A letter for Autumn 2017 from Revd. Dr. Roger Walton, the Chair of the Yorkshire West District.

Dear Friends

In 1997, Morna Hooker wrote a short book called Beginnings. It was a study of the opening chapters of the four Gospels. The book shows that each gospel writer has a distinctive way of beginning the story. Just a brief look into Matthew, Mark, Luke and John will confirm this. They are very different beginnings yet each tells the story of Jesus.

On 1st September, the Yorkshire West Methodist District comes into being. This is a new beginning, a fresh start, a blank sheet on which no one has yet written. In one way, of course, it is not new. Churches and circuits will keep working at the things they were tackling in August and before that. Some churches will not even notice that they now belong to a new District because rightly their focus will be on their local congregation and the community it serves. But in another way, it will be a new beginning. This coming year will be the opening chapter for a unique gathering of God's people, bound together to support and help each other in God's mission. I hope and expect that will bring fresh opportunities for us.

How shall we begin this story?
I hope we begin in celebration, in prayer and with a deep desire to reach out.
I hope that the service to launch the new District on 9th September is an expression of praise and commitment and that will be echoed in what we do over the next months and years.

Our task is not new though. It is the same task as the first Gospel writers. We have to tell the life-transforming story of Jesus, to live out what that means in everyday life and to invite others to join in.

Please join in praying for the new District:

Gracious and generous God,
We hold before you our Church, our Circuit and our District.
Pour out your Spirit on us,
that our worship may be joy-filled;
that our witness may be brave and bold;
that our lives, our works and our words may speak of your love.

Enlarge, enflame and fill our hearts with such love for you
that we may draw others to discover Your transforming power.
In the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Roger

Roger Walton - Chair of Yorkshire West District