I the Lord do not change.Malachi 3:6a)
I wonder how many train-lovers there are in this circuit? For some people the open road, the freedom of the car, or even the bike, is their idea of heaven. For others there’s nothing better than being whisked through the beautiful British countryside on a train and yet regardless of the mode of transport, there is always an end to the journey. I remember once sitting waiting for a train at Crewe station thinking about how many people’s journeys were ending as they arrived there and yet when one journey ends another new one begins.
The summer months in Methodism are months of change. Removal firms frequently ask Methodist ministers about why they all move in August! All around our Connexion people are on the move. Since I arrived in the circuit in August 2017, we have had a huge change of staff and stewards. Lots of things have changed and, whilst many would love a time of ‘stability’, the changes keep on coming. As I write Moses, Kim and the children have arrived at the Woodlands Drive manse and, as a circuit, we will formally welcome them at the Welcome Service on 31 August.
Another change is happening in my section of the circuit where Clair Webster has begun work as the Lay Pastor for Trinity and Pannal churches. We will commission her formally at the Welcome Service too. And by now most people will also know of the upcoming changes we need to put in place to give us our best chance of securing a new presbyter when Ann Fox leaves the circuit next year at the request of the District Chair.
During the autumn we will be welcoming the UCI World Road Cycling Championships and this time will be a time when things are different, we won’t necessarily be able to do what we usually do for 9 days but God will still be with us. Change is inevitable.
Change is unsettling and can disconnect us from what we know and love and yet God is constant. We cannot stop change but we can hold onto God through it and see where he leads.
As we enter a new Connexional year, let’s take this time to focus on God anew, to hold on to him when the changes become too much and allow him to lead us. Let us allow him to guide us, particularly through the Cycling Championships to bring glory to his name.