10th June 2018 saw our Local Arrangement. It was Methodist Homes Association Sunday and as they are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year, we thought it would be a great way of recognising the wonderful work of this organisation.
MHA was founded in 1943 by a group of Methodists who wanted to improve the quality of life of older people in the time before the creation of the Welfare State. MHA was founded by the Methodist Church as an independent charity to provide care, support and accommodation for older people in need.
MHA now runs 90 care homes, 72 retirement living schemes and 61 Live at Home schemes, supporting more than 18,000 older people across England, Scotland and Wales, employing 7,000 staff and enjoying the support of over 5,500 volunteers.
It continues to invest in services for older people, as evidenced by its newest care home – Montpellier Manor near Middlesbrough which opened its doors to its first residents in March 2018.
Now that calls for a celebration!
As part of its celebrations, MHA is holding a Service of Thanksgiving at Derby Cathedral on Saturday 13th October, starting at 3pm.
We also took a retiring collection after the service for MHA and will do again next week.
Matt, Helen and Ben performed a puppet sketch with our old favourite puppet, Grandpa. Grandpa told us of all the things we take for granted now but that were not around when he was a boy. It was so funny and made us all laugh, especially when his granddaughter’s mobile phone rang during the service!
Colin gave an informative talk on the ages of man which was both interesting and humorous. Gil did the Bible reading and Heather our prayers of intercession. Douglas prayed over the offertory and Wendy gave the closing blessing.
Sue hosted the ‘Generation Game’. It was hilarious. There were two teams comprising of Julia and Heather on one team and Ben and Matt on the other. The task was to ice and decorate fairy cakes. The real unintended challenge on the day, being on how to operate the nozzle on the icing!! Both teams rose to the challenge and although the congregation had to judge which were the best decorated cakes – we were stumped to make a choice – so both teams drew. We enjoyed the cakes during refreshments and so we were all winners.
Keg spoke of how God used older men and women from the Bible, people who were in their golden years but listened and acted on His word, having to trust in Him and in His strength to perform the tasks that were given to them, but also having the wisdom of years and depth of spiritual insight to not act impetuously. People such as Abram, Moses, Eli, Simeon and Anna still working and dedicating their lives to working in His service at their great ages but all being mightily blessed for their faithfulness. This is a real encouragement to us today. Our lives are not over when maybe our culture sees us as old and past it, we can still dedicate ourselves to His service, and God sees us as precious in older age as He did in our youth.
Here is a rather nice quote from Billy Graham who died this year aged 99 years having served God all his life, into advanced old age:-
Scripture is filled with examples of men and women whom God used late in life, often with great impact – men and women who refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do. Billy Graham