1000 Words is Never Enough
When I interview someone for Heart magazine, I’m aware that 1000 words can never do justice to the emotion and the truth they want to express. It takes courage to share your story in black and white, so I doublecheck every detail. It must be right! Despite tough experiences – from earthquakes and war to debt or eating disorders – I’ve met people who are extraordinarily resilient, who react with thankfulness, goodness, forgiveness, and faith. All the stories, courses, photos and adverts in Heart are offered by Christians from Fulwood Free Methodist Church. We warmly welcome you to join us, or use the details on the back cover to contact us for more information.
Making Good Choices
‘Tragedy!’ or ‘Good News!’ Which of these headlines attracts you the most? Many of us are intrigued by death, horror and fear. We can be fascinated by the gory details in other people’s stories. Bob and Helena (p2-3) were brutally attacked, but they’d prefer it if, when you’ve read their article, you remember the goodness they experienced in the aftermath. ‘Goodness’ is what inspired the cover picture of ‘Heart’ – a bucket overflowing with good fruit. Goodness helps us cope with tragedy. Good stories lift our minds and spirits. But where do we find goodness and how do we keep hold of it? We start by making good choices: Truth or lie? Care or ignore? Encourage or criticise? Kind or cruel? Patient or furious? Give or steal? 1 Thessalonians 5 v 21: ‘Test everything; hold fast to what is good.’
See You Soon
So many times I drove past thinking, “What goes on in there?” . . . ‘I’d be walking the dog, wondering if I’d be allowed to go inside.’ . . . ‘I stood outside, took a deep breath and the doors opened for me!’ Just a few of the comments people have made after coming in for the first time, and the third one was said by Andy, whose inspiring story is on page 9.
It can be daunting to walk into any new place, which is one reason Fulwood Free Methodist Church runs so many courses and events for adults and children; to help you find your way around, make a few friends, have fun. Heart Magazine highlights just a few of these groups, from choir (p8) to Kickstart (p11), from Sparks (p4) to Men’s Breakfast (p7).
Talking of breakfast, 73 men arrived one recent Saturday for a ‘full English.’ 90 minutes later, they emerged into the sunshine saying they could have listened to the speaker, Ian Ferguson, for another hour. On pages 6-7, part of Ian’s breathtaking story “Eject!” is for you to enjoy.
The Christian faith is at the heart of all we do, every day of the week. Whatever your background, your experience or your needs, you can come into any Sunday service, to join in, question, laugh, cry, make friends, sing, pray, or simply look around. Someone is always on the door to help you find your feet. Children and teenagers are well catered for, as are those with additional needs. For the deaf, BSL/SSE volunteers sign for the 9.15am and 11am services. Afterwards, there are free refreshments for all.
At first everything will feel new, but as Andrew says in his story, ‘In less than two years, so much has changed for the better in my life. I’m so glad I stepped inside.’
See you soon.
Some people tell me, ‘Oh, you wouldn’t want me in Heart magazine. There’s nothing interesting about me.’ We get so used to reading sensationalist stories that we belittle our own valuable life experiences. I don’t agree that “Everyone has a book in them,” but I do believe everyone has a story to tell. Thank you Dave, p1; Liz, p5; and Helen, p8 for sharing your very personal and inspiring stories with us.
Some of our many teams
Heart highlights some of our many teams. Read about football, netball and even footgolf on p4 as Danny and Anna talk about SportsReach and how you or someone you know might like to join in the fitness fun. Pages 6–7 are about a very different kind of team – a new song-writing group called ‘Fulwood Free Music.’ The members work hard to produce some powerful modern songs that we use in church. Page 10 focuses on the Inclusion Team, led by James and Sarah. Please do read this short introduction to their work as they’d value your feedback, ideas and opinions.
We are here for you
We never put commercial advertisements into Heart. All our ads refer to activities run by Fulwood Free Methodist Church (FFMC) for the benefit of the whole community, from babies to teens to senior citizens. Whoever you are, we are here for you. Find fun at the Fun Day p12, friendship at the 18-30s group, and faith at The Venue p10.
And finally – we recently began TWO identical morning services to make space for newcomers. Children can sit with you or go to ‘Energize’ (ages 2 – 11). Teens have their own service. For deaf users of BSL/SSE, the services are signed by friendly volunteers. If you wish to be prayed for or visited by one of our pastoral team, please don’t hesitate to ask. For information phone or email the church office, or call into reception on weekdays. Enjoy your summer!
