This week's circuit service
This week's special Pentecost circuit service will be led by the Revd Robin Selmes and the team from Third Avenue in Gillingham. As usual, to access the service and for the service sheet go to:
Coffee after the service
You are warmly invited to grab a beverage and join your friends from church for a catch-up over Zoom after the service finishes. The link and Meeting ID will remain the same each week. Here's a reminder:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 850 7820 0322
NEW - Access to the circuit service by phone
As well as using the service sheet at home, it is now possible to dial in from a mobile or landline and listen to the service. From 10.15 to 10.30 on Sunday, those dialling in can say hello to one another - from 10.30, the lines will be muted so everyone can hear the service clearly. There may be some references to material on the screen that will make less sense to those listening in, but we hope this will help people to feel that they are worshipping alongside friends from across the circuit.
Step 1: Dial 020 3481 5237 from a mobile or landline - this number is charged at the standard national rate
Step 2: When requested, enter the meeting ID (742 958 8134) followed by #
You do not need a 'participant ID' - just press #
Christian Aid Week
The final total this year for Christian Aid was £1,260, which will help Christian Aid to support some of the
most vulnerable people in the world in these strange and difficult times. Thank you!
Churches Together in Malling
As we continue to mark Thy Kingdom Come, please join us (and friends from churches across the Malling area) for a Pentecost prayer gathering via Zoom at 5pm on Sunday. The login details are as follows:
5.00pm—CTIM Pentecost Prayer Meeting
ID 813 4838 4034
Grapevine (Circuit Magazine)
The latest issue of Grapevine, the circuit newsletter, is now available in electronic form. There are a limited number of hard copies; if you or someone else would like to receive one, please let Revd. Bonni-Belle know.
As some of you know, Claire is looking to step down from the role of Treasurer. The Nominations Committee would be pleased to hear from you if you might be interested in taking on (or sharing) this important role, which involves:
Working with the other members of the Church Council to consider ways of raising and spending money for the church's mission and ministry;
Recording financial transactions carried out on behalf of the church and ensuring they are properly authorised;
Working with the Church Council to ensure the church meets its financial obligations (eg ensuring bills are paid and the church is properly insured);
Preparing the annual financial statements for approval by the Church Council, ensuring they are in dependently examined, and sending them to the circuit;
Maintaining the book-keeping system (currently an Excel spreadsheet) and sending invoices (once a month or once a term) to organisations who hire rooms in the church;
Keeping an eye on the church's finances and alerting the Church Council if any issues are likely to arise.
In carrying out the role, the Treasurer will have support from other members of the Church Council, from the Circuit Office and from the Circuit Treasurer. The role could be shared by two persons.
Claire has assured us that everything usually runs smoothly!
If you would like to know more, or may be interested, please contact Rev Naomi (firstname.lastname@example.org). We would be delighted to hear from you.
It was ten years ago that we had a fashion show so l thought maybe we could have another one when we are back to normal, to give us something to look forward to. Therefore, if you have any new or nearly clothes in your wardrobe please could you put them to one side. Also wondered if children's clothes and good quality toys could be included on a fifty / fifty basis. More details to follow in a few months, but in the meantime if you fancy modelling for the show I would be pleased to hear from you. Diane.
Muffins & More
Tuesdays during lockdown—Muffins & More group receive reflections and prayers by email. If you wish to join with the group in prayer and quiet time, contact Gwen who will add your email address to her Muffins group.
There is now a WhatsApp group for those of us who would like to both keep in contact and encourage each other during this time. It is open to those worshipping at Larkfield Methodist church, as well as hopefully to those who become known to us who might benefit from such a group, e.g. the lonely and the self-isolating.
If you would like to join, please text Alan C. (07913 082190)
Please be aware, that should you join this WhatsApp group, your phone number will be able to be seen by all other group members.
Crossover Project is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting every week on Wednesday until July 29th
Topic: Online prayer meeting, commencing at 8pm.
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 121 873 130
Thursdays at 7pm. Online Crossover service with Zoom until July 30th.
The service lasts for 40 minutes, with a second informal session beginning immediately after the first session ends. This is for anyone who chooses to join an open forum discussion on the subject of the sermon and spiritual conversation.
Meeting ID: 260 631 405
Next dial-in service - Thursday 4 June
This is offered especially for those without access to the Internet, but all are welcome. We've simplified matters by removing the password, so all you'll need to do is to follow the steps below. We'll begin with chat and introductions, followed by a simple act of worship starting at 10.10 and lasting for no more than half an hour.
Step 1: At 10am (or just before) on Thursday 4 June, dial 020 3481 5237 from a mobile or landline.
Step 2: When requested, enter the meeting ID (826 1364 7836) followed by #
NOTE: this is a different meeting ID from the last service
Grapevine (Circuit Magazine)
For those who have internet access, we will be making the summer edition of Grapevine available on the circuit website. We anticipate this could cover 2/3 of the circuit households. For those without internet access, paper copies will be made available.
Closer to Home
We ask God’s blessing, love, comfort and reassurance on:
Brenda Tarr and Trixie Anderson
Sylvia and Richard Ratcliff,
Mary Moyses, who has now moved to a care home
All those in our congregation who have been unwell this week, in pain, lonely or isolated and any known to us and unknown who are anxious about their health, worried or affected by the corona- virus;
The doctors and nurses, porters and cleaners working for the NHS, carers in homes and those who visit patients at home;
All those people who have continued to work during this difficult time, enabling us to have the necessary utilities and food, the delivery drivers, public transport drivers, those working in supermarkets, refuse collectors and postal workers.
