Webteam: January 2019
Watchers of the church calendar will have noticed that we have now left the Christmas period and are now in the interestingly named 'Ordinary Time'... I am grateful for this period which continues until Lent and then resumes after Pentecost until next Advent.
It reminds us that the majority of our life is lived between the celebrations of our two major festivals: Christmas and Easter. It reminds us that our faith is mostly lived out in the routine of daily life with its joys and its sorrows; its successes and its challenges. The book of Jonah, that we studied last year reminded us of the way in which the story of God's people is a very human one and gives us hope that God continues to 'make use of our ineptness' (Eugene Peterson). It is a story of forgiveness that speaks directly into our contemporary society.
For even in this 'ordinary time', the news reports are anything but ordinary!! There are seemingly daily changes of policy regarding Brexit; breath is held waiting for the next Presidential statement to come from the United States and the iniquity that is Universal Credit continues to cause pain and distress amongst many. What should the Church be saying into all this? To those who maintain that we should never mix religion and politics, I would argue that Jesus did precisely that. He challenged the status quo, not just politically but among the religious authorities as well. He spoke out for those who felt they had no voice and showed a way of living that was able to be understood and then followed by 'ordinary' people in community together. How do we follow this part of his teaching and example?
Sadly, in our developed society, we seem too often to be more concerned with how to 'get even' or 'one up' with the focus on 'self'; whether this is in our international, national and local lives or, sometimes, even amongst our families and friends. Perhaps the Church's gift to the world is this current period of 'ordinary time'; time in which we can explore God's big themes of forgiveness and grace, whilst there are no major festivals to distract us from some reflection on our models of discipleship and how our spirituality may be nurtured.
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Following the announcement of the death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh today, the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Church have published the following prayer:Lord GodWe give thanks for the long life of Prince Philip, for all that he has contributed to our nation and beyond, and for his support of our Queen. We pray that he will be at rest trusting in the grace of...
A Service for Easter is now availableWe're delighted to share the circuit Easter service for 2021. This is now available hereA few items of note:1) The video is hosted on Vimeo, which is an alternative to YouTube and has the benefit of avoiding all the copyright issues and adverts.2) We have purchased subtitles to make it more accessible.3)...
As we journey through Lent, may these symbols be reminders of the road Jesus took. The road of pain and suffering, the path of self-giving love. May they also remind us of the suffering of the world and challenge us to respond.This image of a towel and basin are reminders of Jesus' humility and the way he washed the feet of his friends. We remember all who are homeless today, thinking of...
Winchester, Eastleigh & Romsey Circuit