Yesterday I attended, via Zoom of course, my first Presbyteral Synod in my new District. Now, some people cry at weddings, I always shed a tear at Ministerial session because they are always emotional occasions. During the day we give permission to Probationer ministers to continue or go forward to ordination; hear from those ministers who wish to “sit down” and become Supernumeraries and accept the obituaries of faithful long-serving servants of Christ. Yesterday we also spoke about the personal cost of the Pandemic on each of us, grieving the loss of so much that defines us in our work as Circuit Ministers, and bearing the burden of expectation as we emerge from lockdown and go back into our churches. One long year ago next Tuesday we were put into lockdown and we could never have imagined that we would see not one but two Lenten seasons and Easter celebrations under such serious restrictions. Whilst the hope is that we can return in a limited way to worship from Easter day there is so much that we miss and long for in the future. Nevertheless, the Easter message remains the same, more powerful even is the thought that Jesus died a horrible, lonely death for each one of us, so that we might enjoy a life lived in the love of God, now and in all eternity. Easter is all about new life, new love and new hope and I pray we will all feel that profoundly in our hearts.
I am ever grateful that we can meet together for worship, prayer, business, study and fellowship on Zoom. I am ever grateful that my husband Fred is so creative with the hymns and images that enhance our worship time and I am also grateful to each one of you has held us both in prayer during these difficult months. We continue to face some challenges in filling various vacancies at the moment as a number of people have stepped down. Please remember the life of the church going forward in your prayers as we discern together our mission post-lockdown.
The 20-20 Steering Group continues to work tirelessly to realise the vision for the redevelopment project and it is hoped that we will go out to tender for Phases 2 & 3 shortly. However, I am also profoundly aware that for many of you the past year has been one of the most challenging of your life and that you feel very remote from the church and the church family. We send you all our love and prayers if you are in this position.
May we all know God’s resurrection promises and love as we celebrate as we are able this Easter season.