Sisters and Brothers
I greet you in the name of our triune God.
Through grace, we have arrived at the final month of the Connexional Year. Let us give thanks.
For many, August is time to wind down from the demanding tasks we might have pursued from Advent through Nativity, Epiphany, Lent, Resurrection, Pentecost, and the ordinary seasons of the liturgical year. Every season brings different demands, and it seems that things are always going on.
But no doubt, that’s the very reason for the special times and seasons. They help us to mark the passage of time with that consciousness that God is right beside us as we journey through time, and that an inheritance awaits us. With God, we do not go round in circles. The liturgical calendar helps us to recognise the passage of time, not in some futile way, as if going through meaningless routines. Rather remembering what God has done on our behalf in times past, and what God is doing in our todays, stirs up our hope in the promises of God for the future. In that sense, every season is like Advent. We remember the Old Testament promises of a Redeemer. We celebrate the Birth of God’s Son who cane to save us, and we remind ourselves of the need to be ready for his return.
It is good to take stock of what we do (or not do) as time passes; and the rest period that August signals for many is an important part of taking stock. Of course, people take their break at different times, but for families especially, much revolves around the school year when children and youth must be at classes during most of the year; and then they get a longer summer break.
Speaking of school holidays, they too, come to an end. This year, we mark the important event of children returning to classes with the Back-to-School Service in both congregations. I appeal to parents and other significant adults to encourage the children and their families to participate in this. It is another event to mark the passage of time which is God’s gift to us.
Whether or not you have school-aged children, or work in the field of Education, it is not only winding down time, but also preparation for a new Connexional Year. For the past two years, the District started with a Prayer and Fast, This will run from 3rd to 10th September. Start thinking of whether you will pursue the Daniel Fast based on Daniel chapters 1 and 10 where “Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with wine” (vs 8) ; or the Wesley Fast with fasting after supper daily, breaking the Fast with Lunch.
By the start of September, you will receive the prayer list and be ready to go with God, ready to travel through grace, the 2023-24 Connexional Year. May the Lord’s name be praised.
Yours in Christ’s service
Joan Delsol Meade