Dear Church Family,
Are you a worrier? Do you find yourself getting stressed and anxious or overwhelmed at situations you find yourself in? I think we all do, to varying degrees and we know that the more stressed and anxious we get, the less productive we are and the less able we are to deal with whatever situation it is that is causing our distress, and so it is a vicious circle.
This Sunday’s reading is about Jesus calming the storm (Mark 4: 35-41) and whenever I think of this reading, I think of a lovely little song in our Singing the Faith hymnbook, by David Adam, which is based on this reading. I have found this song really helpful over the years. Whenever I feel myself getting stressed or start panicking and I can feel the anxiety rising, I try and just take a moment and sing this song in my head and it calms me down so I can think straight and focus on working through the issues in front of me. I’d like to share the words with you, in the hope that it might help you too. If you are musical, I would suggest having a play of it, if not, then why not just read through the words (or you might be able to find it on YouTube):
Calm me, Lord, as you calmed the storm;
Still me, Lord, keep me from harm.
Let all the tumult within me cease;
Enfold me, Lord, enfold me in your peace.
Maybe you have another prayer or song that you use in such situations, but whatever helps you, may we remember that Jesus is with us in the storms of life. We can always turn to him and he might not always take those storms away from us, but he can certainly help us to cope with them. May we know God’s peace in our storms this week.
Just a last minute reminder that the circuit has arranged another Empowering All event for this Saturday (19th June) looking at Prayer, with David Clowse as our guest speaker. This is a free event and will be held on zoom. I have attached the flyer again for those who are interested in knowing more and if you would like to come, please book in with Kathryn Townson.
Sunday’s Online Worship:
In our online worship on Sunday, we will be thinking about it being Fathers’ Day and also Refugee Week, alongside our Methodist Way of Life commitment that: “We will live in a way that draws others to Jesus.” Rev Tony Simpson will be preaching and using the story of Jesus calming the storm. Attached is the usual printable Methodist Service too.
Last Sunday, we had our Challenge and Pizza night and we were delighted that 15 young people came along and joined in everything, ate lots of pizza and appeared to enjoy themselves. To follow up, this week we are launching our new regular youth group which will meet every Sunday evening in the Wesley Hall / Lounge and all young people in year 6 and above are welcome to come along. Each week, we are going to run the evening in three parts:
5.30pm – 6.30pm: Activities (e.g. games, quizzes, creative activities etc)
6.30pm – 7.00pm: Refreshments (Drinks and biscuits/crisps/fruit)
7.00pm – 8.00pm: Reflective session: exploring various issues of life and faith.
The idea is that young people can come for the activities and refreshments, or they can come for the refreshments and the reflective session, or they can come for the whole lot. If you would like some more information about this group, then please just email me.
If you know any young people who may be interested, then please encourage them to come along (please enter the building using the upstairs community centre doors).
We are really blessed as a church to have so many young people, so please can I ask you to pray for them, and this new group that we will be able to build relationships and help the young people learn more about faith.
After the government announcement on Monday, at our church council we agreed that we need to postpone the opening of our church on Sunday mornings for worship. Providing the regulations still allow, we are now aiming for our first Sunday morning service back together to take place on Sunday 25th July at 10.30am. Meanwhile, we will continue with our 4 bubble worship services across each fortnight. Our Tuesday bubble is full, but there are still places at our other services:
Saturday 4pm All Age Worship
If you would be interested in joining one of these bubbles, then please contact Ryan on firstname.lastname@example.org and he will book you in and tell you which dates the bubbles are running.
Silent Communion: Sunday 27th June
We can’t all get together on a Sunday morning for worship, but we can have another silent communion. This will take place on Sunday 27th June from 9.30am-12noon. Feel free to drop into church at any time during these hours. We don’t need to know what time you are coming, but we do need to know how many people are coming, so please will you book in with Ryan on email@example.com or call me on 01772 452572.
For those of you who have never experienced a silent communion before, this is how it works: There will be quiet music playing in church and a sheet on the seat with some reflections on – which you are free to use, or not use. When you are ready, then you can come forward to the communion rail and receive a communion pack which contains both a wafer and some grape juice. You can have this at the communion rail, or you can take it back to your seat. You are then free to stay in church as long as you want, and leave when you are ready. There are no words spoken in church other than me saying “ The body and blood of Christ, given for you” when I give you the communion pack. Otherwise it is just a chance to pray in the stillness and enjoy the peace of our church worship area.
Meet in the Park
I’m suggesting that from next Friday, 25th June, we have an informal arrangement that anyone who wants to, meets up in Worden Park (near the kiosk) every Friday from 2pm – 3.30pm. I might not be able to make it every week, but I’m sure there will always be someone there – unless the weather is horrendous! I don’t intend to send an email out each week saying whether it is on or not, I think we can all just use our own judgement and if it is a nice day there will no doubt be others from our church family there, and if it is raining then there is likely to be no-one there. It will just be so nice to be able to chat face to face and at the moment, we are allowed to do this. If regulations change, then we will have to stop, but let us make the most of the opportunity to be able to meet outdoors and catch up with one another in person.
This is a final reminder that if you would like to contribute a message / card / photo to go into Sylvie’s Farewell book then please can you have them with Sue Noon by this Sunday 20th June. You can send them via email to Sue on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to give a donation to Sylvie’s leaving gift, then you have a little bit longer, but please can these be with Bryan by 30th June. These can be cash or cheque (with cheques made payable to Leyland Methodist Church) or if you would prefer to give a gift through bank transfer, then please email Bryan for further details and to let him know what your donation is for. Bryan’s email address is email@example.com
I hope you have enjoyed these weekly updates over the past year. As things are changing, I will only be sending them out for a few more weeks. Once we start meeting for Sunday Worship again on 25th July (hopefully) we will return to our usual weekly notices (available in printed format, or via email) which Tony is happy to continue. However, Tony has asked if there is someone who could help him, that would be great. Otherwise, if he ever happens to be ill (like a few weeks ago) nothing gets sent out. So, if you would be interested in helping Tony with the weekly notices and distribution of information via email, please speak to me or contact Tony directly.
Church Family News
I spoke to Ivy Probert’s daughter-in-law this morning and I have permission to give you an update. Ivy has broken both her hip and her right arm (and she is right handed). She had an operation on her hip and is progressing, but very slowly. She is in Royal Preston Hospital, Ward 16, and it is likely that she will be there for another week, but the hospital have suspended all visiting, so she is feeling very lonely and she is a little confused by everything that is going on. I have asked Claire to pass on our love and to tell Ivy that we are thinking of her and praying for her. I will let you know when I have any more news.
Whatever storms we might face this week, may we know God’s presence and his peace with us.
Every Blessing to you all,