This Month’s Letter is a report from General Assembly
REPORT FROM GENERAL ASSEMBLY – MARILYN PIPER
Unlike other denominations we do not have a hierarchy of vicars onto bishops or even a pope. We have just one “head” and that is Jesus. But we do have three councils:-
1) CHURCH MEETING -where members promise to attend, discuss and decide matters for the local church (we are not good in our Albion church fellowship at participating in this and only have an attendance of 1 in 5 members on average who actually attend)
2) SYNOD MEETING -where a representative from each congregation attends regionally twice a year in March and October. We are in the NW Synod which is one of 13 synods in England, Wales and Scotland. Our representatives are Helen Mellor (Charlestown), Anne Scott (replacing Pauline Taylor for Albion) and Marilyn Piper (Hurst Nook). If you would like to attend a future meeting as a guest you would be very welcome and would learn more about the wider church or you could attend the smaller Area Meeting for our Central Area within NW Synod.)
3) GENERAL ASSEMBLY our national meeting which meets every two years with representatives from every synod to debate, decide and receive reports from all areas of URC work. In July I was one of 26 people from NW Synod amongst 269 representatives nationally to meet for 4 long days in Southport. I received The Book of Reports which was 260 pages long to study beforehand and several booklets. We met in the conference centre that was used for the last Big Day Out and will be again next year. You can borrow the book of Reports if you wish to learn more but I will now tell you just a little about GA:-
Its purpose was to decide how we work, oversee what we do, to plan, have vision looking out and looking ahead and remembering that there is no THEM because all three councils in the URC are local people in their own areas, both ministers and lay people who are there to represent, think, consult, listen, share with each other and participate. Worship and Bible study was central and every day was busy and full.
- We welcomed our new Moderators of General Assembly – Rev Keith Watson and Mr Alan Yates (coming to Charlestown Joint service in October)- who represent the URC nationally for the next two years and voted for the following Moderators for 2018-2020.
- Same sex Marriage– following a final debate we voted to allow individual churches the right to make their own decision on this in their church meetings (240 for /21 against /4 abstentions)
- We appointed a new national treasurer-Mr Ian Hardie – from 2017 and a new national deputy treasurer, from 2017, on his retirement from stipendiary ministry-Rev John Piper.
- Authorised Elders– to bring some standardisation to synods with regards to those elders who preside at our sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism (details in book of reports about communion, training and recognition).
- Stipendiary ministry and future deployment-to retain 2 CRCW church related community workers per synod and 8% SCM special category ministers then have weighting of 60% number of members/40% number of congregations to decide how many stipendiary ministers allocated to each synod. (Details in Book of Reports)
- Resolution 33-General Assembly remains opposed to the costly replacement of Trident and calls for the negotiation of a Nuclear Weapons Ban treaty to bring about the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
- FURY renamed URC Youth
- New URC logo used at Assembly and to be used everywhere- website copy.
- “Walking the Way”- new emphasis on making and releasing disciples within URC-a major work coming from central committees on future mission.
- Many more areas including safeguarding, alterations to URC Manual wording, ministers, TLS Replacement etc. – over 40 resolutions in all.
Some quotes I thought inspiring:
- “The local church is where the church’s best work is done-God is stirring where good news meets the community”
- “The future is what we make it. Doctrines and structures are a useful framework but they are no more than this. Live life overflowing with infectious joy and imagine the future with confidence”
- “In serving we may well discover the serving Christ-the church is NOT just the ministers BUT the whole people of God”
- “Measure the church not by how many people but by those people’s sincerity because society has changed and we must do also, face trials, have the ability to endure and the wisdom from God.”
