Philippians – a letter of hope, filled with prayer.
We had to put out more chairs – always a good start – for our Circuit prayers on Monday evening! Around 40 people gathered at Stricklandgate to pray for the Connexional Stationing Matching Group meetings. With singing, Biblical reflection, colouring and buzz groups, together we explored in prayer our worries and concerns and our hopes and dreams for our churches. Listening to the entire letter to the church at Phillippi being read out gave a whole new perspective to our understanding and was such an encouragement.
You can download a copy of the Good News from around the Circuit as shared in September’s Circuit Meeting here.
Yesterday saw the Circuit welcoming the ministry team for 2019/2020 at a special Circuit Service at Stricklandgate. Rev Tricia Rogers will be ministering in the Kendal Churches, supported by Rev Jeff Thomas; and Peter McCabe who will be lay pastor at Storth & Levens, supporting Rev David Stretton. They join our existing team of Rev David Stretton, Superintendent; Rev Wendy Thornton and Chris Palmer, circuit administrator.
Rev Tricia is an Anglican colleague who is joining us for a year to work alongside the three Kendal Churches encouraging the congregations in their walk with Jesus; their ministry to the communities in which the churches as based; and to grow existing ecumenical links. In this she will be ably supported by Rev Jeff Thomas, one of our Supernumerary Ministers who has graciously agreed to come out of retirement and work part time in the Circuit for this time.
Peter McCabe will be working part time in the Kent Estuary section, and particularly with the churches in Levens and Storth.
Our new District Chair, Rev Dr James Tebbutt preached from texts from Isaiah 42 and John 13 on the nature of servanthood and encouraged the whole congregation to engage with the communities in which we are placed, sharing and showing the love of God.
Joining the congregation were colleagues from many of the churches [Anglican, Catholic, URC and non-conformist] situated within the area the Circuit covers, as well as the Bishop of Penrith, The Revd Dr Emma Ineson. We were also honoured that the Deputy Mayor of Kendal, Cllr Doug Rathbone and the SLDC Leader Giles Archibald, agreed to attend.
What a lot of dog collars …
With hymns chosen by members of the Ministry Team this was a meaningful service at the start of the new Methodist year.
Photos courtesy of Bob Pritchard.
We started the weekend with food and fellowship – always a good beginning! 70 of us sat down to a fully catered meal on a gloriously sunny Friday evening in Arnside.
Physical hunger satisfied we moved into the worship space at Arnside Methodist Church for a service of Praise & Prayer. With worship starting at 7:30pm more people were able to join us for a time of lively sung worship, teaching and quiet reflective prayer. With musicians from around the Circuit, Sue Gardner the worship leader at Arnside, leading prayers and Rev David Stretton, our Superintendent preaching it was an uplifting time.
David introduced Weeble ‘Farmer Bill’ to us – ‘Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down’ – challenging us to make Jesus our centre of gravity.
On Saturday we met at Kirkby Lonsdale Methodist Church for workshops led by Rev Wendy Thornton and Rev Jeff Thomas. We reflected on God’s question to Elijah ‘What are you doing here’ from 1 Kings 19: 1-13 and Jesus’ question to Peter ‘Who do you say that I am’ from Mark 8:27-35. With time out at lunchtime to enjoy the sunshine, either in the garden at church or wandering around the town, the day was much appreciated by all who attended.
And the children didn’t miss out – with activities based on the story of Zaccheus, games in the garden and ice cream sundae making on the agenda, a great time was had by all!
“When are we going to do this again?” is the question the Leadership Team have been asked. Watch this space!!
Our outgoing Chair of District Rev Richard Teal has been chosen by Conference as the President Elect for 2020/21.
Following his election, Richard said: “I feel honoured, humbled, privileged and amazed to have been elected the President Designate. During the year of office I hope to give particular emphasis to the rural church and community alongside an affirmation of our ecumenical relationships as forms of mission and outreach.”
Carolyn Lawrence, a former mission partner in Guyana, has been elected Vice President for 2020/21.
Please click here for the full press release.
As shared at June’s Circuit Meeting…
Please click on the link here to read all about the exciting things going on in the Churches around our Circuit.
Sunday 12th May saw our Chair of District Rev Richard Teal, Bishop James and Rev George Bissett for the Diocese of Lancaster join other local clergy and many members of the congregations of the Rainbow Parish, Kirkby Lonsdale and Cowan Bridge Methodist Churches and St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Kirkby in a service of celebration. A Covenant was signed celebrating the journey of prayer and collaboration in the town over many years and affirming that together the churches will seek to help everyone in their communities to discover more of God and His purpose for their lives.
Beacons were lit at each church in the town.
Rev Richard Teal designed a special candle holder with candles for each of the 11 churches who are part of this Covenant.
Click here to read the wording of the Covenant.
at M:HUB Beetham Road, Milnthorpe
New sessions are beginning on Sunday 2nd June, 4-5pm on the benefits of Mindfulness Meditation.
Lead by Penny Severn, (Social Worker and Pioneer for the Methodist Church)
and Rev. David Stretton, Mindfulness has lots to teach Christians on our faith journey.
Not only does it help to reduce stress and anxiety but also gives us fresh perspectives
on the love of God, compassion and forgiveness.
We will be exploring Mindfulness meditation
and techniques together and finding out more about how it helps stress, anxiety and our spiritual lives.
‘Mindful Moments’ every Tuesday 10:30-11:30 from 4th June. Rev. David Stretton will be facilitating relaxed drop-in sessions, M:Hub’s café will be open for coffee and a chat and there will be a space in the adjoining room to have a brief meditation or do a meditative activity so you can find some stillness in your busy day.
The Circuit Leadership Team have been reviewing our Circuit’s five year strategy document, Priorities for Action. We are about half way through this 5 year period so it’s a good to time to reflect on what has worked well and see what still needs addressing. Copies have gone out to all Circuit Meeting members and will be distributed to local Church Councils and congregations.
We will discuss the update at the next Circuit Meeting in June and also encourage all our churches to add it to their local Church Council agendas.
You can download a copy here and also from the RESOURCES, Forms & Policies tab on the website.
Monday 11th March sees Arnside Methodist Church hosting a day conference on
Gender Equality: Its about time
[How we can make a difference]
With refreshments being served from 10am and Rachel Allison speaking.
Rachel is a World Federation of Methodist and United Church Women’s Helen Kim Memorial Scholar. This role involves encouraging more young women to get involved in the World Federation and bring the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into sharper focus. Rachel has focused on SDG 5 – Gender Equality with a specific focus on ending violence against women. She has worked for the Joint Public Issues Team and for Lord Leslie Griffiths as his Parliamentary Assistant.
To see more details and the programme of events please click here.