Families and how to survive them
“Families and how to survive them” is a book written by John Cleese and Robin Skynner some 30 years ago. It’s a helpful book but the title is what has stuck with me. It seems that some people have wonderful families and some have wonky ones and some have no family at all. At Leeds Vineyard we have a vision not just for families to survive but for families to flourish and for every person to find a place in family.
It was endearing to see the church family all worship together last Sunday morning. We were led by Anne Buchan as we sang, acted, ate and played our way through the Lord’s Prayer. It was a particular delight to see the under-nourished Joseph Newman munching his way through a slice of mouldy white in order to illustrate an important point about our daily bread!
This weekend we also said goodbye to most of the students in our family – but not before they came round to our home for an extended time of eating (and doing laundry). When asked why they have made Leeds Vineyard their home they used the “family” word a lot. Both to say that they liked being amongst families and also that they felt part of a family. We’re not a student church but we are a church family that loves students. Please pray for them as many scatter across the country for the summer. Rosie Lenton will be spending next year studying in Arizona whilst Rachel Menzies will be returning from a year in Venice.
Families are the focus of our two main areas of ministry into the community (the Debt Advice Centre and the Child Contact Centre). In particular, the Child Contact Centre is very focussed on rebuilding bridges across the broken relationships between parents and children. Elaine Sadler, our Child Contact Centre Manager sent me this inspirational story a week ago,
“A professional couple were recently referred to the contact centre. The father suffered from depression. They had three children under six between them. Domestic Violence had been cited as reason for their separation. The Court ruled that the father could have two hours of visiting time with his children every fortnight. So the family were referred to the Child Contact Centre. They came four times and then they agreed between them that they would leave the Centre and mum would drop the children off for the father to have an extended time period with his children in a more natural environment, unsupervised. The father is elated! He went back to work and called us to let us know, to thank us, and to find out how to give the Vine a donation as a thankyou.”
The Child Contact Centre recently moved from the Vineyard Centre to Headingley Methodist Church and as a result some vacancies have arisen in the volunteer team. If you would like to be part of re-building bridges for families like that and if you have a Saturday morning free once a month, please contact Elaine Sadler to find out how you too can make a difference.
It’s Father’s Day on June 17 and I will be speaking about how the Father loves us and how He can restore family to us when everything seems lost. Do invite your friends and neighbours.
My postal vote just landed on the mat. How are you going to vote? Please make sure you do. It behoves us to participate fully in the affairs of our country.
Our next baptism service will be on Sunday 24 July. Please let one of the pastoral staff know if you would like to be baptised or to find out more.
Sunday 12 June – Triathlon
Leeds is proud to be hosting a round of the prestigious 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series on Sunday 12 June 2016. The route trundles past the front door of Headingley Methodist Church so we have decided to suspend weekly worship for that Sunday as access will be difficult and many people will want to watch the event.
This provides a great opportunity for acts of kindness so if that is something you would like to initiate or join in with please get onto the church Facebook page and get organising!
June Project is a week-long community outreach from 2 to 8 June - where the local churches and the local community come together to serve Hyde Park and share the love of Jesus. If you’d like to get involved please contact the organisers.
All Hallows church in Hyde Park are hosting an interfaith encounter dealing with the subject of Islamaphobia on Friday 10 June. If this interests you please let get in touch with the organisers as they would love to have a strong Christian presence there. Info on the website (Join In/Community/Headingley).