September is a strange month. It feels odd to experience 'new beginnings' at the same time as we see endings in nature. When the still sunny (ish) and warm days are marked by chillier mornings and evenings. As children and young people return to their classrooms, so those who are not tied to the school terms gleefully go and enjoy a well-earned break in slightly less crowded areas. It is a month of contrasts.
For Methodists, it is also the start of the new Connexional year. I wonder what we are hoping for in our local churches and in the Circuit this year? I wonder what we fear and I wonder what will bring us joy? What hidden treasures will we uncover as we journey through together?
"I will give you the treasures of darkness
and riches hidden in secret places,
so that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
the God of Israel, who call you by your name." Isaiah 45:3
This verse is the inspiration behind the President's and Vice President's theme for this year. If a treasure is hidden, in the dark, it means that we need to keep looking, for it will be found in the least obvious places and conditions as well as the obvious ones. But note we are being called by name. Therefore as we seek to do and serve in this coming new year, meeting together to plan and to pray, it is imperative that we also listen for God's call and be alert to the treasures and riches that we will receive. Each of us will be called – no matter our circumstances; listen well.
In this coming week may the peace of Christ, the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit be with us all as we continue to seek out the hidden treasure together. Amen.