Welcome to Rev. Sue Edwards’ Blog
Minister of Hucknall Central Methodist Church
IMPORTANT CORONA VIRUS UPDATE: March 13th
No Messy Church on 31st March. Lent Liturgy cancelled.
Today to some may seem like any other, but to others today you may be feeling a bit lost and wondering just what is happening in the world. Listening to the news can be helpful, but not always. We are a church and, as a church, when part of the body of the church is weaker, then the others need to care. How can we still be church whilst coping with the coronavirus?
There are some guidelines issued from the Methodist Church that we ‘may want to consider carrying out pastoral ‘visits’ by phone’. Please help to care for one another in this way if you can. It helps others to know that they are not on their own. Maybe that’s what we are waiting for today. Perhaps we could offer to shop if we are fit ourselves and that is what is needed. You could offer support via the Hucknall Community Care-Coronavirus Facebook page.
Here is a suggested prayer that I have borrowed if you are able to offer prayer to others by phone. ‘God, present with and between us, we pray for Your blessing. May an awareness of Your keeping company with us be a profound encouragement in these days of isolation. May we know Your loving comfort, peace beyond our own understanding and a strength greater than our own. In the Name of Jesus, who calls us friend, we pray. Amen’
In our Methodist church guidelines, we are advised that, ‘Older members and those with medical conditions causing weaker health and greater vulnerability should consider not attending church for the time being if they’re worried about infection’. Please don’t be worried about missing church.
If you have technology, worship resources are offered that you can use, or you can just be still in the quietness of your own home; a favourite space perhaps, and maybe light a candle, listen to music or read or sing a hymn, or read scripture. There are also programmes on the TV or radio. We can all pray whether that is from a book or our own prayers remembering family and friends and all those needing prayer at this time, offering too our world. You don’t have to do this on your own either. Again we can use our phones or other technology if you have it.
This Sunday will is the third Sunday in Lent. The reading is from John 4 :5-42 – the woman at the well. She met Jesus at a place where she was vulnerable. Let us use this time too to draw closer to him.
Be a friend. May you keep well.
God bless Sue
Maybe now you have heard that I am moving on to chaplaincy in the NHS. I will still remain in the circuit and have pastoral oversight for Hucknall Central and Eastside, but I am answering a call that God has placed on my heart many years ago. In May 2019 I started to explore again what that means. I was drawn to the hospital and became a volunteer and had a week on placement there. It felt so right, but what was next? I applied for jobs knowing that without experience it was hardly likely that I would succeed, but I thought that this could be at least an experience of filling in application forms; something which I haven’t done for years. Doors were opening for me.
Chaplaincy has always been there for me, and so often I am reminded to ‘remember your call’. This circuit thankfully agreed to support my exploration.
We all have a calling to a ministry, but maybe it hasn’t been recognized yet; maybe you are still trying to work out if you’re old enough or young enough! Maybe you are worried what it will mean for you; your family or others. For some it might mean to move away and for some to remain where they are. Again it is not always an easy decision and I pondered over those words of the Methodist Covenant prayer.
Not everyone has it easy and actually being a Christian doesn’t mean you will get one either. I hope that by fulfilling this call I can come alongside others in whatever I need to; to be the person who will journey with others maybe in a short time or even over a long period of time. As a Christian I believe that when I am faced against struggles, hardships, people being unkind and angry with each other, I can turn to God who knows exactly how I am feeling and knows me and loves me. I’m not perfect but I know that I can place everything with him.
Matthew 25 v 28-30 say “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Philippians 4 v 6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Psalm 139v 1-5 Lord, you have examined me and you know me. You know everything I do; from far away you understand all my thoughts. You see me, whether I am working or resting; you know all my actions. Even before I speak, you already know what I will say. You are all around me on every side; you protect me with your power.
These words above, which are from the Bible are a help to me before I speak or do anything. May they be a help to you too, in whatever you say or do for God. Let us learn to show his love. God bless you – Rev Sue ‘
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
exalted for you, or brought low for you;
let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen. From the covenant service MWB
I am writing this letter for December already. Just where has this year gone?
December always seems to be a full month of people rushing around: attending Christmas meals and maybe eating too much! we will probably make visits from and to relatives and our friends. Many will put the decorations up (some already have) and them we take them down and store them away again. I wonder during that time if we have thought about what this Christmas time will hold for each of us? Hopefully it will be a good one.
It is possible though, that our Christmas time may not be the one we expects. Often, we look back at the happenings of the year. If we have made mistakes we hope we can learn from them. If we have had memorable times, we hold on to them and say ‘that was good’ and we give thanks for them.
December is all about our preparation for Christ’s coming and we remember the events of that first Christmas when a small baby changed the world. Then in the New Year many make New Year resolutions to promise not to do the things that we have done; to try new things; and to get fit. But, do we take the time to examine our lives and think about that the Christ Child, Christ the Man, the Son of God really means to us, and will He have influence in our making of those promises.
Paul reminds us in Romans that nothing “in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. The love He sent at Christmas time in the human form of Jesus remains.
As we think of the events of the past months, and lives lost, and the uncertainties of the world and world events, WE can prove that power of love is greater than the love of power, by beginning with ourselves putting things rights, wherever we are now. As an old song that I loved to sing goes, ‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me’.
Many Christmas Carols that we will sing in December include words of ‘love’ and ‘hope’ and ‘peace’. Let us make these words our prayer for today and every day, in a hurting world. May God in Christ be the power of love radiated in this world right now through every one of us.
I wish you all God’s blessing and peace this Christmas and in the coming year.
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