IN TOUCH with the GENERAL DIRECTOR
IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO ALL PWMI SUPPORTERS
PWMI BRANCHES UPDATE:
One of the great consequences of the Covid-19 crisis for Christian believers, is the fact that we have been robbed of our basic means of grace, which we call Christian fellowship. Not only is this something we are called to observe - “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together ... but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching” Heb. 10:25 - but it is also something we cherish and appreciate.
This inability to meet together for public worship has particularly affected us in the PWMI. Having strived to maintain the monthly mailing of our magazine, and also further developed our online ministry, we have taken a hit as regards our branch system. Our branch structure has operated successfully for 100 years, and this is the first time our branches have had to temporarily close ‘en-bloc’ during that period. Covid seems to have accomplished what even Adolf Hitler couldn't do.
I am pleased to say that some of the government restrictions on public worship - which many feel has militated against Christians - has been lifted somewhat. This has implications for our branches, as it means we are able to meet together publicly again. I know that many branch leaders may feel this is too soon and many of our supporters may not be ready to venture out yet. As one who has been ‘shielding’ throughout, I fully sympathise with this position, as I am still not venturing out myself. However, for those who wish to do so, and feel able to, I have recently written to all our branches up and down the country offering guidelines and advice highlighting the following:
- Firstly acquaint yourselves with the government restrictions.
- Talk to those who are responsible for your venue.
- Consider the wishes of your supporters.
- If you meet - observe the rules for everybody’s sake.
- Be prepared to adapt to the ‘new normal’ for however long that takes.
I do look forward to the day when as a movement we will be fully operational again, and when it will be safe for all our branches, and possibly many new ones, to meet publicly to proclaim loud and clear the message of the Lord’s return.
A PIECE OF HISTORY: During the current crisis I have reflected on an event that took place many years ago during the Protestant Reformation. The German pastor, Martin Rinkhart and his followers were besieged in the town of Eilenberg. Their Roman Catholic enemies had surrounded the town determined to starve them to death. During this period of lock down, a disease spread through the town killing 5000 people and rendering others seriously ill. At the peak of the epidemic, Rinkhart, the only pastor in town, was conducting up to 50 funerals per day - it included his own dear wife. Through Rinkhart’s perseverance and prayer, the lock down was eventually lifted, and he went on to write the following, now famous hymn:
1. Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
2. Oh, may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And guard us through all ills in this world, till the next
3. All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given,
The Son, and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven—
The one eternal God, Whom earth and Heav’n adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.
I recognise that when our branches meet again, it may not be permissible to sing, but I advocate that at the resumption of activities, each branch should read this hymn in unison together.
Rev. Colin Le Noury
As you know these are unprecedented days with a worldwide pandemic which is affecting life and peoples living patterns all around the world. There is still a good deal of unpredictability about the weeks and months ahead and nobody really knows how things will yet unfold before it comes to an end. What we do know is that every aspect of society is facing great pressure and changes and adjustments are having to be made with the changing order of things. In this column this month I want to set out for your information how this is affecting our great movement and our daily operations.
HEAD OFFICE/BOOK ROOM
Our head office is temporarily closed in keeping with government guidelines. I have removed our computers and some important files to my home and am doing my best to keep things running as smoothly as possible during this crisis. You will not be able to contact us on our head office phone for the time being but you can still phone or text on my mobile number and our head office email is still in use. These details are on page two of the magazine. There may be some disruption in our services, particularly regarding our mail order book sales. We would ask you to be patient and understanding on this. Please pray for our chairman, Dr Stephen Boreland and everyone on our leadership team on whom I rely for help and advice in all the major decisions we take at this time.
Our branches have cancelled their meetings in the near future, again in line with government guidance. Quite when these branch meetings will resume is uncertain. All of our branch secretaries are capable people who will keep regular attenders informed of the situation locally. Please don't hesitate to contact your local branch secretary for information they will be glad to hear from you. As our editor has already indicated in his column we have regrettably had to cancel our renowned Bournemouth Convention in May.
PROPHETIC WITNESS MAGAZINE
Again our editor has indicated that it is the desire of Council/leadership team to keep our monthly magazine in regular production. I have been in consultation with everyone concerned and we are hoping to maintain a monthly mailing. However, I have to flag up the fact that for complex operational reasons it may not be possible, and we may have to go bi-monthly for one or possibly two issues but we will endeavour to our best to avoid this. Please pray for our editor, Richard Salmon and the wonderful job he is doing.
In the event that we have to go bi-monthly as set out above, nobody should worry about being at financial loss as your subscription renewal date will be adjusted accordingly to take this into account. On the matter of subscriptions we will be continuing to send out renewal reminders by email wherever possible. Postal reminders may not be possible so if you know your subscription is due please send it in promptly to maintain our good cash flow situation. Let me remind you that renewals can be made on our website via Paypal or by electronic bank transfer using our bank details on page two of the magazine. If doing a bank transfer please advise by email so that we can update our records promptly. Payments on the website will be notified to us by Paypal. As always you can still pay by cheque or postal order. Please look at the PWMI number on your address label and if it is encircled in red then your subscription is due. We realise that some of you may not be able to leave your homes to post your renewal - don't worry NOBODY will be struck off our mailing list during this crisis.
The events that confront our world today are what I have been preaching about for decades. The rapture could be very near and I am sure that this pandemic is not without prophetic significance. I would urge all PWMI supporters to use the current crisis in a positive way to witness to people about the Lord's return. At the same time I would urge you be be careful and guarded in your speech when witnessing to unbelievers at this time of widespread anxiety and loss of life. Let us at all times 'Speak the truth in Love'.
May God bless & keep you. Keep safe.
Rev. Colin Le Noury