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News and Notes
News & Notes This special edition of News and Notes has been combined with FOCUS, to provide an extended version of our weekly news sheet, due to there being no church services and most people being confined to home during the coronavirus pandemic. The next edition will be 7th June. Items should reach Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org by 9am on 3rd June. If you would like to receive News & Notes by e-mail, please let Sarah know.
Request for Content for News and Notes/FOCUS please send us articles, prayers, Bible studies, poems, stories, puzzles, ideas for craft, jokes and more, to be included! I am back at work from 1st June and so have had to move the deadline for content forward to 9am on Wednesdays. I am very happy to go on compiling News and Notes but I will need more help with people sending me content. Thank you. Sarah.
Prayer requests If you have someone you would like prayers for, and would like the details to appear in News and Notes, please contact Sarah (details above).
Circuit Prayers: Please pray for Sunbury Methodist Church and Baby Basics. Please also pray for Mauritania – very poor country with much corruption. Exports fish, iron ore and some oil. Only 1% of land can be farmed and that is decreasing because of desertification. Malnutrition amongst children. Christians face prison or beatings, and more so if suspected of converting others.
Knitted and Crocheted Flowers We are hoping to decorate the church with knitted and crocheted flowers when we finally return to worship together. We are looking for some patterns we can share (if you have any please send them to us). In the meantime, if you would like to join in and have access to a pattern please start knitting/crocheting. Any colour, size and type of flower, the more variety the better! Some people have also started knitting and crocheting Christmas Angels.
Practical information during social distancing/self-isolation:
Link to online list of Teddington traders delivering at the moment - https://docs.google.com/file/d/1uryig4AbtcHcKSuoWDvPyLYXFwygsASu/edit?filetype=msword
Requests for help if self-isolating
Please call the Richmond council’s helpline on 020 8871 6555
Loneliness for older people may become widespread. Two charities that offer helplines are Sane and the Silver Line:
• SANEline is staffed by trained volunteers and professionals and is open between 4.30pm and 10.30pm every day of the year on 0300 304 7000.
• Silver Line offers a weekly life line of a telephone conversation to people over 55. Find out more by calling 0800 470 80 90
Useful links for internet users:
Methodist Church Service sheets:
Wesley's Chapel & Leysian Mission 11am Sunday Services
Recorded Services from Methodist Central Hall
A Pentecost Prayer
God’s Spirit is approaching
Through time, across continents, soaring over creation
God’s Spirit is speaking
Whispering and comforting, roaring and challenging
God’s Spirit surrounds us
Beyond touch, warmly embracing
God’s Spirit transforms us
Making our horizons wider
our faith stronger
our hopes possible
like a bird you hovered over the chaos of the world’s first day,
drawing life from crashing waves
and making a world of possibility.
You hovered still over parting waters,
liberating an enslaved people,
guiding them forward with cloud and fire,
nurturing your followers and sharing your love.
Like a still, small voice
you made your presence felt to
prophets and healers,
to a people in exile,
and young mothers-to-be.
In the life of Jesus
your healing touch was felt
and all were made welcome.
Like flickering embers dancing into flame,
you revived those who looked for you,
inspiring their speech and startling onlookers.
Undeterred by death, you delivered
and your eternal, supporting presence.
And your Spirit nurtures us still,
a gathered people at Pentecost,
moved to celebrate, free to be ourselves,
glad to meet God and open ourselves to the world around us.
Spirit of the living God
move among us,
as you transform us into the people you invite us to be,
as you transform the world into the place you dream it to be.
Make us one in love,
Blow among us, Spirit of God,
fill us with your courage and care.
Hurricane and Breath,
take us on a journey of love!
Touching the Wind. How we describe the Holy Spirit.
Spirit of God, unseen as the wind,
gentle is the dove…
Margaret Old begins her hymn to the Spirit of God (StF 394) with two contrasting images: one, an acknowledgement that we cannot know what the Spirit looks like; the other, a reference to a familiar image of the Spirit-as-dove. These are both ideas that thread their way through many of the hymns within the Singing the Faith section titled The Gift and Work of the Holy Spirit.
In our singing, we invoke the Spirit: we plead for the Spirit’s presence (“Come down, O Love divine / seek thou this soul of mine”, StF 372) and we welcome it (“Holy Spirit, we welcome you, / Holy Spirit we welcome you!” StF 385)
But perhaps we should be careful what we wish for. Elizabeth Ann Head offers a vision of the Spirit’s power “sweeping through us” tsunami-like. In her quest for a Church that is cleansed and prepared to acknowledge its need of God, she invites the “wind of God” to “come, bend us, break us” (StF 391). It’s a vision of God’s Spirit that is at one with the transforming Spirit at work at the outset of creation, described in Genesis 1: 2. Sylvia Dunstan’s baptismal hymn, Crashing waters at creation (StF 376), picks up on this aspect, as does Into a world of dark, / wasted and disordered space by Ann Phillips (StF 387).
These hymns sit in contrast with gentler invocations, such as Johnny Martin’s Holy breath of God (StF 380). There’s almost a lullaby quality to his words:
Fall, sweet mercy, fall on me,
healing by your grace.
Tender hand of God,
hold me in your care.
All my fears and broken dreams,
every burden bear.
