Links

President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference - their latest Reflections

A Pastoral Message on facing Changing the Church - YouTube link
courtesy of our District Chair, Rev Rachel Parkinson

Methodist Church centrally provided resources - to help nourish your spiritual life on a daily and weekly basis

A Green Recovery - a call from Methodist Faith Leaders 

Justice for all - take a look at the Church's perspective on Justice in the light of recent events across the world…

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(Links updated Saturday 14th May)

Please click on any of the links below, to go to...

  • Circuit News Items, including

    The Spring Newsletter pdf, from Claire Biggs, our Children And Families Worker

  • Vale of Stour Virtual Church Services ~~updated~~

  • New Links to Worship Resources and Reflections ~~updated~~

  • New Links to Health, Guidance, and Support Resources

    and

  • Links to earlier Circuit News Items

  • Links to earlier Worship Resources and Reflections

  • Links to Methodist advice, guidance, and ideas for mission and worship

  • Links to Family, Children and Youth worship resources

  • Links to General Support and Help while the Coronavirus situation persists

  • Links to UK Government, NHS and Health And Safety Executive links and advice

  • Links to Self Care and Mental Health Support

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We trust and pray that these links may prove helpful, beneficial and a source of comfort for you in this uncertain time.

Please be aware that some of these links will take you to external sites, and although they have been checked, the Vale of Stour Circuit is not responsible for their contents.


CIRCUIT NEWS

Superintendent Minister's VoSCircuit Letter Pentecost 2021 pdf, courtesy of Rev Alan Combes

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Please see the Spring Newsletter pdf, from Claire Biggs, our Children And Families Worker

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Vale of Stour Circuit Services and Prayer Meetings On-Line

The Biblical Scholar Tom Wright says:
The followers of Jesus are called to be people of prayer at the place where the world is in pain.
May we take up the baton of prayer for the world, the church and ourselves...

We are now able to provide a dedicated Vale of Stour on-line centre for activities such as services and prayer meetings.
See the Virtual Church tab for more information and technical details !
 

Virtual Church Services

Dear Sisters and Brothers 

This week saw the news that the newly honoured Dame Deborah James is now receiving hospice at home care.  For those of you that have not heard of her, she is one of the news presenters of the podcast ‘You, Me and the Big C’.  Deborah was previously a teacher and was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and along with a couple of other friends who were diagnosed with other types of cancer, started to broadcast their journey.  Sadly, there is no more treatment now for Deborah and so we hold her and her family and friends in our prayers during this difficult journey.  But this news, brought home to me the recent loss of my Dad, Bill but also those of you that have experienced the same or are going through this difficult journey.  This Saturday (14th) at 6pm at Brierley Hill Methodist Church, there will be a community service of Memorial held by the churches together in Brierley Hill, where we will especially be remembering those loved ones that were taken from us during Covid.  If you would like to come and remember your loved one, then please do.  You will be most welcome.  Even if you are unable to attend, my prayer is that during your difficult journey, you will know the everlasting arms of God holding, supporting and strengthening you.

The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. (Deut 33:27 NLT)

Below you will find a link forwarded to us by Rev Josephine from the World Methodist Evangelism community, who are asking for donations to support Ukraine. 

https://worldmethodist.org/donate/ukraine

You could also choose to support Ukraine via the British Methodist Relief and Development Fund called All We Can 

www.allwecan.org.uk/donate/ukraine

God bless you all and may you know the sustaining presence of God in your lives.  

Rev Helen Croft

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Circuit News
 

Thank you to everyone who supported the Action For Children coffee Morning last Saturday. It was a lovely atmosphere, lots of positive feedback and best of all we raised £450 for the charity. Together with Elaine's sponsored walk money we have now raised £1730 as a circuit and we are not even halfway through the year! Thanks to all who baked, helped set up and clear down, served drinks and cake and the tombola team - your help was very much appreciated. Also, a special thank you to Hilary from New Road for stepping in at the last minute and helping us navigate the kitchen!!

We will be meeting June to arrange our next event but for now, Thank you for you kind generosity and support.

Claire x Circuit AFC rep
 

There will be a Methodist Women in Britain Easter Offering Dedication Service on Wednesday 18th May at Kinver Methodist Church at 2.30pm – led by Rev Peter Clarke.  All are welcome.
 

I am working together with churches in the Black Country collecting and delivering food & medication & others to the Ukraine. I am focusing on collecting Women's sanitary products, Long life milk, Baby products/ nappies/wipes.

If you like to be part of this mission to love Ukraine’s people, please bring them to:

  • Wesley Methodist Church on 20th May between 2pm -3.30pm

  • Amblecote Wordsley Methodist Church on 24th May between 2pm-3pm

Thank you,
Josephine
 

I bring to you the following special notice that could really help your church moving forward.  Please encourage representatives from your church to attend - thank you.

Finding Funds for Projects and Making Grant Applications - a Circuit Training Evening

Are you looking for ways to generate additional income to support your missional activities and connect with your local community?
If 'YES", then why not come along to an online workshop (via Zoom) at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 24th May when Stuart Ashmore, Circuit Treasurer, will be on hand to give you some hints and tips for making grant applications to external funding agencies to support your activities. Whilst many grant funders will NOT fund churches for their primary charitable purpose - advancement of the Christian Faith - they WILL fund activities that connect with and support local communities - for example, running luncheon clubs, foodbanks, activities for children and young people and much more. It's all about how you present your case.  The session will also contain information regarding the recently launched Circuit Bequest Fund - what it is, how much money is available and how you can apply.

To book your place, please contact Elaine at the Circuit Office.
 

