Holland Methodist Church

Notices

Experiencing God’s Abundance

Sisters and Brothers,

With God’s help, we have come through another year of difficulties- testing and trials, another year of triumphs, all through grace. We have been through difficult times, and despite this reality, we have experienced God’s abundance.

Indeed, as we reflect on our District theme Trusting God in Difficult Times: transforming obstacles into opportunities, we can look both backwards and forwards, hopefully, in full assurance of faith. The many ebenezers we have experienced must now serve as motivation to move forward in the sure knowledge that God is well able to supply the energies- physical, emotional, mental and spiritual- that we need to give towards the transformation of difficult situations we encounter. Life is not meant to be easy; but God supplies the strength we need to fulfil the mission which we have been assigned.

Ours is a multi-faceted calling. We fulfil it, when, in response to the gospel we have heard and declare, we

  • Meet human need
  • Commit ourselves to teach and preach biblical truths,
  • Call all persons to salvation through faith; and when, individually and collectively, we
  • Accept Christ’s call to mission and discipleship.

There is work for every one of us to engage in, as we share our specific gifts assigned by God’s Spirit. What God requires of us is that we play our part, each one. As we do, we discover that the work of ministry is fulfilling. The church is really meant to be that family where every member is valuable and also feels valued. When we do what the Lord helps us to, we prove to ourselves and others that we are indeed the children of God. This is good for us and for those whom we seek to encourage and inspire.

We might have noticed how some were able to rise to the occasions presented in difficult times, with the reward of helping themselves and others cope with trouble and rise higher than ever before. Let us keep on expecting that through good times or bad, the Lord will enable us to press on with our calling. We are not alone as we start another Connexional Year. God, our inexhaustible source of energy- physical, emotional, mental and spiritual- is with us to the end. Let John Newton’s words encourage us:

His love in time past forbids me to think
He’ll leave me at last in trouble to sink
While each Ebenezer I have in review
Confirms his good pleasure to help me quite through.
(VIP 265 3rd stanza)

Yours in God’s service
Joan Delsol Meade, Pastor

Connexional Pres. Message

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The grace and peace of the Lord be with you!

Our pilgrimage continues into a new Connexional Year. We are constrained to join with Charles Wesley and joyfully declare:

His providence hath brought us through
Another various year; (VIP 503).

We celebrate God’s grace and mercy during the past year and renew and reaffirm our hope and confidence that “the best is yet to come” because God is with us.  Friends, through all the changing and unpredictable scenes of life, our loving and compassionate God is with us. Therefore, we cannot allow ourselves to be daunted by all the negative forces around us.  

As believers and citizens of this region we are forced to grapple with the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, hurricanes, earthquake, crime and violence, volcanic eruption, and other natural and manmade disasters.  The sacrifices and dedication of our governments, health care workers, first responders, educators, scientists, and all who are giving yeomen service in the interest of the welfare and well-being of our citizens are indicators that there is love, goodness, tenacity, and hope in our people. The creativity, resilience, determination, and faith of our clergy and laity during these times are evidence that greater is he who is in us than he that is in the world.

The Connexional Theme for the Triennium: “Facing the Task Unfinished: Pressing Forward with Christ”, the development and approval of the MCCA Unified Strategic Direction 2021-2026 are further evidence of the unyielding conviction that God is not finished with the MCCA. Every member of the MCCA ought to remember that it’s our mission to spread scriptural holiness and transform societies. This is an unfinished task of our Church. As disciples, it is our task to make more disciples as we go. We are assured of Jesus’ presence in all circumstances.  By God’s grace a brighter future awaits us as we press forward with Christ.

We celebrate with the four ministers who have now joined the noble rank of the superannuated. It is encouraging that four additional soldiers have joined the front

line as they begin Circuit ministry, and one has joined those who are in training at UTCWI. They need our prayers. Many more soldiers of Christ are required. Join me in encouraging others to respond positively to God’s call to ordained and lay ministry.

