Quiz Night!

Question markThe next Wesley Hall Quiz Evening is on Saturday 28 April – come along to exercise your brain, or just to have a laugh!

  • Time: 7.00 for a 7.30pm start
  • Teams: Maximum 6 people
  • Tickets: £7 per person
  • Supper, tea and coffee provided during the evening
  • Please bring your own nibbles
  • There will be a raffle
  • All proceeds go towards Girls’ Brigade funds and Demelza House

Contact us for more info and to book your team’s place. See you there!

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April 2018: We had hoped

HopeI wrote this late at night on Holy Wednesday and as I did, had hoped I would have been better prepared than I was for the Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and two Easter Sunday services that I faced in the next few days. A busy time, and I looked forward to Sunday afternoon. There would be a big sigh of relief that Easter was over for another year.

But, of course Easter was far from over. Easter was just beginning. Easter is not just one day… but a season! And in the following weeks we continue to reflect on what resurrection means in our lives today.

I want to share a poem I wrote in 2014. It is based on the journey two disciples took to Emmaus on the day of resurrection and how Jesus came alongside them and helped them to face what had happened in their lives and in the world. As we sometimes face the disappointment of what we had hoped for not becoming a reality, may we know God is with us, enabling us to continue our journeys, not only with renewed hope, but also with the ability to go and bring the good news of life to others.

Easter Blessings,

Rev Dee


Hopeful Discipleship

We had hoped… but

We had hoped for justice… but the scales still do not balance
Help us to develop a righteous anger that seeks redemption not revenge
Help us to fill the hungry even if we have to go away emptier
Help us to love justice, hate sin and love sinners so we can overcome evil with good

We had hoped for an end to war… but the battles continue
Help us to know how to live with peace and the sword
Help us to know when to change ploughs to spears and when to change spears to ploughs
Help us to be true peacemakers who bring a deeper understanding of the peace of the Lord

We had hoped for healing… but the prognosis is not good
Help our faltering faith to flourish and grow, especially through our weeping
Help us to pick up our mats and walk, even when we feel like the walking wounded
Help us to make holes in roofs, touch the untouchable, make mud with our spit and so stir the waters of healing

We had hoped for resurrection… but one foot is in the grave
Help us to comfort all who mourn with tears, silence, anger and compassion
Help us to know life in all its fullness, which includes all its times and seasons
Help us to boldly approach the eternal throne and know the great company of heaven

We had hoped… but still we live by faith
We believe in what we do not see
We believe in what we see dimly
We live in hope!
We live with ‘buts’
We believe!
Help our unbelief!

Amen

Based on the Walk to Emmaus (Luke 24:20) – ‘but we had hoped he was the one to redeem Israel’
©Dee Yeadon 2014

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March 2018: Cross purpose

Lent‘The message about the cross doesn’t make any sense to lost people. But for those who are being saved, it is God’s power at work.’

1 Corinthians 1: 18

As we move our way through Lent and towards Easter the cross is a familiar sight and is seen as the most important and best-known symbol of Christianity. I have been doing a course about symbolism and creativity and it has been interesting to learn that lots of symbols we associate with a certain group were originally universal symbols that had very different meanings to what they do today. For example, the swastika, which we associate with Nazism, is actually an ancient symbol of spirituality and good luck.

Likewise, you may not be aware, but the cross has its origins thousands of years before Jesus. It is believed to have been around from the prehistoric period and represented the four elements, earth, air, water and fire. In the bronze age it is thought to have had some religious meaning relating to consecration, particularly in relation to burial. But also, in India it is a symbol of resignation, in Egypt it was a symbol of life and it can even be seen as a symbol of sexual union.

So how did this become the symbol of Christianity?

That’s obvious I hear you all say. It’s because Jesus died on a cross.

But there is some disagreement amongst scholars as to what the shape of the instrument of torture used in crucifixion really was. Some suggest it would have been a T shape and others just a single stake.

So where does this leave us?

Well maybe the most important thing is to ask ourselves what is the purpose of the cross for us? What is its meaning?

