Pastoral Letter (October 2017)

from Revd Catherine Bowstead

Dear Friends,

I want us to think a bit more about prayer this month.  I am not quite sure how prayer works, but I do think that in some way God's power is released to work when we pray.  Prayer helps us to maintain our relationship with God, so if we nurture this relationship in the good times when life is going well, then it will help to sustain us when life is difficult and hard.  It's important that we pray for one another too; sometimes when life is very hard it can be impossible to pray, so it's good to know that others are praying when we can't and I know that my family and I have been sustained and felt wonderfully supported by the prayers of others as we coped with the death of my brother earlier in the summer.

Something else that has helped in my personal prayer life this summer has been a beautiful book called "More than Words" by Hannah Dunnett.  Hannah is an artist who has a unique style of painting which combines landscapes and words from the Bible.  She has provided a commentary for each picture so the book provides a wonderful source of ideas for prayer and reflection.

I wonder how you are getting on with your "Five a day"?

Give thanks – I really like the suggestion that Jonny Cunningham made whilst leading worship a few weeks ago, that we give thanks to God for something beginning with each letter of the alphabet.

Read and reflect – have you tried the "Word in time" on the Methodist Church website which gives a short Bible reading and reflection for each day.

Pray – there are so many needs in our world and amongst our friends and family that sometimes these needs can seem overwhelming.  In the news as I write are the effects of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and America and the crisis of refugees fleeing Myanmar, these problems are so great that it can be difficult to know how or what to pray.  So it might help us to remember that in some way that we can't understand, God can be at work when we pray.

Keep silence and try to listen to God, even if it's just for a few minutes each day.

Act – how is your prayer leading you into action, perhaps to volunteer for some role within the life of our church community?

To help us with our five a day, we're planning another of our mornings for Prayer and Reflection. This will be held at church, in the Rose Room on Saturday 28th October 10am – 12noon.  You can come for as long or as little as you like.  The morning will consist of 5 prayer activities each one based on one of the five-a–day, you can try all five or just one or two.  Why not pop in when you call into the coffee house for refreshments after you've done your shopping?

And don't forget that our John room is usually available for quiet prayer and this has been enhanced by the prayer activity that Claire has set up there.  The Prayer Group gathers here every Tuesday morning and is an open time of prayer for all to join.

If you have a suggestion for something that has helped you in your prayer life or that could be used to enhance the prayer life of our Church Community perhaps you'd like to share it in a future edition of "Greetings".

With every blessing

Next letter