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Saint Johns Methodist Church

Llandudno

Connections

Concert season 2017  God please show me  Concert season 2017


            Easter
Issue 2017       

Connections

 

This time last year Mark and I were walking the North Wales Pilgrims’ Way, a 135 mile walk through some of North Wales most spectacular scenery and passing by many ancient Christian sites along the way.

It was a marvellous experience. It was good to know that we were walking a path thousands of Christians have walked over the centuries. And the fact that Christianity has been at the heart of this area for over a thousand years offers us all encouragement as well as a challenge.

In some ways everything has changed and yet in others not at all. Society is not at all like it was for those early people of faith. The world has changed dramatically. And yet, the truths of the gospel remain unchanged - Christ died for us.  Christ is risen.

“Dying, you destroyed our death.
Rising, you restored our life.
Lord Jesus, come in glory.”

These words are from the liturgy for Holy Communion during the Easter season. These are the truths we hold. They are the same truths held by Christians of ancient times. We are one through the ages, bound together by the gospel we profess and by the Spirit of God:

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called, one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. “ Ephesians 4:4-6

We are Easter people, we have always been Easter people, rising to newness of life in Christ Jesus our Lord, however downtrodden we may feel at times.

And this is our time, the time when we have responsibility for passing on the good news of God in Christ. It is our responsibility, our joy and our privilege to share the good news of God’s love for all.

“Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!”

May you have a joy-filled Easter season.
Rev Bev

 
 

North Wales Pilgrims’ Way

You may remember that this time last year Bev and Mark were on sabbatical, walking the North Wales Pilgrims’ Way.

This year we hope to retrace some of their steps as we undertake a pilgrimage from Bangor to Aberdaron, calling at some of the many fascinating ancient Christian sites along the way. We plan to do this all in one day,  either 5th or 12th August. Of course, we are going by car rather than walking…

If you are interested in coming along please contact one of the stewards or Lyn at St John’s office as soon as possible, and ask for a form to fill in.

 

 
 

Just dreaming

When Martin Luther King delivered his famous speech, “I have a dream,” from the steps of the Lincoln monument, Washington, in August, 1963, it was to a civil rights movement that was enduring fierce and often brutal opposition. The speech strengthened their resolve, giving them a vision of a country united as one under God, and real hope that one day black and white Americans might live alongside each other as equals. The eventual outcome was legislation which transformed the lives of millions. The dream, however, has not yet been fully realised.

It was a great speech, but there is something else about it that, lost in the shadow of its brilliance, can easily be overlooked: it did not come to Martin Luther King out of thin air, in a blinding flash of inspiration: it had been wrought from years of prayer and heart-searching, and from the reading of Scripture. All of this is woven into his speech; Biblical allusions and quotations from the Old Testament are there in profusion.

We might not aspire to have Martin Luther King’s gift of oratory, but we can, all of us, have dreams: dreams for ourselves and loved-ones; dreams for our church, for our nation and for the world; dreams which are formed from that same vision of a world under God’s rule.

Where better to start than by reading what the writer of Psalm 46 says? If you have a moment, read it through; take your time and let it sink in. You will see that he is speaking about
our world of today, and not just about his. Mountains shaking, waters roaring and foaming, nations in uproar and falling - these are news items that we hear year-in, year-out. And what does the Psalmist say is God’s answer to it all? It is:

                                     “Be still, and know that I am God.”


For most of my life I saw what the Psalmist was saying, but I failed to see how I could do it. I was too busy with an endless variety of tasks in the church, with caring for a family and running a demanding business; in a ten or twelve-hour working day, five or six days a week, there was not much time for being still. Those moments were usually limited to a few precious times when I could go walking in the hills, enjoying the beauty of God’s world and allowing my thoughts to roam freely.

Today I can see how mistaken I was. I did have the time – we all have it: there are the same number of hours in the day for each one of us. The question is, how are we going to use them? For years I dodged that question; for years I ignored the message contained in the passage in Luke’s Gospel (ch.10, 38-42) where Martha complained to Jesus that her sister, Mary, was sitting there, listening to his every word, while she was left doing all the work: as Jesus gently told her, Mary’s way was the better way. He was not saying that Martha’s way had no value, that we should be like Mary and do nothing else every moment of our life: God wants us to be both “Martha” and “Mary”; but what He wants most is that our service to Him should spring from quiet contemplation and listening for His Word. I still needed to give myself more of this time - to give myself time to dream.

