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News

August News

New activity:
     Fresh Start (2nd Saturdays, starts 11 September)

Activities resuming:
     Alzheimer's Café (from 8 September)
     Little Fishes Play Café (from 9 September)
     Jesus Crew (from 26 September)

Café Mosaic opening hours extended (from 6 September)

July News

Activities resuming:
     Prayer Group (from 28 July)
     Mini Holiday Club (4 August)
     Creative Spirit (from 1 September)

March News

Sunday Morning Worship in the Church resumed on Easter Day, 4th April.  Guidelines

Sunday Worship

Sunday Morning Worship in the church resumed on Easter Day, 4th April and opened further on 25th July.  Updated guidelines.  The weekly pre-recorded services have been replaced by live service recordings as from 25th July.

Sunday 5 December - Advent 2

10.30am Holy Communion - Revd Catherine Bowstead

Casting the Net

Wokingham Methodist Church Community News.

December 2021    726Kb .pdf file

Weekly Pastoral Letter - 3 December 2021

Reflection from John Williams

The Universe

I like Isaiah 40, the first part bringing so many echoes of Handel’s Messiah.  In the Good News Bible the second part has the title “Israel’s Incomparable God”.  The people of Israel are in exile in Babylon, and the prophet encourages them by reminding them how great their God is.  He is so much greater than the earth and sky.  Other nations are insignificant beside him, as are all other gods, especially Babylon and all their gods.  He is the Lord of creation.  The stars in all their splendour were made by him and he knows every one of them by name.

I have been watching Brian Cox's “Universe” on TV.  His previous series “The Planets” revealed the wonders of our solar system and the way all the planets moved around in its earliest years.  This makes it unique when compared with other systems that have been discovered around distant stars, so that the conditions are exactly right to sustain life – and us.

“Universe” paints a breathtakingly wider picture; thinking of our galaxy and beyond.  The scale is in millions of light years and billions of years in time.  But surely Isaiah, were he writing today, would have come to the same conclusion at the very end of his chapter.  This God, who created and manages galaxies in all their grandeur, is our God and Heavenly Father.  He renews our strength, so that we “will rise on wings like eagles … run and not get weary … walk and not grow weak.”  How true this is when we look at our everyday lives.

John Williams

 
Letter from Revd Catherine Bowstead

Dear Friends,

John is writing our reflection this week, so it’s just a short letter from me.

What ways have you found to mark Advent this year?  In our household, we have several Advent calendars and traditions that we have collected over the years.  Perhaps you are lighting an Advent candle each evening, finding some quiet time or reading our advent book An Advent Book of Days.  Whatever you have decided to do, I hope that it helps with your personal and spiritual preparation for Christmas.

The new Covid variant is obviously worrying for us, and our aim continues to be to try to keep one another safe.  So, for Sunday worship we ask that you keep your face covering on all the time while you are in the building.  We will ensure good ventilation by keeping the doors and windows open, so please dress appropriately.  And remember to keep social distance from others.  Whilst in Café Mosaic we ask that you wear a face covering to enter and when you are moving around the building.

We have decided to operate a booking system for our Christingle service on Christmas Eve.  This is to ensure that we have enough Christingles and space for everyone who wants to attend.  Please book your space via the church office.

I am leading our Communion service this Sunday and the theme for the second Sunday of Advent is The Prophets.  Our Bible readings are Malachi 3:1-4, Luke 3: 1-6 and Zechariah’s song, also know as the Benedictus, in Luke 1: 67- 79.  You might like to look at these before Sunday and reflect on what you can learn about “Being Prepared” both to celebrate Christmas and to be ready for Christ’s return.

I hope that you have a good week,

With every blessing,
Catherine

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Weekly Pastoral Letter - 26 November 2021

From Chris Rooke-Matthews, Church Steward

Dear Friends,

I’ve gradually become used to dark mornings and early evening sunsets over the last month, now the temperatures are falling.  I’m more aware of the cold, and have started to anticipate the months of winter ahead of us.  The extra blankets and layers of warm clothing are starting to be searched for.  The heating is needed more, and I don’t venture out without wrapping up warmly, with hat and gloves a must now.

I always try to plant bulbs in the Autumn.  Many bulbs and corms look plain and unpromising, with no sign of life, and I wonder if they will ever grow into the beautiful flowering plants pictured on the packaging.  Nevertheless, I plant them, and eagerly look for signs that my faith, and experience of previous years, will be justified.  Already I’m beginning to see green shoots from some of the bulbs, and the least promising, shrivelled up irregular specimens are already showing leaves.  In the same way, it is in the darkest part of the year that we look forward, not just to Christmas, but to the time of Jesus’ coming again.

The past months have sometimes caused us doubt, and we may have begun to wonder if life will ever return to ‘normal’, but through it all we have been able to see God’s hand in the kindness and generosity of others.  As a Foodbank volunteer, I am regularly able to see both the generosity of strangers, and the way their kindness brings hope to those in need of our support.  At this time of year we can feel inundated by requests for donations from charities, both local and national.  On Sunday we will once again be showing our support for The Cowshed through their Christmas Appeal.  The Cowshed is a local Berkshire charity, supporting vulnerable families and individuals.  You can see more about this in the notices below.

Catherine will be leading our service this Sunday, with the theme ‘Signs of Hope’, and we will be celebrating the first Sunday in Advent.  You may find it helpful to look at the readings, which are from Jeremiah 33: v14 – 16, and Luke 21: v25 – 36.

As we light our Advent candle, we are reminded that Jesus is the light of the world, and he is with us on every step of our journey.

Every blessing,

Chris

Some previous Pastoral Letters are available here.