May’s “Letter from the Ministry Team” comes from
John Dodd:

Dear Friends,

Isn’t it great to be back in person in our churches once more? Like Rev Louise, I found it quite emotional. I also enjoyed a lunch and beer in a pub garden last weekend and I hope you are enjoying the gradual relaxation of restrictions that we have all had to endure in varying degrees during the last year. I must say I am reassured to hear many people urging caution as things start to move towards “normal”. However it does seem that not everyone is united in this way of thinking and that prompted me to ponder on unity and being united.

The dictionary definitions of unity include:

the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole; unification.

absence of diversity; unvaried or uniform character.

oneness of mind, feeling, etc., as among a number of persons; concord, harmony, or agreement.

Now of course our lives would be boring if we always all thought and did exactly the same and we need challenge from time to time and to be encouraged to approach things from different viewpoints, but it is also true that much can be achieved by providing a united front.

The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945. Currently made up of 193 Member States, the UN and its work are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter. The UN has evolved over the years to keep pace with a rapidly changing world. But one thing has stayed the same: it remains the one place on Earth where all the world’s nations can gather together, discuss common problems, and find shared solutions that benefit all of humanity. A great example of this is the UN’s response to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Another good example, although perhaps less significant for some people, is the way football fans and others involved in the sport united against the formation of the elite “Super League” and this illustrates just how much can be achieved by people uniting together for the common good.

Much has been done (though there is still a huge amount to be achieved) in uniting people against racism and general inequality in our world. It is vital that we continue to be inspired by individuals and groups who dare to stand up and highlight injustices, just as Jesus himself did, and that we can become united behind them. Of course unfortunately there have been and still are, individuals and groups that succeed in encouraging and uniting followers to behave in ways that the majority of us would not condone and we need to be discerning in our choices, which is where our relationships in our churches can be so helpful to each other.

It has been wonderful that we have had all the online resources to keep us supported during the lockdowns and I am pleased that some of these will be continuing, but nothing can beat actually meeting others (even if socially distanced) and being united in worship.

John Dodd