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In this letter I want to recommend a book to you.  It is written by one of the most influential Christian writers of our time, and it is both a challenging and informative read.  It is Brian D McLaren's - The Great Spiritual Migration.  It looks at how the world's largest religion is seeking a better way to be Christian.

This book is for you if you wonder about the state of the Christian Church in our society today. We live in a declining church, and there are many challenges facing the church, which leads some to question the future. Many people experience Christianity as a system of belief, focused on a Supreme Being who favours some and rejects others, and is defended by a set of change averse, self protecting institutions.

In his book, Brian McLaren proposes that this conventional understanding of Christianity is ripe for conversion: from a system of belief to a way of life, from exclusive Supreme Being to the loving healing, reconciling Spirit embodied in Jesus, and from an organised institutional religion which supports an unjust status quo to an organising movement-building religion that helps a better world to be born.

As we embark of our next Holy Habit - Gladness and Generosity in November, you may want to read this book as you consider your own walk with God.

If you do read it and then wish to discuss it then let's create a chance to do so.

Peace

Tim

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“Stay fresh, do not get used to seeing the poor, children dying and the old ignored. Be on your guard…..do not let your human dignity be compromised”.

Gustavo Gutierrez, (paraphrased)

Services during November

Sunday 4th
10.45am

 
Rev. Graham Wassell
Holy Communion and Holy Habits

 

 

 

 
6.30pm

 
Mr David Humphreys

 

 

 

 

 

 
Sunday 11th
10.45am

 
Mr Kevin Horseman

 

 
6.30pm

 
Rev. Tim Chrome
Holy Communion

 

 

 
Holy Communion

 

 
Sunday 18th
10.45am

 
Mr Godfrey Chikavero

 

 
6.30pm

 
Rev. Gill Newton

 

 

 

 

 
Sunday 25th

 
10.45am

 
Rev. Tim Chrome
Cafe Worship

 

 
6.30pm

 
Rev. Debora Marschner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lifts to Church on Sunday Mornings

If you are able to give someone a lift to Church and back on a Sunday morning, please put your name and telephone number on the list in the porch. Some people are unable to attend especially if their regular lift is on holiday. This can be a regular arrangement or a one off occasion.

If you need a lift or know of someone who does, please check the list in the porch and make your arrangements.

Thank you

Linda


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are able to give someone a lift to Church and back on a Sunday morning, please put your name and telephone number on the list in the porch. Some people are unable to attend especially if their regular lift is on holiday. This can be a regular arrangement or a one off occasion.

If you need a lift or know of someone who does, please check the list in the porch and make your arrangements.

Thank you

Linda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Church Family News

—Ë—

Congratulations to

Emily Vickers (Sheila Gilbert’s granddaughter) and her partner Matt, who welcomed baby Olive Rose on Friday 12th October, weighing 7lbs 12ozs, a much welcomed sister for Evelyn.

Sarah Benson on completing her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award! She will be getting a date for going to the palace in the New Year to collect her award.

Well done June! (Pat’s daughter) walked the Night Strider and raised £900 for St Luke’s in memory of her Dad, Bob. Well done June, that’s amazing!

Please continue to pray for

Duncan and Jane Storey.

Alan Rowe, husband of Joan, and all the Rowe family as Alan is very ill at the time of writing.

Please pray for all who don’t get to church very often or at all.

Chris

Christine Rowe is leaving Community Nursing after 18 years -apart from intending to stay on their bank for occasional shifts. She has a new job in Gynae Outpatients at the Jessop Wing beginning 5th November. Prayers for a smooth transition and settled nerves would be appreciated!

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Services, Events and Meetings at Banner Cross in November and December

—Ë—

Sunday November 4th Holy Habits Gladness & Generosity/Holy CommunionServiceled by Rev Graham Wassell.

Thursday November 8th Leadership Team meeting.

Saturday November 10th, 10.30am Christmas Fair Planning Meeting – chaired by Pat Dickinson.

Sunday November 11th Remembrance Day – led by Mr Kevin Horseman.

