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An Easter Message from the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Dr Roger Walton and Rachel Lampard MBE, speak about confidence, suffering and hope in this year's Easter Message. - Watch here:

http://methodist-news.org.uk/BVI-4VIMD-8959XPH079/cr.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

Added on 13/04/2017.

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Ecumenical Lent Groups 2017

We are delighted to announce that, once again, the churches in Morpeth will be running various groups during Lent.

So far we have received details of three different courses.   All of them are open to everyone whether attendees of any church or none:

1)            Lent 2017 - Receiving Christ in 5 Different Ways
Groups will meet weekly for five weeks. So far two venues/days have been arranged. 
Tuesdays from 11.00am  - 12.15  at Morpeth Methodist Church from 7th March
Thursdays from 1.30pm - 3.30pm  at 10 Millside, Morpeth from 9th March
To order your copy your copy of the Course Booklet (price £5.00) please sign the sheet at Reception, Morpeth Methodist Church or phone 511078 (MMC) as soon as possible.

2)  I Daniel Blake (Guided Reflections on the recent film) Wednesdays 7.00pm-8.30, 15 Bankside from 8th March. Contact Jeremy Cooper  jeremylcooper@aol.com

3) The Gospels
Tuesday afternoons at 2pm, St Mary's Church Stannington from 7th March.
Wednesday evenings at 7pm, St Mary's Church Stannington. From 8th March.
Contact for both groups: Revd Richard Ferguson,  r.ferguson1@btinternet.com

Added on 17/02/2017.

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A Christmas Message from the President & Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Dr Roger Walton and Rachel Lampard MBE, speak about the Nativity, Syria and unpromising situations in this year's Christmas Message.
 
 
Full text below:

The shabby collection of rooms was perched on the edge of a steep hill above Amman in Jordan.  We were visiting a family of Syrian refugees who had just had a baby, and were being helped by funding provided by the Methodist charity, All We Can. 

A woman, who we assumed was the grandmother, answered the door and invited us in.  We sat on the floor, along with a local health worker.  The father appeared with the baby, Yosra, and three other small children.  It turned out that the woman was not the grandmother, but rather the mother of the family.  She was just in her 30s, prematurely aged by the privations and stresses of recent years.  They had left Syria four years ago, and now lived in a couple of basic rooms.  The three children were similar ages to my own, but were tiny.  As a refugee the father was banned from working and the family was reliant on support from a charity in order to be able to survive.

What an unpromising situation they were in.  The family were underfed, with very little prospect of being able to improve their circumstances.  They were desperate to go back to Syria, but recognised that this was unlikely any time soon.  And their tiny baby, who slept in my arms, faced growing into adulthood in a foreign country, in poverty.

And yet.  When we asked the father of the family what he wanted for the future, instead of talking about better housing, more food, or even a return to Syria, said "I want my children to be the best people that they can be".  It was breath-taking.  A family were facing immense poverty and dislocation, yet had the highest hopes for the character and contribution of their children.

A similarly unpromising set of circumstances surrounded another young family less than 50 miles away in Bethlehem two millennia ago.  A young girl had given birth to a baby, far from her home and her family, in an outhouse, shared with animals.  She had become pregnant outside marriage, and was only rescued from shame and rejection by her fiancé taking on a baby that wasn't his.  Ahead lay real danger, as the ruler of the area would soon order his soldiers to slaughter all the baby boys.  A dirty, shameful, dangerous situation.  An unpromising set of circumstances.  And yet. This is exactly the place the Messiah, the son of God, was born into.

