I wonder if you like to explore new places?  I must admit that I do - whether it’s discovering somewhere new whilst holidaying in the UK or elsewhere, or when meeting new people at home.  Whatever the circumstances, Sue and I have almost always found a warm and generous welcome.

This summer, during the first week of August, Sue and I moved to join friends here in Navenby and the Lincoln Methodist Circuit. The welcome and hospitality we have already received has been generous and very much appreciated.  Even at this early stage we have a real sense of belonging as we meet new friends in all the various Churches and local communities in which we live and serve.

As Christians, we often describe our discipleship as a journey of faith in which we constantly seek to join in God’s mission and ministry wherever we are.  Through this, we not only discover our gifts, graces and talents - and those of others, but we also meet our shared need to belong together as part of God’s diverse family as we discern the way ahead.

In the Acts of the Apostles (16:1-5) we are reminded how, for a time, Timothy joins Paul and Silas as they worked together, each supporting and encouraging the other as they stepped out in faith - and in doing so they are blessed in ways unimaginable.  

Whether we are long-established Christians of mature faith, or tentatively exploring what it really means to follow Christ at any age, we too can trust in God’s love for all – and in his strength and guidance.  In this, I’m reminded of John Wesley’s observation that, the best of all is, God is with us.

Whatever we are facing as individuals, however we are called to reshape our churches and share God’s love within our communities – our calling is to help make Christ visible in an amazing, yet often hostile world.

My continuing steps of faith are a result of Christ’s stirring, loving, and encouraging my heart day by day; and the many acts of friendship and good humour I encounter from those I meet as we live out our faith in all the messiness of life.  Its good to journey together.

One of my favourite hymns is: I the Lord of sea and sky by Daniel L. Schutte.  The words are a constant reminder of how God is with us in all the twists and turns of life, and that we are called in love and obedience to follow him in all we do. Easy to say, harder to do day by day.

Each verse carries the gracious challenge: Whom shall I send?– a challenge we personally and collectively are called by Christ to answer afresh each day. How would you respond?

Sue and I are really pleased to join you on this shared journey …and we trust that God that will continue to lead us all in his ongoing mission here - and bless all we meet in ways yet unimaginable.

    Every Blessing,