Minister’s Letter



It seems to me that the month of September signifies new beginnings. If we look back to when we were children, then September would recall `back to school`, be that good news or otherwise. In adult years, though, I`ve still always felt as though September was a new start, especially as the nights are noticeably drawing in by that stage, things becoming a little more autumnal, leaves turning colour. Perhaps you`ve enjoyed a holiday somewhere a little out of the ordinary; and now there is a sense of being `back to normal` once again.


This September, we are going to be challenged to venture out of the box, if we will, rather than back to normal. This early September there will be the long-awaited document, “One church for Hoole? Developing our ecumenical vision”, presented widely to all our people. This document remains an open question to both the URC congregation and to Hoole Methodists. It is not something which will be imposed on you. However, in the spirit of new beginnings, in the spirit of an alternative to `back to normal`, David my Methodist colleague and I would ask that you will consider it seriously.


What we really need to discover, of course, is what God requires of us. It would be very easy to get bogged down with what we as individuals might feel comfortable with, but if that`s the question that guides us then we shall not get much out of the venture. It would be good if we could devote some serious prayer time to reaching a conclusion, if after all we believe that God has not finished with us yet. For that reason, we shall be inviting both congregations to do a good deal more together over the autumn months. A significant take-up for our monthly joint services and joint activities will indicate a positive response. Lack of interest will suggest the appetite for change of this nature isn`t there.


The twelfth chapter of the Book of Genesis is the beginning of an amazing pilgrimage of discovery for Abraham and Sarah, as they follow God`s call to leave what they know and travel toward something vibrant and new. The whole venture is in God`s hands, through faith, and, although the text is somewhat short on detail as to how long they took to reach a decision, it appears that Abraham and Sarah were up for a life of surprises. Not bad for senior citizens I guess. They were to become a great nation and a blessing to others. Most congregations, in my experience, indicate they want to be a blessing to God and to their neighbours. Could this be the very chance you`ve been waiting for?


Your friend and minister,