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June Pastoral Newsletter

There’s a fair chunk of news this month!! Key Highlights are

and there are several other interesting bits so do read on! Sorry there are so many words this month!

Re Invitation News

Those of you who are long term Methodists will know that ministers are “stationed” (sent) annually by conference to a circuit (team of churches) and after 5 years that stationing is revisited in detail. As we will have been in team Nidd 4 years this summer it was our turn as a family to ask God what we should do next  I’m sure you all realise I was pretty determined to stay- I love you all dearly, and think you’re an incredible group of Christians who are a privilege to serve. Frustratingly (and surprisingly) for me God has other plans  and it’s clear for us as a family that it’s God’s plan for us to move in August 2022 to a new circuit. There’s a full letter you can read which I wrote for circuit stewards (link below) but in brief

You are all incredible- God has great plans for you.
I’m a temporary part of your story- God has called each and every one of you to lead your churches, my role is just to help you see how amazing you are in God’s eyes

Graces Letter

As a family we are moving into the unknown- we don’t know where we will be stationed next, and as churches you are too. We may not know who or what God has planned for us, but here’s a rundown of the process over the next few months

1. We all pray that God will continue to guide us, and remember all the times in the past when God has been faithful to us.

2. You all write down what’s brilliant about your church and what you think you really need in a new minister. Send this to your stewards or to me to pass on to them. (ASAP please- we need it by July at the absolute latest!)

3. Over the summer profiles are finalised. The circuit profile (remember I said ministers are stationed to circuits not churches?) will be agreed by the CIC- Circuit Invitation Committee. Someone from each church is on this group. 

4. In October 2021 the CIC will receive ministers profiles (and I receive circuit ones) we can each make a shortlist of “profiles we think fit”

5. In November the Stationing Matching Group meet for the first time (and then regularly until early summer 2022). This national committee work out who is being sent where. 

6. Someone will come and visit the circuit. This isn’t an interview- it’s a chat and a tour, to see if the fit feels right to everyone. If it does then all is agreed. If not there are more rounds of matching. Sometimes it might be the 2nd, 3rd or even later round. 

We all keep praying that God will continue to guide us, knowing that God’s plans are good. 

Reopening Update

This continues to be “you know as much as me”! It’s looking increasingly likely June 21st  won’t be the free-for-all we all wished for, instead the news seems to suggest a steady lifting of numbers allowed at events, (social contact)rather than an increased closeness (sitting next to people in Venues- which churches are classed as!) 

As of today we still can’t sing inside, still need to distance and wear masks. However we can talk to up to 6 other people- so in a small congregation we can natter across aisles in our masks!

We can sing outdoors in groups of up to 30- without masks, at 2m distance and facing the same way. Hopefully in July I will have photos to share of outdoor hymn singing!

Worship Online/ By Paper/ Telephone

Currently there are no plans to stop morning prayer (each weekday at 8am or the online service which is broadcast on facebook and youtube at 10:30am on a Sunday. The paper service will be produced and sent by email as well.

The only change upcoming is that we will be ceasing Dial-a-Thought (01423 648644) at the end of the summer-as the numbers using the service has dropped. We recognise it’s been really valuable for many- especially during the lockdowns (and it may reappear if there ever was another lockdown) but as face to face gatherings become easier it seems the need has dropped significantly- which is good news!

A bit of self indulgence for me here! Many of you will know I’ve run Cherubums since moving into the circuit (and the Catterick library before that) and have a personal passion for supporting new families.

Part of my desire post lockdown is to do more that I’m really passionate about- preaching and teaching and supporting new families (especially as my other passion- eating cake- isn’t such a great thing when you’re not great at saying no!)

You’ll start seeing The Nest popping up around the villages. It’s not a toddler group- though it could become one! It’s a safe space for new families to meet one another, support one another, and be supported in responsive and gentle parenting, to be signposted to mental health support, feeding support and other nurturing groups, and encouraged in their work as parents.

As with all new things it will be a slow start- especially in our more rural locations, but the gift we have of safe space is a gift many new families will be so grateful for. You can find out more on The Nest website. Do pray for the families who may come, and those who may not. 

The Nest

I wonder what excites you? What you’re passionate about? Maybe God is calling you to do something with that? Cake? Singing? Craft? Prayer? Carpentry? Dance? Preaching? As we move ever towards the new normal I pray you will each find strength and joy in living out your love of God and of one another knowing God has good in store for you. 

Now may the God of peace

who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,

the great Shepherd of the sheep,

and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood

may he equip you with all you need

for doing his will.

May he produce in you

through the power of Jesus Christ,

every good thing that is pleasing to him.

All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.
(Hebrews 13:20-21 NLT)