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Pastoral Letter - 8th May, 2022

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The Peace of the Risen Christ be with you!

We turn our attention to the “Mother of Methodism”, Susanna Wesley as we continue our celebration of our Methodist heritage during this month. If there is any truth to the argument that ‘all relationships emerge out of the basic human relationship of mother-child’, allow me to look at the relationship of Susanna and her second daughter, Susanna, affectionately called, “Sukey”.

In his “The Wesley Sisters”, Rev. Frederick E Maser, described Sukey as a “good-natured, happy, vivacious girl who loved life and had a delightful sense of humour.” Sukey lived for a time in London with an Uncle Annesley, her mother’s brother, who promised her a “handsome present” which did not materialize. Susanna married a Richard Ellison, a wealthy landowner, and they had four children. Her mother believed that Sukey “rashly threw herself at the man”, partly because of his wealth and partly because of her disappointment with her uncle’s failed promise.’ Unfortunately, Ellison proved to be a “coarse, vulgar and immoral man” who abused his wife. He eventually lost his wealth and Sukey left him. In his poverty, he reached out to John Wesley who placed him on a charity list. This kind gesture moved him to become a Methodist. Sukey also became a Methodist although there is no record that the two of them ever met again.

Has your “mother” ever criticized your relationships? How did that make you feel? How does it make you feel now as you reflect? How has that criticism influenced your relationship with your mother, your family, your church, and your God?

Happy Mother’s Day to all “mothers”. Prayers especially for those whose mothers are now of blessed memory and those whose child(ren) are now of blessed memory.

Your pastor and friend

Mark S Christmas

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