A Letter from Rev Linda 

Dear friends,
Ecclesiastes 3 begins,
‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh… ‘
You may recall that when lockdown began there were a number of days, maybe weeks, when we were blessed with radiant sunshine.  Suddenly a time when I should have been rushing from here to there, I found myself at home with just a little bit more time to pause, sit in our garden and breathe in the fresh air.  The problem was that I noticed the weeding and cutting back that needed doing around the garden.  I now had a new task, and to Barry’s great concern, I grabbed my shears and began cutting back (Barry would describe it as ‘hacking’) the overgrown plants that graced our garden.  I promise that nothing was killed during this onslaught.  Between us we have created a tidy-ish garden.  Barry has created a flowerbed which has blossomed over the last two weeks.  Our family will be shocked that we have turned into gardeners!
 We are all now slowly easing ourselves out of lockdown, but what have we discovered during this time?  What is God saying to us as we begin to re-open our church buildings?  What do we need to cut back on and what do we need to plant?  What do we need to do to help our communities heal and rebuild?  We are blessed with the light of Christ who shines in the darkness and shows us the way. 
August is a time of moving in the Methodist Church.  We said farewell to Ian last Sunday and we hold him in our prayers as he settles into ‘sitting down’ in Coventry.  We now prepare to welcome Rev Pam Roberts into the Circuit.  Pam will have pastoral charge of Forsbrook & Blythe Bridge, Broadway and Lightwood.  We therefore also hold Pam in our prayers as she prepares to move at the end of August and begins her ministry in September.  We will send round details of her Welcome Service shortly. 
This year August is a time of uncertainty.  Some cities/towns have been locked down again due to coronavirus cases rising.  We hold those places in our prayers and the people who are affected.  Our churches have begun to reopen or are discussing when the right time is to do this.  Let us hold each other in prayer as decisions are made and Risk Assessments prepared. 
For the time being we will continue with our WhyPay and Zoom Services.  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
10.00am: Longton Central Hall – contact Jeff Short or Glenn Parkes for details
10.00am: West End and Trentham – contact Linda Catlow or Maureen Prophet for details
10.00am: 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
10.30 am: Temple St/Fenton Park – contact Jeff Short or Glenn Parkes
Zoom Video Conference Call:
11.00am: Circuit Service, ALL INVITED – a link will be circulated or contact Linda Catlow or Glenn Parkes for details.
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)
Rev Linda:    Email: revlindcat@gmail.com  Tel: 01782 848699
Glenn, Admin: office@stokesouthmethodist.org.uk   Tel: 01782 847489