- “Match analysis of understanding of times with what we are and what we have to offer- visit, care and encourage “putting heart back into people”- we ought to feel vulnerable and anxious – be an encourager as we speak the mind of Christ. Change as is necessary as only the dead do not change – we have a Gospel to proclaim!”
|DATES FOR YOUR DIARY|
|7th September||7.30pm||Hurst Nook Fellowship||Hurst Nook|
|10th September||7.30pm||Saddleworth Male Voice Choir||Albion|
|10th September||11am||Coffee Morning||Charlestown|
|11th September||10.30am||Messy Church||Albion|
|12th September||7.30pm||Fellowship Forum||Charlestown|
|13th September||7.30pm||Hurst Nook Committee Meeting||Home of Joyce Millin|
|14th September||11.00am||Mid-Week Communion Service||Albion|
|24th September||11am||Harvest Coffee Morning||Hurst Nook|
|25th September||After Worship||Half Yearly Meeting||Albion|
|24th September||7.30pm||Jonathan Scott
|6th October||7.30pm||Full Church Meeting||Charlestown|
|15th October||11am||Craft Fair||Albion|
HERITAGE DAY 10TH SEPTEMBER
10AM – 4PM at ALBION
This year will be a spectacular event as we celebrate our 200th Anniversary.
Along with an exhibition showing our history, we will have baptism, marriage records and cradle roles on display when we hope that good advertising will bring along people from around Tameside whose names might well appear.
This year, however, we will also have some of our members dressed in Victorian costume representing past members of Albion who will be able to discuss with visitors the history of the person represented.
We will also have an interesting ‘box of tricks’ which, when opened, will display interesting artefacts relating to our church and Sunday schools which should be of interest to young and old alike.
Please support us and ask your friends and families to join us at this special event.
There will be an Elders Meeting at 7.30pm at Charlestown on Thursday 1st September.
ALBION FELLOWSHIP FORUM
Our meeting is on Monday 12th of September when our friends from Ashton photograph Society will be showing some of their work. Come along to Charlestown at 7.30pm for a very interesting evening.
Everyone is welcome.
MIDWEEK COMMUNION AT ALBION
An invitation to come to the Lord’s Table Wednesday 14th September 2016 at 11.00am followed by a shared lunch “cuppa” provided. Please let me know if you are interested in this midweek communion service being held throughout the fellowship on a monthly basis between Albion, Hurst Nook and Charlestown. Anne S
CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL 2016
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th December 2016. The theme this year is Bible Stories. Please check with Gillian before you start work on your theme to avoid duplication
HELLO FROM ALAN AND ANTHEA
Glenis O visited Alan and Anthea for a few days in August. They are both well and send their love and best wishes to all the fellowship
COMMITMENT FOR LIFE PRAYER SEPTEMBER
God of Love,
we pray for life:
for the life of your whole creation,
bursting with goodness, yet torn apart by greed.
May it be healed.
We pray for life:
for Commitment for Life and their partners,
working to bring the joy of living back to
people facing situations we can hardly imagine.
May they be strengthened.
We pray for life:
for the lives of those living in Bangladesh, Central America,
Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, and Zimbabwe.
May your justice come.
We pray for life:
for the life in us with which we can help others to live.
May we work, and give, and pray, until your kingdom comes.
We pray for life:
for you are the Lord of Life,
who promised abundant life to those who follow you,
and sent the Spirit to guide our lives.
In your hands we place our lives, and those of all your people,
© Julie Young
FLOWER FESTIVAL HOLY TRINITY GEE CROSS
We are holding our first ever flower festival, here at Holy Trinity on the
7th ,8th and 9th October 2016. It is a three day event and our theme is “Autumn splendour”. We open at 10am with a service and our guest is Jonathan Reynolds MP. We will have our three local schools singing and there will be music throughout the day. There will also be craft stalls in our church hall with a small café serving light refreshments. We open daily from 10am till 4.30pm and on the Sunday afternoon we are having Tony Husband artist and author, to talk about dementia plus his book signing. We will close with a Song of Praise Service at 6.30pm joined by our guest, the Mayor of Tameside.
We extend a very warm welcome to you all to visit us during our festival.
