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OlympicsHope Springs Eternal. Newsletter No 42 - September 2021

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

This year for one reason or another we watched more action from the Olympic Games in Tokyo that from any other previous games. On three occasions, when we were about to go to bed, we got hooked by the triathlon resulting in us watching them to the end and an extremely late bedtime, but it was worth it as our athletes won a gold and two silver medals.

A sport that I personally knew little about before the games and for which I still don’t understand the scoring, is taekwondo and is one of the sports that Britain does particularly well and were expected to win some medals. Two of our athletes who were predicted to be gold medal contenders had to be content with silver having been ahead on points with less than ten seconds left in their final bouts. Both had won their way through to the final, were in the last of the three final rounds and had victory literally snatched from their grasp! A similar thing happened in the final of the men’s 4 by 100 metres relay race. The final runner for Britain was in the lead down the home straight when he saw gold taken away over the last few strides by the Italians.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul on a number of occasions draws an analogy between competing in a sport or race, with life and personal faith. In his second letter to Timothy, who he regarded as his spiritual son, he once more turns to that theme; "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). One of the important lessons that we can learn from these analogies is that in life and faith we must continue to work at them with the very best of our abilities right to the very end; right to the point that we cross that finishing line! We must do our best not to falter in the final few seconds or metres.

We can apply this principle to the situation that we are now in as life returns to something like normal. We appear to be winning against the Covid virus, but we must not let our guard down until it is defeated. Over the coming weeks as regular activities resume in the fellowship, we should be mindful that the virus is still around and take reasonable precautions with our meetings and events.

There is a further lesson we can also draw from the Olympics and that is one of teamwork. Whether competitors were competing as individuals or as part of a team they would have benefited from a support team consisting of coaches, medical support, technicians, and statisticians; all necessary to achieve success. For our fellowship to succeed over the coming months we must all play our part as team members. We must all fight the fight, finish the race, and keep the faith.

Church Services
Church Services for September

Sunday 5th September at 10.30 – Dorothy Kendrick 
Sunday 12th September at 10.30 – Helen Porter (Sacramental Service)
Sunday 19th September at 10.30 – Susan McArthur 
Sunday 26th September at 10.30 – Wendy Ross Barker – Harvest Praise

Frank Pemberton’s Ministers’ Recognition Service
This will take place on Sunday the 5thSeptember at 10.30 when the previous Connexional President, Dorothy Kendrick from Roman Road Church, Failsworth, will be present, both representing the Ministers’ Committee and providing the main address in the service.
We hope that as many members and friends will make the effort and attend to support Frank on this very important date at the start of his ministry in God’s work. Subject to any Covid restrictions at the time, refreshments will be served in the hall following the service.

Harvest Thanksgiving. This will take place on Sunday 26th September. As usual we will be decorating the church with gifts of food (both perishable and non-perishable) which will be donated to appropriate charities afterwards. Of course, this service is dependent on your donations and those volunteering their time on the previous day to prepare the church.

Announcements in brief - Returning Church to normal. As we return to normality all the distancing tape which restricted access to a number of church pews has now been removed. This will allow those attending worship to sit wherever they want. We simply ask that you respect each others’ personal space. We will also be entering and exiting by the main church door.

Church Council will meet at Church on Wednesday 8th September at 7.30 pm. After such a long break it is hoped that all the previous members feel able to continue.

Church Deacons
will meet on the 22nd at 3 Kensington House at 7.30 pm.

The Bible Study Group have been meeting for some weeks in the Church at 10.15 on a Wednesday. Anyone wishing to join them would be most welcome.

Ladies Keep Fit.
This has now resumed on a Tuesday morning at 10.30. For further information please contact Joyce Meredith. 

Coffee and Conversation will resume on Thursday 2nd September at 10.30. For further information please contact Glenys Baguley.  Hybrid Worship.  Zoom Meeting. ID 874 0789 6194 and Password 427632. 

Church Flowers.  Each week the flowers on the Communion Table have been donated by a member of the congregation quite often to mark a significant day such as an anniversary. Over time the number of those donating has declined with the result that flowers are now regularly provided out of church funds. If anyone would like to donate flowers on a particular Sunday or make a donation to the flower fund, then please contact Jean Sutton or Brenda Newlan. Jean and Brenda are also looking for one or two volunteers to join the small rota of ladies who arrange the flowers each week.

A MacMillan’s "Afternoon Tea” will be held on Friday 1st October from 2-4. The proposed "White Elephant” sale will take place on Saturday 23rd October from 11- 2.

Church Recipe Book. Kath Middleton and Anne Pridden are looking for the title of the book they have been compiling with recipes provided by church members and friends. Any suggestions? Please contact Kath or Anne.

Don’t forget the ‘Book Table Sale’ in the Fellowship Room. Books on sale for fifty pence. 

Bible Thoughts.  This month Roy asks us to consider Galatians 3:26. Paul said, "You are all sons (and daughters) of God through faith in Jesus.” This is one of the readings that grows on you as you think about it. We know that Jesus lived on earth, that he taught, performed miracles, suffered, and died, and rose to new life so that we may have that faith. Praise God for all His blessings. 

Congratulations to Sonali and Kar on the announcement of their engagement to be married. They are currently purchasing a house in Appleton. Sonali, is the eldest daughter of Satish and Sharlee Misal has been very much a part of our fellowship for many years and we welcome Kar as he accompanies Sonali to worship.

Birthdays and Anniversaries in September: 18th Audrey Butterworth who will be 90 and Kath Middleton, 21st – Roy Findlay, 25th Shefalie Misal, 27th Glenys Baguley. Wedding Anniversaries - Glenys and Don Baguley celebrate on the 26th and Jean and John Sutton celebrate theirs on the 28th.