Reporting – March 2019
Lent begins this coming Wednesday (6th March). There will be a service in church at 10.00am which will include the imposition of ashes.
The earliest mention of a forty day period of preparation for Easter in the history of the Church comes from the council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The forty days is in imitation of the time Jesus spent in the desert at the beginning of his ministry. The English word ‘Lent’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning to ‘lengthen’. In our part of the world Lent comes at a time when the hours or daytime are ‘lengthening’, as spring approaches, and so it is a time when we seek to ‘lengthen’ spiritually, when we can stretch out and grow by the help of the Spirit.
One of the ways of marking Lent which has become part of Methodist practice over the last thirty years is the Lenten Cross. A Christmas tree is stripped of it’s needles and repurposed to form a wooden cross. Each Sunday in Lent symbols relating to Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and his Passion are added to the cross. On Good Friday the symbols are removed leaving an empty cross. On Easter Sunday worshippers are invited to bring a few flowers with them to church which, at the beginning of the service are added to the cross transforming it from a desolate image of crucifixion to a colour covered image of vibrant new life.
If you would like to join a Lent course you are welcome to meet with the Monday Bible Study Group at 2.30 pm from 11 March. We will be following a course produced by York Courses.
Colette will be making the Annual report available soon. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the report this year. The Annual Church Meeting is on 30 March at 10.30 am in the New Room. All are welcome to this meeting at which we appoint our Church Stewards and discuss the life and mission of the church. I will be presenting my thoughts on the future direction of the church given the circuit and staffing changes to be implemented this September. Refreshments will be available from 10 am.
Marion Homer is working on setting up a Facebook page for the church. We need a small group of people to be the administrators of the page. If this is something you would like to do please let me know.
We have started to prepare for Advent! Next Advent’s theme will be the ‘Journey of the Kings’. Does anyone know of someone I could approach who has expertise in astronomy? We would like to put on an evening of stargazing during Advent. Also, the prayer stations next Advent will be set with in the King’s ‘tents’ as they journey to Bethlehem. The ‘tents’ could be a mix of small gazebos, tents, or large garden table umbrellas – if you have any such items and would be prepared to lend them to the church through Advent please let me know.
Back to the here and now, I hope that Lent proves to be a time for us all when we find ourselves more aware of the ways and nature of God as we follow Jesus to Jerusalem – I hope, by the grace of God, we find spiritual lengthening.