I love this time of year when the rapeseed in the fields is at it’s best and when the sun shines on the fields of yellow, I have a fresh hope in my heart, the yellow fields symbolise for me the move from the dull days of winter through to the new life of springtime. Those field give me personally another warm glow, an important part of my Christian journey centred on the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs London weekend in May each year and I remember making the journey from Bradford to London, decking the coach in the green and yellow of the MAYC colours, God always felt to have done his bit, by making the fields match our spirits.
For the first time this year, I’ve noticed single sprigs of Rapeseed growing alongside the roads and that seems to remind me of those olden days in a slightly different way. There is still a beauty in a single yellow flower, growing in isolation, it is of equal beauty with the plants growing in vast meadows and I reflect on how I used to feel after being in community with thousands of young people in London all those years ago, returning to the home Church was always a challenge, my brother and I being the token youth in our day in the local Church.
The Church sets great store by numbers and I’m not sure that is a fair way to judge the success of our work, sometimes a small fellowship can feel to be more cosy and welcoming than a big crowd where we can so easily get lost, there is something about being in the crowd that equips us to go out and live and work for the glory of God.
As a Circuit, the Ipswich Circuit is gaining a reputation for pioneering new ways of working, my personal motivation when I came into circuit ministry was to win souls for Christ, to share the Gospel message of love and to serve as God has first served us. To that end we have invested in employing and training lay workers to enhance the work done by our ordained staff and this Church has already felt the benefit of having Nicky Seabrook working in her pastoral role among us.
I would like to draw your attention to the poster on page 5 of this Newsletter advertising an event to be held at Bramford Road on the evening of May 15th when we reflect, appreciate and give thanks for the diverse and creative work being established in our Circuit at the moment, it seeks to remind us that at a time when the Christian Church in this country is reputed to be in decline, more and more people are being reached through the work we are doing. Please come along, support the evening and maybe be inspired by what you see. The single Rapeseed flower has beauty on its own and that can never be taken away, each little piece of work we do, regardless of its apparent impact is of value to God, but together, we can make a blaze of glory!
Glory be to God! Derek