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Home Explore May to June 2020

May to June 2020

Published by chelmsford.circuit, 2020-05-22 07:25:16

Description: May to June 2020


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Chelmsford Circuit Volume 1, Issue 8 Newsletter Date: (May & June 2020) Online and Offline Christianity? “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8) One of the things that has been wonderful to observe in these recent weeks since lockdown has been the amazing creativity and resilience that has emerged from the Church in a matter of just a few days! Who would have thought we had the kind of capabilities we have shown?! It’s been a humbling, moving and inspiring process to observe and receive from. Here’s some of the things that have suddenly developed: Sunday Worship As well as opportunities from all round the world using the internet for online worship, we’ve also been able to offer our own, drawing together contributions from friends in our own churches. These are not slick mega-productions compared to some, but they have helped us stay connected with the friends we so dearly miss seeing on Sundays – often over a 100 watching our two services live. If you haven’t had chance to encounter these online services, they can be found on the Circuit’s YouTube Channel*. It’s somewhat thought provoking to see that these videos are receiving several 100 views (often by more than person?) after a few days – and from many different parts of the globe! Facebook Live Prayers We’re establishing a pattern of offering a 7pm evening prayer on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, led by members of the Circuit Leadership Team. It’s been lovely to connect with up to 30 people in these short 10-minute sessions, and then find scores more have used them in the next few days. I can’t remember the last time I ever ran a prayer meeting and had more than a dozen attend! Connected Congregations It’s not all high-tech wizardry, though and we are very mindful that a significant number don’t use social media or have the internet. This is where the telephone can be so useful and so much pastoral care can be extended through this piece of technology, which we know is literally a lifeline to so many. Pastoral carers and ministry teams try to keep in touch with those who might be particularly isolated. We also try and produce some of our communications, including this magazine in hard copy, for those who need them. If you know of people who are in need of such telephone support that we are not aware of, please do advise a church steward or a minister. We don’t want to overlook anyone. Email messaging, WhatsApp and Facebook groups have also brought another more immediate way for congregations to ‘stay friendly’ and share news, including remembering people in our prayers... The Bible verse I opened the article with has sometimes been used to counter whatever changes are being contemplated in the Church! For those who quote it I’m also reminded of an old John Deere (tractor) advertising slogan: ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same’. If Christ means anything in our lives, he means a change. From brokenness to redemption, from fear to hope, from joy to sorrow. The changes we have undergone in just a few short weeks are having a dramatic effect on us all, as individuals and a Church. I pray that the Christ who is always the same, will continue to bring the Spirit’s life-giving changes to us day by day, for his glory. God sustain and strengthen you all in these extraordinary days, Mark * Our YouTube channel: Google: Chelmsford Methodists YouTube or go to

No one can say we didn’t see it coming. And when it did come, smothering the populations of European countries, it still caught us out. A little something, submicroscopic in its dimensions, that inhabits the earth, in flora and fauna, in millions of forms with only about 5,000 studied in any detail. Its power kills thousands every day, yet something as simple as soap destroys its protein coating. Churches across the When we realized what it was doing in the UK I was both angry and frustrated for a variety country, of reasons, not least because of the limitations my age put upon me. indeed the world, are But then little glimmers of light began to shine. A big garden has lots to keep me busy. looking at some- Emails enabled me to contact a variety of friends not seen for years or who were living thing that has never alone. Whilst not having to write sermons the old brain was working overtime. been seen I reflected on the work of the NHS – Ruth May whom you may have seen on TV, our Chief before. Nursing Officer in England, was Chief Exec at Broomfield Hospital in my time. What a task A unique she has ahead of her and how she needs our prayers. opportunity to ‘re-launch’ local There are the research chemists working overtime trying to find something that will congregations. protect the population, and all those working, with little protection, moving vital cargoes from one end of the country to the other. Love ‘em all the long and the short and the tall. Churches across the country, indeed the world, are looking at something that has never been seen before. A unique opportunity to ‘re-launch’ local congregations. True, some may have reached the point where re-opening is not possible, but the others are entering a phase when a clean sheet of paper lay on table currently before them. What an opportunity! It may be tough, may be daunting, certainly challenging. The new is ahead of us. No, its already manifesting itself. Digital devotions are suddenly part of life. What else is just around the corner? Learning opportunities. Book reviews. The opening up of profound spiritual insights that are not subject to denominational training courses. Perhaps the greatest compliment we can pay our preachers is to tell them they made us think. What will ‘Church’ look like, behave, express itself in the days post Covid? The answer may still be in your mind, my mind, now we need to work at unlocking it, debating the ideas and their implication. The light shining on the mountain may prepare us for Christmas. Its starting to shine today, anticipating tomorrow. Rev. Guy Goodall WEEKLY PRAYERS AT 7PM Join us for prayers and quiet contemplation. Mondays with Rev. Barry Allen—Barry Allen’s Facebook Wednesdays with Deacon Ramona—Ramona’s Facebook Friday with Rev. Mark Pengelly—Mark’s Facebook (Subject to holidays and day’s off. These will confirmed each week on Individual Facebook and The Circuit Facebook Pages.

