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Summer 2021 edition: Pain and hope

Summer2021 coverI am wondering how the pandemic has been for you so far? It is almost unbelievable that we have been caught up in all this for over a year now. Looking back, I can see that it has been different for me at different stages. Sometimes I have felt overwhelmed and down in the dumps and at other times I have really embraced the blessings of this peculiar season. In this edition of our magazine we are aiming to explore some of the different responses we have experienced.

At the same time, as we begin to entertain the possibility of what it might look like to move forward, the stories and resources here can encourage and inspire you as you look to the future in faith. With the Old Testament prophet Elijah as our guide, we are able to engage with the highs and lows of life and leadership over recent months. In different ways, the stories, reflections and resources that follow unpack for us what it means to be sustained by the power of Jesus Christ as we have faced all sorts of challenges, uncertainties and also moments of blessing. What has been important, I believe, is not that we have been amazing (although many of you have!) but that you have been an authentic disciple, faithfully following Jesus as best you can day by day.

So I am going to suggest that you grab a cuppa, if you haven’t already done so! Find a comfy chair in a quiet spot and grab your journal, or a notebook, and sit down to read this edition.  But not simply to read it - how about being intentional about using this as an opportunity to listen to God and reflect on your own experience. Being attentive to the Lord as you read, what is it that resonates with you? What might God be wanting to show you? What new thing might the Lord be bringing about in your life? As you read, become aware of what it is that you need from God; whether that is rest or healing or energy or focus for your growing sense of creative imagination. Why don’t you try jotting down your thoughts, feelings, hopes and longings as you go?

As you reflect you might also want to prayerfully ponder what resonates with those you lead or with those in your wider communities. Use this as an invitation to become attentive to how it has been for them too. What do they need? What is God showing you? Where is God at work? As you reflect more widely you may experience a growing sense of God’s unfolding call for the communities you serve.

Hopefully the prayers at the end of this magazine will enable you to share honestly with God and deepen your faith in Jesus, the One who was, who is with us and who will come again in glory.

Be blessed,
Lynn Green

The key articles in the magazine are featured below:
Compost 800
What may grow from the compost of Covid?
A perspective from Emma Nash More ...
Elijah 800
Hope in a time of crisis
A reflection on Elijah from Charmaine Mhlanga More ...
AsYouLoveYourself 800
As you love yourself
A cautionary tale by Matt Nott More ...
CMD Card
CMD: Attending to your own self care
Why self-care (and mutual care) is a key part of the Continuing Ministerial Development Framework - by Tim Fergusson More ...
Card I Cry
I cry out to God and ask: 'When will this end?'  
Working in a hospital during a pandemic has been overwhelming at times, writes NHS nurse and Baptist church member Kit Torres. But we try to hold on to God’s promises for us. More ...
Card Our Pastoral
Our pastoral response is one of listening 
A reflection by hospital chaplain David Southall More ...
Card Hope
We have to provide hope 
Parish nurses walk alongside those who are struggling in the communities they serve. How has the pandemic impacted their ministry, and what needs do they perceive as we move forward? More ...
Card Reconnect
Reconnect with the world at your own pace 
Interview with Sandra Boden, counsellor at the Oak Tree Counselling Service. More ...
Card Alone
We are not alone 
Sheena Dykes and Dawn Hazell highlight a resource to help people to understand and share experiences of grief in the midst of Covid-19 More ...
Card Enabling
Enabling life in all its fullness 
West Lane Baptist Church has a small congregation – but plays an integral part in the life of the Yorkshire village in which it is based. More ...
Card Bereavement
Becoming a bereavement friendly church 
Judith Brashaw is Bereavement Team Co-ordinator, Oundle Baptist Church. More ...
Card Big thing
The big thing is to get people to sense there is hope 
Colin Richards, Christians Against Poverty Debt Centre manager at Kirkintilloch Baptist Church, East Dunbartonshire, shares his experiences of the pandemic so far – and outlines what may be ahead. More ...
Card University
University challenges  
University students have had a hugely disrupted year. Joni Roberts and Josh Edah give an insight into their experiences in the pandemic. More ...
AttentiveRhythms 800
Attentive to rhythms of grace
Incoming President Geoff Colmer introduces the presidential theme for 2021-2022 More ...
PrayersLament 800
Prayers of Lament
Although uncomfortable, the pattern of biblical lament has much to offer at this time - by Gale Richards More ...
TLG 800
Supporting children and young people through Covid
By Rae Morfin of Transforming Lives for Good (TLG), who has been leading the Emotional Rollercoaster training across our Associations More ...
PrayersForOurTime 800
Prayers for our Time by Nick Fawcett
A small collection of prayers, including material from God of Here, There and Everywhere: 100 Prayers for Personal Devotion Inspired by the Celtic Tradition. More ...
A printed copy of the magazine was sent to each minister, church secretary and church treasurer and you can also download a copy from our Resource Library..
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