|Life flies by at an incredible rate. There is so much to do at
home, at school, with the family, with our friends, at work, at church. We know
where we are going, the direction is set, everything is planned,
. Then something brings it all to a halt. We lack the energy
to keep up, feel displaced, somehow not connected to that which goes on around
us. It is as though we hear another voice calling us to follow a different
Lent is a season of contrasts. The gluttony of sweet, syrup filled pancakes. The greys of burnt ashes. The austerity of parish churches devoid of flowers. Vicars wearing sackcloth instead of their normally embroidered robes. The songs and praises of Palm Sunday. The tears of Good Friday. The pain of loss. Lent - a time to express sorrow, a time to say sorry, a time to reflect a season of the soul when we let go of the things that clamour for our daily attention and instead look inward spiritually as we prepare for Passion-tide and Easter.
Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent and sees increasing numbers of Christians in church saying sorry to God for the things they have done. So often the feelings we hide inside loss, regret, anger, guilt, sorrow - can not be expressed on the outside. The stiff upper lip that the British are so famous for prevents this. So those attending church on this day are marked with a cross of ashes to show that they have asked God to forgive them.
Morbid? You may well think so into days world and yet this simple act is extremely healthy. In a society that represses emotions this act of supporting and sharing a season of the soul together provides a healthy way to be released from the burden of guilt that leads to so many becoming ill later in life. As Isaiah foretold to the people of Israel 700 years before Jesus was born, God will provide for those who mourn and will bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes (Isaiah 61:3). When a child knows that Mum and Dad have forgiven them for something their faces shine with a beauty that radiates to all around. Are your faces radiating with that beauty? They should be. Jesus chose to die so your heavenly Father could forgive you for every wrong thing you have ever done. Dont get too miserable this Lent take time to say sorry and enjoy the forgiveness that follows.
|The final weeks of World War II saw terrible scenes
as Stalins Red Army entered Germany from the east and the allied troops
stormed their way in from the west. Fierce fighting, often house-to-house,
resulted in thousands of casualties, both military and civilian. On 27 April
1945 the Russian and US troops linked up to crush the remaining enemy forces.
Next day dictator Mussolini was killed by Italian partisans, with Italian and
German, armies in Italy surrendering two days later.
Hardly a building stood intact in central Berlin as Hitler cowardly took his own life on 30 April, leaving his hapless generals to surrender, bringing an end to the war in Europe on 8 May. Here in Wimbledon, our corps folk met at the hall at 7 pm to march through the streets with our small band playing, to invite people to come to give thanks to God for his wonderful preservation, our officers Adjutants Danny and Gwyneth Thomas later leading what was described as a most impressive service.
This whole scene was repeated on 15 August when Japan had no option but to surrender following the fearful atomic destruction of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Peace in the world at last - but at what cost! 9 May had seen the liberation of the Channel Islands after nearly five years of enemy occupation and it was to lovely Lislet in Guernsey that our Danny and Gwyneth were sent at the end of August to reconstruct the work of The Salvation Army in those islands. They were our leaders in Wimbledon for only 10 short months, but were so beloved by all. Gwyneth outlived Danny by a number of years - she was promoted to Glory on new years day 1999 a few days after her 90th birthday. A talented poet and songwriter, she leaves a legacy with chorus 103 in our present songbook, set to music by Colonel Brindley Boon (now also in his nineties!): Such as I have, Lord, I give unto thee, Praying and waiting new visions to see; Lord, wilt thou use me? Thy servant Ill be; Such as I have, Lord, I give unto thee.
A pity that our tunebook misspells her Christian name with a double n!
Next months Our servicemen and women return to us.
|Early February sees many Corps and officers waiting for the postman as Farewell Orders are posted out across the Territory. After almost three years with us Major Rosemary has received Farewell Orders and will be moving to Brighton Congress Hall in June. We will then welcome Majors David and Susan Hall to Wimbeldon.|
|On February 9th the Corps
Pastoral Council met with representatives of the Merton Faith in Action
planning group and Divisional Officers on this project. Fund raising and
planning has evolved steadily over the last 9 months and it is anticipated that
adverts for the part time Project worker will go to press shortly, with a view
to the project starting in the autumn of 2004 after volunteers have been
trained. The project is due to run for two years, and then is evaluated with a
view to continuing the project if there is a need.
