Deacon Marcianne’s blog – March ’24

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the name of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

During this Lent Season, I have been reflecting on the ministry of Jesus, who did not come to be served, but to serve, and to ultimately give his life as a ransom for the salvation of all. How does this relate to our Methodist Church diaconal ministry?

Lent blocks

Deacons are men and women who have been called by God to serve in many different ways; from offering a lifetime commitment and a willingness to serve where needed, to bridging the gap between the church and the world. The diaconal ministry has been described as ‘standing in the doorway of the church’ keeping the door open both ways.

A Deacons ministry intentionally overlaps with the ministries of others as part of God’s bigger picture of activity and presence in the world. This helps deacons to develop the ability to practice different types of Leaderships, while seeking to model, inspire, empower, and encourage others in the servant ministry of Christ. In some cases, deacons might lead from the front, other times from behind or alongside. From washing someone feet or serving as the head cook to taking out the rubbish as a waiter; every position in a successful kitchen is attended graciously and valued in God’s eyes. Deacons aim to collaborate, cooperate, and comprise accordingly. The most important lesson that I have noticed and learned about the Diaconal ministry is that it does not take pride in any form of competition, because this does not allow for time or space to learn, listen, affirm, or challenge where it is necessary.

I recently read some profoundly powerful words on the “Leadership Matters” blog from our President of the Methodist Conference, words that I will reflect on for a long time. She said that “Jesus spent some time with his disciples, his team, listening to their questions, affirming them in their calling but also challenging them to be and do more than they ever thought possible. He ate with them, set them an example, and forgave their mistakes.” It is essential we too follow in the path of Jesus Christ in making our loving and caring presence known in our communities.

May the Holy Spirit of the Living God help and guide us in our mission of making disciples and spending time together through the servanthood ministry.

Deacon Marcianne’s blog – Feb 24

“Why do some people believe that life is a journey?”

Dear Sisters and brothers with whom I share the same faith, peace be with you all in the name
of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

It has been a great joy and privilege for me to participate in our local schools, particularly
contributing to their school assemblies and religious education. During my most recent visit to
the school, as a Christian, I was given a question to talk about: “Why do some people believe
that life is a journey?” On my way home, I was asking the same question: “why do Christians
believe that the life of faith is a journey?”

For Christians, the Bible refers to the life of faith as a “journey”, because it is a transformational
process into Christ’s image from one degree of glory to another. It continues throughout our
earthly life and grows closer to who God created us to be in the first place. This journey simply
focuses on the process of getting there, not the arrival. The focus is on the process, not any
perfection.

For the first disciples, it was a journey they started when Jesus called them to follow him, and
prior to His Ascension, He set them a mission: “…go and make disciples of all
nations…”(Matthew28:19), He also told them that, in His Father’s house there are many
dwelling-places, that he was going to prepare a place for all who will follow Him; that He will
come again and will take you to himself, so that “where He is, there they may be also.” (John
14:1-3), Jesus is the only way to the Father, because there are no works or deeds or actions
that can save us. The good news is that although this faith journey is full of ups and downs,
full of changes, transitions, challenges, and adventures, we are not alone. God is with us to
the end. There are also spiritual companions on the way, and sometimes the most unexpected
or unwelcome companion can draw us nearer to God or point us to Jesus Christ our Lord and
Saviour.

The Lent season is a time through which we remember the end of most significant earthly
journey story in Christian history. Jesus Christ left heaven, came to earth for our sake, lived
among us, died on the cross and rose again, so that we can live in and with Him. During this
Lent season, Jesus invites us to journey with Him into family relationships, friendships, work,
neighbourhoods, the persecuted church, and the broken world around us. The question is,
whom are you going to invite to journey with you this Lent? As a companion in this faith journey,
whom are you going to draw near or point to our Lord and Saviour this Lent season?
It is my prayer that our commitment and ultimate goal this lent season may be of pointing
others to Christ through companionship, words of invitation, actions, prayers, songs of praise
and fellowship, in the name of God, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Yours in His service,
Probationer minister, Deacon Marcianne Uwimana

Deacon Marcianne’s blog – Advent, Christmas ’23 and into the New Year

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the name of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Once again, this year on 17th November, we had another amazing event at Syke Methodist Church. While the President and the Vice-President of the Methodist Church in Great Britain, and the Chair of the Bolton and Rochdale District practiced the Presence Ministry; our Rochdale Mayor switched on the Christmas Lights. There were so many beautiful activities in the church building, facilitated by a wonderful team (the Chapel & the Base) and more than 500 people from the community turned up to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season. The children from Healey Primary School were accompanied by the Syke Community Choir in singing wonderful carols and hymns.