In September, 2014, I was taken to hospital with heart-failure. Thanks to the care I received and to medication, I am back to living a fairly normal life, limited to the extent that even short spells of activity – down to sitting at a computer or eating a meal – have to be followed by often longer periods of rest. Hill-walking might not now be possible, but through more gentle walks like those on the Promenade or on the RSPB reserve, I am still able to take in the glory of this beautiful corner of Wales and enjoy the varying moods of the weather and the changing colours of the seasons.

More than that, there is now ample opportunity for me to do as the Psalmist says. Every day I set aside time to be still. I call it my quiet time: it is a “stillness” which is, at the same time, strangely productive. There is no set syllabus; I rarely know beforehand where my thoughts will take me, but always I will see what is around me – however near or distant – in the light of God’s love. This is will seem utter nonsense to those who do not know God’s promises, but it is understood by all who do and who seek, however imperfectly, to live by them. It has drawn from me an immense gratitude to God for this most precious gift of life, and a desire to express my thankfulness as best as I can. I know that God will accept what I offer Him: He has work for each and every one of us, not least in this church and community.

I hope there are some who, however active or inactive they might be, will be encouraged by these few thoughts to go on dreaming dreams; and above all, take time - if only for a few moments each day  – to be still and know that He is God. Because that is how dreams are made to come true.

Ron Jones, St John’s

 
 

A University Level Test

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:

"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

"Absolutely, " said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘hello.’"

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

Contribution from David Barratt, St John’s

 

 
 

The Methodists

Who are we?
We are a worldwide Christian organisation with at least 80 million members. In Britain there are 208,000 members but with at least four times that number connected to the church.


Can anyone be involved?
Yes, Methodism is open to all people, you do not have to be chosen but you do have to choose to be a Christian.

What do Methodists strive to do? What do we believe in?
Our beliefs are summarised by four statements of what is called ‘our calling’:

WORSHIP:
The Church exists to increase awareness of God's presence and to celebrate God's love.

LEARNING & CARING:
The Church exists to help people to grow and learn as Christians, through mutual support and care.

SERVICE:
The Church exists to be a good neighbour to people in need and to challenge injustice.

EVANGELISM:
The Church exists to make more followers of Jesus Christ.

What is the Method?
Methodism developed during a time when the majority Christian religion deployed vicars and specialist priests and other officials who would act as an interpretive conduit between the worshipper and God. Methodism does not advocate this connection through specialists but promotes a direct link with God that we achieve through individual prayer and praise. This directness is the Method. John Wesley exemplified this method of worship. In fact our ministers are members like everyone else.

Becoming a Christian and Methodist is a free choice and not a product of birth or transmission or because you are a member of a special group. That makes excellent news for everybody!

What are Methodists like?
Well they are like you and me to be blunt! That is they are a varied collection of humans. What is noticeable is because of our calling many Methodist Church members will be engaged in social action via practical volunteering in charities and in campaigning for social justice. At the time I write this the Methodist Church of Great Britain, for example , is calling upon the current Government to rethink its social strategy with particular regard to benefits sanctions and their impact on the lives of children. Methodists volunteer and try to be helpful neighbours. If I were to list all the organisations that members in my church volunteer for it would run to pages. This is typical of Methodists who give practical expression to their Christianity by acts of generosity or helpfulness.

Is the Methodist Church growing?
There has been a surge of growth in South Korea but in the UK Methodist Church attendance reflects the slow decline seen in other large church organisations. That’s why we need you! We need to work together to continue the work that God has for us to do.

How Do I Become a Member?
Speak to the minister or one of the stewards for more details.

Ed: Contributed by Graham Morgan, St John’s, when he discovered that many people do not know much of what Methodism is about. Further details about the Methodist emphases can be found on the Methodist churches’ website or in the leaflet at St John’s.

