Holland Methodist Church

Pastors Corner

God offers us victory

1st April, 2020

Sisters and Brothers,

I greet you in the name of our common Lord

As you are aware, the COVID-19 crisis has brought significant changes to our schedule for the month of March and also for the remainder of the third quarter of the church year.

As I remind all our members and their families to continue to be vigilant and to adhere to the guidelines set by the relevant authorities – national, municipal, health – I remind us that observing the regulations is our responsibility as Christians who are called to love ourselves, and our neighbours, for God’s sake.

This is why, until notified otherwise, we will continue to use online means to share in divine worship together. Our schedule from now to Easter is as follows:

  • Lord’s Day 5th April – Palm/Passion Sunday. 2:00 p.m. service streamed live from Zoetermeer
  • Monday 6th to Thursday 9th April- Holy Week. Every evening at 7:00 p.m., I will present a brief meditation. You can also use the liturgies in your Prayer Book for each day. We have, necessarily cancelled the Love Feats for Holy Thursday but will have service live streamed at 2:00 p.m. on Good Friday, 10th We have also been circulating meditations by various ministers across the District and Connexxion. Please make good use of these in your family worship.
  • On the Festival of the Resurrection (Easter) we will also continue with live streaming starting at 2:00 p.m.

Please note that all statutory meetings scheduled for March/April, the Rally of the Classes, and some other church events which require persons to come together, will be held at dates to be announced later.

Members who are able to, are reminded to contribute online their tithes and offerings for the continuation of church’s ministry. I am well aware that many of you have no income at this time and are needing support, so please do not regard this as a demand on those unable to contribute in this way.

As we look to Holy Week when we focus more deliberately on our Lord’s Passion – his suffering and death for our sakes, I remind us that Jesus, our High Priest, who chose to share our mortality, knows full wel, the pain and anxiety that we are experiencing.

I remind us, too, that his death was not the final event in God’s salvation plan, but the means through which we find forgiveness. And beyond the grave which he endured for us, is the victory of his Resurrection.  Jesus not only died for our sins, paying the price with his blood. He rose for our justification. He ascended to and is even now at God’s right hand, interceding on our behalf. Victorious life in Christ is ours to claim today, even while the corona virus crisis could hold many captive in their anxieties and fears.

This is not to belittle the pain of the thousands who have lost loved ones. The COVID disease has already visited some of our families, and in at least one case, killed a loved one. But we need remember that death is not the end of those who trust in God.

This brings me to the important need for each to make life’s ultimate decision – the choice to be at peace with God. God has already done all that is necessary for you and I to know peace. We re-enact our Saviour’s crucifixion and resurrection to remind us of the cost of God’s love and the power of God’s love; but these two realities have already taken the required effect in the lives of those who accept God’s plan.

Will you, if you have not done so, trust God’s plan for salvation in Jesus Christ? And if you have, praise God and continue to seek the infilling of God’s Holy Spirit that indeed, even now, even in the face of this killer virus and the havoc it could wreak, you will share in the new life that God offers.

May the Lord’s richest blessings be yours today and always.

Joan Delsol Meade
Your Pastor

Greetings! Groeten! Kumindamentu!

Greetings! Groeten! Kumindamentu!

It is indeed a special joy for us to greet you from “Dushi Korsou” (“Sweet Curacao”), one of the Dutch/Papiamento speaking Circuits of our Leeward Islands District Conference.

This is just an excerpt of the final Pastoral Letter. To read more click the below link:

The Pastoral letter from the 2020 Leeward Islands District Council to the Congregations of the District

Yours in God’s service,
Joan Delsol Meade

God is with us

Sisters and Brothers,

A Blessed New Year to everyone!

Thanks be to God. We have, by grace, made it through another year. For my family, it has been full of occasions for thanksgiving – safe travels, successful major surgery, healing from pain and illness, job promotions or transitions, new births, reunions, academic successes to name some of our blessings.

Not everyone can start their list with pleasant memories, for some are still reeling from the pain of bereavement and loss of different sorts. But hopefully we pray that with time, brighter scenes will colour their memories.

The truth is that in our life together, we have had varied experiences through which we were reminded of God’s abundant love and faithfulness. With these in review, we need not despair, even when difficulties arise. Let us resolve to find God’s very present strength in every trouble we endure. Let us set our minds on affirming, like the psalmist, that while weeping may linger for the night, joy comes in the morning. (Ps. 30: 5b).

Let us never forget that where we are weak, God is strong, always outmatching the power of evil. So then, if we resolve to work with and for God, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we are already set to win in 2020. God never fails. The Lord may be full of surprises, yes; always doing a new thing, often something contrary to our expectations, but always a winning thing! Faithfulness to God’s call comes with its our promise of victory. The shape of the victory we will experience is God’s to determine. His is the promise of a hopeful future.

Let us find encouragement in the words of the hymnist Frances Ridley Havergal:

Standing at the portal of the opening year
Words of comfort meet us, hushing every fear,
Spoken through the silence by our Father’s voice,
Tender, strong and faithful, making us rejoice.

Onward, then, and fear no, children of the day!
For his word shall never, never pass away!

I, the Lord, am with you; do not be afraid!
I will help and strengthen; do not be dismayed.
Yea, I will uphold you with my own right hand;
You are called and chosen in my sight to stand.

For the year before us, O what rich supplies!
For the poor and needy living streams shall rise;
For the sad and sinful shall his grace abound,
For the faint and feeble perfect strength be found.

He will never fail us; he will not forsake
his eternal covenant he will never break!
Resting on his promise, what have we to fear?
God is all-sufficient for the coming year.
Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)

From everlasting to everlasting, and especially in 2020, God is with us.
May the Lord’s name be praised in our life- our being, sayings and doings- this year

Yours in God’s service,
Joan Delsol Meade

God’s gifts

Sisters and Brothers,

How time flies! November is here and with it, remembrance of saints through the ages. It is good to thankfully remember the outstanding faithful witness of those who have gone before us, including the many who will never be canonized, but whose influence upon their generation included their inspiring many others in faith.

Surveys among Christian believers have shown that the relatively few persons in our time come to faith because of extraordinary preachers, teachers, ministers (call them what you choose) while most are inspired in the faith by the ongoing and rather ordinary, everyday witness of those in whom they see godliness- a Christlikeness that somehow captures their attention and wins them for Christ. So just do your bit. It may seem small but do it faithfully. Be among the living saints who inspire others to trust in God who enables them to become more than they dreamt possible.

And November is also the time for our Harvest Thanksgiving Festivals. While the name itself suggests appreciation for the natural harvest of farmers’ produce, fields of food and flowers’, it also directs us to give thanks for everything. At Harvest Thanksgiving, we truly want our lives to say, “For All Thy Gifts We Bless Thee, Lord”.

Yes, flowers and crops, fruits and natural things of beauty stare at us like reasons to say “thank you, God”; but so also our inherent gifts and abilities – the things that we, through grace, can do, and some so very well. We create things of beauty- music and song, poetry and rhyme, drama and musical story. There’s the craft of our skilful hands for which we pray “Prosper, O Lord, the work of our hands.” The gift of intellect, the technician’s skill, the teacher’s effective instruction, the singer’s inspiration, the artist’s impression, and so much more, are all reasons to say thanks.

And what better way to harvest these gifts but in producing good, showing in our lives the glory of God in how we do what we can, while the rest of nature does its part in telling God’s story? Yes, God is good and deserves all the glory. You and I express our gratitude best when we use well the gifts with which we have been blessed, when we knowingly live out our conviction that the gifts of God are for the people of God.

In God’s service,
Joan Delsol Meade, Pastor