This will be my last Minister’s blog!!!
I look back at my journal on the days when I first arrived, with both an excitement and trepidation for what was ahead in Circuit life. I remember being sat on the bench in the High Street opposite Starbeck Methodist Church, watching everyone leaving Sunday morning worship (I had been at St Andrew’s), wondering how I would fit in (the churches within ‘my section’, and the community) and what it would be like to be ‘their minister’.
Now, nearly four years later, I feel torn at leaving here. I’ve felt very much a part of church life, in all of the churches I am involved in, and in the wider Circuit.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all so much for your wonderful support, fellowship, and friendship, throughout my probation and ‘beyond’. I’m a believer in life-long learning and that you don’t learn something properly until you are ‘in the role’. And I think we have learned a lot together, about our discipleship, our relationships with God and each other, and also among our ecumenical partners and local community.
But I haven’t left yet – and there is much that I still want to share with you…
I want to encourage you in your worship. Continue to try different styles and music, encourage other peoples’ gifts and talents, respect other people’s ideas and tastes (especially when they do not match your own). Continue to share your stories – the testimonies we have heard have been so encouraging to others around you.
I want to encourage you in your outreach and participation in God’s mission. There are lots of positive things that are ongoing, and I am sure there are more to come, as you follow God’s plan for you. God is very much at work among you and among the Circuit as a whole. We all need to remember that our worship doesn’t end at the door of the church on a Sunday but continues as we leave it. God is out in the world and asks us to join him in his mission.
I want to encourage you in your spiritual life. There are opportunities to share in prayer groups, and Bible study. Our Lent Reflections commenced on 2 March for 5 weeks (up until Holy Week), on a Monday evening at 7pm. They are based on a Lent book, ‘Fit for purpose, a Lenten Course in Spiritual Health’ by Ed Hone. Please join us.
I also want to encourage you to have fun! Enjoy each other’s company, raise awareness for charities, hold social activities – and invite other people to come to them.
As I leave for the Tadcaster Circuit in May, and Rev Lesley Taylor joins the Circuit in September, remember that we are joined through the Connexion, serving the One God. In that sense, I take you with me, just as I go with God.
I leave you with some words from a book, ‘Blessings for the Morning’ by Susie Larson:
Psalm 36:5 ‘Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.’
‘May your whole life align with
God’s best purposes for you!
May you pray in a way that reveals
your solid belief in His faithfulness.
May you speak in a way that reflects the power of His Word mightily at work within you.
And may you walk on water when He bids you to come so that others will see and believe that
God still moves on the earth today.
A blessed and faith-filled day to you!’
Thank you and God bless,
Rev David Jones will be offering pastoral care to Starbeck and Bilton in the interim ministerial gap. Details to follow.
Sunday, 3 May (Ann’s last Sunday):
10.30am United Service at Starbeck, joined by Scotton, Park Grove, and Life Destiny Church.
6.30pm Circuit Service