Regular message from the Minister at Almondbury Methodist Church
Message from our Minister - November 2021

November is a time of year when we are offered an opportunity together to remember those who have touched our lives in so many ways. We do this through All Saints and All Souls as well as the Acts of Remembrance around the 11th November.

Over recent years, as a country, through the anniversaries of specific national dates we have taken time to remember events and the people who shaped and were shaped by them. We have paused and deliberately remembered their stories and sometime retold them to those who we meet. These times of sharing are a vital part of our humanity and community. They remind us of our connectedness to each other and our connectedness to places and environment.

The taking of time to tell the stories and listen to others gives us the chance to appreciate and understand one another and ourselves better. We also have the opportunity to think about the impact our living has and review it in the light of the feelings that are awakened.

The number of times I have heard friends say “I never knew that” or “that explains a lot”. It is when we take time come to listen to what is a short snapshot of someone’s life we glimpse what people have done, coped with or been in their lives.

That is the power of story to help us to remember and reflect. In the Bible we have the stories of how God has been in relationship and the adventures and thoughts that have come and what they taught and teach us about the nature of the one we call God. These stories invite us to look at more at the character of God and the way God is relating to the here and now. These stories awaken and develop the story which continues

For me as I continue to settle into a new way of ministry. The lifting of restrictions and the impact of lockdown alongside living in another county (some might say country) has got me to think about things I have taken for granted. One thing that you might have heard me mention, one of the areas of ministry that is new for me, is considering care of graveyards. At first glance to me this appears purely physical activity, purely administration but as I have corresponded with people over their concerns and interests in our graveyards, they have introduced me to an alternative view of these places. It has highlighted the part they can play in all our living inviting us to share those stories that have shaped us and our communities. They give us a lens through which to talk about God.

May we enter November this year may we take the opportunity the season gives us to take an interest in these stories of our communities. May we listen and tell each other the stories that have shaped and continue to shape us so that we may feel connected to and in relationship with God, others and ourselves.

Peter

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