News from South Woodham Ferrers An Army of Ordinary People We have been sharing a \"Virtual Service of Worship\" at by Dave Bilbrough South Woodham Ferrers by circulating to an email group an act of worship to share in at 11am on Sunday. An army of ordinary people Using YouTube hymns to sing along and a short A kingdom where love is the key message we are still together in spirit! A city, a light to the nations Heirs to the promise are we After the round of applause for the NHS on Thursday A people whose life is in Jesus evening I was reminded of the hymn A nation together we stand \"An army of ordinary people\" by Dave Bilborough. It is Only through grace are we worthy in Songs of Fellowship (No 20) but not our current Inheritors of the land hymn book. A new day is dawning Regards A new age to come Val Carter When the children of promise Shall flow together as one I’m sure Trinity are not the first to A truth long neglected start a Whatsapp Group. It’s great fun. But the time has now come When the children of promise If you haven’t done so, please consider Shall flow together as one setting one up. It’s much easier than you A people without recognition think and it gets everyone chatting and But with Him a destiny sealed reduces the feeling of being so isolated; Called to a heavenly vision especially when so many of our members are on their His purpose shall be fulfilled own. Come, let us stand strong together It’s a shame that it took the virus situation to make us Abandon ourselves to the King look at something like this. We would all think that we His love shall be ours forever keep in touch regularly but sadly it’s not always the case This victory song we shall sing and people do slip through the net, young and old. \"Lost Kite Found\"? Working from home meant Gill and I both need work space and in order to make some, a tidy up and throw away was needed. During the emptying of a storage box, I came across a kite I had lost. Not just any old kite, but the world's smallest kite given to me a few years ago from, I think, a member from Witham. (Happy to be corrected as memory might be wrong). During a service on the Trinity, I use the illustration of a kite. A kite has three parts, handle, string and sail. You need all three to fly a kite, just as we need. I am so pleased to have found it, Even though I have forgotten the name of the person who gave it to me, it brought back nice memories of the service and kindness shown to me through the gift. God bless David Songer

Jesus Calms the Storm. (Mark 4:35-41). The disciples woke Jesus up & said to Him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” v38. Dear Friends, At a time when the whole world appears to be drowning in a sea of fear & uncertainty because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the one thing we must never call into question or ever be in any doubt about, is that God, the Maker of all things, visible & invisible, cares! Cares to the extent that, far from distancing Himself from our place of hardship & suffering, He promises to be right there in the thick of it with us, not only able & willing to keep us but also, in His way & in His time, to carry us safely through to the other side. Where was Jesus when this terrifying storm, seemingly out of nowhere, suddenly appeared?! A storm so violent, that even hardened fishermen like Peter, James & John, accustomed to dealing with all manner of weather conditions, including the occasional problematic squall, were scared witless because of it. Where was Jesus? Standing on the shoreline of Galilee, waving them a cheery goodbye as they attempted to make their panic stricken way across the lake to the land of the Gadarenes. Oblivious & indifferent to the dangers they were facing? No! Far from it. The instant the storm began, where, in the end, could Jesus be found? Right there, at the heart of the storm. Not apart from His disciples, but in the boat, with them! As He always is, whenever, wherever & however we find ourselves at the mercy of circumstances, which lie far beyond our strength & ability to control or Influence for the better. As one Christian writer helpfully puts it - ‘When you feel like you’re drowning in life, don’t worry - your Lifeguard walks on water.’ Take note that with Jesus in the boat of our lives there is never any possibility of us ever coming unstuck in the middle of the lake. Not if He has any say in the matter. Which He always does! He who guides us into deep waters not to expose our inadequacies but rather to prove the ‘all sufficiency’ of His grace & power to deliver us from ‘all’ our fears! Regardless of how great & how daunting those fears, real or imagined, might be! As the psalmist states - ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all!’ 34:19. With love from us all here at Christ Church, Coggeshall, John.

