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Archive for September, 2010

Why am I a Methodist?

I have watched with interest the TV coverage of the visit of the Pope to this country and unlike some I have no problem with him coming here and I share his view that Christianity is under attack in a secular world, but then this has always been true to an extent and I do not feel threatened by this because my faith in God gives me confidence that even if I was the last Christian left on earth I can still put my trust in him.

All this has made me ask myself one or two questions about my denomination and why I am a Methodist.  Whilst I am prepared to accept that my Methodist upbringing has had a large part to play I still find myself questioning the theology of the other denominations.  The ecumenical movement dwells on our areas of common belief, of which there are many, and it seems to me, tries to brush under the carpet those areas about which we disagree, presumably in the hope that given time our differing views will begin to converge.  One example which I have a problem with is the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer – 

Question   How many Sacraments hath Christ ordained in his Church?

Answer   Two only, as generally necessary to salvation, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.

If this means what it appears to mean then Baptism and the Supper of the Lord (Communion) are necessary in order to be saved.  It then follows that a child who dies before it has been baptised cannot go to Heaven.  This actually happened to my father’s sister who died when she was twelve years old but for some reason had not been baptised.  The local Parish Church would not permit the child’s body to be buried in consecrated ground because the child had not been baptised.  The father had to bury the body in an adjoining field.

My understanding of salvation is much more simple than that –  salvation by faith – I believe that Christ has died for my sins and that my sins are forgiven “Whosoever believes in me shall have eternal life”  I may well wish to be baptised and confirmed as an outward sign but that is an entirely different matter!

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Things have changed at New Longton Methodist Church over the last month or so. We have a new minister, we have changed our circuit and we also have a new name for the district.

So firstly our new Minister – she is called Rev’d Katharine Bland and she is a probationer minister in her 1st appointment with us here at New Longton. In the past we have always shared our minister with Longton Methodist Church but now we are sharing with Kingsfold Methodist Church instead.

And so to the circuit – we are now in the Preston Ribble Circuit which incorporates the city centre. This is in preparation for outreach into the centre of Preston.

And finally we now belong to the Lancashire District. Although we have always been in Lancashire the District is renamed and now incorporates Chorley.

We await to see what will happen as we begin this new time together and wonder what God has in mind for His church in this area.

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We’re Back!

We have been missing for quite a while mainly due to being far too busy to do things other than cope with the jobs in hand.
However we are going to attempt to write a new blog on a regular basis from now on.
It would be great to see our stats grow again and see lots of comments. If you enjoy what you read why not post a link to us.
So why not come again and see what we blog about.

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In response to that question – We have a vision for a Spirituality Centre in Preston City Centre where shoppers and passers-by can call in for a chat, a cup of tea, have access to advice on a range of issues and most of all, to share thoughts on things spiritual – whatever views they might have.  Just as Jesus spent his time amongst the people and John Wesley preached on street corners we believe that the Church should be where the people are – not waiting for the people to come to us.  

Recent changes in the grouping of Methodist Churches in the Preston and South Ribble areas will  lay the groundwork for this to become a reality.  There is a growing sense of expectancy within Methodism and other denominations that we are on the brink of a spiritual awakening in this country and we need to prepare ourselves to be ready for this when it happens.

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