|Pastoral Letter||Mission and Outreach||Advent and Christmas||Thank-you||2008 Diaries|
|News from Pool||NCH News||Poppy appeal 2007|
A pastoral letter from our District Chair
Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Smith
I have heard a report this morning of the new national memorial in Staffordshire, to all those who have lost their lives in combat since World War II. The design of the memorial is such that if the sun is shining on the 11th day of the 11th month, at 11am, then a ray of light will fall upon the bronze wreath of the sculpture. The thinking that has produced this memorial offers not only a dramatic setting for an act of remembrance on that day, but a very tangible demonstration of a ray of hope shining even through the bleakest of circumstances. Perhaps the same is true of the more familiar symbol of remembrance, the poppy. During November the poppy becomes for us a solemn reminder of death, suffering and sacrifice. Nevertheless, its intrinsic link with the work of the British Legion makes it also a reminder of survival, resistance and compassion. Poppies growing to dramatic effect across a field of grain, in a splash of colour, are for me, a symbol of vibrancy, of life, of unplanned gift, a reminder of God’s surprises in life.
The symbol of the poppy can therefore take us to the heart of the mysteries of human experience, to the shocking juxtaposition of life and death, of suffering and delight, of sadness and rejoicing, that are our common human experience. As we remember again this November those who have died, and that people continue to die, in the world’s conflicts, our prayer is always for peace in our world. As we wear our red poppy of remembrance, we might also give thanks for those whose vision and courage lead them to wear the white poppy of peace. We hold in our prayers all those who work tirelessly in every context for better understanding between people, locally and globally.
It cannot be guaranteed that the sun will be shining at the appropriate moment on the 11th November for a ray to fall upon that wreath, but let us hold that image as a symbol of hope for God’s world.
Mission and Outreach
We had an excellent World Mission service on 14th October led by Mrs Margaret Newton, challenging us all to care for God’s world.
Donations for the Poverty Lunch amounted to £78; the Coffee Morning for Missions in September raised £110; and for HCJB £115. There will be a coffee morning for Mission Without Borders on 16th November.
There were 50 children at our first session of KAAZ (Kids at Ashfield Action Zone) in October; both children and helpers returned with enthusiasm for a great afternoon. An application has been made for a grant to finance this project but if the grant is not forthcoming KAAZ’s future is in serious doubt as Churches Together in Otley do not have the money to sustain it.
The Wrights in Nepal
From the 1st October Paul started a secondment from UMN to NCRS (Nepali Christian Relief Services) to enhance their relief work. It was to NCRS that Paul and Sarah passed on the money that we sent from the Easter Norwood Refreshment Day, and this was used for ‘fire recovery’ in Kavre. Sarah recently ran a one week course for 8 students on Prayer.
Advent and Christmas
Thank you to the Beavers, Alison, Rosie & Alistair, Joan Monte, Dorothy Rawling, Pre-School and Guides who have volunteered to decorate church windows along the theme of our Christmas Tree Festival, depicting Trees from around the world. The church will be open to the community beginning on Saturday 1st December from 10-12noon.
We still need volunteers on the 4 Saturday mornings for the Foyer to welcome people into the Festival and to show them through to the Wesley Hall for Christmas refreshments at the Coffee Morning. Volunteers also needed to help out with Christmas baking . Names please to John Burland, Church Life Chairman on 01943 466884. Please invite all your friends to come along to our Festival and help to make it a success.
The church Christmas Tree will be erected on the 8th December with white lights only. It will be decorated on Parade Sunday by the uniformed organisations with white or silver decorations on the 15th December. Mr Keith Rawling will be pleased to receive any £1 donations towards the cost of the Christmas Tree.
The Christmas Post Box and Board for Missions will be put in place at the start of Advent and Jill Pullan is asking for volunteers to sort the ‘mail’, names to her please. It will be helpful if you can address the envelopes of your Christmas cards clearly. Remember this service is for church members who are able to attend church – please collect your ‘mail’ at the close of the services.
We look forward to the visit of our President of Conference, Dr Martin Atkins and the Rev Elizabeth Smith, District Chairman to our Circuit Service on the morning of the 9th December at 10.30am.
A Nativity Service will be held at 10.30am on the 23rd December and a Service of Nine Lessons and Carols will be held at the Parish Church at 6.pm. On Christmas Eve at 4pm a Christingel service and Communion will be held. A joint midnight service will be held at the United Reform church at 11.30pm.
The Christmas Day service at 10-10.30am will be held this year at our church and we share this special service with our friends from the United Reform church.
The Covenant Service in the New Year will be held on the 16th January 2008.
Christmas is a busy time for everyone, a time of excitement for children, and lots of activity within the church, but let us remember the true meaning of Christmas and share the joy of it with as many people as we can.
