Morpeth Rotary Club
Rotarians, partners, friends and guests gathered in Morpeth for the annual festive meal and Christmas Message.
Rhona Dunn announced that St Robert’s Junior Church had asked to gift a crib to the Rotary Tree of Light at Sanderson Arcade and would arrange for the children to sing carols.
Rotarians were carrying out a charity collection at Morrisons with the support of management and staff.
Following the meal guests were welcomed by President Bob Kendall.
Mayor of Morpeth Jack Gebhard thanked the club for his invitation to the event and for honorary membership.
The address was given by Morpeth Methodist Minister Tony Oakley. Tony talked of Mr Fezziwig’s Guide to Christmas and that while Christmas was, for many, pleasant, for some it was very difficult, with memories of lost loved ones. Christmas brings into relief the sufferings and challenges that many try to forget.
Some ideologies from the period of World War II that we thought had been banished were showing signs of coming back. Difficult issues were being presented. It would be easy to try to ignore them, but to properly celebrate Christmas, don’t ignore the challenges of the world.
Remember that 2,000 years ago God stepped into a world destroying itself. Through a baby born in an occupied land came the simple message that God is love and in him there is no darkness.
The simple truth of Jesus is to challenge us to love God and to love our neighbour as ourselves. This has been the heart of the Christian faith for 2,000 years, all of the rest is detail.
To quote the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, this is the essential message and the rest is decoration, although some of it is useful and some is wonderful.
The best decision anyone can make is to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. Spread joy, generosity and godliness to all of the people you meet.
On a more secular note, Gandalf in Lord of the Rings said it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the dark at bay. Small acts of kindness and love are so important.
President Bob Kendall thanked Tony and invited Kim Bibby Wilson to don her Northumbrian tartan sash and play the Northumbrian pipes.
At the end of a fine and sensitive performance, President Bob spoke of the founder of Rotary International, Paul Harris of Chicago.
The highest honour the organisation can bestow is a Paul Harris Fellowship. It is for service above self in the community.
He was pleased to bestow this award on Kim for her community service in Morpeth and Northumberland.
The raffle was drawn and raised £379 towards a 24/7 defibrillator for central Morpeth.
Carols were sung and a good night had by all.