The newsletter for July and August 2019,
from our minister, Rev. Francis Neil

It has been a blessing and a privilege to have had Revd Francis leading our worship and guiding us for the past nine years ........


Dear friends,

In preparing for our impending move, I am in the process of deciding which of the books I have acquired over the years to keep and which can be moved on. In doing so, I am coming across those that I have not had the opportunity to read for quite a while. One publication from a few years ago was from an event held at Skegness where we attended the annual ‘Spring Harvest’ at Butlin’s.  Each Easter Spring Harvest attracts large numbers of people of all ages and it is an opportunity to meet with new friends and familiar faces during the week. The theme that year and captured in the book invited us to follow Jesus and to ‘see the world through different eyes’.

The call to follow Jesus daily, to see the world with His vision and to share the Good News of Christ, was meaningful. The themes of journeying, meeting folks along the way, and as a result, having a new and different perspective, brought into focus, for me, the biblical account of two friends journeying towards a village called Emmaus. They were travelling with deep sadness and then were unexpectedly joined by a third person on the journey whom they at first did not recognise. This person spoke with them and opened the scriptures for them and when he broke bread with them ‘their eyes were opened and they recognised him’ [Luke 24: 13 – 35]. These two friends had met with the risen Jesus:
‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us? That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together.’
As they met with the risen Christ, they now could see the world through different eyes and the truth that through Christ and His life, death, resurrection and ascension; through His-story, nothing would ever be the same again.

As we prepare to leave Calderdale, I’d like to take this opportunity to give thanks to God for his calling. We are grateful to Him for bringing us as a family to this wonderful place. I can hardly believe that we have been here for 9 years and I want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation for the love, support, wisdom, insights, friendship and fellowship, acknowledging the joys and sorrows, that we have shared together throughout our time here. We as a family have seen with our eyes the light of the love of Christ in the people we have had the privilege of journeying alongside here, in the churches in the Calderdale Circuit, the now Yorkshire West District, with ecumenical colleagues and congregations and the wider community. It has been a real and genuine joy to have served here in this beautiful part of the country with special folks where we have been deeply blessed.

We have a plaque displayed in our hallway that is a reminder that ‘The Lord is with you everywhere you go', [Joshua 1: 9]. As we all journey on in the certain knowledge that Christ goes before, with and ahead of us, I offer a prayer for us all:

Talk with us, Lord, thyself reveal,
While here o’er earth we rove;
Speak to our hearts, and let us feel
The kindling of thy love.
                                          Charles Wesley [1707-88] alt

To God be the glory,

Love,

 


Francis



(If the help of our minister is needed, please telephone Rev. Francis on 01422 615910 )

***********