The Corps Pastoral Council formally offered use of the Community Hall and Locals Office for this project. As the Corps is unable to offer regular volunteer support to the project, the Pastoral Council agreed that the Corps contribution to the project will be to fund the building work required in the Community Hall to accommodate showers, laundry facilities and possibly a counselling room for the projects use. The Corps now awaits the outcome of the formal contract discussions between the Merton Faith in Action Group and DHQ before we will know whether we will host this project.
|The Metropolitan Police have agreed that the Salvation Army can have a street collection day on Saturday 6th March. To make this day worthwhile the Corps needs as many collectors as possible. If you are able to help please contact Major or Betty to sort out times.|
|Go to Rosie, Tiffany, Gillian, and Lucy
(SAY Club member) this month. Rosie appeared in the Wimbledon Guardian on 26
February dressed proudly in her Rainbow uniform. She was one of many Rainbows,
Brownies, guides and Rangers who took part in this year Thinking Day service,
which celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Guiding Moment.
Gillian and Lucy have both been to the House of Commons to receive awards for things they have achieved. Well done both of you to have your skills recognised in this way.
Finally Tiffany has been involved with an Art Project at the National Gallery over the last 6 months. Her Artwork, along with the work of other children, went on permanent display in a new section of the gallery over half term.
|Grateful thanks go to all those that turned out to help collect from the public on this day. A total of £434.23 was donated by the public.|
|Have you booked your slot to join the prayer chain of
50 days of non-stop prayer for Young People and Youth Ministry in the Salvation
There is still time to join the 900 people already committed to one hours prayer for the future between now and 20th March. You can sign up via phone on 020 8288 1202 or on-line at http://www.youthministry.co.uk/prayerwave
|Kids Club celebrated its third Birthday on 16th February.
22 children joined with 5 YP leaders to share a morning at the Hall playing
games such as Table Tennis, Twister, Table Football, and Snooker. Watching a
Harry Potter video and eating chocolate birthday cake.
Lunch was enjoyed at Macdonalds in Centre Court and yes there was room for 27 of us. We then headed to the Odeon to see Tooth the story of a mischievous Tooth Fairy, a world that has forgotten what magic is and how good always wins over bad in the end. Kids Club continues to grow by word of mouth and there are now 16 children who attend on a regular basis. Do pray for them and that there will be further growth
|Womens World Day of Prayer, Friday 5 March
The theme In faith, women shape the future has this year been prepared by the Christian Women of Panama. Services in Wimbledon: 10.30 am Christ Church, Copse Hill Speaker: Rev Jilly Pawson 8.00 pm Holy Trinity, The Broadway Speaker: Mrs Valerie Ashcroft
|Here are a few thoughts that Letitia has
gathered for us this month.
|If you have a favourite quotation, poem, or Bible verse that inspires do let Ailsa have a copy so we can all be helped in our walk with God.|
|The daffodils and crocus are well in bloom, and yet
snow still brushes the ground with its icy finger as the mornings get lighter,
and sun set gets slowly later each day. As we look around there is so much to
pray for in our Corps, in our families, among those known to us and in the
world at large.
Yet more information comes to light about the war in Iraq, that continues to shake the creditability of politicians and Britains reputation abroad. Many have died, been injured or made homeless in the earthquake in Morocco. Palestine and Israel continue to fight with much pain and suffering on all sides. Haiti were civil war is tearing the country apart. LA is experience floods and mudslides. The Roman Catholic church in USA publicly apologies for the abuse that it has inflicted on children over the years. The list of situations goes on and on do up hold them before God and ask that he will send peacemakers and healing to each situation.