Feedback from Full Church Meeting
FULL CHURCH MEETING 21ST JULY 2016 GROUP DISCUSSION FEEDBACK
Our opening devotions were based on the worship used at the Central Area Road Show held the previous week at Hurst Nook where we engaged in discussions focused on “Patterns of Ministry” we all said together the prayer “A step along the way” which I will also include as part of this feedback.
Following the business section of the meeting we divided into groups. Each group consisted of members of all three branches. The groups answered the same questions but in a different order. The notes made in discussion have not been shared previously as we thought the Messenger was an appropriate method to communicate the thoughts of those present and to enable as many people as possible to reflect on and prayerfully consider the opportunities we have to pursue as we Church Together.
Each group did summarise their thoughts in a selection of words which will be included following the notes. Please feel free to contribute any thoughts/ additions you would like to add and I will update in October’s messenger.
Should we do things differently some of the time?
- Change – keeping things fresh and appealing to different groups
- To break down some of the barriers
- To encourage new ways of doing things.
- You can worship anywhere
- You don’t need to have a sermon
- Traditional Services, keep to the same as everyone is happy
- Everyone likes variety but everyone likes tradition
- Outreach – Carpenters, Messy Church, Pastoral Visits ……
Is there enough reaching out to the community?
More joint services to help with Pulpit Supply problems
- Have some services in the round
- Have different styles/types of worship
- Enable individual initiatives to try things – For example – Pulpit supply
- Look at increasing our Joint Services – discuss the pros and cons together, consult and find out what people feel
- Introducing different formats such as Taize, Bible discussion and reflective worship.
- Consider Christmas Day Cover
- Have communion in the middle of the service before the children leave as it makes it should be the main part not an afterthought
- The Mid Week Service could move around
- Christian Aid – need to look outward
- Change the general approach, setting an example, offering worship in other places such as nursing homes
- Could we all worship together?
- Weddings and Baptisms are Albion’s strength
- Church is the people not the buildings
- Have Messy Church alternate with other branches and perhaps on a Saturday as well as Sunday
What can be communicated in other ways?
- There is a lot of repetition as there are numerous meeting and some information can be shared in the Messenger/Notices or via other means
- To encourage involvement to enable sharing and communication
- Church meetings are “not for us”, we need more spiritual contact
- There is a vital need for congregational care of the three branches and essential matters – buildings/finance/ pastoral/vision/spirituality
- We need a minimum of meetings and more time for social gatherings
- Meetings in our tradition – getting back to our “origins” – ,.to discern the mind of God theocracy, not democracy. Prayerful meetings stopping at particular intervals where necessary
- Where there is no ordained ministry it is even more important that we have the discussions – as things seem peripheral rather than nitty gritty. We need a day with someone like Lawrence Moore to guide us
- We need to get back to basics
- The AGM is needed for retrospective reports, plans, visions and looking forward
- Full Church meetings – could be used for more group activity but we need to look at timings of the meetings as you can’t please everyone. Saturday morning is considered to be Family time and others don’t like leaving the house in the evening.
- Meetings essential for voting
- More informal congregational meetings after worship
- The Messenger for general information
- Sponsored children updates new in Messenger
- Website/Social Media now very active – We need to remember that not everyone has access to a computer or the internet
- Elders sharing information on an individual basis,
delegating the responsibility of sharing information to their groups
- Enable the passing of important information around and to pass on as it can get lost on a notice board
- Elders pastoral meeting is important to have a shared awareness of all pastoral concerns
What is our Mission?
- We need to support each other
- What do people within the fellowship do that we can connect/interact with? – Child Care groups, Holiday Clubs, Youth Clubs, join with Methodists to help
- Church in the community – where and how do we develop/start? It is like an obstacle course but we must work together and stay positive
- We could join communities of faith – use the Albion building more
- Share the Gospel out in the community What are we doing to reach out to the three communities we serve? Our heritage was to send out and have a presence in different communities – and seek mission opportunities
- Continue to work with all the groups – Tots, Brownies, Guides, Rangers, Pilots, Junior Church ……….
