Spring Synod 2019

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Spring Synod
Saturday 27 April 2019
starting at 10am at
Trinity Methodist Church, Stainsby Road, Middlesbrough, TS5 4JS

Please bring your lunch. Tea and coffee are provided.

Visit the circuit pages to see the latest reports.

Agenda

10.00am Opening Worship
10.20am Welcome and Opening Business
10.30am Reports: Treasurer, DPC, 3Gen, Candidates Committee, Presbyteral Synod
11.15am Memorials to Conference (included in synod paperwork)
11.30am Table Talk 1 Every church growing: developing the district plan
12.15pm Local Preachers Memorial
12.30pm Lunch
1.30pm Table Talk 2 'We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails'
2.30pm Coming up?
2.45pm Invitation to the next Synod: Cleveland & Danby 14th September 2019
2.50pm Celebration of Holy Communion

Theme for synod is: The Church in the Power of the Spirit

Some questions for reflection:

  • What do we need to honour and preserve in our life together? What needs to be reimagined or changed?
  • What does it mean for your church to be a sign or foretaste of the Kingdom?
  • Can you imagine being church differently? If so, how?
  • 'We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails' — what is God saying to us now? How is God calling us to live in the power of the Spirit?

Letter from District Chair

Dear friends,

The theme of the Spring Synod is 'The Church in the Power of the Spirit'. The title is taken from a book by the German theologian, Jürgen Moltmann, one of the most influential theologians of the past few decades.

In his book, Moltmann draws attention to the close relationship between Christ and the Church. He writes, 'Every statement about the church will be a statement about Christ. Every statement about Christ also implies a statement about the Church'. The Church then is not a reality which exists for its own sake but is one which, with Christ as its foundation, is a community called to be light for the world, reflecting Christ's presence, serving and spreading the Kingdom in a multitude of ways.

The reports in the Spring Synod booklet indicate some of the ways in which the district has been active in its service of local churches and circuits and in so doing supporting, enabling and encouraging them in their life, witness and mission. It represents the work of many people, time, talents and resources for which we are all grateful. The work and witness of the district, circuits and local churches over recent years provides a foundation on which we hope to build in the coming years.

At Synod we will begin to explore ways of living out Our Calling as we look to create a context in which we find, 'Every church growing' — growing in worship; learning and caring; service; and, evangelism. This is an ambitious agenda and I am realistic enough to know that we will not achieve it without some pain and death and difficulty along the way — there can be no resurrection without death first. But in aspiring to a time when 'every church is growing', I am reminded that the Church exists in the power and the presence of the Spirit, who is active both in the Church and the world, and in working towards a world that the Kingdom will fully realise. This is the horizon in which we are all called to live.

A couple of months ago I found myself in Waterstones in Durham. I discovered a card with a small yacht hand drawn on the front cover. 'We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails', read the caption. As we meet at Synod, at the start of a journey from Easter through to Pentecost, that is a good image for us to consider. Let us adjust the sails and be open to the Spirit's movement, challenge and presence as we seek to be Christ's Church in the present age in our world and our communities.

Yours in Christ,

Rev Richard Andrew

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