Minister’s letter from February newsletter

Dear friends,
Can you believe that Christmas was less than a month back?! Yet it seems an age ago. Since then we’ve celebrated the New Year and along with it that special time in Methodism when we renew our Covenant promise with God. In that service we offer all we are and all we do to be used by him for his purposes. It isn’t an easy promise to make or to keep and we never do it in our own strength alone, but in his. However, there are three ways in which we can be helped to honour the commitment we make:

Prayer: daily prayer is SO important to nourish us in our Christian lives – everything from quick ‘arrow prayers’ to longer periods of contemplative silence when we give time for God to speak to us. Prayer on our own and prayer together are equally important. The first helps build our individual relationship with God and the second helps bind us as a fellowship.
When this newsletter comes out we will just have had our 12-hour day of prayer and I hope that those of you who pledged to pray during that time will have known God’s presence as you did so. It’s not something that is only to be done for one day though. Praying for the life of the church and the community it serves is part of our continual prayer, both when we pray during our Sunday services and in our own homes.
There is another key opportunity to come together to pray and that is the Tuesday evening Prayer Group which meets at 7.30pm. It’s only for half an hour and those that come know its worth, but sadly it is not very well attended. Please consider whether this might be something you could come along to, if not every week, then as and when you can. Lifts can be arranged.

Scripture: just as important as prayer is the reading of Scripture and I know that many of you will do this daily at home. That is wonderful – keep doing it! It’s also good to study God’s Word together – to delve into its context and glean new understandings of its message to us in our present time. We have started a Bible Study course which runs both daytime and evening, so people can choose which works best for them. Daytimes we meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 2pm for an hour; evenings every Tuesday at 8pm (after Prayer Group) again for about an hour. Watch out in the notices for occasional changes to this.
We have just started a study of Galatians. From Tuesday 20th February we will become a Lent Study Group. (Please see elsewhere in the newsletter for information on this.) Do come and join us either for regular Bible Study or for the Lent Group – preferably for both!

Fellowship: is the third way in which we can help and encourage each other in our faith and growing together. You will see various events and opportunities for doing this in this newsletter. Please don’t forget the house groups. If you don’t belong to one already, think about joining one. You would be welcomed with open arms. They are such a good way of drawing closer to one another in faith and in a deeper way than just going out for a jolly together – although that too has its place! There’s also Film Night on the 3rd Sunday evening of each month and that is also a chance to meet together, have fun and fellowship and, into the mix, add some interesting and thought-provoking discussion.

This has been a longer letter than usual so thank you for bearing with it. I just can’t emphasise enough the importance of putting down deep spiritual roots if we want to grow and flourish as a church. May God bless each of you richly as you strive to live and work for his name and purpose.
With every blessing,