If you need help with bereavement, mental health, advice on services for the blind, the Coronavirus support group, caring for carers (Sandwell Crossroads), etc, please go to the additional notices below these Weekly Notices – they are immediately after the prayer.
Weekly Notices (17th-20th October)
Please pass on any relevant information from the notices this week to people you know who will find it of some use. There are hyperlinks to the relevant website pages and Facebook pages to help you find them.
If you need to contact Fr Mark to ask for prayers for loved ones who are ill or have died, please use the form on the Contact Us page of the website. The page has a telephone number too. The form will be submitted to Fr Mark's email inbox. Alternatively, use the Message link on Facebook so that I can add names to the prayer list on the website and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/StBartsWednesbury/).
Each week Fr Mark prepares a Spiritual Communion Service sheet for those who are not able attend services which you can find on the Services page.
SERVICES THIS WEEK
The services each Sunday are at 9 am and 10 am every Sunday.We will continue to follow Covid rules to ensure the safety of everybody - hands, face, space - see Fr Mark's message on the Home page for more information.
Please note: there are no midweek services during week commencing 18th October (but the Sunday services will go ahead as usual). The next midweek services will commence again on Wednesday 27th October.
A 6-Week Introductory Course in Christian Meditation Beginning Tuesday 26th October at 11 am Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Wednesbury
Meditation is an ancient form of contemplative prayer that seeks God in the silence and stillness beyond word or thought. It is a way of simplicity, silence and stillness and can be practised by anyone who is merely serious about beginning.
The roots of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) lie in the desert tradition of the early Christianity of the 4th century. By recognising the way of ‘pure prayer’, ‘prayer of the heart’ or ‘meditation’, that he found in this tradition the Benedictine monk, John Main (1926-1982), brought to countless people in ordinary life the possibility of a contemplative practice in their following of the Christian way of life. As a Benedictine monk, he taught how restoring this lost dimension of prayer to the life of the churches, Christianity itself could be renewed and society as a whole benefit from its spiritual awakening. He started the first Christian Meditation Centre in London in 1975. The first of the weekly meditation groups, of which there are now some thousands around the world, began to meet then.
To communicate and nurture meditation, as passed on through the teaching of John Main in the Christian tradition in the spirit of serving the unity of all. (WCCM Mission Statement)
We have had very little income over the last 20 months but still have huge bills to pay. So we are happy to tell you we are having a fundraising concert on 12th December (Covid permitting at the time). Please support us in our fundraising efforts for the church. Tickets will be available soon. In the meantime, put the date in your diary and contact Rob to reserve them. Voices Entwined performed a concert for us in December 2019 and they were very good - it will be a lovely start to our Christmas festivities this year. Their leader and conductor, Louise, is a 'bundle of energy'.
RECENT NEWS FROM THE BIBLE SOCIETY:
In partnership with Youth for Christ and others, the Bible Society has created a brand new Bible designed for families. It’s the Good News Bible translation and is packed with interesting and informative extra features to help you engage more as you read through it. THINK-CHAT- DO-CREATE-WATCH. For more information, see this web page and watch the short video. There are some sample pages on this web page to give you an idea, too. Whilst it is quite expensive, possibly, for some families, it is a different way of using the Bible with the whole family. The Family Edition has been designed to encourage families to respond creatively to the text and contains plenty of interactions that will suit every member of the family. The additional content you’ll find inside will support you all as you discover the answers together. Use this link to find out more.
You’re invited to the Bible Society’s live event on Wednesday 20th October at 1 pm to hear about life-changing Bible work taking place in Southern Africa. To register please use this link.
Discover the Navigating Trauma programme. Find out at their half-day regional gatherings about how ‘Navigating Trauma’ helps people who are struggling. You can attend in person or join them online. To find out more, use this link.
Bible Sunday is on 24th October this year. It is an old Anglican custom dating back to the publication of the Prayer Book in 1549. Since then, one Sunday each year has been given over to thanksgiving for the Scriptures. To find out more about Bible Sunday, use this link. Churches have been marking Bible Sunday for half a millennium – from Puritans to Pentecostals, from the Tudors to today’s Zoom generation. You can use this link to register for free inspirational resources.
Who was William Tynedale? Find out about this pioneering sixteenth-century reformer who was the first person to translate the New Testament from Greek to English. He was also a smuggler! Read about him using this link.
