2020 has been an even harder year for many of the world’s poorest people. Irish Methodist World Development & Relief’s “Gifts for Life” catalogue of alternative Christmas presents is a way in which we can all do something simple to help. Alongside your normal Christmas spending, why not buy family and friends some novel items: clean water for a family in Colombia, chicks in India or baking trays in South Africa. Lots of choice. Pick up a catalogue or visit the online shop at www.methodistworlddevelopment.org/gifts. Let us not forget the most vulnerable at this festive time of giving. 
In 2019, supporters gave £11,300 through GfL.

The Mission at Rathcoole is not making a Toy Appeal this year due to the problems of handling items and the risk of passing on Covid-19. Instead the appeal is for monetary gifts, which will be used to buy vouchers to enable families to buy toys at Smyths. We’ll have more about this next week.

FROM THE MANSE DESK

Harvest is a great season. Within it is deep meaning. According to that modern oracle - Wikipedia - Harvest is from the Anglo-Saxon word hærfest, which means "Autumn". The word then came to refer to the season for reaping and gathering grain and other grown products. So in ancient traditions harvest festivals were held on the day of the full moon which falls in the month of September. An early Harvest Festival used to be celebrated at the beginning of the grain harvest on 1 August and was called Lammas. Loaves of bread from the fresh wheat crop were used as the Communion bread during a special service thanking God for the harvest. The modern British tradition of celebrating Harvest Festival in churches began in 1843, when the Reverend Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service at his church at Morwenstow in Cornwall. Victorian hymns such as "We plough the fields and scatter" and "Come ye thankful people, come" helped popularize his idea of a harvest thanksgiving and they became an custom in church life. Whether we feel like it or not in these restricted and challenging days, let us give thanks to God that the good earth has been productive again. Every blessing. Sam

FROM THE MANSE DESK

God loves us, and for those who love him, everything – even what happened to me at seventeen – works together for good. He has given me contentment and developed my patience and purpose in life. My art is a reflection of how God can empower someone to rise above circumstances.” That was Joni Eareckson’s response to a question about why she put the initials ‘PTL’ (standing for Praise the Lord) on all her drawings. Joni had been paralysed from the neck down after diving into shallow water. Dark days and nights of despair followed as she lay helplessly broken. But Joni increasingly felt the grace and peace of God flowing into her life. She thought about Jesus hanging on the cross – helpless. Of how he was unable to wipe the sweat off his brow or to brush aside the flies. He knew just how she felt. He was close. And he was turning her life around for some special purpose. As the threat of Coronavirus rises again and fear and uncertainty threaten to paralyse, grace and peace are what we need – grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. And we can have them. PTL. Every blessing. Sam

 

SEPTEMBER CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT

The Church Council met via Zoom for the first time ever on Tuesday 1st September 2020 at 8pm. There were 15 participants in the meeting and 5 apologies were recorded. The Council had not met since 13th March, just before lockdown. This is a very brief summary of the 2 hour meeting.

Opening devotions focused on the four great passages of scripture that use the analogy of shepherds and sheep to help God’s people get to grips with the implications at various levels of their relationship with him. The passages are Psalm 23, Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 34 and John 10.

Under pastoral matters it was noted that there have been three deaths in the congregation since the last CC meeting: Greta Tipping (26th April), Al Kerton (11th June) and Betty Crawford (25th June) There have been three births: Elliott Alexander Morgan (son of Ashleigh Kerton), and Lottie and Logan Bruce (Twins born to Jessica Bruce). Pastoral care is currently being delivered mostly by phone.

The Council agreed a number of measures for various aspects of church life by way of contingency planning in the event of the onset of a second wave of Covid-19. We hope and pray they’ll not be needed.

It was noted that finances had improved since the 5th July, and especially since 64 people had now signed up for direct giving via standing orders, but that we are well down on last year’s position. The Council also noted that no special appeals for World Development and Relief etc., had been issued in the last 6 months but will be soon.

In an effort to develop our serving God in the wider community, it was agreed that, in this time of Coronavirus challenge, letters of support be sent to the Borough Council, the local PSNI, and local Schools. The meeting also agreed to send a letter of gratitude to the rev Billy Davison for his help and support during Rev Sam McGuffin’s absence.

To improve and develop our live-streaming of services it was agreed that we expend £5,300 on new audio-visual equipment.

Concern was expressed about our children and young people but the meeting was glad to hear of the efforts being made to meet their needs and to keep in contact with them. The need for all our leaders to constantly engage with safeguarding training was reemphasized.

Dates for future meetings of the Council were agreed as Monday 9th November 2020 (Zoom), Monday 18th January 2021 (Zoom), Tuesday 9th March 2021 (Church), Tuesday 4th May 2021 (Church).

zoom logo transparent 300x162For ease of access, here is a list of the regularly occuring zoom events with access details or contact information

 

  • Sundays
    • Children's Church
    • Sunday Evening Worship
      • Sundays at 7.00pm
      • Meeting ID: 859 9672 6755
      • Passcode: 202020

  • Mondays
    • Girls' Brigade
      • Mondays @ times arranged by Captain Anne McDowell
      • Contact Captain Anne McDowell (via Church office) for details

    • Men's Choir
      • 1st Monday of the month (mostly!) @ 6.45pm
      • Contact Billy Edwards or Jack Audley (or the Church office) for details

  • Tuesdays
    • The Prayer Course
      • Tuesdays @ 8.15pm
      • Meeting ID: 876 5627 4652
      • Passcode: 781801

    • Men of Glengomley
      • Tuesdays (twice per month) @ 8.30pm
      • Meeting ID: 826 6716 8869
      • Passcode: 202122

  • Thursdays
    • The Bible Project
      • Thursdays @ 8.00pm 
      • Meeting ID: 865 2761 3069
      • Passcode: 287750

  • Fridays
    • Boys' Brigade
    • Fridays @ times arrraned by Captain John Crossan
    • Contact Captain John Crossan (via Church office) for details

  • Saturdays
    • Men's Prayer Breakfast
      • 1st Saturday of the month @ 8.00am
      • Meeting ID: 778 210 3642
      • Passcode: 53124

 

 

 


Members of the Prayer Ministry Team are available to pray with you on an ongoing basis about any concern or need. The team can be contacted with prayer requests via:

Susan Hoy   EMAILThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.