Other writers draw these contrasts into a single text. Carl Daw follows the first line of his fine hymn, Like the murmur of the dove’s song (StF 389), with two phrases that see the dove take flight and the energy of the Holy Spirit take wing:
Like the murmur of the dove’s song,
like the challenge of her flight,
like the vigour of the wind’s rush…
… and then he points us towards the fire imagery of the first Pentecost event as re-told in Acts 2: 1 – 21:
like the new flame’s eager might:
come, Holy Spirit, come.
The bird / dove image is also central to John Bell and Graham Maule’s She sits like a bird, brooding on the waters (StF 393) and is the starting point for Shirley Erena Murray’s Spirit who broods, / Spirit who sings (StF 396), in which she explores the idea that the Holy Spirit lives within the Christian community (it’s not an external presence), and needs to be drawn out of us in order to “renew the face of the earth”.
Water, fire, a dove in flight: each hard to hold, each causing or embodying transformation and movement. These images thread through the books of the Bible, from Genesis to Acts, and continue to inform the way contemporary hymn writers express the character of the Holy Spirit and how we sing the story of Pentecost.
Taken from “Singing the Faith Plus” website.
I Will Never Leave You Orphaned
STUTTGART 22.214.171.124 ("Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus")
will never leave you orphaned,"
Jesus, you once told your own.
When we're overwhelmed and frightened,
show us that we're not alone.
for the Holy Spirit
who is present every day,
giving love that we might share it,
giving us the words to say.
affliction, we find comfort
through our Friend and Help and Guide.
When we're sad and cannot bear it,
you are with us — by our side.
comfort, we find challenge
As you call your church to be
in your new community.
comfort and in challenge,
May the church hear what you say:
"I will never leave you orphaned."
May we trust your word today.
Biblical Reference: John 14 Tune: Witt's
Alternate tune: GALILEE, William H. Jude, 1877 ("Jesus Calls O'er The Tumult") Text: Copyright © 2020 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved. Email: , 1715 ("Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus")
Dennis Hawkins -Pentecost
Dennis Hawkins (1925-2001)
Oil on wood (old school desk)
107 x 80 cm
Methodist Modern Art Collection
Image Copyright © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. The Methodist Church Registered Charity no. 1132208
Acts of the Apostles 2: 1–4
The descent of the Holy Spirit, on the Jewish feast of Pentecost, marked the birth of the Church, and is represented by an intense circle of white light, painted on the top of an old school desk. In this way Hawkins represents the success of the Church penetrating unlikely nooks and crannies and dark corners throughout the world and illuminating them with the light of the Holy Ghost. In the 1960s Hawkins produced dozens of “Pentecosts”. The traditional iconography of Pentecost was tongues of fire, but instead he chose to use the circle or sphere. He saw it as a numinous object, mysterious without beginning or end and all-embracing, an ideal symbol for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Commentary based on A Guide to the Methodist Art Collection.
A Living Pentecost
Streets are filled with many people, voices raised in every tongue,
Bring first-fruits of their harvest, gift to God from old and young.
In the midst of celebration, comes a new unsettling sound:
A cacophony of praising, Word alive, Spirit unbound!
God is here, speaking our language, speaking as we do,
Christ alive, here in Spirit, and turns the tables, upsets conventions,
Brings a new church to birth, today a living Pentecost.
Mighty wind blows through the city, sweeps a new age into birth,
Holy fire to burn the boundaries, and ignite God's work on earth.
Aramaic, Persian, Coptic, Parthian, Arabic and Greek,
Heard and understood and spoken, God in multi-lingual speak!
God is here ....
Wake up call to every nation, chaos melts, new paths made plain,
Harvest now for new creation, these the first-fruits of Christ's reign.
We, God's Church, arise for action, move in faith to break new ground,
Spirit, take us to the margins where your living work is found.
God is here ....
Words and Music © 2019 Raj Bharath Patta and Clare Stainsby
Download the music for this hymn here: https://www.methodist.org.uk/media/17255/a-living-pentecost-clare-stainsby-raj-bharath-patta-rev.pdf
Test Paper Blunders!
The position of Circuit Safeguarding officer is currently vacant.
Below is a copy of the job description for the role.
Anyone who is interested in applying or wishes to discuss the role further should contact Vicci.
Due to the present situation we are unable to hold a normal Church Council Meeting next month. Members should already have received emails (or paper documents) explaining the arrangements. If you are on Church Council and have not received these please let Sue know.
General Church Meeting June 2020
Due to the present situation we are also unable to hold a normal General Church Meeting next month. Instead we have been asked to hold a “virtual” meeting, and all the information will be communicated via News and Notes to ensure that as many church members as possible can be involved.
The Church Stewards and Congregational Representatives to Church Council for the year starting September 2020 are elected at this meeting. Please consider whether you could become involved. Contact a Steward if you would like more information.
Nominations should be made by email, post or phone to Sue Morrell*. All nominations require a proposer and a seconder – you may nominate yourself, and I am happy to second any agreed nominations. It is an obvious requirement that the nominee has to agree to their nomination.
All current Church Stewards and Congregational Representatives need to be nominated afresh if they wish to continue.
The deadline for nominations is Monday 15th June, following which all members will be asked whether they agree to the nominations and the final Church Council membership will be announced by Monday 29th June.
Copies of the “Agenda”, reports normally presented at the meeting and minutes of the previous GCM may be obtained from Sue*.
*Details on request.
News and Notes 31.05.20