February letter

February letter.
Dear everyone,
There was a fire recently at Nottingham station. I thought nothing about it until a fortnight afterwards I was travelling to North Wales for a family funeral,There was still considerable inconvenience. Some lifts were out of action or difficult to find, and it was not easy to see directions to the platforms that one needed to go to. For the senior citizens it was necessary to carry cases downstairs to the platforms, and there were many passengers with anxious looks on their faces, hoping that they would get to their trains in time.
It is believed that the fire was arson. What a lot of havoc that people with evil intentions of this kind can cause..
But recently, at the other end of the county in the Mansfield area an experience of a very different kind to place. A 93-year-old was robbed. A Police Community Support Officer was sent to see how he was getting on. Discovering that the elderly gentleman was fond of music, the police officer sat down at his piano, and played one of Chopin’s Nocturnes for him. It made the pensioners day and the story of the pleasure it gave him went viral.
Human beings are capable of doing very destructive things on one hand and showing kind gestures on the other. We should never forget this, and certainly aim to show gestures of kindness to all kinds of people. Evil actions can create great havoc, but on the other hand we never know the extent that any gesture of goodwill or concern can have too.
We also have to remember that any religious or secular belief that doesn’t have the element of kindness in it, is seriously deficient because kindness in any for of concern for others is a glue that ultimately holds society together. It is up to us all to practice kindness wherever we can.
With all good wishes and every blessing


January letter

‘Come let us anew our journey pursue.’
Dear everyone,
These opening words of a Charles Wesley hymn are deeply embedded in my mind. I was a teenager when I first sang these words, and they have come to mean a lot more since then.
Life is like a journey, and from a religious point of view life is often looked upon as a pilgrimage. At the beginning of a New Year it is a common experience to go through what has happened over the last 12 months, and we soon discover things that we didn’t do very well. Sometimes we feel we did the very opposite of what we intended. We should be thankful and positive about all that, but it would be strange if we were happy with everything we did in the previous year!
It is a good thing for us all to give ourselves time for reflection, where we will learn how to ‘think slowly’ as Edward De Bono, the advocate of lateral thinking, would say. We are all people who need to take action to make the best out of our lives but at the same time carefully go through the issues that we have to face first, and we are all different. We cannot just copy anybody else, although good role models can certainly help us on our way.
It is a time of year when we ought to say ‘we will make a new beginning, a new start’, but it’s quite a good idea to think carefully what the word ‘anew’ really this means. It doesn’t only mean ‘making a fresh start’ although that is important. It is also about allowing our lives to be filled up again with new things that we require to continue progressively on life’s journey.
All of us are called upon to treasure our lives and use them to the best of our ability. It is certainly essential to live according to our faith values; but all who desire to seek the ‘greater good’ will want to live life in the best way they can.
As we wish each other ‘a happy New Year’ and encourage each other on our journey, may we also express this as a desire or prayer which embraces the needs of others. May we give our New Year greetings to every kind of person around us-the stranger, the needy both emotionally and materially-especially including those whose life-style is very different from our own.
Wishing everyone a happy New Year!
‘Come let us anew, our journey pursue! ‘

December letter.

Dear everyone.
During this last week I have been for a scan, a follow-up after surgery that I received this time last year. I suspect that we all get apprehensive when it comes to medical checkups. There is a state of suspense while we wait for results which may take several weeks.
We all hope that the results will be good. Whatever is found is simply a report on what is there already! It still remains that we all tend to get rather nervous about any kind of examination, yet how valuable examinations are. The same is often true of educational examinations, although it does seem that some people have more natural ability in passing them!
Aristotle at his trial is reported to have said that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living,’ and I believe that this is true. In the Christian year, this season is known as Advent. Originally it was a period of self-examination before God so that we might be ready and better equipped for the coming of the kingdom of God which Jesus promises.
I also believe that times of examination are necessary for everybody, whatever their outlook may be. We all need to spend time looking carefully at the way that we live- that we may not be caught unawares. We all need times of testing, and none of us have a ‘clean slate’ as the saying goes, there is always something that can be done better. How disappointing it is when leading figures in society are ‘caught out’ because they have failed to respect important rules that are good and desirable for a truly healthy society. We all have to ‘watch and pray’ that we do not fall into temptation.
There is a positive side to all this however. After any kind of examination we go forward with a clearer picture of what we need to do in our lives and will be better equipped to do it. I believe that every human being has a purpose, a ‘calling’ if you like, and we should all be aiming to fulfil it.
May we all spend some time carefully working out our calling- in whatever stage of life we are. It will be well worth our while to do this, and make us more useful in the tasks that lie before us.

With all Good Wishes for the Christmas Season,followed by a Happy and Peaceful New Year.

