The message this week is from George…
Candlemas is coming up this weekend – every year on 2nd February, and often celebrated on the nearest Sunday. This is 40 days after Christmas and marks the end of the Christmas and Epiphany season. Not long off though is the beginning of the other key 40 day period in the church year – Lent begins on 17th February. Time is marching on towards the marker of one year since the first lockdown began in 2020 on 23rd March. A feature of life this year has been the strange effect that the changes to our lives has had on our experience of time. I wonder how it has felt for you? Has January gone slowly or flown by?
Recently, I have read and heard several reflections on the phenomenon of how we experience time. On some occasions and in some circumstances, it feels like time goes slowly, and in other situations it’s the opposite – time flies by. The reasons for this are complex, and rooted in our sense of natural rhythms, our emotional response to situations, and also the way our memories function. The more I reflect on this the more difficult it becomes to puzzle out. The passing of time can feel different whilst it happens compared to when you look back and remember it. The restrictions of the lockdown have limited our chance for variety and novelty of experience, which makes it harder to measure time in our minds, but simultaneously this has been a year of unprecedented situations and events which can make occasions and periods in time stand out. Much as we might want to, we are unlikely to forget this year in a hurry.
An important aspect of Christian faith is that time is under God’s control. To say God is eternal means that God is outside time as we experience it. God began time and God will end time. In Jesus Christ God entered into time and by his death and resurrection makes it so that human life is no longer trapped in time. Whether we are feeling like we have too much time, or as if there is not enough time, prayer in Jesus’ name is about letting God’s eternal time break in and change how we look at this hour and this day. Can we make a little time for that?
Oakwood Church Sunday worship for 24th January...
10.15 for 10.30 – Oakwood Church Zoom Worship – This week Susan Howdle will be leading our service and we will be thinking about Candlemas – the presentation of Jesus in the temple (Luke 2: 22-40).
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 Tanya Short and Rev’d Becki Stennett. 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 31st 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…
Lent Booklet – The Methodist circuit is producing a booklet similar to the one for Advent with contributions from people across all the churches. It will be made available online and sent to those on our mailing list, but if anyone else would like a copy please contact George (by replying to this email) as soon as possible.
Church social events and fundraising ideas – the Community Team met last week and talked about whether we could do some social events online (or in other ways – e.g. by post?) to have fun together and raise funds for church. We have not been able to raise any funds with other events and the café this year. If you have ideas about this, or if you want to help set something up, please contact Kim Wood (email@example.com) and David Donaldson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Charity Giving – During February, we are supporting Leprosy Mission. We gather money each year for this cause around Leprosy Sunday, which this year we will mark on 7th February. There is more information here on this sheet, including the great news that all gifts will be doubled by the UK government. We are not using the church bank account as previously. If you would like to give, please do so directly via the Leprosy Mission website, or you can send a cheque payable to Leprosy Mission to Mrs. Peggy Horne, who will arrange gift aid directly with the charity. Send to…Mrs. Peggy Horne, 16 Bedford Court, Leeds. LS8 2PL
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 using God’s gifts (including your financial resources)?
Methodist Circuit Superintendency – This statement from the District Chair, Rev’d Kerry Tankard explains the current situation. Rev’d Robert Creamer continues a phased return to work after compassionate leave and has now resumed the role of Superintendent. Rev’d Tanya Short and Rev’d George Bailey continue to carry out much of the superintendency ministry tasks under Robert’s delegation.
Methodist Circuit Weekly Notice Sheet – click here to view.
Oakwood Lent Programme – Advance dates for your diaries 😊 As a lent book, we are using the new book, Broken Bits and Weirdness: (But God Still Loves Us) by Fay Rowland (2021). You may like to get a copy – it is an all age book about very human Bible characters, with thoughts, prayers, activities and recipes! As usual we’ll have three focused sessions which we will share some pages of the book for, link to it on Sundays a bit, and encourage people to join in whether or not they can come to any of that. The dates here also include Book Club and the other Tuesday evenings in Lent...
Ash Wednesday Zoom Worship - 17 Feb at 19.30
All Tuesdays at 19.30 on the usual church zoom room –
16 Feb – Book Club – Judas in Jerusalem, by Joseph Lewis Heil (2018) – with Debbie Nouwen
23 Feb – Broken Bits and Weirdness 1 – Naaman – with Kathryn Fitzsimons
2 Mar – Caring and Learning Team Meeting
9 Mar – Broken Bits and Weirdness 2 – Martha – with Catherine Frieze
16 Mar – Book Club – A Nazareth Manifesto: Being with God, by Samuel Wells (2015) – with George Bailey
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)
New phone number for Rev’d George Bailey – George has a new mobile number to use for church matters – 07566 795204. Please make a note – it may take him a little time to fully grasp how it works and let everyone know 😊
Praying for our Community – in February we are praying for Foxglove Avenue, Oakwood Green, Oakwood Grove, Oakwood Rise, Oakwood Grange.
We hope you are blessed with some special time this week – a prayer, an experience, a conversation. Please ask someone else how they are getting on with time passing by. Please be in touch with us when you need.
Yours in Christ, George, Kathryn and Debbie
30 January 2021
Click here for the archive of previous emails.