Four months ago the word zoom, to me, meant a camera lens or to rush around. Now Zoom is an accepted way of holding meetings, Bible Studies, coffee mornings, pastoral support and keeping in touch with family and friends. I thought conference calls were just for highflying executives, but Methodism has embraced this as a way of conducting essential business. The Methodist Conference will be held ‘virtually’ at the end of the month.
Likewise, how many of us thought that we would be willing to be videoed while singing, reading The Bible or praying, in preparation for Circuit and District services, possibly being seen by hundreds on Facebook or You Tube. How quickly we adapt! This has been just one aspect of the Corona Virus pandemic and I hope that you don’t think that I am trivialising the effects of the last few months.
People have been challenged, traumatised, bereaved, isolated, exhausted and scared. People are needing foodbanks more than ever, worrying about their jobs, schooling, exams, and their very futures. At the very time we have needed each other most we have had to keep physically apart. But in the midst of this suffering what an amazing response there has been across the age range, from virtual choirs, sponsored walks, volunteer shoppers, prayer chains, and so much more. We recognise that not everyone is able or willing to engage with technology and their needs must be met, across Sutton Park Circuit individual churches have found ways to maintain contact with their own congregations, especially those without email. As a CLT we have explored ways of reaching out to everyone and I thank all the Ministers for their endeavours. I also wish to thank John and Naomi for their continuing support, dealing with Treasury matters is even more testing in the current situation for John.
How will life look in another 6 months? How will Church look in another 6 months? We just don’t know other than it will be different because we are all different, affected by our individual experiences. One thing that won’t be different is our unchanging God – always with us, always loving us. So we look and plan ahead in faith and holding all things in prayer.
Marion Watts, Senior Circuit Steward
We have created a new page on the Circuit website which you will see in the Menu. It is called “In Memoriam” (In Memory) and is designed to collect and remember the names of all those who have died in these strange times, and who had links with this Circuit. In these days when we are presented with faceless statistics in the media, it is good to remember the human face behind each life lost.
Please email Stephen.Froggatt@methodist.org.uk if you have names to add.
May the faithful departed, by the mercy of God, rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.
With the current restrictions on movement in place it may not be possible for everyone to attend a funeral. The Methodist Church offers this short act of worship to help you say your formal goodbyes while remaining in your home.
Dear friends in the Sutton Park Circuit,
We are at the moment being urged to keep social distancing in place, in order to help curb the wave of the coronavirus in the UK.
In a time when we are asked to “keep a distance” and more physically separate from one another it is good to remember Paul’s words to the Romans:
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8. 31ff)
Friends, let us, therefore, daily renew our faith and trust in the Living God, and be praying for one another in hope.
Please do get in touch, if you are concerned about anyone who is in the hospital at the moment, or in the upcoming weeks, particularly if there are weeks when there is no visiting allowed at the hospital. The UHB Chaplaincy team covers: the QE, Heartlands, Solihull, and Good Hope Hospitals. You can email me: Kathryn.firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the Erdington manse (0121 386 5612) or phone the Chaplaincy and leave a message (0121 424 7676). Do keep your own minister and pastoral visitor in touch with the situation.
God bless, Rev Kathryn Darby UHB Chaplain Good Hope Hospital
Local Churches in the Circuit now have many folk confined to working at home. A good use of the time now would be to make progress with the GDPR Data Audit, which is due in from all churches at the September Circuit Meeting.
What Needs to Be Done
Go to the TMCP website https://www.tmcp.org.uk/about/data-protection
Scroll down to this section:
Template Notices, Registers and Forms
- Processor Record for Managing Trustees
- Data Mapping Form for Managing Trustees – Template form that Managing Trustees can use to help them to record what personal data they hold.
- Non-Exhaustive List of Examples – Examples based on the results of the Working Party’s data mapping exercise to help Methodist Managing Trustees complete the Data Mapping Form .
Read the first and the third, and fill in the first two. What could be more fun?
Questions, as ever, to me. Stephen.Froggatt@methodist.org.uk
A desperate plea to anyone who owns a holiday cottage, or knows someone who does, that is suitable accommodation for a chemically sensitive & allergic person who desperately needs the right environment in which to heal. Preferably in a location that is reasonably elevated and away from crop growing. South Midlands, Cotswolds, Malverns would be ideal places but anywhere would be considered.
Please contact email@example.com if you can help. Thank you.