Saturday November 17th, 10.30am, Eco-Church Group Meeting in Room 5. All Welcome. 

Saturdays: November 24th, December 8th, 15th and 22nd  Advent Course in the morning based on the York Course, “Life to the Full”.

Sunday November 25th Café Worship, followed by the Annual General Meeting.  All welcome.

Monday November 26th, Leadership Team meeting.  If there are any issues you would like to raise, please contact a member of the Leadership Team before their meeting.

Saturday December 1st, 1pm -3pm Christmas Fair

Monday December 3rd 7.30pm Communications Group Meeting.  All welcome. 

Sunday December 9th Gift Service (café worship style) and Baptism - led by Rev Tim Crome.

Friday December 21st an opportunity to mark The Longest Night

Sunday December 23rd, 10.45am, Carol Service

Monday December 24th, 5.30pm, Christingle Service – led by Mr Brian Speed

Tuesday December 25th 10am Christmas Morning Family Service – led by Rev Tim Crome

Information correct as at 18 October 2018

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GATHERING ON PRAYER

Wednesday 19th September

—Ë—

“What are you expecting?” asked Tim as he opened the meeting.  Silence.  Probably most were like me, no idea what we were to do, just waiting to see what would happen, especially as we’re only at the beginning of our Holy Habits adventure.  In fact the evening was incredibly rewarding.

We were invited to pair off and tell one another in a few minutes where and how we prayed – at a set time, morning, evening?  - with a candle, a flower?  - at the bus-stop or the kitchen window?  An easy, non-threatening question.  We could then spend a minute or so in prayer, silent or spoken, for our partner, before we moved on to someone else and a different question.  The amazing thing (why am I always amazed?) was that none of this was at all embarrassing or intrusive; we were quietly concentrating on a different person each time, revealing as much or as little of ourselves as we wished and it didn’t matter whether we knew the other person or not.  I found myself interacting with two people I didn’t know at all.  One task was to talk of a person or situation we were anxious about.  Another was to say something of a personal regret.

In all we discussed six questions – look at Janet’s list in church to see what they all were, and notice how carefully they moved from easy to more thoughtful – and after each brief session we tied a knot in a length of string.  We’ll keep our strings to help us progress in our prayer lives.

Jackie Dunn

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Prayers we love

—Ë—

With the recent introduction of Holy Habits and in particular the subject of prayer at this time, we wondered if you would like to think of prayers you like for us to share in Banner Headlines, or you may like to compose one yourself - or send one you have previously composed?

Please send them directly to Terry or via myself or Alison or Pat.

Thank You, Chris and BH team

These are prayers which friends have shared this month:

from Janet Southgate:

'Lord help me today to remember that there's nothing that you and I can't handle together'

and from Paula Jones:

So one of my favourite prayer is footprints 👣 that I know lots of people like. 

I first read it when I was living in Canada and I sent it to my dad as a birthday card, which he of course really liked. Which means whenever I read this prayer I think particularly of my Dad. 

I know Shirley Rowe loves this too:

Do you Know God?

Whilst praying one day, a woman asked, “Who are You, God?”

He answered, “I AM”. “But who is I AM?”, she asked.

He replied, “I Am Love, I Am Peace, I Am Grace.

I Am Joy, I Am Strength, I Am Safety, I Am Shelter,

I Am Power, I Am the Creator, I Am the Comforter,

I Am Holy, I Am Beauty, I Am Light,

I Am the Beginning and the End.

I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

With tears in her eyes, she looked toward Heaven and said,

“Now I understand.  But, who am I?”

God tenderly wiped the tears from her eyes and whispered,

YOU ARE MINE.”

Author Unknown

from Jackie Dunn

Help us, O Lord, to live one day at a time.  Let your grace be sufficient for today.  Let me not be anxious about tomorrow.  Let me rest in the arms of your love in time and in eternity, blest by your goodness, now and for ever.