Katharine Editor (Twitter: @katharine59)
‘Do everything without grumbling or arguing,’ wrote Paul. But how can we resist when the media offers us so much juicy grumble-fodder?
We moan about the government, education, immigration, or recently, having to boil or buy water. On p6, Margaret Sutton remembers life without indoor running water or electricity. Her life has not been without tragedy, yet her attitude has always been, not grumbling, but thankful and quietly prayerful.
‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.’ It’s that guy Paul talking again! But what if we’re in huge debt or about to lose our home? There are no easy answers, but worry won’t help. Read p4, about people who are thankful for the new Preston North CAP Debt Centre. This initiative is dramatically changing the lives of local people struggling with debt.
Leaving home comforts
The world is not TV – you can’t simply sit on your sofa with a remote control to change the scenes you hate. You might consider emulating two of our younger church members, who left their home comforts to make a difference: Jeni Sutton on p2 spent her summer in South Africa supporting children suffering poverty and injustice. And Dan Feeny on p10, decided to highlight the problem of human trafficking by living in a cage for a week.
Living in peace
Ultimately, it is not what we do, but who we are that makes the real difference. My aim is to be less ‘grumbly’ and more thankful, to worry less and pray more, to be less critical of others and, as far as it depends on me, to live in peace with everyone.
PS: Our Sunday morning service no longer starts at 10am. So that we have space for everyone, two identical services happen, starting at 9.15am and at 11am. See the back cover for details. And it goes without saying; whoever you are you are welcome to join with us.
Enjoy Heart 2015!
A thing of beauty – it could be you
Six months has passed since the Winter 2015 Heart Magazine was delivered to nearly 6,000 homes in Fulwood.
Thanks so much for all your positive feedback. We were delighted when you responded by turning up to Toddler groups, Wednesday lunches, or to courses such as our ‘Surviving Teens’ classes or the ‘Sign Nine’ BSL sessions. You worked hard, learnt a lot and we all had fun!
This year, Pastor Andrew is encouraging us to focus on the idea of ‘Planting Potential’ which is why the Heart cover shows a seedling being nurtured, not by a single person, but by a whole team of supportive people. Andrew (see p6) and the pastoral care team see real potential for us all to find peace and wholeness in our sometimes troubled lives. The team love to support those who come to them for help. Andrew illustrates this with his hobby of woodturning; he sees the potential in a rough-cut of wood and turns it into a thing of beauty.
Even those who are happy and successful are often searching for something more meaningful in life. Staff nurse Martin MacDonald shares (p2) how he found a deeper understanding of faith, then renewed his musical talent as he joined one of the church music groups where he plays the guitar.
From seedlings to saplings
Talking of potential, this year we celebrated more than 30 young people from Fulwood Free Methodist Church being away at universities across the country. Four of these students gave ‘Heart’ an insight into how being mentored and supported throughout their teens has helped them cope with the challenges of moving on. (p4)
A seed of faith?
Many people have a sense of ‘the spiritual’ but never ask their burning questions because, well, who can you trust to discuss these matters truthfully and without pressure? Take the plunge, bring a friend and check out The Venue (back page).
Enjoy reading Heart!
Twice a year, people from the Fulwood Free Methodist Church congregation share stories in Heart magazine.
These people live in your community. We want you to know what is happening near you. Going into any new place for the first time can be scary, but sometimes, when you dare to step over the threshold, you are surprised by something good. Readers of Heart come to Lunch Break, Parenting Support, Alpha – in fact, most things. You are all welcome!
Congratulations to Hattie, Ken and Brenda, who share their encouraging stories (p 2-3) that will definitely make us all smile!
Life can be tough
At times, life can be tough. They say ‘A trouble shared is a trouble halved,’ but Celebrate Recovery (see p 6-7) is about more than halving a problem; it offers on-going hope, support and practical changes for any man or woman who is battling with hurts, habits or hang-ups.
Two brilliant bookshops
Meet Nigel and Kath, (on page 10) whose son is working in Syria. They run two brilliant bookshops in Preston and Lancaster.
Sign Nine BSL course
On the back cover you can read about our popular ‘Sign Nine’ BSL course, running for the third time; a fun, first step to confident communication!