Welcome to this Autumn edition of Pivot.
Given the unique circumstances of the last 6 months or so, the editors wanted to provide a very special read for you. We want people to feel reconnected to our Church and community, and we wanted to provide an opportunity for members and friends to share their recent experiences. In this edition we have contributions from many people about aspects of their lives during lockdown and also reflections prompted by lockdown. Thank you to all those who have provided an insight to their lives and their thoughts; key worker Eddie, student teacher Katie, artist Margarete, grandmother and knitter Terry, retired ministers Elizabeth and Linda. Brian and Josie have written poems. Ruth tells us about very special moments at Waterman House. Tim writes about forgiveness and Christine asks ‘ought I to feel guilty?’
We have all faced many changes to our daily lives and our Church’s doors were closed for a long time. Rev Sue and Karen (our children and families’ worker) have retired, both of whom will be missed greatly. They have made enormous contributions to our Church’s mission and it is difficult to envisage the future without them. But there are new ‘beginnings’.
Rev Betto Viana will be working more closely with us along with the help of Deacon Gill Judge, who has recently joined the Circuit staff. Deacon Gill tells us about her background on page 8. In his pastoral letter, Rev Betto leaves us with the question, ‘what is the change God wants from you today’?’
In order to think about change, we look briefly at Broadstone Methodist Church over the period 1993 to 2003. We can look at that period recalling happy and fulfilling times but we know that there were many challenges to which we responded. We need to consider the challenges facing us now and in the future. David Endicott asks, ‘do we still need denominations’, ‘is the Covid 19 pandemic a wake-up call for us as Christians?’ Could a United Church be the way forward?
As we prepare for the future, we will be embracing change. Rev Tony Cavanagh in an address in July said: ‘preparing ourselves spiritually for this new normal, whatever that it is, won’t be about going back to the way things were, we can’t, and many of those things have gone now, or will never be the same. But it is my hope that we will use this time wisely, and under God to review exactly how we live faith and use our premises going forward. Surely something of the community spirit that has been engendered during lockdown speaks to us about where we need to concentrate our time. I don’t think we can hide away in our church buildings anymore, we must now be about building a Kingdom that is inclusive of all, where all are welcome and made to feel so.’