Your face, Lord, I will seek (Psalm 27)
Hope you all had a good Christmas and trust that 2021 will bring happiness, good health, peace and love. It has been a different Christmas for us all and we have missed our usual services and seeing each other. Did you receive any unusual Christmas presents this year? There is a prize for the most unusual Christmas present for a child and an adult! Please let us know using the contacts page. We have seen answers to prayer in 2020 and we are all happy that the vaccine for Covid-19 has started being rolled out and that many of our congregation have already had their first dose. As Christians we must hold on to the Word of God, bringing to Him our concerns; personal and national. We rest assured that He has won the great battle; as the famous hymn puts it:
“When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul‘”
Thank you for contributing to the Helping Hands Hampers. 74 hampers were delivered to local schools in our area and we trust many families benefited from these donations of food. The team who put the hampers together worked very hard, contributions of fresh food from local farmers and transport of the hampers to the schools was given by local business. It was a way that our community worked together to help others and share God’s love.
Vivan Cupit tells us of the work she has been involved in and has been a trustee for over the past 2 1/2 years. The food pantry is part of Compassion Acts Charity (www.compassionacts.uk) and it is a food club for those who are “just about managing”. For a weekly subscription of £5 clients are able to choose food, toiletries or household items. They are then offered free items, depending on what has been donated from the supermarket, these items are usually bread, fruit or vegetable with a short date span, there is also a free table where clients can choose what items they like. The value of goods the clients take home is between £20 to £25. We usually have a representative from the welfare benefits team or community money advice team to help clients with debt and making sure they are claiming the correct benefits for their situation. In December we started to reach out to the community of Banks with a food hub, and we are hoping to reach out to Tarleton and Hesketh Bank, if there are volunteers and premises available.
Have you ever read through the whole Bible in one year? Bible in One Year App 2021 With Nicky Gumbel (365 days). The plan takes readers through the entirety of Scripture in one year, including readings from the Old Testament, New Testament and either a Psalm or Proverb each day. Combined with a daily commentary from Nicky and Pippa Gumbel, it helps us to engage more closely with God’s Word and encourages us not only to apply the teachings of Scripture to our everyday life, but also to move deeper in our relationship with Jesus. Attached is a copy of the Bible in a Year for January/February. Perhaps set yourself a new year resolution to follow the Bible Reading plan each day.
Alpha Course – Would you like to follow an Alpha Course on line or know someone who does? It is an 11 week course. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to ask life’s big questions. What is my purpose? What happens when I die? Why is there suffering? Sign up at Alpha.org.
Think of our church. imagine that you cannot meet in person. That won’t take a lot of imagination given the past twelve months! Imagine you don’t even know who the other members of your church are. And that it would be dangerous if you found out. And even more dangerous if anybody found out you were a Christian. How would anybody find out? People in your neighborhood would be trained to spot you. Even your children might give you away. They would be told to inform their teachers if they see you reading from a black book. This is the risk of persecution faced by Christians every day in many parts of the world, Eritrea, Iran, Afghanistan and Somalia. Since 2002 North Korea has been the most dangerous place in the world to follow Jesus, according to extensive World Watch List research. Secret Christians can be imprisoned, tortured or even killed if their faith is discovered. Every member of your family could be found guilty ‘by association’, and face the same punishment. Miraculously the Church is increasing! Remember to pray for the work of the Charity Open Doors, you can be part of what God is doing to bring hope and life to believers who are following Jesus no matter the cost by contributing and supporting the work that they are doing. Open doors are holding their annual parliamentary launch of the World Watch List on 13 January between 4.00pm – 5.00pm. We are asked to write to our MP, Katherine Fletcher about the need for freedom to worship without persecution and invite her to the meeting. It is easy to do, go to: opendoorsuk.org/wwl
We are continuing our Church zoom prayer meetings, please join with us, ask Janet for details. We had a zoom prayer meeting with the Preston Ribble Circuit and the Chairman of District Paul Davis regarding a new Minister. Currently all Ministers have been appointed and prayers and discussions are taking place about the future of our Church and Circuit. Many hard decisions have to be made, please pray for God’s will, leading and guidance for the future.
Extract from the January 2021 Newsletter of African Enterprise www.africanenterprise.co.uk: “Keith Jarvis 17.4.1941-7.10.2020
Keith Jarvis was a truly gracious brother in Christ. His passion for the Gospel was tireless both for those churches he served as a Methodist Minister in the UK, and overseas.
His heart was especially for Africa, notably the mission of African Enterprise. His quiet and reliable support for AE was an example to us all. Our prayers are with his widow Anne, their son Andrew & daughter Rachel &family. Dr. John Wibberley, African Enterprise UK Board Member”
BBC 4 and BBC sounds, Book of the week is A History of the Bible, The Book and its Faiths, narrated by Huw Bonniville at 9.45 am and repeated at 12.30 am for all the night owls.
We are sad to report the recent deaths of Joan Hunter from Mere Brow and Derek Chamberlain a faithful Local Preacher in our Circuit. We remember their families at this time and pray for God’s peace and comfort to surround them.
Please pray for all all who are going through difficult times with health, finance and for whom the New Year brings many challenges, changes and decisions. We remember all who are unwell, Andrew staring treatment on 5th January, Tony, Suzie, our congregation, our Minister & family, our Circuit, our community, local businesses, our Government, schools, students and teachers.
Many Thanks for all your tithes and offerings to the Church at Hesketh Lane.Despite not being able to meet we are still having to pay expenses for upkeep. If you would like to pay direct into the Church Account the sort code is 40-24-14 and account number 90429562. Thank You.
May our Lord Jesus Christ & God our Father, who loved us by his grace give us eternal
encouragement & good hope, encourage your hearts & strengthen you in every good deed & work
(2 Thessalonians 2 v 16&17)