MESSY CHURCHES The churches may be closed but there’s still lots of work going within our churches to help parents and children to get involved at home during these difficult times coping with Coronavirus. Have a look at Broomfield and Moulsham websites. There’s plenty of practical advise and fun games that you can organise with your children at home. If you do one or more of the activities, please send in your photos for the newsletter (with your permission to print of course) , we’d love to see what you’ve been up to. A big thank you to Dianne and Glenda for all that you do. The other day, I woke up feeling out of sorts, with WHEN WILL IT ALL END (by Wendy Lane) thoughts ticking over in my head of things I need to do and would like to do. Newborn lambs, little chicks and rabbits I felt really unsettled and slightly unmotivated and with furry paws. really, going back to bed, or slouching in front of the telly seemed a good option. Anyway, I decided I won't be seeing those this Spring 'cos I to make something to eat and felt a craving for have to stay indoors. comfort food, then remembered I had some cocoa sticks in the cupboard. A quick WhatsApp call to my Of course there is always the tele but sister in Antigua for instructions and I was good to it's really not the same. go! So scrambled eggs and cocoa tea, with gluten-free This horrid Coronavirus is the thing brioche toast was in order. And enjoyed it I did. we have to blame. Why am I telling you this? Well I was struck by how different I felt after consuming my prepared meal: No Church for me on Sunday – or coffee the taste and smell of the \"cocoa tea\" must have with a friend. released some \"feel good\" endorphins . No going to the shops when will it ever end? I was reminded of the story of Elijah who found himself in a miserable old state, and fearing for his I'm running out of toilet rolls I'll have to life. It has always fascinated me that God sent an use a tissue. angel to Elijah's aid and the only instruction was \"Eat. You're going to need your strength\". So Empty shelves in all the shops: it's quite friends, if you find yourself feeling out of sorts like I a serious issue. was, maybe you just need to eat something; maybe eat something from your childhood or that reminds Restaurants and pubs are shut and don't use you of good times. I believe that our body is great the bus or the train. at speaking to us and it would do us good to listen, especially during this time of crisis. So, have you I'm just eating my last chocolate bar – I think eaten today? I might go insane! Deacon Ramona Samuel. But we all have to stick together: use your phone or send a note. Keep smiling and think of others. We are all in the same ol' boat. One day it will all be over: we can dance and sing a song. Until then, try and stay cheerful and pray that it won't be long. Submitted by Helen Catley, Halstead

THE 60TH DOE SHOW Wednesday 5th February 2020 I had arranged to meet Rev. Mark at the 60th Doe Show which is an annual trade event in our village. The Doe family have had a presence in Ulting since the time that the “Flying Tinker” public house closed and the nearby premises became used by a blacksmith who, over the years, upgraded to deal with the new agricultural machines being used to replace horses. We could see that this had been done with some success, as there was an array of tractors sold by Does since the 60’s, one of which Rev. Mark was able to say: I remember when we got one of those. So I told him my story of when I started work as a game keeper’s boy, and the tradition was to ride on top of the trailer loaded with hay bales which you had stacked on the trailer. No ropes were used to secure the load and there was a certain lack of uniformity in the bale size. It was fine going forward but when the tractor driver arrived at the storage barn, the reversing trailer hit a bump, and the load and loader (myself!) avalanched across the yard in a dusty swirl. Choice unchristian words were exchanged and luckily I was soon sent back to the pheasant rearing pens. The Doe show isn’t a Country Fair or Village Show, but a three day event demonstrating Agricultural and grass cutting machinery, construction and forestry equipment, and related products down to the detail of Country landscape artists, bins of unsold parts, bird scarers etc. One of the highlights is seeing the Doe triple “D” which looks more or less like a tractor with 2 engines strapped in line on an elongated chassis pulling what we West Country folk call a “fair sized” set of plough shares. Being a man who still has the ability to take part in ploughing competitions, Rev. Mark could explain to me the finer points of getting a good finish and making sure all the old stems of last year’s stubble were well buried, and there were half a dozen machines of various ages working away, that one can view and comment on, or even photograph. It was a perfect day for the camera, unlike some show days when there has been snow or high winds with tents blown across the fields. In conclusion, almost 2 months later as we sit around in isolation waiting to hear the next pronouncement of death toll, social distancing, pandemic pandemonium, think of the image of those ploughed fields and reflect on Mark 4v3: Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed…? Our soil needs to be ready, our machinery in working order, our stock of seed good , even our watering system prepared, so that when our enforced hibernation ends we are eventually looking for the returnv.20 thirty, sixty or even hundred times what was sown. John Clemo