Amen

(Corrie Ten Boom,1892 – 1983)

Lord, before ever you made us, you loved us.  Nor has your love ever slackened, nor ever shall.  In love all your works have begun, and in love they continue.  In this love our life is everlasting,  and in this love we shall see you and be glad for ever.

Amen                                                                                             (Mother Julian of Norwich, 11342- 1416)

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Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything.

 

Welcome to My World

Kate Woodcock

—Ë—

Can you briefly tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in Manchester and have one sister. I entered kindergarten when I was 4 years old and remember having to ‘go to bed’ after lunch on a rickety, ex-Army camp bed with very scratchy blankets!  The whole family went to church on Sunday and on Sunday afternoon my sister and I went to Sunday School. We moved to Preston when I was 10 years old. After ‘A’ levels at school I came to Sheffield as a student in 1964. I met Steve at the Freshers’ Ball where he asked me to dance and we have danced our way through 50 years of marriage!

What roles do you have in our Church?

I taught in Sunday School for many years and joined the choir under Joyce Cooper then latterly when Roger was Choir Leader. I now sing with the recently formed ‘Singing Group’, led by Ann. I have been a cook at the Lunch Club for 12 years.

Who was, or what were, the main influences in your early life?

A loving family and friends. Definitely our church vicar and curate, and I was very lucky to have many inspirational teachers throughout my school life.

When did you first come to Banner Cross Methodist Church; and what were your impressions at that time?

I was 18 years old when I was introduced to Banner Cross Church.  Steve brought me on our first date! We attended evening service where a play was being performed. These were a regular feature at that time. We then went to the thriving Youth Club in the Schoolroom. Banner Cross had a very busy, bustling atmosphere, existing of many large families who all seemed to be inter-related.  Steve’s was one such family, led by Alan Smith.

Have your first impressions changed at all?

The church ‘family’ is much smaller but no less busy and we all know each other. Sadly the congregations on Sunday are much smaller and largely in the ‘senior’ age group.

What hobbies or interests fill any ‘spare’ time?

Music, I have sung in choirs all my life: in school, church, student choirs, and currently I sing with Majesty Gospel Choir and the church’s Singing Group. I love playing music, piano, ukulele and with our little band, at care homes and Lunch Club. I am an avid reader and founder member of our Book Club which is 12 years old now. Dancing has been a lifelong passion and dog-walking has also been a lifelong pastime. 

What books do you enjoy reading?

Historical novels, detective stories, murder mysteries and any ‘classics’ I have not yet read. I recently ‘ploughed’ my way through ‘Les Misérables’!

What music do you enjoy listening to?

Classical; orchestral, opera, guitar, piano.  Religious; gospel, church music.  Pop; any good song, with a touch of jazz and ‘World’ music.  An eclectic range!

Please give us one fact about yourself that we may find surprising

I was Head Girl of my school whilst in the 6th form.

If you had one prayer request for moving forward the life of Banner Cross Methodist Church in any way, what would it be?

To enable the Church to do God’s will by being outward looking and a caring community of ‘bridge-builders’ between faiths.

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Wanted

Banner Cross Luncheon and Friendship Club needs Volunteer Drivers and also ‘Washers Up’

Can you spare a few hours one Tuesday a month?

The Banner Cross Lunch Club has been serving the community through Banner Cross Methodist Church for 33 years.  Each Tuesday (except for Bank Holiday weeks) some 40 people with a current average age of 87 come together to enjoy a ‘home cooked’ meal followed by entertainment and friendship.  An increasing number now need a lift between lunch club and home and we do not have enough volunteer drivers to meet the need.

Can you possibly help?

Our volunteer drivers use their own vehicles to help individuals travel to the Lunch Club at Banner Cross Methodist Church.  Drivers must be over 21 years of age; must hold a full driving licence; and be comfortable ‘steadying’ their passengers in and out of the car if that is necessary.

The average round trip is about 3 miles with drivers picking up 1-3 passengers from home at around 12.00 noon and taking them back home at around 2.30pm.  Mileage is reimbursed.

Washing up duties start at around 12.45pm.

