The gift of new people

Like this squirrel in the Company’s Gardens…
we often think more is better …
when often more is a burden.


Grace and peace to you and through you

It is always a joy when new people join this community. It enriches our diversity and it broadens our understanding of family. New people bring fresh perspectives of faith and renewed possibilities for faithful living. Above all, when people join this community we are given the gift of new people to love and new people to be loved by – in this we all grow in God because God is love.

We believe that the “world is our parish” and so joining the Central Methodist Mission (CMM) as your community of faith is to declare that each of us belong to one worldwide family of God that includes all people. Therefore if you want to know how many members there are at CMM, we declare that there are approximately 7.5 billion members and counting. And we are called to care for every single member! We do this by loving those who are in our close proximity and by seeking justice (fairness) for those who we may never ever personally know or meet.

Paradoxically we also declare that we are one. CMM is made up of ONE member. Therefore loving others and seeking justice for them is best thought of as “self-care” rather than self-sacrifice. So when asked how many members there are at CMM – we can reply: There is only One. Oh, and about 7.5 billion…


Today we welcome the people who stand before us now …


LEADER: It is Jesus who has called you, accepted and embraced you. Jesus calls each of you to always remember who you are: “You are my beloved”, says Jesus. “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world”. At CMM we commit to reminding you who Jesus says you are. We welcome you in Jesus’ name, and we pray that your sense of belonging will deepen by grace and with time, trusting always that we are one family.

Therefore, I ask you, do you commit yourself with us to follow Jesus? Will you seek to love Jesus by loving as he first loved you? Will you seek to love your neighbour as yourself? Will you do justice? Will you love mercy? Will you walk humbly with God and each of us? Will you be open to the renewing power of the Spirit of Life in your life and in this community and throughout the world?

THOSE TO BE WELCOMED: In God’s great grace we will.

LEADER: Will you seek to be faithful to whatever Jesus calls you to, and will you be bold in serving Jesus through this community in the presence of your bodies, the prayers of your hearts and the gifts of your creativity?

THOSE TO BE WELCOMED: In God’s great grace we will.

CONGREGATION: We thank Jesus for the gift of each one of you. Always remember that you are born in love, by love and for love. We are grateful to Jesus who reminds us through your presence that we belong to a beautifully big family. We join with you to commit ourselves anew today to doing life the Jesus Way for the healing of the world.

May the Spirit grow your faith, deepen your hope and strengthen your love, watering within all of us the desire to be Jesus’ faithful family forever. Amen.


Assumptions and Misunderstandings

Thank you Eric Yamani for revitalising our garden!

Grace and Peace to you …

So the other day I was in a meeting. Well actually a couple of meetings. The first meeting was with a person who was the leader of his organisation. A group of us met with him. We had contacted him directly requesting to meet concerning a matter of mutual concern. The meeting began. The meeting ended. All fine.

Then I had another meeting. This second meeting was with different people. During this meeting a person informed us that should we ever want to meet with the leader of the organisation we had met with in the first meeting in the future, we should go through him first.

Okay I thought to myself … we have ourselves a bit of a power struggle going on here.

Then a few days later we had a third meeting. This third meeting included both the leader of the organisation from the first meeting as well as the person who said we must go through him from the second meeting. So I was all eyes on the dynamics between these two – wondering how the power dynamics were going to play out. To my surprise there didn’t seem to be any power dynamics at play between the two of them. In fact just the opposite – they complemented each other throughout.

I was a little confused until all light was shed on the situation by the person from the second meeting who said we must go through him to get to the leader of the organisation. In short, it was more about protocol than power.

I made an assumption based on what I thought was obvious but which in fact was incorrect. Not only did I carry in my mind thoughts about these two people that were not true, but it also influenced how I prepared for the third meeting, namely, less open and more guarded.

This got me thinking how often we may assume to know the reasons for things when in fact we don’t. Making assumptions so often leads to misunderstanding which in turn leads to hurt. As Mr. Wesley said in his “Rules of a Helper: Believe evil of no one unless fully proved; take heed how you credit it. Put the best construction you can on everything. You know the judge is always supposed to be on the prisoner’s side.”

Grace, Alan

“You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers, it doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s PLENTY.”

~ Courtney A. Walsh