Pastoral Letter

Friday, 25th September 2020

Dear Friends,

The Methodist prayer handbook looks at beginnings this week with the creation in Genesis 1 and 3 as well as the call or beginning of Matthew remembered this week. I have been thinking a lot about beginnings and fresh starts this week. Those starting in schools and many just about to start University. Those starting new roles or jobs like myself and many more. As well of those who have started retirement. I wonder if you have started something new recently or feel called to explore a change please feel free to let me know

Two contrasting book titles have caught my eye this week while reflecting on beginnings. Stories of the Beginning by Ellen Van Wolde and The Return of the Chaos monsters – And other backstories of the Bible by Gregory Mobley. Looking at why we have a beginning and why it is essential for us to know why things started, without a start we can’t have an end or even infinity. I found myself also reading the bit at the very beginning of Van Woldes book where most of us quite often skip the preface. She describes her book as being like a flower and all that is needed to take the plant from seed to flowering. I thought that was a beautiful illustration as to how a book may develop or be written how we may begin to create something new from a small seed or thought.

This late September time is also the time we think about Harvest and many churches are looking at how we differently celebrate it this year as well as remembering the wonder and beauty that is found in God’s creation and how we can nurture and take care of things literally taking Van Wolde illustration to the literal care of plants and animals in our houses and gardens. How we can care for our world around us. Maybe we can consider a new start on what we might recycle or how we care for the planet and each other. Changes don’t have to be big a small start can have a big impact.

So with that thought of what we might do I think I should also mention that this week we start to look at the Glossop and Tameside Our Calling groups. Places where we can start afresh with dreams, plans and ideas big and small as to how we can encourage, support and challenge each other in our Churches and throughout the Circuit in areas of service, Learning and Caring, Children and young people and Worship. If you feel God is calling you to share your gifts and skills or you just want to know more join us by Zoom on Tuesday 29th at 7:30pm ask your Minister if you want further details. Let us as we begin start with God’s blessing and grace.

The return of the chaos monsters was the other strange title and it may feel like they are definitely around. Out of chaos came the beauty and order that is creation. In this uncertainty that surrounds our lives we have the certainty of God, we know that out of chaos God creates. Let us prepare well for the future let us start with creating from our gifts that we have been given. Let us begin maybe not quite in the way we expected to follow Gods call like Matthew did. To Jesus not doing as expected was part of who he was calling the tax collector Matthew and eating with sinners. Things may not be as we expected, but God call us to start to begin with and follow him.

May God Bless you and walk with you in the week ahead

Revd Rob Balfour
Hurst, Mossley, Waterloo, Rosehill Methodist Primary Academy