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From the Super............................................................................Summer 2017
But for a moment - - -
We have just celebrated the Easter event, moved through the Easter season and arrived at Pentecost. We remember and rehearse the story and try to make sense of it and take it to heart. However, we too often act like the crowd on Palm sunday. We have all the notes, but none of the music. We know the theory of life and sacrifice, death and resurrection, but find it too difficult to put into practice in our churches.
I heard of a family the other day that celebrated the birth of a new baby. The child was fine, healthy, lovely - - - but both the Mum and Dad collapsed, one through exhaustion and the other with a medical emergency. The understanding of new life coming through death was severely tested. Eventually all three came through the darkness and are thriving and well. But for a moment - - - .
For the Circuit a moment has come. We are severely challenged as to how we cope in the days ahead. Maybe we can regain some of the familiarity of days gone by, perhaps things will never be the same. But today we need to mix the musical notes of the kingdom that are ours into the melody of God to create a tune that brings salvation to a world in need.
On this page
Scroll down for:
Revd. Mike Lewis’s Message for Summer 2017
Circuit Diary Dates June to August 2017
Reports of God’s work in the Circuit 2016
CIRCUIT DIARY DATES
June to August2017
4th June Circuit Love Feast; testimony, tea & cake Trinity 6pm
13th June Sung Communion; Trinity 10.30am
18th June Revd David Chapman - Chair of District Maldon 10.30am
2nd July Revd. Mary Sachikonye - Farewell Trinity 10.30am
3rd July Messy Church Broomfield 3.30pm
20th July BB & GB Camp pre-service Moulsham Lodge 6.30pm
24th-28th July July holiday Club Maldon 10 - 12am
30th July Revd. Sue King - Farewell Circuit Service Maldon 4pm
30th July BB & GB post-Camp Thanksgiving Service Moulsham Lodge 6.30pm
REPORTS OF GOD’S WORK IN THE CIRCUIT
Presented to the Circuit Meeting
Tuesday, 20th September, 2016
The principle output of our church over the last three months has been in pastoral care and support which is increasing becoming demanding. Revd. Abe has been discussing ways forward for our Church, emphasizing the need to nurture and care for those are already doing so much and above all, to find the correct balance between the social and spiritual nature of our Church. Members of our congregation who cannot get to church now receive regular Holy Communion from Revd. Abe at home and this is very much appreciated.
Other than this, we held a very successful party to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday. Other areas such as Messy Church, three House fellowship groups, a regular support meeting, continue to flourish. The Church runs a Dance Café, Saturday mornings to raise money for charity. So far, they have raised £815 over the year for the Wingspan affiliate of CHESS, (the Church’s charity.
We held a very successful meeting to improve relations with our covenant Church, St Mary’s in Broomfield and to identified new ways of working which do not impinge upon each church’s individuality and/or tradition. The outcome of the meeting was that both Churches will hold three joint events a year; Good Friday Procession, Songs of Praise 26 June, and Torchlight service, to be held outside of the church and at the Community Hall, on a Saturday at Christmas to create a wider appeal to the community and non-churched. In addition, both churches presented a united front of Christian witness at the ‘Village Summer Fayre’ on 10 July.
We continue to pray for God’s guidance to create an opportunity for everyone within our Church to grow in their relationship with God.
Christ Church Braintree
Renewal comes in many forms. We seek to bring God’s renewal to each area of our life and mission. Our premises have recently seen a few changes.
We have re-carpeted the worship area and have installed solar panels on the church roof. I am reminded of this line from Marty Haugen’s hymn: ‘Let this house proclaim from floor to rafter: all are welcome in this place’
We give thanks for the many channels of service which flow through and out of Christ Church. We endeavour to welcome all whom God might send to us
We recently welcomed in to the ministry team Revd Iain Bendrey who will be a non-stipendiary minister. We continue to build up the church in our relationships with one another as a diverse church family.
We serve the community in a number of ways and we look forward to furthering our mission and outreach as God leads us.
Our faithful congregation continues to meet for worship and fellowship each Sunday morning. Our Sunday school children are growing up fast and we have welcomed another boy to join the group.
Halstead has an active Churches Together Committee. More and more we are moving from doing ecumenical things to doing things ecumenically.
We are a caring congregation who support one another through difficulties and increasing health issues.
One of the recent highlights in the community of Hatfield Peverel has been July’s “Party in the Park”. The Methodists decided to transfer their monthly cake stall there that day, and set up a wonderful array of cakes, surrounded by posters of all the projects in which they are currently engaged. This, along with a seating area for people to rest their weary legs, a play table for children, and – to cap it all – John bringing along two of his goats, provided a real focus of interest and a stimulus for conversations.
We continue to hold monthly Saturday “coffee and cake” mornings, on the second Saturday of each month. We decided to combine the September coffee morning with an appeal to support Maldon Methodists in their appeal for bras to send to Uganda...... and had a number of village folk come along with discreet parcels to put into the box.
We also continue to support the Witham Foodbank, and this has led to further contacts in the village. We open every Thursday morning for coffee, and for folk to bring in contributions for the foodbank.
Unfortunately, the Salvation Army no longer has a place of worship in the village, and we have been pleased to extend a welcome to those who can’t travel to Chelmsford.
