Christchurch Methodist Church

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

Christchurch Methodist Church

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Methodist Church

Minister's Letter

Dear Friends
At the end of the creation story in the book of Genesis we read that when God had finished all that he had been doing he stopped working and rested on the seventh day.  We all need times of rest and relaxation and God has set us an example and given us a pattern to follow.  In the midst of our busy lives we need times when we can get away from our work and usual routines and recover our balance.  Holidays and rest days bring refreshment to our lives and enable us to return to our regular tasks with renewed enthusiasm.
Like many other organisations, the Methodist Church, recognises that in addition to days off and holidays, ministers benefit from an extended time away from work and so grants its ministers a regular sabbatical. A sabbatical is a gift from the Church to ministers as a time for refreshment and renewal, time to be with God and an opportunity to do something different which will inform and perhaps re-enthuse them in their ministry.  A sabbatical is beneficial for individual minister, and for the health of the wider church. It can often be a time to explore different and creative ways of exercising ministry as church members discover and use their gifts and take on additional responsibilities.
As many of you know, I will be taking a sabbatical from 4 March to 10 June so you will not see me around the church during this time and I will not be dealing with any emails, letters or phone calls so as to have a complete break. Arrangements are in hand for others to lead worship, provide pastoral care and cover my work duties while I am away and more details will be available from the Stewards.  Please pray for those who will be taking on additional responsibilities in my absence, especially Revd Peggy Heim.
As well as rest and recreation and spending time with my family I am intending to use my sabbatical to deepen my understanding of Methodist history and heritage. In addition to reading and study I will also be making visits to some historic Methodist chapels and museums around the country eg John Wesley’s house in London, the New Room at Bristol, Epworth Old Rectory and Englesea Brook. I am also going to visit some Methodist schools to see how the ethos of Methodism is expressed in their daily life.
I am looking forward to discovering all that God has in store for me during this time and to reflecting on what we can learn from our heritage that can inform our mission and ministry for today.
Please pray for me as I prepare for my sabbatical and during the break that it may be a time of blessing and enrichment enabling me to return to ministry refreshed and with renewed enthusiasm as we serve God together. 
Every blessing to you.
- February 2019

Focus for Prayer – February 2019

O Lord, I will always sing of your constant love; I will proclaim your faithfulness for ever. I know that your love will last for all time, that your faithfulness is as permanent as the sky.  (Psalm 89 vs 1-2)

  • Give thanks for God’s unending love and faithfulness that surrounds us every day. Pray that we may never cease to share God’s love with the people we meet day by day.
  • Give thanks for the friendship and fellowship that we share in worship and mid-week groups. May we continue to encourage one another to learn more of God’s love and grow in faith.  Pray that our actions may be filled with love as we reach out to help and serve others in the wider community.
  • As we mark Racial Justice Sunday on 10th February pray for the victims of racial injustice and all who are treated as second-class citizens because of the colour, accent or culture and all who experience discrimination in education or  employment, afforded scant respect, dignity or understanding.  May God help us to build a better future together, a world like God’s kingdom of justice and love.
  • As St Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14th praise God for making us male and female in his image and give thanks for giving us one another.  Pray for God’s blessing on all our relationships and for God’s healing touch where relationships are broken or in difficulty.
  • Give thanks to God for the many gifts he has bestowed on each one of us and for all who offer their gifts to serve God in the life of the church.  Pray that God may call the right people to offer themselves to serve as Church Stewards to work with the minister in offering leadership for the life of the church.
  • Pray for our outreach to children and families through Messy Church as it meets again this month.  Pray that we may be able to find new leaders to work with the children and young people on Sundays and re-start Junior Church.

Pray for the elderly and housebound members of our churches and all who have been going through difficult times, especially those who have been bereaved. May they be enfolded in the love of God.

Pastoral Prayers – February 2019
Please pray for the following during the coming month:-
Virginia Cole - Pastoral Visitor
Alison & Cameron Alpine, Bill Cole, Pamela Eagling, Moreen Hancock,Carol Johnson & Robert, Giles, Lisa, Charlotte & Christian Pestell, Graham Warner, and Pam & Dave Wickens.

We have had requests for prayers during our services in December and January and please could you include Alex, son of Alan & Anne Pitchforth, Dhaneep a friend of Jo Eckersley, Rev Ian & Lis Pruden, Yvonne Carter, Olive and his family - a friend of Peter Pleece and David Harrison.
We also remember David Wall, who lost his Dad, Gordon, at the beginning of January. Gordon was a dedicated member of Christchurch for many years until he became ill. The funeral will have taken place by the time you read this but please pray for David at this very difficult time.

Every Blessing to you all.

Virginia Cole
Pastoral Secretary

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