 

 

John Wesley, one of the founders of the Methodist Church

 
 

A Story...

An eye witness account from New York City , on a cold day in December, some years ago: A little boy, about 10-years-old, was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering
with cold.

A lady approached the young boy and said, 'My, but you're in such deep thought staring in that window!'

'I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,' was the boy's reply.

The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her.

She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.

By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes.

She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, 'No doubt, you will be more comfortable now.'

As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her:

'Are you God's wife?'

Contribution by Meriel Dobinson, St David’s
Ed: “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him… I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
John 13:3-5 and 15

 
 

THE GOSPEL STORY BY COLOURS

BLACK shows sin separates us from God.  Everyone sins.  No one is perfect.  (See Romans 3:23)
 
RED is for Jesus’ blood. Jesus died on the cross.  His blood takes your sins away.  (See 1 John 1:7)
 
BLUE is for faith.  God gives eternal life to all who trust in Jesus as their Saviour.   (See Galatians 2:16)
 
WHITE means you are clean and forgiven. Jesus washes you clean.  He makes your sins disappear.  (See Psalm 51:7)
 
GREEN is for growing in faith.  You can learn about Jesus at Church, Sunday School and in the Bible.  When you know Jesus, he makes your faith grow.  (See 1 Corinthians 3:6)
 
YELLOW means you get to go to heaven.  Jesus is making a special place for YOU so someday you will live with him forever! (See John 14:203)
 

Author Unknown (Taken from a card bought in Kingdom Crafts, Llandudno)

Contributed by Sarah Small, St John’s

 

 
 

Chernobyl 1986

Many of us will recall the horror of Chernobyl 1986. Following a catastrophic nuclear accident in the northern Ukraine / Belarus region many families were affected by the nuclear fallout. Even North Wales was affected when many hill farmers found their flocks contaminated, becoming unfit for human consumption. Serious heath problems persist in the Chernobyl region: children today still suffer damaged immune systems from the effects of low level radiation after 31 years.

There’s a UK charity that seeks to help. The Llandudno branch of Chernobyl Children's Life Line (CCLL) welcomes each year a number of children aged around 8 -12 years (plus interpreter) who stay with host families along our coastline. It’s a chance for them to enjoy ‘
uncontaminated fresh sea air, sunshine, exciting trips out, lots of exercise and perhaps the main ingredients love and friendship’, to quote from the charity’s leaflet. Medical and dental treatment is also made available if needed. The children stay for a month, and each month spent in the UK is estimated to add two years to the children’s lifespans.

If you have children (grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc.) aged between 8 and 12 years of age who have grown out of clothing, please would you consider passing items on for the visitors, who often come only with what they’re wearing. Especially welcome is warm winter wear as winters there are extremely cold - below is a list of suggestions to help; items must be easily washed and dried as there are no washing machines or driers in the villages (hence no jeans). The children are sent back home with a suitcase of clothes and essential toiletries.

 
Especially welcome are:

fleecy tops and trousers (but no jeans)

warm scarves, hats and gloves

new underwear (must be in original packaging for hygiene reasons)

warm tights and socks

quilted coats
 
Where to put contributions? There’s a box in the porch at St David’s until 23rd April or you can pass them on to  myself. Thank you very much.
 

‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? … The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me!’

(Matthew 25)

 
Elizabeth Pass, St David’s
 

 
 

Llyn Gwynt  Retreat

"A PLACE TO BE" in the Sychnant Pass was just what I needed after a very busy few months having moved house and all that that entails. During my two nights’ stay I found tranquillity and spiritual calm, with the deftest of personal guidance from David and Zoya regarding a range of questions including theological and Christian ones.

The hospitality and comfort of their home makes a retreatant at ease and welcome  -  it is a sanctuary. Home comforts are thoughtfully taken care of. The simple food was delicious and most adequate.

Their home was a reflection of the ecumenical, and respect for peoples of the world  and their beliefs, together with David and Zoya's sincere respect for God's healing work.

They are to be commended. I will be returning.

