I have known for well over a year that I would be starting as minister of Histon Methodist Church this September. In that time I have preached at a number of services, enjoyed the cake and hospitality of the Community Café and had interesting conversations with many people involved in the church and wider community… but it is wonderful to finally be officially here!
I am really excited to be joining Histon Methodist in its life and mission, and to extend my ‘pioneering’ role in Cottenham (www.revcoffee.net) to the ministry here. I really do feel that God is at work here and that if – as a church community – we look to Jesus Christ and are strengthened by God’s Spirit – then there is potential to both deepen and broaden the ministry which has been carried out faithfully by many of you, alongside Peter, Hilary and other previous ministers over many years.
When I shared in worship with you during August, we looked at an excerpt from T S Eliot’s ‘The Dry Salvages’ alongside Jesus’ description of himself as the bread of life, offering us a taste, a glimpse of an encounter with God;
For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts. These are only hints and guesses,
Hints followed by guesses; and the rest
Is prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action.
The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation.
Here the impossible union
Of spheres of existence is actual,
Here the past and future
Are conquered, and reconciled
I believe that the starting point, both for our lives as individuals and for the life of our church community, is such a glimpse of God; those hints followed by guesses which lead to the prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action which make up much of the Christian life. And, for me, it is imperative that we open ourselves up to the wider community and culture… not just to share those glimpses which we have been privileged to experience, but to see where God might be at work and what God might be saying in and through those who are not part of the traditional church.
Thank you to all of you who have already made me feel so welcome, for your enthusiasm and prayers; it will be very interesting to see where God leads us all over the coming years!