THE LINK  

   The monthly magazine of St Andrew’s, Devizes; Marston Chapel;

and Trinity, Market Lavington

March 2019

Minister

 

Revd Gary Gotham

 

 

Dear All,


I recently bought a new Hymnbook - 'Songs to Shake us Up' by John Campbell. (https://www.kevinmayhew.com/songs-to-shake-us-up.html) and found the following words in it - words that have spoken a powerful challenge to me as we continue our journey together...the challenge is this - in all we do, how much of it is for our benefit and how much for ‘others’? I welcome conversations with you around this topic...

We all too easily assume    (Isaiah 58:6-12 - Suggested tune: Good Christians all, rejoice)
that worship needs a special room,
solemn words with hang-dog face,
all offered in a gloomy place.
You cry out for love and care
that's practised freely ev'rywhere:
worship all can share, offered everywhere!


We seem to think that holiness
means separation from the rest
keeping safe and nice and good,
not mixing in the neighbourhood.
You, instead, would send us out,
for that's what you are all about:
holiness to share, offered everywhere!

And ministry, the whole world knows,
is done by those in special clothes:
those who preach and lead and pray,
and help the faithful go God's way.
You want ev'ryone you call
to live your love for one and all:
ministry is care, offered everywhere!

And when we'd build community
we think we know how that should be;
safe, secure, without a doubt,
so 'we' are in, and they are out.
You persist in pulling down
each bound'ry wall we build around.
All are asked to share, here and everywhere!


                                                           Gary

 

 

 

Women's World Day of Prayer

'Come, everything is ready'

This is a truly worldwide, ecumenical movement.  This is a service prepared by women for the whole Church.  This year, women of Slovenia, one of the smaller and newer countries in Europe, have prepared the service, and they encourage us to reflect on the barriers they have faced since the end of the Second World War when their country was part of Yugoslavia.  They share the challenges they have faced and the hopes they have for the future. 

The service is held in 120 countries.  It begins at dawn in Samoa and prayer, in every language travels around the world, finishing in American Samoa as the sun sets. It is always held on the first Friday in March.

The service in Devizes will be on Friday, 1st March at 10.30 a.m. in St. Andrew's Church.  Everyone is welcome to share this special service, and feel part of this great circle of prayer travelling around the world.

Ruth McGregor

 

 

She Deserves Fairtrade

Fairtrade Fortnight 2019 (February 25th – March 10th) will focus on cocoa. Farmers of this iconic Fairtrade product have seen prices crash to crisis levels in the last few years, particularly in West Africa where most cocoa is grown. The situation highlights in stark terms the scandal of unfair trade. We have a choice about whether we take a stand against this.


Many farmers – both men and women – are underpaid and exploited. That means they can’t earn enough for the basics many of us take for granted, including food, education and housing, because they don’t earn a living income.


It’s even worse for the women who work in the fields and in the home. Despite the hard work they put in, they’re often overlooked and under-represented, and usually see even less of the money for their crop. They deserve more.


Women are central to the cocoa story. Here in the UK, there’s a growing movement calling for equal pay and respect for women. Ideas like living incomes, fairness and dignity are already at the heart of the public conversation. Women everywhere deserve respect, dignity, rest, relaxation and appreciation. Fairtrade supports women’s empowerment.

 

So when you buy chocolate make sure it's Fairtrade!

Fairtrade Fortnight event in Devizes:


Fairtrade Wine and Chocolate Tasting Wednesday 27th February 7.30 pm in the Town Hall. Tickets £5 from Antonia Tel: 01380 720571 or Devizes Books.

She Deserves a Living Income

 

 

Holy Habits No. 6 : Serving

  

This Holy Habit will be introduced and explored in Café Worship on the 24 March.

Holy Habits generally and “Serving” in particular, help us to steer an earthly course by the standard and ways of heaven. This earthly course occasionally lifts the veil on what heaven is like by showing a heaven (in our dimension) on earth. The good news of Jesus is that the kingdom of God is both here and yet to come. A Christian's challenge is to proclaim the good news of living and serving on earth as if in heaven. Acts of love (including serving), justice and peace are a taste of how God’s world is to be.

Matthew 20:28 reminds us that the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve. In serving others we are not only responding to their needs, but we are also glorifying and serving God. In Matthew 25: 31-46 Jesus makes it clear that in serving others “……just as you did it to one of the least of those who are one of my family, you did it to me.” He describes such people as being blessed by his Father and they will inherit the kingdom prepared for them. In Mark 10:43 Jesus teaches his disciples that “whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.” Similarly, in Galatians 5:13 Paul writes “That …..through love become slaves to one another.”

This holy habit of “Serving” offers an opportunity to acknowledge the many ways in which Christians are already serving by giving to charity, through voluntary work and importantly by everyday listening, supporting and caring for others. Caring does not have to be only in major acts or in glamorous ways. Simple acts of serving develop relationships which help to build God’s kingdom. Moving chairs or tables in church, making tea or coffee in church or at home for visitors are all the equal of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet where He was the servant showing his disciples that he loved them. Volunteering to help others in any way is an important way of serving others and making them feel loved and this can be a springboard to showing the love of Christ for communities.