Viki Whiteman, St John’s

 

 
 

Manners of Madrassa (School) in the Masjid (Mosque)

Several people from our two churches went to visit the local mosque as part of their recent open day. Lyn was fascinated by the list of rules for the schoolchildren there and asked for them to send it to her. This is what they sent.iB

You Must:
· Respect and listen to the teachers
· Ask the teachers if you need anything
· Tell the teachers if something happens
· Respect yourself and each other
· Be kind to each other
· Help each other
· Eat and drink in the kitchen
· Clean and tidy up after eating
· Play together and share your toys
· Complete your class work and homework

You Must Not:
· Shout or scream
· Swear or say bad words
· Hit anyone or fight
· Push or hurt each other
· Run fast
· Go to downstairs kitchen
· Go upstairs
· Take or use something which isn’t yours without permission
· Eat or drink on the carpet (mainly the prayer area)
· Leave anyone out when playing during the break

School Committee – Canolfan Iman Centre – Llandudno Junction

Lyn Brown, St John’s

Ed: We come from different faiths, that’s true, and these rules are for children, but there are some good guidelines for us all here I think!

 
 

Pastoral News from St David’s

What a lovely day, warm and sunny and it is the middle of March. Is Spring really on its way or is it just teasing us as the weather is set to turn colder? However, on this glorious afternoon, Bev came around and has pruned back three of my rose bushes in the back garden. They are very old and they have been cut right back, and it made me think in this time of Lent how we cut back on things or give up things as a self sacrifice. Not that this is happening so much with the rose bushes, but hopefully new life will flourish to produce new buds and flowers. During this pruning there were some very sharp thorns and it made me think of Jesus on the cross with his crown of thorns on his head and how piercing and sharp they are. I was reflecting on the Easter Story and how much Jesus suffered, but God was with him and he never gave up on him and so we too must remember that God is with us in our trials and tribulations and will  always be by our side. Come Easter Sunday we will celebrate the Resurrection with a resounding 'Alleluia’ and look forward with Praise and Thanksgiving. 'Christ is alive! Let Christians sing.’

We remember those in thought and prayers people known to us who are not well. We also remember those in our wider world who are suffering because of famine and lack of rain water.

There have been a number of significant birthdays celebrated within our church family in recent weeks and months and we sincerely hope every one had a happy day! We welcomed by Baptism at St David's: Olivia Faith Edwards on Sunday 9th April.

Thank you to all those who volunteer and help at our Messy Church which is held on every third Sunday of the month between 4-6 pm. There is a small core group headed by Helen and Chris Cooper who meet regularly to plan and discuss for each session. We have had over 30 families  coming with new ones each month at the moment. It has been a real outreach to the Community of Craig y Don. Please continue to pray and remember this mission as we continue to welcome and witness God's love in crafts and story.

Gwyneth Leigh, Pastoral Worker, St David’s

Ed: Since Gwyneth  wrote this article she has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Please pray for her.

 
 
 
 

Forthcoming Events at St John’s

Sat 29th April and Mon 1st May Llandudno Extravaganza
Sun 30th April 11.30am On stage at the Extravaganza
Sun 7th May General Church Meeting (after morning worship)
   

Forthcoming Events at St David’s

Sun 14th May General Church Meeting (after morning worship)
   

Forthcoming Circuit Events

Sun 14th May 6.15pm Circuit Easter Offering Service, Trinity Prestatyn
Sun  4th June 6pm Rev Judith Holliman’s pre-ordination testimony service, Old Colwyn
 
   

For details of Easter worship please see our special leaflet. And give one to your friends and neighbours too!

 

 

Llandudno Methodist Churches

St John’s and St David’s Churches are part of the Conwy & Prestatyn Circuit of the Methodist Church. They share a minister, Rev Beverley Ramsden.

A leaflet is available at the back of both churches with further details about Methodism, its beliefs and practices.

Our minister is available to discuss any matter of concern, including:

The baptism of children and adults;

Information about the Christian faith;

Preparation for church membership;

Marriage preparation and ceremonies;

Funeral and memorial services.

If you would like to talk to Rev Bev about these or any other matters, she can be contacted on 01492-877799 or emailed at revbev@llandudnomethodists.org.uk

    

 
 

 This site was last updated on 24/06/2017