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Ministers Letter May 2019

 

Dear friends in Christ,

 I hope you had a wonderful time during Lent and have celebrated Easter as a great blessing.

It was not all good news, especially when we heard that the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris had caught fire and ruined the whole worship place. An iconic building, standing the test of time.  Also the terrorist attacks on the Churches and Hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Day. It’s a great tragedy and the loss of so many human lives. We continue to pray for peace for those whose lives have been terribly affected.

 In May, we are having two major events in our Circuit. “Ignite” a joint event with Dudley & Netherton Circuit and Vale of Stour Circuit at Brierley Hill Methodist Church, on Saturday 18th May between 10am and 3pm with a free Lunch; all are Welcome! It offers a wonderful opportunity to explore your faith, by being able to participate in several workshops and sharing in Worship together. The second event is our Circuit service in remembrance of Aldersgate Sunday at Overend Methodist Church on Sunday 19th May at 6pm.

 It’s been a huge learning curve for me following my move from Bristol and starting here in September 2015. Superintendency has always been an issue in this Circuit ever since I arrived. In my first year the Rev Paul Nzacahayo (Superintendent) had left the Circuit and joined the Queens Foundation College as a Tutor. The Superintendency was covered by Rev John Howard (Titular Superintendent) who was also the District Chairman.  Rev Rachel Wood was covering most of the duties of the Superintendent. He was followed by Rev Peter Knight (Superintendent) in 2016. He was a wonderful minister but in the middle of his first year we learnt that he was struggling with ill health. Then in his second year (2017-18) most of his responsibility was shared by the Staff and especially by me covering the Superintendent role. Finally, in my fourth year (Sep 2018) it all came upon me when I was appointed as Superintendent.  It was a time of great testing when in September we lost Sue Cartwright (Circuit Administrator).  On December 28th 2018, Rev Peter Knight reached into glory, and at that time, I was in hospital for the removal of my Kidney stone. What a joy to start as an unqualified and inexperienced Superintendent. It would have been impossible to carry on without God’s help.  Now we are looking for the next Superintendent - Rev Alan Combes has accepted the stationing (Subject to approval by conference 2019); he is expected to arrive in January 2020 due to his personal and his current Circuit’s circumstances. Rev Ruth Childs has graciously agreed to cover the Superintendency after I leave this summer to take up my new role within the Birmingham West and Oldbury Circuit in the Birmingham District.

 The Psalmist says, “Good people suffers many troubles, but the Lord saves them from them all” (Psalms 34: 19 - GNB). Someone has said, “Living is very simple, Loving is also simple, laughing is too simple, winning is also simple. Then what is difficult? – Being simple is very difficult.” I found my ministry here to be very challenging. Life and Ministry is not a bed of roses - there will be challenges, struggles, hardships and you will hardly find the joy, happiness and peace. It’s all about your faith and love in God, which unites us together to be God’s people.

 Although, I will leave in the summer it seems that this is my last letter to the Circuit. I am so happy to share my thanks to all those who have committed to pray and work together in this journey. May God carry you through every storm and give you strength to make it, and bless every effort you make and keep you always in Christ Jesus’ wonderful name.

 God bless! Rev Ajay Singh     (Superintendent Minister)