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Harvest Pastoral Letter 2023

BMC Harvest Pastoral Letter 2023 from Reverend Nigel Murphy

‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.’ Jeremiah 17:9-10.

During our summer holidays we were experiencing much rainfall. I could hear the community in Coleraine and Portrush complain about the deluge and how typical it is for a Northern Irish summer! The Northern Ireland news reported on how farmers are facing the prospect of many of their crops being blighted by disease due to the excessive rainfall. The news also informed us on fires in other countries due to excessive heat. This got me thinking on how the world is affected through Climate Change. The changes in our climate are due to mankind burning fossil fuels and we all undoubtedly contribute and are responsible! Our hearts are more inclined to these matters when our own health is affected and our ability to grow healthy food is reduced.

This reminded me of how our hearts are diseased, which is the reason for our problems and how we contribute unwittingly to polluting the world. Afterall, we need our car to get to where we want to go and so justify it. We will say that the government needs to do something about it! There is an element of truth to our thinking, but we can contribute in other ways to reduce our carbon footprint for example, how we manage our waste. The Prophet Jeremiah urged God’s people to take responsibility in the living of their lives so that they would turn from their sins and get back to God. Jeremiah chapter 17:9 reads, ‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’ Our hearts are inclined against God. Sin denies its own fault, suppresses the truth, and blames others. In other words when things are not going well, we tend to point the finger in blaming instead of sharing in the responsibility. We all can contribute to making a difference in God’s world and this is why Jeremiah was called to be a prophet in his time (627-586 B.C.). So, the question is what can God say to us today through Jeremiah for our Harvest 2023? We can choose to understand our hearts better by asking God to search them. It is, therefore, important to remember not to search other hearts/minds but let God search your own. We live in a world that examines others and professes to know them without seeing our own sin because our hearts are deceitful above all things. For Harvest 2023 let's focus on Jeremiah 17:7-8. 'But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.' May we bear fruit for the Lord Jesus Christ as he is the vine, and we are the branches. We can't do anything without him, and we need to invite him in to examine our own hearts.

Reah and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy harvest.

The manse telephone number is 028 90 651 810 and mobile number is 079 888 07803.

For the online services go to Bloomfield Methodist Church Facebook or Bloomfield Methodist Church You Tube. If you would like your pastoral letter emailed in the future, please send your email address to BMC Web Team

Peace be with you, your friend and minister, Reverend Nigel Murphy

Announcements Bloomfield Methodist Harvest Worship Service is Sunday 8th October, 11am and will be led by our minister Reverend Nigel Murphy. Belfast East Circuit Local Preachers Affirmation Service will be held in Bloomfield Methodist Church on Sunday 8th October, 7pm. Our own minister will lead the service and Laura Griffith, Connexional Local Preacher Co-ordinator, will preach. Belfast East Circuit Worship Night is in Glenburn Methodist Church on Sunday 29th October, 7pm. Kids For Christ is for anyone from 3 to 11 years old. Bible Class is also available for older children. KFC is at 11am every Sunday. There will be Stories, Crafts, Games, Toys, Songs, Poems, Drama and More! There will be a breakfast club the last Sunday of each month at 10:30am. There will be always KFC Leaders at church, you can leave children off, and pick up at 12. Everyone is welcome in person to our worship services at 11am and there is a creche facility for those younger families. Hospital Visits - If you have a family member, loved one or know of a member of the congregation who has been admitted to hospital for treatment, please let the minister/society steward know as soon as possible so a visit can be arranged. The minister can be contacted via email or manse telephone 028 90 651 810 or mobile 079 888 07803. Please leave a message if the minister does not answer immediately. If you would like a house call, please speak with the minister/society steward.


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