We praise God for our Esteemed Patriarch of Caribbean Methodism, Rev’d Dr. Claude Langton Cadogan, who was promoted to glory on August 20, 2021. He was blessed with over 106 years on this earth, and we were fortunate to have journeyed with him. Our faithful God will give him eternal rest. 

Praise God for the commitment and faithfulness of the officers, leaders, preachers, and members. The work of God, especially in these times, is not easy. However, I assure you that God will strengthen us as we continue to give the best of our time, talent, and treasure for the work of the Church. 

In closing, the three new Connexional Officers, the Immediate Past Vice President  and I will need your continued prayers and encouragement as we seek to lead God’s Church, according to God’s will, during these turbulent times.  

Sisters and Brothers, let us “Press Forward with Christ” and be determined that:

Our lips and lives shall gladly show
The wonders of Thy (God’s) love,
While on in Jesu’s steps we go
To see Thy (Christ) face above.

                                                                       Charles Wesley VIP 503

We will not be defeated because God is with us, and God is on our side. Let’s stay on God’s side.

Everald Galbraith
Connexional President
September 1, 2021

Facing the Task Unfinished: Pressing Forward with Christ

Good Stewardship

Sisters and Brothers,

Through God’s never-failing grace, we have arrived at the fourth and final quarter of the Connexional Year.

Indeed, it has been a year of challenges, mostly those ushered in in the era of COVID with its demanding protocols. Challenging as these might have been, we must admit that it has been a year of learning. We went through a steep learning curve, discovering that we can continue worshipping together while inhabiting different spaces.

This is something that should have seemed obvious to us, a people who profess that God is everywhere and with God’s people everywhere; yet it took a pandemic that forced us to be physically distant from each other, to learn that in spite of not being able to dance and sing together, we can still pray and praise ensemble.

The pandemic increased the reality of human need everywhere- material, psychological, social and spiritual. It showed us clearly some needs that we might have missed or not realised how serious they were. While we were in lockdown, the telecommunications media showed us real needs that call for our attention. These are instructions for our future in ministry as we serve God in a COVID and post-COVID world. We will be without excuse if we continued to plan without paying sufficient attention to the needs that we have come to see clearly.

It is really time for a rewind. While I do look forward to my earned sabbatical rest, I know that, together, we must all approach the tasks of ministry with new fervour in the new year. Let us near that in mind as we wrap up 2020-21. But the year is far from over. I anticipate that you will have a refreshing experience under the leadership of Rev’d Damien E. Hughes during the fourth quarter.

During this quarter, even as we return to physical buildings for worship, we will miss the third Sunday worship in Dutch which is usual for Rotterdam since they do not have access to the sanctuary on first and third Sundays. This absence will allow us the time to review and come to a clear understanding of what we hope to achieve in these services. We have been catering largely to our children and young persons baptised into the faith as Methodists. Should we broaden our outlook and seek to cater to more children and young persons in general? If this is our desire, then we need to plan deliberately.

The Mission and Evangelism Committee, when it meets in early September, then, will not only be seeking to guide the implementation of initiatives we discussed during the Discipleship programme Reaching New Persons for Christ. We must also give organise more concretely for the online congregation that we have been considering.

As we look forward to relaxation of some anti-COVID regulations, we are encouraged to think, not of going back to normal in the sense of going back to life as it was before the arrival of the 2019 novel corona virus. Good stewardship requires us to focus on a new normal in which we apply the lessons we learned during the past year and a half. Only in so doing will we fulfil our calling to serve the present age.

Yours in God’s service,
Joan Delsol Meade, Pastor

Trusting God In Difficult Times_2

Sisters and Brothers,

We are well into the penitential season of Lent, a good time for theological reflection and deepening of our spirituality. Although we do not have in-person gatherings these days, I do sense, from your communications, that we are making the effort, both individually and corporately, to draw nearer to the Lord and to stay in love with God. That is commendable.

