From the Minister’s desk:
 Dear Friends,
  As I write I am watching television footage of the total eclipse of the sun by the moon. This amazing event was seen by so many living in the USA (with the correct protective glasses of course). A quick glance outside the window at 8pm confirms that the cloud cover will prevent me from seeing the promised partial eclipse viewable from the UK. I remember sharing a similar ‘full eclipse’ experience with David and Susan in 1999. The skies were clear and we used the glasses and other devices to see. We were so excited, especially when everything went cold and dark and the moon became distinctly visible in front to the sun. I find these eclipses fascinating, they not only bring me face to face with the knowledge that there is much more than the world we see around us but it reminds me that there is   At the beginning of his Gospel John wrote these words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1: 1-3). Then he takes the awe and wonder one step forward: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1: 14)
How many saw, touched heard, and were even healed by the one through whom this world came into being (Jesus Christ)? How many witnessed this for themselves but had no idea what they were experiencing? There is still more of course, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection and in the power of the Holy Spirit we can have a relationship with the very same God who … wait for it dwells within us! .
Just a few things to reflect on as we begin this new church year! I would like to thank you all for your hard work, prayers, support and patience during what has been a difficult year for this church and the Methodist Circuit as a whole. We thank God for Revd Paul Arnold’s steady recovery and pray for the Revd Mike John who continues to struggle with his health. We also pray for a URC Minister to fill the pastorate that includes Cheap Street and Bell Street.
  As her time as Senior Steward comes to an end next month we thank Chris Davies for all her hard work (so often above and beyond), I have really appreciated having a ‘steady hand’ next to me during my first two years in this post. Can I ask you to carefully consider if this is a role you could take on?  Please talk to me, Chris or any of the Leadership Team if you are feeling a ‘nudge’ in that direction. We seek God’s guidance as we look for a Children & Families worker and pray for all the activities that take place in this church week after week. We pray that God’s vision for this church and the other churches in Shaftesbury might be revealed to us as we seek to do his will.
Your friend, Rev Denise Binks