Chapel Street Methodist Church

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Minister's Letter, 21 April

From the Revd Alastair Bolt

Dear Friends,

The recent weather has been superb, whether going for your constitutional bit of exercise, sitting in your garden, or just letting the ‘sun shine in’. But, I have also been blessed in these last few days by some rain! A bit of freshness and a little change is good at this time when things can get all a bit ‘same-ish’. May you all be refreshed daily by our God, Whose love is new every morning.

Rainbows have been used by society for a whole variety of meanings. We have long talked about a ‘Rainbow alliance’ when differing groups unite for a common purpose in politics or conservation etc.

More recently the rainbow has become the symbol for the ‘gender revolution’, something which remains a matter of debate within the Methodist Church. As many of you will know, The Methodist Conference has been postponed this year, and the decisions on Same-Sex Marriage will not be made until 2021.

Today, Rainbows are having a new popularity during lock-down, with many in people’s windows, especially made by children. They are really encouraging, a sign of hope.

Perhaps we need to reassert the Biblical meaning of the Rainbow, as the sign of God’s promise, of God’s covenant with us.

God says in Genesis 9, “I am putting my rainbow in the clouds… and I will remember the everlasting covenant between Me and all living beings on the earth”. Today, that rainbow means that however dark a situation (and today’s crisis has its roots in human sin, as did the ancient flood which God saved Noah from), however black the clouds, God will bring His people safely through. Upon this foundational OT Covenant is built the New Covenant of Jesus sealed by His blood on the Cross.

I have mentioned previously the financial problems which this lock-down presents our churches. Expenses continue, income is slashed. Someone has suggested to me that when any of us might have normally gone out for coffee, or to eat, or to burn petrol on a trip, we might put the money saved aside for our church’s needs in the future.

I had my first experience of a church business meeting on Zoom this week. I’m sure many of you are using such means to meet with friends and family, but also for fellowship and worship. The great bonus of a business meeting on Zoom was the time limit of 40 minutes. And we seemed to get everything done. How about all our church meetings lasting 40 minutes! We can learn a lot during adversity.

Warm regards to you all,

Alastair's signature

Published at 15:41 on 21 April 2020

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