The general greetings in Swahili language broadly spoken by people across East African countries is ‘’Jambo’’or ‘Habari’. Then you respond ‘Mzuri sana’. Greetings to you all my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. The whole of last year and partly early this year, I am sure you are aware it has been period of great uncertainty, finding ourselves in situations of life that we were not familiar with. The pandemic confined us into house bounds. We tended to remain indoors to keep ourselves and our neighbours safe and at the same time as a way of slowing down the infections rate of coronavirus. Precisely our Circuit Pastoral Ministry has been challenged forcing us to creatively invigorate ways to keep the ministry alive. It was important to reach out to our ecumenical colleagues working in hospitals to ensure our people were looked after when restrictions kept us at bay. We express our sincere gratitude to the Hospital Chaplains working with Northampton General Hospital, for the good work they have been doing during these tough times. On the same gesture, our Pastoral teams introduced robust programs that encouraged and inspired people into joining prayer and bible study groups. These in a way challenged some of us to get involved in mission activities such as collection and delivery of food stuffs to several food banks in Northampton, others working with Street Pastors and the Hope Centre. Many thanks to individuals involved in helping with our Circuit online digital work and in the distributions or delivery in person of the online worship sheet and bible study materials to people’s doors. We praise the Lord, that the first anniversary for us providing Worship at Home was marked in this year. This all reminds us that God has been present enabling us to have Hope, and with the discovery and arrival of the Covid vaccine, life is now gradually returning to normal, we are all now looking forward to a totally vaccinated, healed and restored society.
I invite you to keep our circuit and our churches in prayers as we listen to each other during the on-going work of Reimagining Northampton the Circuit. Many Church Councils will continue to engage their members at the grassroots in the next couple of weeks, reflecting prayerfully. We do pray for guidance during this discernment period that Psalms 23 becomes our daily read.
During the last few months our Pastoral team facilitated a Methodist Way of Life Lent bible study developed by Revd Roger Walton, a Methodist Minister from Yorkshire. These study courses including Thy Kingdom Come weekly prayers from Ascension to Pentecost was intended to help God’s people to live out and strengthen their faith and recharge their spirituality. I am sure there are couple of people out there with exciting faith stories and testimonies on how they have been able to grow their spirituality, discipleship, and engage in climate change activities, how they have learned to practice hospitality, and challenge various form of injustices.
You are now most welcome again for the next Bible Month in June with study on the Gospel of Mark, the sessions follow each Sunday of June running throughout the week on a Monday. Wednesday and Thursday.
Mark’s Gospel, which has been written by Dr Kent Brower, Rev Michael Parsons (small group study guides) and Dr Paula Goodier (reflection). These materials are already within your reach. I promise to keep you in my prayers in whatever you are doing,
I wish you the very best in the new month of June.
With good wishes, Grace be unto you and blessings be in your path,
Revd Francis M’Itiiri