Coronavirus and COVID-19
Here you will find the most recent news relating to our church family. On the Worship at Home page and the Junior Church at Home page there's a collection of ideas and materials to support us as we worship "together but separately" in response to the health crisis.
As soon as we have information about how and when our church building can open you will find it here.
For the moment we will gather news and information on this page. You will also find helpful updates on the Sutton Park Circuit website.
Anything you see on these pages that's underlined is a link - click it to go to what's being described.
Please remember it's only the church building that is out of action. WE are the church, and although for the moment we cannot meet together, we are still here and are very much in business.
If you are experiencing any difficulties or you need any help, let someone in the church family know your situation.
Getting in touch
Hospital visiting is restricted. If you can't get to see someone in the QE, Heartlands, Solihull or Good Hope hospitals you can email Revd Kathryn Darby of the UHB Chaplaincy Team or call and leave a message for the team on 0121 424 7676 or for Revd Kathryn on 0121 386 5612
Do you WhatsApp? Lots more of us do now than ever did before. There are two church WhatsApp groups that you might want to join to keep up with news and share fellowship. One is just for notifications from the office, and the other is a busy mutual support group where we share news, prayers, ideas, uplifting thoughts every day. If you want to be added to either or both call or text Peter on 07966 875585
Weekly notices come out each week still and can be sent to you by email. If you don't already subscribe please email the office and ask to go on the mailing list. There's a copy of this week's edition here. It includes a topical note from Deacon Marilyn which is also printed below.
Funerals have become a new challenge. Our church family has been touched by loss, both from this awful virus and from other causes, and most of us will be unable to attend funerals at present. A church publication containing reflections and prayers is available, and you can open a copy by clicking here.
Revd Stephen is maintaining a memorial page on the Circuit website of those we have sadly lost during this difficult time. Please let him know if there is anyone we should add who is not already remembered there. In time we will be able to join together to celebrate and thank God for these lives and remember the ways they have enriched our own. In the meantime we hold them all in our hearts and ask God to bring comfort to those who are mourning.
The Messenger, our monthly magazine is paused. But if there is anything you would normally share with the church family through the Messenger, email it to the Messenger and/or the office and it can appear on the website or our Facebook page if you wish.
Church Giving can continue if you are able to contribute to our running costs. You can still donate by text (see the Giving page) or you can set up a standing order or make a donation directly to our account - contact the office for the account details.
Erdington Foodbank - Our Circuit is supporting a food bank in Erdington which has unprecedented demand. Contact Revd Stephen directly, or via the WhatsApp Group, or via Peter or Chris (above) to make donations.
Watch out too for the opportunity to sponsor our friend Giles who plans to risk his dodgy knees in July with a daunting 100 mile cycle to raise funds for this cause. Click here for more information.
Birmingham City Mission donations of food and toiletries cannot be delivered at present. As soon as we can, we will resume though, and their need by then will be critical. Please try to put something aside in readiness if you can, so that we can make an urgent collection when circumstances change.
Click the button to email us anything you would like to add:
I greet you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I thank God for his faithfulness to us as the body of Christ in Four Oaks Methodist Church. We have been very blessed that throughout this pandemic we have been spared and Stephen and I can account for all in our care and have not lost any directly to COVID; for this we say thanks be to God. Yet we are cautious not to be complacent or see ourselves as God’s elect but as sinners operating under grace. As people of faith waiting is part of our discipline as we are always in-between times.
Our buildings are closed YES but the Church is still alive and well without walls. So, let us continue in prayer for ourselves, our families and those known only to God. We are all struggling with different challenges, but God is faithfully with us and all will be well. The Lord will continue to protect, lead and guide us and any impending danger will be swallowed up in victory by the same power that raised Christ from the dead. Let us be still and know that our God is God indeed.
Deacon Marilyn Slowe.
Heavenly Father, in a world where there seems little evidence of the caring love that our Saviour shows, you challenge us to take love out of our places of worship and into that world. You call us to go to places where we are out of our comfort zone and are reluctant to go. Forgive us that, though our Saviour was willing to die for us, we are so unwilling to live for him.
Give us the courage and faith to challenge those who have no room for God, to speak peace to aggressive hatred and to put arms of love around the loveless and unlovely. We have received your grace; help us to accept our calling.
(Source: Ackworth Methodist Church, Aire & Calder Circuit)
Big Charity Sale
So many of the causes we support have been starved of funds during Lockdown. As soon as we can safely do it we want to have a massive charity sale to help. We can't tell you yet when that will be, but Peter can tell you how you can help.