TRIANGLE SUMMER PA R I S H 2012 NEWSLETTER T H E PA R I S H O F M A D E L E Y “Knowing, Growing and Showing the Love of God” Inside this edition Seed planting at Sutton Hill church Going and coming Flowers with Christian Connections Parish Office 01952 585718 Team Rector: Position Vacant Team Vicar: Rev’d Matthew Lefroy The Jubilee in Retrospect [email protected] www.tf7.org.uk Assistant Minister: Rev’d Rosemary Freeman Team Curate: A Summer Quiz Rev’d Graham Phillips GOING AND COMING GOING It is with sadness that we say goodbye to our curate David Moulden, his wife Sarah and their children Tim and Lydia who are leaving us on the 22nd July to move south to Canterbury. David has a position there as a vicar...not as the higher position of archbishop! Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they move and we give thanks to God for their ministry during their four years here in the parish. COMING We are pleased to welcome Graham and Emma Phillips and their children Matthew, Thomas and Frances to the parish. Graham was ordained at Hereford Cathedral on 1st July and is now working within the parish as a curate. ~~~~~~~~~ SEED PLANTING AT SUTTON HILL CHURCH For some time we had been concerned at Sutton Hill church, because we were failing to reach the children from the estate. As all children are precious in God’s eyes, we needed to change this. Jesus tells us in Mark chapter ten verse fourteen “Let the little children come to me.” So we asked God to show us how to open the doors for the little ones to come in. God answered our prayers and very soon we had a group of children coming to church every week. At first we felt overwhelmed and unprepared, so again we turned to prayer. Very soon we had a very enthusiastic group willing to share the responsibility of leadership. We may all be well past our sell by date—the oldest leader is in her mid eighties, but this does not seem to bother the children. As long as they are made to feel welcome and we show them we care, they are happy. We are planting seeds of faith and nurturing these seeds and watching their faith grow. We pray that at some future date, these seeds will produce a rich harvest and their faith will be just like the tiny mustard seed that grows into a sturdy bush where even the birds can build their nests. So if you would like to encourage seed planting on Sutton Hill, why not come and join our team. Age is no barrier! Jan Ford PAWS FOR THOUGHT I wonder, how many of you still have a copy of the church notices from 4th March, the 2nd Sunday in Lent? In case you're not a hoarder like me, let me tell you about the picture on the front. It shows a cat looking down at a mouse. The cat's face conveys interest; the mouse is, to say the least, nonplussed. Perhaps the latter is very scared, being viewed by a quadruped many times its own size - “poor, wee, cowering, timorous beastie”, to coin a phrase. But to return to puss. Its four paws are firmly planted on the floor, in a rather non-commital way, but it is obviously carefully observing mus musculus. So far, I have shared my life with numerous specimens of domestic cat, ranging in size, colour and temperament. Their names have varied from the simple, generic Puss, via Nasser, at the time of the Suez crisis, to Orinoko, who was a stray, and whose name presented a challenge in spelling to the veterinary nurse who once needed to write down his details! The cat on the notice sheet, (name unknown), as I've mentioned, is interested, its eyes fixed on its companion. If you want to look into the eyes of a cat, and don't have same, try getting to know the black and white one at the Six Bells. What are those eyes saying? Do we ever think about looking into the eyes of God? What would His eyes say to us and, in turn, what reflection should our eyes convey to the person we meet? Is He a God of unthinking power, (“I'm going to eat you all up”), a God who looks down from heaven above, (“I'm so much taller than you”), a detached, enquiring God, (“what are you, strange being?”), or a God who is very atypical of a cat, (“we two furry beings have so much in common, let us share the world.”) Surely He is a God of unconditional love - “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” As we attempt, however imperfectly, to mirror His life, shown to us in the life of Jesus - “He who has seen me has seen the father” - may we always be conscious of the message which we convey, by all our actions. Tony Curzon …………...