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> 20 March 2020 1100h — Letter from the Chair of District

The Rev Dr Andrew Lunn, chair of the Manchester & Stockport District of the Methodist Church has sent a pastoral letter around the district. You can see it here.

 

> 20 March 2020 0900h — Take a breath

It has been quite a few days. Let's take a breath.

Ask yourself what you need to remind yourself of today. Remember the people, the places, the things that you do that are a blessing. Remember the people, the places, the situations for whom and within which you are a blessing.

Keep the faith. Pray without ceasing. Blessings abound!

I discovered this poem, written by Kitty O'Meara, which was created for this time:

And the people stayed home.
And read books,
and listened,
and rested,
and exercised,
and made art,
and played games,
and learned new ways of being,
and were still.
And listened more deeply.
Some meditated,
some prayed,
some danced.
Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed.
And, in the absence of people living in ignorant,
dangerous,
mindless,
and heartless ways,
the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed,
and the people joined together again,
they grieved their losses,
and made new choices,
and dreamed new images,
and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully,
as they had been healed.

Here is a link which shall take you to a worship song on YouTube that you might like to listen to.

Remember to get in touch if you have any need.

Adrian adrian.burdon@methodist.org.uk

 

>19 March 2020 1600h — Circuit worship on DVD

I have managed to get the technology working this afternoon. The worship that I have put on the Circuit website can be made available on a DVD for those without access to the internet but who have a standard DVD player or TV which plays DVDs. If you know anyone who might like the worship in this form please ask them, check out that they have a DVD player and then let me have their name and address. It is a bit of a time consuming process to make these DVDs so please only ask for it if it is for someone who does not have any other access and who really is going to use it. Let me know at adrian.burdon@methodist.org.uk or on 01706 847393 . It is probably a bit too late to manage to organise this for this Sunday, but I can undertake to do it for all future Sundays.

Even better though if there is someone out their who is sufficiently geeky to be able to do this task and so free me up to do something else — let me know!

 

>19 March 2020 1445h — Continued support for the Foodbank

Many of our churches support the foodbank and it is especially important that we continue to do so. If you would normally send food through your local church, or you wold like to make a donation, then Val Stott is available to collect it from you and deliver it to the foodbank. Please contact her on 07910729713 or by email at val.stott@gmail.com. The Foodbank relies heavily on donations from churches in the area, and because the majority of churches are no longer open the need is greater than ever. Thank you for your support and thank you to Val for this initiativ

 

>19 March 2020 1330h

This update includes information about:

1. My video conference with colleague Superintendent Ministers
2. Some comments on the financial implications for the churches of the Circuit
3. An mechanism to volunteer to help the wider community
4. General comments about continued contact with church members
5. Specific comments about continued contact with and between senior church stewards
6. Continued and developing pastoral care for our members
7. Provision for worship in the Circuit

I have now had a video conference with the Chair of District and colleague Superintendent Ministers. We had a good meeting together and agreed to support one another by meeting together again in the same manner on a regular and frequent basis. It was clear that we are all in the same boat and dealing with the same issues. All worship services are abandoned and our buildings closed. Some of us have issues about employment of lay people — as we do with our two childcare facilities at Gravelhole and St Andrews. We are all seeking ways, and shared ideas about, how to enable our folk to have some worship life together.

The Superintendent Ministers considered the finances of the churches and, remembering that we still have bills to pay, suggested that if people are not already doing so, they might like to keep the cash flowing by making their regular donations via standing order or, at the very least sending their collection into the church treasurers.

If people are wondering how they might get involved in helping the wider community on a voluntary basis then a website has been established by Greater Manchester Council with help from the Methodist Church — go and have a look at it at volunteergm.org where you will find opportunities across Greater Manchester and specifically for Oldham.

I shall put regular updates on this page of the website and invite you to check back regularly. I shall be sending out emails to all those for whom I have a contact. If you are reading this on the web but have not received an email from me in the last two days then that means that I do not have your email address. It would be great if you would let me have your email address and then you will receive updates and information directly. Send your email address to adrian.burdon@methodist.org.uk .

