What a week: Minister's letter

Deacon Gill shares her thoughts.


May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy and peace.

As I reflect over the week that has past, I can truthfully say my emotions have been all over the place. I have felt devastation, concern, helplessness, and compassion for those in Haiti and Afghanistan and then, I have been in awe of parents of children with special needs and I have applauded and praised God for charities, their volunteers and supporters who have God’s heart of compassion for the homeless, for those with mental health problems, for those children living in areas of deprivation that fall within the boundaries of our circuit and for those who desire to share the wonderful teachings, life lessons, love and forgiveness contained within God’s Word, the Bible.

On Thursday evening at 5pm I joined 245 other people from all over the world to pray for the people of Haiti and of Afghanistan. Thank you to our senior stewards and those responsible for passing on the invitation from Christian Aid to join the prayer meeting – it was a humbling and thought-provoking hour that I would not have wanted to miss. As we were led in prayer for Haiti, I was reminded how blessed I am and how much I take for granted; like having a tap – and not only having the tap but that when I turn the tap, water comes out of it; like flicking a switch and lights come on; like when I close the door and the curtains at night, and know I am safe. None of the above is true for the people of Haiti.

Then, as we prayed for Afghanistan, we were reminded what a Taliban government might mean for the women and girls of Afghanistan and I found myself thanking God for the countries where I grew up and for the education I received. I am embarrassed to admit I don’t think I have ever said a prayer of thanksgiving for those things.

Have you heard of Daisy Chain? It takes place every Thursday morning during school holidays at Upton Methodist Church, is run by the head teacher at their nursery school, their senior steward, and volunteers from the congregation, and it is for children with learning disabilities. What a wonderful environment they have created, it is a safe space, a space where no one is judged, and a space where, for a couple of hours parents can relax. And as I talk to the parents, I am in awe of them and I take a few moments on my own to pray for them, to give thanks for them and to ask God to continue to infuse them with strength, to surround them with support and encouragement and I give thanks for Daisy Chain. 

And so to the weekend, with Deacon Suzie and I making a presentation in the hope of securing funding to set up a Godly Play room at Victoria Park Methodist Church. But before we make our presentation six other organisations make theirs, and I sit listening to all the wonderful ministry taking place outside in the community where there is just so much need and I praise God for each one and I praise God that each one including ours received the funding they were seeking without any debate or opposition just acknowledgement of the wonderful work being done by these charities.

In 1 Timothy 1:3 Paul writes to Timothy that he thanks God for Timothy, and he constantly remembers him in his prayers. Well, I give thanks to God for all of you at Broadstone Methodist Church, for how you have embraced the Churches Together in Broadstone Peace and Justice group, and for how you have embraced the Mission Forum Group and for your willingness to try new ways of doing ‘Church’ in order to share the love of God with as many people as possible, thus fulfilling our commission.

We will launch our first 20/20/20 service on Sunday 24 October at 4pm. Why 20/20/20 ? Because the format of the service will be twenty minutes of praising God in song, twenty minutes focused on God’s Word and twenty minutes of reflection and prayer. Our hope is that this service will be fully ecumenical and appeal to those busy with other things on a Sunday morning and who prefer a less traditional style service.

And so, may we take a moment to give thanks to God for every way in which we are blessed and may we pray without ceasing for Haiti and Afghanistan. May our hearts overflow with generosity of praise and support for those who minister where we are not able.

Jesus, speaking of His return in Matthew 25:31-46 says that whenever we feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, show hospitality to a stranger, clothe the naked or visit the sick or those in prison we do it to Him. 

With love in Him
Deacon Gill
your co-worker in God’s vineyard.   

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