Hopefully we do not want to show the world a symbol of abuse and torture, even if part of Christianity is about recognising the horrific injustices in our world today and seeking to address them. Plus, that idea of embracing the four elements is a good reminder of part of our purpose as stewards of creation: to care for the earth. Also, that idea that the intersection of the two lines in the cross represents some form of union, maybe not so much sexual as spiritual. That it represents God and humankind becoming one in a way that does lead to new life in us and others.

May we not be at cross-purposes with the cross, the world or each other, but welcome the cross with all its symbolism and be creative.

May you take up your cross and follow its many purposes.

Blessings

Rev Dee

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Women’s World Day of Prayer 2018

Lilian, our Women's World Day of Prayer 2018 LeaderAll God’s Creation is Very Good!

On Friday 9 March we celebrated the Women’s World Day of Prayer 2018. The service had been postponed from Friday 2 March due to the difficult weather conditions, but it was great to see a wide range of people at the rescheduled service, from many local churches: Holy Trinity, St Augustine’s, St Saviour’s, St Philip Neri, the Grove Centre, Perry Rise Baptist, the New Testment Church of God and of course our sister church Forest Hill Methodist too.

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The theme of this year’s service, from Suriname, was ‘All God’s Creation is Very Good!’ and there were readings, meditations and songs reflecting on how to care for and respect God’s creation – this planet. A slideshow about the country of Suriname played while several participants represented the wide range of cultures in readings supplied by the World Day of Prayer Suriname Committee. We sang a song and used prayer responses in the Sranam language, all backed by a lovely themed altar display.

A heri grontapu di Gado meki bun doro, dóro!

Church decorations for Women's World Day of Prayer 2018 - Suriname

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Family Movie Night

Sound of Music film night poster

You are invited to a Fundraising Family Movie Night – dress the part, eat popcorn and ice cream, watch ‘The Sound of Music’ and sing along!

Saturday 24 February, 7pm for 7.30pm

Tickets: Adults £5 / Children £3

Contact us for more information and to book tickets.

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Dates for your diary

The Wesley Hall Sunday Service details for March to May 2018 have now been added to the online calendar.

calendarIncluded on the calendar are the unique activities for this very special time of year – the weekly Lent Group held at Forest Hill Methodist Church begins on Wednesday 21 February. All the Easter Services, along with Mothering Sunday (11 March) are listed.
As always, everyone is welcome to come and join in at any time.

The calendar also includes other events, such as the regular Theatre Club, Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Brigade meetings and our upcoming singalong film night on Saturday 24 February – always a lot of fun!

Take a look at the calendar and if there’s something you expect to see but don’t, or if there’s anything you’d like to find out more about, do leave a reply and we’ll get back to you.

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February 2018: Lent Message

Say No to Say YesLearning to say “No”

February sees the start of Lent, which is traditionally seen as a time of saying “no” and giving up things. But really it is a time in which we renew our commitment to God and life, life in all its fullness. And that is a very positive step, but does also include the ability to say “no”.

When Jesus started his journey to the Cross and spent time in the wilderness being tempted, trying to work out what he should do and become, he may not have said the word ‘no’ but did have to turn away from what would prevent him from becoming who he was: God’s Son and our Saviour.

And for us to follow Jesus and become who we truly are, Children of God, then we too need to be able to say “no” in life affirming ways.

Not necessarily ‘no’ to chocolate during Lent but…

  • ‘No’ to the injustice that means we eat plenty whilst others live in poverty.
    ‘Yes’ to fair-trade!
  • ‘No’ to government policies that cause more homelessness and dependence on Food Banks.
    ‘Yes’ to protesting for justice!
  • ‘No’ to western values that give super status to footballers and pop stars and belittles true greatness.
    ‘Yes’ to equality!
  • ‘No’ to our 24/7 society that values being too busy to have time for ourselves and others.
    ‘Yes’ to a better body/mind/soul balance!
  • ‘No’ to noise pollution.
    ‘Yes’ to being still and knowing God!

So, if you have to say “no” to anything you are asked to do, including roles within the Church, may it be a positive ‘no’, because you are concentrating on saying “yes” to other ways of serving God and loving others.

Jesus came that we might have life in all its fullness,

So, let’s say “no” to doubting and “yes” to belief!

May God bless us all with renewed love and life this Lent as we follow our saviour and our friend to the cross, which leads to resurrection and new life – Yes!

Rev Dee

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