Poppy Appeal 2018 – Launch in Bollington

This year, the annual Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal  has a particular resonance as we reach the Centenary of the Armistice to end WW1.

The Poppy Appeal in Bollington and district will be officially launched in Bollington at 10.30am on Saturday 27 November at St Oswald’s Church at Bollington Cross.

After a brief introduction by the Poppy Appeal Organiser Debra Nixon, Canon Veronica Hydon will offer a prayer and read some verses of WW1 poetry. There will be a song by Joe Riley, followed by a short period of silence for reflection. A prayer will be said by Veronica commissioning the Poppy Collection volunteers and blessing them in their task. We will then all sing a new hymn which has been specially composed for this Armistice Day.

Tea and coffee will be available after this brief ceremony.

Please come and attend this Launch to support and encourage the volunteers, but also to remind ourselves of the value of the Peace that most of those of us in this country are able to enjoy.

You can read about the men from Bollington who served in WW1 here.

 

 

Macclesfield Winter Nightshelter (WHAM)

Volunteers Needed – Can YOU help?

Urgently need volunteers for Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and nights and Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings starting in December for about three months. Alternative training courses are at 6.30pm on Friday 2nd November and 10.00am on Saturday 3rd November at the Townley Street entrance of Macclesfield United Reformed Church.

WHAM (Winter Homeless Assistance in Macclesfield) provides accommodation and refreshment over winter weekends, for men who would otherwise be sleeping rough in our town.

“Night-shelters are to stop people dying; hostels are to prepare people for living on their own”.

Click on the picture to download a copy of this post

Macclesfield churches work together to:
• Provide cover over Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, providing basic meals on Friday and Sunday evenings and breakfast each day. (Saturday evening meal is available at Treehouse)
• The location moves around six or seven town centre churches, who provide shelter for a weekend at a time.
• Provide beds for six – eight adult men. Statutory support should be available for females and young people.
• We work closely with Citizens Advice, Cheshire Police, Street Angels to support guests.

While this is only an initial approach to the problem the Shelter covers the worst of the winter weather and the times when least assistance is readily available elsewhere and therefore the danger of serious illness or death is the greatest. Our ongoing objective is to “Begin the end of the homeless experience.”

We need YOU!!!

Could YOU volunteer? Teams of volunteers cover three shifts each night (7.30-10.30pm, 10.30pm-6.30am; 6.30-8am), each shift under the guidance of a trained and experienced shift leader. Training is offered for all volunteers.

What does it involve? Welcome our guests, help with meals and drinks, and above all, be company and listen to their stories. Depending on the time of your shift you may be helping to set up or clear away.

This year training for new volunteers will be held on:
Friday 5th October 2018 6.30-8.30pm
Saturday 6th October 2018 10.00-12.00pm
Saturday 12th January 2019 10.00-12.00pm all sessions at URC (Townley St entrance)

If you are an experienced volunteer and a member of a HOPE church – have you considered training to be a Shift Leader?
Shift Leader training will be for 1 hour following the above training sessions (please come to the volunteer session in addition to the Shift Leader training)

Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Deborah Bennett on 07874 852762 maccnightshelter@gmail.com or speak to Veronica

And Jesus concluded, “In your opinion, which one of these three acted like a neighbour toward the man attacked by the robbers?” The teacher of the Law answered, “The one who was kind to him.” Jesus replied, “You go, then, and do the same.” [Luke 10:36,37]

17th Sunday after Trinity 2018

Brian Reader

Wisdom 1:16-2.1, 12-22; or Jeremiah 11.18-22; Ps54;
James 3:13-4.3, 7-8a; Mark 9: 30-37.

As we approach Bible Sunday, have you ever thought that today we have the ability to get closer to the Gospels than at any time in the past?

Firstly, I believe that scholarship and research has given us the best translations and commentaries that there have ever been, and secondly, modern technology, gives us easy access to the web which enables us to source that information whenever we wish. But, I would suggest, we rarely seek to find that Bible information, but rather seek the easier options of contact with friends, photos, games or support of our busy lives. Not that that is wrong, no this is just a reminder, that today we don’t have to carry a Bible with us, all we need to know can be found on the web.