The Queen's Jubilee

As a lot of us are aware the Queen is celebrating 70 years on the throne with the focus weekend being 2nd to the 5th June. Has your Church made any plans for any celebrations for children/adults i.e. tea parties, etc? Perhaps you could let Elaine know what you will be doing and then we can advertise the events around the Circuit. It maybe some Churches are unable to hold events but folks may be able to join in with those who are. It could be that folks can offer to volunteer to help at other Church events etc.

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VOS Virtual Platform - Please Make Use of the Circuit Online Meeting Space - It's free, funded by the circuit...

Alongside VoSWorship, the Circuit Platform has been undergoing an update thanks to the CTC team and I encourage churches to use this FREE resource - funded by the circuit for online gatherings such as Bible Study, Prayer, Games Nights etc.  It's a fantastic and easy to use environment and there are many folk already trained across the circuit who can open a room for you to host your event / meeting.
 

We continue to recommend that in all churches :

  • people wear masks as they enter church and also also wear masks throughout worship (where applicable and exemptions allowing such as those leading worship)

  • gentle singing behind masks is OK

  • churches may now consider hosting after-service coffee and tea : if your church is considering this, please be mindful of the continuing concerns of others over their safety and health.

God bless you all and may you know the sustaining presence of God in your lives.

Rev Alan Combes

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Online services

Our weekly online service (see links below) will available on Sunday mornings and will be either be a pre-recorded service based on the full text for that week or a live-streamed service from one of the churches around the circuit.  This service will stay on VOSWorship for the rest of the following week as normal.

For anyone unable to attend church or access online services we attach a full text version of a service for you to use at home.

Every Blessing :

Rev Alan Combes and the team

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ONLINE Service

Sunday 15th May - led by Mrs Olwen Meller 

The service will be recorded and is available for those who wish to watch when more convenient.

Order of Services
For anyone unable to attend or watch the services in person, a full Order of Service is here.

Coffee and a Chat

If you are interested in online coffee on a Sunday, please talk to any of the circuit staff and let us know what time would work for you and we can look at a time that would suit the majority of people.

HOW To Find the Live Stream

For nearly all of you - especially those on computers / laptops, you just need to do what you normally do and in your web browser (eg Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, Safari etc) go to: 

https://www.valeofstour.org.uk/virtual-church/live/vosworship

You will be redirected to the live stream which will begin around 5 minutes before the scheduled time, with an informal welcome and notices.

BOTH Live stream services AND the most recent Recorded service can always be found here:
https://church.valeofstour.org.uk/vosworship  
OR
https://www.valeofstour.org.uk/virtual-church/live/vosworship
 
AND all previous live-streamed and recorded services can be found on the Circuit Website Virtual Player: 
https://www.valeofstour.org.uk/virtual-church/player

Thanks to all those working in the background.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday as we continue to pray for our communities, the church and ourselves.

God bless

Rev Alan and the Team
 


NEW LINKS

Ministers' and Preachers' Reflections, Sermons, and Orders of Service
~~updated~~

For earlier Worship Resources and Reflections, see the archive page here.

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Health, Guidance, and Support Resources
 

Young Minds website, featuring

Self-Isolation Conversation Starter pdf
Young Minds Matter pdf

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NSPCC website - advice for you and your family with coping emotionally

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Looking After Your Feelings And Body pdf from Public Health England

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NHS site - tackling Working From Home

NHS site - looking after children and young people during COVID-19

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Poster for a Black Country Welfare 24-7 Support Line, showing links to

Sandwell Healthy Minds - 0303 033 9903
Wolverhampton Healthy Minds - 0800 923 0222
Black Country 24-7 Mental Health Support Line - 0345 6460827
and
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies :
- Dudley IAPT - 0800 953 0404
- Walsall IAPT - 0800 953 0995

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New Online Resources from Christianity.org.uk

Run by the Christian Enquiry Agency and part of Churches Together In England.
Visitors to the site can read a number of well written articles or watch short video that may answer their questions.
It’s worth a browse and visitors can then ask questions, request a free copy of Luke’s Gospel, or find a church from the site.  All this is available to your church website for free.

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The Joint Public Issues Team

The Joint Public Issues Team is found here -

www.jointpublicissues.org.uk

- and is a great source of contemporary, relevant Christian commentary on the world today.

They are analysis group that looks at all kinds of political and justice issues from a Christian perspective and produce reports, videos and study materials : part funded by the Methodist Church and including Methodist staff

Stay Alert…to Justice

Take a look at the Church's perspective on Justice in the light of recent events across the world…

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Links for helping families dealing with children who are grieving :

https://parentingforfaith.org/post/death-grief-and-coronavirus link

Supporting_bereaved_children_through_difficult_times pdf

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Click here for MH Self-Isolation Survival Guide pdf

An excellent home-schooling resource
for those of you with older children/teens to help them through isolation.

Provided by Forward Thinking Birmingham NHS Women and Childrens' Trust

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URC On Line Resources During the Crisis including Daily Devotions

The United Reformed Church (URC) is offering regularly updated advice and resources from a variety of sources about the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Please follow government advice: stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives. God is with us and being worshipped in creative ways around the denomination as churches are closed. 

The URC has produced a list of its churches providing digital services, available here

The URC Daily Devotions team is also offering a Sunday service in both written and audio formats, featuring a range of voices from around the denomination. Since 22 March, more than 1,000 people have signed up to bring the total number of Daily Devotions subscribers to a whopping 3,988. Sign up to the Daily Devotions here.
 


While the Coronavirus situation persists, this page will contain useful links to :

We trust and pray that these links may prove helpful, beneficial and a source of comfort for you in this uncertain time.

Please be aware that these links will take you to external sites, and although they have been checked, the Vale of Stour Circuit is not responsible for their contents.