Bake for Bibles: With The Great British Bake Off back on TV, the Bible Society is asking, "Why not organise a Bake for Bibles fundraising event?" Have fun experimenting with your baking skills and delight the taste buds of your friends, all while raising funds to share the life-changing message of the Bible around the world. To get your fundraising pack use this link.
Used stamps wanted: Did you know the Bible Society can raise money from used stamps? Please send your used stamps to Bible Society, Stamp Appeal, Post Room, Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon SN5 7DG.
The Bible Society is backing the Eternal Wall (more information lower down the notices).
The Bible Society’s new Christmas resources are available. Check them out using this link.
Read about people’s reasons to believe in the power of the Bible. Use this link.
Previous news items from the Bible Society can be found at the end of these notices (just prior to the prayer).
OPEN THE BOOK:
Our next planned visit to St John's CofE Academy is on Tuesday 16th November. Also, the team are happy they will be visiting Old Park Primary School for the first time since before the first lockdown in 2020 - the visit to the school's assembly will be on Thursday 25th November.
Please pray for our team - Margaret Wood, Linda Russell, Lynn and Mario Castillo, Claire Yardley, Amanda Horton and Wendy Bird and occasional guest appearances from Rob Yardley.
If you don’t know anything about Open the Book or you would like to become a volunteer Storyteller in the future, have a look at this link. There are a few videos on the page. (You might recognise some of the people in two of the films.) https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/get-involved/open-the-book/
There are 2 events coming up very soon in the Church Hall - a Charity Afternoon Tea Dance and a Christmas Fair. For information regarding the other events, please use this link to take you to the Events page.
Although the lunch is usually on the second Saturday of each month, the next one will be on Saturday 6th November (Craft Club will follow on at 2 pm). Please mention this to anyone you know who has attended in the past. You will need to contact Joyce Turner so we know how many to cater for. Otherwise send a message via our Facebook page and Wendy will pass on the message. https://www.facebook.com/StBartsWednesbury For those who don't know about Open Table, church volunteers offer a 2 course meal with tea and coffee, starting at 1 pm in the church hall (bottom of the hill next to the British Legion). It is normally on the second Saturday of the month but not in November - see note above. This is open to anyone to meet and have a chat over lunch for an hour or so. We accept a monetary donation for the meal and dessert afterwards to pay for the food supplied and the cooking involved. It’s a way of making friends, or chatting to current friends, and we welcome those who wish to attend (but please book your place if you haven't already done so).
To book a wedding or baptism, please use the form on the Contact Us page using this link. The message will go directly to Fr Mark's email inbox. There is a telephone number on that page too. You can find extra information about church weddings using this link and for baptisms use this link.
To book the church hall, please go to the Bookings page where you will find an email link to contact Linda Russell. You can use this link to go to that page.
We are not currently taking bookings for floodlighting the steeple. We are sorry but, unfortunately, work needs to be done first. As soon as it is possible to light the steeple again, we will let you know - check on the Bookings page from time to time.
Any other queries, please go to the Facebook page and send a Message using the Message button. Wendy will advise you further.
The October newsletter is now available to download from the Newsletter page, using this link. Thank you to Alison for compiling this. If you have missed previous news you will find some of the items on the newsletter as well as other items and a quiz. Please pass this information on to anybody you know who might find it useful.
ETERNAL WALL OF ANSWERED PRAYER:
Artist's impress - image from the Bible Society
The 'Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer' will be a piece of public art that will point people to Jesus and it's set to be built on a piece of donated land in Coleshill near the junction of the M6 and M42. What a splendid sight it will be and how wonderful it will be for it to be built in the Midlands. Each of its million bricks will represent an answered prayer and a special app will let people read each testimony for themselves. The Bible Society is joining Eternal Wall's crowdfunding campaign as part of their commitment to the project, which will also see them contributing resources to help spiritual seekers on their onward journey. You can read more about the project on the Eternal Wall's website using this link and watch a video as well as donate, using this link. Also, you can read about the Bible Society's part in this on their website using this link.
The Food Bank is urgently in need of heavy duty carrier bags. Can you help, please? If you wish to donate any tinned/packet foods to help those who really need them, you can bring them to church or take them to the Food Bank in Wednesbury. Their opening times are Wednesday 10 am to 3 pm and Friday 1 pm to 7 pm. Joyce Turner is our contact if you require more information.
ACTION FOR CHILDREN - SANDWELL'S LATEST INFORMATION
These documents are the latest newsletter as well as other posters and information that might be of interest to you. Please pass on this information to any families you think will benefit from these documents.
