WMC: April 2021
From the Manse.....
This year both Pentecost and Aldersgate Sunday fall on the same day, 23rd May.
At the heart of both are those divine moments when the moving of God's spirit brings a transformational experience from which the message of God's love for all goes forth into the world to dramatic effect.
From the tongues of fire resting on those scared and frightened disciples to John Wesley's warmed heart, the change was profound.
The reluctant John Wesley now found he had the assurance he so craved, and those disciples were emboldened to leave the safety of their sanctuary.
As individuals and as churches, Pentecost and Aldersgate remind us of our heritage and history and remind us to continue to allow God's spirit to move in and through us.
Pentecost and Aldersgate are often seen as the birthdays of the church and of the Methodist movement respectively and they give us both time and space to reflect on what it means to be a follower of Jesus today from within a Methodist perspective. We have spoken a lot recently about "A Methodist way of life" and it appears that locally as well as further afield, it seems to have unintentionally ruffled some feathers.
I would like to assure you that "A Methodist way of life" is not a check list of things that we must do in order to be good followers or Methodists — far from it. Nor are we going to judge or be judged by how we measure up to it. Rather, it is an intentional opportunity to participate in a rhythm and way of life that encourages us all to respond to God's love and in doing so to live and express that in the life of the church and of the world.
"A Methodist way of life" is not compulsory nor is it mandatory — it simply an invitation and like so much of life and faith it is down to each individual as to how they respond.
Often when we are asked to make promises in church, we respond by saying "with God's help we will' and in doing so acknowledge who we are and what is being asked of us. The same applies to "A Methodist way of life", where it says "as far as we are able, with God's help.... we will" this is not a council of perfection by any means, but rather an attempt to help us in our discipleship.
"A Methodist way of Life" seeks as far as we are able and with God's help to follow a rhythm that covers "Our Calling".
We will pray daily.
We will worship with others regularly.
We will look and listen for God in Scripture, and the world.
In learning and Caring
We will care for ourselves and those around us.
We will learn more about our faith.
We will practise hospitality and generosity.
We will help people in our communities and beyond.
We will care for creation and all God's gifts.
We will challenge injustice.
We will speak of the love of God.
We will live in a way that draws others to Jesus.
We will share our faith with others.
Why is this important? Why is this being seen as such a priority by the Methodist Connexion and our District? The answer is quite simple, in order that we may we be a blessing within and beyond God's Church, for the transformation of the world.
I commend "A Methodist way of life" to you as we reflect on what it means to be followers of Jesus this Pentecost and Adersgate Sunday.
With love and God Bless
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