Heaton Mersey Methodist Church
Heaton Mersey Methodist Church

Church Development Worker

November message from Tracy

 

We recently celebrated Harvest in our church and what a wonderful experience it was! The financial amount as well as the food stuff that has gone on to support The Boaz Trust was amazing. As I reflected on Harvest I asked myself 3 questions-what do I remember about Harvest Festivals in the past, what do I think about Harvest Festivals in the present day and what will Harvest festivals be like in the future.

 

I vaguely remember bringing tins out of the kitchen cupboard and taking them to school. It was always the things that had been left in there because no one liked them. Or maybe it was some vegetables that was getting past its best.  I don’t remember what happened to the food stuff but I do remember it all looked good in assembly.

 

 As I began going to church I got involved with sorting out the Harvest produce-it was a bit of a shock! I was asked to take some parcels out to the older members of our community. Lovely idea I thought-how wrong I was! Every door I knocked on people moaned that the food wasn’t what they ate, they didn’t like this, that or the other!  So, for me present day Harvest Festival are brilliant. We know exactly what to bring and I know my donations are used in the right places.

 

As for the future…..I recently watched the film drama ‘I Daniel Blake’, a film made in 2016 about a man who is denied employment and support allowance despite his doctor finding him unfit to work. It also co-stars Katie, a struggling single mother whom Daniel befriends. The story unfolds of their struggles with the benefit system and how their lives are affected. This is no easy film to watch, as someone who was a single mum struggling on benefits, I know from personal experience how easy it is to see life spiralling out of control. In one scene Katie is in a Food Bank having not eaten for days. She takes a tin of beans, opens it and eats them there and then. How desperate she must have felt! You may think ‘its just a film’ but this is real life for many people.  I long for a day when we won’t need food banks, when all will be looked after, when social benefits will be equal, when people will not be left ashamed because they can’t feed their family, but until then our Harvest Festivals of the future will be used to feed the poor, the needy, the asylum seeker and the refugee.

 

I recommend you to watch ‘I Daniel Blake’, and tell others about it. It’s sometimes said ‘Jesus is for life, not just for Christmas.’ Maybe we could say ‘Giving to Food Banks is for life, not just Harvest.’

 

God said, through Isaiah “I want you to share your food with the hungry. I want you to find the poor who don’t have homes and bring them into your own homes. When you see people who have no clothes, give them your clothes! Don’t hide from your relatives when they need help.” 

August News from Tracy

Holiday at Home

We are running Holiday at Home at our church on Wednesday 19th of September. This is a joint venture between the churches in Heaton Mersey. It’s a great opportunity to be involved in our community - something we have been wanting to do. Your help will be needed to make this a success. Could you provide some cakes? And on the day itself, could you help with setting up, clearing up or generally just being there to chat to people. We will need to spread the word about this event. The afternoon tea at St John’s was a huge success and we hope to build on this. If you know anyone who would be interested, please give them an invite. And of course, it’s open for everyone to join in. More details will follow or just ask me.

 

Family Church @ 10

What’s that? I hear you ask! It’s the new name for Who Let the Families Out. We have decided to have a relaunch and hopefully attract more people. The new name came from one of our families who always call it Family Church.  Everyone is welcome to come along and join in with this All Age Interactive Service. Watch out for changes to dates due to holidays and Harvest. If you have families living near, you pick up a leaflet and invite them along. We’d love to see it grow.

 

And finally….we have been asked if we can help serve coffee at St John’s Church on Saturday 22nd September as part of Heaton Mersey Collective event. There will be an Artisan Market, Scarecrow Festival, which we will be entering, MacMillan coffee day and children’s craft. It would be good to have a rota so we could all just do an hour.

 

Many thanks for everyone who supports me in the community work of this church. The more we are part of the community, the community will be part of us.

 

Go peaceful in gentleness, through the violence of these days,

Give freely, show tenderness in all your ways.

Through darkness in troubled times, let holiness be your aim,

Seek wisdom, let faithfulness burn like a flame.

God speed you, God lead you and keep you wrapped around his heart, may you be known by love

 

Be righteous, speak truthfully, in a  world of greed and lies,

Show kindness, see everyone through Heaven’s eyes.

