Sisters and Brothers,
I greet you in the name of our Risen Lord.
It is May! Methodist Heritage Month, and I almost missed it! Lockdown in the COVID-19 crisis has significantly altered our May celebrations, yes- No Rally of the Classes intended to mark our thirtieth anniversary! No Aldersgate celebration! No Circuit outing!
But through it all, our faithful God has been ever near, so that we can find meaning in John’s Wesley’s last and timeless words: “The best of all is – God is with us.”
Yes, we have truly experienced God’s hands in blessing in many ways that we can celebrate. There has not been one Lord’s Day when we were not able to meet, though virtually, to celebrate the power of God’s presence, to hear afresh the message of God’s word, to pray for ourselves and others. And the numbers indicate that we have been able to share with many more than just the membership of our congregations. May the Lord’s name be praised!
This, of course, could not have happened without the sterling service of Bros. Joseph Williams and Glenn Holaman and Sis. Tasika Richardson who made all preparations, and kept the circuit website, Facebook and YouTube links available to us. We also give special thanks for the dedicated service of our musicians Bros. Matthijs Duyzer and Macintosh Richardson. Alongside them were the singers- Sis, Violet Roosberg, Edwarda-, Rodoykah-, Radiquah- Richardson, the Thomas family (Lescard, Barbara, Clifford, Shaneequa), Bro. Rolando Peters, Sis. Hyacintha Schmidt, Sis. Shurina Martina and those still to come. We have the preachers who have served as liturgist, preacher, pray-er, storyteller, and song-leader. And little Ti-Shona Petronia has blessed us with her poem. Then there are the many who made the extra preparations necessary to read and record the word of God before live telecasts occurred. We would not have been able to share in Holy Communion as we did without the efforts of Bros. Rolando Peters and Lescard Thomas and Sis. Theresita Adolphus. Thanks to Bro. Sergio who did what was necessary so we had the Pascal candle in place for the Celebration of the Resurrection. We have had these many gifts from God.
At the same time, our children have been receiving instructions online. I say thanks to Sis. Akeimi Shigemoto and Theresita Adolphus of Rotterdam, and Sis. Alicia Schout and Theresita Bryson of Amsterdam.
In the meantime, more service continues behind the scenes, for example, to Serve the city Project in Rotterdam. We give special thanks to Sis. Lea Lynch and Sis. Akeimi Shigemoto who has been working with the Sunday School and making the Food Bank Ministry in Rotterdam a reality. COVID-19 crisis is not stopping this outreach effort, just altering the manner in which the gifts will be presented.
The Class Leaders have been doing a marvelous job, keeping in contact with their members, and reporting on their welfare. While we may not have been able to see each other physically, the social contact has been there, hopefully even strengthened in this time of social distancing.
My prayer is that when we resume worship meetings in chapels, we shall have learnt better the critical value of reaching those outside our walls. We have been called to serve God’s people wherever we can find them- which is everywhere. It is our duty, in every way we can, to help others celebrate too, “the best of all is- God is with us.”
May the Lord’s richest blessings be ever yours.
Joan Delsol Meade