Ooh! aren’t they lovely – a couple of rather unusual visitors check in at Lunch Club

If you thought our Senior’s Lunch Club was little more than a bunch of people sitting round, drinking tea and playing bingo then you need to think again. Last week Laura Thompson lined up a couple of very unusual visitors in the form of a blue otugnued skink and what to me (although I’ll bet I’m wrong) looked like a giant tortoise.

I have to confess I’m much more of a dog or cat man but many thanks to John Hornby for passing these pictures on… I just hope they all washed their hands before they moved through to the Sports Hall for lunch!








Some thoughts on Pastor Paula White’s prayer for President Trump

Paula White, is pastor of the New Destiny Christian Center, she is also President Donald Trump’s spiritual adviser. Here is the text of her prayer at his inauguration.

We come to you, heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus with grateful hearts, thanking you for this great country that you have decreed to your people. We acknowledge we are a blessed nation with a rich history of faith and fortitude, with a future that is filled with promise and purpose.

 We recognize that every good and every perfect gift comes from you and the United States of America is your gift, for which we proclaim our gratitude.

As a nation, we now pray for our president, Donald John Trump, vice president, Michael Richard Pence, and their families. We ask that you would bestow upon our president the wisdom necessary to lead this great nation, the grace to unify us, and the strength to stand for what is honorable and right in your sight.

In Proverbs 21:1, you instruct us that our leader’s heart is in your hands. Gracious God, reveal unto our president the ability to know the will, your will, the confidence to lead us in justice and righteousness, and the compassion to yield to our better angels.

While we know there are many challenges before us, in every generation you have provided the strength and power to become that blessed nation. Guide us in discernment, Lord, and give us that strength to persevere and thrive.

Now bind and heal our wounds and divisions, and join our nation to your purpose. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, the psalmists declared.

Let your favor be upon this one nation under God. Let these United States of America be that beacon of hope to all people and nations under your dominion, a true hope for humankind.

Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Haddon Willmer writes: There is much in this prayer which disquiets me. It is a complacent ‘America first’ prayer. Not being an American nor a Trump-fan, I find it hard to get past its nationalism to find a Christian prayer I can join in with.

Confession of sin is a key component of Christian prayer: there is not a hint of it here. The USA is simply ‘the gift of God’. It is called to be, and is confidently proud that it will be, a ‘beacon of hope to all people and nations… a true hope for humankind’. Without qualification, we ask God to give Donald Trump ‘the wisdom necessary to lead this great nation, the grace to unify us, and the strength to stand for what is honourable and right in your sight’. We have no sense, it seems, that if this prayer is real, we are here asking God for a massive miracle, bringing about a painful uprooting and an unimaginable remaking, a radical conversion for the Donald Trump we have come to know and have to live with for the next four years, at least. Could Donald Trump accept such a miracle? There is little evidence that he would. He certainly does not imagine it is necessary.

This prayer is made ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’. If those words mean anything at all, they remind us that our prayer goes through the filter of Jesus Christ, so that it fits faithfully with Jesus Christ. In his words and actions, in his self-giving and dying, Jesus calls us to repentance, humility, and truthfulness. He saw through the self-assured illusions of the Pharisee at prayer in the public glare and stood with the broken tax-collector, who could do only pray, God be merciful to me, a sinner (Luke 18.9-14).

Haddon Willmer shares the obituary of Zygmunt Bauman, “a prophetic man” and a former colleague at the University of Leeds

Emeritus Professor Zygmunt Bauman

Colleagues will be sorry to hear of the death of Emeritus Professor Zygmunt Bauman, former Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Sociology. Formerly of the University of Warsaw, he joined the University in 1972 as its first Professor of Sociology. He was an inspirational teacher and academic leader who served two terms as Head of Department and during his time here published widely, continuing to do so after his retirement in 1990. In 2004 the University awarded him an honorary degree in recognition of his extensive contribution to modern sociological thought, and in 2010 founded the Bauman Institute for Theory and Society, which seeks to address specificities such as the social impact of the global financial crisis alongside broader themes such as how we understand liberty and choice, identity and citizenship, and collective responsibility in modern societies. The following tribute has been contributed by Dr Mark Davis, Director of the Bauman Institute and was also published in the Guardian. http://www.leeds.ac.uk/secretariat/obituaries/2017/bauman_zygmunt.html

In a book published in 2000, the Polish-born sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, who has died aged 91, deployed a metaphor since taken up by the anti-globalisation movement around the world. Liquid Modernity analysed the disappearance of the solid structures and institutions that once provided the stable foundations for well-ordered modern societies, and the consequences for individuals and communities.

