Pastoral Letter: w/e 3rd July 2021

Dear Friend from Bridport United Church, Uploders Methodist Church or Hope & Radipole United Reformed Churches,

Well we have returned from another week away, having travelled quite some miles and passing through over a dozen counties, and in many ways it sort of felt like a return to normal.

And yet in many ways it wasn’t of course.  No matter where I went I had to ensure I had my mask to hand and my wee bottle of sanitiser in the other pocket, registering with the NHS Track & Trace App every time I enter a building too!  But it did feel like another step back to normality and gave me hope once again for the future.  

One other thing that has been far from normal has been the series of readings I have been following in my Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church which have been taking us through a book I usually avoid like a plague (not least because it is chock full of them!) i.e. the Book of Revelation.  But I do think it is sometimes a good discipline to read a biblical book that is not on your ‘favourite’ list?  So I’m not complaining, especially the timing, in the midst of a global pandemic which some have described using apocalyptic language!

There have been some pretty interesting observations and reinterpretations of the passages from a huge range of writers - another reason why I like the Daily Devotions readings.  Also, in amongst some really incisive and preceptive reflections, every now and again a writer seemed to be almost shrugging their shoulders as they wrote their thoughts and seemed to be saying, “To be honest I am completely mystified by this text!”

I admired their honesty and it occurred to me that nobody completely understands the whole of this magnificent set of books that comprise our Bible - not even the cleverest, most qualified academic scholar who has spent their whole adult life studying it!

Which is actually quite reassuring for the rest of us, isn't it?  It also inspires me to keep on trying, keep on reading, keep on learning and keep on enjoying our wonderful Scriptures!

So, as well as bringing you this fortnight’s Written Services, let me tell you that the 10:30am services at Bridport United Church will be a Communion Service led by me and the Uploders one will be led by Tim Wells.  We can’t sing yet but we can hum mightily and enjoy a cuppa afterwards.  Also Saturday Coffee Mornings have started at Bridport United Church.  A few more steps towards normality?

Finally, another bit of normality, of sorts?  Last year we were excused by the Charity Commission from holding an AGM thanks to the restrictions on gathering.  Uploders managed one during a break in them and we can now hold a brief  one to tick that box at Bridport United Church.  It will be brief (I promise!!) but it is important to do this and have an opportunity to gather, communicate and plan a little for the future.  It will be after the Sunday Service on 11th July with refreshments and cake.  Please if you are a Member could you do your best to come (non-members welcome too, you just can’t vote!)? 

Blessings from your Minister,

Peter Clark


So, here are your Sunday Options
  1. This week’s Live in-person 10:30am Sunday services will be led by Rev Peter Clark at Bridport United Church and Tim Wells at Uploders.
  2. Video Services:  This week’s Circuit Video Service available on YouTube this week will be led by the Rev'd John Yarrien and will be available from 5pm on Saturday evening
  3. Soul Space: It continues our journey through the book of Genesis.  This time the adventures and family tensions and deceits between Jacob and Esau and Jacob and Laban, with reflection from Rev’d Peter Clark:
  4. The Audio Service  from the United Reformed Church this week from the Daily Devotions Team is being led by Sunday's service will be led by Peter Pay. Peter is a member of Salisbury URC, and is one of the outgoing Moderators of General Assembly, taking place next weekend (9th-12th July).  Hymns include Lord of all hopefulness, Alan Dale's God's Spirit is in my heart, and Martin Rinkart's Now we all thank our God.  Here’s the Soundcloud link: