At the beginning of a new connexional year we remain in uncertain times. Thinking back to this time last year, in terms of the pandemic there is more optimism but there is still cause for concern and fear and anxiety. How do we address such things? How can we be both anxious and optimistic? I encourage your prayers for the church at Dundee who have taken the decision to close their building but at the same time have decided to continue worshipping once a fortnight and meet once a month for fellowship and exploring Methodist identity. Here there is both sadness and hope about what the future might hold. Through Jesus Christ we are invited to belong to a community in which Christ is fully present and yet still to come. Life and faith contain contrasting and contradictory notions which somehow all hold together. How can we share our doubts at the same time as the joy and peace we find in our faith?
Perhaps we can find time and opportunity to share honestly something of our faith and questions with one another – after all that is part of what it is to be part of a community. Or if somebody asks you, why do you go to church or watch a service online, what is our response? In a recent conversation the District Chair has encouraged us to think in terms of church not being a place where we ‘go’ but rather as somewhere we are sent ‘from’.
How does church relate to the here and now and issues such as Climate Change? By the time the plan for the next quarter comes COP26 will have happened in Glasgow. Please do pray and, if you are able, check what the Strathclyde circuit are doing to support Scottish Methodists engaging with COP26.
I would also invite your prayers for our neighbours in the North of Scotland Mission circuit following the death of their Superintendent, Revd Colin Plenderleith. In the midst of deep grief and uncertainty we also hold on to the hope of resurrection. Christ in the midst of death and life, a constant companion through the power of the Holy Spirit.
May the risen Christ be our comforter and guide in the days to come.