Pastoral Letters: 1st November 2020

Dear Friend from Bridport United or Uploders Methodist Church,

I have bumped into several people who clearly expressed the view that they are finding the current situation really hard at the moment, not least because as I write there are rumours of an increase once again in restrictions.  Having had months of the effects of the lockdown, in its various levels, and at the moment no serious prospect of it ending any time soon I can fully understand it.  Having for months attempting to be as upbeat as possible in the circumstances, I do find it difficult to keep saying the equivalent of ‘it could be worse …’ not least because although we all know that, the truth is we none of us (in our guts) feel like it!  

So, where does that leave us, I wonder, as we enter the wintry season and see dark nights and an endless dark valley ahead of us?  

Well, as I keep on trying to say to myself, it WILL end and it is NOT endless, even if it feels like that!  We have several options but, as the People of Hope, giving in to despair in not one of them!  I am in the process of re-reading my father’s self-penned life story (and incidentally if you haven’t recorded your own story, please do consider doing so - it really is wonderful to have a potted life story and to have all the tales in chronological order!!!) - and I realise that his experiences during the war years are heart-rending.  And that was over four years long!  

I’m sure that it felt like it was endless then but, as we now know, it wasn’t and it did end, as this awful period will end.  So, at the risk of being a sort of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ sort of person, please do remember what I said before.  It will end and it is not endless!

Hopefully as we approach the period of Advent - a period of preparation for the arrival of a long-awaited arrival will remind us again that, again at the risk of repeating myself, we are the People of Hope!  

Also, aware that last week I forwarded an electronic copy of what is now our magazine - The Bridge - and of course many of us who live in Bridport will have received a hard copy through the door.  I hope you were as impressed with is as I am as both a church information source and a community magazine to boot?

The goal is to make it self-funding in the near future as it establishes itself but at the moment there is a shortfall in advertisers and the three denominations involved at the moment are needing to subsidise it for now.  In our case it is pretty much I reckon what we paid to run our own magazine but it would be good to make the funding more assured and there is a way but requires some voluntary effort to achieve this?

Finally, don’t forget that services with social distances etc. are being held at 10:30am at Bridport United Church, led by me this week in a service that will include Communion. 

Every blessing from your Minister, 

Peter