As we continue to explore the theme of the President and Vice-President of Conference for this Connexional year – ‘Day by Day – exploring the rhythm of mission and discipleship’ – what would you like to “Give thanks” for?
There are a number of things suggested in the Connexional booklet that you might like to think about, such as food and shelter, health and strength, grace, forgiveness, hope, freedom and responsibility, family and friends and the ability to give and receive love.
In the Bible look for references to giving thanks, particularly in the Psalms – search around Psalms 100-120. In Matthew chapter 26, and in our liturgies in the Methodist Worship Book, we hear how Jesus gave thanks for the bread and wine as a specific action in the Eucharist. In his letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 5, Paul says to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
Reflect on this – how easy is it to give thanks “in all circumstances”?
I give thanks for family and friends; for the fellowship that we have; for the gifts and inspiration given to us by the Holy Spirit that are so varied among our members and in the community that we serve. With our feet firmly planted in the New Year, our church groups are meeting to discuss plans over the coming months; plans that involve all of us in the life of the church and in its mission; plans for maintenance of the church property; and plans for our spiritual nurture.
As I write this, Brigades are returning to meet after the New Year and planning ahead for competitions and parades; our young people in Sundi Club will be making plans for Easter; Messy Church opens its doors to the young families who come to join in crafts, celebrate with the Word, and have lunch together.
Coffee mornings began with Alexi’s fundraising event for her return to Ghana (and we wish her all the best); the Concert Season resumes, Prayer Groups,Tea N Chat, Luncheon Club, Table Tennis, and all the building user groups are planning their activities. Remember among all the activities that we need to step back from it all, find some space and give thanks to God, because our God-centred worship and prayer underpins everything we do (a Methodist Priority). You may be interested in these…..
14 February marks the beginning of Lent and plans are being made for the weekly Lent Reflections (Mondays at 7pm), to which you are warmly invited and encouraged to attend, beginning on Monday, 19 February.
Week commencing 26 March is Holy Week and again you are invited and encouraged to attend the reflections that will be held Monday to Thursday at 7pm at Starbeck, and a service at 10am at Park Grove. Scotton may be holding a Walk for Witness as last year (yet to be confirmed) in the village at 2pm.
As you read this newsletter, sit back and rest with God. What is on your mind today that you would like to “Give thanks” for?
“Give thanks with a grateful heart,
give thanks to the Holy One;
give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ, His Son.
And now, let the weak say ‘I am strong’,
let the poor say ‘I am rich’,
because of what the Lord has done for us.
(Henry Smith, Mission Praise 170)
The booklet ‘Day by day’ is available from The Methodist Church (www.mph.org.uk or 0845 07 8220) and can be downloaded from the Methodist Church website Methodist.org.uk (see ‘Prayer and Worship’ tab, then ‘Day by Day’).