and her family.

This year's appeal invites us to respond.
We may or may not wish to offer £6/month but perhaps as churches or individuals we can be encouraged to donate to the work of 'All We Can'. This year there are no paper envelops to fill, but you can donate on-line — it's easy, simply follow the link:
https://www.allwecan.org.uk/give/make-a-donation/one-off-donation/

Foodbank
Many of you support the work of the local Foodbank — whether in Alton or Farnham, which does such a great work providing short term help for local people in need.

We have just received the following request for donations from our branch in Alton:

Alton Foodbank Shopping List
October 1st, 2020
Please buy an item from this list of items for the foodbank.
* Tinned meat (stewing steak, ham etc.)
* Pasta sauce
* Tinned custard
* Coffee
* Sponge puddings
* Tinned potatoes
* Rice
* Cereal bars
* Nappies Size 1 & 2
PLEASE NO: Baked Beans, Soup, Tinned tomatoes. Pads, or Tampons (as they have very good stocks currently).

Churches Open for Worship
At Alton:
Pause for Thought — Wednesdays in church at 11am for 20-30 mins.

Sunday Worship — October 4th at 10am Alton: Sunday Worship with a celebration of Harvest. There are spaces available for Sunday at present.

Book by preferably emailing your name/s (not just how many people!) for Track & Trace on altonmethodist@hotmail.com or ring Liz George

At Rowledge: Sunday Worship at 10am led this week by Pam Jones.
Book through contacting Aileen Ashby.

At Hale: Our first service will aim to be on Sunday Oct 11th at 11am. A booking service will be in place and risk assessments will have been completed.

At Farnham: Zoom services on Sundays at 9.30am, Pause for Thought in church on Friday's and live worship in church from October 4th.

On-Line Harvest Worship
This will continue with this week's service led and created by Rev Philip Simpkins. To access the service go to www.altonmethodist.org.uk

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