2012.09.01.Launch of new circuit

Challenging inauguration service for York Circuit

SOUTHLANDS folk were among those who took part in what turned out to be a very challenging service to launch the York Circuit.

It was a remarkable occasion in that it included the commissioning of not just the new superintendent and new members of staff but virtually the entire congregation of about 350.

There were references galore to the Olympics and the Paralympics at the service at Central marking the start of the new Methodist year on September 1.

For his sermon, the chair of the York and Hull District, the Rev Stephen Burgess, took as his text some words used by Professor Stephen Hawking at the opening ceremony for the Paralympics: "Look up at the stars and not down at your feet; try to make sense of what you see and wonder at what makes the universe exist. Be curious."

He said that it was too easy to get caught up in the minutiae of  church life – synod, circuit meetings, church councils and the like.

"We need to raise our sights above the mundane to be curious and to be thankful for all that God showers upon us.

“Following Jesus is about raising our eyes to the heavens to try to be the best disciples we can be."

The Rev Philip Turner, inducted by the chair as superintendent of the new circuit, thanked everyone for "trusting me, welcoming me and opening your ministries to me".

He said some people might feel embarrassed about their churches and the way that they were, but he believed that when people wholeheartedly offered what they had to God through the Holy Spirit there was a flame which was going to catch alight.

"Jesus came to proclaim the Kingdom and that Kingdom still needs to be proclaimed by words and by deeds. But it requires each of us to bring what we've got, however embarrassed we might feel about it, and give it wholeheartedly to God."

He then cut a cake on which was inscribed the best attempt so far at a mission statement for the new circuit: "Responding to the transforming Gospel of God's love in Christ."

He said: "The transforming starts with you.”

Philip then described a series of different categories of people, calling on them to stand up when they identified with the description. Soon virtually the whole of the congregation was standing for his prayer.

Three ministers were formally welcomed to the circuit – the Rev Elizabeth Cushion who has moved from the Newcastle West Circuit to the Easingwold section of the York Circuit, Deacon Ian Cartwright who has moved from Suffolk to serve in three churches (Acomb, Copmanthorpe and Lidgett Grove); and the Rev Andy Lindley, who has come from Hull to the Acomb section, comprising Acomb, Lidgett Grove, Holgate and West Thorpe.

A large number of people were involved in the service, in a choir brought together by Adrian Rodaway, which included six Southlands folk. Southlands boy Sam Whittaker was among those who led prayers.

After the service refreshments were served in the large hall at Central.

Pictures -

TOP: SOME of the York Circuit staff on the steps at Central Methodist Church before the inauguration of the new circuit on September 1. They include the Rev Andy Lindley, front left, the Rev Sue Swires, the Rev David Godfrey, new circuit superintendent Philip Turner, the Rev Elizabeth Cushion, Deacon Ian Cartwright, and the Rev Chris Humble. Behind them are the Rev Francis Nabieu, left, the Rev Neville Simpson, right, and four of the new circuit stewards, Joan Oliver, David Holden, Rita Milne and Sally Gall

MIDDLE: The congregation before the start of the service for the new circuit at Central

BOTTOM: The Rev Andy Lindley, left, Deacon Ian Cartwright, and the Rev Elizabeth Cushion, who have joined the York Circuit staff

NOTE: This item added to the website on 5th September, 2012

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