For further information please contact:

Stewart McIntosh on: 0114 236 9228; or 07711 083 596

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 Fundraiser

Sunday 23rd September

Chris Rowe, Jonathan and family want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who donated and who helped on the day of her 10k and especially at the lunch afterwards - those who worked in the kitchen were amazing - that's always the hardest job - and thank you to everyone who baked, bought and made things. Thanks to the singers in both choirs -the Banner Cross Singing Group were great. Majesty Gospel Choir couldn't do ourselves proper justice with so much sickness and absence on the day. We're grateful to Mary for playing the piano and to Kate for leading the songs - both great stand-ins. I'll write a longer piece next month but an incredible 800 was raised for PSC Research Funds to date - with more promised, which is just overwhelming. We're blessed with the most generous friends.

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The Christmas Fair

Saturday, 1st December

1pm to 3pm.

The stalls include;

Second hand toys, Books, Brick-a-brac, jewellery and toiletries, Christmas Decorations, Cakes, Savouries, Homemades, Mark's photography stall, Crafts, Guess the weight of the Cake and Bulbs

Father Christmas will be in his grotto too.

Plus a Cafe with bacon sandwiches in the morning and coffee tea and mince pies in the afternoon.

If you have any items for any of the above stalls they can be left in the downstairs kitchen or brought to church on the Friday or Saturday morning.

If you have any queries please see or ring Pat Dickinson 2667789.

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Suggestions please

Banner Cross LogoThis has been the church’s logo for many years now but it is felt that we need a newer design, the better to portray a more up-to-date image.

We would like your suggestions on what you think would be a good new design.

As the logo will appear on everything from stationery, publications etc, should convey how you would like us to be considered as a church and/or how we should be recognised.

Your suggestions should be passed on to either the Minister or Terry (for the latter you can pop them in the church pigeonhole) for the final decision being made in December.

Happy designing

Terry

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Its Easy

It's easy to smile on the bright days,
It's harder to smile when they're blue.
The best way to make bad days, right days,
Is to smile when it's hardest to do.

All things must have a beginning,
Now is the moment to choose,
Everyone smiles when they're winning,
Let's see you smile when you lose.

Bits 'n Bobs

 

 

The Annual General Meeting will be held after the Morning Service on Sunday 25th November.

Sue Cox requires written reports of the past year’s discussions and activities from all groups by Sunday 11th November.

All are welcome to the meeting.

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Samaritan’s purse

Yes it's that time of year again.

Leaflets are available for ideas for box contents and include labels to stick on your box.

Covered boxes, knitted hats and scarves are also available, please help yourselves.

Boxes will be taken to the drop off point on the 15th November therefore deadline date 14th November at Church.

Thank you for supporting this most worthy cause. The delight on the children's faces when they receive a box is immeasurable.

Pat

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Image result for Black and white drawings of hedghogs Hedgehogs, leaves and bonfires

Bonfires and hedgehogs are tragically related especially at this time of the year. The safest way to build your bonfire is to build it on the day you want to light it. If that is impossible, then please check using the blunt end of a garden rake poked into the base. Lever all the components of the bonfire up and rescue whoever might be living there. Please don't burn your leaves! Hedgehogs cannot survive hibernation without an insulating layer of leaves.

Andrew

Chris’s PSC Fundraiser

23rd September

or Trying to Run - part 3

—Ë—

My running journey began exactly a year ago as I write this. I know this because it is our son Simon’s birthday - as it was last year when I began my Couch to 5k course. They are organised at various times of year and in various parts of the city but our leader James Norton is renowned for his fine example of leading this voluntary work and encouraging others to become runners and run leaders in the South of the City. We started in the UMIX centre (next to the mosque) and finished in the White Lion pub for theory. Over 10 weeks we learnt lots about posture and technique, warm-up, stretches afterwards, avoiding injury - and gradually built up our running – everyone had different abilities, varying ages from 20 – 70 and came from varied starting points. We are encouraged to do Park Run on a Saturday at Graves (I don’t manage many of those) and to get out for a third run each week.

