As the clocks change we are well and truly into Autumn. I’m just hoping that last week’s weather isn’t a foretaste of what’s to come. The driving rain was insane and left everything in a fine coating of Saharan sand and sea salt. I can’t say our car looked any the better for having been sandblasted.
However, it was nice to be inside, all snuggly, as the winds blew everything around outside. Thank goodness it wasn’t cold, that would have been really awful. As it was, Chris and I talked about Christmas and the year to come.
There’s lots going on at the Village, much of it in partnership with Dorset Gardens Methodist Church. For example, Saturday 4th December Dorset gardens is holding a Celebrate & Remember event. It’s an opportunity for tea & cake, hymns and stories, prayer and candles, to remember those who have died – especially during the pandemic, but in a much less formal way than the traditional All Saints Day services. They’re also going to have Stars on which people can write the names of loved ones, which will then be hung on the Christmas tree.
Then on Sunday December 5th, our usual 6 pm service at Dorset Gardens will also be the World Aids Day service, a chance to remember, give thanks, and look to the future.
Then later in the month, on Christmas Eve at 4 pm, The Village is joining forces with Dorset Gardens for a Carol & Christingle service. I’m looking forward to it, and think it’s going to be lots of fun! (What is a Christingle service? see HERE)
If you’d like to attend a service on Christmas Day then Dorset Gardens are holding a 10.30am service, to which we are all very welcome.
Of course, all of this is contingent on the government and NHS Covid advice at the time, and I imagine that we will still be wearing masks to sing. I’d like to say that it’s getting easier, but it often feels like three steps forward, two steps back. Hopefully, we are going in the right direction.
Please stay safe, and God bless you.
If you’d like to contact me you can do so by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-person worship Sunday November 7th, 6pm,
Dorset Gardens Methodist Church.
Doors open at 5:30pm and if you’d like to come early to help put chairs out you’d be very much appreciated! we hope very much that the lift will be operational, but please watch out for a last minute email newsflash as we’re not going to know until later in the week.
Will Mason will be leading worship, and Stephen Crowther will be bringing us a word. Stephen has chosen the following as our worship readings:
They begin with “Autumn” by Rainer Maria Rilke
The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
as if orchards were dying high in space.
Each leaf falls as if it were motioning “no.”
And tonight the heavy earth is falling
away from all other stars in the loneliness.
We’re all falling. This hand here is falling.
And look at the other one. It’s in them all.
And yet there is Someone, whose hands
infinitely calm, holding up all this falling.
(translation by Robert Bly)
The sun is lower in the sky, the light has changed – we are in liminal space and time – and we are still trying to come out from under lockdown. If you feel out of sorts still, overwhelmed by life and by worlds events – in a world that appears to be carrying on like nothing has happened – be gentle with yourself and know you are not alone. And so, into this, I offer these words from Christine Valters Paintner:
I have witnessed the pain of life’s unraveling, the moments when I want nothing less than to let go: sitting vigil with my mother in the hospital as her body was overwhelmed by infection and finally succumbed; my mother-in-law’s decline with Alzheimer’s and the long, slow fall of her vibrancy and descent into a dark land without memory. Autumn’s stripping away sometimes feels unbearable. And then this season of falling offered me solace in the months after their deaths as I discovered beauty in the great release. Cherishing the moment became the only option in the wake of loss.
The nature of the human mind is to grasp onto things, to try and figure life out, to try and maintain control when things feel chaotic and wild. Monastic wisdom teaches us that this kind of grasping hardens our minds, our hearts, and our bodies. Our lifelong journey is always toward a softening, a greater tenderness so that we can meet life with a raw opening toward beauty and wonder.
Lord, we lift Wendy and Sarah for your healing touch; and Charlie, as he continues to recover at home. Be with Keith as he recovers from an ankle injury. Please be with all those recovering from aggressive treatments; including Simon, Tony, and Robert. We lift all those we may not have mentioned, but who you know need your touch. Lord, please continue to be with us all. Amen.
If you would like to add a prayer to the newsletter then please email me at email@example.com. – Michael x
The Village MCC Annual General Meeting
Our annual general meeting will be on ZOOM on Sunday December 12th at 6:30pm. This is a time of change for us, perhaps a new beginning, most definitely an exciting time. If you feel called to help steer the church over the next two years then please consider standing for a board position.
If you are not a member yet and would like to know what becoming a member of the church entails then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be in touch. Rev. Michael.
Q Spirit News. Are you receiving Kittredge Cherry’s monthly newsletter? It’s a wonderful piece of LGBTQ+ spirituality, along with lots of the latest news across our diverse communities. Her November newsletter can be seen here and I would really recommend that you sign up!
Could Multiple Personality Disorder Explain Life,
the Universe and Everything?
