Accept and respect
And so, September ushers in the start of a new Methodist Year! Not of the crackers, party poppers and Auld Lang Syne variety! rather, more to the style of a printer running out of paper, and needing to be replenished and starting with a clean sheet!
In this new Methodist year we can look forward to a clean bureaucratic sheet, as well as a clean spiritual sheet, with our forgiving and patient Saviour every single wonderful day!
As we look back over this last year we have shared up’s and down’s together; the joys of wonderful newcomers who have joined us, and serve with us, (I do hope you’ve taken the time to get know each other!) and conversely the deep sadness and loss of cherished and long-standing stalwarts of our Church family who have gone home with dignity and confident trust in God.
But what’s ahead? Needless to say none of us know what’s ahead! er, apart from that big ‘B’ word in Parliament, and the ‘M’ Word in Methodism!
At the 2020 Methodist Conference the proposal that same-sex couples will be able to marry in Methodist Churches is to be adopted. Many will welcome this with open arms as long overdue! Others may not. Either way The Avenue faces a choice to this end, and in doing so we will likely find a strong variance of viewpoints.
I don’t mind if your opinion is different from mine, and please don’t mind if my opinion is different from yours! But my deepest prayer is that through such conversations, and others, over the coming year, that we will warmly and lovingly respect and accept all viewpoints.
Rev Paul Smith will help the circuit in our conversations around this issue at the Avenue on 7th October. Do come along!
Meanwhile may I wish you a happy New Methodist Year!
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