The message this week is from Kathryn…
Whoever would have thought that a syringe could become a sign of hope for everyone! In some areas syringes are found round the back of churches where, in their despair and hopelessness. those addicted to drugs have often found a hidden place to self-medicate. But in 2021, the syringe for the vaccine for Covid19 is definitely a sign that life will improve for many people. And we give thanks for that.
As I was thinking about these hopeful syringes, I began to wonder about other things that we may see as signs of hopelessness but can bring life. Lockdown, a phrase from prison life with all the connotations of losing our liberty can be understood as to staying at home to keep ourselves and others safe. And then there's the cross, the sign of Christianity. We see it as a sign of hope, we find encouragement and protection through wearing a cross or holding a cross or making the sign of the cross as we say our prayers. It was a Roman instrument of torture and oppression, but Jesus transformed it into a sign of freedom and new life. Our faith even transforms death, the final oppressor, as we believe we go to be with God in a place where there is no more mourning or tears or pain.
Look around you this week and observe what is being transformed in your garden, in your family, in your heart and pray the collect for this coming week:
Almighty God, in Christ you make all things new;
Transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace,
And in the renewal of our lives make known your heavenly glory.
Thanks be to God.
Oakwood Church Sunday worship for 17th January...
10.15 for 10.30 – Oakwood Church Zoom Worship – This week Debbie will be leading our service and we will be reading Psalm 139:1-9 and John 1:43 – end.
Oakwood Church building is closed – the Church Council has decided that worship in the building will stop for now, so there will be no 4pm Communion Services on Sundays until further notice.
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 George Bailey and Rev’d Becki Stennett, with the theme ‘Come and See’. 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 17th January 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…
Oakwood Book Club – our zoom meetings on the third Tuesdays resume at 19.30 on 19th January, when Kathryn will introduce some short articles reflecting theologically on the pandemic. Read them here – one from Christian Aid by Sue Ricahardson, and one by Sam Ben-Meir.
WYDAN – click here to read the latest update about the nightshelter, which we continue to support. Please pray for the new guests, Katrina and all involved in helping to house people in very challenging situations.
Shelter of Hope Children’s Home, Zimbabwe – we have received this message of thanks for our Support at Easter time. Please continue to pray for the home, especially in the COVID-19 crisis:
‘The Director, Board Members, Staff and Children at Emthunzini We Themba wish to express their heartfelt gratitude for US$1,068-00 that was donated to the Home. The donation went a long way in giving the Home a facelift. The following were done at the library using the donated funds:
- Painting of the walls
- Tiling the floor
- Securing the windows with burglar bars
- Purchasing of a new desktop computer.
Your kind gesture is sincerely appreciated and we look forward to working with you.’
Charity Giving – During January, we are supporting H.E.L.P. (Harehills English Language Project). This project based at St Aidan’s church in Harehills provides free English classes to people who are seeking asylum or who have refugee status. We have supported them for several years with a coffee morning and are pleased to carry on the support this year. We cannot give directly through their website, so please give through our church account as usual…
Account name – 'Roundhay Methodist Church – Missions'
Transaction name – 'Charity' Account number – 00615620 Sort code – 30-98-93
If you need help with this, or would rather send a cheque, please contact Morris Smith (0113 2651587). Cheques payable to the above account can be posted to him or posted by hand in Oakwood Church's post box around to the right side of the church entrance porch.
Praying for our Community – in January we are praying for Asket Hill, Elmete Mount, Elmete Hill, Elmete Way, Ladywood Mead.
We hope you are able to stay safe and we are keeping you in our prayers.
Yours in Christ, George, Kathryn and Debbie
Click here for the archive of previous emails.