Each season brings change, whether it’s the leaves falling through Autumn, the year ending and beginning in Winter, or the world waking and giving birth during Spring. And Summer……
Summer may sometime seem to be the season of contrasting fruitfulness and restfulness, with ripe crops and school holidays, but for us this year it is certainly a season of change.
This Summer we bid farewell to ministers Ian and Sarah, and their respective spouses Tabitha and John. Both colleagues have been here since the birth of the Bradford North circuit, and Sarah a good deal longer. Both have contributed deeply and significantly to the life of the circuit and its churches, bringing distinctive gifts and personalities through which God has richly blessed us. We are going to miss them muchly!!!
At the time of writing, we are still planning their farewell service on July 20th; by the time you read this it will have happened and they will be on their way to Abingdon and Bradford (South not North) respectively. They go with our thanks and blessing.
And soon we will welcome Rev Christine Crabtree and her husband Stephen into our ministerial team. They join us from Lincoln, and will live in the Ollerdale Avenue manse. A circuit service at Northcliffe on the evening of Monday September 1st will be the first opportunity to welcome them. Christine is very much looking forward to working in team ministry, and we are looking forward to working with her.
Two going, one coming. We are still exploring possibilities with the URC and Methodism regarding our vacancy, but are most grateful that Rev Andrew Taylor has agreed to remain with us, initially for a further six months, to help us through this period. Andrew will be working part-time (0.7), and I continue to hear rich appreciation of his ministry among us.
We are also hopeful that we may have a new Children’s Ministry Enabler in post for September. We are missing Sharon, but by the time you read this, adverts will have gone and hopefully interviews happened and good news of an appointment be ready to be shared.
In our churches change comes too. Some stewards will be coming to the end of their time, and new ones beginning. In some ways, church stewards are the unsung heroes of church life, and it’s appropriate to offer a word of thanks and appreciation. Perhaps you might do that to your stewards, whether they are finishing or not! Other office holders too – ‘Thank you’ is in order.
So Summer rolls on, and September looms. For those who are leaving, arriving, or staying, God continues to invite us to join in with the work of loving, caring, sharing the good news of hope and peace and life in all its fullness. May we be blessed in the work of blessing others.