Welcome to Wokingham Methodist Church
Weekly Pastoral Letter - 1 December 2023
from Revd Catherine Bowstead
Letting Stuff Go
We’re now in the season of Advent. When I was a child, Advent seemed to last for ever, each day I would open another door on the Advent Calendar, and it seemed to take a very long time until we reached Christmas Eve. Now that I’m older, the time seems to pass very quickly indeed! Advent is the time to get ready to celebrate Christmas, but also the time to check that our lives are ready to meet with Christ when he returns. I wonder if we put as much effort into ensuring that our lives are ready for Jesus’ return as we do for preparing for Christmas Day?
The themes for the beginning of Advent are difficult, they are meant to be demanding and challenging as we think about the end times and evaluate our lives. Our Bible readings for Sunday are Isaiah 64: 1-9 and Mark 13: 24-37 with the theme of “Letting stuff go”. Read them through before Sunday and consider what God is saying to you through them about being ready.
There are things that you can do during Advent to ensure that you are ready to meet Jesus. You could find time each day for some prayer and reflection, perhaps by signing up for the daily reflections provided by the Methodist Church, or you could light a candle for a few minutes each day and use the time to pray.
And while you are praying, ask that God might show you how his extraordinary love might transform your ordinary life, and think about who you might invite to one of our Christmas services so that they might experience God’s extraordinary love too.
I hope that you have a good week,
With every blessing
Prayer for the Day - Advent
Our first symbol for Advent is a box from the attic waiting to be sorted through.
Advent God, as we light our first candle, help us let go of what we do not need, but hold on to what is important for the way ahead.
Advent God, challenge us today.
Weekly Pastoral Letter - 24 November 2023
A Reflection from Rosi MorganBarry
Bad News, Good News
‘Good morning, Good evening, here is the 10 o'clock, 6 o'clock News’ …
We can pick up The News on radio, or television at particular times of day. Or we can read the news in papers, on our mobile phones at any time. Many of us do. For many people it’s an important part of our day to watch or hear the news; to catch up with what's going on in the world, in our own country, or our own town.
It’s always Bad News. The first things reported are disasters: earthquakes, fires, wars and conflicts, traffic accidents, people hurt, losing lives, homes livelihoods …etc. etc. How do we react to all this? Doesn’t it leave us with a sense of helplessness? What can we do about it?
Just occasionally, The News ends with a piece of Good News: someone rescued from a fire; an animal saved from drowning; a call for peace talks; aid agencies rushing out to help in a disaster zone … But not always. More often than not we are left with either a sense of wanting to switch off, not wanting to know, or – as noted above – that sense of helplessness.
Yes, we can increase our giving to charities and agencies who aim to provide help where needed; we can work to promote awareness of the need for such aid; we can help with special collections in our town and country. Few of us have the time, the skills, the energy to actually go out to disaster situations and offer practical help.
But there are things we can all do. We can remember that Jesus came to bring us Good News. We can pray.
Pray for those hurting; pray for those needing healing; pray for the lost, the helpless, the homeless, wherever they may be. Pray for those with the courage to go and offer aid.
Pray especially for those causing the wars, the conflicts, the hurt. If we do not pray for these, how will they ever come to a sense of needing God’s forgiveness?