…..GREETINGS FROM ABU DHABI ………………. Since I last wrote things are beginning to settle down for the summer season. With temperatures soaring up to 50C many people simply flee the Gulf for cooler climes and we will be joining them. The holy month of Ramadan will be during the hottest time of the year this year so do remember our Muslim friends who will not be allowed to eat or drink during the long daylight hours. It is a brutal discipline and yet many are determined to please God by following this spiritual regime. It makes me wonder how many Christians would be so determined to please God by doing this. However we live under a law of grace and so we are exempt from the rigours of spiritual law. These last few weeks have seen some great answers to prayers and I am thankful to God that I continue to enjoy the grace and favour of people in power. This has been a real blessing to the church and in being able to help those in need. Today I was meeting with the Human Rights office of the UAE government and they are willing to give me special carte blanche permission to visit prisoners. This is a very rare privilege and one which even diplomatic missions do not have. This is an answer to prayer as there are many in prison who are there for non-criminal reasons (e.g. running away from abusive employers, or are in debt usually because their employers have not paid them). There are many Christians among the prisoners especially from the Philippines and India. There are also some British prisoners too. One prisoner from the UK who is 21 years old has just been sentenced to death for dealing in cannabis. I am hoping to open the doors for other Christian ministers to come into prison and this is a prayer request. Where we are struggling is in the area of our ministry team. One by one each of my team members has been struck with major problems ranging from homelessness, debt, ill health and bereavement. I feel like I am the only one standing at the moment. But slowly we are seeing answers to prayers as we see jobs restored, healing of body and mind and accommodation provided. Two nights ago I was sat under the desert stars sitting on Persian rugs on the sand enjoying the hospitality of an Emirati Arab who delights in talking with Christians about theology and philosophy. It was a great evening and it comes close to my desires and hopes as to what I should be doing in terms of interfaith relations. This last week also saw the final language (out of 12 languages) recorded for our human rights project of making the labour law available to the migrant workers in accessible form. This will be distributed through an mp3 device and made available on line and through the churches and diplomatic missions. We are hoping to secure government approval for this project and if that be the case it could be a springboard for a region wide project. Pray for this - we are simply calling it the LOVE ABU DHABI Project. I am looking forward to being with you all over the summer. Every Blessing, Reverend Canon Andrew Thompson MBE We look forward to hearing Andrew preach at St Michael’s on July 22nd. MAKING HISTORY On Friday July 22nd, my eldest grandson, Ben, 13 years old, made history at St. Andrew’s Church, Abu Dhabi. He is the first person to be baptised by full immersion in that church. In front of a packed congregation, with lots of his peers present, Andrew and the youth leader baptised him in a large children’s paddling pool set up in the sanctuary. He only just fitted in enough to be submerged! A real family event as Rianne sang a solo during the service. Malcolm Thompson SUMMER QUIZ All these are anagrams of places in Shropshire. How many can you identify? 1)Balance Lord Frosh 11)Chant weds tony 2)Morbid Ford Gent 12)Bin leg silly 3)Lancer Unbolt 13)Tripod in sort 4)A long birth 14)Blab taste toys 5)Nosh knot mop 15)Morbid elf 6)Fear posh town 16)Below ed too 7)Ancient oat sonnet 17)Arch chubs 8)All tents rot 18)Crashed wine 9)Shrilling 19)Narrow tub 10)Conk ink 20)Than bell Answers on page 7 FLOWERS WITH CHRISTIAN CONNECTIONS There are many plants whose names reflect something of Christianity. Columbine-Aquilegia vulgaris-is also known as the ‘dove flower’. The dove is a symbol for new creation and baptism and carvings of the flower are often found in cathedrals and churches. Sorrel-Rumex acetosa-was one of the bitter herbs that Hebrew people ate with Passover lamb and so possibly part of the Last Supper. Moschatel-Adoxa moschatellina-also known as the Good Friday flower. There is no other flower like it with its five petals facing north, south east and west and a fifth facing the sky and a scent of musk.it is the only species in its genus and the only genus in its family in the world. Wild Pansy-Viola tricolour- a member