Christchurch Methodist Church

Springfield Road, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex TN40 2BX

Christchurch Methodist Church

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Minister's Letter

Dear Friends

In the Wilderness

The gospel writers tell us that immediately after his baptism Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and it was there that he encountered his first spiritual crisis.  I discovered recently that in the Chinese language the word ‘crisis’ is made up of two ideograms. One represents ‘danger’ and the other ‘opportunity’ and Jesus’ experience in the wilderness brought these two themes together.  Mark tells us that there were wild beasts in the wilderness but ministering angels were there too as Jesus defied the dangers, both physical and spiritual. We can see that he grasped the opportunity to grow in grace through his encounter with temptation for Luke tells us that he returned to Galilee ‘and the power of the Holy Spirit was with him.’ The wilderness was a positive experience for Jesus through which he clarified the nature of his mission.

If our Lent means going with Jesus into the wilderness, we can expect both testing and triumph.  Deep within our inner being, powerful pressures, which in religious terms we call temptations, may sometimes rise to the surface and break through our inner defences leading us to speak or behave in ways that are lacking in love and grace. It is a time of trial and danger.  But because the wilderness is the place where we encounter God and his redeeming love, it is also the place of opportunity. It is in that encounter with ourselves and simultaneously with God that we discover – or rediscover – the abundant life that Jesus gives us all.

In the wilderness, Jesus prayed and meditated on the Hebrew scriptures which he had learned from childhood. The devil attacked where Jesus was strong, quoting the scriptures and applying them falsely. Jesus drew on his memory and made a counter attack with other passages which kept his faith from failing.  When we experience times of crisis and challenge we too can draw strength from God through prayer and reading the Bible, and God in his grace enables us to remain strong and Christ himself surrounds us with healing and hope.

May this season of Lent be a time of blessing and renewal for you all.

With all good wishes


March 2019

Focus for Prayer - March 2019

When I am afraid, O Lord Almighty, I put my trust in you. I trust in God and am not afraid; I praise him for what he has promised. (Psalm 56:3-4 GNB)

  • Praise God for his faithfulness to us and for all his promises giving us hope and encouragement in all situations.
  • Pray for those who are fearful and anxious of what the future may hold, pray for those who are ill or whose loved ones are ill and for those facing big changes in their lives.
  • As Lent begins let us reflect on the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the wilderness in preparation for his ministry and the temptations that he faced. As Jesus drew strength from the scriptures may we also find in them the help and guidance we need for the challenges we face in our lives.
  • Om Mothering Sunday (31st March) give thanks for the nurturing love we have received from others and pray for all who provide for the emotional and physical needs of others. Pray for those who have not received the motherly love that they need and those who are caring for parents who are elderly or unwell.
  • Pray for the life of the Circuit at this time and all who are in leadership roles especially Revd Peggy Heim and the Circuit Stewards and all who have additional responsibilities during Ian’s absence and Tricia’s sabbatical. Pray that God may support and guide them in all that they do.
  • Pray for the life and mission of all our Circuit churches challenged by different needs and opportunities as they seek to reach out in love to the communities in which they are based. May God show us how we can best serve the present age and grow in our life together.

Pastoral Prayers – March 2019

Please pray for the following during the coming month:-

Jan Corke - Pastoral Visitor

Virginia Cole, Janet Gunner, Christine Harvey-Holbrook and Maureen & Ed Pullen.

Please also remember those who we have been asked to pray for since our last Newsletter - David Wall, Alex Pitchforth, Barbara Mortlock, Ian Pruden and his wife Lis, Chris and his wife Miriam and All Circuit Staff.

Every Blessing to you all.

Virginia Cole,
Pastoral Secretary

© Copyright 2019 Christchurch Methodist Church
Hastings Bexhill & Rye Methodist Circuit - Charity number 1134757