ACTION FOR HAPPINESS CALENDAR – 'OPTIMISTIC OCTOBER':
Having a few short term (and some longer term) goals help us feel we're making progress. It doesn't matter if your goal for the day is something really small; the important thing is to give yourself the opportunity to feel like you've achieved something and to celebrate that. If you can't see the image below clearly, then go to their website page (using this link) to view it. If you want to see past versions of the calendars please use this link. There is information about downloading the App, also. Please use this link.
MESSAGE FROM LYNN CASTILLO (Deanery Synod Representative): Please pray for churches in the Wednesbury Deanery over the next few months, especially as they embark on 'Shaping for Mission'. Refer to the images for details of which church to pray for each day and in which week. (You may need to click on the images to see full details.)
Many of our congregation now give their regular offering using a standing order or bank transfer. (Please see the notice further down the page about this.) Alternatively, we now have a machine in church which you can use to pay your offering rather than handle cash. You can do this by using your normal bank debit card. However, if you don't use a card, it's still possible to put money on the plate when you enter or leave church if you prefer. With many banks having closed some of their branches (and this has happened in Wednesbury) more and more people are now using other methods of payment. It helps us, especially our Treasurer, to avoid contact with a lot of cash.
REGULAR GIVING - sorry, we hate to ask for money but ... All businesses have suffered financially since the start of the pandemic and we, as a church, are no exception. If you make your contribution electronically, thank you. It is very much appreciated. If you haven’t already done this, then please consider it as it helps us to ensure both our sustainability as a church and, importantly, to ensure its future also.
We might not be able to have large gatherings for worship and currently we have limited services but we still need to pay bills to maintain our beautiful church. Some of those bills are huge.
Therefore, please consider making your weekly or monthly contributions electronically. May we suggest 4 ways you can contribute to our finances: Set up a weekly or monthly standing order.* Do a weekly or monthly bank transfer.* Use the card machine in church. Set aside whatever sum you wish to give each week and bring to church services.
* If you choose to use Options (1) or (2) please send a private message through the Message facility on Facebook (www.facebook.com/StBartsWednesbury) and I will let you have the Bank details to enable you to set up a standing order or bank transfer. To enable our Treasurer to recognise regular giving, can you use the reference ‘Collection’ so that she can ensure money is accounted for correctly. If you would like to make a donation, then please use the reference 'Donation' as it will need to be accounted for differently. Thank you.
BIBLE SOCIETY NEWS - previously reported news from the Bible Society that might be of interest to you:
Did you know that Rupert the Bear helps provide Scriptures to people around the world? Rupert’s helping hand, or paw, came about when writer and illustrator Alfred Bestall remembered the Bible Society in his will. Alfred produced the popular Rupert the Bear columns in the Daily Express for 30 years and if one of his illustrations appears at auction, a small portion of what is paid (Alfred’s royalties) goes to Bible work. You can find out more by clicking on this link.
Read about how the Bible has helped people. You can use this link. The Bible Society has a lot of stories from a wide range of people which are interesting and uplifting.
Here is a link to helpful background information when reading the Bible including tips, discussion questions etc. It is great for personal study as well as exploring the Bible as a group when you are able to. It will help you to bring the Bible to life, one book at a time.
DO YOU NEED HELP OR SUPPORT? PLEASE CHECK OUT WHAT IS AVAILABLE IN THE ITEMS BELOW:
ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH BEREAVEMENT?:A useful resource is available on the 'At a Loss' website. Use this link to find out more. It is a useful resource to direct grieving people who need support.
Don’t forget to look after yourself and reach out to friends and family who might need your support. Check out this blog using the link, which has 5 tips to support mental health. The "Parents' Toolkit" on BBC Bitesize has advice for parents. Use this link to have a look. Also, "BBC Own It" can help children manage their wellbeing online. Please use this link to check it out.
SERVICES FOR THOSE WHO ARE BLIND, PEOPLE WHO DO NOT USE THE INTERNET AND THOSE WHO ARE ANXIOUS:
Church of England’s Dial-in Worship Line: The Church of England launched a dial-in worship service at the end of April where you can access hymns, reflections and prayers. This is useful for anybody who doesn’t use a computer, is blind or for those who feel lonely and isolated. The telephone number is 0800 8048044 (don’t worry, this is a free number so it won’t cost you anything, no matter how long you are on the call). Please pass on this information to anybody you feel will find this useful. You can read about it on the website links, as follows:
BBC Radio 4 If you’re not already aware, Radio 4 is broadcasting each day a ‘Thought for the day’. So if you know somebody who does not have a computer or who is blind, please pass on this information. It’s a great way of connecting to faith. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00szxv6
CORONAVIRUS SUPPORT GROUP: There is a support group in Wednesbury to help those still self isolating or at high risk. They are local residents offering help such as walking dogs, running errands, phone calls, etc. You can contact them in 3 ways. Details are:
'Wednesbury Coronovirus Support Group' on Facebook - you can use this link to access it.