It was so encouraging and inspiring to have members of Good News for Everyone (GNfE), bravely initiating some good conversations about the real meaning of Christmas, life, and faith; 61 New Testaments were willingly received. Reflecting on other recent distribution opportunities attended by other GNfE members at the Eurovision Song Contest and the Rugby League World Cup where some 2000 scriptures and New Testaments were given out, one of the GNfE members mentioned that “people were never coerced, and many were hungry for God’s Word”. For some, opportunities like this one allow them to take the first steps on their personal journey of discovering a greater understanding of Jesus, the Light of the World, and start to cultivate the friendship with and of Jesus.

This testimony reminded me of what Janet Bracegirdle shared with the over 50’s group at Syke Community Base, a few weeks ago, from her book entitled: “Memories”. Janet spoke about how people saw and understood God in 1950’s. She said, “When you were sick, you were always taught that God knew everything, and he perched on the end of the bed helping you get better. God was everywhere, even when you hid under the table he knew and saw everything and heard every word you said, the best safeguard was to cultivate the friendship with and of Jesus.

Without any fear or apology, as we end 2023 and start 2024, perhaps this can continue to be our focus: taking every possible opportunity to initiate good conversations about life and faith with those we meet and interact with. Boldly encourage, enable, and inspire them to start a journey of discovery into their own friendship with Jesus, the Light of the World. Surely, how would they know if we don’t share with them. After social actions, there is a need of leading others to Christ, the only way, the truth, and life. When God is with us, there is always hope in His word to break through to hearts and minds, shining Heaven’s light into lives that might be clouded with confusion and despair.

Let me take this opportunity to THANK YOU all and wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Yours in His service,

Probationer Minister, Deacon Marcianne Uwimana.

Deacon Marcianne’s blog – October ’23

Greetings in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

It has been 13 months since I joined you all in your individual and collective ministries within the Littleborough and Rochdale Circuit, working closely with Moorhouse, Smithy Bridge and Syke Methodist churches as a Probationer Deacon Minister.

As a probationer, I often find myself reading both the circuit profile and probation handbook, and while reading our probation handbook, I found some encouraging words which I want to share with you because they not only reflect my journey of discernment, but they also reflect some of the church and faith journeys: “The journey through probation may not always be comfortable either for probationers or for those around them. It is a time of adjustment not merely to a new role but to a new way of being a time of heart-searching and questioning, of exploration and discovery. It is a time when expectations are challenged, and frustrations encountered as the Church and probationers undertake discernment together. At a time of rapid change in the Church and society, these tensions become all the more apparent. And yet it is a time of great joy.”

sunrise image with words joy comes in the morning

It has been a great joy and privilege for me to journey with you over the last 13 months. I would like to express my gratitude to you all for your contributions to my continued learning and development as I respond to God’s call to ordained ministry in the Methodist Church. Your continuous acceptance, recognition, affirmation, support, and prayers are immensely appreciated as I continue to develop my accountability to God almighty and to you all. Through you, I feel held in God’s hands as we discern and seek God’s will together, in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


Probationer Deacon Minister,


Marcianne Uwimana.

Deacon Marcianne’s blog – September ’23

From the breaking of the dawn to the setting of the sun, I will stand on every promise of your Word. Words of
power, strong to save, that will never pass away, I will stand on every promise of your Word. For your
covenant is sure and on this I am secure: I can stand on every promise of your Word.”

Stuart Townend, ‘Every Promise’

Dear Friends,

The Methodist Diaconal Order Rule of life encourages all deacons to “be attentive to our wellbeing, recognise when we need help and accept support and encouragement from others…”* It is in this spirit that I recently met with another Deacon, and we had a short but deeply meaningful time of fellowship. At the end of our meeting, she shared a photo with me, a photo that she’d received from her son. Our reflection of this image reminded us of the hymn; “From the breaking of the dawn to the setting of the sun…”

This song has been in my heart, soul, mind, and mouth since then. The words of the hymn have challenged me to look within myself and evaluate my relationship with God’s word, while asking: “Do I know all of the promises of God’s Word, and how can I make sure to stand on them daily?” Perhaps, God’s promises and how to firmly stand on them would be a topic for the Bible Study exploration and reflection over the next few months. Dear Church, can you help? Do we need a Bible Study!

In my July-August Letter, I prophetically suggested that we plan an afternoon of specific prayers once every Quarter around the three churches, and I asked if anyone would like to help or participate in and contribute to the planning for it to kindly get in touch. I give glory to God almighty; the Holy Spirit has spoken to Mrs Karen Kerr, and this her story as it was shared with me: “Whilst I was at church worshipping our Lord God almighty, I felt God had put a message in my heart: ‘People are sick, and they need healing, the people of this church need healing. I spoke to many people after the service, and it was apparent that many were indeed suffering physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I went home wondering what we can do as a church to stop the suffering, raise the spirits and have peace and joy. I was reminded of the scripture in 2 Chron 7:14: ‘If my people who are called by my name, humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.’ Somehow, we all need a holistic healing.

