New Connexxional Year

Sisters and Brothers,

Welcome September! A new Connexional Year has begun.

What do we mean by this? The Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas structures its assignments and programmes- planning and review- over the 12-month period 1st September to 31st August. This is the Connexional Year. It is not the church year, in the liturgical sense which, for the church universal, starts on Advent Lord’s Day, typically at the end of November or the start of December. It is to avoid confusion that you hear me speak often of the Connexional Year when I refer to the MCCA business year.

With that clear, let us continue our journey with God, remaining ever vigilant to take advantage of the opportunities that arise for doing God’s work. We are reminded that these opportunities often present themselves in the form of obstacles.

What then must be our reaction to the obstacles we encounter? As always, our first instinct must be to pray. Some problems may not be ours to handle but there are certainly obstacles which the Lord allows to come our way, so that we may find the way out. Very often, possibilities arose when we seek to solve problems together, guided by God’s Spirit. That one way in which the communion of the Holy Spirit operates in the life of believers. In a situation that is undesirable, we may well sense the leading of the Spirit to what the right action should be. Let us not underestimate the need for us to pray about obstacles, so that we receive divine guidance about going forward, and improving the situation.

In presenting the annual report of each Congregation on Missions Lord’s Day, we noted areas where we worked well together, and areas in which improvement is needed. A new year is always good time to start working on improvements. It doesn’t have to be the liturgical year, or the calendar year beginning in January. Every day offers new opportunities. But for us in the MCCA, September is good time to start turning tables where we need to.

At both Amsterdam and Rotterdam, we noted the need for more deliberate involvement of youth. Every Congregation needs to be intentional about this. Faithfulness to Christ’s mission demands it. Instead of being overly critical of youth, it is more helpful to be supportive and encouraging. Help them to cultivate a sense of belonging, and an awareness that they are valued in the church family. Adults have an important part to play in this.

As always, we need to take community service and outreach seriously, since the church must never be just for its own self-preservation. These and other areas are where we continually seek God’s guidance that we may do God’s will.

Welcome 2023-24!

Yours in God’s service
Joan Delsol Meade, Pastor