Singing the Faith

The Methodist Church

July 2020

 
Singing the Faith Plus

As we look towards returning to public worship, the Connexional Team has produced a new resource: Beyond Exile: A service to celebrate a return to public worship. The authors write:

 

“We are aware that churches will look to return to worship in many different and creative ways, as well as at different timescales and in different circumstances. This liturgy is intended for a time when people are able to celebrate a return to public worship together.”

 

The resource includes Notes for planning, Preaching Notes, and a Liturgy. As you work to balance hopes and expectations with the most current restrictions and guidance, this is a resource to adapt to your own situation. You only need implement what is appropriate in your context, ensuring you always keep safe.

 

At the same time, we’re aware that digital worship has become a part of our lives, often in inspiring ways. How we build on this experience is the aim of a series of online gatherings being planned for the autumn. More information is below.
 

Hymn for the Day

     

Have you followed the Hymn for the Day initiative developed all through July by the Hymn Society of Great Britain & Ireland? Members are reflecting upon a different hymn each day. Some reflections are presented by video or audio, some of the hymns are sung, and always the complete text of both hymn and reflection are made available. 


Listen to Timothy Dudley Smith on When I survey the wondrous cross (StF 287) (“I knew the story of the Cross, it hurt my feelings rather”) or engage with Marjorie Dobson, writing through her current pain and anxiety about her own hymn, When our caring love wears thin (StF 622). Or re-discover an old favourite, The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended (StF 147), unpacked by John Crothers (“This was heady stuff – the nearest thing to being ‘caught up to heaven’!”).

 

A new hymn is being added each day of July. All of them will remain available on the Hymn Society’s website throughout the whole of August after which, due to copyright considerations for some, they will be taken down.

Singing Presidents

        

There’s been a bit of a singing theme going on with recent candidates for the role of Methodist Church Youth President. As part of their pitches for the role, given at each year’s 3Generate gathering, successful candidates have been using hymns and songs to get their message across.

As Phoebe Parkin prepares to take over from the current Youth President, Thelma Commey, we asked "the Singing Presidents": Why are hymns so important to you? From their very different experiences of growing up, both Phoebe and Thelma spoke about the power of connection that hymns offer.

Digital worship - what have we learned?

     

As churches, individuals and circuits, we’ve been learning so much about how to worship and make community online over these past few months. For many, Zoom, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook (and even those old-fashioned things called phones) have opened up unexpected horizons of creativity and mission.

In association with the Connexional Team, we are planning a series of events in early autumn that will allow us to share some of our learning and develop best practice for the future. What patterns have you evolved, what mistakes were made, what changes are you putting in place, and what opportunities for the future are exciting you?

Read our flyer, including our three key questions, and do get in touch.

To register your interest and find out more information please contact Gabriella Mahadeva mahadevag@methodistchurch.org.uk

BLM meets a top ten hymn

        

A recent news story about a statue in Minneapolis was the starting point for re-discovering the life of J.G. Whittier, author of one of our most familiar hymns. Dear Lord and Father of mankind (StF 495) consistently appears in “top ten” lists of favourite hymns in the UK. But who was Whittier, and why was his statue targeted as part of the Black Lives Matter campaign? Read what we discovered here.

 

And another question. What has Dear Lord and Father of mankind got to do with a hallucination-inducing drink? Find out in our hymn post.

God is in this place

     

". . . It also seems to be true that the more time given to listening to God, the more quickly a meeting goes."

 

That’s true, whether your church meeting is being held in a single place or via dispersed computer screens.
The Work of God in This Place, a Methodist Resource developed within the North West and Mann region, is designed to help us integrate our committee discussions and decisions with conversation with and about God.

 

Questions and thoughts are offered under a range of themes. Singing the Faith Plus contributed hymn suggestions for each theme, together with inspiring images for this attractive publication.

 

Find out more about this and a range of other resources on our Resourcing local arrangements page.

 

Take care. And, as ever, keep up with the latest StF news by checking on our Facebook page.

With good wishes from all the StF team.
 

Laurence

  

  

Laurence Wareing @ stfplus@methodistchurch.org.uk.

  

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