1 Church Street
East Harwich, MA 02645
A Message from Pastor John
Another year is put behind us, and a new one is beginning. We might mark the change of years by struggling to stay awake long enough to watch the ball drop in New York’s Times Square, by committing to a set of New Year’s resolutions (most of which we abandon by the end of the month), or simply by taking one calendar off the wall and hanging a new one.
In the early 1700s, adherants of the Moravian church (a pietist group who relocated from the eastern region of what’s now the Czech Republic to the German region of Saxony) began to mark the New Year with a vigil, in which the gathered community together prayed—reflecting on the previous year and meditating on the one to come. The Moravians had a profound influence on John Wesley’s own spiritual development, an influence that helped shape his understanding of formative Christian discipleship.
In 1755 John Wesley began using in Methodist covenant services a Puritan prayer written by Richard Alleine a century earlier. Usually observed as part of watch-night services held on New Years’ Eve, the covenant services offered those gathered the opportunity to renew their commitment to Jesus Christ and to Christ’s church. If you weren’t able to join us in worship on December 29, I’d encourage you to offer up Alleine’s prayer as a re-commitment of yourself to grow daily in Christ.
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low by thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.