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Message from the Ministry Team

Dear friends

In this letter I offer some musings about ministerial availability, own arrangement services, and circuit communion services.

The ministerial team as currently formed is a year old, with Christine and Andrew having joined Phil and myself last September, and Andrew growing into full-time, long-term ministry, after helping us cover sabbaticals the year before.   We are hopeful that we will be able to work together for some time.   This gives us opportunity to develop the ways in which we work as team, and hopefully enable individual minister’s gifts to be used to the full.  We will continue to work particularly with those in leadership in the churches to which we are ‘link’ ministers, but will also be looking for opportunities to develop new work, building on skills and experience.    There will always need to be a pragmatic balance between responding to existing needs and developing new work, but we do believe that ministry is not simply about maintaining existing structures; we must also respond to new opportunities.
 
Identifying such opportunities is a shared task, not one to be left to ministers alone, and needs imagination, strategic thinking, prayer, as well as hard work and dedication.   I’m hoping that our shared tented reflection (sparked by the gazebo) will play a part in this, alongside more long-term and slow-burning thought and prayerful conversation.  In every place, we need to be asking what God requires of us.
 
As team ministers we want to be available to be part of such imagining and questioning, both with existing groups and forums, and where new conversations are being started. So please invite us, talk to us, think and pray with us.

We are all aware of the increasing number of ‘Own arrangement’ services needing to happen in our churches.   I want to say a number of things in response to these.
 
Firstly, thank you, to those who take responsibility for, and share in, these services.  We hear such good reports of these services, and it is clear that something we saw as an unwelcome necessity, when we reduced staff, has become a real gift to many within our churches, with the number of people engaging directly with worship a definite blessing.
 
Secondly, we recognise that, although a blessing, these services are also an additional responsibility for those who plan and lead them.  In particular, coming up with new ideas, and finding time to put things together, can be difficult.

Thirdly therefore, two requests. When you have put time into planning, could you share your ideas with those in other churches also responsible for OAs?   The Circuit Office will be happy to receive, and make available to others, any orders of service, prayers, notes, slides etc.  Even if a service is not directly transferable, the ideas may spark others.  Please don’t be shy!  And, please consider prayerfully whether your experience in OAs might be leading you to offer as a Worship Leader or Local Preacher.   Or whether someone who has contributed well in your church to OAs might be encouraged to consider such a calling.
  
Worship opportunities in the circuit are not limited to Sunday.  Details are on the plan back page.  One midweek service open to all is the monthly Circuit Communion.  Although this began as an opportunity for our Communion Visitors to compare notes and receive supplies, it is definitely intended for any and all.  We gather at 10am for coffee/tea/chat, and worship at 10.30.  The service usually lasts about half an hour.  Perhaps you might come along next time it’s at a church near you? (5 Oct @Baildon, 3 Nov @Thornton, 2 Dec @Calverley).
 
Blessings,
Rev Nick  

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