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Our Minister's Letter

Dear Friends,

At this time of year, many of us will be thinking of holidays, days out and other opportunities for rest and recreation. This is something that we all need. In the creation story God has set us an example and given us a pattern of work and rest that shapes our lives. It is good to have a break from our usual routines and do something different.

In schools and churches the summer months can often give a sense of things winding down before starting afresh in the autumn. Many church groups, whether for young or old, do not meet during the summer. It is also a time of farewells for Methodist ministers who are retiring or preparing to move on to new churches and fresh challenges. At this time of year there is a feeling of pause, of changing gear. It can seem rather low-key, a time when not much is going on.

Yet this is not the whole story, in the church or in the wider society. Many creative things can and do happen during the summer months. Instead of our evening service on 23 July we shall be joining with friends from other churches in the town for the CTiB open air hymn singing on the colonnade. As well as fetes and church outings many churches hold summer parties where the various church groups and those who use the premises come together for a time of community celebration. Such events can be invaluable in building relationships between the church family and those in the wider community which in turn can open up further mission opportunities.

As part of developing their mission to the wider community our friends at Sackville Road will be having another ‘Open Door’ event during the first two weeks when the church will be open for an exhibition. Do call in and visit if you are in the town.

Many churches will also be running holiday clubs, Messy Church and other events for children with imaginative activities which may be welcome during the long school holidays. Christchurch Messy Church on 24 August will be held out of doors at Egerton Park and will enable us to do things differently. Ninfield will be having a time of ‘summer fun’ at Messy Church at the start of the school holidays for the Messy Church families. This is also the time of year when many church groups and uniformed organisations take children and young people away on summer camps. As well as giving the young people a holiday they are also an opportunity of expressing a Christian lifestyle and habits on a daily basis.

A recent development in some churches is to provide a programme of activities that make up a ‘holiday at home’ for those people who are unable to get away for a break and those for whom the summer months would otherwise seem to be long and lonely. Such activities have been particularly valued by older members of the community giving them somewhere to go and have fun as they try the different activities and make new friends.

While many groups and activities may take a break during the summer months God’s mission continues. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will enable us to serve the people living in our community and be open to the new things that God calls us to do.

With love and prayers,

Tricia

 

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