But should we really be surprised?  This is a God who said that the kingdom of heaven belonged, not to the rich or powerful or religious, but to little children.  This is a God who chose women, tax collectors, fishermen to begin a worldwide movement for the salvation of all people.  Unpromising is not a word which seems to put God off; on the contrary the Bible seems to suggest that God seeks out the unpromising, the weak, the outcast in order to build his kingdom.  The apostle Paul, when writing to the Corinthians, said "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God." (1 Corinthians 27-19)

We are living in times which might be described as unpromising, or even "interesting" according to the old Chinese proverb.  We face great uncertainty in our politics, our economics, our relationships with one another.  Around the planet there is apparently relentless violence, and the poorest, as ever, bear the consequences of our inability to restrain our use of resources. Our own Methodist Church is seeing a continuing decline in members and a shortage of ministers for the churches we have.  The future is surely unpromising.

And yet. Our faith surely prompts us not to turn away purely because any situation looks unpromising.  This doesn't mean facing it with blind and passive optimism.  Instead we have a hope which is grounded in the foolishness of God, which is wiser and stronger than wisdom and strength of the world.  And God is at work in our world, and invites us to join in.  As the theologian Ken Leech said: "hope isn't a state of mind; it's a piece of work".  In the unpromising situations in our world, where is God inviting us to join in?  Where is God asking us to see the treasure that is hidden within the clay jars?  Where is God asking us, not to be optimistic, but rather to be hopeful?

We would like to suggest that you do three things over this "unpromising" Christmas season.

Firstly, the Methodist Church, together with the United Reformed Church, the Baptist Union and the Church of Scotland, have produced a short film, "A Very British Nativity", which suggests how Mary and Joseph might have fared arriving in the UK as asylum seekers.  Why not watch it, share it and perhaps show it as part of your Christmas celebrations at church - and reflect on what this unpromising small family might mean for others, asylum seekers and refugees in particular, and how we can make their future more hopeful.

Secondly, we invite you to reflect on something that initially appeared unpromising.  This might be something in your own life, the life of your church, or in the wider society or world.  How was the potential or transformation within each situation revealed?  What was the treasure in the clay jars?

And thirdly ask yourself: what is unpromising in your life or church or community at the moment?  What might God be doing there already - or what might God do if only you would join in?   

In this season we pray that you will have a happy and peace-filled Christmas, and that you will know the love of God who acts through the most unpromising things and people to bring about his kingdom of holiness and justice.

The Revd Dr Roger Walton and Rachel Lampard MBE

Added on 23/12/2016.

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Joint Statement on Aleppo

The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church in Wales, the Church of Scotland, Quakers in Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have released a statement calling upon the Syrian and Russian Governments and other forces to stop their bombardment of Aleppo.  
 
The humanitarian crisis in eastern Aleppo has become a tragedy. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has stated that in the two weeks following the collapse of the ceasefire, 376 people have been killed, one third of whom were children, and a further 1266 were wounded.  The international humanitarian organisation Medicines Sans Frontieres‎ said recently that there have been 23 recorded attacks on Aleppo's eight hospitals since the end of July. Seeking medical care has become a danger in itself.

The statement below has been signed by leaders from the six churches representing more than one million people in the UK.

The destruction of Aleppo must stop.  

We are appalled by the attacks on civilians by the Syrian Government, Russian and other forces. Life is a gift of God. The targeting and killing of civilians can never be passed off merely as a consequence of war. Aerial strikes on homes, hospitals and aid convoys are never acceptable, under any circumstances.  
 
The responsibility for such attacks lies first and foremost with those who have carried them out. But the frequency of such attacks in Syria also underlines a failure on the part of the international community to uphold long-established principles concerning the immunity of civilians in conflict. Member states of the United Nations should seek to hold to account the parties responsible for indiscriminate attacks on men, women, children, hospitals, humanitarian and rescue workers, which could be construed as war crimes.

The world cries out for an end to the death and destruction in Syria that daily adds to the largest flight of refugees since the Second World War.  We join with our brothers and sisters of other churches and other faiths in praying for the people of Syria. We claim no simple solution to a complex political reality but offer the simple message of our faith: that every life is valued by God and that the slaughter must end now.
                                   
