This week’s message is from Kathryn…
Here's a proposal - What do you think of the idea of men having an enforced curfew after dark so women can walk the streets at night without fear?
In the week that we marked International Women's Day and Mothering Sunday, we also saw conflict on Clapham Common between police carrying out the law and women wanting to mark solidarity with Sarah Everard and her family as well as drawing attention to the all-pervading presence of violence against women. Along with Black Lives Matter, this is another revelation of the inequalities in our society. So many women speak of living in fear as they go about their lives. Women have to modify their behaviour in small and large ways to keep themselves safe. It becomes second nature. And if something dreadful happens, it still continues to be the woman’s fault – she shouldn't have been out alone, she must have been drinking.
I acknowledge a curfew would be curtailing the freedom of men but in the light of what has come out (again) about women's fear of male violence and how their freedoms are curtailed maybe it would be fair?
Actually, I don't think it is the way forward. Neither is increasing the budget for street lighting. Depriving someone else of freedom, so I can have freedom is not the Christian way. I, you, we, none of us, can be free until all are free. Sadly it seems that violence and fear of violence are at the heart of what it means to be human along with love.
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul says it is for freedom Christ has set us free (Gal 5:1). Peter In his letter says, "Live as free people but do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil" (1 Peter 2:16). This vision of freedom is integral to the Kingdom of God. As Christians we know of its possibility whilst recognising it is not yet here on earth. We pray "your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.
In addition to prayer what else can we do? At a personal level we seek to overcome the violence and fear in our own hearts. In our families and churches we teach and model that violence and fear are not God's way. In our society we take whatever opportunities we have to influence those around us to understand that the misuse or abuse of power, be that physical, economic or political, in any context is wrong.
Our hope is based on God’s transformation of a cruel violent death on the cross into an act of eternal love. Jesus faced the violence and fear at the heart of humanity and overcame it. This gives us the courage and the confidence to continue seeking freedom for all God's people regardless of sex, gender, colour or creed.
With love and prayers for you all, Kathryn
Oakwood Church Sunday worship for 21st March...
10.15 for 10.30 – Oakwood Church Zoom Worship – This week Kathyrn will be leading our service. We will be reading Jeremiah 31: 31-34 and John 12: 20-33.
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 Helen White. 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 21st 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 –
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 – orders for tea are now closed. We will be sharing fellowship on zoom between 4 & 5pm using the usual church account (details on request) – please join that even if you are not ordering a tea.
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
WYDAN Lent Appeal – latest news from WYDAN about how we can support destitute asylum seekers. Update message from WYDAN this week: 'Amazingly, in the 2 weeks since we launched the appeal WYDAN have received over £7,800 in response, together with many encouraging messages. We are incredibly grateful and once again ‘bowled over’ by the response of our wonderful supporters as we embark on what will be a very challenging year financially for the charity.' Related news – last week the Methodist Circuit Meeting affirmed efforts being made for Meeting Point Café to work with WYDAN to accommodate people in our flat there.
Traidcraft at Oakwood – Easter is coming! Supermarkets are not selling the Real Easter Egg with the Easter story this year but you can buy them from Christine Brett firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0113 2179636 and give your order to Richard Brett.
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!
Environment News –
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.
Tips for fighting climate change in your home – see these easy to follow tips from the BBC.
A Rocha Eco Church Celebration – This is the scheme under which we have a Silver Award and are working towards the Gold. There is an online event on 26 March to celebrate 5 years of Eco Church - to pray together and be re-envisioned for the challenges ahead. You can register here but if you can't join us on the day, the event will be recorded and available on our YouTube channel here.
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 – email@example.com
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.
Methodist District Spring Newsletter – read the e-publication here. Includes news of our circuit’s Meeting Point Café delivering Christmas parcels. Moving on from that project, the café is currently operating as a foodbank.
Thought for Today – See the latest video thoughts on Facebook or YouTube. This week Susan talk about ‘A man of few words’, and Fran talks about Ruth. 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 Vue 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?
Praying for the Environment – we follow these prayer points month by month – please join us!
The church’s programme for Holy Week and Easter will be on its way to you this week, with a mix of beginning to open up and staying online. Please keep safe and keep in touch.
Yours in Christ, George, Kathryn and Debbie
20 March 2021
Click here for the archive of previous emails.