Ukraine Appeal

1st January 2022

Rev Francis M'Itiiri

Jambo rafiki zangu ! Habari, Bwana Yesu asifiwe ! (Hello dear friends and hope you are well, praise the Lord!).

 New year Greetings from us all; Francis, Faith, Naito, Mwendwa & baby Makena. January as the name suggests is the first month of the new year and normally, dates and events have already picked the new digit of the year. Many are likely to make mistakes of writing 2021 until they get used to the new rhythm. And this is normal. Learning to adjust is fascinating.  Let’s welcome arrival of the snow!!

 I am happy to be writing to you the Minister’s Letter for the first month of the new year 2022. In January we are reminiscing on Christmas festive season and the challenges encountered during the year. I am happy to let you know that our last-born child turned 10 months, first born turned 18, while the second born turned 15.  As a family, we have continued to keep up with our new year resolution a health fitness program. We pray all goes well.

On a general perspective, the pandemic has exacerbated unpleasant memories to the global family during the last two years.  Let us draw courage and hope in God and in his unchanging love.  A few months ago, our Christians from cross our circuit demonstrated ‘Christ’s love to thy neighbour’ , in very practical terms. This value was revealed to us during advent bible study on John the Baptist ministry and message of true repentance during advent waiting. And On behalf of the Ministerial team, I pass a message of gratitude to all those who speedily responded in massive ways with donations which were channelled to the affected families through Salvation Army Officer Tim Stones.

We commend the government of UK for having been in the forefront responding to issues relating to refugee’s crisis along its borders with Europe. It is a challenging thing for these families fleeing from their home countries due to conflict and war and now have to learn to adjust to a new life in a new cultural environment. Such a moment provides a divine opportunity for the Church to strategically be prepared and proactively be doing little things that make the Methodist churches ‘’outlook’’ welcoming both in the outside and in the inside. Remember, the gospel of social justice and compassion has been over the years the heartbeat of John Wesley ministry.

 I note with appreciation the work of three conferences that meet last year around the world. The Methodist church in Britain annual conference-hybrid, (June, Jul,2021), the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 13 November 2021, and the all-African conference of Churches (AACC 17-19th Nov,2021, Nairobi, Kenya).  I am unable to insert resolutions due to space. It’s worth asking a friend to help you access this invaluable information in whatever format. Both conferences concluded with remarkable practical objectives intended to address many of the unjust structures and systems that promote various forms of discrimination and injustices against certain people.  You will agree with me that these conferences resolution have just complemented huge contribution on the on-going work of our circuit with a vision of making Northampton Methodist Circuit a safe welcoming and inclusive church that makes people to want to come and connect with our mission activities. Its Congratulations to all those who have done meaningful work in your churches to ensure this is dream is realised.

 Forward looking, it’s in my opinion to confess our desperate need for God’s presence, guidance, and hope Let us keep our eyes open for emerging opportunities to share the gospel of Christ, restoring hope and in fervent prayers. Apostle Paul writing to the Philippians believers declares ‘And the God of peace will be with you (Phil 4:9). For individual advent Bible studies or the three groups that were meeting at Roade’s, Park Avenue, and St. Andrew’s for drew out rich biblical insights from biblical characters in Malachi, Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Isaiah, Micaiah, and the Ministry of John the Baptist recorded in Luke. What came out strongly was firstly, people perceive hope differently in relation to the context they might be. And secondly, learning to praise God even when things are not happening as they may wish. Both prophets declared a time of hope, recovery, celebration, and salvation.

I have the following verses excerpted for you daily reflection and hope there are those that might speak to your situation.

Romans 15:13″May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace ….’’

The LORD bless you and keep his face shinning upon you.

I wish you all a happy meaningful blessed prosperous New Year 2022

Yours truly

Revd. Francis M’Itiiri