My course, which finished at Christmas, was during some mighty cold weather – and on the night of Week 9 it was minus 2 degrees! I tried really hard to keep running – even avoiding the icy patches - as I was so determined to attend our Gospel Choir Christmas Do instead of coming to week 10! It was a wonderful feeling when I was told I had run 5km.

Very early on I set myself the goal of running 10k eventually and doing a fundraiser for Liver Disease. I joined a new group called Meersbrook Milers in February, who run a steady 5 – 6 once a week – I still run with this group. Then in order to train for the Sheffield Asda 10k, I started going to a 5 in70 (or 5 miles in 70 minutes) group with Sheffield Steel City Striders once a week and learnt to run a bit more distance – but sadly 1) it’s on my choir night, and 2) I don’t seem to be able to add speed – and in order to earn one of their infamous orange tops you have to be able to sustain this week after week.

Clearly I had done sufficient training to run the 10k on Sunday 23rd September and I thoroughly enjoyed the race. To say I felt terrified at the start line would be an understatement. The weather was perfect – sunny and Autumnal – and I far surpassed my goal of …..anything under a fortnight!  My two regrets are that it was on a Sunday – because friends who are dotted around the course supporting you make a massive difference. Also my lowest moment was undoubtedly the sickness and absence amongst our Majesty Gospel Choir on the day – thanks so much to Kate for leading us in a few numbers! I do hope you won’t be put off supporting our choir again – we do make a really good sound with a full complement.

Thank you so much to all who helped me plan the day - all who baked, and presented the food on the day (being in the kitchen is always hard work) those who came, supported, The Banner Cross Singing Group, who sang so beautifully - and most importantly all who donated so much money towards our PSC research fundraising. My online JustGiving fund was already very healthy before I’d run a step or baked anything  – and altogether we raised  £1072!! 

I’m overwhelmingly happy with that and blessed to have such wonderful family and friends.

Thank You

Chris Rowe

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Sheffield Macular Support Group

—Ë—

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK. Many people with macular degeneration cannot read, drive or recognise faces.

The Macula is part of the retina at the back of the eye. It is only 5mm across, but is responsible for our central vision, most colour vision and the fine detail we see.

Damage to the macula causes sight loss. Often people feel upset and devastated when they receive their initial diagnosis.

The Sheffield Macular Support Group, then, provides an opportunity for those with AMD (and their carers and friends) to find more information, to swap experiences, learn simple skills to

enable a normal life and just socialise with others with the same

problem.

Our meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month from 13.30 to 15.00 in the RUC Church on Norfolk Street and new attendees are always welcome.

We are affiliated to the Macular Society (www.macularsociety.org), a national charity for people affected by macular conditions. Amongst many other services, they provide an excellent helpline (0300 3030 111) and have recently set an ambitious target to sponsor research to find a cure.

If you require more details you can contact Nick on 236 8971; Robin on 236 2251 or Norman on 288 4035, all Sheffield numbers.

Kath Koerner

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We will remember them

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Memories from the trenches

The memories of soldiers who fought in the trenches in World War One are a fascinating source about life in the war.

“Whilst asleep during the night, we were frequently awakened by rats running over us. When this happened too often for my liking, I would lie on my back and wait for a rat to linger on my legs; then violently heave my legs upwards, throwing the rat into the air. Occasionally, I would hear a grunt when the rat landed on a fellow victim.”  (R L Venables)

“If you have never had trench foot described to you, I will explain. Your feet swell to two to three times their normal size and go completely dead. You can stick a bayonet into them and not feel a thing. If you are lucky enough not to lose your feet and the swelling starts to go down, it is then that the most indescribable agony begins. I have heard men cry and scream with pain and many have had to have their feet and legs amputated. I was one of the lucky ones, but one more day in that trench and it may have been too late.”  (Harry Roberts)

“The water in the trenches through which we waded was alive with a multitude of swimming frogs. Red slugs crawled up the side of the trenches and strange beetles with dangerous looking horns wriggled along dry ledges and invaded the dugouts, in search of the lice that infested them.”   (unknown journalist)

We slept in our clothes and cut our hair short so that it would tuck inside our caps. Dressing simply meant putting on our boots. There were times when we had to scrape the lice off with the blunt edge of a knife and our underclothes stuck to us. “  (Elizabeth de T’Serclaes – a nurse on the front line)

“We must looked out for our bread. The rats have become much more numerous lately because the trenches are no longer in good condition. The rats here are particularly repulsive, they are so fat – the kind we call corpse-rats. They have shocking, evil, naked faces, and it is nauseating to see their long, nude tails.”