Today on the back of our news sheet there are four related Bible readings. We heard passages from Jeremiah, James and Mark but didn’t hear the passage from Wisdom. Can I recommend that you all take the sheet home with you, and for homework, read the passage from Wisdom?

So what can be said about our Gospel for today? This story is also recorded in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, so the early Christians must have thought it worthy of note. Last week Veronica was telling us about Jesus teaching the crowds, but this passage from Mark tells how Jesus is now trying to teach his disciples. First he takes them away from the crowds because what he has to tell them cannot be said openly, because the scribes and the Pharisees are seeking to find evidence against him. Also the teaching method has changed. Usually Jesus teaches people by parables, interesting stories which have a hidden religious meaning. Now he speaks to them directly. “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him …!”

He will be handed over; he will be killed; he will rise again. Why couldn’t they understand?

Because no such fate could possibly have been part of their understanding of what role a Messiah might have. Why should they, or more to the point, how could they, be expected to understand? Education by the priests in the temple was for the rich, for the others they would be taught by their parents about the law and something of the Old Testament stories. They had been taught that the Jews were waiting for a Messiah to lead them into their Glory Days again. They had accepted Jesus as this new prophet, but did not expect him to be captured and put to death; and how could anyone rise from death? Perhaps Jesus was speaking in riddles again, how could they tell? And yet they were afraid to ask.

But something must have stuck. If Jesus is going to die, who will take over? And Jesus was aware of this undercurrent and discussion and asked them about it. But most probably, because they were ashamed, they did not answer him. But Jesus knew and turned it into another training opportunity, saying that, ‘Whoever wants to be first, must be last of all, and servant of all.” And to make the point even clearer he put a young child in their midst. Now many scholars believe that the verses from Mark 9:37 and 10:15, have been accidentally reversed in the past. They both speak about children, but if reversed back, the subject matter fits in better with the context. So the last verse would become; (from Mark 10:15) ‘I am telling you the truth: anyone who doesn’t receive the kingdom of God like a child will never get into it’.

This certainly makes more sense as, at this point, Jesus is teaching his disciples about humility. At this stage we should not only sympathize with the disciples; we must also ask ourselves whether we would have done the same thing. When God is trying to say something to us, how good are we at listening? Is there something in scripture, or something we’ve heard in church, or something we sense going on around us, through which God is trying to speaking to us? And if so, are we prepared to listen to it? Are we willing to have our earlier ways of understanding things taken apart so that a new way of understanding can open up instead?

A sign that the answer may still be ‘no’ is if, we like the disciples, are still concerned about our own status, about what’s in it for us. If we think that by following Jesus we will enhance our own prestige, or our sense of self-worth, then we’re very unlikely to be able to hear what God is actually saying.

Certainly Jesus must have been frustrated and disappointed that the disciples could only worry about their own relative status. How often do we need to be taught this lesson? I remember, with regret, how I got quite jealous that a lady who became a Christian quite late in life, appeared to be making more progress in her Spiritual life than I was. And I was a Lay Reader! And then I remembered, ‘anyone who doesn’t receive the kingdom of God like a child will never get into it’.

That’s the trouble with understanding only half the message – the half that the disciples and we want to understand. If Jesus is Messiah and king, then aren’t we all royal courtiers-in-waiting? In other words, anyone at all associated with Jesus can become the means of access to royalty, and even to divinity. So the disciples aren’t special in that sense at all.

Mark relates in the following chapters how the disciples continue with the same idea in their heads, until the shocking truth dawns. The Messiah will be captured, tried and killed.

To try to jolt them out of their upside-down thinking, Jesus, not for the last time, uses a child as a teaching aid. Aside from normal family affection, children were not rated highly in the ancient world; they had no status or prestige.

This lesson resonates down through the centuries of church history in which so many have thought that being close to Jesus, even working full-time for him, somehow made them special. Those who have really understood his message know that things just aren’t like that. When Jesus went to the cross, everything his disciples had imagined was turned upside down, and he is still turning upside down the way people think, including Christians. If we feel sorry for the disciples in their confusion, should we not ask ourselves just how confused we still are?

