The Methodist Church

The Buzz
Issue 84

Hello everyone and welcome to the BUZZ.

THE BUZZ is a great resource that brings the whole Methodist Connexion together and allows us to share successful ideas between districts, circuits, churches and church groups. If you have any stories you would like to share, which illustrate how your church is working out the four aspects of Our Calling, then please get in touch.

You can advertise your church, circuit or district events and news on the Connexional Noticeboard on the Methodist Church website. Here's the link: www.methodist.org.uk

After you've held your event, do let me know how it went. Your ideas can encourage and inspire others to try something similar and I'm sure the latest stories below will do just that. The contacts will be pleased to give you more information.

Lynne Newland

WORSHIP - Colourful celebrations mark 120th church anniversary
From: Dersingham Methodist Church, Hunstanton Circuit

Moses crossing the Red Sea
© Elizabeth Batstone

‘A Book of Many Colours’ was the theme for a flower festival marking the 120th anniversary of Dersingham Methodist Church. The twelve arrangements depicted Bible passages and events in which different colours are mentioned. “The flowers and words reminded us of the wonderful variety and beauty of God’s creation”, reports church member, Elizabeth Batstone.  

“We were pleased to have a colourful picture display from the year 5 children from St George’s Junior School, Dersingham, who also opened the flower festival on Thursday morning with several songs about colours. The children of Dersingham Infant and Nursery School drew pictures and made models to illustrate the Feeding of the Five Thousand and the colour green. They also entertained us with singing on Friday morning. 

The church hall was very busy with people enjoying coffee, lunch, tea, as well as the stalls – cards, Christian books, jewellery, bric-a-brac, cakes and plants. Among the complimentary comments received was one that read; ‘you can feel the fellowship and love in this church’.  We were blessed with a great team of helpers who enjoyed the fun and fellowship, as well as the hard work, and who met for prayers each morning. 

The Sunday morning service was led by our minister, the Revd Kim Nally, and in the evening we met at Hunstanton Methodist Church for a circuit service.  Some of our members joined the West Norfolk Circuit choir for a performance of  the Paul Field musical, ‘Hopes and Dreams’, with the offering for the Leaders of Worship and Preacher’s Trust (LWPT).

The flower festival raised £2,340 which has been divided equally between The Ocean Stars Trust Sri Lanka, who work in areas devastated by war and the tsunami; the Hope Centre project in Straupe, Latvia, part of the Methodist Church of Latvia, where the women’s hostel supports unmarried mothers and their children; and our own church funds to purchase copies of Complete Mission Praise. 

At the end of the festival we were tired but delighted to have met so many people and shared God’s riches of colour and creation.”

E-mail contact: Elizabeth Batstone pebatstone@fsmail.net
Church website: http://www.eamethodist.org.uk/churches.php?Dersingham


LEARNING AND CARING – Knitting new church communities together
From: Whitby Methodist Church, Wirral Circuit

Dylan being shown how to knit by Rhoda Watson
© Jenny Schäfer

Two years ago Whitby Methodist Church in Ellesmere Port formed a Knit and Natter Group in the hope of attracting new members into the church community.  “However, we had no idea what blessings God had in store for us” reports organiser, Mrs Chris Crowder.
 
“We now have over 50 members aged between 4 and 90, most of whom meet every Tuesday afternoon in term time from 1.30pm–3.00pm in the church, to share conversation, listen to the occasional speaker, knit and crochet for charity, eat home-made cake, and drink tea and coffee. 

All our meetings end with short devotions which, initially, we were rather nervous about, but how wrong we were!  Although the majority of our members are non-church goers, they readily ask for prayer, acknowledge answers to prayer and several have become involved in church activities and attend services. We have also inspired another five groups to start (three locally and two further afield) and are in the process of helping a further two groups get off the ground – all follow our pattern and have a time of prayer at the close of their meetings. 

Over the past two years we have posted off more than a quarter of a tonne of knitted jumpers, hats, scarves and blankets to people in need at home and abroad: the homeless, the lonely, the needy, the ill and the bereaved of Chester and Ellesmere Port and also to South Africa, Haiti, Kosovo, Nepal, Kenya, Bulgaria and Eastern Europe, as well as having the pleasure of being able to knit for children by name at an orphanage in Swaziland. The postage is always covered by the donations made by the members (just like the feeding of the five thousand – there is always enough) and not only do the members knit and crochet for charity they have also organised collections of clothes and toothbrushes for Kosovo, and food and aid for Haiti.

The knitting is not only warmly received by those for whom we knit, but also has a therapeutic effect on the knitter. ‘I’d been ill for 6 years, but Knit and Natter has brought me out again: it’s better than hospital’ says one member.

Knit and Natter isn’t just a knitting club making clothes for charity - it is a fresh expression of church which works on many different levels, giving people a purpose in life and sending God’s love around the world.”

E-mail contact: Mrs Chris Crowder  the.crowders@ntlworld.com
Telephone contact: 0151 348 1185


EVANGELISM - Summer Praise hits the streets of Blackpool
From: New Central Methodist Church, Blackpool

Beverley prepares for Summer PraiseBeing in the centre of Blackpool's leisure and shopping centre means we need to cater for tourists as well as residents. During July and August we hold Summer Praise every Sunday afternoon on the pedestrianised street outside the church. The worship is loud and lively. There's plenty of community singing and participation.

Last summer the worship included many different attention-catchers including brass bands, balloons and belly-dancing - all contributing to getting the gospel message across in an entertaining and accessible way.

This year's Summer Praise begins on 11 July (World Cup Final day) with an act of worship on the street titled 'The Ultimate Goal'.

E-mail contact: Revd Beverley Ramsden bev_ramsden@hotmail.com
Website: www.blackpoolmethodists.org.uk


SERVICE - Football and films on church's big screen
From Burton Road Methodist Church, Lincoln

Family entertainment“What a way to start the 2010 World Cup - that a church with its 12½ foot screen should open its doors to the public to watch the England matches!”, says Mark Thompson of Burton Road Methodist Church.  “We sent off a publicity email which resulted in brilliant coverage on local BBC radio, local BBC tv, national BBC breakfast news and ITV news. We had a great turnout from the church but it was also fantastic that some local teenagers came along after hearing in the media about what we were doing. The party atmosphere was helped with face painting, inflatable footballs, air horns, balloons and a massive England flag.

“Using the technology we have in the church is not new to us. In 2008 we held a Star Wars weekend and following long negotiations with the film studios have managed to get special permission to show the whole of the Lord of The Rings Trilogy during November 2010. We're busy getting the publicity ready for this epic showing of all three extended versions of the films, culminating in a special Lord of The Rings themed service. All with a 3½KW full 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound system in a church!

The aim of showing events like the World Cup is all about opening up the buildings and technology we have and sharing it with those who live around us. It’s also about letting people see the church in a different light to that which is often portrayed and perceived. It’s about offering a safe space away from the traditional alcohol fuelled venues and offering a family friendly environment in which to enjoy events together."

E-mail contact: Mark Thompson info@burtonroadmethodist.org.uk
Telephone: 07976 938581
Website: www.burtonroadmethodist.org.uk

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