An exciting start to our new connexional year. We welcome Revd Nik Wooller half time to the circuit. I understand that people are trying to identify which Ni(c)k with comments such as ‘young Nik and…’ hmm, perhaps something like ‘slightly less young Nick’?!
Nik will have oversight in Blairgowrie and this is a time of learning and opportunity so please pray. Nik will share oversight with myself in Perth helping us to discover what it means to be church in our communities. I know you will make Nik welcome and strangers will soon become friends. The other half of Nik’s time will be spent working with the District, building relationships alongside churchless Christians. Please pray for Nik and her ministry.
We celebrate with the Perth congregation as they move back into worship in their refurbished premises and I encourage as many of you as possible to join in the fun on the open day on Saturday 16th September. You will see a transformed bright, welcoming and flexible space. A Service of rededication takes place on the morning of 17th September. Please pray for Perth at the threshold of this new beginning.
Dundee are exploring closer relationships with the United Reformed Church and will be sharing in worship once a fortnight. This will give both congregations time and space to reflect on the way forward. Please pray for developing friendship and fellowship in Dundee.
At Montrose the Methodist congregation now share worship on a weekly basis with the Knox United Free church who have made us very welcome. Every second and fourth week the Methodist Church takes responsibility for worship with the remaining weeks being the responsibility of the United Free Church. This is an exciting time for these congregations and I know your prayers will be welcome. I should also like to offer congratulations on behalf of the circuit to Simon Richardson (a member at Montrose). Simon has won bronze and silver medals for Table Tennis in the Special Olympics held recently in Sheffield.
In Arbroath please pray for St Johns as they seek to serve alongside others and work out the way ahead.
Having travelled to Bulgaria in the summer I was delighted to share in worship with the Methodists in Sevlievo and visit one of our preachers, Julya Walsh. I encourage you to continue to pray for that church and for Julya and I know they will pray for us.
On the way back from Bulgaria I was reminded of the power of prayer when we stopped off in Leipzig in the former East Germany. For a number of years in the 1970s/80s a small group of people met in the city centre church of St Nicholas. They met on Monday nights to pray for peace. Over the years this group grew. By 1989 the group had become very large and after an hour’s service the minister led 7000 people out on to the streets where they were joined by people from other churches. With strict instructions from the ministers not to be provoked into violence they walked around the ring road in Leipzig with people abandoning cars to join in. They walked past the headquarters of the Stasi (Secret Police). In all about 70000 people gathered that night in what became known as the peaceful revolution. News of this spread and two weeks later the Berlin Wall came down.
As we enter into this new Methodist year, with many challenges and questions, I encourage all of us to prepare by taking some time to pray.