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On Sunday September 12th, morning worship at Garstang will include Holy Communion, and will be led by Revd John Gordon.

This will be John's first visit to Garstang since his Induction as Partnership Minister, and to give us all the opportunity to get to know each other a bit better the Elders have decided that tea and coffee will be provided in the hall after the service.

Posted: Wed 11th Aug 2021

 

Church Services are back in Church with the congregation wearing masks and socially distant seating.

Posted: Sun 25th Jul 2021

 

Posted: Mon 21st Jun 2021

 

We have receive a certificate of thanks from the URC for our donation to Commitmrnt for Life.

 

Posted: Sun 20th Jun 2021

The Elders of Garstang URC wanted to share the following dates and information with you.

 

Duty Elders for July services:  Barrie Mason and Mary Thornber
Door stewards:  tba by David Ralphs

Thursday 24 June, 11 am - Garstang Armed Forces Day observance, Stella attending

Letters of thanks received from NISCU (our donation of £200) and Commitment for Life (our donation of £100).

Safeguarding training undertaken by Marlene Towns and Stella Clarke

Sunday 25 July, 6.30 pm on Zoom, Service of Reflection & Wholeness

Date tbc (Management/Mike Hart):  Garden Maintenance Day

Thursday, 16 September @ 7pm: Nth Lancs Missional Partnership Steering Group

 

Posted: Sun 20th Jun 2021

On Sunday June 13th at 3:00pm, Revd John Gordon will be inducted as the second Minister in the URC North Lancashire Partnership of seven churches. This service will be led by Revd Lis Mullen and will be on Zoom. Invitations will be issued in the same way as for regular Sunday worship, but the service will also be relayed onto the screen in the Hall. If you wish to attend in the Hall, please book a place with Stella as soon as possible.

Posted: Sat 15th May 2021

There are still places available in the hall for our service on 23rd May at 10.45.   

Please contact Stella on clarkest@mybroadband.ws or 01524 791292 if you wish to attend. 

There will be further live services in the coming weeks so please book ahead if you can.

Thanks,

Stella

 

Posted: Wed 28th Apr 2021
Dear Friends,
Trust you are all doing well and enjoying the lovely spring weather.
As I mentioned at the start of the month this is the last of the weekly thoughts - things are moving on.
Thanks again for all your contributions: I have used some of your personal stories in the thoughts, thank you for allowing me to do so. I am grateful for all the positive, reflective and sometimes challenging feedbacks received.
Take care and stay blessed,
Irene
 

Thought for week beginning 24th April 2021

 

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me bless his holy name…and do not forget how kind he is Psalm 103:1

Now in his 70s’, and with increasing health concerns impacting his day-to-day living, Walter, is needing to slow down. He used to be an active outdoor individual, who was a very keen bowler, winning trophies, but not anymore. Yet, he says: In our day to day life, we are given the choice to be positive or negative in the way we live. So, I get up in the morning, thanking God for another new day, and enjoy what the day brings. Here’s a man whose choice of focus, helps him not to become overwhelmed by his health concerns and challenges of the day. So also, it was with the psalmist, who did not place his confidence and faith in his circumstances, ability or resources, but in the goodness and greatness of God. His trust compelled him to proclaim: Bless the Lord, O my soul; and do not forget how kind he is. Psalm 103:1.

Friends it's easy to fall into the trap of expecting much from God, but appreciating little. In challenging times, we tend to become anxious, depressed, and afraid, because of our choice of focus – we tend to focus on the negatives, rather than on the God whose kindness is not diminished by the circumstances of life. As we move into a new phase with churches beginning to look forward to reopening for physical worship, there will be new opportunities to meet up with family, church members, friends, and strangers who might become friends, so let’s shift focus and stay positive and imbue others with positivity. 