Jesus came that we may all have life and have it in abundance. I feel that Jesus portrayed healing not simply as a sign that the kingdom was coming, but as an essential element in the kingdom. In other words, the kingdom of God, in part, consists of deliverance through prayers and supplication. I was clearly given the words from James 5:14-15: ‘Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.’ I believe that we as a body of Christ should provide this healing service, as we pray for the restoration of good health, joy, peace, and love in hearts, souls, and minds,” in the name of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

And all people say: Amen. If you feel God speaking to you about how to participate and contribute to the planning/organising of the healing services, please get in touch with me.

Yours in His service,
Probationer Deacon Marcianne Uwimana

Deacon Marcianne’s blog – July ’23

“If my people who are called by my name, humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”. (2 Chron 7:14)

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

After summoning His twelve disciples, he gave them the authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.” I am immensely grateful for standing on His Word as you hold me in your prayers. I am getting better and better every day. This has been a time to reflect, discern, pray, and rest. I am truly blessed to be part of this circuit family. 

It was on 14th May, after the service, when one of my new friends asked me: “Do you pray for the peace in Israel?” While I didn’t give a satisfying answer, this question raised more questions in my heart. I wondered if God was asking me to focus more specifically on prayers and requests/needs. This was a simple but profound question, and together we can address it. 

As we start the Connexional year (1st September) I would like to suggest an afternoon of specific prayers once every Quarter around the three churches. The first meeting can be on the 3rd September 2023, at Syke Methodist Church at 6pm-7pm or if you would suggest a different time, please, let me know.

If you would like to help or participate in the planning for this one hour of specific prayers, please get in touch. 

I hope that, as people called by His name, we can get together and pray together in the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Yours in His service,

Marcianne 

Deacon Marcianne’s blog – June ’23

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

My friend Agnes is a chaplain minister, testimonies and reflections are essential parts of her ministry. She also enjoys hospital visits as well. She recently visited a church member who has been in hospital for three weeks, she kindly shared the experience of that visit with me; saying: “Today I went for an hospital visit. I didn’t wear clerical clothes, or dog collar or any kind of uniform. I just went wearing my normal clothes. I spent time with the patient, spoke about the situation, then we prayed together and prayed for all patients in that hospital. However, at the door of that ward, there was a nurse sitting and watching us praying. On my way out from the ward, when I arrived at the door, that nurse grabbed my hand and put it on his head saying: ‘The Holy Spirit of the Living God is upon you, I saw Him.’ I said a short prayer for the nurse and left the hospital.” Agnes’ experience reminded me of what happened to the believers after the day of the Pentecost, as it is in Acts 4:23-31 when they were praying for boldness. They were simply filled with the Holy Spirit, and those around them witnessed it.

The patient in the hospital Agnes went to visit is her friend. They recently met and their connection bloomed into a true friendship, with honesty and authenticity. No wonder the nurse saw the Spirit of the living God upon both Agnes and her friend! They love one another, as Jesus commanded His disciples to ”love one another. As I have loved you”. So you should love one another”. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John13:34-35). Although not everyone is familiar with the power of the love in the Holy Spirit, but as Jesus said everyone will know and see it through us, just as the nurse saw it in that moment of prayer.  

Early church believers prayed for boldness and were filled with the Holy Spirit even after Pentecost; after two thousand years, can we say boldly and confidently that we too are filled with the Holy Spirit? As we continue to seek God’s face and guidance for our churches mission through prayers, it is my hope and prayer that, with one heart and mind, we will  “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people,” (Ephesians 6:18); in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Yours in His service,

Probationer Deacon Marcianne Uwimana.

Deacon Marcianne’s blog – May ’23

” But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.

Mark 10:14-15

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Part of Diaconal ministry is building a bridge between the church and World. There is no way that this can happen without building genuine and honest relationships through conversations, acts of kindness and care. I recently had a genuine conversation with a Mum who attends Stay and Play about how Easter was for her and her family, she said: “my son gave me a small Bible (New Testament Psalms &Proverbs) that he got from school, and I got very interested in it, I found it somehow confusing, however very interesting and I will continue to read it.” Another new friend said to me: “I still remember my first Christian booklet I received from Sunday School thirty years ago, and I still have it.”

