Monday, 28 March 2011

Help and advice needed.

At our last Local Preachers meeting the subject of expenses for local preachers came up and it seemed to be that we needed to review our position on this topic.

I have checked the Methodist Church website and note there are no guidelines for this and circuits generally make their own policy on it.

What I am looking for and I am sure one or two of my readers may have an idea, is what other circuits do in respect of this. I would be very grateful if any of you have a policy if you could let me know what it is by Wednesday of this week as it may come up at our Circuit Meeting on Thursday.

You can email me if you wish rather than commenting here

Many thanks

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Long time no post!

Except for the hymns of the day my posting seems to have been very slow recently but I notice that most bloggers have little spells like this.
I tend to blog when I really feel I have something to say and have not really had much to say recently so no posting.
I hope readers have been enjoying the hymns of the day from the pen of Fanny J Crosby and it has led me in a sense to comment on some things that are happening that lots of churches don't seem to have any knowledge about.
The past few week I have been asking congregations in churches I have been preaching at about a number of things that are going on at the moment and been rather disappointed how little knowledge there is about them.I was in another circuit this morning and they seemed to be poorly informed. Here for readers are the items and hopefully a few of you have heard about them:

The Real Easter Egg
I was amazed that we consume around 8 million Easter eggs in this country and that there has never been any details of the real Easter story on them - that is until this year. You can buy an Easter egg this year called the 'Real Easter Egg' which shares some of the story on the box and is Fairtrade.

Singing the Faith
I think I have mentioned this before and while I understand there is a great deal of opposition to the new hymn book, when I asked this morning there must have been 95% of the congregation who had blank expressions. Seems to me that the book has not even got onto agendas of churches and churches councils and really now is the time we ought to be thinking about it if we have any intention of buying it or even deciding not to.

I am amazed that this is another project that people seem to have very little idea about especially when there are projects going on within the Methodist Church to support this. In our district we are helping with the project to hand write the Bible and each circuit is supposed to be taking part so it is reasonable to expect that this might have filtered down to the individual churches.
The other thing happening in our district is that we have purchased a John Wesley study Bible which is going round the district and will then be sent to Rwanda where we have been supporting a number of projects. The church I was at this morning is in our district so I had hoped they would have heard of the Biblefresh project.

I wonder if this is just a local thing or if it is a much wider thing and the church I attend is well informed and keeping abreast of a number of things that others seem to have no knowledge of.

Well a few things there to think about and who knows some of you might have some thoughts on them - or even what the experience is where you are.

Hymn of the day 27-3-11

My latest choice from the pen of Fanny J Crosby.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.


He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away;
He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.


With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,
And filled with His fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God
For such a Redeemer as mine!


When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise
To meet Him in clouds of the sky,
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love
I’ll shout with the millions on high.


Sunday, 20 March 2011

Hymn of the day

Another hymn from the pen of Fanny J Crosby.

All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread;
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter,
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me
O the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Hymn for the day

Here is this weeks offering from the Hymns of Fanny J Crosby along with some background information.

As ear­nest Christ­ian pas­tor told of a young man about whom he had long felt much an­xi­e­ty, as he had seemed so un­con­cerned about his soul, and was, in re­al­i­ty, a real cause of dis­turb­ance and in­ter­rupt­ion in class­es for other young men. Meet­ing him one day, the lov­ing pas­tor sought once more to in­flu­ence him, urg­ing, “We want you for Christ and his ser­vice.” There was a cer­tain change in his man­ner which did not es­cape the eye of the pray­er­ful watch­er for souls, and—lack­ing time to do more—he seized the op­por­tun­i­ty to se­cure the pre­sence of his young friend at a Christ­ian En­dea­vor meet­ing soon to be held. True to his prom­ise he was there. When an op­por­tun­i­ty was giv­en for some of the young men to choose a song, it was seen that he was urg­ing his com­pan­ion to se­lect some par­tic­u­lar hymn. The other, yield­ing to his re­quest, asked if the hymn, “Pass me not, O gentle Sav­iour,” might be sung; and both young men joined in the sing­ing with ev­i­dent in­ter­est and heart­i­ness. Lat­er in the ev­en­ing it was re­quest­ed that all who were def­in­ite­ly on the Lord’s side would con­fess their al­le­giance by stand­ing. Where­up­on the one over whom the heart of the pas­tor was spe­cial­ly yearn­ing rose at once, and with de­ci­sion.

“Tell me about your con­ver­sion,” the thank­ful pas­tor re­quest­ed at the close of the meet­ing, when hands were clasped in glad, bro­ther­ly wel­come and re­cog­ni­tion.

“Oh, yes,” as­sent­ed the other. “It was all through that hymn we have just sung. I was work­ing on the canal at G–, and there was a meet­ing be­ing held at the Mar­in­er’s Cha­pel, near­by. The words float­ed out over the wa­ter, and from the tug where I was work­ing I could hear them plain­ly enough. When they were just go­ing to sing those lines—‘While on others Thou are call­ing, Do not pass me by!’ a great fear came over me, and I thought, ‘Oh, if the Lord were to pass me by, how ter­ri­ble it would be!’ Then and there, on the tug, I cried out, ‘O Lord, do not pass me by.’ And”—with a bright smile—“he didn’t pass me by. I am saved.’”

Sankey, pp. 218-20

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.


Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief,
Kneeling there in deep contrition;
Help my unbelief.


Trusting only in Thy merit,
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
Save me by Thy grace.


Thou the Spring of all my comfort,
More than life to me,
Whom have I on earth beside Thee?
Whom in Heav’n but Thee?


Sunday, 6 March 2011

Hymn of the day.

This week's hymn from Fanny J Crosby - you can hear the tune if you go across to cyberhymnal

Here in Thy Name we are gathered,
Come and revive us, O Lord;
“There shall be showers of blessing,”
Thou hast declared in Thy Word.


Oh, graciously hear us,
Graciously hear us, we pray:
Pour from Thy windows upon us
Showers of blessing today.

Oh! that the showers of blessing,
Now on our souls may descend,
While at the footstool of mercy
Pleading Thy promise we bend!


“There shall be showers of blessing,”
Promise that never can fail;
Thou wilt regard our petition;
Surely our faith will prevail.


Showers of blessing, we need them,
Showers of blessing from Thee;
Showers of blessing, oh, grant them,
Thine all the glory shall be.


Saturday, 5 March 2011

Singing the Faith

Well I received my sample copy of this in the week and I do have a couple of issues with it. Firstly the size of the print seemed to be fairly small and I think it could be difficult to read for some people.
The second thing was what appears to be a lack of consistency - one hymn has a number of verses with the words printed within the music staves making it very easy for musicians to sing when they are leading - other hymns have the music on one page and the words on the opposite page which makes it very difficult for musicians to sing (unless they know the words off by heart.

I do wonder if this is going to be a massive damp squib all round as from what I know and hear there are lots of churches that care not aware of the publication of the new book - I think we are the only church in our circuit that has taken any interest in the book and in fact it appears that many of our members have not heard of this book - not a good sign given it is published this year.

Methodist Anglican covenant.

I see from this weeks Methodist Recorder that this topic has raised its head again and according to Rev Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church the covenant is now back on the agenda.
While I appreciate it may be back on the agenda for Church House and the Anglican HQ I am not sure it is on the agenda of many ordinary Methodists and Anglicans. There is a lot of good work going on across the country where groups are working together well but I don't believe the majority of them are looking for the formal joining together of the two churches.
I mentioned it at the coffee morning at our church this morning and the reaction was not at all positive.
I think there is a long way to go convincing us that this is a good move.