This week the message is from George…
Today is known as Holy Saturday – the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, between death and resurrection. It is a day of waiting, or limbo, or just uncertainty. Some theologians have speculated what was happening with God and Jesus in this waiting day, using just a few faint hints from scripture, but I think a fair summary is that we don’t know.
Lately I have been reading Underland by Robert Macfarlane (Penguin, 2020) which is an exploration of what goes on under the ground – mining, caving and cave art, bunkers, underground city networks of sewers, quarries and catacombs… and also the underside life of forests. There’s so much of this that is fascinating me at the moment! I find the descriptions of potholing truly terrifying – squeezing through tiny tunnels under thousands of tons of rock. I have been caving like that twice – once as an enthusiastic teenager, and a second time as a teacher leading a school group (so I had to show willing!) and then I made a serious commitment to avoid it forever more. The sensation of being trapped under the rock in the dark is a basic human fear – all options exhausted and no way out.
On the night that Jesus was crucified, Joseph of Arimathea asks Pilate for Jesus’ body and takes it to his own garden tomb –
‘Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.’ (Mark 15:46)
For me, this laying of Jesus in a closed-up cave hewn from the rock under the ground is the final ultimate point of God’s love reaching into our humanity. When all the escape routes are dead ends, God can still hold us, reaching even beyond death; deep love springs into action and the unimaginable Easter dawn arrives. Today though, we are called to be in the waiting, the limbo, stuck in the rock, in solidarity with those whose options are ended. God is with us.
Oakwood Church Sunday worship for Easter Day, 4th April...
08.45 – Holy Communion in the building – Please book online here at the Eventbrite website or book by phone with Ruth Barlow on 07961 111629. Leave a message if necessary including your name and your phone number.
10.15 for 10.30 – Oakwood Church Zoom Worship – This week George will be leading our main service for Easter Day.
Flowers on the Cross – at the 08.45 service we will have the cross with us in the service ready to decorate and will place it outside the building as usual, but waiting for most of the flowers! Please can you think about coming to church on Easter Day sometime later (or the following day) to put flowers onto the cross so we can do that together – though without any gathering of people.
Easter Appeal – this year our Oakwood Church Easter Appeal is jointly for the Save the Children Yemen appeal and the WYDAN Lent Appeal, as well as looking for Oakwood people to volunteer to help with food for WYDAN. Full information on the appeal is here.
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 Easter Day service will be led by the circuit staff team. There is also a Good Friday service already available on the Leeds North and East Methodists YouTube channel from yesterday.
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 – these are the sheets for Good Friday and Easter Day which have 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.
We will probably have a week rest from the church email next week, so…
Oakwood Church Sunday worship for 11th April...
10.15 for 10.30 – Oakwood Church Zoom Worship – Peter Howdle will be leading our main service on Zoom.
17.00 – Holy Communion in the building – Please book online here at the Eventbrite website or book by phone with Ruth Barlow on 07961 111629. Leave a message if necessary including your name and your phone number.
Sunday worship in the near future: 11 April onwards (until further notice)
10.15 Zoom Worship (service starts 10.30) – We are working towards getting this to be both in the building and on Zoom, but there are bandwidth connection problems which paused things at the moment.
17.00 Holy Communion in the building – booking on the usual system.
Our other news this week…
Oakwood Church Annual Meeting, 19.30 Thursday 29th April on Zoom – as we approach the annual meeting of Oakwood Church on the 29th April, the electoral roll for the Anglican Parish of Roundhay St John's is being revised. If you would like to have your name on this roll (this entitles you to vote on Anglican issues at the Annual meeting) please contact Kathryn Fitzsimons or Pete Oldfield for a form. If you would like to ask about Methodist Church membership (which entitles you to vote on Methodist Church business at the Annual Meeting) can you please contact George.
‘Caring for Creation’ with St Catherine’s Housegroup – as environment issues are our whole church priority, anyone interested is welcome to join the housegroup for this York Course on ‘Caring for Creation’ which begins on the evening of Thursday 15th April. Please contact Susan Howdle or Sue Noble for the details of how to join in. Reply to this email if you need contact details.
Leeds Methodist Mission Update – LMM is offering resources and experiences on wellbeing and climate craftivism – click here for details.
Oakwood Book Club – 19.30 on the third Tuesdays. Contact us if you would like a turn with one of these upcoming books for which a copy will be in circulation...
20th April – The Fifth Mountain by Paul Coelho. Introduced by Anna Thomas
18th May – Dear Paul by Bridget Plass. Introduced by Debbie Nouwen
15th June – Like there is not tomorrow by Frances Ward. Introduced by Helen Reid
(Frances is also doing the Hook lecture in April – see below)
As ever, either read in advance, or else please do come along if you haven’t had chance to read any of it, to hear what other people felt about it.
Traidcraft at Oakwood – Find out here how you can fight poverty through trade by ordering from Traidcraft. Please help Christine with her personal challenge to get 21 people from Oakwood Church to sign up to buy 21 Traidcraft products during 2021.
Hook Lecture – Weds 28th April – online event: book here on eventbrite. Revd Dr Frances Ward, will be talking on “A New Moral Ecology for a World where Climate Catastrophe is Real”. We will be reading Dr Ward’s book about this in book club on 15th June.
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.
- 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
[NB we are no longer taking Type 2 and 4 plastic – this can go into the green bins]
Please contact Pete Oldfield if you would be interested in helping with the recycling – firstname.lastname@example.org
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 – How are you caring for yourself?
Methodist Circuit Weekly Notice Sheet – click here to view. Also a special notice here about the Leaders of Worship and Preachers Trust, and Homes.
Thought for Today – See the latest video thoughts on Facebook or YouTube. This week Debbie talks about Palm Sunday and Susan talks about ‘Thank God it’s Good Friday’. 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 April we are praying for Oakwood Lane, Hollin Hill Avenue, and Hollin Hill Drive. Here is the full prayer calendar – maybe you can print it off to pray in your own time and way?
Praying for the Environment – we follow these prayer points month by month – please join us!
In anticipation of tomorrow… Happy Easter to everyone!
Yours in Christ, George, Kathryn and Debbie
3 April 2021
Click here for the archive of previous emails.