Extracts from our weekly newsletters
31st March 2021
My hope is that you receive this message looking ahead to Holy Week. If so, you may not be thinking of being able to mark the week’s powerful events as in past years, but maybe this final (we hope!) phase of restricted activity is the perfect time for all of us to make the pilgrimage of Holy Week our own.
From the disciples’ perspective, the Holy Week journey was from joyful Hosannas, to the darkest place of grief, fear and hopeless-ness at Calvary, to the bewilderment, disbelief and then joy of an encounter with the risen Jesus. As they emerge from the grim
tunnel, they find themselves in a new place – a place where with the help of the Holy Spirit they are ready to take their story of Jesus to the world. For Christ is Risen.
For those who will listen to their story, there will be a journey to be made of their own, of repentance before embarking on a new life in the companionship of their Lord - “repent and believe” – the two going hand-in-hand - the practice of baptism by total immersion is a very apt symbol of this.
The need for our annual return to participating in the Holy Week story is surely a reminder that our “resurrection” isn’t a one-off passport to unblemished discipleship. Despite our best intentions, we continue to make mistakes and to fall away, and there is regular need for being with Jesus in the darkest place, that we might rise again with him.
I’m sure that the parallel between Holy Week and our descent into lockdown will have sprung to mind. It remains to be seen whether emergence with our current political leaders will take us to a better place, lessons learnt – a place where care for the poor and for all of God’s creation will be paramount. Let us pray that this is so. But on another level, through Holy Week we personally can find the
renewal in our relationship with God that comes from heartfelt
repentance at the foot of the Cross, and joyful resurrection. That done we might, like the disciples, be able to share our story with others, taking steps with them toward bringing about the
transformation in the world that we long to see.
May you journey close to Jesus this Holy Week, dying and rising with him, emerging filled with Easter Joy.
14th March 2021
Mothering Sunday this year will be strange – not being in church, not receiving church flowers, perhaps not being able to visit our mother or see our children, or perhaps for the first time having no mother to visit. In whatever situation we find ourselves, this is a day when we can focus on the mothering love of God, which is a real blessing, especially in times of loss. “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you” (Isaiah 66.13). Let us be mindful of those for who this day is particularly hard, but let us also be thankful for mothering in all its forms.
17th January 2021
Additional prayers can be found by searching for “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” on Facebook, or following this link: https://ctbi.org.uk/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2021/
More news of fires and melting ice are a timely reminder that the challenges facing our world are bigger even than COVID. Abuse of the planet, destruction of habitats and pollution go on.
In the words of Neil Richardson, we must remember that “nothing that is wrong or unjust is inevitable.” We face the judgement of succeeding generations and of God over whether we did what we could to stop the damage – campaigning, speaking out, supporting pressure groups, reducing our consumption, being discerning about the impact of what we buy on the environment, cutting waste, reusing, recycling. Even in these times we cannot bury our heads in the sand.
Traidcraft and Shoe Boxes The Traidcraft stall is closed but you can still get goods by ringing Stephen Dalton on (01584) 873 405. Christmas shoe box appeal: This is continuing as usual, so if you wish to help, you can get shoe boxes and leaflets from Poyner's, to whom you should return your completed box. THANK YOU.
Next Sunday (27th) will be our harvest service, led by Adrian Williams. If you wish to make an offering of food for the Food Bank, please leave it in church while Wesley’s is open. Monetary offerings can be made to All We Can direct, or brought to Wesley’s or church on Sunday.
5th July 2020
Peace, Pandemics and Plastic Bottles was the title of the Beckly Lecture given by Rev Dr Inderjit Bogal at a fringe event at the Methodist Conference. As the title suggests, the lecture was a very wide-ranging discussion of the question: “What kind of new normal do we hope for after this pandemic?” We all hope to have learned lessons and gained new perspectives – but what visible differences do we hope for as a result? Inderjit pointed us to the normative words of the prophet Micah – that the Lord requires us to “do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.” The world needs to learn what those words mean in relation to matters such as justice for the poor, the elderly and vulnerable, racial inequality, inclusivity, pollution and climate change. The church clearly has a call to speak out on these issues, challenging any drift back to our old ways. Perhaps the harder question is “how does the Methodist Church in and around Ludlow work toward that vision?” – “how can we change our ways, individually and as a church so that we model the good news and the kingdom of God?” It’s a one-off opportunity we have to make a visible change.