WORLD DEVELOPMENT AND RELIEF OFFERING

Please remember to make your response to the Methodist Church in Ireland’s World Development & Relief Appeal. If you are attending the services in the church you can get the printed WDR literature (a report and a gift envelope).

If you are watching the services online and want to get the printed literature, please get in touch with Isobel in the Church Office.
If you are able to engage with our online website and our Facebook page you can access the literature there (World Development & Relief).

If you would prefer to make an electronic contribution (bank to bank), please ring in to the office and we’ll get you the necessary details.

the needs are great – the responders are few

 
 

FROM THE MANSE DESK

I was astounded to read last week that 2,700 people from the medical profession are off work, most of them nurses. Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Balaklava (Crimean War), which reminds us of Florence Nightingale. Florence founded modern nursing, pioneered infection control, and would be astounded to know that her name is still revered across the world. A believer in prayer, Florence was once herself delivered from death’s door through prayer. As medical professionals today battle with coronavirus, care for one another and care for those who have contracted the disease – as well as patients suffering in all kinds of ways, the least we can do is to pray for them. “Loving Lord, we thank you today for Florence Nightingale and for the nurses around the world following in her noble footsteps. Bless them and all their medical colleagues as they seek to bring help, wholeness and healing to the sick; support and strengthen them as they minister to others; grant them wisdom and guidance in all their decision making; enable them to know and share your care and compassion; equip them in all they do; and enable them to know how much they are appreciated not only today but every day.” Every blessing. Sam

 
 

SIR WILLIAM ALEXANDER SMITH – FOUNDER OF THE BOYS’ BRIGADE

William Smith was born in Thurso, Scotland on 27 October 1854; eldest son of Major David Smith and his wife Harriet. William came to Glasgow in 1869 when he was just 15 to work in his uncle’s soft goods wholesale business. He joined the local Rifle Volunteers, rising to the rank of lieutenant by the time he was 19.

In 1874 he joined the Church of Scotland and became a Sunday School teacher. Through his experience of trying to teach unruly ‘bored’ boys in Sunday School he had the idea of forming The Boys’ Brigade – an organisation that could teach Christian discipline and combine it with filling a boy’s need to be physically active and adventurous.

On 4 October 1883, the first Boys’ Brigade Company was formed in Glasgow in the Free Church Mission Hall on North Woodside Road. The objective was: “The advancement of Christ’sKingdom among Boys and the promotion of habits of Reverence, Discipline, Self-respect and all that tends towards a true Christian manliness.” The famous anchor badge was also used along with the motto ‘Sure and Steadfast’; taken from Hebrews 6: 19.

Semi-military discipline, drilling with dummy rifles, and dressing in military style uniforms was combined with Christian services, lessons, sports and games. Camping soon followed in the summer of 1886. William took the Boys to the small town of Tighnabruaich in Argyll to camp out in tents – this was a radical idea in 1886. Holidays were virtually unheard of and only people who had no choice slept in tents. News of The Boys’ Brigade spread rapidly. Other churches in Glasgow and elsewhere started BB companies. In 1888 William McVicker, a Sunday School Superintendent at St Mary Magdalene Parish Church in Belfast, read of the work. After travelling to Glasgow to see BB in action he formed the first Irish Company in his church.

Eventually Alexander Smith quit working to devote himself full time to The Boys’ Brigade. He wrote a rule book, ‘The Little Red Book’ and founded and edited The BB Gazette. His work ofwriting, collecting, and distributing resources set a standard for the support, development and encouragement of youth work that was way ahead of its time.

William Smith was knighted in 1909 for his service to boys. He continued to work for BB until his death on 10 May 1914. Over 15,000 people lined the route for his funeral; 7,000 of them BB members.

WORLD DEVELOPMENT AND RELIEF OFFERING

Please remember to make your response to the Methodist Church in Ireland’s World Development & Relief Appeal. If you are attending the services in the church you can get the printed WDR literature (a report and a gift envelope).

If you are watching the services online and want to get the printed literature, please get in touch with Isobel in the Church Office.
If you are able to engage with our online website and our Facebook page you can access the literature there (World Development & Relief).

