Minister's Letter

“And trust Him for all that's to come” (StF 67)

Dear friends,

I am writing this seeing snow on the ground, with a rainbow in the sky, waiting for the sleet to start as predicted by the Meteorological Office. Patches of blue sky are mixed with grey clouds scudding across sunlit fields. I am in Ilkley (and not being on t’ moor I don’t feel the need to wear a hat). The reason for me being here is probationer ministers are sent to meet together and learn and think about what ministry is about. In that there are moments of rainbows and of unpredictable stormy times. But we need to realise God is with us in all these moments. This meeting together has had a particular emphasis for those, like me, preparing for ordination. But all Christians have a ministry. We are where we are, being who we are, and trusting in God that our lives align with God’s plans for our situations.

In Methodism we have the annual Covenant Service where we promise together to let God guide us in how we live our lives as Christians, trusting God to direct us to His purposes, whether that be in doing or not doing, or in things we like or those we don’t. We know God is a loving God, so we hope that we will enjoy what is ahead of us, but we are aware that sometimes the things that need to be done mean us not feeling comfortable.

I have been putting together the reports for our annual general church meeting in February. I am on page 29 and have not quite sorted out all the items telling us about what is going on at Clifton. I knew we had a lot going on here, but it is amazing when it is all put together (and I am sure there are things missing from the booklet, which could have extended it even more). I thank God for the life this represents here in Clifton, but we should not be complacent. All this activity requires a lot of effort, planning and implementation. We also need to look forward as well as celebrating what has been done and is happening at the moment. That reminds me of the words “We’ll praise Him [God] for all that is past and trust Him for all that’s to come” (StF 67 - This, this is the God we adore, Our faithful, unchangeable Friend). We need to continue in working out our faith and discern what God wants us to do here, part of the deliberations of our AGM. But we also should be praying that God will guide us and help us in those endeavours. Without God’s participation all our work is in vain. So may I urge you to pray for Clifton Methodist Church and its activities, and that we might hear what God is saying to us here and what we should do for the future.

May God bless you all,

John