The signatories to the statement are:

The General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain - the Revd Lynn Green.
The President of the Methodist Church - the Revd Dr Roger Walton.
The General Secretary of the United Reformed Church - the Revd John Proctor.
The Moderator for the Church of Scotland - the Right Revd Dr Russell Bar.
Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain - Paul Parker
The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon - the Right Revd John Davies. (1)

Added on 20/10/2016.

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Memory Cafe - starting 19th May, 2016

Morpeth Methodist Church & Centre for the Community is delighted to announce that we will shortly be launching our Memory Cafe for people with memory problems or dementia, and their family and friends.

Come along for a chat, to pick up information and to enjoy some social time with others in a similar situation to your own.

No need to book, please just drop in!

Refreshments will be available.

The café will run on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month, commencing on 19th May from 10.30 am to 12.00 noon in the Coffee lounge at the Morpeth Methodist Centre, Howard Terrace, Morpeth.

Memory Café Dates 2016

May 19th

June 2nd and June 16th

July 7th and July 21st

August 4th and August 18th

September 1st and September 15th

October 6th and October 20th

November 3rd and November 17th

December 1st and December 15th

For further information please contact the church office on 01670 511078 or email office@morpethmeth.org

Added on 06/05/2016.

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Lent 2016

Once again, many of the Morpeth Churches are running groups throughout Lent to which they would be delighted to welcome anyone, of any denomination or none.

There are several different options to choose from this Lent so there should be something for everyone.

  1. The Psalms - Prayers for Today’s Church: This is a five-session course written by Bishop Stephen Cottrell who says, “This course explores five particular psalms. Each one addresses profound human emotion.  Each one gives us a text and a template for expressing these feelings before God.  They also give us wisdom for navigating our way through similar challenges and delights that we will encounter in life.”
    (more details at http://www.yorkcourses.co.uk). 

  2. 40 Acts 2016
    This course was followed by several groups last year and was very popular. (more details at http://www.40acts.org.uk). The theme this year is 'Jesus at our table'. Jesus ate with sinners and with church leaders; he ate with thousands and with a child. He invited everyone in and accepted all invitations. Table fellowship meant friendship, peace, acceptance and unconditional love: community - and that will be the focus for this seven week study. 

  3. Grasping the Gospels
    A four week course for all-comers being held at Stannington Village Hall looking at the differences between the Gospels and how to read each one to get the most out of it.  It will look at each of the Gospels in turn. 

  4. Friday Communion
    Although not hosting a Lent Course, St Mary’s, Stannington will be celebrating Holy Communion, followed by lunch, at 11.30 am every Friday during Lent  starting on 12th February and Revd Catherine Pickford would be delighted if  people came and joined them. Tel 785606 for details.

  5. Lenten Lunch
    Available on Wednesdays throughout Lent at St Aidan’s from 11.00 am till 1.00 pm, starting on 10th February.

If these times and days are not convenient for you, why not think about hosting a group yourself, either at church (contact office for availability) or at home, - perhaps with a friend to help.  You can get information about hosting a group to study “The Psalms” from The Methodist Church ( tel: 511078), or contact Revd Jeremy Cooper for “40 Acts” information. (tel 511593).

Groups Announced So Far:

The Psalms - Prayers for Today’s Church    

Day

Time

Date of First Meeting

 

Venue

Contact Tel

 

Tuesday

11.00 am

16th February

 

Methodist Church

511078

 

Thursday

2.00 pm

18th February

 

10 Millside, Morpeth

511078

40 Acts  

Wednesday

10.00 am

10th February

 

Mitford Stable Room

519157

Women only

 

10.30 am

10th February

 

Bin 21, Bridge St.

517716

 
 

7.00 pm

17th February

 

St James’ vestry

511593

 

Thursday

6.30 pm

11th February

 

Melveen, Kylins, NE61 2DJ

515579

 

Saturday

12.00 noon

20th February

 

St James’ Church

503429

Includes lunch

Grasping the Gospels  

Thursday

10.30 am

11th February

 

Stannington Village Hall

785606

Sign up not necessary.

