May 2011

Dear Friends

SpringI hope you all had a great Easter.  The weather has been so beautiful hasn’t it? The flowers and shrubs have come out early, the trees make us wonder how it’s possible that there are so many different shades of green.  Fresh and vibrant colours greet us every morning and have you noticed that the memorial garden is really coming alive? Many of the plants that have been donated are in bud waiting to burst forth into colourful life.  We thought it would be a good idea to have a short prayer of dedication for the garden and those who are remembered there after the Junior Church Anniversary Service on the 8th May (tomorrow).  I hope you can make it.

Speaking of the Church Anniversary, it has been decided that we will explore how we perceive things, the reading for the day is based on the road to Emmaus story and it would appear that our special guest at that service will be Penguins! (I hope that has got you wondering).  Our young people will be leading part of the service and everyone will be able to participate.

During that service on the 8th May (it’s a busy one isn’t it) we will be using our new state of the art projection system kindly donated by Jack in memory of his wife Jean.  We thank you Jack and every time we use it we will remember that Jean will always be a much loved part of Wesley Hall.

Speaking of perceptions, did you read the story about the electrician who always kept a palm cross on the dashboard of his van, until suddenly his employers told him to take it out as it upset people of other faiths?   He refused to take it out and caused himself quite few problems, in fact he feared he would lose his job.  The situation was resolved however, when faith leaders, Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, spoke out and said ‘Of course he should be able to display a symbol of his faith’. Why should we be offended? I wonder why his employer thought it caused offence?  How did he perceive the situation? Was he anti Christian, merely being ‘politically correct’, or had their really been a complaint? Wherever we stand in a situation there are different perspectives. The question is do we stop to think about how other people see things? Where we stand matters.  How do we reach a compromise if necessary?  When should we compromise?  Big questions.

At the end of April, London came to a standstill with people vying for the best positions, pitching tents along the route the wedding cars and carriages would take. Wherever they stood they would have a limited view of the Royal Wedding – TV viewers would probably see more. But it was the atmosphere that people wanted to soak up. Something different, something to be a part of. Something that can people say with feeling,  ‘I was there’.

We are now in the Easter season and as we travel through it we will meet people in the Bible who can say,  ‘I was there,  I saw Him’.  There were the doubters and those who didn’t recognise him until he did something very familiar. But they were there and we can read about imagining what it was like for them.


PS: Just to remind you that on the 22nd May there will be a joint service at Forest Hill. It is our sister Church’s 4th anniversary and the President of the Methodist Conference will be preaching.  Most importantly our trainee local preachers will be Accredited at that service, so please come and support, Lilian Barth, Hilary Waterhouse, Joseph Musungo and Yoko Brewah.  All of them have put so much into their training all they need now is our love and support as they continue their journey as preachers and leaders of worship.

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