Autumn Pastoral Letter

Dear Saints,

This is possibly one of the most difficult letters I have had to write to the church family. I often sit prayerfully holding you all in thought as I prepare to write for our church magazine but sadly on this occasion I am remembering three of our sisters that we have lost recently.  I am also holding close those who are grieving the passing of relatives and friends during this time, alongside many of you who have been very ill. May we just take a moment to pause and remember, holding each other in prayer … Lord in your mercy may grace and peace abound, Amen.

Well dear folks, we have not met to worship together within the church building for many months now and I know this has been a great sadness to us all.  However telephone calls, letters, cards, texts, Zoom calls, gathering for prayer at the church and at home, plus socially distanced visits have enabled us to continue staying connected as a family. I am grateful to the team set up at the beginning of lock down who have been undertaking many of the phone calls, to the Core Team who have enabled us to give practical support to individuals and families with shopping etc. The dedicated prayer team who receive an update of prayer requests for our church family, community and uniformed groups each week. The Finance and Property Committee and Safeguarding Team who have continued to meet with me regularly to keep the business of the church running but also the enormous work to make our building adapted and safe for opening.  To the wonderful voluntary team who have kept the grounds maintained, particularly the flowers and plants which have given such a welcome as folk arrive for prayer sessions or socially distanced essential committee meetings. Also to those from the Stewards team and prayer team who have come every Monday night and Friday morning since July to open up the church for Private Prayer sessions, therefore holding a prayerful presence within our community. 

 

Life is very busy in ministry with lots of pastoral concerns, funerals for church, community and family along with many meetings held on Zoom video with Circuit, District and Connexion alongside support for our charities, safeguarding meetings and lots of health and safety issues.  You will also have heard that it became necessary to be moved during lockdown … due to health issues … I am so blessed to be experiencing such good health and wellbeing now …

What is your news? Why not send us a postcard!  It would be lovely if you could send a postcard to the church family.  It might be of something fun that has happened during this time of lockdown and restrictions, it could be a poignant memory of someone you have lost that you would like to share or it could be a message of greeting from your part of the world … we will then put them up within church so that when you next visit us you will be able to see them.  We will also put some photos up on our website with permission of course from the sender.  Our church members have received some postcards in their recent church magazine mail drop … so don’t forget to send them in folks!

 

Our children are also colouring in cut outs of teapots and cupcakes!  Once these are received we can make some mobiles and garlands to add to our welcome to the church when you next visit us.

Be assured that you are greatly loved and prayed for, that what we are experiencing right now with coronavirus is only for a season, remember our great foundation and security lies in knowing that …

With love and prayers always,

Deacon Maria

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Post: Emmanuel Methodist Church, 448 Oxford Road, Reading, RG30 1EE

Emailminister@emmanuelmethodistreading.org.uk

Phone: 0118 958 3445

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