A letter from Rev Paul August 2021
Whilst watching the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games I was struck by the coming together of people from different countries – a diversity of languages / ideals / politics – but all united through sport, through a healthy competiveness and a desire to perform their best.
It’s not too far a step to relate that to the church community - united because of our faith in God yet diverse. Called together to work together to share with those around us, our neighbours near and far, that love, that care, that strength that we find from being followers of Jesus. Read more in St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4, verses 1 – 16.
As we move from one stage of the pandemic to another, a stage where we have more freedom of movement and freedom of choice, there are differences of opinion as to how with deal with life in August 2021. There are differences of opinion in society and there are differences of opinion in the church. Some are eager to move on, seemingly regardless of the events of the past 18 months, some are more reluctant still considering very closely the risks and possible consequences. We are all different (back to the Olympics) and we all need to respect each person’s decision. It’s worth reminding ourselves that part of ‘Our Calling’ as a Methodist Church is ‘Learning and Caring’.
We cannot simply press the ‘Reset Button’, we cannot simply ‘return to factory settings’ as much as many of us would want to. The last 17 months or so has served to highlight our strengths and weaknesses as churches/chapels. We now need to rebuild, recalibrate as it were, using this knowledge; focus on ensuring that we rebuild on solid rock.
‘Change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me!’
The hymn ‘Abide with me’ is often used at funerals and to some of us there is a sense of mourning, a sense of grief over that which has been lost. Bereavement is not only the loss of a loved one but is the loss of many other parts of life that are familiar and well loved. So in love and kindness we support each other in this time of grieving and together we move forward.