Bauman, professor of sociology at Leeds University (1972-90, and then emeritus), argued that our “liquid modern” world was unable to stand still and keep its shape for long. Everything seems to change – the fashions we follow, the events that catch our attention, the things we dream of and the things we fear. An increasing polarisation between the elite and the rest, our growing tolerance of ever-expanding inequalities, and a separation between power and politics remained constant themes in his writings – in all he produced more than 60 books. As the state and the market vie for supremacy within the space of global capitalism, the fate of poor and vulnerable people assumes particular importance. As he put it: “When elephants fight, pity the grass.”

His work was especially influential among progressive young activists in Spain, Italy and across central and South America. “See the world through the eyes of society’s weakest members,” he said, “and then tell anyone honestly that our societies are good, civilised, advanced, free.”

His best-known book, Modernity and the Holocaust (1989), provided a stark warning of the genocidal potential latent within every modern bureaucratic society to privilege process, order and efficiency over morals, responsibility and care for the other. It was shaped by the memoir Winter in the Morning (1986) by his wife, Janina (nee Lewinson), later revised as Beyond These Walls: Escaping the Warsaw Ghetto – A Young Girl’s Story (2006), and his own experience of 20th-century horrors.

Always wary of offering any alternative blueprint for the future, Bauman declined to profess any concrete solution to our common plight. But he retained a commitment to a form of socialism that remained counter-cultural, even when an avowedly socialist government was pulling the levers of power. He believed that a truly good society was one that could never be satisfied that it was good enough.

As people choose to manage their individualised concerns as consumers, hoping to find solutions to their private troubles by shopping, they have largely ceased to act collectively as citizens who share common public issues. In his words: “Can notions of equality, democracy and self-determination survive when society is seen less and less as a product of shared labour and common values and far more as a mere container of goods and services to be grabbed by competing individual hands?”

With the evacuation of trust from political leaders has come a loss of faith and a demand to “take back control” from self-interested elites. Bauman pointed, for instance, to the bank bailout of 2007-08 as the instantaneous creation of “a welfare state for the rich”. Having lived through two forms of totalitarianism, he warned that the change demanded would be authoritarian in character.

A native of Poznań, in western central Poland, he was first a victim of the Nazis, then the communists. The son of Moritz Bauman, an accountant, and his wife, Sophia (nee Cohn), he fled with his family at the outbreak of the second world war to the Soviet Union, and was awarded Poland’s Military Cross of Valour for fighting against the Nazis.

He married Janina in 1948 and lectured in sociology at Warsaw University, becoming a professor in 1964. Four years later he and his family – now with three daughters, Lydia, Irena and Anna – were exiled as a consequence of an antisemitic campaign by the ruling communist regime. He thus became a refugee for a second time and his experiences of poverty, marginalisation and exile led him towards an explicitly morally driven sociology. After temporary posts at universities in Tel Aviv (despite being a critic of the treatment of Palestinians), and then more briefly in both Haifa and Melbourne, Australia, in 1971 Bauman and his family settled in Britain. There he headed the sociology department at Leeds. A prolific and disciplined writer, he started before sunrise. In the 1980s, those tidying up after a staff-student party recall him striding purposefully into the building at 4.30am and into his office to start work. He continued to publish for the rest of his life.

In recent years Bauman analysed the refugee crisis and the rise of rightwing populism across Europe and the US as a “crisis of humanity”. The promise of a socially progressive Europe meant a great deal to him. He believed ardently that the European Union stood as a safeguard for hard-won rights and for shared protection against war and social insecurity. In what proved to be his final lecture at Leeds last October, he drew parallels between the Holocaust and the capacity of today’s populism to make everyone “other”, without compassion or remorse.

His many honours included the Theodor W Adorno prize (1998). For the award ceremony in Frankfurt, neither the Polish nor British national anthems seemed appropriate to him, feeling a stranger in both lands, and so he settled on the Ode to Joy, the anthem of Europe. His work serves as a reminder that our world has been made by human hands and so it can be remade by them too. For all his passion and pessimism, he wrote because he believed that that challenge could and should be confronted.

Janina died in 2009. Six years later Bauman married Aleksandra Jasińska-Kania, also a sociologist. She survives him, along with his daughters, three granddaughters and three grandsons.

Zygmunt will be remembered by students and colleagues alike as one of the great social thinkers, and with genuine affection and warmth for his energy, his compassion and his ability to bring out the very best of others. A private family funeral has taken place, during which, as a mark of respect, the flag on the Parkinson Building (left) was flown at half-mast.


