The month of May was certainly ‘interesting’ at Wesley Hall. Our Spring Fair on the 7th May was followed on the 8th by the Junior Church Anniversary. We then launched ourselves into Christian Aid collecting and the Easter Offering service. To top it all throughout the month Theatre Club have been rehearsing hard for their ‘Afternoon Tea with Theatre Club’ event on the 11th June, (if you haven’t got your tickets yet I’d recommend that you do soon as they are going like hot cakes), and the Girls’ and Boys’ Brigade have been meeting as usual. Chris Watkins has got to grips with the new projection system and trained Alison (a bit). We even managed to squeeze in a Quiz Evening! If ever you feel you aren’t achieving anything then you need to think again. This month is a prime example of how people are totally involved in the life of the church and providing spiritual nurture and fellowship for many people.
I was interested then when the President of Conference chose ‘lay ministry’ and ‘abundance’ as one of the themes for her sermon at the Circuit service on the 22nd May. On this occasion the Circuit welcomed, recognised and admitted four people into the ministry of Local Preacher. Lilian Barth was one of those newly admitted preachers who shared their testimony with us. They all spoke movingly about how God had worked in their lives to bring them to the place they are now. It hasn’t been an easy journey for any of them but their struggles have helped them grow and develop: strengthened, not destroyed.
On the evening of the 22nd a few of us went to a District service at Wesley’s Chapel, which was again about celebrating lay ministry. The fact of the matter is the church would not survive without you. The Methodist Church is a church of the people and ordained ministers are there to help, encourage and enable people to find themselves in faith, in fellowship and in social action. For that we receive specialised training but the aim of that training is to help people grow and think through new opportunities.
Many people worked together on the day of the Fair to raise money to help with the upkeep of Wesley Hall, as well as enjoying a time of fellowship and the opportunity to welcome visitors into the church. At the Junior Church Anniversary, people of all ages took part in the service and we dedicated the new projection system that had been donated to us, as well as the Memorial Garden where people who are loved but are with us no longer are remembered.
During Christian Aid week a dwindling group of people called house to house on three evening to collect money for the organisation which helps vulnerable people around the world to establish many things for themselves that we here take for granted. The Circuit service was started by our worship group combined with the group at Forest Hill which really got us off to a great start.
There are certainly an abundance of gifts in this church and Circuit and I rejoice that people are willing to share them with others. Doing things together creates a vibrancy that is contagious. If you would like to be more involved why not speak to someone about how that might happen and dip your toe in the water, maybe staying for coffee after service to get to know people a bit better, or come to ‘Afternoon tea with Theatre Club’, or volunteer to read in church, or be on the tea rota. There are always things to do if you would like to do them. Talk to Chris Watkins, one of the stewards, or myself. We’d be delighted to get to know you better because YOU are an important person, a gift of God to us all.