of the violet family, and also known as ‘heartsease’ and ‘Trinity Violets’ because they are yellow, white and purple. Cow Parsley-Anthriscus sylvestris-also sometimes known as ‘Our Lady’s Lace’. Pasque Flower-Pulsatilla vulgaris-thought to be the lilies of the field Jesus pointed to in his Sermon on the Mount. Solomon’s Seal-Polygonatum multiflorum-grows in the wild now only in a few places. King Solomon was renowned for his wisdom, composed 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs and built the first temple. Speedwell-Veronica-when Jesus carried his cross, legend has it that Veronica was the girl in the crowd who offered him her handkerchief. When Jesus handed it back his face was imprinted on the cloth. An old country name for speedwell is ‘God’s Eye’. Lady’s Smock-Cardamine pratensis-in the cloisters of Lincoln Cathedral which is dedicated to Mary there is a garden full of her flowers. Lords and Ladies-Arum maculatum-has also been known as ‘Parson in the Pulpit’ and ‘Parson in his smock’. Hazel Shipman (Thanks to Cross+link, the parish magazine of the Bridgnorth Anglican Team Ministry) THE JUBILEE IN RETROSPECT Her Majesty’s long and unstinting dedication to the service of Britain and the Commonwealth is indeed worth celebrating. Even the republicans and anti-monarchists enjoyed the opportunity for protest and propaganda! But what about ‘Jubilee’? Like many foundations of our society the concept of jubilee is biblical. It is an extension of the idea of ‘sabbath’ – the day of rest given to God. Every seven years there was to be a sabbath year - a year of ‘rest’ for the people, their domestic animals and their land. The year of jubilee repeated the theme of ‘sevens’. i.e. the jubilee year was the fiftieth year, i.e. it followed the seventh sabbatical year. The idea of jubilee sought the equalisation of wealth by cancelling all unpaid debts which involved the return of property which had been surrendered as guarantee for loans. It also encouraged the reunion of scattered families. This principle of jubilee underlies Jesus’s and the early Christian’s stand alongside the poor and disposed. During the recent celebration a veil of silence appears to have been drawn between the demonstration of patronage, power and unaccountable wealth and the deepening inequality and injustice experienced by huge numbers of her Majesty’s subjects. NOT a demonstration of jubilee, just a denial of its original subversive symbolism. The Old Testament gives no hint that the leaders of their society ever honoured these directions; nor many others. Indeed the very reverse. They developed a centralising, wealth accumulating monarchical tradition. What’s new pussy cat? Not today’s perception of Christianity as a tool of the establishment and the status quo. Celebrate what’s worth celebrating, but please try not to wrap it up in pseudo religious language. For primary source consult Leviticus 25. Geoff Pochin ANSWERS TO SUMMER QUIZ 1)Ashford Carbonell )8)All Stretton 15)Bromfield 2)Montford Bridge 9)Grinshill 16)Leebotwood 3)Acton Burnell 10)Knockin 17)Baschurch 4)Albrighton 11)Chetwynd Aston 18)Cheswardine 5)Monkshopton 12)Billingsley 19)Burwarton 6)Hopton Wafers 13)Ditton Priors 20)Benthall 14)Astley Abbotts DATES FOR THE DIARY Sun 15th July 3-5pm Strawberry cream tea with live music Sat 21st July 8am Ladies Prayer Breakfast Sat 4th Aug 9.30am Men’s breakfast at The Brewery, Coalport Sun 19th Aug 3-5pm Strawberry cream tea with live music Sat 1st Sept Men’s breakfast at The Brewery, Coalport 9.30am ST MICHAEL’S FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMME OF EVENTS Sept 3rd Nursery Rhymes and Stories D Nicholle Sept 17th Fun with Ron Ron Miles Oct 1st Harvest Lunch Oct 15th Abu Dhabi Memories Nancy and Malcolm Oct 29th Desert Island Discs Members Afternoon Nov 12th Music for Fun group Hannah Lawrence Nov 26th Christmas Quiz Dec 10th Christmas Lunch Fellowship meetings are held in St Michael’s Church unless otherwise stated and commence at 2.30pm. All are welcome and tea, coffee and biscuits are available afterwards. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thank you to all who have contributed to this Summer edition of Triangle. The editorial team reserve the right to edit items given to them for inclusion in this newsletter. The views expressed are not necessarily those of Madeley Parish. Please send items for the Autumn edition to [email protected] by 30th Sept. It will be available by mid October. Editorial team: Carol Greenwell, Hazel Shipman, Jan Holt Particular thanks to Rev Matthew Lefroy who has organised the printing of this edition.