Erich Maria Remarque

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As usual when there are groups of people living and working together, they invariably develop their own words and phrases. This was true of the soldiers in the trenches in WW1. What is surprising is just how many are still in use today, their meanings having changed slightly over the years.

Here are just four of them, there are others but they tend not to be appropriate for this magazine !!

The catwalk was originally a wooden or brick pathway over the mud in and out of the trenches but now, of course it is used in the fashion industry.

Bumf, used to describe reams of useless paperwork etc which even today  plague us and for which there is ‘only one purpose !!’.

Over the top, which originally was to literally climb out of the trench to launch an attack but which now-a-days describes something unfair on excessive.

The third light. Many people still consider this to mean bad luck as it took a sniper about three/four seconds to spot a burning match

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The inquisitive mind of a child

Why are they selling poppies, Mummy ?

Selling poppies in town today.

The poppies, child, are flowers of love.

For the men who marched away.

But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy ?

Why not a beautiful rose ?

Because my child, men fought and died

In the fields where the poppies grow.

But why are the poppies so red, Mummy ?

Why are the poppies so red ?

Red is the colour of blood, my child.

The blood that our soldiers shed.

The heart of the poppy is black, Mummy

Why does it have to be black ?

Black, my child, is the symbol of grief.

For the men who never came back.

But why, Mummy are you crying so ?

Yours tears are giving you pain.

My tears are my fears for you my child.

For the world is forgetting again.

(Author unknown)

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Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

Why are we an Eco Church?

It’s almost four years since we began our Eco Church journey. In that time we’ve done some pretty good things. We’ve had two very successful Eco open days, opening the church to the community and linking with local environmental organisations. We transformed the area of waste ground down the south side of the church into an allotment with a greenhouse and raised beds and we’ve enjoyed the produce as a church and raised money for charity. We’ve forged closer links with St. Andrew’s Psalter Lane born out of a shared interest.

But it’s easy to lose sight of why we need to be an Eco Church when we’re having fun.  We’re nearly at a point where we can apply for our Silver Eco Church award, but if we think that’s the reason for being involved in the program we’re missing the point.

In 2015, The Paris Agreement required the IPCC to “provide a Special Report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse emissions pathways” and this was published on 8th October 2018.  The report finds that we need to keep global warming to 1.5°C if we are to avoid some of the worst effects of a warming climate. For example:

  • By 2100, global mean sea level rise is projected to be around 0.1 metre lower with global warming of 1.5 degrees compared to 2 degrees. That would have real benefits for people inhabiting coasts, islands and river deltas time. It could mean that they don't have to leave their homes.
  • Insects and plants are almost twice as likely to lose half their habitat at 2 degrees compared with 1.5
  • 99% of coral would be lost at 2 degrees, while at 1.5 degrees more than 10% would have a chance of surviving
  • Other impacts of climate change, such as heat related deaths, food scarcity, water shortages, forest fires and ocean acidification would all be considerably less severe at 1.5 degrees compared to 2 degrees

The link below on the BBC news website has more details of the report.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45775309

So what can we do?  The report states that we need to make real and dramatic changes to our energy consumption in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C.  Some of these changes will need to be led by governments as the scale and speed of change required will not just happen.

But we can do things to help. By being an Eco church we are raising awareness of these issues in church and to members of the community who visit us.  This can help us make changes to our own lifestyle too: change our lightbulbs to LEDs; walk a bit more or use public transport where possible; eat less meat; only fly when it’s unavoidable.  And if we want to facilitate some of the government changes required we can write to our MP, sign petitions or get involved in a local campaign.

