Message from Rev Angy Long October 2021

Message from Rev Angy Long  October 2021

A Note from Angy

I have to confess that I have been totally discombobulated by this year. Already it is October, but it doesn’t feel like it should be. I have no recollection of what I did to celebrate Easter in the churches, so it is almost as if it hasn’t happened yet, and the summer holidays came and went without going away anywhere. Even the usual round of back-to-back harvest festivals hasn’t been in my diary. So it really doesn’t feel like there are only 3 months left before we come out of 2021 and into 2022.

Time has moved in a peculiar fashion since March 2020, lockdown, sabbatical, coming back into a church which was doing things very differently. More lockdown and constantly changing rules and regulations… It has been most bizarre. The usual rhythm and pattern has not been present, or rather, it has been but it has been subsumed under so many changes and chances that it has been difficult to notice.

At the start of September, as some of you will know, the Circuit played host to 3 student ministers from Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham. The student ministers are in the process of writing their profiles to go into stationing, meaning that this time next year, all things being equal, they will be starting out in their first Circuit appointments. The 3 students who came wanted experience of ministry in rural areas, so we took them to harvest at Laughton chapel and Sunday preaching appointments, a chapel coffee morning, a grand tour around the circuit, a visit to a farm and conversation with one of our members, a farmer’s wife, who told them some real home-truths about her life. Time and time again that topic of rhythm, of the patterns of the year came up; patterns of church, of farming and those of our own personal lives, in particular the anniversaries missed over this past year and a half and the new anniversaries for those who have lost loved ones in circumstances that have meant grieving has been very different.

As Sunday services, coffee mornings, Messy Churches and fellowship groups start to return in more regular fashion, we must not lose sight of the fact that things may still be forced to change as we respond to spikes in cases locally and potentially, nationally. Just as we are conscious of the fact that our farmers have to adapt their patterns to the unexpected, like too much rain or not enough. That level of uncertainty has not gone away, no matter how hard we might wish it had, or how often we turn a blind eye and pretend that things are perfectly ok. It is, perhaps, all the more important, therefore, that our own personal patterns of relationship with God are grounded and secure. Prayer times, study of the scriptures, times of worship and reflection. Rev Vicki’s weekly prayer rhythms for the Circuit. The call, ecumenically, to pray for North Lincolnshire. The Methodist prayer Handbook and the rhythms of The Methodist Way of Life. Continued distribution of The Vine worship materials. If we are able to ground ourselves at this personal, ‘micro’ level, then it will make it easier for us to deal with changes that come along at the macro. It’s the parable of the wise and foolish builders. Are your foundations rooted on solid rock or on shifting sand?

So I’d like to encourage you to avail yourselves of the resources that are out there. If you haven’t had access to anything I’ve mentioned above please get in touch and we will do what we can to get things to you. Let’s help each other get through these last months of 2021, and see what 2022 will bring.

God bless,