Holy Communion for Lent

Friday

11.30 am

12th February

 

St Mary’s, Stannington

785606

Followed by lunch

Lenten Lunch

Wednesday

11.00 am - 1.00 pm

10th February

 

St Aidan’s

503326

 

Added on 05/02/2016.

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Events

Listed below are forthcoming events at the Morpeth Methodist Church or of interest to its members. Please check with the contact listed for each event to ensure that the details are accurate.

Sorry, there are currently no forthcoming events advertised.

Notices

Below is a selection of relevant notices which may be of interest to members. Not all notices from the regular Sunday notice sheet are included here, mainly for privacy reasons.

Living the Questions

A discussion group is intended to start shortly at St George’s URC based on a series of short videos produced by the Methodist Church in America.  This is not a group for those who think that doctrines are sacrosanct and not to be questioned.  Rather, it is a group for those who have questions and have, until now, reasoned in silence and who want to share with others the thrill of fresh understandings.  Times and dates to follow.  The invitation is open to people of any age and any denomination.  Contact Sue Elliott at gladysallover@hotmail or phone 07810 144 490

More Information: Via Office

District Walk - Bank Holiday Monday, May 1st

Come and join us for an easy 5 mile walk amongst good company - meeting old and new friends.  Start and end at St Cuthbert’s Church, Heaton.  Coffee/tea from 10.00am, walk begins 11.00am.  Return to Heaton approx. 3.00pm for tea. Easy, flat 5 mile walk taken at a leisurely pace - good weather applied for! Any enquiries to Wes Blakey tel: 0191 251 9813  or email john891@btinternet.com

More Information: Via Office

ReImagine Forum

A day for all those interested in revitalising & starting churches hosted by the Newcastle District at Brunswick Methodist Church on Saturday 20th May from 9.30am - 3.30pm.  Free but booking is required.  Contact elaine@lindridge.org.uk.  See poster in Coffee Lounge for further details.

More Information: Via Office

Christian Aid Week

Saturday 13th May book and plant sale in the Market Place, Morpeth. If anyone has books or plants for the sale, please let Anne or Tony know.

Sunday 14th May at 4.30pm Christian Aid service led by Morpeth Baptists, but taking place at the New Life Church in Dacre Street.

House to house collection taking place during the week 14th to 20th May. As usual volunteers to deliver and collect envelopes are needed, and anyone who would like to offer their services please contact Anne or Tony. Tel 519617.

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Worship Leaders Support Group

The first meeting of a support/fellowship group for worship leaders in SENEA will be held on Saturday 20th May at Stakeford.  Coffee from 9:30 a.m.  Meeting 10 – 12.  For those who wish to bring a packed lunch and continue the fellowship  tea/coffee will be provided.  Please bring along any resources/ideas/suggestions you would like to share.

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Area Away Day

Area Away Day for preachers, worship leaders (and anyone else interested) Saturday 13th May 2017 at Widdrington URC.  Revd. Carla Grosch-Miller will lead a day on ‘Practical Theology and Reflective Practice’  Tea/coffee from 10:30 a.m. Bring a packed lunch. 

More Information: Via Office

Common Ground

Thanks to all who made donations in March,  we will collect rice in April. Other items are always welcome.

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Memory Cafe

For people with memory problems or dementia, and their family and friends. Come along for a chat, to pick up information and to enjoy some social time with others in a similar situation to your own. No need to book, please just drop in!

Refreshments will be available.

The café will run on the Thursdays shown below from 10.30 am to 12.00 noon in the Coffee Lounge at the Morpeth Methodist Centre, Howard Terrace, Morpeth. For further information please contact the church office on 01670 511078

or e-mail office@morpethmeth.org

Memory Café Dates - 2017

January 5th and 19th

February 2nd and 16th

March 2nd and 16th

April 6th and 20th

May 4th and 18th

June 1st and 15th

More Information: Via Office

 

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