White Church Alternative Notices
(from Church Secretary, Ruth Cooper)
Dear Church Friends,
How have things been with you this week? Once again our worlds are shrinking as Lancashire and also Blackpool today have been included in the areas with additional restrictions because of an increase in the number of people testing positive with Covid-19. Places of Worship are still permitted to open with suitable social distancing and safety measures in place. The Government has launched a new App for mobile phones to help Track and Trace contacts of people who test positive. Using this involves downloading the App to your mobile phone and then scanning a QR Code at every public venue you visit. I’m sure this all sounds like a foreign language to many of you, but please don’t worry as there is no requirement to use this system and people visiting our services will have their names recorded on the weekly register as happened last Sunday. For those who wish to use the App there is a QR Code at the White Church for you to scan on entry. Three copies of the QR code have been positioned one at each entrance of the White Church. The system has been tested using the app downloaded on an apple phone and it shows the location, date and time of registration on the phone screen. Inside the main porch entrance the QR Code is positioned on the wall to the left of the steps.
I am sorry to have to inform you that another of our ‘Golden Oldies’, Dorothy Aspin passed away on Thursday evening. We remember and give thanks for the contribution she made to the White Church over many years. Please pray for her family as they come to terms with their loss.
Unfortunately, at the moment we can’t visit other people in their homes or gardens but we can keep in contact by phone. I know that those of you who live alone will feel this the hardest, so please can we all support those we can with a phone call from time to time. Dear Lord, hear our prayers for all our Church Family.
Last Sunday we were able to open the church for a service for the first time in 6 months. It was good to be back. 27 people attended the service – this included 6 couples, so it counted as 21 different groups. Thank you to Rev Janet Calderley for leading our worship on Peace Sunday.
The weather has turned more Autumnal now and Anne F has sent a couple of photos which Peter has taken. Shaggy Ink Caps (Coprinus comatus) are also known as ‘lawyers’ wigs’ or ‘shaggy manes’. Apparently, the gills start off being white then turn pink and finally black. The fungi are unusual because after they have been picked, they will turn black producing a black liquid filled with spores, hence the name Ink Cap, and dissolve themselves in a matter of hours.
What thoughts come into your mind as you look at these photos? Is the nearest fungus like an open umbrella or someone’s hat on top of a post? Are the fungi a row of tall sentinels lining the way through the wood? If so where are they leading? Has the butterfly just arrived on the rock and having a rest or is it about to fly away to look for nectar elsewhere? There are stories in everything. Let your imagination run away with you.
I should like to thank Val for this reflection.
Believe in me
A few questions for you …..
What is this ?
Where is it ?
What does it mean to you ?
First, it is a Braille Plaque.
Secondly, it is fixed to the Peace Pole in the grounds of our church.
Thirdly It says to you, “ May peace prevail on earth “ Reminding us to keep peace as an aim in our minds in our everyday living.
I placed the plaque there because a blind person cannot read the written words on the pole. But if they run their fingers over this plaque the message becomes quite clear…. Each tiny raised marker spells out the that same message.
This poses another question….. “ Is seeing believing “. or “ Is believing seeing “
This will cause some debate as we can say, after something is explained to us, “ Oh I see what you mean “ although others may say, “ I don’t see it “
It doesn’t need eyes it needs belief, belief or faith in that what is said is true.
Reading …. The Gospel according to John Chapter 20 verses 24 – 29.
The story of Doubting Thomas.
Thomas could not believe the words of the disciples that Christ was alive, having risen from the dead. He had to see for himself to believe the story to be true.
There is greater faith in the person who insists on being sure than the person who glibly repeats things that they have never thought out who do not really believe.
Thomas doubted to become sure …. Believing is seeing.
With the world in turmoil at present it is no wonder that we ourselves have many doubts.
It is difficult and sometimes impossible to believe that what is being done is right and answers our many questions. We need to see beyond the present and trust those who are doing their best for the common good and look to the future….because one day all will be well.
Most importantly we should put our trust in the capable hands of God and support each other especially when doubt pulls us back let us remember the words of Christ to Thomas..
“ Do you believe because you see me ? How happy are those who believe without seeing me…”
Instead of a prayer I leave you with words from one of my favourite hymns,
written by Clara Scott 1841 – 1897.
Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth Thou hast for me
Place in my hands the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee, ready my God Thy will to see,
Open my eyes , illumine me. Spirit divine.
Open my mind, that I may read more of Thy love in word and deed.
What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead? Only for light from Thee I plead.
Silently now I wait for Thee, ready my God Thy will to see
Open my eyes, illumine me. Spirit divine.
May God bless you all and watch over you and keep you safe.
Val Atkinson September 2020.
Appeal for refugees’ camp on Lesbos.
A reminder that Siobhan is happy to collect locally and bring any items donated to Carole’s charity. It’s her plan to get them sent over in the next shipping container, which is due to go early October 2020.
The items required are as follows:
- Baby Nappies
- Personal hygiene and care essentials
- New underwear and socks
- Clean Blankets
- Warm and practical WINTER clothing
- Sleeping Bags and Tents.
Community Support Officer for Refugee Project on the Fylde Coast
Tel: 07554 454579
The support the White Church congregation has given Siobhan’s appeals in the past has been very generous, so if you are able to help in any way, please contact Siobhan direct and ask her to collect items from you.
Notification of Intention to attend a Sunday Service.
As there is a limit on numbers attending and in order to avoid any confusion, please contact me every week by email or phone if you intend to come to the next Sunday service.
Please be aware that it is necessary to leave the Church doors open for ventilation during services, so if the weather is chilly please wear some warm clothing.
September 27th Harvest Sunday.
As Andrew is unable to lead our service, Linda Lunn will be our Worship Leader. We are grateful to Linda for stepping in at short notice. Thank you, Linda.
If you are attending the service, please bring any gifts on the 27th Sept. Useful items:
- Tinned goods, especially those containing meat, fish, fruit or vegetables. (No baked beans, chick peas or soup are required.)
- Long Life fruit juice in large and also individual boxes.
- Crisps and small treats.
Cash donations are also welcome and these should be put in a sealed envelope with Harvest Gift written on the front.
Please make any cheques out to “Fylde Food Bank”. Your gifts of produce and money will be taken to a Fylde Food Bank.
If you would like your gifts to be collected from your home, please let the acting secretary know so that arrangements will be made for someone to collect your gifts from your house.
There will tables on the left side of the church, so please bring any gifts in a bag, and place the bag on the tables as you enter the church before being seated, as there is a one-way system round the church.
Your generosity over the years has been wonderful. Thank you.
The Service on 4th October will be led by Val Atkinson and will include Communion. If possible, please bring your own individual portion of bread and wine (squash or water) for communion services.
Rev Jim Williams has offered to lead weekly Bible Studies, both via Zoom and physically, starting with Genesis.
If you are interested in joining in please let the Acting Secretary know.
Sunday Communion Services
Rev Jim and Rev Janet conduct a regular Communion service on Sundays at 7pm. This can be accessed on Zoom and by phone. People should ring Jim – 01253 896371 or Janet – 01253 896056 for details and access.
Please join me in saying the Grace together.
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen
God Bless you all