Harvest Newsletter from our Minister

 

 

Dear friends,

Praise God for the Harvest!

September sees the start of a new Methodist year and and I am delighted that this this is my first year with you all. As I sit down to write I look across the Tyne valley to the skyline of Gateshead which has the blessing of a full Harvest Moon lighting it up. Its an amazing sight.

At harvest time we celebrate transformations and creation at all levels, giving God the glory and praise due, but at the same time recognising and giving thanks for human endeavour. A harvest hymn written by Brian Wren encapulates this thought when he writes:

Praise God for the harvest of farm and field,

Praise God for the people who gather their yield,

The long hours of labour, the skills of a team

The patience of science, the power of machine.

 

Praise God for the harvest that comes from the ground,

By drill or by mineshaft, by opencast mound;

For oil and for iron, for copper and coal,

Praise God who in love has provided them all.

 

Praise God for the harvest of conflict and love,

For leaders and people who struggle and serve,

To conquer oppression, earth's plenty increase,

And gather God's harvest of justice and peace.

 

As I write this letter many parts of the world remain in crisis. War, famine, drought and flood has brought for many only heartache and hardship. As we reflect on the last verse we must remember to pray for lives lost, especially calling to mind their loved ones. Pray also for world leaders who seek justice and peace for all people.

 

Remember in your prayers also our own farming communities, if you are able in any way express your thanks. As I finish this letter on a new day and glance across the valley, fields in the distance have already been ploughed in readiness for next years harvest! The transformation never ends!

 

 

Every Blessing, I remain yours in Christ, Rev Colin

Greetings from our Minister

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said: ‘here I am send me’ (Isaiah 6: v 8)

 

Greetings, wow if I was to sum up how it feels to complete a stationing profile it would have to be the words from Isaiah the prophet, ‘here I am send me.’ I started the process of applying to return to circuit ministry  in February this year, not through the normal route, trusting in the stationing process.  Leaving my current role as Lead chaplain was a difficult decision , but, felt a strong call back into circuit ministry.

 

I grew up in Salford and accepted Christ as my Lord and saviour in my youth whilst preparing for confirmation. I began training as a Methodist local preacher in 1985 whilst working in industry and gaining valuable life experience.

 

I applied as a presbyterial candidate from the Newcastle District in 1994/5 and trained for ministry at the Wesley Study Centre, St John’s College, Durham University  from 1995.

 

My first appointment Was in the Ashfield Circuit  (now Borders Mission) 1997-2007, moving to the Worksop and Kiveton and Bolsover circuits jointly 2007-2014. I currently work for the NHS as a hospital chaplain in Chesterfield.

 

I am married to Lesley and we have two grown- up children, both married and two grand children.

 

I have been involved in church life most of my life and have enjoyed serving the Methodist people, who have cared for and nurtured me. I am conscious that our church faces many challenges, not least in the Newcastle West Circuit! Yet, alongside the good people of Heddon, Milbourne and Scots Gap, we come to apply ourselves wholeheartedly to what Christ has given us to do and trust in Him to equip us to become the fruitful congregations we are called to be through: Radical hospitality, Passionate Worship, intentional faith development, Risk taking mission and service and extravagant generosity. The Five practices highlighted by Robert Schnase, we have chosen as a circuit, to fulfil our calling, to be a ‘discipleship movement shaped for mission’.

 

We move to Heddon in August and very much look forward to sharing in what promises to be exciting church life. I believe I have the gifts and graces to both enjoy leading as your minister and together move forward and enjoy bearing fruit.

 

Yours in Christ Colin