God hold you, enfold you, and keep you wrapped around his heart

May you be known by love, may you be known by love. Song by Paul Field

 

June Message from our Church Development Worker 

 

Can you believe I’ve been with you here at HMMC for a year? It’s been a wonderful experience getting to know you all and being involved in the work of this church. There are many things that have been so good - Holiday Club, Christmas and its Pop Up Nativity, Easter Fun and Games as well as all the things that happen week by week.

 

I enjoy being part of the leadership team as Rev Raj leads us into new things. This is a chance to share not only in the everyday running of the church, but also a chance to look at what God has to say to us for the future of our church. We must continue to look forward as we get to grips with what ‘Grounded in Faith Growing in Jesus’ means to this circuit. Are we willing to try to work with other churches? Are we willing to accept change? Can we build a better relationship with our community?

 

It’s been great seeing the children and families work develop as we build on past experiences, both in W.L.T.F.O. and Sunday Club. Together in Sunday Club we have shared lots of fun, crafts and games as well as learning about God. Wasn’t Easter Day amazing? We have so much to be thankful for.

 

Playtime@church continues to thrive with a waiting list of 10 families hoping to join in September. We are starting to think of the children who will leave us and move on to ‘big school’ and each will receive a bible story book as a reminder of their time with us.

 

We are continuing with our Wednesday mornings: Worship, Prayer and Coffee and Chat. It’s so good to share in worship and prayer. Why not come along and see what happens? No experience needed - just an open mind and heart.

 

Our Generation X group meets regularly to share news and food and to experience worship in other places. If you want to know more about this group ask the under 51’s!

 

As part of my worship leaders training I was asked to share a verse I find helpful and encouraging in my walk of faith. I like to share that with you too.

 

1 Thessalonians 5 v 13 – 16

Live in peace with each other.  We ask you, brothers and sisters, to warn those who will not work. Encourage those who are afraid. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong. But always try to do what is good for each other and for all people. Always be full of joy.  Never stop praying. Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus.

 

Tracy Brennan

Development Worker

April message from Tracy our Church Development Worker:

 

  • Wednesday Worship - we are looking at what to do next, if you have any ideas, suggestions or names of people to lead these sessions then please speak to Tracy.
  • Coffee and chat - we have some really interesting conversations about a variety of subjects, love, Fairtrade, Foodbanks and Halloween. We'd love more people to join us, so invite your friends and drop in! In May our coffee morning will be supporting Christian Aid, look out for more details nearer the time.
  • Time to play? - if you need toys for young children to play with during the service we have some children's toys in a bag near the piano. 

February update from our Development Worker

 

I have been leading Who Let the Families Out? for 7 months now. Sometimes we only have one or two families but in January we had seven families as well as church family. It was a squeeze in the Long Room and extra tables were quickly put up!

 

WLTFO is run as an interactive All Age Worship. We usually have a bible story as well as games and craft. We enjoy sharing in each other’s joys, hopes and fears and we pray together for all of these things. Anyone is welcome to join us.  We are considering renaming this group (Bible and Breakfast, Breakfast Church, Toast and Teachings ???), so if you have any suggestions please let Tracy know.

 

Having thought and prayed about how we continue with our children’s and family work we have decided to offer something every week. Our new adventure will be a Sunday Club which will run at the same time as church (10.45am). It will happen on the weeks when there isn’t café church or WLTFO. The format will be fun and games with some aspect of faith added in. Its open to all ages of children and the choice will be that parents can stay in, go into church or have some time off.

 

It will initially be run by me but I would really like some help please. In an ideal world it would be good to be able to split the children into age appropriate groups. We’d like to come back into church at the end of the service so you will get to know what we have been doing.

 

Please continue to pray for the work we do with the families.

Tracy

Update from our Church Development Worker Tracy Brennan

 

I have been leading Who Let the Families Out? for 7 months now. Sometimes we only have one or two families but in January we had seven families as well as church family. It was a squeeze in the Long Room and extra tables were quickly put up!

 

WLTFO is run as an interactive All Age Worship. We usually have a bible story as well as games and craft. We enjoy sharing in each other’s joys, hopes and fears and we pray together for all of these things. Anyone is welcome to join us.  We are considering renaming this group (Bible and Breakfast, Breakfast Church, Toast and Teachings ???), so if you have any suggestions please let Tracy know.

