Superintendents Letter and Prayers - 6th May 2020
Below are this week's letter and reflection from Rev Nick Jones and Rev Dr Neil Johnson who are two of the Superintendency Team for the Birmingham Methodist Circuit.
Letter from Nick
In recent weeks we have seen a large increase of Funerals taking place in Birmingham and Solihull. As a Staff Team, we have been especially aware of those who have not been able to attend the Funeral of a much loved friend or relative and the distress that can bring. The Methodist Church has provided an excellent prayer resource for those who cannot attend a Funeral that I have found personally very helpful. You can find this HERE.
At our most recent Ministerial Staff Meeting we discussed how best we can meet the pastoral needs of those who couldn’t attend a Funeral when we are able to gather again for public worship in our Churches. We are very keen to make sure that opportunities are provided for Thanksgiving Services and Memorial Services that are most helpful to those in our Churches and communities who would appreciate the chance to remember, light a candle, say prayers, and give thanks as they treasure the memories of loved ones.
As a Circuit, we want to let you know that even though we cannot say exactly at this time when or where these Services will be taking place, there will be opportunities to give thanks at Memorial Services, and also to encourage you to begin thinking about how these might be best provided in your local Churches and Mission and Ministry Teams.
Reflection from Neil
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Birmingham Methodist Circuit,
This week I want to share some resources with you. Before the impact of the coronavirus outbreak hit and the lockdown was imposed, many of us were beginning to engage with an exciting new initiative that was being promoted across the Methodist Connexion. Headed up by the Evangelism and Growth Team, the ‘God For All’ programme offers an ambitious strategy for mission based on 8 commitments: Centred in God; Everyone an Evangelist; Transformational Leadership; New Places for New People; Every Church a Growing Church; Church at the Margins, Digital Presence: Digital Age Mission; Young Evangelists, Pioneers and Leaders.
The roll out of the ‘God For All’ programme has now been slowed down, and its ambitions will have to be revisited in light of the ‘new normal’. Currently, the Connexional Evangelism and Growth Team are concentrating on a social media campaign which focusses on our wellbeing as individuals and communities. Entitled ‘Love Yourself – Love Your Neighbour’, the campaign offers a “rhythm of daily contemplation and action for those of faith, those searching, and those who do not know what they believe.” It aims to share the riches of the Christian faith in a way that is easily accessible, to connect with those who have no prior contact with the church and who don’t use or understand religious language, and to reflect the places and people we hope will encounter God’s love during all that is unfolding. To become part of the campaign please follow #loveyourself #loveyourneighbour on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
For those of you not so social media savvy here is a link to other ideas on the Connexional website of how we can serve our neighbours and speak with friends in these days: https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/coronavirus/serving-neighbours-and-speaking-with-friends/
Let me leave you with the words of the 18th century German poet and hymnwriter, Gerhard Tersteegen, that have come to me through the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
Each day tells the other
my life is but a journey
to great and endless life.
O sweetness of eternity,
may my heart grow to love thee;
my home is not in time’s strife.
Grace and peace,
Get in Touch
You can contact a member of the circuit team, including the Superintendents, by visiting our contact us page here.