Monthly Newsletter (March 2017)


Newsletter for March 2017 From the (Settle) Vicarage

Dear Friends

Lent begins on March 1st (Ash Wednesday) with worship at 9.30am at 
St Alkelda’s and 7.30pm at Holy Ascension. Shrove Tuesday will have preceded that day, seeing February out with a feast - the usual pancakes at Settle Church in aid of Mothers' Union charities, and no doubt elsewhere too. So we begin the 6 weeks of fasting in the Spring leading up to Easter. See elsewhere for ways in which our churches are offering opportunity to study during Lent. I list here a reminder of the way forward I gave last month. 

Pray with earnest intent
Love in the power of God 
Encourage and support all who are working for the Kingdom

On refection I was tempted to alter the order, there is a bit of 'chicken and egg' with the first two items, but I have left it as I gave last month because prayer is a gift of the Spirit, as well as being as natural as breathing, and without that connection, which we call prayer, with the Creator, we do not have the power to love in that eternal sense of the word.

So I encourage myself and all of you to hear the great commandments – to love God and neighbour as self – with the rider that we need to learn to truly love ourselves. This doesn't mean self-indulgence, in fact self-discipline is nearer the mark, and a good aspiration for Lent. But neither does it mean self-harm, which sometimes masquerades as holiness. Whatever discipline you choose for Lent, and I do encourage you to choose something, let it be something that is life-enhancing in the eternal sense. Some form of study alongside fasting from something where the absence of that something brings benefit is a good aim. See elsewhere in this newsletter for ideas for study, the fasting is up to you. Time without technology, TV, some addictive food or drink, or a reduction in use of energy or carbon would all be good things to try. 

May Lent by a time of joy and self-discovery for us all.
Blessings on us all

Messy Church
Last month looked at Treasure (including the story of the Pearl of Great Price, incidentally, used in Justin Welby's introduction to the book some of us will be studying for Lent). The food was provided by the Methodist Church and the activity and worship session by Joy and Edith. This month (March 19th) the food is provided by St Alkelda's and the sessions by Hilary and Stephen. Offers of help of any kind please to one of them The FREE event advertised last month is on Saturday 4th  March, 10am – 12noon at Ripon Cathedral. Messy Church creator Lucy Moore is leading an inspirational session of creative ideas and encouragement. 10 places have been booked, so please let Edith (825285) know if you'd like to go and she will book you in, there has been good take-up but there is room for more – don't delay though! Lifts are available.

Living Stones
Diocesan 'Buildings for Mission' advisers Sue Booth and Kay Short will have been with us for the PCC meeting taking place on Monday 27th (after the publication of this newsletter) to present to the PCC on the Livings Stones community and church audit. This is a tool to enable our planning, Sue and Kay will help us with set-up of the questionnaire, extracting and interpreting the results and formulating plans based on the findings. However we need to put in the work but we aim for a good response rate from a wide cross-section of our communities to inform the way forward in mission. More on this later in the month – watch this space on the weekly news sheets!

Study in Lent
The Churches Together Lent Course is on Wednesday evenings, 7 for 7.30p.m. in the Church Hall at Saint Mary and Saint Michael’s Catholic Church in Settle. We shall be exploring the spiritualities that shape each of our denominations.

8th March -  Methodist: Stephen Normanton & Jane Mansergh
15th March - Roman Catholic:  Frank Smith
22nd March – Anglican: Hilary Young & Stephen Dawson
29th March - Free Church:  Tony Hayton

It is my hope that this will bring us to a place of better understanding and valuing of all we hold in common as Christians, as well as the gifts, and perhaps flaws, each of us brings to being the Church of God, whatever our denomination.

Limestone View Group will be providing Christians of any denomination with a daytime group led mainly by Wendy Holt, studying one of the York courses called ‘Receiving Christ in 5 different ways’. The group will meet in the Lounge at Limestone view for a 2.00p.m. start on Thursday afternoons, March 9th, 16th 23rd & 30th  and 13th April.

Book Study
I (Hilary) am also going to be leading sessions studying Justin Welby's book 'Dethroning Mammon; Making Money serve Grace' for anyone who cares to join me. In the introduction of the book Justin writes 'never mind chocolate, or even alcohol; try giving up materialism for Lent… put all of it into prayer and find that, although the world will not change overnight, a revolution may begin, because God is the one who brings new life by raising Jesus Christ from the dead'. Location and time are not fixed at time of going to press, so please contact Hilary if you are interested. The book poses questions at the end of each chapter, and we will work and pray on these together. If you cannot make the group we end up with, there will be opportunities to use modern technology to join in the prayer and discussion, again let me know. 01729 824191.

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