Pastoral Letter

Friday, 15th January 2021


Dear Friends,

I hope you were able to celebrate the birth of Christ in some way. As we continue our journey through 2021, I hope that we may see glimpses of glory in the dullness that January generally brings. It is always interesting for me when the weather and theology come together. As I look out of the window and I see the rain falling and the title of this week’s readings from the Methodist Prayer handbook are called the “waters of salvation”. It did make me smile even in the dullness of the day. The importance of water and rain for us all to enable our land to be green and pleasant as the well-known hymn puts it. We need clean water to survive. Our thoughts and prayers to those who do suffer when rain brings floods and devastation.

The readings this week began with the baptism of Jesus with water by his cousin John and then the Holy Spirit and the recognition by God that this is His Son whom he is well pleased. Mark reminds us the barriers have been broken down between earth and heaven with Jesus ministry about begin, God in the form of man. Paul reminds us about baptism and our commitment to it later in the week. There are more gentle links to the theme with the people of Israel staying dry because the priest’s carrying the Lords covenant box stand in the Jordan in Joshua chapter 3. Isaiah reminds us of the spiritual need for us all at this and any time, we may thirst and be hungry, but that there is spiritual food and drink that can satisfy.

In these darker days of winter and with many of our Church buildings closed and lockdown again in place we may find it hard to know how or where we may get spiritual food and drink from. There is of course reading of the word of God in the Bible reading through it and Bible notes that can give us thoughts and perspectives upon what we have read. Maybe ask a good friend or one of the ministers if you are not sure where to start. There are still Bible Study groups available online with some advertised through the Circuit News. There will of course be the paper worship materials and an online service available this Sunday at 11am.

Day of Prayer Thursday 21st January 2021 at 08:21 and 20:21There is hopefully something that might help you out of the darkness and help sustain us and that is next Thursday the 21st January we have set aside two times 08:21 and 20:21 to be times of prayer in a day of prayer. You maybe able to join us at one, both or none of the times, but can I encourage you to find a time and space to pray. There are prayers written by members of the Learning and Caring Our Calling group which you can use at those times or as a starting point for your own prayers. Maybe if you do write one down send it on to encourage and help others during that day or in the days after.

Let us build each other up, support and encourage all who want to know more of Christ. If we can help in anyway during this time to encourage and strengthen each other’s faith then let us share those stories and remember in prayer those around us who are struggling. I pray that we may know something of the refreshment from God with living water that can and will sustain us. AMEN

Revd Rob Balfour
Hurst, Mossley, Waterloo, Rosehill Methodist Primary Academy