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Dear Friends,

The message this week is from George…
I found it a powerful yet also strange and unsettling day on Tuesday when we marked the one year anniversary of the beginning of the first lockdown. I was able to use these prayers for the National Day of Reflection several times with different groups and meetings on Zoom – not too late to have a look if you didn’t have chance on Tuesday. With one group, someone who I had only just met the day before shared with us that he was especially grateful to use the prayers and be able to give thanks because on 23 March 2020 he was on intensive care with COVID-19. It was a sharp reminder of the immensity of what it means to be living through this pandemic. So many people have died, so many have been bereaved, so many have been ill and recovered, so many have ongoing health problems, so many have suffered through the lockdown, so many have lost jobs, so many have found new hope in community life reinvigorated by the need to look after each other. So many… so much to take in.
You’ll see there are a few different Bible readings in the act of prayer, and I used each of them with different groups. This is the one that really helped me though –
‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
Matthew 11.28-30
However each one of us fits into the ‘so many’ different experiences of the pandemic, Jesus calls us to follow him. The following can take different forms depending on the situation, but always, when we say yes and turn toward God, even in the midst of great trials, we will find a gentle and humble heart, an easy yoke and light burden, and most of all, rest.
Oakwood Church Sunday worship for 28th March...

10.15 for 10.30 – Oakwood Church Zoom Worship – This week Susan Howdle will be leading our service for Palm Sunday.
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 Edward Sakwe. 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 28th 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…
Afternoon Tea – TODAY 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 times to talk to different people, a short quiz and some games.
Oakwood Church Building – reopening beginning – services of Holy Communion will start again this week on the same basis as before Christmas. Numbers will be limited, social distancing and face coverings will be required. 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. Booking is open until a few hours before each service. If you turn up without booking there will probably be space, but may not be.
Holy Week Service Times –
MAUNDY THURSDAY – 1 April 19.30 – Holy Communion in the building
GOOD FRIDAY – 2 April 19.30 – on Zoom: Reflective Service
EASTER DAY – 4 April 08.45 – Holy Communion in the building
EASTER DAY – 4 April 10.15 – Zoom Worship (service starts 10.30), streamed live from the building
Flowers on the Cross – those leading the service on Easter Day hope to be in the building, with the congregation on Zoom as usual. We will have the cross with us in the service ready to decorate with flowers and will place it outside the building as usual, but waiting for 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.
FUTURE SUNDAYS: 11 April onwards (until further notice)
10.15 Zoom Worship (service starts 10.30), streamed live from the building
17.00 Holy Communion in the building
We will follow developments with the easing of the lockdown to decide when in the future it is sensible to have a congregation in the building at the main services. We intend to continue to also have people join these services by Zoom for the foreseeable future.
Silent Prayer – apologies that this is late – it’s usually 4th Mondays, but the 5 Mondays in March have confused the notices editor (george!). Every fourth Monday we share a resource sheet for Silent Prayer, and we commit time for prayer at 2pm, or at any time that is convenient for you… like on the fifth Monday! Thank you, Martha for the poem this month.
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 WYDAD. Full information on the appeal is here.
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… 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.

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 –

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. 
Thought for Today – See the latest video thoughts on Facebook or YouTube. This week Roger talks about the prophet Jonah and Steven talks about ‘Dying to Live’. 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!
We hope that the slight change in lockdown rules from Monday 29 March is one that helps things a little for you as people can meet in groups of 6 (or two households) outside, including gardens. Slowly let’s work together to stay safe whilst moving towards less restrictions.
Yours in Christ, George, Kathryn and Debbie
27 March 2021
Click here for the archive of previous emails.

Contact us:

Rev’d George Bailey

Tel. 0113 266 2066       
Mob. 07566 795204
Rev’d Kathryn Fitzsimons
Tel. 0113 225 6702       
Rev’d Debbie Nouwen
Tel. 078500 86702        
Church Administrator: Naomi Polson
Tel. 0730 517 0979       ]
The Church Office, along with the administrator's phone and email, is now open part time and with no set hours. Messages will receive a response within the week.


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