From conversations I've been having around the circuit over recent weeks, some of you have commented that a set of readings you've heard on a radio or TV service have been the same as ones you've heard at a service on Zoom or some other platform, and I have been asked if there are set readings for every Sunday.
The simple answer is yes. The readings we usually hear are from what is called the lectionary. Every Sunday there are 4 set readings, which are a Psalm, a reading from elsewhere in the Old Testament, an Epistle (though sometimes Acts or Revelation can be used here) and a Gospel. The readings come in a 3-year cycle, and in that cycle, Matthew, Mark and Luke are looked at in turn, with occasional breaks to dip into John so that all 4 Gospels are read over the course of 3 years. We are currently in year B, which is why you may well be hearing a number of readings from Mark's Gospel at the moment. If you have a copy of the Methodist Worship Book, the readings for each Sunday can be found from page 566 onwards.
It is rare for a preacher to use all 4 readings. Certainly for the Psalm, I tend to see if there is a hymn based on it which a congregation can sing in its place. (When singing was permitted!) Sometimes there is a clear link between the passages, so working out a theme is obvious, sometimes it really does leave me scratching my head, barely able to make head nor tail as to why these particular readings have been linked together.
I am well aware that the Sunday this newsletter covers is St Valentine's Day, where I would probably abandon the lectionary altogether and use 1 Corinthians 13, but the lectionary readings are 2 Kings 2:1-12 (Elijah is taken to Heaven), Psalm 50:1-6, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 and Mark 9:2-9 (The transfiguration). If I had to use these readings, my first thoughts are that I would probably use Epistle and Gospel, reflect on Jesus being seen in transfigured glory, whilst we can only get brief glimpses of it every now and then, but hopefully enough to encourage us in the next step of our Christian pilgrimage.
There's a lot more to it than that, but I hope that's enough to whet your appetite if this is new to you. It certainly makes for a good discipline of reading some of the more unfamiliar parts of the Bible. As we approach the beginning of Lent, maybe it is something we could try for a week or two whilst lockdown continues?
With love in Jesus, Robin
We are sad to report the passing on February 4th of Hilda Hilton, who was one of our most long-standing faithful members. Hilda had been increasingly frail over the the last months and passed to Our Lord peacefully in hospital after a short stay there. She and Howard were approaching their Sixtieth Wedding Anniversary and our great sympathy goes to Howard and the family on their bereavement.
As well as Sunday worship and serving for many years on Church Council, Hilda came with Howard regularly to our events, to the Book Group and to Lent Lunches.
Her soups for the lunches were always especially popular. She was always thoughtful, gentle and caring, and always gave newcomers a warm welcome – maybe because she had once been a newcomer to England herself, having been uprooted from Switzerland on her marriage to Howard so many years go. They did return every year when possible, and toured widely, including the Taize Community often in their travels.
The funeral will be in our church at 2pm on Friday 19th February, followed by cremation. It will be a private service, because of Covid restrictions, but we will be with Howard, their son, two daughters and their families in thought and prayer at this time.
Church Notecards: The notecards, designed by Sarah Parton, have sold well so far with over half of them sold. If you would like to buy some contact Julia on 01270 811761 or 07950 774997 to order. Price £5 for 1 pack or £9 for 2 packs. All proceeds to church funds.
At the Zoom service last Sunday Anne shared with us a video of a wonderful rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus. You can find it again here (you may need to copy and paste this into your browser):
You are warmly invited to join us for an ecumenical Lent Course on Zoom!
The times and dates are:
Tuesday at 7.30pm for 1 hour on 23rd Feb, 2nd March, 9th March, 16th March, 23rd March.
The theme is 'Caring for God's Creation'. You will need a course booklet, which you can order from this website:
Caring for Creation – York Courses
If you can read the first chapter before the first session that would be great! If you can't, don't worry, it will be briefly summarised at the start of the session.
You are also invited to have a stay-at-home Lent Lunch on Sunday 21st February after our church zoom service. The idea is to replace your usual Sunday lunch with a simple soup lunch and make a donation to our Nantwich foodbank. The events use the usual Sunday Service zoom log in details. If you would like these, please get in touch.
With best wishes, Rev Alison Fulford 691555 email@example.com
Following Robin's appeal in the last newsletter several people have already been in touch, which is wonderful. Along with this newsletter is a pledge/loan form which you can use to donate and to help us reach our goal of refurbishing Audlem chapel. If you are unable to print off these forms yourself please contact Janet Furber by email for a printed copy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Methodist Church free phone service for news and prayer. The news option looks around the Connection at what's happening and the prayer line is a prayer from particular Methodists.
Listen to a prayer: 0808 281 2514
Listen to news: 0808 281 2478 Content is updated weekly on Thursday evening.
Broomhall & Sound Church Council
23 Feb 10.30am by Zoom
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 898 4109 3383
Taken from the Nantwich newsletter – some amusing items.
An elderly gentleman had a serious hearing problem for a number of years. The doctor was able to fit him with a set of hearing aids that allowed him to hear 100%.
The gentleman went back in a month to the doctor, who said, 'Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.'
The gentleman replied, 'Oh, I haven't told them yet. I just sit and listen to their conversations. I've changed my will three times!'
A minister was walking through town when he saw a little boy trying to reach the doorbell of a house across the street. The boy was so small and the bell so high that he couldn't reach. The minister crossed the road and reached out to give the doorbell a good solid ring. Crouching down to the boy's level, the minister smiled kindly and asked, "Now what, little man?"' To which the lad replied with a grin, "Now we run"!