The message this week is from George…
Some of you will know that I like to look out for birds. I’m not a ‘birdwatcher’ in that I don’t have binoculars or go anywhere special to sit and wait for birds… I just like to notice them when I’m out and about. Well, amidst various interesting bird things recently, the best experience was finding the colony of herons’ nests by Eccup Reservoir… don’t tell everyone as I don’t want to be responsible for crowds disturbing them. I think there were about a dozen nests high in the trees, and the herons behave quite differently in the colony, making a loud rasping call. Normally you only see these amazing birds one at a time perched in a tree, fishing in the shallows or swooping from one stretch of water to the next. Seeing them altogether as a group was a bit of a shock! I had noticed that the heron who hunts in Roundhay Park had not been about lately, but it had not occurred to me that he or she (not sure actually!) might be away at a gathering of all the other local herons.
It has reminded me of pictures I have used before in sermons and lectures about the nature of the church. Here’s some dots gathered –
…and here’s the same number of dots scattered…
We often imagine church as the gathered dots, surrounded by a world that’s different from us. However, usually that’s only for a very short time of the week – and at the moment not at all. For the vast majority of time the church is usually like the scattered dots. What’s important to see is that in that picture the green dots are changing the look of the whole picture. That’s what the church is about – every person allowing God to work through them for the good of the whole community. Like the herons, we do need to have times when we get together – we’ve been doing our best at this through zoom, phone, post and email… but soon we will get together again fully in person. Let’s not forget though that the gathering is not the aim… it’s the way we are fed and strengthened ready to scatter again to where we’re called to be.
Oakwood Church Sunday worship for 7th March...
10.15 for 10.30 – Oakwood Church Zoom Worship – This week George Bailey will be leading our service when we will be following our Lent Book theme of ‘Broken Bits and Weirdness: But God Still Loves Us’ and thinking about David. We will be reading 2 Samuel 12: 1-14.
16.00 – Methodist Circuit YouTube Service – live on YouTube at 16.00 on Sunday, or watch whenever after that is convenient for you. This week the service will be led by Rev’d Tanya Short. You can also watch previous services and other videos on the same Leeds North and East Methodists YouTube channel.
Thursday Morning Prayer – every Thursday on Zoom from 09.00 for a 09.15 start.
Church giving – Thank you for your ongoing giving. There is more information here if you would like to support the work of the church.
Worship at Home Sheet – this is the sheet for 7th March which has been posted to people who do not have internet access.
The Zoom numbers for all Oakwood Church meetings are ID: 724 766 6207 and password: 316316. Or click here for a direct link to our Zoom room. See here for instructions for dialling in by phone.
Our other news this week…
Lent programme – The dates here also include Book Club and the other Tuesday evenings in Lent...
All Tuesdays at 19.30 on the usual church zoom room –
9 Mar – Broken Bits and Weirdness 2 – Martha – with Catherine Frieze
16 Mar – Book Club – A Nazareth Manifesto: Being with God, by Samuel Wells (2015) – with George Bailey
23 Mar – Leadership Team Meeting
30 Mar – Broken Bits and Weirdness 3 – Cyrus – with Debbie Nouwen
Monday Compline – short time of prayer – Throughout Lent, every Monday at 21.15 on Zoom (22 Feb – 29 Mar)
Leeds Lent Prayer Diary – this is published by the Leeds Church Institute on their website – follow it on this link.
Afternoon Tea – Saturday 27th March – Have an afternoon tea delivered to your home – just add a cup of tea! A selection of sandwiches and cake, with a scone.
Tickets £5 – from Peter Oldfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07719310207. Payment on delivery.
Please advise any dietary requirements when ordering
We will be sharing fellowship on zoom between 4 & 5pm using the usual church account (details on request)
Fellowship will include sharing time, some short readings etc and a short game
If anyone wishes to help out with catering or readings, please let Peter know
Traidcraft – Find out here how you can fight poverty through trade by ordering from Traidcraft through Christine Brett. Please help Christine with her personal challenge to get 21 people from Oakwood Church to sign up to buy 21 Traidcraft products during 2021… Also, there’s a 10% discount until 31st March!
Recycling Project – we are gathering items for recycling that cannot go into the green bins. Please drop any of these items to church into the dustbin which is kept outside by the building at the end of the car park. No need to sort – just put them all in, but please do clean things out first, and leave items in a bag when you put them in the bin.
[NB we are no longer taking Type 2 and 4 plastic – this can go into the green bins]
- Foil crisp packets
- Dental care plastic e.g. plastic packaging, toothbrushes, empty floss containers
- Biscuit and cracker packaging
- Bread loaf plastic bags (not waxed paper)
- Chocolate wrappers and outside packaging from multi-packs
- Pringle cans
- Writing implements e.g. pens, markers
- Pet food pouches and larger bags with plastic packaging
- Medicine/tablet empty blister packs
Please contact Pete Oldfield if you would be interested in helping with the recycling – email@example.com
Pray and Fast for the Climate – we follow these prayer points month by month – please join us!
Collecting Stamps for Leprosy Mission – Jeanette Shipley is continuing to collect used stamps, and used or unused postcards, which will from now on be sent to Leprosy Mission. Please keep yours and either save them to drop off when we can return to meeting at the building, or you can take them to Jeanette directly – 83 North Lane, LS8 QW (tel. 0113 2650883)
Question of the fortnight – To help us all keep our faith alive whilst our life together is scattered we are asking each other a different question each fortnight – can you talk to someone on the phone about this question – Is there anyone you might invite to consider Christian faith?
Methodist Circuit Weekly Notice Sheet – click here to view. Also this week see a press release about a joint appeal between the Methodist District and Christian Aid, encouraging us to give thanks for our vaccine.
Thought for Today – See the latest video thoughts on Facebook or YouTube. This week Michael talked about ‘The heart of the matter’, and Steven about ‘Not either-or, but a bit of both'. This is a project running jointly with the Church of the Epiphany in Gipton (C of E) and Gipton Methodist Church.
Praying for our Community – in March we are praying for Belle View Avenue, Asket Greet, North Grove Rise, North Grove Drive, North Close, Hollin Park Place. Here is the full prayer calendar – maybe you can print it off to pray in your own time and way?
We pray that you are able to keep safe as we look forward to restrictions beginning to ease. Please pray for everyone involved with schools as they begin to open fully next week.
Yours in Christ, George, Kathryn and Debbie
6 March 2021
Click here for the archive of previous emails.