WMC: September 2020
From the Manse.....
The beginning of September has always marked the start of a new Methodist Connexional Year. A time to look back and reflect on what has been but above all else, a time to look to the twelve months that lie ahead.
This year, is no exception — although it is a Methodist New year unlike any that have been before. The way ahead seems uncertain and so much remains up in the air as we seek to discern the way forward and plan for an unknown future in a constantly changing landscape. We feel all of this so keenly as we struggle to change and adapt to this new world order.
Yet, we are a people of faith and hope.
Whilst it is sad that so many of our buildings are closed, the church is nonetheless alive and kicking and doing great things as it continues to serve and minster in God's world. We have found new ways (and re-discovered old ones) to stay in touch and to reach out to one another in order to do this. From Zoom services and meetings, to sending hand written letters and cards, we proclaim and demonstrate God's love.
Many from our churches have been involved in community initiatives that have been set up to help others during this time of crisis and in doing so have modelled care and compassion.
Whilst the church in this country has lived through times of great peace and stability since 1945, perhaps that is the exception rather than the rule and those who have gone before us grappled with faith in times of great upheaval, war, disease, unrest and rapid social change.
I am reminded of some words from the hymn writer Samuel John Stone, where he says:
"In toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace for evermore"
From the laments of the Psalms to the Book of Job, we hear the cry of how can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?
Yet we are also a covenant people and take heart and find strength in the rainbow of God's promise. We are discovering a new song to sing as we are reminded of truths we have forgotten.
That the world is not ours to control, that the church is not committees, agendas and buildings, but is us, in homes, streets, hospitals
throughout the world, and that we only have today with those we love, today is the day to say, 'I love you', to mend an argument, to hold on tight.
God is teaching us a new song, for a new land.
May we all know that to be true.
With love and God Bless
popular recent storiesAlso in the news
From the Manse......It was Queen Elizabeth (the Queen mother) who brought to her husband's attention a little know poem by Minnie Louise Haskins, entitled "God knows". Written in 1908 and privately published in 1912, it was part of a collection entitled "The Desert". As a result, King George VI quoted it in his 1939 Christmas broadcast that first December of the...
For a number of years our Chapel has been open to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Because of the virus rates our chapel won't be open, but the UK Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2021 will be streamed online. This will be the first fully digital commemorative ceremony.The ceremony will feature personal testimonies from survivors of genocide, films, readings and music. We will really...
With the restrictions of Tier 4 now in place, along with the rapid increase in Covid infections, particularly those linked to the new variant, we have taken the decision to suspend worship at church for the time being.Recognising our duty of care, the need to do all that we can to help keep the wider community of Wantage safe and play our part in trying to minimise the spread of the virus, we...