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North Lancashire
Methodist  Circuit

Message from our Good Newsletter for Easter – That's not what I expected!
(Rev Steve Charman, Superintendent Minister)

I am someone who likes to be well-prepared to plan well and anticipate future situations so that they can be handled with appropriate care and sensitivity – but sometimes I think God has a good laugh at my attempts to be well-prepared.

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From my perspective, the vote at the Circuit Meeting to sell the Methodist Church Hall at Quernmore was not what I expected. The Circuit Trustee Project Group had received various comments and reflections, and from those comments, we formulated proposals for the Circuit Meeting. We believed that the proposals we offered reflected the will of the members of the Circuit Meeting and, as such, they would be agreed.

After the meeting, I found myself thinking about the decisions we had made (particularly the unexpected one) and reflecting that, however much we may plan and prepare, the Holy Spirit sometimes takes us in unexpected directions.

It is clear that the members of the Circuit Meeting have dedicated much time and attention and prayer to the matters of deciding what to do with the properties at Wray and Quernmore, taking into account many different aspects, the decisions we made at the meeting were the result of that dedication.I felt that the meeting was sacred space, each of us in our zoom boxes were on holy ground, the meeting was clearly surrounded by and held in prayer, the members of the Circuit Meeting engaged in the holy activity of Christian conferring (not just at one meeting but over the course of a number of meetings) – sharing together and seeking the collective wisdom from those present and, as such, we discerned the path that God is calling us to follow.

This has enabled me to feel confident that the outcomes (though not necessarily what I expected) are those which God wants for us as a Circuit.The challenge now, of course, is to discover how we live-out and act upon the decisions which have been taken so that we continue to fulfil our calling to build the Kingdom of God and share the Good News of God's love for all. Grace and peace, Steve.

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