NOTICES FOR THE PERIODCOMMENCING SUNDAY 20 JUNE 2021

It’s time once again for an update

We had all been hoping that, at least from next week, all covid restrictions would be lifted and we would be back to something like a normal Sunday, if we can even remember what that was!

However, as you are no doubt aware, the government has delayed that move in the light of current health data, particularly the increase in cases linked to the “Delta variant”.

It now looks as though it will be from 19 July that the relaxation will be made, so we have to be patient once again. However, worship continues – so do read on ……

SUNDAY 20 JUNE At 10.45am. Regular Sunday worship continues in church when, this week, our minister Rev Jenny Porterpryde will be leading worship. As has become the norm, this will be a shortened service with face coverings required and no singing. However, we are very grateful to those who continue to put the projected content of the service together for us, and so there will be hymns or worship songs and usually much more.

Please note that since we re-opened for worship a few weeks ago Jenny has kindly suggested that folk let her know if they intend to come, so that our limited capacity due to social distancing is not exceeded. The reality is that, so far, we have only reached about 50% capacity, so please don’t be put off if you haven’t “booked” – and if you are still having doubts, be assured that things are still running smoothly and in a very “covid safe” way.

PLANNED PREACHERS for the next few weeks are:-

Sunday 27 June Bob McAlpin

Sunday 4 July Nigel King

Sunday 11 July Ian Warburton

Sunday 18 July Graham Wilson

Sunday 25 July Ruth Johnson

ANNUAL GENERAL CHURCH MEETING This meeting will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 30 June, and is open to any member of the congregation. When our minister first advised us of this date there was the hopeful expectation that this would be a face-to-face meeting within our premises, but this will now clearly have to be on-line by “Zoom”. A link will be sent out for this meeting but it’s perhaps worth pointing out that, now that some limited mixing between households is permitted, those with an on-line facility could perhaps invite someone else who does not have this facility to join them. (I am taking the opportunity to re-print Jenny’s important original letter, which includes reference to this meeting, later in these notes.)

FILMED SERVICES Throughout the time when the church had to be completely closed and even when open for worship, as we are now, it has been wonderful to be able to enjoy the weekly filmed services, put together by Ruth Lindridge for Prudhoe, Stocksfield and our own church here in Wylam and usually involving Jenny and many other people, to whom we are very grateful. It is intended that this type of service, which it is believed has also been watched by many who have not been regular church-goers, will continue for the foreseeable future. However, within the next week or two we are told that this will be changed to a service prepared by and for the whole of the Tynedale Circuit, or of course anyone else who wishes to access it on-line. If you have been receiving the link for these services, don’t worry, we understand that this will continue in much the same way.

CHRISTIAN AID WEEK The house-to-house collection during Christian Aid Week this year had to be carried out in a very different way due to the covid pandemic, with people in Wylam asked to return their own envelopes to the Institute. Friends from St Oswin’s were the main organisers this year and the area covered included Ovingham and Ovington in addition to Wylam. 1659 envelopes were delivered by 29 volunteers and the total raised was £1847.90. People were encouraged to make donations on-line, and so it is quite possible that a greater sum was actually raised locally. Thanks are extended particularly to all the volunteers but also to everyone who contributed to this great cause.

WEDNESDAY HOME GROUP This group is continuing to meet at 8.00pm each Wednesday, except school holidays and 30 June (church AGM) via “Zoom”. The current study, which has only one session remaining, has proved to be very helpful, looking at The Lord’s Prayer but dealing with prayer in general. Studies are based on a series of filmed sessions led by Pete Greig. A further “one-off” session will be held on 7 July, and this will be the final meeting before the usual summer break. If you have not joined this group previously you are welcome to do so. Simply contact Tim Kenny by email for the “Zoom” link at timkenny101@gmail.com

ANY “DIGITAL TECHIES” LOOKING FOR A JOB? Clearly a sign of our times, The Darlington and Newcastle Methodist Districts are seeking to appoint a Digital Ministries Enabler, 30 hours per week from 1 September 2021. The aim is to enable Circuits and churches in both Districts to become better equipped and to grow in understanding of the digital world. For an application pack contact Natalie on deeassistant@gmail.com or, for more information, contact Elaine on elaine@lindridge.org.uk Closing date is Monday 5 July.

AND ANOTHER JOB Strathmore Road Methodist Church, Rowlands Gill, are looking for an experienced professional to assist with their children’s, youth and families’ work. 37.5 hours per week, £27,100 to £30,819, depending on experience and qualifications. Further information and job pack available from Rev Ann Varker, minister@rowlandsgill.org.uk Closing date is 25 June, so look sharp!!

MINISTER’S LETTER (Repeat of original, dated 18 Mayplease note, this was before the relaxation of covid regulations was put back – see Church AGM note, above.)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

When we began our journey together, we could never have imagined that we would travel through such a strange time. It has been challenging and frustrating in so many different ways. I am grateful to all of you for your innovation, patience and faith. I am also grateful to God that things seem set to return to normal at last. 

However, I have to say that I am wary of the phrase, ‘return to normal’. As we reflected at Church Council this year, the lockdown has given us an opportunity to think and pray about all that we did before, and view it with fresh eyes. We will soon be celebrating Pentecost. As we reflect on the power and fruits of the Holy Spirit, it is important that we ask, ‘what was fruitful in our past as a church?’ and, ‘where were we making disciples? Where must we change in order to bear more fruit?’ 

I look forward to discussing these questions with you and hearing your thoughts as we begin to worship in our building again. To that end, I would like to invite you all to our church AGM on Wednesday, 30th June at 7.30pm in the church building, restrictions permitting. I would love to see you all and have a chance to catch up. 

I am aware that many of you will, understandably, still be feeling wary of returning to the building. Please move at your own pace but do let me know so that I can support you in those challenges. Conversely, many of you are keen to ‘get back and get going’, and I look forward to supporting you with that in the weeks ahead. 

In closing, there are two practical issues that I need to mention. The first is as part of our new beginning, we need to ensure that we have a Church Council in place to care for the church and pray into our new plans and dreams. For that to happen, we need to appoint a Church Council Secretary, more Church Stewards and someone to be our Safeguarding rep. It’s really important that we all think about where our strengths lie as the more, we are all involved, the less there will be for each of us to do and the faster we can move forward. 

Our second issue at present is financial. Part of the reason the church has coped so well in recent months is because of the reserve fund that you have so faithfully saved and built up to use in emergencies. Understandably, that fund is now significantly depleted so it would be good to think of ways to build it up as quickly as is reasonably possible over the months ahead. As I said, it has been a strange and difficult year but we have a wise and wonderful God. His faithfulness continues unchanged and his Spirit is with us as we step into the next chapter of his love and grace together. He says to us as he said to Jeremiah. ‘I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope.

Looking forward to seeing you all!

Rev Jenny Porterpryde

Prayer Footnote: Come and sit beside me while I pray, Lord. I need to feel that you are close enough to hear. Lately, you’ve seemed distant and far away from the bustle of my busy life, but now I pause, and at last I realise that you have been there all the while. Throughout all my distractions, you have been with me, patiently waiting for my focus to return to you. You invite me to come and sit beside you, not because I am worthy, but because I am in need. Now I am still, and in the peace that enfolds me, I know that you are God. Amen Lyn Gennoe (from the 2020-21 Methodist Prayer Handbook)

Information to be circulated? You can contact Brian Japes
Tel:- 852151 or email:- brian@japesfamily.co.uk