April is going to be a busy month. One common theme that is found in two of the events is prayer. On April 23rd the Church Stewards are organising a ‘Day of Prayer’ for the future of the church. More details about the arrangements for this day can be found further on in this newsletter. I warmly commend it to you.
Two other events happen on that same weekend. The first of these is Women’s World Day of Prayer service which had to be postponed at the beginning of March due to the snow. The rearranged service is taking place on April 22nd 7.30pm at Sacred Heart. This year’s writing country is Cuba, much in the news this week! The service will be informal and held in the hall. There is a warm welcome to both men and women.
The last event of that weekend is the annual Easter Offering Dedication Service, which will take place on April 24th at 6.30pm at Greenfield Methodist Church. The tradition of the Easter Offering dates back to 1883 when women in Manchester collected £32 from 'Christmas pennies' donated at family gatherings on Christmas Day for Missionary work overseas. In March 1884, the London Districts distributed Easter envelopes and collecting bags asking for a penny a head and just over £100 was collected. From this success, the idea grew and by 1900 the amount totalled £1,655. In 1903 Easter offerings were extended to all country chapels. 'Let us bear in mind,' they wrote, 'the importance of the "Littles"'.
Through gifts great and small, the Easter Offering has become a significant feature of the World Church. In 1986, the centenary year, it totalled nearly £200,000. Throughout the country, effort focuses on the annual envelope collection for the Fund for World Mission through the Easter Offering and the associated service of dedication. This reflects the long history of commitment to overseas work by the women of Methodism. The theme and service are different every year. The title of the Easter Offering dedication service for 2016 comes from the story of the healing of Jairus' daughter (Luke 8: 54). Envelopes to enable you to share in this work are currently to be found in the pews.
Two other events happening during the month include a ‘Work Day’ on April 16th from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Please come and help with tasks which assist the general upkeep of the building. Eddie Butterworth is the “Works Manager” for the day: a list of tasks will be posted nearer the date on the noticeboard in the Methodist Centre.
The last event of the month is a culinary evening, ‘The World on a Plate’ on April 30th at 7.30pm. The evening will be an opportunity to discover more about the overseas projects that the church is currently supporting.
Paul, writing to the Christians at Philippi, encouraged them to take everything to God in prayer, whether small or large (Philippians 4 :6). Let us take all the events coming up to God in prayer alongside the needs of the world and our church family.
With best wishes