We are now halfway through 2023, back in April l attended a Rural Ministries two-day course and it got me thinking about the church spaces we have in Northampton, some churches are based in the town surrounded by buildings and others are rural, set in the villages with green space all around. Many Churches and individuals have recognised that these outside spaces are very precious. I certainly appreciated green spaces during lockdown, a time to be outside and appreciate all that is around us. Over recent years Churches have come up with different ways of doing church for example a church without walls and more recently ECO church and muddy church. What about Forest church or even walking church, either in the town or in the countryside, people learning about God in new environments.
In the New Testament it was Paul who wanted to meet people who were belonging to ‘the way’ and as we reflect halfway through the year, we can ask ourselves what ‘way’ have l travelled this year? What might my onward journey look like? We have heard about earthquakes, cyclones, and wars where people have been stranded and have tried to find their own way out. Refugees have followed a way to various places and countries sometimes fleeing for being a Christian in their own country. In war torn countries people have been made homeless and have tried to seek a way to safety sometime with or without their immediate family. I have heard stories of rural church families welcoming refugees into their homes, reminding me of stories of children who were evacuated from the city to the rural villages, for their safety during times of war.
Recently, l have shared the booklet ‘Finding the way’, getting started with a Methodist way of life, that helps us in our daily walk with God. May we be a blessing within and beyond God’s Church, for the transformation of the world.
Just imagine if everyone in Northampton Methodist Church read this booklet, as well as those further afield and prayed the prayer below, what a story we could share in our services together, next year.
Thank you for your extraordinary love shown to us in Jesus.
Help us to live each moment of each day in gratitude, loving those around us and witnessing to the ways of your Kingdom.
Refresh us continually in the power of the Holy Spirit to be people of the Way.