To some this is rocket science, to others it’s just a stroll in the park: it’s the latter we need to connect with

Nowadays one of the most important elements of almost any act of worship is what is delivered via a church’s audio/visual system. Here at Moortown Baptist Church this can include the setting up of a simple PowerPoint presentation, creating a live link to a Youtube video, projecting the text of a responsive prayer or bible reading, balancing the worship band’s mics and amps of course keeping up with the words to a song or hymn.

Currently, each Sunday morning, a small team of AV volunteers work on a rota basis which inevitably means that the smaller the pool the more times they are called upon.

At present John Duffy and Martyn Gray are the linchpins of that team, and right now they are keen to recruit more people to help deliver this essential service.

If you are interested in joining the team, if you are prepared to give of your time and most importantly if you are willing to learn John and Martyn are prepared to provide full training.

Both John and Martyn are in church most Sundays so please speak with them directly.

Alternatively if for some reason you can’t locate them please send your contact details via an email headed AV TEAM to the MBC office moortown.baptist@btconnect.com and we’ll make sure it’s passed through to them.

Thank you.








Two messages from MRSG (Moortown Romania Support Group) One an appeal from Norman Hiley, the other hard evidence of how our gifts make a very real difference.

On behalf of the church MRSG (Moortown Romania Support Group) are hoping to send financial help to the 4 churches we are now linked with in Romania.  These churches are quite different – i.e. 2 are Baptist Churches in the large city of Cluj; and 2 are small village churches in Transylvania (Northern Romania) which is Hungarian speaking.

These 2 village churches are pastored by Noami at Cerefalva and her daughter Szuszi at Bikafalva. All four churches have one thing in common in that they evangelise widely by the use of Summer Camps for young people who are led to faith in Jesus.

We wish to continue to support this evangelical outreach. At the same time we also give financial help to a Gypsy Church at Floresti and to the support of a Christian Home for abandoned children run by our friends Nicu and his wife Rita.

Any gifts, whether large or small, are welcome as this is the only means MRSG has in raising money to help this essential ministry in Romania.

Contributions can be made through the church and any cheques should indicate that the gift is for Romania. This will also attract a tax repayment of 20% as well. Other gifts should be made to MRSG direct to me and should be made payable to ‘MBC Romania Aid Fund.’

All gifts will be sent before Easter as an encouragement to our Christian friends in Romania.

Thank you.

Norman Hiley – Treasurer MRSG

The pictures on this part of the page were taken at a Sunday evening youth service by Rod Russell on a recent visit to Stegeris ( Cerefalva in Hungarian).


In addition Rod has just sent this in which not only says a little bit more about where our gifts go but also gives some wonderful examples of exactly how much difference they make.

As well as helping needy families and funding an annual youth camp (this has been happening for 20 years now and in that time four people (two male and two female) from the village have become Pastors) MBC’s financial support also goes into a Bursary Fund which helps poorer students purchase text books for their university studies. This fund is administered by a small committee who we have found to be very reliable. Here are a few messages we have recently received from some of the students we help to support. Rod.

Dear brothers in Christ. We thank you for your prayers and for your financial support that you sent us in 2016. God bless you! Together with your financial participation, thirty two needy families were helped and six young students received scholarships. In the following lines you some thoughts from these young people who were blessed through you. Here are the messages that our students wrote to thank you for the money they received.

Thank you and we pray for your blessing. 2 Corinthians 9:11

Hi. I’m Laura Siminiciuc and i’m studying for a master degree in molecular Biotechnology. I just moved to Cluj Napoca this year and I’m one of the many that received a blessing coming through you. Thank you for being the ones that God can use to help otheres. Thank you for your great example of love and caring for your brothers and sisters around the world. May God bless you and help you in every way.My name is Ilinof Rebeca and I am a student in first year of college in Cluj and I study Marketing at Babes Bolyai University. I am from a little town 350 kilometers from Cluj. I want to thank you for the financial support you have given to me. It is both a blessing and a proof that God takes care of His children in His own wonderful ways. May God bless you and I’m sure He will reward your beautiful gesture of kindness.

I want to thank you that, although you don`t know yet who I am, you wanted to make me part of a blessing. My name is Ramona Pop, and I come from Arad, a city in western Romania, hear Hungary. I learned to play the piano at age of 5, so my parents decided for me to stady at a music school in my town. In high school I also studied the music theory, and in 2013 I decided to come to Cluj-Napocato continue my musical studies on the theoretical part, named Musicology.

So, with God help, today I am in the final year at “Gheorghe Dima” Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca and I will finish this college next year. Also, I am in second year at the Faculty of Economics in Cluj, where I study Accountings by a „distance learning ” program.

One of the greatest blessing that I have recevied here at Cluj was the Church in Manastur. Here I sing in the choir and in a worship group, and sometimes, with the help of brother Ken Tucker I am directing the choir.

