“No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! -
In Church life, November is rather more significant than that – beginning with our Church Anniversary and ending with Advent Sunday. This year Church Anniversary is on the 1st day of the month – which is All Saints’ Day. I see from my sermon file that my last visit for Church Anniversary combined those themes – so time will tell what I come up with this time. The Anniversary will be different in three respects – no lunch together, no vintage cars rolling past and no visiting preacher. We will do our best to create a real sense of celebration nonetheless – and to suitably mark 109 years of the Church’s life.
The following week brings Remembrance Sunday – when we will adjust our time of service. With services mandated by the Methodist Church to last only 30-45 minutes, we decided that 10.30 is the best time to allow the two minutes of silence to be included within the worship.
Advent Sunday is the last Sunday in the month, but shortly before that we hope to begin our Advent study sessions (on Zoom). We will begin on Wednesday 25th November at 2.30pm – and will use the material prepared for us by our District. The material is available to download from: https://www.methodistlondon.org.uk/adventcourse2020. All who can join will be welcome.
I have not yet had opportunity to say anything about the “Reset the Debt” campaign – which was launched in the past month by the Joint Public Issues Team. I will include some of the material about this in a separate article in this Good News Letter. I think it is a campaign worthy of our attention and support.
With love and prayers
Reset the Debt
An estimated six million people in the UK have been swept into debt as a result of Covid-19, with the biggest increases in debt amongst the poorest households. The financial impact of lockdown fell hardest on people living on low incomes and those with little or no savings. This has led to a large and growing problem of household debt.
• 19 per cent – almost one in five – of households borrowed to buy food or other essentials in July.
• Six million people have fallen behind on rent, council tax and other household bills because of coronavirus.
• 174,000 tenants have been threatened with eviction during lockdown.
• For the poorest fifth of households, median earnings fell by 15 per cent, or £160 per month, within two months of lockdown.
• Low-income families are turning to friends and family as well as to credit cards and overdrafts to make ends meet.
As Churches and Christian organisations we are inspired by the biblical principle of Jubilee. In the Old Testament, Jubilee meant a resetting of debts and obligations, allowing relationships to be rebuilt, communities to be re-balanced, and people’s dignity to be restored. We believe people swept into debt by Covid-19 now need a Jubilee.
We therefore propose that the Chancellor creates a Jubilee Fund. This would provide grants to pay off and cancel unavoidable debt accrued by households during the lockdown period, giving them a more stable platform from which to face the future.
Problem debt and poverty did not start with Covid-19, nor will a Jubilee Fund end it forever. Better jobs and real income security are needed to bring long-term change. But removing the millstone of lockdown debt would set millions of people free. Communities have come together during the pandemic, showing compassion in abundance, but now we need Government action to bring a just future for all.
(Information taken directly from the Executive summary of the “Reset the Debt report”. More information can be found at https://resetthedebt.uk)
Toys and toiletries wanted for Christmas presents
We are collecting toys and games for children (ages 1 to 15) at the Women’s Refuge in Croydon, as well as toiletries for the Mums. Please bring them in to church by the time of the Gift Service on 13 December. Vouchers would be acceptable. Dorothy Pearson
A Methodist Way of Life
(Reproduced from the Methodist Church website)
A Methodist Way of Life is a way of living. It is how we try to live our lives in response to God’s love, made known to us in Jesus.
A Methodist Way of Life
The calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God’s love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission.
As far as we are able, with God’s help:
· We will pray daily.
· We will worship with others regularly.
· We will look and listen for God in Scripture, and the world.
Learning and Caring
· We will care for ourselves and those around us.
· We will learn more about our faith.
· We will practise hospitality and generosity.
· We will help people in our communities and beyond.
· We will care for creation and all God’s gifts.
· We will challenge injustice.
· We will speak of the love of God.
· We will live in a way that draws others to Jesus.
· We will share our faith with others.
May we be a blessing within and beyond God’s Church, for the transformation of the world.
Coulsdon Methodist Church is open for worship every Sunday morning at 10am (10.30 on 8th November) - please check the church website for updates, or ring a steward. Services are shorter than usual, and whilst there is no singing, there are videos of hymns and organ music, so you can still hum along with your favourite songs. Face masks are compulsory (unless you are exempt), except for those leading the service or reading the lesson; also, please maintain social distancing.
We have complied with the Government and Methodist Church guidelines relating to Covid-19 to ensure that your safety when in the church and we look forward to welcoming you back. Our risk assessment can be found on the church website. For the time being there will be no junior church but families are welcome to return and make use of the children’s area provided, but parents will be responsible for their own children. Individual books and colouring pens will be provided for children to use during the service.
On Thursdays the church will be open for private prayer from 11am, until 11.45am, when there will be a short prayer service, also available on Facebook.)
Sun 1 Nov. 10am Holy Communion (Rev. Stephen Mares)
Thu 5 Nov. 11.45am Thursday prayers
Sun 8 Nov. 10.30am Remembrance Sunday (Brian Brooks)
Thu 12 Nov. 11.45am Thursday prayers
Sun 15 Nov. 10am Morning Worship (own arrangements)
Thu 19 Nov. 11.45am Thursday prayers
Sun 22 Nov. 10am Morning worship (Rev. Stephen Mares)
Wed 25 Nov. 2.30pm ‘Zoom’ online Advent study (see above)
Thu 26 Nov. 11.45am Thursday prayers
Sun 29 Nov. 10am Advent Sunday (Jill Gradon)
Thu 2 Dec. 11.45am Thursday prayers
Sun 5 Dec 10am Holy Communion (Rev. Nigel Cowgill)