A letter from Rev Linda 

Dear friends
This week we have looked on with great sadness as events have unfolded in the USA.  Racism, yet again, has raised its ugly head.  The Methodist Church ‘believes that racism is a denial of the Gospel’ (SO 013B) and recognises that we need to constantly be working to be an inclusive church. 
Here is a personal message from our President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Dr Barbara Glasson:
It is with outrage and deep sorrow that we have witnessed the recent brutal killing of George Floyd in the United States.  But outrage and sorrow are not a sufficient response to racism and inequality in society. How to begin a process of change? It starts with self-examination and listening to the people whose lives are affected by discrimination and hate.
This week I received these words from a Methodist living in south London:
“The young people whom I have worked with for over the last 15 years have felt the impact of racism in every institution they have been part of from schools, to university, to various work places, and other than local support and informal church networks they have not found the Methodist Church as a place that speaks up for them.”
As your President, I start by saying I am sorry. Sorry for being silent when we should have spoken out against the everyday injustices that affect BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) communities. I am sorry that, despite our efforts, we have not done enough for those who feel excluded and we need to do better. We know this includes people of all ages from the Windrush generation to the very young. I am sorry when we have not listened carefully enough and not challenged the assumptions of white privilege and bias.
Repentance can lead us to change, to embody a gracious, loving spirit of inclusion and understanding. There is no excuse for racism. All people are made in God’s image.  We are one body in Christ Jesus.
I hope we can listen more carefully to the voices of BAME members, especially younger people, who face racism, discrimination and violence on a daily basis. Then our Church must be brave, speak out, speak up and challenge racism wherever we find it, especially when we find it in ourselves.
Let us all work towards being an inclusive church that is not afraid to challenge any kind of racism or prejudice.  Let us do as Jesus commanded, ‘love one another’ and ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. 
During this time of church closures it has been good to meet and worship together online and on the telephone.  This will continue for the coming weeks.
Here are the times of worship:
WhyPay Conference Telephone Calls:
• 9.30am: Sandford Hill Conference Phone Call – contact Jeff Short or Glenn Parkes for details
• 10.00 am: Longton Central Hall – contact Jeff Short or Glenn Parkes for details
• 10.00 am: West End and Trentham – contact Linda Catlow or Maureen Prophet for details
• 10.00 am: Blythe Bridge &Forsbrook and Lightwood – contact Ian Coates or Katrina Rogers for details
• 10.30 am: Broadway – contact Ian Coates or Gill Rawlinson for details
Zoom Video Conference Call:
• 11 am: Circuit Service, ALL INVITED – a link will be circulated each week or contact Linda Catlow or Glenn Parkes for details.
June is Bible Month and we will be following the book of Ruth in our worship.  There will also be a Zoom Bible Study on Thursday evenings at 6.50 pm.  You are all welcome to join on either video or phone. 
We will also be holding an All We Can Zoom Coffee Morning on Saturday 13 June at 10.30 to 11.30 am – special guest Tim Baker.  The video and telephone Zoom link will be the same as our Sunday Zoom Service link. 
We continue to hold in our thoughts and prayers:
• all those who are ill with Covid 19 or whose loved ones have died
• all those in the NHS and other essential services who are ensuring our needs are met.
If anyone has any questions or just needs to talk please contact your Minister or one of the Church or Circuit Leadership Team. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. 
God bless from Linda
on behalf of the CLT (Circuit Leadership Team)
Email: revlindcat@gmail.com            Tel: 01782 848699