 

Having thought and prayed about how we continue with our children’s and family work we have decided to offer something every week. Our new adventure will be a Sunday Club which will run at the same time as church (10.45am). It will happen on the weeks when there isn’t café church or WLTFO. The format will be fun and games with some aspect of faith added in. Its open to all ages of children and the choice will be that parents can stay in, go into church or have some time off.

 

It will initially be run by me but I would really like some help please. In an ideal world it would be good to be able to split the children into age appropriate groups. We’d like to come back into church at the end of the service so you will get to know what we have been doing.

 

Please continue to pray for the work we do with the families.

Tracy

Six months into her role here’s an update from Tracy Brennan our Church Development Worker.

 

As Christmas fast approaches we sometimes need to take time out and reflect on what we do and why we do it. It’s important for me in this role as development worker to have seen what the church already does and to identify ways in which it can develop. As we move forward we need to look at ways we can work together prayerfully as the body of Christ to spread the message of love, joy, peace and hope.

 

Coffee and Chat. We have started coffee mornings on the third Wednesday each month and I would encourage you to come and bring your neighbours and friends. This is an important outreach-opportunity to get to know people, share faith stories and invite them to other events.

 

WLTFO. We continue to meet monthly with variable attendance. We need to think prayerfully about how this group continues and develops.

 

WLTDO. We have made some changes to how we run this monthly event. We’ve changed the way the dads come in, using the front door rather than the back. We’ve introduced a story-time which everyone seems to be enjoying. We had a look at what Harvest means to the church and some dads brought food for the Foodbank. Raj has made some suggestions about how we can show what we are doing as a church, so look out for changes!

 

Playtime@church. This group continues to attract lots of parents, grandparents, childminders and under 5’s to come and play with carefully chosen activities. We really need help as one of the leaders has said she wants to stop coming after Christmas. Again, this is a fantastic way to show a Christian presence in the community.

 

Worship Leader Training. I have now begun the new course which I’m sure I will find interesting, exciting and challenging.

 

Start Course. Sadly the Start course didn’t really get off the ground. Start is an excellent resource that can be used in small groups but I need your help for this course to work. People you know - friends, neighbours or family - need to be invited personally, we share together in the task of growing our church family.

 

Schools. Myself and Jill from Heaton Churches Schools Partnership have visited both Mersey Vale and Didsbury Road Primary School. I worked alongside Jill for an Anti-Bullying assembly and I was also able to visit some classes as they were working. I am part of a project with Mersey Vale School to take Christmas Hampers to Russell Gardens Sheltered Housing.

 

Finally…Christmas. We are very much looking forward to the Pop Up Nativity! Grab a costume and join in the fun! We are also planning on doing some Carol Singing around the local streets on the evening of Tuesday 12th December followed by curry at Church. Please sign up for food!

We are very pleased to be able to introduce our new Church Development Worker, Tracy Brennan, who started with us in June 2017

I started my post on Monday 5th June; I thought I would give you an update on what I’ve been doing in my first month. One of the first things I have done was to attend Playtime@church which is a lovely friendly group of parents and pre-school children. I will continue to run this alongside a group of volunteers on a weekly basis.

I’ve spent some time looking at ways we can develop our monthly midweek worship and have enjoyed visiting some people who usually attend to find out their views. Watch out for further developments in this area. If you have any thoughts about this please speak to me.

I have been finding ways we can engage with some of the older children who come along to café worship. I have made a pack which contains a study book, notebooks and pens-please ask if you wish to use it or want to have a look.

We have now purchased a ‘Start’ course DVD and materials and I will be running a course in the autumn. If you would like more information about the course or know of anyone who would be interested, again please speak or email me.

I am beginning to make contact with the local school, Didsbury Primary, to find ways in which we can connect with them. I’ve also been looking at ways to improve communication within church, with the circuit and with the wider community.

And finally….I would just like to thank you all for your welcome, your prayers and your support. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for us.

Tracy

 

 

 

 

What are the key aims of our Church Development Worker?

 

To build relations with the community of the Heatons, especially Heaton Mersey.

To enhance the church’s profile as a Christian presence in the community.

To support the minister and church family in developing the church’s mission.

To enable people from the community to grow in faith and be part of the church family.  

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