A Letter from Rev Linda 

Dear friends
The first of September is the beginning of a new year for the Methodist Church so I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR.  The following was the set reading on the Methodist website, A word in time bible study, on the 1st:-
‘Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed … as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” ‘ see 1 Peter 1:13-25
These are wise words as we step into this new church year.  The best way to prepare for action is to begin by turning to God in prayer.  There is much to pray for as we return to our church buildings, as society slowly returns to a new normal and as we reflect on the affects that Covid-19 has had on our world. 
The Methodist Conference has declared that this year is a ‘Year of Prayer’ and we are encouraged to ‘be part of this movement of prayer as we ask the Holy Spirit to help us be a growing, evangelistic, inclusive, justice-seeking Church of gospel people’.  We are being encouraged to pray with Methodists across the connexion on a Tuesday lunch time from 12.45pm to 1.00pm – see the Methodist Website for details www.methodist.org.uk/our-work/our-work-in-britain/evangelism-growth/year-of-prayer 
or just click here.
Our new church year has begun with a celebration - it has been a joy to welcome Rev Pam Roberts into our Circuit.  We had an unusual but good Welcome Service on Thursday 3 September – unusual because it was on Zoom.  Our Chair of District, Rev Helen Kirk, helped to lead the service and we enjoyed the company of friends from across Circuit, District, Connexion and other local Churches.  We hold Pam in our prayers as she begins her ministry in this place and look forward to serving God with her.  
A number of our churches have now reopened.  Some people may not feel safe to yet return therefore we are still going to hold a WhyPay and Zoom Service over the next couple of months. The Circuit Zoom Service will take place during September at 11.30 am and all are welcome to join. In October we will be moving the Zoom Service to a Thursday evening at 6.30 pm – an opportunity for the Circuit to continue gathering together as one. 
Over the next couple of months the Methodist people will gather together for worship and to discuss God’s work: first at District Synods, across the country, to hear what has come from July’s Methodist Annual Conference and discuss District life; then at Circuit Meetings, to receive news from District and discuss Circuit life; then at Church Councils, to receive news from the Circuit Meeting and discuss Church life.  In Spring the meetings reverse.  This shows how we are connected as the Methodist Church and explains why we are called the Methodist Connexion.  Please hold in your prayers:
- the Chester and Stoke Methodist District Synod as we meet on Saturday 12 September on Zoom
- the Stoke South Circuit Meeting as we meet on Monday 21 September on Zoom
- the Church Councils across the Circuit who will meet during October. 
As we begin this new Methodist Church Year I share the blessing from the Welcome Service with you:
May the God of love stir up in us the gifts of his grace and sustain each of us in our discipleship and service;
And the blessing of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, remain with us for ever.  Amen. 
From Rev 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