Chapel Street Methodist Church

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Minister's Letter, 3 November

From the Revd Alastair Bolt

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you all after a bit of a gap in these letters. I suspect that you will all be disappointed that there is now another month of lock-down and that our church buildings will be closed again. However, we have made great strides in our communications in the last few months, and so we are much better equipped than we were last year to stay together, pray together, worship together and look after each other without actually meeting up.

So many people around us have grown weary of the whole virus ‘thing’. They are either depressed and defensive or have relaxed their vigilance and are returning to life as if there were no virus. We must strive to persevere in the strength of Jesus and be beacons of hope. (Be persistent in prayer and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God. Col 4 v2)

I was impressed with the advert on the back of an engineering and technology magazine, that a friend passes on to me. As it lay face-down on my office floor it was announcing the virtual presentation of some innovation awards. In large print it proclaimed






If someone can claim this for engineers, how much more is it true of the characters we read of in the Bible. Above all, Jesus Christ is THE radical, THE thinker, THE trailblazer and THE trendsetter. What He announces, teaches, models and does is all those things and more. Read any few verses of the Gospel, and we can honestly say with some of His hearers, “We have never heard anything like this”. Jesus is radical about values, priorities, goodness, forgiveness, power, resources, time, the big picture, the small picture, and quite literally ‘the meaning of life and the size of the universe’. And we with all our limitations are called to follow Him, to imitate Him. Whatever life you will live in the coming week, the relationships you are involved with, your timetable, habits, shopping and behaviour, the Lord Jesus calls us to be radical, thinkers, trailblazers, trendsetters. Think something new this week, introduce a radical idea into your conversations, set a hopeful trend in a depressing situation. It would be good to be able to say of our church communities that they are full of radicals, thinkers, trailblazers and trendsetters.

One way you can get new ideas is by keeping your eyes open and spotting things. At the bottom of the paper menu given to me recently at a restaurant, it says

‘Safe times = great times. I’m all yours, no one has used me before you.’

What a good way to overcome rather than increase anxiety. When we reopen our buildings in a few weeks, ‘safe times = great times’ would be good positive sign to display. Plan now, we will be opening again!

Warm regards to you all,

Alastair's signature

Published at 17:28 on 3 November 2020

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