This is indeed a challenging time as the COVID-19 crisis becomes protracted and such measures as physical distancing will continue for longer than we had hoped. However, we must always bear our District theme in mind- Trusting God Through Difficult Times: Transforming Obstacles into Opportunities.

Just as the health challenges provoked by this crisis stimulated the efforts of governments, benefactors, medical researchers and technicians to develop a family of vaccines, the first of their kind, to address current needs, so too must we respond and put our resources to work for good in God’s world. Let us, as we are led by the Spirit of God, be on the lookout for opportunities and new possibilities for Christian service. As we look inward this Lent and seek improvement in our spiritual fitness, let us not forget that service in our changing context remains the best avenue for working out our faith in God. Yes, let us pray more. Yes, let us give more- (I hope that someone new took up the challenge to tithe). But above all, let us serve God with all we’ve got; and that means serving others.

Let us not allow our spiritual muscles for praying, giving and serving to get rusty while we wait for things to “get back to normal”. Remember, a new normal awaits us. Things will never be the same again. The lessons that we are learning now are for our guidance into God’s future. Let us learn well and be prepared to act on what we learn.

Do the best you can as a Class Leader or Assistant Class Leader, or in whatever office you hold. Only do it better because you will now apply the sensitivity, skills and confidence you have acquired through life with COVID-19. This month, we start a round of statutory meetings. Maybe you have been newly appointed to an office / a committee. Come prepared to share. Come prepared to approach your task with the confidence that our God who has called you, is with us now, enabling us through the present difficulty to serve better than we did before. Let us trust God and be available to learn more and to serve better; and there will be no telling what God is going to do. The hymn writer, William Cowper (1731-1800), had this to say:

God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform.
He plants his footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs and works his sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take. The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head.
Voices in Praise # 266

Look up, even as you look around at the harsh realities we experience, as we encounter those grieving the death of their loved ones who were hurriedly taken away by death, as we meet those whose employment situation is worse that it has ever been, as we are questioned by those who believe that God had forgotten us.

Look up, I say, Sisters and Brothers, let us expectantly await God’s future; and even in the era of COVID-19, that future remains bright to the glory of God.

Yours in Christ’s service
Joan Delsol Meade, Pastor.

Daniel Fast

The Holland Methodist Church will be taking part in the  Daniel Fast that will be taking place from Wednesday, 26th to 29th February, 2020.

SOME REASONS TO FAST AS A CHURCH

1. Fasting helps to bring and keep us in the presence of God as we seek God for a special purpose.
2. It helps to empty us of what does not belong so that we may be filled by his Spirit.
3. It helps us to humble ourselves before God and declare our reliance on God as sovereign.
4. Fasting helps to focus our attention on those things for which we are praying.
5. It helps to remove ourselves from the natural, everyday activities, and enables us to give ourselves fully to our spirit focused goals or desires.
6. It helps to remove the distractions of the everyday routine that sometimes hinder the effectiveness of our prayers.
7. Fasting helps in the control and discipline of our lives.
8. It prevents us from being enslaved to habit. 9. It helps us to keep physically fit and prevents us from becoming overweight. By choosing to go without we gain something of greater significance or consequence.
10. Fasting helps to release the purposes and power of God in our lives, in the lives of those we are praying for, and in the life Church.

PRAYERS THAT CAN BE USED DURING THE FAST

An Evening Prayer
To you, O God, we offer the coming day’s devotion of prayer and fasting. Thank you for the example of Jesus. Grant that we may die to ourselves, but make us new in Christ. Feed the starvation of the soul, of thought, of will and after quiet rest of sleep, open our mouths to praise you in the morning. Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Light and our Strength. Amen.

A Morning Prayer
How great and gracious you are, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! We pray for your world – for righteousness, justice , peace, healing, hope and salvation. May the whole world know amazing grace and salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, the Savior of the world. We dedicate today to the glory of your grace, to the good of your children, in the power of the Holy Spirit and in Jesus’ name. Amen.