Do you think that you know all you need to know, or do you still want to learn? If you are no longer learning then you are not growing. Don’t you realise that we all still need help to live the true Christian life? Being child-like does not mean being childish, it means wanting to grow up. Don’t you too really want to grow up to the full-grown stature of a mature child of God?

When a fond relative asks a child, ‘What are you going to be when you grow up?’ they really mean, ‘What are you going to do?’ We are obsessed with ‘doing’ more than ‘being’ but what you are is more important than what you do. A proper answer to that question would be, ‘A man’; or ‘A woman’. However, the best answer is, ‘To be like Jesus’.

The best thing is we all still can be. Just accept Jesus into your life as a child, and ask Him to be your friend and Saviour.

AMEN

Annual Garden Party – 22 September 2018

The party was held inside the church as the weather was threatening (and the school field was still rather wet from the previous day’s rain. But a good time was had by all.

Thanks to all who helped and supported us. By Sunday morning the total raised was £835, with (hopefully) a little more to come.

650 members of Macclesfield churches sign petition on climate

[From Chester Diocesan Website]

Representatives from several Macclesfield churches showed their commitment to the 5th Mark of Mission by presenting the local MP David Rutley with a petition.

Signed by 650 members of churches working together as Hope in North East Cheshire, the petition called for the Government to bring forward the date by which they plan to have net zero emissions of greenhouse gases. Bishop Willy Alaha Pwaisiho, Honorary Assistant Bishop and Rector of Gawsworth, shared with the MP his own experience of the impact of climate change in the Solomon Islands, where several of the islands have had to be abandoned because of rising sea levels and communities and livelihoods destroyed as a result.

The news comes just a couple of months after Bishop Willy called for greater action to tackle climate change at the 29th annual session of the Crans Montana Forum. Speaking at the forum in July and addressing Heads of State and Government, ministers, members of parliaments, international organisations and major businesses from more than 100 countries, he said: “Our planet earth is scarred and abused, our air and atmosphere is polluted with poisons and every human being is responsible, sooner or later we will be sorry. Well, it is now more evident where I come from in the South Pacific that small island nations are now suffering as the result of climate change and global warming. It is true today that entire communities have lost their livelihood since the rise of the sea level. Lands to plant food and wells to drink from are no longer useful, the ecology is now suffering.”

Care for God’s Creation is becoming a bigger part of the mission of many Macclesfield churches: St.Barnabas and St.Peter’s both have community gardens; Cre8 has organised a re-cycling event, and St.Peter’s Prestbury has met with children from the church school to discuss how the church can reduce its carbon footprint. St.Michael and All Angels’ has received the Ecochurch Bronze Award and installed a hive of bees on the church roof.

Quite a lot of those 650 signatures came from our congregation & other visitors to St Oswald’s who signed the Hope petition at the back of church

Mabel Glover RIP

Mabel Glover – a resident at Ingersley Court flats – celebrated her 100th Birthday on 29 July 2011 and had therefore just turned 3 when the War started in 1914. One recollection she had was of walking to Macclesfield Parish Church holding her father’s hand on one Sunday, around the time he probably went off to war. Being only three then, her memories were not detailed but she was fortunately able to remember the happy times when her father came home on leave, and the joy of his final homecoming when the war came to an end.

Mabel Knight married Garnet Glover at Macclesfield on 28 December 1935. They began their married life in Old Hall Street in Macclesfield and they moved into a house on Windsor Close, Bollington in the early 1950’s. Garnet died in 2001 and Mabel was persuaded to take up residence in Ingersley Court, where her sister May and her husband had moved to in 1974 as the first tenants when it opened.

Mabel was a faithful and active member of St Oswald’s Church when she lived in Windsor Close, with both her boys going to Sunday School and serving at the altar in their youth. Once she had moved into Ingersley Court, she invariably was pleased to share in our monthly Thursday morning services of BCP Holy Communion, singing the hymns and knowing all the prayers and responses by heart.  Also while there she made her small contribution to our St Oswald mosaic


May God bless you Mabel, and may you rest in peace and rise in glory!

Amen