How will you live your life in Lent? I want to encourage us all to spend time thinking about our connections with other people - not just the people we get along with but particularly the people we struggle with, or the children we have been spotted scowling and tutting at!
The priority for Frodsham Methodist Church this year is growing together as family. I would like each one of us to commit to growing a relationship with someone we don't know very well, or strengthening one with someone we know quite well. Invite them round for coffee, or a meal, or out for a walk or an event. Include them in something you love to do - share it with them. Let's grow as family through Lent - not arguing, or moaning or complaining, but just living well, and showing love!
Let's do it!
Rev'd. Denise Harding
Toddler Group: Thursdays, 10-11.30am
Thursday mornings are always busy, full of noise, activity and lots of coffee, tea and biscuits are consumed, plus snack for children. It’s great to see new faces and the sunshine has been enjoyed once again as we use the outside area. We are planning as good as new sale for the 5th April. Come and grab a bargain (see details below) plus considering where to go for our summer trip. If you are thinking of joining us, you will be made very welcome.
Good as New Sale: 5th April, 10-12noon
At Frodsham Methodist Church. In aid of Chester Babygrow Appeal. Bring your items to sell either on Friday 4th April between 4-7pm or Saturday morning 9-9.30pm. Contact me for further details on 07749877823.
Messy Mice: 10am 1st and 3rd Mondays
We meet to get messy, chat and discover another story from the bible. We are looking at the life of Jesus at the moment. The session is full of busy children. So full, another pair of hands would be a great help! If you can help please speak to me.
Walks for the Summer
With longer days and some warmer weather ahead, why not join the church family and take the opportunities to meet and go for a walk. In May, June and July we are going out on a Friday night for Messy Outings, and it would be great to have a few Saturday/ Sunday events over the summer months. If anyone would like to organise these, or have suggestions of where to go let me know.
Good Friday All Age Worship and Tea
If you are around on Good Friday why don’t you join in the faith tea and worship time at Frodsham Methodist Church. A great opportunity for us to join together.
May God hold us in his love and care over the next two months. Please pray for all the children taking exams either in KS2 or above in the near future.
Young Families Worker
With her grandfather a peer of the realm and her great-uncle Earl of Anglesey, Susanna was born into a cultured and learned family with aristocratic roots. Although ordained in the Church of England in 1644, her father, Dr Samuel Annesley, became a dissenter and was ejected from his living in 1662. His house in Spital Yard became the centre of a large London network of Dissent. Thus, Susanna witnessed many debates about Establishment and Freedom, on the Prayer Book and the Bible, and on free will and foreknowledge.
Before the age of thirteen, she had drawn up a list of the main points of controversy between the established Church and Dissent, from which she reasoned that she preferred the Church of England. Susanna was much better educated than the average woman in her day and she wrote many letters, meditations and scriptural commentaries, sadly many lost in the fires at Epworth Rectory.
When Samuel Wesley met Susanna in 1682, he found her beautiful to look at, fascinating to listen to, and in complete contrast from his poor and lowly background. After his graduation from Oxford, they married in November 1688. Their marriage lasted 46 years, despite a tempestuous relationship: in a letter to John written in 1725, Susanna confessed, "But ‘tis an unhappiness almost peculiar to our family, that your father and I seldom think alike."
She had a strong principle regarding the liberty of conscience, most famously demonstrated when she omitted to say "Amen" at family prayers when Samuel prayed for King William III. (She believed that James II was still the rightful King of England.) This incident caused a rift between Samuel and Susanna, but they were reconciled in July 1702 when the first fire occurred at Epworth Rectory. Their most famous son, John, was born the following June. After the most famous rectory fire, from which John Wesley was rescued – "a brand plucked from the burning", Susanna felt that as God had delivered her children, so now she must provide a first-class education for them. After this momentous event, she also desired to develop her own religious life. While Samuel was in London during the winter of 1711-12, he was annoyed to discover
that his wife was conducting services in the Rectory in his absence. He reprimanded her, out of jealousy perhaps, as her services were proving more popular than his own in the parish church!
As well as being wife, mother and housekeeper at the rectory, Susanna was schoolmistress. She ordered her big family (ten of her nineteen children survived into adulthood) and servants in a methodical way, with everything done according to rule and time. Every Wesley baby was taught to cry softly, if they cried at all! The children were taught a delightful courtesy towards each other and towards their servants and neighbours. They must never eat between meals but eat all that was provided at mealtimes. Lying, stealing and playing in church was punished, but every act of obedience was commended and rewarded. Susanna’s main aim was to get the children away from what she called "self will" into a disciplined life where duty to God and to others was paramount.