I am keeping contact with each of the senior church stewards as a matter of priority and thank each of them for the great work that they have been doing in each church over the past day or so. I shall be contacting them so that we might all meet together in a web conference in the next couple of days and regularly thereafter.

It remains important that we keep an eye on the most vulnerable of our congregation members whilst at the same time keeping them and ourselves safe. Please let me know of people who you know who need attention, especially our older folk who live alone, by sending me a message at adrian.burdon@methodist.org.uk . You are the people who are in each of the local churches and who know who needs particular attention and I thank you, in advance, for your assistance in identifying these people.

I have managed to get the technology working and have recorded a service for us all to use on Sunday. It is pretty much what I had planned for use at Trinity already. You can see the video by going to the Worship tab at the top of the page, or by clicking here. I shall be preparing worship for every Sunday over the coming weeks and you will find them on the Worship page of this website. I would be pleased to hear comments about these services and whether there are any issues when you use them.

And finally, I hope that the format of these updates is useful. We are learning how to do things differently and so are aware that we might not always get it right. Let me know if you have any ideas of how we might do things better or if you think of something for us to consider. Let us continue to pray for ourselves and each other as we go forward into uncharted territory. Remember that we do not go alone, but we walk hand-in-hand with the loving God who is made known to us in Jesus Christ. Remember the words of the ancient mystic, Julian of Norwich — All shall be well, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.

See HERE for the latest response and advice. from the Methodist Church to the corona virus.

The Rev Dr Adrian Burdon
Superintendent Minister
The Shaw and Royton Circuit of the Methodist Church

2 The Avenue, Shaw, Oldham, OL2 7HE
01706 847393
adrian.burdon@methodist.org.uk
www.shawroytonmethodist.org.uk

 

>19 March 2020 0900h

If you are reading this page of the website, but did not receive an email from me yesterday, then that means that I do not have your email address. I am going to be using email quite a lot as a means of communicating with members of the churches. If you would like to receive those emails then please send me an email message at adrian.burdon@methodist.org.uk .

 

>18 March 2020 0800h.

Following government guidance, the Methodist Church in Britain has closed all of its churches for public worship until the present health crisis is passed. Consequently, no services of worship shall be taking place in the churches of the Shaw & Royton Circuit either on Sundays or weekdays. All of our usual activity is suspended and there shall be no meetings for spiritual, business or social purposes taking place. Any regular events, such as coffee mornings, bible studies, prayer meeting are similarly suspended no matter where they meet.

I am preparing an act of worship that we can all share as a video to download to your computer or tablet. Please come back here at the weekend and it shall be available.

Please look after yourself during this time. Please also have a mind for those who live alone and for whom this is going to be a lonely time. Let us care for one another — but in an appropriately safe manner.

I shall be working out the manner in which I shall be engaging with you pastorally. All of the Superintendent Ministers of the District are speaking together via a video conference on Thursday in order to establish good practice and share ideas. I shall share those ideas with you later in the week.

Please return here frequently as it is the place I shall use to communicate with you all.

Here is a prayer for us to share:

God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of illness, fear for loved ones, fear of other's reactions to them.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace.

We pray for your church in this time of uncertainty.
For those people who are worried about attending worship.
For those needing to make decisions in order to care for other
For those who will feel more isolated by not being able to attend.
Grant us your wisdom.
Holy God, we remember that you have promised that
Nothing will separate us from your love — demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ.
Help us turn our eyes, hearts and minds to you.
Amen

Adrian

Please contact me if there is anything at all that I can do for you at this time.

The Rev Dr Adrian Burdon
Superintendent Minister
The Shaw and Royton Circuit of the Methodist Church

2 The Avenue, Shaw, Oldham, OL2 7HE
01706 847393
adrian.burdon@methodist.org.uk

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