Forest Methodist Circuit - Company Message
Message from the Superintendent Minister  
Rev Tony Malcolm
From the Superintendent’s Desk:

I had just started think about putting some thoughts to paper (Yes! I still use pen & paper) about the importance of church pastoral systems and the support groups at this time, when I received these thoughts from Revd Bhogal, expressing some of the things I was thinking:
I dislike the term "self-isolate".  We don't want anyone to isolate or exclude anyone.
Of course we want everyone to take care of themselves and others.  We are all used to the idea of staying at home for the sake of health.  We want to watch over one another with love.  The commandment to love God and your neighbour as yourself is best practised in reverse order.  Love yourself first.  You are number one.  Be a sanctuary to yourself. This is not a selfish thought.
If you can love yourself and be gentle with yourself you will better be able to love and look after and provide sanctuary to your neighbour.  As we are advised on aeroplanes, in case of emergency put your own mask on first before you assist others.  If you don't, you will not be able to help others. If you love yourself and your neighbour, you are expressing your love of and for God. This is true spiritual devotion.
And remember that Jesus only ever mentioned one number.  He said "where two or three are gathered together in my name I am there in the midst of them".  Be in touch and in communion with two or three.  This is the beginning and deepest form of Church and communion and community.  Such contact is manageable. Worship centres are closing.  Organise your congregation/community/group to be in conversation and communion with each other in 2s and 3s.
Do not practice isolation.  Live in the confidence that God is with us and desires fullness of life for all.  Do not doubt that you have communion and sanctuary in God.
Blessings and Peace.
Rev. Dr. Inderjit Bhogal
17 March 2020 
Let us not underestimate the seriousness of our situations as trustees responsible for public buildings and as ‘Easter People’ born out of unconditional, sacrificial love. We’ve read the scriptures, we’ve heard/preached the sermons, now let us show the love of God in the ways we protect and care for each other.
God’s Peace and Love be yours

Tony Malcolm
(Circuit Superintendent & Minister in Pastoral Charge of Leytonstone Methodist Church)
(Mobile) 07976981022

PS – also received this. I hope the spirit of this piece will lead us out through the other side of this situation….

When this is over, may we never again take for granted

A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversation with neighbours
A crowded theatre
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
Life itself.

When this ends, may we find that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we were called to be
we hoped to be
and may we stay
that way- better
for each other
because of the worst.


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