Pastoral Letter (March 2018)

from Revd Catherine Bowstead

Dear Friends,

You have probably heard the joke:
    "How many Methodists does it take to change a light bulb?"
    "Change!  Who said anything about change?"

We laugh knowingly, because we recognise that we often find change difficult.  Within the church, many of us are reluctant to face change because we feel safer or more comfortable when things stay the same.  But change is an inevitable part of being alive.  We see it in nature at this time of year when spring bulbs are beginning to appear and new growth is all around.  The building work in our town centre is changing the look of the heart of the town and the rapid building of new houses around the perimeter is causing our town to grow.  This change and growth presents some exciting opportunities for us.

But with opportunities come challenges and we have some big challenges ahead of us both as a circuit and as church in the centre of Wokingham.  We need to make some quite substantial changes over the next few years in recognition of the fact that the context in which we work for God's Kingdom has changed.  We do not enjoy the same resources (people and financial) that we did in years past, and the church has increased difficultly in proclaiming its message against competing voices in our society.

However, we still have a "Gospel to proclaim" and a "calling to fulfil" and the challenge to us is to clarify what we believe our mission and calling to be.  I am confident that our "Day of Engagement" on Sunday 4th March will help us to clarify our vision and to be enthused to take our part within it.

We are in the season of Lent when we remember that through Jesus' death and resurrection, eternal life is offered to the whole of humanity.  I pray that the hope and power that Christ's resurrection offers will inspire us to meet the challenges and opportunities before us with confidence and joy.

With every blessing,
Catherine

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