MESSAGE FROM OUR SUPERINTENDENT MINISTER
In July I enjoyed an unexpected few days in Paris and managed at long last to visit the Louvre which is full of treasures. It is home to perhaps the most famous painting of all time – The Mona Lisa – and perhaps not surprisingly the room where it hangs was packed full of people queuing up to see it. As I was still feeling cautious about crowds and wanted to keep my social distance, I set off to explore less popular parts of this amazing museum and art gallery.
Much to my amazement the room containing one of Rembrandt’s most noted paintings was empty and I was able to stand right in front of his self-portrait completely undisturbed. Rembrandt is regarded as one of the most important artists in history and the most accomplished of all the Dutch Masters. He lived in the seventeenth century when the Netherlands was a powerful trading empire. What is special about Rembrandt’s self-portraits is that he is brutally honest about himself. Unlike most of his contemporaries he paints himself without vanity and is happy to show the world his true face. To paint yourself this way means that you are willing to look at yourself as you really are, to accept your faults as well as your gifts, and it also means that you are also willing for others to see you as you really are.
We live, of course, in a world where people would rather others see an airbrushed version of themselves and on social media we can all, if we wish, curate a carefully crafted image of ourselves for the world to see. If we live life in this way, then it probably means that we are centred on external things. We want people to see the amazing holidays we have enjoyed, or the exotic meals we have eaten, or that we have been to see the Mona Lisa with her enigmatic smile, rather than the real insecure me holding the camera phone.
The aim of the spiritual life, however, is to allow ourselves to be centred on what is truly deep within us and to find the likeness that God has placed at the centre of our being. We are called to live a considered life where we pay attention to the inner self rather than fixate on things outside ourselves. To find such buried treasure requires us first to look at ourselves with honesty and acknowledge who we truly are -faults and warts and all. Only when we have become comfortable with the real ‘us’, can we then see ourselves as God sees us and discover the real treasure he has given us. Finding that treasure then helps us to discover the treasure in others and see the world as God sees it. Knowing ourselves helps us truly love and care for others, for creation and for a world where God’s justice can be done.
Perhaps that is why most people in the Louvre flocked to see the Mona Lisa and if it wasn’t for Covid I would have probably joined the queue to see her too. It is far easier to look at that enigmatic figure that Leonardo de Vinci painted a century before Rembrandt was born, than to contemplate the self-portrait that challenges us to see ourselves as we really are.
Wishing you all every blessing
CHILDREN & YOUTH GROUP
The Children & Youth Picnic
The Circuit Youth Picnic was held at Brixton Hill Methodist Church on Sunday - 11th July. There were 18 people there in total, so not a huge number, but it was good for children and adults to meet up in real-life instead of Zoom (though the Zoom occasions have been fun as well!).
Everyone brought their own food, though some kind people brought cakes, sweets and lollies for sharing (see photo of Revd. Eleanor tucking in!!!).
Various people brought games such as quoits, football - (thanks Morlyn) colouring - (enjoyed by adults and children alike - thanks Pat) but by far the most popular was ‘Articulate’, a board game, which brought young people and adults together and provided lots of laughs.
We finished, all sitting on the steps of Brixton Hill, with prayer led by Reverend Eleanor and sang ‘Give me oil in my lamp’.
Next time it would be good to double the number of children and have all the churches represented. The rain held off and it was a lovely afternoon. Thanks to all the helpers and to Brixton Hill for hosting it, but most of all thank you to the children for providing the adults with such a lovely afternoon.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
CIRCUIT & ACCREDITATION SERVICE
Sunday - 05 September 2021 – 5:00 p.m. @ Clapham Methodist Church. More info to follow.
CIRCUIT CHILDREN & YOUTH COMMITTEE
Will be meeting on Thursday – 09 September 2021 @ 8:00 p.m.
CIRCUIT MEETING: Marriage & Relationships
The Circuit is holding a meeting on Sunday – 12 September - Education Sunday, to discuss the Conference’ Confirmed Resolutions on Marriage & Relationships. For full information check the link on page 19 to come well informed for this meeting.
The Meeting will be at Railton Road Methodist Church (141 Railton Road, London SE24 0LT)
Sunday – 12 September 2021 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Refreshments will be provided by Railton Road members.
CIRCUIT SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday - 14 September at 7:30 p.m. There will be a speaker on Climate Change. who will lead our discussions.
All are welcome to attend. It would be good to have a representative from each church in the circuit.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make sure that you have the details.
CIRCUIT MEETING MEMBERS
The next meeting will be on Wednesday - 15 September 2021 – 7:30 p.m. @ Brixton Hill MC.
DISCIPLESHIP & EDUCATION COMMITTEE - TRAINING DAY
Away Day/Study Day for all Circuit members but all Local Preachers & Worship Leaders are especially encouraged to attend this on Saturday – 02 October 2021 @ The Sisters of St. Andrew’s – 99 Belmont Hill, London SE13 5D.
During the day we will explore our imagination and crafting skills and gifts and how we can craft our worship. The day is open to all members of the Circuit, but all Local Preachers and Worship Leaders are especially encouraged to attend.
We are often taught and asked to think about quite technical aspects of worship. On this day we will explore how our imagination and craft skills might be engaged more as we prepare for worship.
LEAD FACILITATOR: Rev. Dr. Andy Lyons & the Ministers-Staff Team
PROGRAMME FOR THE DAY
10:30 Arrival (Tea & Coffee)
10:45 Opening Devotions
11:00 Session 1: Getting in touch with our crafting skills
(Drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, writing and more…)
12:00 Session 2: Crafting our Worship space
12:30 – 1:30 BRING & SHARE LUNCH
1:30 Session 3: Crafting sermons and Prayers
2:30 Session 4: Presenting well
3:00 – 3:30 Closing Worship
Please let Shirley know if you wish to attend. You will need to bring some lunch provision with you…
To book a place call the Circuit office 020 8674 4306 or email email@example.com
CIRCUIT YOUTH SERVICE
Will be on Sunday - 03 October 2021 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. @ Railton Road MC, actual Service is @ 3:30 p.m. We invite all churches to be represented in this event. Come One – Come All!
All children & young people to join in the singing, dancing, readings etc.
All welcome to the service 3.30pm (parents & friends)
To access the full content of the Quarterly Newsletter go to 'Groups' and then 'Files' , you'll find the Newsletter folder and if you click on that you'll find the Quarterly Newsletter for Sept/Oct/Nov...