May 13th 2021

Superintendent's Newsletter May 13th 2021

Dear Friends,

As we (hopefully) continue to move closer towards the end of lockdown and social distancing, this letter will be the last of my fortnightly messages. However, we have come to recognise that keeping in touch and regular communication is really important – to that end there will continue to be a monthly Circuit Letter, each one written from a different perspective, by a different person or group within the life of the Circuit; hopefully this will help to continue the sense of ‘being part of something bigger’ which has grown over the  last 15 months as we have done so much on a Circuit basis. We will continue for now to offer the weekly Zoom service, but the hope will be in the not too distant future to move to a weekly ‘live stream’ of one of the services taking place in the Circuit on a Sunday morning. This can be watched by those at home as it is taking place, or at a later time at your leisure. Hopefully this will ensure that everyone can access worship and stay in touch, especially those who are unable for whatever reason to come back to church in person. We are looking for a few people who have good technological expertise to help us with the regular live streaming. If you, or someone you know has these skills, please do get in touch with me or Christine Hufton in the Circuit Office.

How we communicate well and effectively with each other and develop our ongoing mission in the life of the Circuit are pressing questions for us now and in the coming months. Over the last year, two of our churches have closed – Trinity and St. John’s – and several others are struggling with the issue of long term viability; we continue to pray for those churches, to give thanks for their witness and ministry over the years, and to seek God’s guidance as to how we can best use and respect their legacy as we seek to evolve and grow within the love and grace of God.  How God is working among us and what God might be asking of us are questions which lie at the heart of everything right now. We will be engaging in a process of discernment as we shape a plan for mission that will take seriously our limited human resources and the broader needs of our communities – all our churches are located in the Borough of Stockport so we will be looking closely at what is being said and done about meeting the needs of the people among whom with live and minister. Conversations with, and listening to, local partners – who are other faith groups, community organisations, local politicians, residents’ groups – can and will help to shape our thinking in terms of how we go about sharing God’s love. We need to be thinking about what we do well, and what might be possible. We might need to stop doing some things in order to focus resources on something else which feels more important. We need to be clear about why we are doing the things we are doing and in particular how these things will allow God’s love to be seen and felt. So, as we joyfully see churches gradually re-opening on a Sunday, let’s not forget that behind the scenes there is a different kind of work going on through Church Councils, the Circuit Leadership Team and other groups to identify other hopes and dreams and to focus on actions beyond our life of worship. We can all expect changes I am sure, but the people of God are used to that! Get involved where you can, take part in discussions, talk to your neighbours, colleagues and friends outside the church about how they see the role of the church in this post pandemic world. Look around in your local area and see where the points of critical need are – the places where it is harder to see God at work. Ask what it is we need to do to make God’s presence more visible because there are no places where God is absent! It is at the heart of our faith to believe that God is always present; as Charles Wesley wrote,

"God of all power, and truth and grace,
Which shall from age to age endure,
Whose word, when heaven and earth shall pass,
Remains and stands for ever sure;"

But in some places things get in the way and obscure that presence – things like economic hardship, selfishness, greed, government policy. It is our work to lift that veil. The hymn continues,

That I your mercy may proclaim,
That all the world your truth may see,
Hallow your great and glorious name,
And perfect holiness in me.”

The holiness that Wesley talks about is a holiness in which our will becomes aligned to that of God, and in proclaiming God’s mercy we are revealing the God of love, justice and kindness who has been made known to us in scripture, in the person of Jesus Christ, in our traditions, and in our lives.  So, for the last time, please remember as always:

In this time of isolation and separation may we feel the unity of God’s spirit in the bonds of peace and love which connect us to one another.

  1. When we feel lonely let us know that in Christ we are never alone.
  2. When we feel isolated may we be reminded that within the worldwide Body of Christ we are always connected.
  3. When we need a hug help us to feel the warmth of God’s embrace
  4. When we are compelled to keep our distance, may we be drawn close to each other within the Spirit of Companionship that flows from God and which moves through and between each one of us.

With love and blessings,

Rev Cathy     


NOTICES

Helpful hint to find Zoom links quickly - Go to Church website www.dialstonelanemethodistchurch.co.uk

On the right hand side the Calendar is displayed, giving details of the events coming up in the next 10 days.

Click on the event you wish to attend and the Zoom link will be displayed. Click on the link and you will be taken straight to the meeting.

Alternatively the full calendar for the month can be displayed (click here). 


Worship
See your local church notices for details but for the time being we are continuing our Circuit wide Zoom service at 3pm on Sundays. See above for login details. 


Love This Calling

Love This Calling is a campaign to celebrate a range of vocations in gathered and scattered church and to build our confidence as we explore our own sense of calling in the time and place we find ourselves. There are social media posts, a website, some events, and some resources.

Twitter                 twitter.com/MethodistVocat1
Facebook            www.facebook.com/DevelopingVocations
Instagram            www.instagram.com/methodistvocations/
Website               www.Methodist.org.uk/LoveThisCalling

(there will even be a Frame for your profile pic on FB and Twitter and an invitation for you to share some of your sense of calling)


Training for Church and Circuit Managing Trustees

The main focus will be highlighting the roles and responsibilities of being a managing trustee of a Church, Circuit, District or Charity. In addition, through case studies, we will be discussing what the consequences are when things go wrong and how to avoid them in the first place.

We have three dates available for you to attend our online Zoom sessions. They are in May/June, and will last for around two to three hours.

7.00 pm, Tuesday, 25th of May, 2021
2.00 pm, Thursday, 27th of May, 2021
10.00 am, Saturday, 5th of June, 2021

To book tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/governance-training-for-methodist-trustees-tickets-147636194833


Circuit Prayer

As we continue into lockdown, let’s continue to say this prayer together when we can, at 11am on a Sunday morning. This way we stay connected in a very really and tangible way with all those who are not yet able to come back to church. You can also read more about each church on the Circuit Website www.stockportcircuit.org.uk

God of Love and Life, we pray to you this morning for the life the United Stockport Methodist Circuit, for our sisters and brothers who belong to:

Christ Church Methodist /URC
(Reddish)

Dialstone Lane Methodist Church

Davenport Methodist Church

Edgeley Community Church

Hazel Grove Methodist Church

Heaton Mersey Methodist Church

Heaton Moor United Church

Jubilee Methodist Church,
(Marple Bridge)

Marple Methodist Church

The Ridge Methodist Church (Marple)

Romiley Methodist Church

St. Johns Methodist Church
(Cheadle Heath)

Tiviot Dale Methodist Church
(centre of Stockport)

Trinity Methodist Church,
(Bramhall Lane)

Windlehurst Methodist Church
(High Lane)

Woodley Methodist Church

          We worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.  We ask that this time of crisis might pass and that those who suffer might find comfort and strength within the knowledge of your grace, revealed through the kindness and compassion of the people of God. Eternal God, through the self-offering of your Son you have filled our lives with your presence.  Help us in our sufferings and trials. Fill us with hope and strengthen us in our weakness.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


 


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