This week I came across a fascinating article that was signposted in the High Existence newsletter. It’s from Scientific American and looks at the question of consciousness and some of the prevailing theories. I like this one a lot, and it’s given me much food for thought. If you’re a bit abstract and geeky like me then you might enjoy it. I’d love to hear what you think! You can read the Scientific American article HERE.
The Business Community for LGBTQ+ professionals,
graduates, inclusive employers and anyone who believes in workplace equality
Do you know a graduate who is looking for an LGBT+ affirming company to work for? MYGWORK, the LGBTQ+ business community, has a list of openings in many of the most welcoming and affirming companies that are out there. If you want to forward a list to someone you can find it HERE. There’s also articles and advice around all aspects of business practice etc. It’s worth a look.
On the Sundays when the church is not meeting in-person,
please join us for
on Zoom at 6pm
The event is recorded and then, when available, posted on Facebook.
Recordings are all available on our Facebook page.
Zoom : 504 390 105, code 2020
2021 Annual General Assembly (AGA) Memorial Moment
Wednesday, 10th November 6pm – 7pm,
Dorset Gardens Methodist Church
This is a very special event for the FDD. I will be opening and closing our time together, and Resound will be singing some of their favourite pieces. Come and join us as we pay our respects to those who have played a part in the growing movement but are no longer with us. Refreshments will be served by Lunch Positive. Hope to see you there – Rev. Michael.
If this HIV Training event is of interest to you then please email me at Pastor@thevillagemcc.org. and I’ll pass on your details.
I received an email from Jacob Bayliss of Switchboard about a couple of really interesting workshops for those who work with survivors of domestic abuse, and those who themselves are survivors of domestic abuse. If you are interested in either of these events then please feel free to contact them directly. If you have any questions then the contact details are at the end of the email.
I’m really excited to be reaching out to you with two events Switchboard are holding to kick off the first of 16 days of action against gender-based violence. Our brand new LGBTQ Domestic Abuse team and I are proud to be building a healing, affirmative & community-based domestic abuse service for all LGBTQ* survivors.
We’ll be holding two events on the 25th of November, aimed at both practitioners and professionals, and survivors of domestic abuse.
Our first event is at 12:30, and its designed as an open event for attendees to ask any questions they may have about our new service, as well as a myth busting exercise. We’re really keen to hear from you about how we can best support each other, as well as any gaps in services you’d like to talk to us about. It’s a really open hour for you to ask us anything, essentially. There should be some really exciting discussions happening. I’ve included the eventbrite & a digital invite below.
Wellbeing & Welcome event
We also have a fantastic event lined up at 2pm on the 25th of November, which is designed as a safe space for LGBTQ survivors to share their experiences, hear a little bit more about our services & what we’re planning to do. We will also be joined by Josetta Malcom, an incredibly talented & experienced facilitator in self care and meditation, who will be grounding us in healing practices to round off the afternoon. If you or anyone in your network would benefit from this, or would like to take part, please see/share our eventbrite.
Wellbeing & Welcome Space
A space for LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic abuse to have their say about services and participate in wellbeing activities
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email our Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) Raf Galdeano (details below). We look forward to hearing from you, and hopefully to seeing you on the day.
Email: email@example.com Phone: 07724 521 654
Keeping up to date with MCC Internationally
Do you receive emails from the MCC denomination? There are updates on the way churches around the world are meeting this crisis, along with prayers, support, and much much more. If you would like check out what newsletters are available then please email:
Sarah Barber is our Lay Delegate, and a link with the denomination. Please contact her at the church email address if you would like to know more about how The ‘Village’ MCC fits into the International Church.
Pastoral Care Team – 07476 667353
Pastoral care continues. Call or text the church mobile and leave a message, and someone will get back to you. When the pandemic first broke we tried to reach out to everybody at least once a month. As time has gone on we have reduced our pastoral care calls to those who have either requested them or are at high risk. Of course we don’t want to miss anybody out so if you would like to connect then please let us know
Would you like to give a gift to aid the work of the Village MCC?
Giving to The Village MCC.
‘The Village MCC’ is self-financing, we do not receive any central funding. If you would like to support the work we do, there are a number of ways to do so.
If you would like to set up a regular monthly Payment to The “Village’ Church, which is the best way for us to budget for our work, Please email the treasurer at; firstname.lastname@example.org, you will then be sent the details of how to do this.
If you wish to make a single donation You can send a direct payment from your bank account using the following details From the UK:
• Lloyds Bank
• sort code 77-91-29
• account number 40361660
• account name The Village MCC
• Please use the reference ‘Collection’
Please also email the Treasurer at email@example.com to let them know to expect a payment. • There is also a donate button on the Church Website at thevillagemcc.org if bank transfer is not possible. If you do not have access to the internet, you can still make a donation with your debit card. Please email the Treasurer at; firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a phone call to make this payment.