If you are a Methodist the month of September brings with it new starts of all sorts.
As well as the school changes that everyone else copes with, and the ’empty nest’ heartache as new family members head off to university for the first time, we have a New Year.
Presbyters and deacons who are changing jobs do it now and so are getting used to the regular cycle of meetings but with different groups of people. For ministers, especially Superintendents and District Chairs, the next few weeks are chaotic.
The diary is crammed night after night and the mileage rises as church councils, welcome services and harvest festivals mount up.
Our chaos is of a slightly different nature. My new role as Head of the Mission & Advocacy cluster in Methodist Church House at Marylebone Road, London, begins on September 5 but we can’t move from Cornwall to our new home in Winchester for a further 10 days. Even after that Joy’s work doesn’t finish till the following week!
So if your mind is spinning with the prospect of the next few Methodist weeks, remember that God is in control – even if he doesn’t plan the Connexional diary – and reflect on these lovely words from a Paul Field song.
‘Go peaceful, in gentleness
through the violence of these days.
Give freely, show tenderness
in all your ways.
God speed you,
God lead you,
and keep you wrapped around his heart.
May you be known by love.’
Go Peaceful, Paul Field from New Hymns for the Modern Church