- We need to be in the “real world”
- We need to work “for” the current times and with our current strengths and problems
- We need to develop wider links and invite new people to lead worship
- We need to pass on the message of Jesus
- With no Minister it is up to us to follow and lead one another and spread the Ministry
- We need to get back to Jesus centred ministry to seek and save the lost. Not to look after the insiders, but to look outside and be alongside people.
GROUP SUMMARY IN WORDS / SENTENCE
Willingness to try change
Working together and staying positive
Worship – Flexibility
Meetings – Discerning God’s Vision
Churching Together – Seeking the lost
If you have any additional thoughts/ideas/comments/suggestions please don’t hesitate to pass them on to me or any Elder as we move forward in planning. I will include any thoughts for short term/medium term and longer term planning in October’s Messenger and will include an update in the Full Church Meeting Agenda in October.
Albion News & Dates
Colin B Birthday memories of a very dear father
Martin, Valerie, Claire & Karen Birthday memories of a very dear father and grandad
Brian P Wedding Anniversary
Barbara D In loving memory of a dear father, Albert Nokes
Olive Warner Harry and Olive Wedding Anniversary 24th September Always missed
Gregson Family Birthday memories of Eileen Gregson. Love from all the family
May the Lord be with all these friends uniting them in your love
MESSAGE FROM EDWARD BAMFORTH
I have found it necessary to give up the work compiling the Flower List which I have done for almost 10 years since my wife Ruth died. Ruth did this with my help in the last few days of her life and I felt I should follow the loyalty that she showed to Albion all her married life. Indeed it was her idea to bring the flowers in this manner some 50 years or so ago. Prior to that the flowers were placed in one or two large brass vases on the communion table. Mrs. Statham looked after this and she collected flowers and money from various people. She ensured that the church was rarely without flowers. Ruth decided that more people should share in the flowers and so this scheme was evolved and people could give to the church and remember those near and dear to them. She approached Paula Leslie, an excellent florist on Old Street with no connection with Albion and she agreed to provide flowers at a reasonable price. She fell in love with the church, insisting that she did the flower arrangements herself and she loved to sit quietly for an hour which gave her a great sense of peace. One Easter she decorated all the chancel with white flowers as a gift. Ruth arranged for appropriate flower stands to be purchased and I believe these were a gift from the Boys’ Brigade. Just a little bit of history that was part of our dim and distant past!
I am pleased to tell you that my position has been taken over by Barbara D and I couldn’t have wished for anything better. I wish her well. Make a note to pay her NOT ME!
ALSO another friend has come to my aid – Bob D is taking over the painting of the outside posters and I thank him and wish him well.
On behalf of the Albion Fellowship a Big Thanks to Edward for his sterling work in so many different ways. It is interesting to hear about the Flower Ministry and how it has evolved over time. The Editor
A BIG THANK YOU
Thanks go to Edward Bamforth for the many years of managing the Albion Flower Fund donations. Edward has also kept our church notice boards up to date for many years. Edward your many hours of dedicated service performing these tasks are appreciated by all Thank you
The dates have been set for Messy Church for the remainder of 2016. The next one is Sunday 11th September during the morning service. All families are invited to join us. Future dates are 23rd October, 27th November and 11th December. These dates are shown on the website.
Saturday 15th October is the Craft Fair at Albion 11am to 3pm. Lots of stalls with good quality goods for sale. Please advertise this event to make it a success. There will be a mini Christmas Fair on 10th December during the Christmas Tree Festival.
WALK OF WITNESS
David would like to thank everyone who helped with this year’s walks.
ALBION HALF YEARLY MEETING
The Albion Half Yearly Meeting will take place in the Memorial Chapel after the service on 25th September.
The collection amounted to £147 plus £35 Gift Aided. Thank you to all who contributed.