Call 07597 142161 or 07925 150323 between 9 am and 5 pm
REMINDER (MESSAGE FROM KATIE SHINTON, COMMUNITY NAVIGATOR FOR SANDWELL CROSSROADS): Sandwell Crossroads help and support residents in Sandwell aged 18 and over. They help with a range of issues such as welfare; financial; trouble accessing food; COVID test & trace payments; fuel costs, etc. They can help someone who feels lonely because of isolation due to COVID and can put them in touch with different networks. Below are pdf documents - a summary about their work, a leaflet to promote their services and a referral form if you know of somebody who might need their help. (You can apply for yourself or on behalf of somebody.)
For more information please see their website. Or you can telephone 07801568729 https://www.sandwellcrossroads.org Please share the above information to reach more people in need of these services.
PREVIOUS NOTICES YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN:
This photo was taken several weeks ago. A beautiful rainbow, appearing to have landed on the church (it hasn't, of course). How wonderful. (Thank you to Dave Calloway for allowing me to use this photo. It's fabulous.)
During the pandemic the rainbow has been and still is a symbol of hope and it seems appropriate that it appears to be ending at the church. Hope is - faith grace prayer truth forgiveness thankfulness generosity caring listening sharing harmony friendship kindness love peace.
THANK YOU - to Mario and Lynn Castillo for making this HOPE display for church. It's beautiful and is such a wonderful message to see as you enter church. The wording across the letters says: faith grace prayer truth forgiveness thankfulness generosity caring listening sharing harmony friendship kindness love peace.
MUSIC: Music can lift our spirits, especially when we are feeling low. If you have come across any uplifting or calming music please use the Messenger service to Contact the Administrator (m.me/StBartsWednesbury) in order that she can add it to this list for all to listen to. You can also send a message to her from our Facebook page using this link. In the meantime, the following music, which has been on this list since early 2020, is still very enjoyable to listen to.
Over 300 churches from Ireland recorded The Irish Blessing; singing a blessing over Ireland and beyond. Link
This link is from the Churches of Hawaii called The Hawaii Blessing. It was recorded during the first week of May this year by worship leaders from 25 churches across all 6 major islands of Hawaii. Link
The Tenors - How Great Thou Art (Official Video) Link
If you haven’t watched this YouTube video and heard people from 50 Covid affected countries singing ‘Amazing Grace’ (Abderval Vocal Group Avg), I recommend you click on this link and listen. Be prepared - it’s emotional but, also, uplifting. Link
Osinachi Joseph, known professionally as Sinach, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and senior worship leader at Loveworld. In this video she is performing ‘I Worship You’. Link(Acknowledgement: Sinach, Way Maker.)
CHURCH BLOOPERS A friend emailed these to me and Fr Mark has given his blessing for me to post them on our website and Facebook page. These sentences appeared in church bulletins in some churches or were announced at church services – not ours! (Thankfully, Wendy and Alison don’t make these types of errors in the church posts and Newsletters). Enjoy.
The Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals. -------------------------- Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. -------------------------- The sermon this morning:'Jesus Walks on the Water'.The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus'. -------------------------- Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands. -------------------------- Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help. (This is Fr Mark’s favourite one!) -------------------------- Miss Charlene Mason sang “I will not pass this way again,” giving obvious pleasure to the congregation. -------------------------- For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs. -------------------------- Next Thursday there will be try outs for the choir. They need all the help they can get. -------------------------- Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days. -------------------------- A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow. -------------------------- At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practising. -------------------------- Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones. -------------------------- Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered. -------------------------- The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility. -------------------------- Pot-luck supper Sunday at 5:00 pm - prayer and medication to follow. -------------------------- The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon. -------------------------- This evening at 7 pm, there will be hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin. -------------------------- The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday. -------------------------- Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet on Thursday at 7 pm. Please use the back door. -------------------------- The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement on Friday at 7 pm. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy. -------------------------- Weight Watchers will meet at 7 pm at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use the large double door at the side entrance. -------------------------- And this one just about sums them all up:
The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.'