Also, as Walter does, we too can choose to thank God for each new day and the life he gives us to enjoy it. Let’s develop the habit of focusing daily on at least three things that we are thankful for, as this would help us from losing heart and becoming negative. Among other things, today, I’m thanking God for: 1. Jesus and his sustaining grace in the midst of the global challenge. 2.The opportunity to talk and laugh with family and friends. 3.The lovely spring weather, the flowers and the birdsong. What are you thankful to God for today?  

I find the words of the hymn below to be helpful:

 

Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

(Hymn: When upon life billows, published 1897, Johnson Oatman) 

 

Looking forward to our churches reopening for worship and other activities soon.

Blessings

Irene John

Posted: Sat 24th Apr 2021

Dear Friends,

“Yet more than ever believers were added
to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women,
so that they even carried out the sick into the streets,
and laid them on cots and mats,
in order that Peter’s shadow might fall on some
of them as he came by”.
(Acts 5: vs. 14 – 15)

Luke records in Acts the energy and spiritual dynamism of the early church as they demonstrate life as resurrection community through the power of the Holy Spirit. Many signs and wonders were being done the Apostles.

From the passage above we see how people lay the sick on the street hoping that Peter’s shadow would fall upon them and that they might be healed. Later on, Luke makes the bold claim that all who were brought to the Apostles were healed. The early church grew numerically because of the powerful healing ministry of the church. This leads us to the conclusion that the church has to be a place of healing.

By healing the sick and the lame the Apostles were bringing those who were vulnerable and excluded back into the fold. In God’s Kingdom all are to be included. Exclusion brings division. Healing opens the door to new opportunities and potential new horizons.

That is why we need to see those signs and wonders of healing and reconciliation in our own communities. Healing can take the form of feeding the hungry, providing warmth and conversation to the lonely, offering sincere words of welcome and support to those who are refugees.

The resurrection was an act of healing. Our broken relationship with God was healed through Jesus. On that first Easter Day the risen Jesus said to the disciples “Peace be with You!”. Peace with God and with ourselves is part of the healing process.

The question we need to ask is how can we open ourselves up to the power of the Holy Spirit to allow us as a church to become a source of healing? Our worship needs to be a source of deep healing and loving acceptance that draws people into the presence of God. Simply put our lives must powerfully reflect the peace of God offered to us in Jesus.

When the church is seen to be a place of peace and healing then people will recognise that God is in the midst of his people and God’s kingdom will grow.

With every Blessing,

Reverend John Gordon.
April 2021.

Posted: Sun 18th Apr 2021

Thought for week beginning 11th April 2021

Last Sunday, we celebrated Easter day, but that does not write finish to our Lord Jesus Christ – His story is never ending. There is life springing from the resurrection, that leaves us with a faith that must be lived out and acted upon: We are called to renew our engagement with Jesus Christ, to deepen our relationship with him, who, because of his death and resurrection, has given us newness of life, and new hope, that is not restricted to this life but is for eternity.
The story is told of a Rabbi and a soap maker who went out for a walk together one day. As they walked along the soap maker said to the Rabbi: What good is religion if all this misery and suffering exist? The Rabbi said nothing. They continued walking until the Rabbi noticed a child playing in the gutter. The Rabbi said: Look at that child. You say that soap makes people clean, but see the dirt on that youngster. Of what good is soap? With all the soap in the world the child is still filthy. I wonder how effective soap is after all. The soap maker protested: But Rabbi, soap cannot do any good unless it is used. Exactly, replied the Rabbi – So it is with religion. It is ineffective unless it is applied.
So, it is with us and our profession of faith in Jesus. We need to continue to apply our faith belief in practical terms in our everyday living reality, getting on with the work God has given us. Our words and our actions must proclaim the resounding message that we serve a living Saviour who is active in the world today. As the Easter story continues, we need to be a part of it, by allowing ourselves to be renewed afresh by God’s Spirit, even as we embrace the new beginnings and possibilities that beckon.

Below is a photo of the cross we displayed in our window during Holy Week, and decorated on Easter day, as a symbol of new life and new hope.
Take care and blessings
Irene John


 

Posted: Sat 10th Apr 2021

Garstang United Reformed Church | News Page 1