Dear Church Friends,
Hello everyone once again. Another week has gone by and it’s been good to have the warmer weather this week. On Wednesday I ventured into the garden to prune the buddleia and start cutting down and removing the dead remnants of last year’s plants in preparation for the new growth to come. Being able to get out in the garden once more lifted my spirits and I look forward to further suitable gardening days. Like most people I have to pace myself and not overdo things as my body complains if I do too much. I find it beneficial to vary the tasks as too long on one thing can lead to aches and stiffness the next day. We all need variety and unfortunately for many people at present life has become slightly monotonous. Look outside and see what has changed. The spring bulbs are rapidly pushing their way through the soil which only a few days ago was frozen hard. Buds and some green shoots are appearing on early flowering trees. The birds are singing before dawn and nature will soon be stepping up a gear and bringing forth new life.
We must count our blessings, for they are all around us.
This reminds me of a story I read about a man who owned two dogs. One day he found a forgotten bag of doggy treats in a cupboard. They were near their ‘use by’ date so he decided he may as well give his dogs the treat. His retriever noticed the man by the door, heard the rustling of the packet and came and sat expectantly in front of him. The man took a handful of the little treats and threw them over the dog’s head onto the patio. The retriever looked up briefly, then, ignoring the treats scattered behind her, focused again on the packet. Another handful was distributed in the same way and again the dog looked up and back to the packet. The man continued in the same manner but while the retriever was focused on the packet, the man’s other dog, a wee collie was busy eating all the treats which had been landing on the patio. We are constantly being showered by blessings but we sometimes miss them because they don’t always arrive in the way we expect them to. The retriever did eventually get some treats as some were saved for her, but she didn’t get as many as the smart little collie who took his blessings in whatever way they arrived. The Lord sends us blessings but maybe at times not in the way we expect. Let us give thanks to the Lord for our blessings.
A church magazine once published an item headed “Life’s Little Instructions”:
Keep it simple.
Be forgiving of yourselves and others.
Compliment three people every day.
Never waste an opportunity to let someone know you love them.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Christmas Tree Recycling on St Annes Beach
Even though these trees have served their Christmas role, they will continue to be a blessing as they gather the sand the wind blows over the beach. They will eventually help to stabilize our sand dunes and provide protection from winter storms and extra high tides. The trees planted over previous years are now covered in sand and no longer visible, but they are ever present and protect the coastline. This year 2,500 trees have been donated and these will have a huge impact in the future. Cutting them down to provide pleasure at Christmas has led to a further beneficial use.
Please remember to order your Real Easter Eggs from Janet Sherwood by 14th March.
All the profits made on sales go into buying more eggs for distribution around needy families in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde.
Please support Janet in this initiative; it’s a great form of outreach, evangelism and discipleship.
Eggs are available in dark chocolate (£5.50) and milk chocolate (£4.50) – just call or email Janet on 01253 739195 or [email protected] with your orders and work out between you a suitable way of delivery. The eggs are really thick, luxurious chocolate. They come with a booklet telling the Passion Story. If you don’t eat chocolate then why not buy an egg to be sent to a child who might not otherwise get one
Fairtrade Fortnight 2021 in Lancashire 22 February to 7 March 2021
For two weeks each year at the end of February and start of March, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to share the stories of the people who grow our food and drinks, mine our gold and who grow the cotton in our clothes, people who are often exploited and underpaid. Janet S is the Treasurer of the Fairtrade Lancashire Group and this year things have to be done in a different way. The group has decided that the best way to publicise their events is by Eventbrite. These are free online events, but even though one has to have a ticket there is nothing to pay. The events are on Zoom, but when somebody books a ticket, the organiser gets that person’s email and can then send the Zoom link directly.
All events are free online events – please book through Eventbrite and you will be sent the Zoom link.
Shared Interest’s Work with Fairtrade Farmers in Africa Friday, 26th February, 2021 at 7pm
Live link with Kodzo Korkortsi, programme manager for Shared Interest Foundation (www.shared-interest.com), based in Ghana. Hear about the Fairtrade producers working against adversity in an environment of climate change and Covid. Kodzo will give an overview of the Foundation’s recent projects including Bees for Business which is working with women beekeepers in Burkina Faso and talk about the Livelihood Security Fund which has been helping producers affected by Covid. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/shared-interests-work-with-fairtrade-farmers-in-africa-tickets-141858529681
Fairtrade and Climate Change Saturday, 27th February, 2021 at 1pm
Stefan Donnelly from the Campaigns Team at the Fairtrade Foundation will highlight the growing challenges that climate change brings to farmers and workers in the communities Fairtrade works with. The facts are straightforward. Farmers and workers in countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Honduras, who have done the least to contribute to climate change, are disproportionately affected by it. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/climate-fairtrade-and-you-tickets-141947156767
United by Fairtrade Wednesday, 3rd March, 2021 at 7pm
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us more than ever how interconnected we are globally. This interconnection is at the very heart of the Fairtrade message, bringing people of all faiths, and none, together. Adam Gardner, Head of Campaigns at the Fairtrade Foundation, will talk about the challenges currently faced by farmers and workers in the global south – the ‘key workers beyond our borders’ and what we can do. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/united-by-fairtrade-tickets-141951722423
Wednesday Morning Partnership Coffee Morning 10:30am 24th February.
All are welcome Please join Janet.
Join Zoom Meeting Click this link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81166484469?pwd=MEgvU0FlelFlRC9mU0pVUnRhRG5pQT09
or telephone 02030512874 (Meeting ID: 811 6648 4469, Passcode: 714395)
Weekly Sunday Worship 10:30am and 6:30pm
Jim and Janet invite you to Weekly Worship via Zoom.
This Sunday 21st February, Janet will lead both services. Please come and join other members of the partnership in this unified act of worship.
Every Sunday Morning Worship via Zoom at 10:30am
To join us click this link:
or phone 0203 051 2874 and then supply the following information when asked:
Meeting ID: 845 3212 8356
Every Sunday Evening Worship via Zoom at 6:30pm
Or phone: 0203 051 2874 and then supply the following information when asked:
Meeting ID: 846 5904 6240
Can you remember ‘eating’ in the Fifties? If not, you might learn something.
Curry was a surname
All crisps were plain; the only choice you had was whether to use the salt from the little blue wrapper.
A Big Mac was what people wore in the rain.
Oil was for lubricating, fat was for cooking.
Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and never green.
Cubed sugar was regarded as posh.
Fish didn’t have fingers in those days.
People who didn’t peel potatoes were regarded as lazy.
Cooking outside was called camping.
Prunes were medicinal.
Water came out of a tap. If anyone had suggested bottling it and charging more than petrol for it, they would have been laughed at.
Prayer for the Night by Margaret Ingall
Dear Lord, should I wake before it grows light,
Please let me not brood on the fears of the night.
But let me think back to the joys of the day,
And dwell on the good things that all came my way.
Please help me not fret over problems ahead,
But trust in Your grace and Your goodness instead,
And when at last darkness gives way to the dawn ——
Then let me rejoice in Your blessed new morn.
Let us pray
We thank you for the reduction in cases of Covid and pray that the continued roll out of vaccinations will prove to be effective and the Prime Minister’s road map will show us the way forward and renew our hope for a return to a more normal way of life. We pray for those who are in pain or suffering from health problems and ask for Your healing touch and Your Blessing on them. As we grow weary of the continued lockdown, fill us with your strength knowing that we can rely on Your love and support. In Jesus’ name. Amen
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