Message from Chair of District
To members and friends across Lancashire Methodist District
‘O come to my heart, Lord Jesus – there is room in my heart for Thee.’
Seasons greetings to you, as we journey through Advent towards the celebration of the birth of our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ.
I hope, within all the activities and preparations, we can make time to prepare our hearts to receive the gift of God’s love, grace, peace and joy – a true antidote to the harsh realities of life in this ‘cost of living’ crisis.
Thank you for all your encouragement over these months, as we anticipate our working and journeying together throughout the New Year, 2023.
watch our for a couple of ‘ENRICH’ retreat / prayer days in the new year
DISTRICT YOUTH FORUM and 3 GENERATE
We had a wonderful District Youth Event in November at Poulton Methodist Church. Great food and fun activities, and initial discussions around building our Youth Work in the District, and forming a District Youth Council / Forum, with representative young people from across the churches and Circuits of the District. Further information about how to be involved coming in the New Year. The next opportunity for our young people to gather together will be as part of our ‘ENGAGE’ Synod event in Lancaster on Saturday April 22nd.
Plans are already being prepared to take hopefully even more to 3 Generate 2023 (dates already announced: October 6th - 8th).
ANNOUNCING A NEW APPOINTMENT
LAY EMPLOYEES’ CHAPLAIN – Rev’d Emma Holroyd
Introducing Rev’d Emma Holroyd as our new Lay Employees’ Chaplain. Thank you, Emma, for taking on this role, given all your previous experience as a Lay Employee in the church.
We are thankful to God for all our Lay Employees across the District, filling a variety of roles within our Circuits and churches.
Lay Employees will be able to get in touch with Emma, who is available to be an additional support along the way.
OTHER DISTRICT VACANCIES
If you have the time and the experiences or gifts to offer for any of these roles, please do get in touch with me or Carole (in the District Office – contact details below) and play your part in building our District team. Many thanks.
District Lay Employment Secretary (working with the Lay Employment Sub Committee overseeing the increasing number of lay employees across the District)
District Sabbaticals Secretary (chairing the Sabbaticals group for the District)
We also have several vacancies on committees, if you can offer yourself.
District Ministries Panel - four vacancies
District Probationers’ Committee - two vacancies
District Grants Committee - three vacancies (financial / business / project management experiences)
DISTRICT PRAYER via Zoom:
For a trial period we’re continuing to open up a midweek opportunity for people across the District to gather, on Zoom, for a time of shared prayer. We’re offering this on Wednesday mornings, from 8.00a.m. for up to a half hour (but for as long or short a time as you can manage within that).
Please join me, and others from across the Circuit, as and when you can on Wednesdays
7th, 14th, 21st and 28th December.
LANCASHIRE SINGS CHRISTMAS
Join hundreds of people as we hold the LARGEST Christmas Carol event in Lancashire, with BBC Radio Lancashire broadcasting live from their radio studio.
Thursday 15th December, 7.00p.m. – 95.5 FM / 103.9 FM
Join with others and enjoy an evening of carols, celebrating ‘There IS room’.
DISTRICT ZOOM SERVICE:
We are thrilled with the re-start of our weekly District Zoom Service on Sunday evenings, from 7.00p.m., as we go through Advent, Christmas and into the new year, 2023, when we will renew our Covenant relationship with God.
This is a 30 – 40 minute time together on Zoom, led at times by different people across the District, with worship songs and hymns, readings and reflections, and time for sharing prayers (usually via the Zoom chat function).
If you would like to offer to be involved in some way, or would like the Zoom details, please do contact Carole in the District Office (details, below).
PODCAST – ‘A Place For Us’
We have a new monthly podcast, available for you to listen to at any time.
In the first episode of our new District ‘A Place For Us’ podcast, we hear from Deacon Sylvie Nicholls about the launch of her new book, ‘The treasure on the shore’, and we visit the Warm Space at Padiham Road Methodist Church, Burnley and Pendle Circuit, and finally we share prayer with the President and Vice President of the Methodist Church in Uruguay.
You can hear the podcast here (or from our District Website)
Listen out for the next edition, due mid-December.
At our additional Synod in November, we spent an evening pouring over the plan to work much more closely with Cumbria, Liverpool, Bolton & Rochdale (and hopefully Manchester & Stockport) Methodist Districts across our North West region. Synod voted overwhelmingly to support the continued conversations and plans – we expect to hear more of this over the coming months, towards a significant vote in our Circuit meetings and District Synod in the Spring 2023.
Please note that we have booked the Lune Valley Methodist Hub in Brookhouse, Lancaster, for our all-day ‘ENGAGE’ Synod event on SATURDAY 22nd APRIL. This inspirational day will explore how we might better ENGAGE ALL, ensuring we are being inclusive, diverse, vibrant in enabling all people to find their spiritual home amongst us, growing as disciples of Jesus. This will be an open event, for all ages, and there will be further information, including how to book your place(s), in the January District letter.
Finally for now, I wish you a very blessed and happy Christmas, and a peaceful, fruitful New Year.
May our Advent God – always advancing towards us – continue to ENRICH us, as we seek to reach out and enrich the communities and neighbours amongst whom we live and serve.
‘Joy to the world, the Lord is come – let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room – and heaven and nature sing!’