Cathy Bird Letter 28 Oct

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Cathy Bird

A Message from the Superintendent Minister October 28th 2020

Dear Friends,
The start of November is of course a time of remembering. On All Saints Day, the 1st November, we remember and give thanks for those whose saintly lives have made a difference in the world and in our lives. It follows on closely from All Hallow's Eve when we remember those everyday saints and souls who have made an impact in our lives. I tend to think of the two together — what makes someone a 'saint' is a very subjective thing and it might be far more meaningful for us to remember the unspoken heroes rather than those officially recognised by the church. The last few months have perhaps made us think again about what it is that makes someone 'saintly'. We will all be thinking about those we have loved and lost, those without whom our lives would have been something less than they have been, those who taught us important lessons in life and faith and who have role modelled for us what it means to live with love and kindness and compassion and justice. We give thanks to God for all those people who will be in our thoughts and prayers this month. We shed a tear and allow it to evolve into a smile as that great paradox of the Christian faith reminds us that we only weep because of the joy of loving, and that in the utter desolation of death there remains the hope of resurrection to eternal life and the knowledge that the ones lost to us will remain in one way or another in the sanctuary of our memories. The second Sunday in November is Remembrance Sunday, when we think of all those who have lost their lives in violent conflict throughout the ages and across the world. It has been said that resurrection is the" memory of God". If we believe in this, then we can also understand our own memories to be powerful and significant. In our acts of remembering we are keeping alive the hopes and visions of folks whose lives and deaths have taught us good or necessary lessons. In remembering- even when it is painful — we can find hope for the future.

We often associate sadness and loss with a feeling of darkness, and I know that for many people the winter can be a particularly difficult time, as the nights draw in, and the clocks turn back from British Summertime. Yet darkness — both physical and emotional — can be a place and a time of regeneration and renewal, of life and creativity. So I invite you to ponder the God who is revealed in the physical darkness and the night, as much as in the light and daytime. This can be a wonderful time of year in spite of the increasing cold and damp....it has been said (and it is true!) that too much light stops us seeing the stars. Never forget that when God created the universe, God chose to retain the darkness in equal measure to the light. So.......

Treasure the Darkness, treasure the shade,
Do not fear, do not fear.
Treasure the darkness, watch the light fade,
Do not fear, do not fear,
For the night is of God's keeping.

May God be with you, as we gently move into the darker and slower time of year. Take care and continue to pray for God's peace and love to reign.

And please remember as always, especially as we and others face further restrictions and lockdown measures:

In this time of isolation and separation may we feel the unity of God's spirit in the bonds of peace and love which connect us to one another.

  • When we feel lonely let us know that in Christ we are never alone.
  • When we feel isolated may we be reminded that within the worldwide Body of Christ we are always connected.
  • When we need a hug help us to feel the warmth of God's embrace
  • When we are compelled to keep our distance, may we be drawn close to each other within the Spirit of Companionship that flows from God and which moves through and between each one of us.

    With love and blessings,
    Rev Cathy.


    #NOTICES

    Worship
    See your local church notices for details of 'live' worship in your church, but for the time being we are continuing our Circuit wide Zoom service at 3pm on Sundays.

    Sunday 1st and 8th November 3pm

    Login details as usual as follows:
    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87212246881?pwd=VXpyMzRYV21UZ1ZoYlkvc2R4dmV1QT09
    Meeting ID: 872 1224 6881 Password: 974333

    Circuit Prayer
    Even though some churches are now open for worship, let's continue to say this prayer together when we can. This way we stay connected in a very really and tangible way. You can also read more about each church on the Circuit Website www.stockportcircuit.org.uk

    God of Love and Life,

    We pray to you this morning for the life the United Stockport Methodist Circuit, for our sisters and brothers who belong to:

    (pausing briefly to reflect after each name)

    Christ Church Methodist /URC , Dialstone Lane Methodist Church , Davenport Methodist Church , Edgeley Community Church , Hazel Grove Methodist Church, Heaton Mersey Methodist , Heaton Moor United Church, Jubilee Methodist Church, (Marple Bridge), Marple Methodist Church, The Ridge Methodist Church, (Marple), Romiley Methodist Church, St. Johns Methodist Church, (Cheadle Heath), Tiviot Dale Methodist Church (centre of Stockport), Trinity Methodist Church, (Bramhall Lane ), Windlehurst Methodist Church ( High Lane ), Woodley Methodist Church
    We worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. We ask that this time of crisis might pass and that those who suffer might find comfort and strength within the knowledge of your grace, revealed through the kindness and compassion of the people of God. Eternal God, though the self-offering of your Son you have filled our lives with your presence. Help us in our sufferings and trials. Fill us with hope and strengthen us in our weakness. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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