STORY SO FAR….. For as long as I can remember stories have always been my means of escaping the world and are now part of my lockdown survival kit. A book can take you to any time, any place, anywhere. A book can give you an insight into the inner world of another individual. A book can help you to make sense of the world around you. And, of course, most importantly, a book can entertain you. Being in reading groups, has also given me the opportunity to read books I would never have otherwise read, that have challenged me or helped me to see things from a different perspective. Of course, stories have always been God’s way of communicating with us and I would suggest that we can be inspired by God through secular writing as well scripture or theological writing. So, I wondered if, over time, I might share some of the stories that have had an enduring affect on me. As we are in lockdown, I begin with a story that has also been turned into a film in the hope that if you can’t get hold of the book you might be able to download the film. Unique and great storytelling is harder to find than you might think but Chocolat by Joanne Harris ticks those boxes. The arrival of Vianne Rocher and her daughter Anouk sends a chill through Lansquenet, a provincial French town. Vianne is looking for somewhere to settle down. Unfortunately, her efforts to befriend the locals are overshadowed by the nature of her shop - she opens a chocolaterie opposite the church during the period of Lent. Succumbing to the sensual pleasure of Vianne's handmade chocolates is prohibited by the church. Most of the villagers are confused - should they support the flamboyant newcomer and risk being found out by the priest, or forget appearances and defy tradition? Vianne has a knack for guessing everyone's favourite chocolate and is eager to please those who dare step over her threshold, who appear to be the villagers with the most problems. Vianne's own longing for acceptance seems to fuel her desire to see troubled relationships restored - she offers practical help over a hot chocolate to those who are unable to ask for it themselves. Inch by inch, the veneer of respectability in Lansquenet is peeled back. The village is transformed by Vianne's warmth into an open community that would like to enjoy life a little more. So if you’d like to be transported to rural France and read about artisan chocolate (calorie free) this may just be the book for you. Questions to reflect on: How do we deal with temptation? Just after Lent, what are the benefits/advantages of abstinence? As a church community, do we accept people as they are or do we expect them to fit in? What does it mean to belong? Sheridan Pengelly

It was towards the end of 1995 and I was leading the service at Trinity Methodist Church. Everything planned and arranged and ready and we began with the usual excellent responsive congregation and it was going well. Opening hymn. Prayers. Bible readings. Notices and then we arrived at the offering. Usually very straightforward and the discerning will pick up the organist's choice of music usually a hymn while the bags are taken round and the offering collected. ''We'll stay forever this Peter Hindes, always a good friend was playing. way...and I know that As he began this was different. I think everyone including me listened and attention was caught by the music. The theme from the new the heart will go on''. film ''Titanic''... the Celine Dion version. 'You're here , there's It was magnificent. It was beautiful. One of those moments when I nothing to fear...and I felt we should just go home. know that the heart It wasn't going to get better after the wonder of this moment. will go on.'' ''We'll stay forever this way...and I know that the heart will go on''. and later ''You're here , there's nothing to fear...and I know that the heart will go on.'' As you think of the words and the feelings it is as if God were speaking and still can in these trying times. We did carried on and I never forgot the wonder of the moment. I still speak in the church that Mr. & Mrs. Hindes were married in. Ongar United Reformed Church...then Congregational. We often spoke about it. One of those David Livingstone spoke in. There was one quite peculiar thing about that Church. Peter Hindes was a brilliant organist/pianist and I still have one of his CD's. The person that actually played at Ongar Church was one Maria Korf. She began to play there at the age of 13 and was still the organist there in the Church 85 years later. Yes for 85 years when she was 98. Good job Peter never waited for his turn. Good job he came to Trinity. Life will go on and He will always be with us. Nothing to fear. He will never leave us. Amen. Mike Shelbourne A big thank you to all those who have contributed to our newsletter. It’s very much appreciated and good to read so many messages. Circuit Administrator: Karen Murrell: ‘Share your news’ [email protected] Deadline for July/August to Karen by Mid June latest please.

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