Folk living in: Swift Close, Tassell Close, Temple Way, Thackeray Road, The Grange and The Rocks Road
Our church for growth, in faith and numbers and we also ask God’s blessing on each and everyone of us, that we might fulfil our calling to be the people of God working for Him in this place.
Helen will be preparing the on-line prayers next week. If you have a request for prayer or thank you, please contact her at: email@example.com
If you wish for a prayer in an emergency, you can telephone Christine Malins to put your request on the Prayer Wheel:-01732 842647 mob: 07934 384 974 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next week from Monday to Thursday (1—4 June), Naomi will be attending lectures and seminars via Zoom, which means that she will probably be much slower in responding to emails and messages. In the event of a pastoral emergency, please contact her on 01732 875072 and she will get back to you as soon as possible.
God in Love Unites Us: Marriage and Relationships
The circuit-wide consultations that took place about marriage and relationships (and the Conference report 'God in Love Unites Us') might now seem like a lifetime ago - but in fact, it was less than two months ago that the final gathering took place. Inevitably, under the present circumstances, the April District Synod has had to be cancelled. This means that feedback from circuit consultations will not be discussed by the district until the Synod in September, and the conversation that was due to be taking place at the 2020 Methodist Conference (which will no longer be happening in its usual format) will be deferred until 2021. The detailed feedback that was gathered from over 100 people who took part in the circuit-wide consultations will still be fed back to the district and the wider Connexion, albeit at a later date.
I know that for many among us, this is a subject that touches on deeply held theological beliefs, significant personal experiences, and strong emotions. For some, this delay may be a relief - for others, a cause of great distress. As was the case in our circuit consultations, let us continue to be mindful of one another’s feelings, to treat each other with compassion and respect, and to strive to live well with contradictory convictions.
Should you have any questions, please contact Revd Naomi Oates.
Some of you have asked how to donate to the foodbank at Maidstone Homeless Care's day centre, which is seeing unprecedented demand in these times when so many people's income has been affected by the virus. Naomi is currently visiting the day centre once or twice a week, so if you have food you'd like to donate, you can drop it off at the manse (45 Garner Drive) on your 'daily exercise,' or let her know if you'd like it collected from your doorstep, or contact Zofia (the day centre manager) to arrange a time when you can drop it off yourself at the centre in Knightrider Street. email@example.com
Archbishop of Canterbury free dial-in worship phone line during coronavirus lockdown
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has launched a free national phone line as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed because of the coronavirus.
Daily Hope, which is available from today, offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on COVID-19.
ALERT—Scams and Deception, on-line Safety
Unfortunately, there are several deception/scam situations that have recently been brought to the attention of the SE District Safeguarding Officer.
Cases of individuals trying to gain entry to the homes of the elderly/ vulnerable by asking to use the toilet during their daily walk – a couple, with the woman claiming to be pregnant.
People claiming to be police officers, visiting churches that are open (hosting foodbanks etc) and issuing on the spot fines for breaking social distancing rules. In one case this was followed up with an email – from a bogus account.
Email and phone contact from a woman, claiming to be a Muslim who converted to Christianity, phoning church people saying she is needing to escape domestic abuse and needs money to travel to a refuge. She has been doing this in a number of areas around the Connexion, sometimes claiming her name is 'BridgetJones'.
Please be vigilant about allowing access to your home and personal safety.
If anyone accessing or providing essential services such as foodbanks are approached by individuals purporting to be from the authorities, it is recommended that you request to see formal identification to verify this.
No one should be providing personal financial details to anyone with whom they are not familiar – be that in person, over the phone or via email.
The Methodist Church has issued guidance relating to staying safe online – both as individuals and as a church volunteer – documents, can be viewed via this link.
Please ensure that any concerns or queries of a safeguarding nature continue to be reported via the usual channels and in keeping with Methodist Church policy.
Helping Vulnerable People
Gill Fox at Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council has set up a Community Hub to provide assistance to the most vulnerable local people (some of whom may not be on the lists being provided by GP’s). She would really appreciate any assistance in identifying these vulnerable people, as well as trying to find healthy volunteers who can assist in reaching them at this time (especially volunteers who are already DBS checked). You can contact Gill on firstname.lastname@example.org
Oasis UK (founded by Rev. Steve Chalke) have set up a Friendship Line. If you are feeling isolated, worried, or simply could use a chat call them on 020 7921 4272. Calls are charged at the standard rate but are completely free over the internet!
Singing the Faith
website includes service sheets for worshipping at home and links to church services that can be live-streamed: see www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/worship/singing-the-faith-plus/seasons-and-themes/worship-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/
The Methodist website includes a daily Bible study: www.methodist.org.uk/our-faith/the-bible/a-word-in-time/
“Out of all the relationships and friendships we have on this earth. There is one that trumps them all and that’s our friendship with God.”
“Never forget that God is your friend. And like all friends He longs to hear what’s been happening in your life...”
“If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Face it, friend, He is crazy about you!”
“All shall be well, all shall be well, and All Manner of Things Shall be Well.”
Mother Julian of Norwich