New Start

Letter from the Chair : Summer 2015

Dear Friends

Saying goodbye to well-established friends is never easy, especially when we have much loved their ministry among us. So for both those leaving and moving into (or around) the District it is my hope and prayer you find a warm welcome and an open door for fresh opportunities to share the Gospel.

The ‘Welcome Tea’ for new ministers and their families will be at Trinity, Hexham (NE46 3LS) on Friday 28th August from 4.00pm to 5.30pm. I have always really appreciated this event as a great informal gathering at the beginning of our Methodist Year to catch up and share good fellowship. So I look forward to seeing as many as are able to be there. Also, if colleagues could organize car sharing particularly for Supernumeraries and Ministers’ widows who perhaps don’t drive that would be great.

Together Mission 2015
Before we know it this week of the District’s mission in October will be upon us, so can I urge you to visit the Together and to hold all involved in your prayers. This is also when our President of Conference Revd. Steve Wilde will be visiting the District and participating in various aspects of the Together Mission. So please note what’s happening and come and join in if you can.

New District Website 
Very soon, perhaps even by the time you receive this letter, the District website in a fresh form, will be up and live. My very grateful thanks to all who have helped shape and build this useful tool for the District. This is both a great advert for our District to the wider world, as well as a valuable connecting and communicating aid for keeping us informed of what’s happening across the District.

Autumn District Synod is at the Bede Academy in Blyth and any ministers unable to be present please request your dispensation in advance. Supernumeraries are of course very welcome but do not require a dispensation for any representative session of Synod.

And finally…
As just a few weeks remain before I take up my new role, I would like to convey to you how much I am looking forward to returning to active ministry within the District. The responsibility of stepping into Leo’s metaphorically ‘sizeable shoes’ is both a tremendous privilege and a challenge, for which I will greatly appreciate your prayers and support. Conversely, it is my joy to pray and support you in all that Christ has called you to be and do in your ministry for Him.

New beginnings inevitably imply something has ended. As I said farewell to the role of Connexional Missioner for Fresh Expressions, my last two days with the team were very special. They kindly travelled up to Newcastle upon Tyne for our Cluster Gathering, meeting in The Holy Biscuit as they considered the main topic of ‘developing partnership’.

Without doubt so much has been achieved by working together on fresh expressions of church and with a growing number of partners, we trust to God for what’s possible in the future.

The key part of our time focused on the book of Philippians and what it had to say to us. St. Paul’s reminder of what Christ has done first for us before the urging to emulate Christ’s example holds a powerful encouragement and one that helps me affirm the words of chapter 4:4

“Rejoice in the Lord…always.”

So in struggle or in delight, in the mundane or the special, may we partner together with the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and may that amazing peace of God which passes all understanding guard our hearts and minds.

Every Blessing

Stephen Lindringe Signiture

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