It is productive to pray how you might use your time to serve others for example:

Spend time with someone housebound, babysit for parents of young children, listen to young children read at school, help at the Foodbank or Open Doors for the homeless.  In the church add your name to the car Rota, assist on the door at reception, give out hymn books, collect for Christian Aid, pray for those in jobs and positions which serve the community e.g. fire officers, hospital workers, police officers etc.

 You may not always be thanked when you try to help someone but Jesus knows you are showing His love. When it comes to our service it is good to be self-aware and test ourselves to examine our motives when we set out to serve. Do not be someone who really wants to just enhance your own feel-good factor but will not be available for the long haul of service throughout the year.

 

The prayer below sums up what is in this article.

Servant King Jesus, thank you for coming as a servant to help us and love us. We thank you for all the times people have helped us. Be with us as we try to help others and be kind and say a prayer for them. Amen

 

Play Reading Group

 

We have a Play Reading Group which meets in the foyer on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 2 - 4 p.m. and we would welcome some new members. We read a variety of plays from Ayckbourn to Francis Durbridge, so there will be something to suit everyone’s taste.

 

For more information, ring Jenny Warren on 01380 729529.

 

 

We have received a letter of thanks from Parkway Methodist Church in St. Paul's Bristol,

where our Christmas gifts were sent.

 

       "Dear friends at Devizes,

 

 

Very many thanks for your continuing support with the Christmas parcel scheme at Parkway.  We packed for 118 families with many parcels going out through Refugee Rights and the Asylum teams, as well as Social Workers and Health Visitors.  We do receive thanks from team leaders saying how much the gifts are appreciated.

 

I have been involved with this packing scheme for over 40 years and I know it was happening before that!  We do hope we will be able to continue this and thank you so much for your support.  Without your help it cannot continue.

 

We do appreciate you bringing your gifts all the way to Bristol.  They are always most welcome.  Thank you so much.

 

We will be packing again on December 2nd, 3rd, 4th and would welcome your gifts during that time.

 

With many thanks and good wishes for 2019.

 

Mary Hurlstone"

 

 

 

PRAYER FOR MARCH - from The Prayer Group

 

    Loving God

  We pray for our Church, the one we love and cherish - help us to see the world beyond its walls and pray for those outside.   Open our eyes to their needs as well as our own, that we may shine the light of your love into their lives.   We thank you loving God for the people of your Church throughout the world.   For their dedication and service, for those obeying your command to love and care in places of need and darkness.

May we join them in bringing the light of your love where ever we go, that your name is known  and your Kingdom comes.   AMEN

 With good wishes,

Hilary Burn

 

 

A ROCHA UK

A Challenge for Lent

 

A recent report stated that in 2017 carbon emissions in the UK were down 36% from 1990. This improvement is due in part to stricter rules on vehicle emissions but also lower demand for electricity in homes, industry and business through more efficient designs of light bulbs and other appliances. Renewable energy sources are growing rapidly, so that by 2021 this should outstrip fossil fuels. However, the world is still a long way off achieving the target of keeping the global warming increase to

1.5 degrees C.

We all need to “do our bit”.  So here is a challenge offered by the joint public issues team of the URC, Methodist, Baptists and Church of Scotland entitled LIVING LENT.  It suggests taking on one of the following challenges for the 40 days of Lent

starting 6th March.

 ? go meat-free

 ? take up an alternative form of transport

 ? give up single-use plastics

 ? have an “electricity free” hour every day

 ? buy only locally sourced food

 ? commit to buying nothing “non-essential” new

  “The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof,  the world, and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24

 

 Christine Madigan

 

From the Pastoral Secretary

 

Help with Alcohol Dependency in Wiltshire

 

Popular drinking myths are being debunked as part of a campaign to encourage more people dependent on alcohol to get help:

 

2,725 people living across Wiltshire had to go to hospital for alcohol-related problems between 2016 and 2017 and it is estimated that 3,892 people are alcohol-dependent in Wiltshire.

 

There were 205 alcohol-related deaths in Wiltshire in 2016.

 

In a bid to help people, Alcohol Change UK has published some common myths around drinking, including the belief that it is OK to drink more at weekends - the charity says the weekly 14-unit recommended guidance should be spread over three days.  It says another common belief that going to the gym can 'sweat out' the alcohol is also wrong - only time will get the booze out of the blood stream.

 

Alcohol Change UK is a new charity formed by the merger of Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK.  There is a lot of information about alcohol on their website www.alcoholchange.org.uk

 

Ian Keasey, of Public Health England (South West) said:  "We know how easy it can be for people to underestimate the amount they are drinking.  It can start with a glass of wine with dinner, then progresses to one while you cook and then one after your meal and suddenly before you know it, you could be exceeding the weekly intake".

 

Key Messages:

  • Both men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week;

  • 14 units is the equivalent to 6 pints of 4% beer, 6 medium glasses of 13% wine, or 14 single 25 ml serves of spirits;

  • If you do drink 14 units then it should be spread across 3 or more days;

  • If you are pregnant, you shouldn't drink any alcohol;

  • You should limit the amount of alcohol you drink in any one session.

www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-drug-and-alcohol 

 

Jennifer Brearley

 

 

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