The start of a new year gives us the opportunity of starting afresh.
From the earliest days of the Methodist movement, John Wesley invited the Methodist people to an annual service for the renewal of our Covenant with God, normally on the first Sunday of each year. Much of the original material for this service was sourced from 17th century Puritans and there have been several revisions since.
The central point of this service comes as we say the Covenant Prayer together:
I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,
exalted for you or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing;
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. So be it. And this covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
We undertake this renewal relying on the grace of God and trusting his promises. When we say “put me to suffering”, we are not asking God to inflict pain on us, but rather that we would be strengthened by his grace and loving relationship freely given.
You will be welcome, whether you are sharing in a Covenant Service for the first time, have done it annually for many years, or simply want to watch what others do without taking part yourself.
Rev Julia Jan 2016