This conversation reminded me of how ‘taking childhood Spirituality seriously’ is of profound importance, just as Jesus reminded his disciples: “…Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” Jesus didn’t give His disciples an age limit, nor a specific behaviour or a background to welcome, He simply welcomed all. After this, Jesus reversed his statement towards His disciples and to all His followers: “Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” Playing with and being around little children has been a truly gift that I dearly cherish. Seeing how innocent, pure and honest they are, is deeply heart-warming!

The fact is there are children within and all around us and the way we accept and see them matters. These children can be of our friends, relatives, extended family or neighbours or ourselves. Patiently and genuinely welcoming them as they are, as well as planting those small seeds will truly bear good fruits. Ultimately, it’s all about helping others to discover Jesus’ love for all, according to how and when the Holy Spirit uses the Godly’ resources we share with them. This might never happen the way we anticipate, not even on our timescales but according to God’s way and his divine timing. Perhaps the calling of each one of us is to faithfully plant as many of those small seeds as possible, at every possible opportunity, and to patiently tune in to how the Holy Spirit is doing in and through us and others.

May God bless, sustain, empower and encourage all parents, grand-parents, child minders, Good News for everyone representatives, messy church and projects leaders, aunts, uncles, carers, guardians, teachers, volunteers and anyone is contact with our little children, as they plant the small seeds of God’s love for all, in the name of God, the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Deacon Marcianne’s blog – April 2023

Dear Friends,

Greeting in the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Lent is a season when I profoundly reflect on what Jesus said and did for humanity before he was crucified. It’s a season of reflection on the sacrificial servant ministry, and what it takes to follow His example. Sometimes, I reflect on this topic through conversations with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

A recent conversation was with an incredible long serving Church Steward, who has been sacrificially serving God’s people from ‘the back of the church’. During our conversation, I asked if she would be interested in taking a centre stage and sharing her experience of her servant ministry in the church, where she got married 69 years ago. Her answer was simple but very powerful: “I don’t think that is my calling, I believe that actions speak louder than words; quietly serving others in humility following Jesus’ example, and behind the closed doors, is what I know to be my calling.” This conversation reminded me of an act of spiritual service and humility by Jesus. ’The washing of His disciples’ feet’ was a simple but significant example of the soul-cleansing that takes place when we follow Jesus Christ. By reaching down to His disciples’ feet, Jesus showed us that there is no task too low or too undignified for a leader who is ready to help and lead others for God’s glory.

Easter is not a story of popularity. Easter is a true story of the sacrificial servant ministry of Jesus Christ, who wholeheartedly and humbly served others to the point of death on the cross for the redemption of all. It is a true story of His victory and presence in and through each one of us, as His followers, whether from behind closed doors or from the front, the servant ministry starts from the heart in the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Happy Easter to you all.

Probationer Minister, Deacon Marcianne Uwimana

Deacon Marcianne’s blog – March 2023

Dear friends,

Greetings in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

In February I joined a craft group at Syke Methodist Church; after learning how to decorate a bottle with light in it, I was ready to come home as I had another meeting in the afternoon. Before I left, one of our regular friends entered the church building and we started talking about our Sunday ‘meet, share and eat’ Fellowship. I asked him if he would be joining us in the morning worship. His answer was simple but so powerful. He said: “I am not interested in Church’s hierarchies and stuff; my spiritual life is about my personal relationship with Jesus.” He continued and said: “Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with a terminal illness; however, Jesus helped me through it, and I am still here, standing and healthyWhen I wake up every morning, I say, ‘good morning, Jesus,’ thanking God for another day to live.”

His words reminded me of one of my favourite songs that I sing every morning: I am alive today; it is by your Grace” by Big Brain (you tube) based on Psalm 92:2 “…proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.” Hearing these words from someone who doesn’t currently go to church was a powerful encounter with God at work in the hearts of his people. It was simply uplifting seeing and hearing people being aware of his presence in their lives, we can greet him with grateful hearts, as our closest friend and say: ‘good morning, Jesus’. The truth of this encounter is that someone else, somewhere along the way, shared the good news of the Gospel with my new friend, and that is how he came to know Jesus and developed a personal relationship with him.  

As we start this Lent season, may the Holy Spirit help us to share our faith stories with those we meet daily. Although we might not know how the Holy Spirit will work in their hearts, we can confidently trust His power. It might take a long time to see the fruits of the seeds we planted daily; we are called to continue planting them faithfully. Even if those we share with choose a different path and don’t join the worship in our physical church buildings, with patience we are to continue: ‘one step at a time.’ The most important thing worth mentioning here is that when we look for an action which might transform our lives and the lives of others, we are also helping them to discover how close God often comes to us. I encourage you to know that he is within us, around us, underneath us, above us, actively and creatively making us new every day. So, we can intimately sing: “Good morning, Jesus. Good morning, Lord, Good morning Holy Spirit, we are alive today”! 

Deacon Marcianne


Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.