And of course, although I can’t find a direct climate change reference in the Bible, Genesis 2:15 makes clear our responsibility to care for God’s creation – “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” 

Sean Ashton

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St Andrew

—Ë—

St Andrew is the patron Saint of Scotland, Greece, Russia and several other places in the world. He was one of Jesus’ disciples and one of thetwelve apostles. His feast day is held annually on the 30th of November, this year it falls on a Friday.

Little is known about the saint’s early life but he is thought to have been born c6 B.C. in Bethsaida, in Galilee. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke give us the well known account of Jesus calling Andrew and his brother Peter from the shores of Galilee to leave their their work as fishermen and become ‘fishers of men’ - John’s Gospel has Andrew as first a disciple of John the Baptist, then as Jesus’ first Called. Andrew was close to Christ on several important occasions.

After Our Lord’s death Andrew is said to have travelled widely in Asia Minor and Russia preaching Christianity. He finally travelled back to Patras in Greece where he was crucified in around 60 AD on what came to be depicted as an X-shaped cross. As to Andrew’s connection to Scotland, his only physical connection comes, most likely, via one Bishop Acca of Hexham, who in 732 AD brought some of Andrew’s bones to what is now St Andrew’s in Fife which at the time became a place pilgrimage. The bones are now kept in St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Edinburgh.

Though venerated as a patron Saint of Scotland since c1000 AD Andrew’s importance to Scotland became clear, and official, with the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 AD. This was an appeal to Pope John XX11 to allow that Scots had the right to defend themselves against English aggression, and have Robert the Bruce as their King. It reasoned that within Christianity, Scotland had been among the earliest nations to be Called, and many Scots were directly descended from Sythians (Russians basically) who had been converted by the gentle St Andrew, ‘the first to be an apostle’, himself. So, given that Scotland had been brought to Christ through St Peter’s very own brother, had had it’s own line of 113 Kings, and had been the special charge of St Andrew for so long, wasn’t it high time His Holiness told the English to take their atrocious behaviour home with them and go bother someone else! (I paraphrase but Edward wasn’t known as the Hammer of the Scots for nothing)

As to St Andrew’s cross, legend has it that at the battle of Athelstaneford in 832AD, prior to a Pictish victory and in answer to prayer, the cross of St Andrew was seen in the sky and the blue and white Saltire was born. History tells us that at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314AD Bruce’s army, wearing the Saltire and in face of greatly superior English forces fell to their knees in prayer to St Andrew and went on to victory. To this day the Saltire is still Scotland’s official standard and arms.

Over the c2000 years since he lived, a glorious mixture of fact, legend and belief has formed a picture of this beloved Saint that shows him as strong, caring, friendly and fair. His philosophy might be summed up as ‘share what you have with those less fortunate and be kind to one another’. (Remember the feeding of the 5000?  It was Andrew who brought the boy with the bread and fish to Jesus!).

Today St Andrew’s Societies across the world live out Andrew’s caring and sharing message and this year, to celebrate a beloved patron, Scots are encouraged to mark his day with small acts of kindness e.g. giving to a food bank or shopping in a charity shop. The thinking is, that if we all do a little bit it will add up to something really special – just like Eco Church.

Happy St Andrew’s Day !

Yvonne McIntosh

 


Three-year old Caitlin had been learning the Lord's Prayer. For several evenings at bedtime, she would repeat after her mother the lines from the prayer.

Finally, she decided to go solo. The mother listened with pride as Caitlin carefully enunciated each word right up to the end of the prayer:  "Lead us not into temptation," she prayed, "but deliver us some E-mail."

_______________

Items for the December edition of the

Headlines

                                    can be sent via e-mail to

me terrykirkwood@virginmedia.com or by using the good old-fashioned methods of either popping it into the pigeonhole at church, through my front door or even by phoning me on

255 3771 but whatever method you use, can I have it no later than 15th November, please.

Thank you,

Terry


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