ALBION PARENTS AND TOTS
Friday morning 9:30am -11:00am term time only. In the memorial chapel. £1 per family ALL welcome
HELP WANTED On the first Friday morning in the month a group of volunteers will to go into Albion Church to keep the building neat and tidy. Colin always does a wonderful job but it is nice if we can help also. If for whatever reason we cannot go on that day I hope to rearrange a suitable date. If we can get a few volunteers it may not be necessary to have everyone each month. Please contact Jean if you can help. Thank you for your attention. Jean G
Barbara and Bob D and the Tomniak family thank the Albion Fellowship for their prayers, cards, flowers, telephone messages and support at the celebration of Mum Tomniak’s life. A special thanks to Barbara Plenderleith for the beautiful service. Barbara and Bob
CURZON ROAD TRAGEDY
The retiring collection following the joint service at Albion on 14th August raised £183.93 supporting the families involved in the tragedy on Curzon Road on 9th August. The Wilson family are well known to Girl guiding Albion and Toe Tapper Dancing Class. Our love and prayers go to the family
We were sad to hear the news of the death of Frances Sykes. We will all have our own memories of Frances; she was a lovely lady. Our sympathy, love and prayers go to Peter, Anthony, Tim and their families following the death of their mother.
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR:
Edward B, Mary B, Val and Martin B, Olive B, Brian P, Dorothy C, Doris A, Ann J, Jeff the organist at Abney and anyone who needs our prayers at this time. There is a prayer book in Albion, please add concerns; to be included in our prayers of intercession.
200 YEAR CELEBRATION
FORTHCOMING CONCERT DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:
Saturday 10th September 7:30pm Saddleworth Male Voice Choir Tickets £6
Saturday 24th September at 7:30pm Organ Recital – Jonathan Scott
Please note the date on the “pink flyer” for Jonathan Scott’s organ recital is incorrect – it should read SATURDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER at 7.30pm The cost is £8
Charlestown News & Dates
Glenys and Philip Loving Memories of Philip’s Dad
Larraine and Family Loving Memories of a wonderful Mum and Grandma
Christine and Tom Gillian and Carole’s Birthday Love Mum and Dad
Helen M In Loving Memory of a very dear friend Betty Cotterall
The Guild will not be meeting during the month of September.
GIG AND PILOTS
The new rotas for Sunday School (GIG) and for PILOTS support are up at the back of church. Please can everyone look and sign up, so that these vital youth ministries can continue and flourish. Thank you.
Please join us for coffee and fellowship between 11am and 1pm on Saturday 10th September.
We were sad to hear of the deaths of Nancy Harvey and Sam Hilton and we hold their families in our thoughts and prayers. Both will be very much missed by all in the fellowship. We also hold in our thoughts and prayers Ann S and Larraine W and all those who are experiencing a difficult time at the moment, particularly those affected by the tragedy on Curzon Road.
We wish all our young people well as they move into a new academic year at nursery, school, college and university.
Hurst Nook News & Dates
Roy and Carole W Wedding Anniversary
Brenda and Vin Wedding anniversary
HURST NOOK FELLOWSHIP MEETING
This will take place on Wednesday 7th September at 7.30pm. The speaker is to be arranged.
HURST NOOK COMMITTEE MEETING
This meeting will be held at the house of Joyce M at 7. 30pm on Tuesday 13th September, Irene will be in the chair.
GIFT DAY Thank you to everyone who contributed to this great effort. A magnificent total of £1813 70 was raised.
HARVEST COFFEE MORNING
This will take place on Saturday 24th September from 11am to 1pm. See Joyce for further details. Help is needed please.
HURST NOOK TOTS
Tots take place every Thursday 10am –11.30am during term time. The cost is £1 per family.
Congratulations to Ben A who has been awarded a BSc in biology. Ben’s next step is to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at York University as he prepares to become a High School teacher.
Well done. Ben. May God bless you
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM HURST NOOK TO:
Sadie S, Barbara C, Coby W and Pamela D. May god bless you and watch over you all.
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR:
Oliver, Janet W, Doris W, Mark H, Martin B and the Bancroft Family. Brian has passed away after a long illness. We all miss him. We also think of anyone who may need our special thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.
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