Maldon has had another busy few months with its usual weekly meetings of all sorts. The highlight during the summer has been our annual Holiday Club which this year accommodated 51 young people aged from 4 – 16 years. The majority of these children do not have any other contact with the church so it is good to be able to welcome them during this time. But it’s not just the young people who learn about Jesus, the adults do too. We have a great team of about 30 leaders, most of whom have already cleared next year’s date with work commitments!! During this week we work together, pray together, have lots of laughs together, sometimes a few tears, and we eat lots of cake.
Messy Church runs throughout the year, every second Saturday. This is much quieter than Holiday Club and caters for an average of twelve children – and probably as many helpers!
Have you been caught up with the game that took the world by storm – Pokémon Go? Maldon Methodist Church is a PokéStop which means that gamers are able to catch Pokémon in and around the Church. We hit Page 3 in the Maldon & Burnham Standard with our welcome sign to Pokémon Gamers and were featured on the Essex Radio Facebook page.
Our Facebook page has now had 50 ‘likes’ and over 400 people have seen our posts. Find us at http://www.facebook.com/MaldonMethodistChurch
Mission took a rather “brazarre” turn this year as we started collecting bras. These have been donated to a project called Chrysalis Uganda. Women in Uganda, who wear a bra, are less likely to be raped. Visit www.chrysalisuganda.org for more information on this charity.
We have all been affected by the plight of the refugees over the past couple of years and anything we do seems like a small pebble dropping into a very large ocean. However, we have raised and donated £1200 to Safe Passage, a charity which supports lone children stranded in “The Jungle”, Calais. We have also explored practical things we can do and actively pray for these people.
Our monthly united services with the Maldon URC and Baptist Churches continue as do discussions as to how we can work together more closely in the future.
As Revd. Sue moves to part-time hours we are pleased that Gill Songer, one of our own members, has been appointed as Pastoral Lay Worker to work with the Maldon Section.
From April 2016 the stewards and committees of MLMC studied elements of Five Practices in preparation for hearing a sermon on each chapter during the May and June 2016. Following the sermons, members of the congregation were invited to suggest responses alongside those received from committees. This culminated in the stewards making proposals to the June Church Council, which were then adopted.
The proposals were.
1. Radical Hospitality. To seek ways to make our church and premises more inviting and visible to the community and the many people who use the building during weekdays.
2. Passionate Worship. As a result of this chapter we are reviewing our Worship and Music committee responsibilities. We have already appointed a worship coordinator to be available to work with appointed preachers (if requested) and who will encourage more members of the congregation to be involved with worship services through leading prayers, readings, drama etc. Progress will be reviewed at each Church Council.
3. Intentional Faith Development. Revd. Abe will be introducing a project called “The Church as a Listening Place” on Tuesday afternoons starting in September/October. This will include open Bible studies for the congregation and hopefully the community. The aim of this is to exploring discipleship at the different stages of faith, to increase/deepen scriptural knowledge and application and an ‘outward vision’, for the Church.
4. Risk -Taking Mission. as a result of this, and in an effort to free up members from our innumerous committee meetings, there has been a review of the structures of some committees, starting with w disbanding our Mission & Evangelism committee. The duties of this committee has been transferred/amalgamated with another existing committee.
5. Extravagant Generosity. The Church Council is of the opinion that if we can achieve some or all of the above, then the results will lead to larger congregations, a deeper spirit filled worship experience and an opportunity for individual faith development through involvement in services, Bible study and possibly more. Increased giving will be the membership’s response to coming closer to Jesus.
Numbers for our Brigades are critically low but numbers for Messy Church, held about every 6 weeks, remains steady. Sadly, we have experienced more funerals during this period including the funeral of two of the founding fathers of MLMC, George Whent and Roy Piper. However, there will be a wedding in August and a baptism in October. Our numbers average 50 for most morning services, (Parades 75) and around 15 for evening services.
We look forward with confidence to where the Lord will take us on our journey with Him as we continue to listen for His voice and respond to His call.
South Woodham Ferrers
After the major refurbishment of the worship area earlier in the year, this has been a much more quiet season. We continue to be a very caring, supportive fellowship, always keen to look outwards into the community.
Following the decision of the Christian Council to end our agreement with “Bar n Bus”, the local churches now have a different initiative to engage with young people in the town on Friday evenings - watch this space! At the same time, the churches are working together to provide a Foodbank, which we hope will begin shortly.
All four churches in the Maldon section were delighted that the circuit had appointed a lay worker to support them, and Gill Songer has been warmly welcomed. A new Bible study series will begin in each of the churches shortly, initiatives are being shared across the section, and work to extend and support with young people is being encouraged.
We rejoice in having a number of new people coming to Sunday morning worship, which has meant that we have to think about children, for the first time in some years. We have been thrilled to welcome a retired Deacon, Margaret, who is working hard to develop some work with the young people.
Our Friday morning Coffee Pot took a break during August, but is now back in full swing – the two mornings each month when there are handicraft activities are especially well-attended – many thanks to those who lead these.
Again on Friday mornings, we host Foodbank, staffed by an ecumenical team.
Our long-standing problem with the flat roof on the foyer entrance to the church has, we hope, been resolved – and again, thanks go to a small number of very loyal and determined people.
All this balances out the sadness of becoming all too familiar with funerals over the last months – but we give thanks for the lives and the witness of those who are now part of “the heavenly banquet”.