Moston Methodist Church

Minister – Rev Sharon Read

POSTED ON: 8 July 2020

Letter from our minister 08/07/2020

Wednesday 8th July 2020 

Dear Friends, 

As lockdown eases and restrictions are slowly being lifted, I have begun to ask more questions of myself, my learning, my safety, my practices. This week I have found to be really difficult in ways that are hard to articulate. I haven’t ventured to the shops, a restaurant or a coffee shop despite my longing to do that as I want to stay safe and reduce the risk of bringing the virus into the family. Yet I long to be back doing the things I enjoy and appreciate. How I would love for someone to serve me a meal and not wash up? How I long to sit in my favourite coffee shop and watch the world go by? How I long to hit the shops and purchase clothes for my children as they have both grown in lockdown and buy new school uniform ready for September when Ian returns and Lucy begins her next stage of education at High School. So what have I learnt in lockdown? What are my positives? Where are the joys? Where has God been and where is He now? What things do I want to hold onto as we move forward? What gave me life in lockdown? What am I learning about the struggles and the dark moments? We are approaching the end of the school year and as we head into Summer – the end of the Connexional Year. In some circuits there will be farewells for ministers moving on and sitting down, in some circuits there will be many changes and some circuits will be preparing to welcome new ministers. These are all looking very different to anything that anyone will have expected. What can we learn as individuals, families, churches and communities as we move forward as allowed beyond lockdown? What will our church building services look like when we return? How will we feel about queuing to get into the building, registering our contact details for Track & Trace; using the handsanitiser station and sitting in our allocated seat (not where we have always sat) and sitting still for the whole service. How will we feel about exiting and not socialising with each other over coffee? How do we maintain our connections with the online community that have been in touch with us and keep contact with those unable to make their way inside? What about those we turn away from the door when we reach full capacity through social distancing measures? Of course we don’t have a date for reopening, risk assessments and seating plans need to be created yet but all these thoughts don’t seem to stop running through my mind.

 There have been a number of things that our household have appreciated during lockdown – our 9am prayers – a reminder to start the day with our eyes focused on Jesus. Family meal times around the table (always been our practise) but three times a day means lots of times of chatting and giggling and turning into playing games. Our favourite being UNO. We have enjoyed learning new cooking skills, finding new family recipes and no one complains at cakes being baked at all. I have appreciated getting out the door to run again. I had lost the confidence of being out alone but facing it again 8 weeks ago and getting out regularly has really helped my mental health, clearing my head, running out my frustrations and slowly improving fitness. In June I set myself the challenge of running 50km for a shiny medal….in fact I ran 57.6km or 35.8 miles. I have set myself the same challenge for this month and so far I am on target.

 So as we balance our fears and excitement as lockdown eases, let’s thank God for the way in which He has held us and walked alongside us during the last few months. Let’s hold those in prayer who worry for their loved ones fighting illness, redundancies, financial worries and other life situations. Let’s hold in prayer those who are grieving and waiting for funerals to take place. Let’s hold in prayer those facing coronavirus head on while the rest of us aren’t seeing it. Let’s hold one another in prayer and may all of us sense our Creator’s arms around us, know Jesus walking alongside us by the power of the Holy Spirit.

With love and prayers, Sharon

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