Pastoral Letter - Jun 17 - Aug 17
Happy Easter Season
For when this comes to you it will still be the Easter season, which does not finish until Pentecost. By now the commercial signs of Easter will have been wiped from the supermarkets, indeed many had got rid of them before Easter Day! A previous colleague of mine would call in at the local supermarket asking for Easter products in the week after Easter day to be told Easter was over - he took that opportunity!
As Christians we know the Easter season is longer, but it often gets squeezed with the ordinary things of life, planning for summer holidays, half term child care for parents and grandparents, the run of bank holidays and the exam season and no doubt many other things crowd in. This Easter season we are looking at "Forward Together in Hope", an appropriate theme for the season. A time when we recall the energy and purpose of the disciples and the beginnings of the church. A time when a persecuted and frightened minority found their voices and the power and presence of God to become a confident expression of the resurrected hope.
We are not persecuted as they were, but indifference can be harder to deal with and we are in many ways a minority and in a society where religion is increasingly greeted with suspicion. Like those early Christians we have to find ways of expressing our beliefs. We need a confident faith, an authentic faith. Our weekend, "Forward Together in Hope" is about bringing us together in faith (confident means together in faith) to renew our hope in the power of possibility of God. An opportunity to think about how we express that in our towns and villages and in the fabric of our lives. It is a chance to explore together our faith and our expression of it.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the weekend, as we explore how we move forward in hope, in confidence in Christ.