The newsletter for February 2019,
from our minister, Rev. Francis Neil

So, Susanna Wesley was a great teacher to her sons; and their teaching has been passed down through Methodism to reach us today.  It certainly makes you think..........


Dear friends,

I wonder who it was that introduced you to Jesus and nurtured you in the Christian faith? I was drawn to a headline on the Methodist Church website which simple read 'Susanna350'. As I read further I learned:

'2019 marks the 350th anniversary of the birth of Susanna Wesley, "the mother of Methodism".

 

Although most known for her influence on her sons John and Charles, Susanna deserves recognition in her own right as an accomplished writer, teacher and theologian. A selection of her writings will be published this spring, and celebratory events are planned throughout the anniversary year. More information will become available on www.methodistheritage.org.uk.'

The heritage website explains:

'The anniversary will be a year-long celebration with events taking place around the connexion so please do let your networks know. We would love to hear how our brothers and sisters are celebrating Susanna so if you are made aware of any Susanna Wesley inspired events taking place please let us know so that we can add them to the Susanna350 online calendar.'

At college we were introduced to a book written by Michael McMullen entitled 'Prayers and Meditations of Susanna Wesley' and through those and the accompanying narrative more is learned of her faith and her life. That learning though is not one that is held in the past but, in what I believe is a wonderful insight and trajectory for Methodist Heritage:

"…heritage in the Methodist Church is about - contemporary mission. Not dwelling in the past, but using our history to signpost a way to transform the future through the love of Christ…"
- Joanne Hibbard, Director of Engagement in the Connexional Team.

That transformation in Christ is picked up well in the poem written by Jenny Carpenter, (Vice-Chair of Trustees at Epworth Old Rectory and their representative on the Methodist Heritage Committee), to celebrate this 350th anniversary.

Living, loving God, Trinity in Unity,
We praise and thank you for the life of Susanna Wesley, Mother of Methodism.
Inspired by her regime of private prayer and meditation, may we grow in our devotion to you.
Following our conscience as she did, may we think for ourselves and dare to act on Kingdom
values.
Aware of her programme of teaching her children, girls and boys alike, may we value and nurture all in our care, sensitive to individual needs.
Encouraged by her determination to build up the faith of her family and the parish of Epworth, may we lead others to follow Christ more closely.
Discerning the Holy Spirit moving powerfully in the life of the nation as she did, may we be open to new challenges and expect great things from you.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Spirit.
Amen

Love,

 

Francis



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

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