What's the difference between Mothering Sunday and Mother's Day?

I can’t say I am a fan of setting aside a “Day” which seems designed to line the pockets of greeting card manufacturers but Mothering Sunday does have some redeeming features. At the Vineyard we blithely ignore tradition and insist on honouring all women. Last Friday the women who come to Belly Buttons were each given some daffodils (men go to Belly Buttons too – but, sorry, it just wasn’t their day) and on Sunday the women were given primulas by the children. Afterwards a bunch (!) of people were warmly welcomed at MaeCare (MoorAllerton Elderly Care) as they made their popular annual visit to give flowers to the resident women (and chocolates to the men).
Did you know that Mothering Sunday is different from Mother’s Day? Mothering Sunday is an ancient Christian tradition of encouraging people to return home to their “mother” church and spend some rare time with their families. On the other hand, Mother’s Day is an American invention from the early 1900s which was started by Anna Jarvis to honour iStockice popher mother (in mitigation, at about the same time, an American schoolboy invented the ice pop). Regrettably Mother’s Day swiftly became commercialised so that now, if you don’t send your mother a card you end up in the same doghouse as those poor souls who forget birthdays. I talked to someone (whose name shall remain confidential - except it begins with A) whose wife buys, signs (shock, horror) and sends his Mother’s Day card!

Graduation Evening

Identifying, training and releasing leaders is a priority for us and on Tuesday evening 10 people will graduate from this year’s Leadership School. We are so grateful for them and for previous graduates (and they are very grateful in turn - because they receive a tasteful commemorative mug). Ben & Kate, who lead the school brilliantly, say, “What a really fantastic group of people! We have had such fun on this Leadership School and although we will miss working with them every week we look forward to seeing what God is going to do with them in the future.”
(I happen to know that in the very near future six of them will be visiting the labour ward. So whatever God has got lined up will need to accommodate the arrival of some more little people).
Mark Wager and Jess Wild are getting married on this Saturday (16 March) at Moortown Baptist Church at 12.00pm. Vineyard people are warmly invited to come and celebrate with our very own Wild family (that doesn’t sound quite right, but they aren’t exactly tame either). I am leading the service and Nik Gee is leading the band and we would love to have you join us.
Raised in Leeds
Raised in Leeds

Our theme for this Easter is Raised In Leeds – based on Si Smith’s picture story of the resurrection as it would have looked in Leeds. We love celebrating Easter and always have loads going on for you and your friends:

·         Thursday 28 March – A Passover Meal at the Vineyard Centre. It only costs £5 for adults and £3 for children (age 6 and over only please) and tickets go really quickly so grab Roger Turner at the first opportunity if you would like to go. The special thing about the Passover is that although it is a deeply meaningful event for grown-ups, it also works as a great way to pass on the Easter story to the children (for practical reasons we need to limit it to ages 6 and over).
·         Friday 29 March – Breakfast on Ilkley Moor. One of our oldest traditions - with glorious views, the smell of frying sausages, the sound of excited children searching for Easter Eggs, a short message to make you think and the annual raw egg-throwing competition. Followed by a walk and a visit to the pub if you fancy.
·         Sunday 31 March – Easter Sunday All Age Celebration at Ralph Thoresby. Based around the Raised In Leeds picture story, with refreshments, worship, activities and participation for all ages.
·         Friday and Saturday – in various places and at various times – we will be giving chocolates to people just to show them, in a small way, that Jesus loves them. Check the website for details of when and where – you are welcome to join in.
And Finally
Last Sunday I taught on Genesis 3: “In the Beginning, God – came calling”, you can find the words here, including the commentary on the text. This coming Sunday Dr James - if anyone can - Garvican will be looking at the divine wrestling match in Genesis 32.

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