Family Worker Ramblings
Over the summer ( what a summer it’s been!), the young people (teenagers) have been involved in a youth weekend in Chester. The theme was serving others and started with a youth service on the Friday evening, followed by activities on the Saturday where groups of young people had various tasks to do in Chester. These ranged from handing out water and cake, to painting a fence and providing sports activities - all free of charge with the idea that we can bless others. We gathered together for another service to finish the weekend on the Saturday. The youth leaders from the surrounding villages are beginning to plan events to bring the young people from our various churches together. We joined together at the end of July for a fun evening in glorious sunshine. The campfire marshmallows went down a treat!
At our own church we have held a KS2 sleepover and the children and adults enjoyed discovering the caves (some for the first time) and thanks to Ric who showed us campfire skills and marshmallows were eaten over the fire. (The fire pit has been well used) All these activities bring people together and gives them an opportunity to learn new things about themselves; social skills to interact with others, and space to learn more about our Christian faith through practical activities, talks and prayer. We live in such an amazing area and the woods and hills around Frodsham were enjoyed by the people who came to our social at the end of July. Finishing with a barbecue at church. There are other activities planned for the coming months - so check our church website and tots at Frodsham Methodist Facebook page.
We send our blessings and good wishes to the five children who left Toddlers to start school this September. I hope they settle in quickly. Others from our church family are starting High School – may they enjoy the new opportunities available to them and know they are in our thoughts and prayers. We welcome new families in September as the Messy Mice group and toddlers continue to run. A large group of families and young people are going together to Greenbelt again this year, some for the first time. A time to listen to speakers, new bands, poets and watch performances; joining 5000 plus for a Sunday Morning service. Last year we had no rain, not sure it that will be the same this year. Happy camping!
As the months unfold may we strive to serve each other, support each other and together discover all that God has in store for us. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”. Micah 6:8
Young Families Worker
Many of you will be part of organisations outside of the church and will know that it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract new members to anything, be it a bowling club or a gardening club. People are wary of any sort of commitment. We see it in personal relationships. I’m puzzled when friends say: “we don’t want to get married; it might change things”.
The same is true in the church. People are wary of church membership and the reason I hear most often is not an issue with faith, but a fear that membership makes them eligible for committees! This is not what church membership is about, but in any case, the question our young people challenged us with a few weeks ago was: “Do we come to church to serve or to be served?”
We’re fortunate that we have a God who sees things differently. The bible uses the concept of “covenant” to describe God’s relationship with people. Covenants are agreements but ones which differ from contracts with which we are perhaps more familiar. Contracts are closed, well-defined and based in law. The covenant God makes with us is relational, open-ended and based in God’s unmerited love which we call “grace”. The story of God witnessed to by Scripture is the story of human beings letting God down and yet God refuses to walk away and tries again. Far different from church where one bad experience can lead people to say “I am never going back there again”. We’re flawed people and when things have gone wrong in the past, we’re very sorry.
Church Membership is the way in which Methodists commit themselves to following Jesus Christ in this covenant that God offers us. When we welcome people into membership, we welcome them firstly in the One Church of Jesus Christ, secondly into the church in a particular place and only thirdly into the part of that one church called Methodist. Being received into church
membership is about making the deeply counter-cultural declaration that I am going to commit myself to be part of God’s rescue plan for the world. I am going to be part of this work in this place and I will ask others around me to “watch over me in love” as I seek to do so.
There is nothing I would like more than to discuss Church Membership with any of you. Please get in touch with me or a member of the Leadership Team and we’ll have an informal chat.
Andrew M. Emison
Written by the Minister & Members