Within the Corps there is much to give thanks for New members joining the Friendship and Kids Clubs and progress on the Homelessness Project. We also need to pray over the vision from the YP Review and prepare ourselves for the Senior Corps Review in March. Do think of Major Rosemary as she starts packing to move to Brighton and for our new officers as they prepare to come to us in June. Finally there are those with particular needs. Please remember Vivienne, and the family, following the recent death of her mother. We continue to remember Ella, Mary and Ernie. Ailsas friend Elaine, whose 27yr old son is seriously ill with cancer. We also need to remember Linda, Edie, Sue and Philip, Olive Morris, Rebecca, Letitia, and John who are unable to join us for worship.
|To those God gifted people who have joined Major Rosemary in the
leading of our worship over the last month. We thank Maisie Veacock for the
Holiness Meeting on 15th Feb and Joy Rogers for the Praise Meeting on 22 Feb. A
big well done goes to all the Sunday Club members and Ailsa for leading the
Prayer Wave meeting on 29th February, and to Paul Flinders for the media
Grateful thanks also go to Kingston University for the donation of a TV and OHP Stand, that will allow us to wheel the TV and OHP around instead of having to constantly lift them, and for the loan of the media equipment that was used during the Prayer Wave meeting.
Finally Ailsa and Paul would like to thank all the YP workers for their gift. Rather than spending it on books or CDs the decision was made to have a quiet meal out and relax, which both enjoyed.
|Do you have an old snooker cue lying discarded in the garage or loft? Do you know of someone who might have an old snooker cue that could do with a new home? The YP Corps currently has only one cue, which has to be shared when playing snooker. We are looking for another one can you help? If so please talk to Ailsa.|
|With new officers joining the Corps it
is important that the Senior Corps has a vision of what God wishes us to
achieve over the next few years. This will help us plan how to use our
resources effectively for God and try not to spread ourselves too thin. It will
also help ensure that YP and Senior Corps programmes dovetail together.
We would encourage all adults within the Senior Corps to attend as much of this weekend as possible. It really is your chance to have a say about what may happened in the future, and will give the local officers a chance to understand your concerns and hopes for the future.
The Senior Corps Review will be held over the weekend of 20/22 March 2004 at the Hall. Saturday 20th will focus on a review of what has occurred and the current activities. All those attending need to bring with them food items to contribute to a Faith Lunch that we will all share. Sunday 21st will be a Spiritual Day when through worship we can draw close to God, submit ourselves afresh to His will and seek what He would wish the Corps to do in the future.
Finally on the evening of Monday 22nd March we will look to the future and draw together all that has been shared.
|During January and February the YP Leaders have been reviewing the outcomes of the YP review in 1999, and planning for the next three years. So much has been achieved and it was a joy for the leaders to take time and celebrate the successes. With this came the realisation that our children are rapidly growing up and 15 young folk will become 12 over the next year. It is now time for the YP Corps to grow again and move forward so we can carry on meeting the needs of the precious young people who find a safe place to be with us. Reflecting this need the focus will be on developing the Youth ministry with the 12 to 18 year olds. . Please add The Future YP 3 Year Strategy aims to your regular prayer requests.|
Presentation slides for YP 3 Year Strategy
|This years Territorial Youth Rally for those aged 12 to 30
will be held at The Empire, Shepherds Bush on Saturday 20th March . It
will see the culmination of the Prayer Wave 2004 event. Events are at 1pm and
6-30pm. Tickets cost £4 for both events and can be obtained by credit
card bookings from Ticket Web on 0870 771 2000 or online at
More information is available on the Salvation Army website http://www.youthministry.co.uk/story..
Preaching programme for March
|Morning Holiness meeting||Evening Salvation Meeting|
|7th Self Denial Altar Service||10-30 am lead by Major Rosemary Randall||6pm Salvation meeting lead by Major Rosemary Randall|
|Junior Soldiers Class||11/11-45am Children remain in Meeting|
|Sunday Club||12/1pm lead by YPSM.|
|14th||10-30 am lead by Major Rosemary Randall||3pm lead by Major Rosemary Randall|
|Junior Soldiers Class||11/11-45am lead by YPSM|
|Sunday Club||12/1pm lead by YPSM.|
|21st Mothering Sunday Corps Spiritual Day||10-30 am lead by Divisional Evangelical Officer Major Drew McCombe||6-00 pm Meeting lead by Divisional Evangelical Officer Major Drew McCombe|
|Junior Soldiers Class||11/11-45am lead by YPSM|
|Sunday Club||12/1pm lead by YPSM|
|28th||10-30 am lead by Lt. Colonel David Jones, Divisional Commander||6 pm lead by Major Rosemary Randall|
|Junior Soldiers Class||11/11-45am lead by YPSM|
|Sunday Club||12/1pm led by YPSM|
|Be kind and compassionate to one
another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Corps Diary March 2004
|Monday 1st||St Davids Day|
|Tuesday 2nd||Songster Practice at 8pm. See Major for further information.|
|Friday 5th||Womens World Day of Prayer. See the notice boards for details.|
|Saturday 6th||Standing Day to collect funds for the Corps. Please see Major or Betty if you can help.|
|Sunday 7th||Self Denial Altar Service for Senior Corps|
|Friday 12th||6pm to 7-30pm. Kids Club. Lead by Joy.|
|Saturday 13th||St. Patricks Day
Divisional PrayerWave 2004 Event at Sutton Corps. See notice board for details.