The children learned The Lord’s Prayer as soon as they could speak, and while still very young they were instructed to distinguish between Sunday and other days of the week. On each child’s fifth birthday, she took that particular boy or girl into a room away from the others, and on that one day taught him or her the alphabet. Susanna made time in her busy schedule to talk to each of her children about God: she used to have one evening for each child (Thursday was John’s, and years later, when an Oxford don, he wrote to his mother, begging her still to think of him on Thursday evenings.) Following their home education, her three sons went up to great public schools in London where each did well. The girls learned Greek, Latin and French from their mother, as well as how to order a house.
For John Wesley, his upbringing by Susanna laid a foundation of honesty, discipline, hard work and the constructive use of time, which became evident in the rules he later set out for his preachers and the members of his Societies. Susanna is recognised as a devoted mother in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral’s stained glass window dedicated to noble women.
Note: Visiting the Old Rectory in Epworth, Lincolnshire, is a wonderful mecca for Methodists – and others! Find out more by visiting their website.
4all began as an inspired discussion amongst the leadership team, as an opportunity for all the people of our church to worship together once a month in a new way. Four months later many people have been involved in the planning, preparation, and leading the 4all service, giving people the opportunity to use or discover their talents.
Many of you have come to a 4all service and had the opportunity to learn more about God from the different activities on offer and got to know each other better through these activities. Here are some comments about the service.
"The quiet room was a great blessing to me this morning."
"There was a good variety of art ideas to choose from."
"The discussions have been good and I enjoy hearing what others have to say."
"It gives me the flexibility to worship with others and still be able to stay in church for the sermon."
For me there is a great joy in seeing young and old worshiping together and creating a hive of activity with God at the centre. Having the flexibility once a month to choose what to do enables me to connect with God in different ways. I certainly have got to know others better during these times.
So if you haven’t discovered 4all why not come and see what it is all about? It’s on the 1st Sunday of each month at 10.45am. The next themes are
April: The Way of the Cross
May: The Life of Faith
New people are always welcome to lead or help with the different activities, so if you are good at art ideas, discussions, or preparing a quiet space please let the stewards know.
Young Families Worker
When all the world’s against you
And times are feeling bad
When nothing seems to cheer you up
And life is really sad
Just take a look around you
At all the glorious earth
The beauty of each tiny flower
The gift of precious birth
The glory of a sunny day
The twinkling stars that shine
And in His heaven God watches
These joys are yours – and mine.
Composed by Barbara Maddock during the March 4all service
10th Birthday Celebrations
We had a wonderful weekend in February celebrating 10 years of 0930live! at the party in the hall and in the service. Many thanks to all who came to these events and shared their feelings about the service and thoughts about the future. As a team we are looking at the comments and we will keep you informed of all changes ahead.
We followed the themed preaching laid out for all services through the first quarter of this year and found it very helpful to connect to God in different ways. In February we lit candles to remind ourselves that we need to go back to God, the source of all light, and then pass on his light to others, and in March we took stones to hold as we prayed that God would give us the wisdom to recognise temptation and the strength to resist it.
Palm Sunday – 13th April
This year 0930live! falls on Palm Sunday which is a triumphal day in the calendar. We thought that it would be a good opportunity for everyone to invite someone, or a family, along to the service to share in the Good News. The feedback for the service suggests that it’s a friendly format and that the message is good – so what are we waiting for?!
Annual Camping Trip – 11th-13th July
It’s official – last year we out-grew Brassey Green, which is sad as there are many happy memories of campfires, scary stories amongst the grave stones and walks across fields and along the canal to the ice cream farm. But due to the success of the event we require better facilities and are looking at other options for this summer. If you would like to be part of the planning team for this year, please contact Andrea Ellams or me, all will be welcome.
We would love more people to get involved in 0930live! and all its social spin-offs. This not only needs people to respond to requests to help, but also requires us to be even more organised! We hope that as we move into our second decade (!) we can use the talents of more and more people to enhance worship and enable the growth of individuals.
Schools & Community Worker
Easter is almost here! Where have the first few months of this year gone? Have you found space and time for your relationship with God since the New Year? Was it on your list of resolutions to make or keep? Well, even if not, how would you describe your relationship with God right now? John Wesley, our father in Methodism, used to ask three questions in his class meetings - and he expected honest responses!
How are you travelling with the Lord?
What sins have you committed since last we met?
How have you been delivered from your sins?
So, if you want to check out your relationship with God as we approach Easter, you could do worse than to ask those three questions honestly to yourself. And when you have done that, then focus your attention on the good news that Jesus came to free us from our sins - that wonderful news we celebrate on Easter Sunday, and every Sunday. Live as one forgiven and renewed - and share that good news this Easter season with all the people God places across your path.
God bless you, and Happy Easter!
Blog posts written by the Minister and Members of Frodsham Methodist Church.