If you would prefer to make an electronic contribution (bank to bank), please ring in to the office and we’ll get you the necessary details.

the needs are great – the responders are few

 
 

FROM THE MANSE DESK

Harvest is a great season. Within it is deep meaning. According to that modern oracle - Wikipedia - Harvest is from the Anglo-Saxon word hærfest, which means "Autumn". The word then came to refer to the season for reaping and gathering grain and other grown products. So in ancient traditions harvest festivals were held on the day of the full moon which falls in the month of September. An early Harvest Festival used to be celebrated at the beginning of the grain harvest on 1 August and was called Lammas. Loaves of bread from the fresh wheat crop were used as the Communion bread during a special service thanking God for the harvest. The modern British tradition of celebrating Harvest Festival in churches began in 1843, when the Reverend Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service at his church at Morwenstow in Cornwall. Victorian hymns such as "We plough the fields and scatter" and "Come ye thankful people, come" helped popularize his idea of a harvest thanksgiving and they became an custom in church life. Whether we feel like it or not in these restricted and challenging days, let us give thanks to God that the good earth has been productive again. Every blessing. Sam

FROM THE MANSE DESK

God loves us, and for those who love him, everything – even what happened to me at seventeen – works together for good. He has given me contentment and developed my patience and purpose in life. My art is a reflection of how God can empower someone to rise above circumstances.” That was Joni Eareckson’s response to a question about why she put the initials ‘PTL’ (standing for Praise the Lord) on all her drawings. Joni had been paralysed from the neck down after diving into shallow water. Dark days and nights of despair followed as she lay helplessly broken. But Joni increasingly felt the grace and peace of God flowing into her life. She thought about Jesus hanging on the cross – helpless. Of how he was unable to wipe the sweat off his brow or to brush aside the flies. He knew just how she felt. He was close. And he was turning her life around for some special purpose. As the threat of Coronavirus rises again and fear and uncertainty threaten to paralyse, grace and peace are what we need – grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. And we can have them. PTL. Every blessing. Sam

 

SEPTEMBER CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT

The Church Council met via Zoom for the first time ever on Tuesday 1st September 2020 at 8pm. There were 15 participants in the meeting and 5 apologies were recorded. The Council had not met since 13th March, just before lockdown. This is a very brief summary of the 2 hour meeting.

Opening devotions focused on the four great passages of scripture that use the analogy of shepherds and sheep to help God’s people get to grips with the implications at various levels of their relationship with him. The passages are Psalm 23, Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 34 and John 10.

Under pastoral matters it was noted that there have been three deaths in the congregation since the last CC meeting: Greta Tipping (26th April), Al Kerton (11th June) and Betty Crawford (25th June) There have been three births: Elliott Alexander Morgan (son of Ashleigh Kerton), and Lottie and Logan Bruce (Twins born to Jessica Bruce). Pastoral care is currently being delivered mostly by phone.

The Council agreed a number of measures for various aspects of church life by way of contingency planning in the event of the onset of a second wave of Covid-19. We hope and pray they’ll not be needed.

It was noted that finances had improved since the 5th July, and especially since 64 people had now signed up for direct giving via standing orders, but that we are well down on last year’s position. The Council also noted that no special appeals for World Development and Relief etc., had been issued in the last 6 months but will be soon.

In an effort to develop our serving God in the wider community, it was agreed that, in this time of Coronavirus challenge, letters of support be sent to the Borough Council, the local PSNI, and local Schools. The meeting also agreed to send a letter of gratitude to the rev Billy Davison for his help and support during Rev Sam McGuffin’s absence.

To improve and develop our live-streaming of services it was agreed that we expend £5,300 on new audio-visual equipment.

Concern was expressed about our children and young people but the meeting was glad to hear of the efforts being made to meet their needs and to keep in contact with them. The need for all our leaders to constantly engage with safeguarding training was reemphasized.

Dates for future meetings of the Council were agreed as Monday 9th November 2020 (Zoom), Monday 18th January 2021 (Zoom), Tuesday 9th March 2021 (Church), Tuesday 4th May 2021 (Church).