I thank you for your love an I want to greet you with Psalm 36, verse 5 and 6: “Your love, Lord, Reaches to the Heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep.  You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.”

 May God bless you and keep you in His love. With gratitude, Ramona Pop.

Hello, my name is David Costea. I have forteen years  and i was born from a family with hear dizability. My parents and my brother and sister are deaf and I am the only from my family who cand hear, and i take this like a blessing because I help my family, I am as a translator for them in different situations related with people who hear and speak. I love my family even they don`t hear, because for me how is family now, is perfect, and they are perfect how they are.

Me and my family are very thankful for your support. I hope these donations will help more people needfull, Thank you very much! Peace!

I really want to thank you for believing  that you could invest in people like me, God bless you! My name is Sebastian Muresan and I am 22 years old. I come from a christian femily here in Cluj and since i was little i was fascinated by music and tehnology, and that`s why I decided to build a career as an engineer and work with the music group from church. I love playng the drums and I had many people suporting me here at Manastur church.

I would like to thank you once more and I hope that everyone appreciates your support. God bless, Muresan Sebastian

From Maria Jantea. I am writing this note, in order to express my gratefulness for your financial support. I pray that Lord God bless you abundantly and reward you. I am a conducting student in the senior year of College. As it can be easily seen, music is my primary passion among reading and foreign languages. I love conducting orchestras, this being my speciality. I also practice choir conducting in church Manastur nr. 1.

I’m very grateful for your kindness. God bless you.

Yours sincerely, Maria Jantea

Family Church, Messy Church, Impact… children, families and all age – some important dates for January/February.


Sunday 8th –     KS1 Genesis 1-10         KS2 Prayer

Friday 13th –    Messy Church – New Beginnings looking at Samuel –All age

Sunday 15th –    KS1 Genesis 1-10         KS2 Prayer

Friday 20th –     Impact – Youth Club for children school age from 6-7:30pm with games/crafts/baking and discussion

Sunday 22nd –   All together – Children (3-11’s) meet in the Music Room from 10:20am for activities, worship and teaching

Friday 27th –     Impact

Sunday 29th –   KS1 Genesis 1-10         KS2 Prayer

Family Time. Time for parents, grandparents and carers to meet teachers and one another

Friday 3rd–        Impact

Sunday 5th –     KS1 Noah/Abraham and Isaac            KS2 Psalms

Friday 10th –     Messy Church – Treasure hunting – come along and invite your friends- All age

Sunday 12th –   KS1 Noah/Abraham and Isaac            KS2 Psalms

Friday 17th –     Family Time. Meet at Roundhay Park, Street Lane car park at 10:45am with a packed lunch for a walk around the park and fellowship together (feel free to invite your friends)

Sunday 19th–    KS1 Noah/Abraham and Isaac            KS2 Psalms

Friday 24th –     Impact

Sunday 26th–    All together – Children (3-11’s) meet in the Music Room from 10:20am for activities, worship and teaching



As Long as You Both shall Live

Tony and Judith had a long, happy, fruitful, Christian marriage. Just short of 50 years, Judith died of cancer and Tony was left alone. The ‘arithmetic of marriage’ changed as the One made out of Two, which is marriage, was torn apart leaving a Half. Besides all his sorrow in such a disorienting loss, the question presented itself to Tony who lived on in good health: What was he to do with the gift of life still entrusted to him? He set about working out the answer to that question. How he did it and what has come of it, in nearly four years, he tells us in this little booklet.

Those of us who are married or live in a committed partnership cannot escape the question which creeps up on us as the years pass – Which one of us will be left and what will he or she do then? Giving an answer, when the time comes, is a task that will fall to roughly 50% of us. How it is answered depends on circumstances which vary enormously. Sometimes people are left with responsibilities which define what they must do next. For example, they may have young children.

But sometimes the path is not so clear. It is easy to be overwhelmed and paralysed, leaving someone unnecessarily to fritter life away, in front of the telly perhaps. What is God’s call to those who still have a valuable life to live, even though they no longer have the energy of youth? God’s call, as Tony testifies, stops us crumbling before the apparent futility of living through the ‘dying of the light’. God’s call is life-giving grace for people all their days. It says, Wake up and Christ will give you light. Do not grow weary in well doing. (Eph 5.14, Gal.6.9). But this is no cheap grace: listening for the call and finding the way requires our engagement and struggle.

That is the message I take from what Tony has written in ‘As Long as You Both shall Live’. It may be helpful to others. If anyone would like a copy, Tony will be glad to let them have one. I will pass on any request.

Haddon Willmer

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