Mrs Margaret Peel would like to thank all who helped to distribute the Harvest Flowers. Please let her know if we missed anyone and they can have the next Sunday's flowers.
We are encouraged to have a word of thanks for the Focus from Mr Frank Routh. Frank also wishes to thank the person or people who made, and maintain the little flower bed at our Walkergate entrance. It has been a joy all summer, and still is, “my sincere thanks for a lovely thought” Frank.
"I would like to convey my thanks to all the people who sent me cards, messages and upheld me in prayer during my recent bout of illness. Thank you for your great encouragement."
Thank you to all who helped with catering or stewarding for the Derry Brabbs lecture held last month. A total of £406 was raised and will be used towards improvements to the entrance foyer.
Thank you to all who supported, or gave baking for a stall at Ian & John’s recent Friday Coffee Morning when £85 was raised for the church.
Also thanks to those who purchased cards from Cynthia & Rosalind’s stall on the Friday and Saturday morning. £38 was raised for the church.
The Focus Team gratefully acknowledge the gifts amounting to £30 to help with our production costs. We offer our sincere thanks for this kindness. We hope to put some of this money towards the cost of a colour front cover for our Christmas edition.
Please kindly note our next edition will cover both December and January 2008, so all items for inclusion should be handed in to Mrs Joan Monte by Sunday 18th November ready for the Focus Team meeting on Tuesday 20th November. Please let us have your news and articles as it all helps to make our magazine interesting and enjoyable. Thanks to all who have contributed to this edition.
Church diaries for 2008
These smart looking little red diaries are now available at church and a donation of £1 in the box please is all that is required. They make a useful gift for friends and family.
News from Pool Methodist Church
October was a fairly busy month for Pool. We had a joint Civic Service at St. Wilfrid’s church and our ladies served refreshments afterwards in our church hall, when the Citizen of Pool for the year trophy was presented to Mrs Connie Cartwright by the Leeds North West MP. Greg Mullholland. We offer our congratulations to Mrs Cartwright.
On the 14th October a family service was arranged at very short notice and it was lovely to see five young people in church again, along with 18 adults.
In November we host the village Remembrance Service on the 11th at 10am, followed by a short service at the War Memorial on Main Street. Special provision will be made during this service for the young people attending from St. Wilfrids, and any from the village. Afterwards again refreshments will be served in the church hall, offering a chance to meet once more in informal fellowship.
As the first weekend in December is very early this year, then we include news of two events on the 1st & 2nd December. On Saturday 1st we once more will host the Advent Activity morning for young people in the village from 10-12noon. As usual stories, games, art & crafts will be on offer, finishing with a short 15 minute Children’s Service in the church from 11.45am-12noon., to which all the parents, grand-parents and friends of the young people are invited.
On Sunday 2nd December we will be holding our Annual Toy & Gift Service at 6pm. This will be a family service with musical items from young people from Pool CofE School, along with the head master Mr Roger Bumby. As usual the toys and gifts are for the Mothers and Children of Mt.Cross Salvation Army Family Unit at Bramley, Leeds. All are invited to this service from Pool, St.Wilfrids, and any friends from Otley or our own Otley & Aireborough Circuit. This service will be conducted by Rev Julian Pursehouse.
Further Christmas events will appear in the December edition of Focus.
God Bless – Roger Bareham.
National Childrens Home News
With the recent postal strikes, our supply of NCH Christmas material has been delayed, but I hope that by the time Focus is printed the Christmas Worship items, prayer cards, Christmas Gift envelopes, and Christmas Card & Diary details will be to hand. Please ask me if you are interested, Roger Bareham, on 0113 2842329.
As usual the supply of used computer cartridges and mobile phones continues to flow into me, and are transported to NCH Headquarters in Harrogate monthly. Thank you for thinking of the work of NCH. Roger.
The poppy appeal 2007.
This year, more than 36 million poppies, 107,000 wreaths and 8000,000 Remembrance Crosses and other Remembrance items will be distributed in the UK. It takes 300,000 staff and volunteers to make the Poppy Appeal work. That is an enormous countrywide network! But each year, the Poppy People numbers drop by thousands, as many of the older collectors retire. And so the Poppy Appeal is urgently seeking new volunteers who can give anything from two hours to two weeks of their time. Could you help?
As for the Two Minute Silence, well, 15% of us still find it relevant today, according to a recent YouGov survey. The act of observing a Two Minute Silence began in 1919 following the Armistice at 11am on the 11th November 1918 at the end of the First World War.
Where did the idea of buying and wearing an artificial poppy as a way of Remembrance come from? It began in Britain on 11th November 1921, and the idea was inspired by John McCrae’s 1915 poem ‘In Flanders’ Fields’. The Appeal has grown since 1921 – last year it raised a record £26 million.