Superintendents Letter - 13th May 2020
Below is this week's letter from Rev Nick Jones and Rev Dr Neil Johnson who are two of the Superintendency Team for the Birmingham Methodist Circuit.
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Birmingham Methodist Circuit,
Several British tabloid newspapers declared last week that this Monday was going to be ‘Liberation Day’, because we were to be released from lockdown, like wild animals breaking free from their cages. What happened in actuality was the beginning of a slow, cautious, and conditional easing of restrictions. With all our church buildings remaining closed, we know that there will be mounting pressure on some local churches to allow outside organisations to meet again on their premises. We are particularly aware of the nursery schools, play groups and after-school clubs that are based in our buildings, as they will want to re-open when some school provision is offered again at the beginning of June.
Just as we followed the guidance of the Methodist Connexion at the beginning of the lockdown, we are waiting for Connexional instructions about how to respond to its easing. Once the guidance has been received, our Circuit Executive will produce advice for our local churches. In the meantime, you can keep in touch with the Connexional responses to the current situation by following this link: https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/coronavirus/official-guidance/
According the Gospel reading for this Sunday morning from John 14:15-21, Jesus speaks about the Spirit of God coming as our constant advocate. For me, the Spirit is all about movement, so it seems more appropriate to talk of the advocacy of the Spirit in active terms – the Spirit is always advocating for us, with us, to us. Through the advocacy of the Spirit we can experience comfort and support, affirmation and belief, purpose and cause, for God is constantly defending the whole of creation against all that diminishes life and its flourishing.
In these uncertain and troubling times, let us be encouraged by the words of the one who reveals to us the ways of the divine through our own flesh and blood, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth . . .” (John 14:16-17a)
Grace and peace be with you all,
Neil Johnson & Nick Jones
Get in Touch
You can contact a member of the circuit team, including the Superintendents, by visiting our contact us page here.