November letter

Dear everyone.
We all have limitations.
Older people feel they do not have the capacity or the energy to do as much as they used to do and have to slow down. Others have disabilities and illnesses requiring lots of rest. Those who have limited incomes may feel unable to do the things they ought to do. Others in the heyday of their working experience may feel there are not enough hours in the day to do all that needs to be done.
We may have limits to the ways in which we help families and friends who live a distance away. Some may have a worrying and heavy workload, the responsibilities of caring for others may be onerous and without a break.
Limitations of all kinds can create a sense of despondency and stress. We all need ‘faith’ that help us with these times, in addition to help we require from other sources.
We have to try and avoid anxiety, but also remember that no two people’s ‘bests’ are the same. I’m reminded of this in the true story that Jesus told.
When he was sitting opposite the temple treasury in Jerusalem, people were putting money into the treasury chest. Rich people were giving large amounts. Then there came a poor widow who dropped in two tiny coins together worth a penny. He called his disciples to him and said ‘truly I tell you, this poor widow has given more than all the others. They had more than enough to live on, but she who has less than enough has given all that she had.’
In giving these two ‘widows mites’ she was giving her best according to her means, but we also have to remember that the limited amount that we can give is often of a far greater significance in our Creator’s sight than we may imagine. We are all unique, we cannot compare what we are able to do with what others do.
My hope is that all of us will find contentment when we have done best and when sometimes we feel it is very small, we must ask ourselves, who are we to judge its value?
Needless to say, we do need to examine ourselves and always seek to be doing our best. May we never tire of ‘having a go.’ If we venture in faith, somewhere along the line it is quite possible that we might come up with some pleasant surprises!
With all good wishes for the month of November.
Every blessing,

October letter

Dear friends,
Like Topsy in ‘Uncle Tom’s cabin’ this monthly letter, has ‘just grown.’
It started off like a church pastoral letter, and mainly went to people in many different parts of the British Isles where I have served in ministry. Now it goes into many other walks of life even world wide: friends of long-standing and more recent ones, people in leadership roles, in policing, church life, education, health and care homes, those who join in ‘prayers @ 12’ and also a very considerable number of friends who are having to get adjusted to living on their own.
Social media can give us a platform of our own choosing.
We must never think of it only being used by those who want to stir up strife and hatred in the world. Its easy availability does have its dangers, but it can be a tremendous force for creating a sense of community, cohesion, the Fellowship of like minds, and ‘the common good.’ This is exciting, it’s demanding. It is also a responsibility.
How important it is that as we participate we express the truth as accurately as we can about life’s issues. St Matthew’s Gospel says that in situations when a lot depends on what you say; ‘Let your yes be yes and you’re no be no!’ says Jesus. This is a tall older!
We can overload people with words. Just a few can be far more effective. We suffer from information overload. The time saved could well be put to more creative use, a few chosen words can be the means whereby we show compassion, and a way of making life more enjoyable for all!
Let us thank God for the many ways in which useful information and ideas can be conveyed to others today They can be a means of giving pleasure to large numbers of people: and not simply as a ‘tower of Babel’ adding confusion and distress in the world.
Let us also pray that we will all use words wisely, sensitively, and for the building up of others in their needs as well as our own.
Wishing you blessings ‘beyond words!’
Sincerely, David.

September Letter

Dear everyone,
In less than a fortnight’s time, we are trying out what for us is a new venture. Alongside the harvest festival at Mapperley Methodist Church, we are organising a ‘FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS.’ This is a project to open up our church buildings more to the community around us, and we are inviting people to bring along their paintings, drawings and other things that they have made to put on show for other people to see.
We need suitable panels on which to display works of art. We are also rather short of helpers and any offers of help will be greatly appreciated.
There is a sense in which this is a venture of faith which will take place at a time when we thank God for all that we have received, and pray for those who produce it. Needless to say all the foodstuffs provided will go to people who need it. Will a Festival of the Arts work? Will people support it? We hope and pray that there will be a good response.
‘Ventures in faith’ however are not limited to things that go on in churches. In work, in good neighbourliness amongst all people we meet, and also in our personal lives we all have to make steps into the unknown. In these times of rapid change, we are called upon to trust in the unchanging nature of God. We all need an anchor to give us stability in uncertain times. We are not always successful at our first attempts at improving situations but we are given new insights I believe, into the way that we should go.
Life for us all is a challenge, and it simply withers away if we never do things that seem, even just a little beyond us!
May we all be prepared to make responses to the challenges we face, and may we find blessings in every new and worthy venture we undertake.
PS. The ‘FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS’ will take place at Mapperley Methodist Church at the following times. Saturday the 16th from 10 AM to 4 PM., Sunday from 12:30 AM till 5 PM. Monday from 10 AM to 4 PM and Tuesday from 10 AM till 12:30 PM.
Please come if you possibly can. If you come on Sunday our harvest festival services are 10:45 AM when the preacher will be the Rev Moses Agyam with Holy Communion at 6:30 PM the Rev Paul Worsnop.

August letter

August letter.

Dear everyone,

This morning when it was time to get up, I didn’t feel like ‘getting going’ at all. I looked at my smartphone and found a message from a gerontological magazine which said ‘don’t forget to submit an article on neurological disorders!’  I have never submitted an article to such a magazine but I felt   in a strange sort of way it was saying something to me. Lack of motivation might well be described as a neurological disorder!

All kinds of factors in our lives can create a doldrums period, but then quite unexpectedly other things come along, sometimes other people, who play their part in helping us to make progress from our indecisive states of mind.

Needing to get on with my monthly letter, I suddenly felt that this smartphone message was giving me inspiration. and my mind turned to St Paul’s letter to the Romans where he says ‘the righteous shall live by faith.’

These words of St Paul have a strong religious significance, they remind Christians and others who believe in God that a person trying to live a good life has to live ‘by faith.’ Faith of many different kinds and in many different things is needed to give us the motivation to live out our lives in worthwhile directions

All of us have days, when we have moments of uncertainty about the direction in which we should travel, but when it comes to the point, we have to take steps in faith. How Important it is that we do.

May today be one of those days when we ‘boldly go forward’ or even ‘timidly go forward.’  May this happen frequently so that there may be a true sense of purposefulness in the things that we do. We might in the process well help motivate others to go forward in faith as well as ourselves.

With every blessing,