Normalising Hope

As always we have a choice. We can choose to remember 2020 for Corona, lockdown and hardship, or we can remember 2020 as the year the body of Christ gathered to feed the hungry, share the Good News, and maintain Christ's light in the midst of darkness. We can build on ecumenical relationships and maintain unity within the circuit, synod and connextional Methodist Church.

We pray: Lord God, give us the strength to continue to choose Your way into 2021, and empower us to preservere as long as it takes to normalise Hope.

2020 was tough. No doubt about it. We as a nation and as Metro Church were pushed beyond our limits. When I arrived in 2017, one of the descriptors used for Metro was 'Change'. Little did I know how true this would be for every subsequent year, and specifically in 2020. I struggle to use the buzz words 'the New Normal' because of Metro's experience of continual change. Seeking a 'normal' (any normal) of behaviour seems fruitless and demoralising. Yet finding 'normal' is essential, because continual change is exhausting. I believe the stability, the 'normal' we seek is found in the fabric of Metro's existence.

Metropolitan Church of Pietermaritzburg

has spiritual foundations of

Hope, Love, Joy & Peace.

For 175 years Metro has

shared the gospel of Jesus,

fed the hungry,

given water to the thirsty,

and clothed the poor.

She has witnessed lives which have changed, and illness' which have been healed.

She has guided the lost,

and shared hope with the desperate.

A Year In Review

For the first time in almost two centuries Sunday worship Metro was interrupted for months at a time. National lockdown meant we could not gather as a community, and our communal worship had to take new forms. Many of us we have not met in worship since March and have missed communion, the exhortation, and the family congeniality. Who would have guessed that the last t time we 'shared the peace' in the communion liturgy would have to sustain us so long?

Contact Groups became an important part of our Society this year. Based on John Wesley's 'Cell groups', every person has been allocated a church leader to maintain contact through the body of the church. At the very least the groups are a source of information about Metro's re-opening of Sunday worship. But the groups are beneficial in many other ways. Led by a respected member of the church community, the groups have become a first point of contact to communicate spiritual, physical and emotional needs. Prayers, tears of sadness or joy, and pleas for assistance have been shared with, and through, the groups. Scripture is shared, and is part of our daily communications within the Contact groups.

National Lockdown locked down many of our community's source of income, and so the physical need of basic grocery provisions was one of our first responses from our members. 2020 was a year where Metro Church once again lived the miraculous. We experienced exceptionally generous giving during the Covid pandemic, resources which fed over 1100 people during the year. We gave thanks to God, and in our worship of a Living and Loving God we were able to share the Joy of Jesus with 150 Christmas presents for children connected to Metro church. We shared the Joy with our Morning Ministry and with members of our church who reside at the Palms. We were able to reach out into the lives of members and non-members of our church community.

Attributes of Hope, Love, Joy & Peace

were, are, and will always

characterise Metro Church,

The body of Jesus, The heart of the city.

This is Metro's 'Normal'.

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