A Mealtime Prayer
Thanks be to you, O God, for all your gifts, and especially those we shall not enjoy today. Thanks be to you for the inner nourishment of your presence and for new vigor in our prayer through this sign of fasting. Thanks be to you for family, children, friends, neighbors, church family, near and far. Thanks be to you for Jesus, the Bread of Life. Amen.

A Prayer for Breaking the Fast
To you, O God, we have offered this day of prayer and fasting. We pray for a world wide Pentecost, but especially in our Leeward Islands District and in each of our Circuits. Through the gift of your Holy Spirit empower us to be faithful ‘Andrews’ and Faith-Sharers of the good news of Christ Jesus. Grant the power of your Holy Spirit that we may serve you faithfully in the world, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

(Prayers adapted from World Methodist Evangelism)

Suggested Menu

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Breakfast Fruits/Soup Fruits Fruits/Soup
Lunch Cooked

Vegetables

Soup Green Salad, Avocado
Dinner Soup Garden

Salad

Sautéed

Vegetables of Choice

Soup
Snack Fruit Salad Almonds/

Cashews

Dried

Fruits

Nuts
  Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Breakfast Fruits Soup Fruits Fruits/Soup
Lunch Sautéed

Vegetables of Choice

Fruits & Green Salad Spinach,

Tomatoes, Cucumber

Fruits, Bread, soup & Baked Potato
Dinner Garden Salad Baked Potato & Carrot  

Soup

 

Soup

Snack Soup Raisins & Peanuts Almonds/

Cashews

Nuts

 

PLEASE NOTE THATFruits & Vegetables can be fresh, dried, frozen, juiced or canned.
Nuts & Seeds – including but not limited to cashews, peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame.
Foods can be cooked or used in their natural state.
Water & Tea (preferably bush tea).

This Menu is only given as a guide (suggested menu) items can be substituted based on availability, so you are free to make adjustments as and when necessary. N.B. The Fast is as far as possible free from ‘Rich Foods.’ Soups should be free of meat. Notice that bread is only on the last day as a transition

December – Advent’s Message

Sisters and Brothers,

It is already December and we are beginning another liturgical year- starting again the cycle from Advent through Nativity and Epiphany during December, January and February. The comforting and empowering truth is that as we travel through time, God is with us.

The Eternal God who has always been and always will be, who has brought the Methodist Church Holland Circuit through thirty fruitful years, journeys with us, continually assuring, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.

Enabled by God’s powerful, preserving, providing, protecting, peace giving presence, through the Holy Spirit who teaches and equips us for God’s service in our place and time, we can show our loving gratitude for the liberating, saving grace we have experienced in Christ.

In God, through God, with God, we can live out the theme of our Thirtieth Anniversary

          #Methodism.NL@30: Loving Service through Faith in Christ

The message of Advent ever renews our hope in God and calls us to be a people who wait actively on the Lord. This we can do through trusting God to help us serve those needing our witness. Even as we look forward to Christmas- the Season of Nativity, we can be deliberate about sharing the joy and peace we know in Christ, thus making a difference in the lives of others.

Of course, it is vital that we pay attention to our own spirituality, for growth in Christ makes us more ready to do the service which the Lord requires of us, whether in the worship and fellowship of the church itself, or through the ministries, the acts of service we render to others for God’s sake. During Nativity we often sing about the new-born Prince of Peace and pray for fulfilment of the angel tidings “Peace on Earth.” But if we do not know the inner peace which comes through a live relationship with Christ, the Prince of Peace, it is impossible to inspire peace to others who feel overwhelmed in the troubling peace-lacking situations that abound.

And then comes Epiphany and our focus on the varied ordinary ways in which God’s presence can be known among us. So, whether it’s big celebration time such as Nativity with its aura of the extraordinary- God taking on human flesh! – or in the ordinary rhythm of life, as time comes and goes, we are kept in grace by the Life Giver who calls us and gifts us for service so that the world may know indeed, that God is love.

Yours in God’s service,
Joan Delsol Meade, Pastor