From the Manse

Letter form Rev Stephen Willey

Dear Friends,

It has been a pleasure to be sharing something of the life and work of Streetly Methodist Church with you during January.

The Christian life is so unpredictable – we can never know what will happen next! And, whilst faith reassures us that our journey is never alone – for Christ is always with us on the road, there are no promises that it will be easy. Again and again Christ asks his disciples to step out in faith and to follow where he leads.

Paul, when he is shipwrecked, does not ultimately point to the fact he could have died or complain about the considerable challenges facing him. Rather, he directs us to Jesus as his, and our, ultimate hope and salvation. Paul remains focused on the person of Jesus, who met him on the road to Damascus and revealed to him God’s love for the whole world. Paul discovered Christ on that road and that freed him from being wrapped up with his personal ambitions, concerns and priorities, enabling him to discover things he had never dared dream of.

I have been impressed by your lively enthusiasm and resilience at Streetly. I recognise that the journey has not been without challenges but, if the atmosphere at the recent Moving On in Worship (MOiW) meeting is anything to go by, I feel confident that you will approach the future with your hearts and eyes fixed on Christ.

When Jesus places a child in the centre of things, the disciples find it hard to bear because Jesus is clear about his priorities and he puts the child first! The child in the centre of our MOiW meeting was evidence to me that your focus, moving forward, connects with that priority.

It is clear that, although bringing the two morning services together came with a cost, you are determined together to live out your church’s mission, eyes on Christ, to the Glory of God.

An encouraging part of that will be welcoming a new probationer minister who, if things go according to plan, will be starting in September this year. Preparing to welcome him provides an opportunity to reconsider what is at the heart of church life and to reflect on who we exist for as a church and how we are living out our faith. No doubt when he comes, the new minister, fresh from college, will have ideas – and plenty of them – some of which he will want to test and try out with you. This really could be a time of opportunity for Streetly Methodist Church.

I hope and pray that in the coming year your faith will strengthen and as the future unfolds, you will be united in God’s love as you continue to focus on Jesus and share his love with your neighbours and the whole world!

With love,

Stephen

The Christian life is so unpredictable – we can never know what will happen next! And, whilst faith reassures us that our journey is never alone – for Christ is always with us on the road, there are no promises that it will be easy. Again and again Christ asks his disciples to step out in faith and to follow where he leads. Paul, when he is shipwrecked, does not ultimately point to the fact he could have died or complain about the considerable challenges facing him. Rather, he directs us to Jesus as his, and our, ultimate hope and salvation. Paul remains focused on the person of Jesus, who met him on the road to Damascus and revealed to him God’s love for the whole world. Paul discovered Christ on that road and that freed him from being wrapped up with his personal ambitions, concerns and priorities, enabling him to discover things he had never dared dream of. 3 Rev Stephen Willey