Moston Methodist Church

Minister – Rev Sharon Read

POSTED ON: 25 August 2020

Letter from our minister 25/08/2020

Tuesday 25th August 2020

Dear Friends,

We are in the final week of our connexional year as us Methodists run from September to August. Colleagues have moved appointments and ‘sat down’ or retired and we begin to gear up for a new year. This final week in August is often the week we are on annual leave – my previous circuit always had a summer holiday club and we went away to rest following this. I often find away from the vicarage, a busy phone and computer is a time to relax and reflect. This year I find myself experiencing my first online zoom holiday club across the circuit. It is amazing….circuit colleagues working together, meeting new children and discovering so many new skills. Who would have thought that a new weekly sentence would be ‘please don’t make a sound as I need to do some recording’ to my family. BUT I am not used to watching myself on screen telling a story…I have to turn away.

My first year with the Manchester Circuit has come to end. The Irish President of the Methodist Church preached in July 2019 at a friend’s ordination to enjoy the good and not so good adventure with God. Well this last year has been a roller coaster adventure…..four new churches, playgroups, working with amazing lay workers, new colleagues, new places, new people, new district and a regular tram commute (which I secretly love as I call for coffee on my way in to Central Hall). But there has been some not so good things – having my car surrounded by 4 men in hoodies and mugged (another huge thank you to John for running after them for my bag), a bomb threat received one December Sunday morning (a huge thanks to Hope stewards Julie & Brian for somehow helping me hold that service together) and then as I process all that and wonder how the months have passed in total survival mode – we enter a pandemic called Coronavirus. We hear the phrase ‘unprecedented times’ so often, we learn about hand washing / sanitising; social distancing at 2m and lessons in lockdown. The world stopped, planes stopped, no one left their home, wildlife appeared, the air smelt fresh, the sun shone, shone and shone some more and we all started exercising once a day. Everything closed except essential shops.

It said that the church closed – but what we discovered is that our buildings closed and the church became alive and visible in ways it never had before. We all discovered how to zoom, we began to communicate in new and different ways, we continue to learn new ways to communicate with each other and witness to Christ in the world in very different ways than before. We have begun to include people in ways we have never imagined. Our adventure with God continues as we negotiate reopening with its risk assessments and work out together how we hold on tight to Christ and carry each other together in this new way of being church.

As I begin my new connexional year, my appointment changes. Sadly I will no longer be minister at Hope and I handover to the lovely Rev Joy Rulton. Having never been involved in a building project, I have learnt so much in this year from snagging lists, accruals accounting, locating (or not) missing items and so much more. They are a wonderful community and have an amazing building and I look forward to seeing how God uses the good folk at Hope in its mission and outreach once it is able to reopen.

Lord, You make all things new
You bring hope alive in our hearts
And cause our Spirits to be born again
Thank you for this new connexional year
For all the potential it holds.
Come and kindle in us
A mighty flame
So that in our time,many will see the wonders of God
And live forever to praise Your glorious name.

 

With love and prayers, Sharon

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