Summer 2018 Pastoral Letter from the Superintendent

Home » News Stories » Summer 2018 Pastoral Letter
Thankful

Dear God,

Thank you for the goodness that I see — if I am looking — on a daily basis. Thank you for the wonderful stories, and the little things, and the acts of kindness which show that people can and do care about others. Thank you for the many times that people go the extra mile, usually unnoticed, and often un-thanked. Thank you for when people are flexible and gracious in their dealings with others. Thank you for the time and energy that people put into things to help, not least in this big Circuit of ours. You know as well as we do, we live in challenging times with aging and declining numbers and people in the wider world and community often not responding, but we do give thanks for when they do: for the new person in church, for the person who has come back to church, for the person or family who is grateful for a funeral, or for the flowers when brought, or because there's a messy church or a fellowship group or something that works for them or their family. I want to say thank you to the people who run these things; and lots of 'thank you's' for the administrators in the Circuit, for the paid ones and for the numerous volunteers, and for the property and finance and 'people' people, and for the leaders of children's, youth and fellowship groups and the leaders of worship, and for the ministers, all the ministers, the lay, as well as the ordained.

When I think about this, also I want to ask your forgiveness, for times when we are not so gracious or flexible; for times when I or others only see the bit in front of our noses; for when we fail to see the big picture or think of our own position first; or for when we get stuck in views or become too parochial (in the worst not best sense); and then I want to thank you for your forgiveness, that showers upon us every day and every moment of every day, and for all your help and compassion and grace that can see us through.
I want to thank you for all the resources that you give to help us, and for myself I want to thank you for the gift of a sabbatical for the first time in 17 years. You know that I am weary and need some rest. So I thank you for the gift of this sabbatical from the Church, and I thank you for Simon Topping, and ask that you will help him as he acts as Superintendent, and for Martin Turner who will look after Bishop's Cleeve, and for others if needed. Bishop's Cleeve and the whole Circuit are full of good people, and I know that they will be alright, because you are always looking after us, so thank you for giving people to look after them for the next bit. The thing that will be hard about being away is not wondering what will be going on, for everything will be fine and work its way through; it will be not being around if sad or difficult things happen to people: I shall be sorry not to be present. Yet I know that you will take care, and you often do so through people taking care of each other, as your Spirit works its way between us. For always you are a loving and good God, who made yourself known in the one who died for us, the one who has been raised for us. As we walk each day, help us to know ever more fully your way of the Cross, your way of Resurrection. Help us to be a forgiven, forgiving, generous, and gracious people. For I thank you for all your goodness, for all your blessing, now and always, Amen.

James

You may also be interested in

Prince_Philip_in_Berlin_2015_(cropped)
Circuit Webteam: Fri 09 Apr 1:49pm

The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.The President of the Methodist Conference, The Revd Richard Teal, has made the following statement:"We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. We will remember Prince Philip's dedicated support of Her Majesty...

news, article, story, newspaper
Circuit Webteam: Tue 02 Mar 2:00pm

Dear Sisters and Brothers,The 46th president of the United States has been inaugurated and begun his programme for the first 100 days in office. The new president needs our prayers as he seeks to bring healing and reconciliation to a divided nation.The 45th president, in a break with convention, refused to attend the inauguration which is the symbolic expression of the peaceful transfer of...

Christian Aid logo
Circuit Webteam: Wed 10 Feb 5:08pm

The Gloucestershire Methodist Circuit are supporting an appeal, initiated by the Diocese of Gloucester in partnership with Christian Aid's work, to enable people to give thanks for their Covid-19 vaccine and help others in crisis across the world. All donations will support Christian Aid's response to the coronavirus pandemic in affected communities around the world.Here in...