The message this week is from George…
So, like me, have you been watching TV more in the last year? We have watched several television series and even several series of films. The sense of time stretching out indefinitely locked down in the house means I am far more willing than usual to embark on a story which will take many sittings to get through, episode by episode over the weeks. And so, we are halfway through The Crown – still a fair way off the episodes about Princess Diana which have been causing controversy in the press in recent months. I am currently struggling with the complete change of cast after series two ends – I am convinced the actors now look too old… but then I have that problem in the mirror as well as on the TV.
The episodes we have been watching so far are about years which were from before I was born, but whose basic history I know about. History is though always more complex and nuanced than can ever be encapsulated by what you learn about it in later years. I spend a large amount of time during the programme asking things like, ‘Did that really happen?’ or ‘I know about that relationship/friendship/political development/ceremony… but was that detail really accurate?’. If the script fails to hold my attention, I resort to googling on my phone to check this out. However, in the better episodes I forget all these questions and become engrossed in the story being told. The questions left at the end of those episodes though are more rounded, deeper and difficult ones than the issues over precise historical details – ‘Is that story a truthful representation of the Royal family, and of the nation?’; ‘Is that story telling the truth about human nature?’; the Royal family’s relationship the church and the Queen’s own Christian faith feature fairly often, and so also, ‘Is this a helpful picture of what Jesus Christ means for us?’
Anthony de Mello, Christian spiritual writer, once wrote that the shortest route between a person’s head and their heart is a story. The details do matter, and there is a great concern in our culture over the danger of ‘fake news’ and the need to disseminate accurate information about events, science, and the matters of the day. This is important, but so is the bigger issue of whether the stories we choose to listen to and to tell others are truthful in a bigger sense, about ourselves and the God who made us. What stories are you enjoying at the moment? What stories are you telling others? How are these stories sharing the truth?
Oakwood Church Sunday worship for 24th January...
10.15 for 10.30 – Oakwood Church Zoom Worship – This week Catherine Frieze will be leading our service.
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 Edward Sakwe and Deacon Liesl Warren. 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 24th 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…
Silent Prayer – 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.
Charity Giving – This is the last week of January, during which 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.
Yours in Christ, George, Kathryn and Debbie
23 January 2021
Click here for the archive of previous emails.