|Sunday 14th||3-00pm Monthly Praise Meeting.|
|Saturday 20th||Corps Review at Hall. See Major for details.
Territorial Youth Councils. Meetings at 1pm and 6pm. See notice board for details.
|Sunday 21st||Mothering Sunday.
Corps Spiritual Retreat Day at Corps
|Monday 22nd||Evening Corps Review. See Major for details.|
|Friday 26th||6pm to 7-30pm. Kids Club. Lead by Lorraine.|
|Saturday 27th||7-30pm Timbrel Brigade at Wimbledon Methodist Church concert. See notice-board for details|
|Sunday 28th||Lt. Colonel David Jones leading the morning Holiness Meeting|
|The friends of Merton Priory have organised the following events:
Nones. Sunday 2nd May at 3.00pm
Murder in the Cathedral by T.S.Eliot Tuesday 6th April at 3.00pm and 7.15pm.
More details from Mertonpri@aol.com or S. Fairbank at the Priory.
|Major Rosemary Randall||Associate Officer, Brighton Congress Hall|
|Captain Kathryn Woodhouse||Chatham (team ministry)|
|Majors Drew/Beverley McCombe||Chatham (team ministry) additional appointment|
|Captains Eileen/Peter||West Community Chaplains to a new project at Dover|
|Major Robin McIntosh||Gatwick Airport Chaplain and Police Headquarters Chaplain (Maidstone)|
|Major Joy McIntosh||Associate Officer, Maidstone|
|Captain Catherine Rand/Major Kevin Rand||Horsham|
|Captains Elizabeth/Michael Lloyd||Tunbridge Wells|
|Captain Ann Marie Johnson||Welling|
|Majors David/Susan Hall||Wimbledon|
|Officers Leaving the Division|
|Lt. Colonels David/Val ]ones||Nelson/Team Leaders|
|Major Sheila Smith||Godmanchester|
|Major Michael Smith||Peterborough (administration officer)|
|Retirements from Active Service|
|Majors Muriel/Thomas Calder|
|Captain Mavis Cavell||(April)|
|Major Laina Geleit|
|Lieutenant Colonels Enid/John West||(Nov - will take an appointment near to their retirement home until then)|
|Majors Angela / Malcolm Westwood||(Sept - remaining in the area)|
|Coming into the division.|
|Majors Anthony/Gillian Cotterill||Divisional Leaders|
|Officers are appointed - to be released in due course||Bexleyheath|
|Majors Andrew/Gwen Cox||Bromley|
|Captain Christine Budding||Carshalton|
|Major Grayson Williams||Croydon|
|(Major Janice Williams is appointed as Territorial Adult and Family Ministries Officer)|
|Major Allison Gaudion||Associate Officer, Forestdale|
|Captains Bryn/Lynda Hargreaves||Gillingham|
|Captain Eileen Halliday||Plumstead|
|Penge corps Will have a one year interregnum with Major Sylvia Lane, who retires in May, taking responsibility for leadership of the Corps from June.|
|The Haven||Seeking to employ a manager.|
|Sevenoaks and Whitstable Will be closed.|
|I hope this poem will be a help and comfort to you during time when you are unable to cope, or if youre down at heart.|
|What has a bottom at its top?
Answer - a leg.