Pastoral Letter - Mar 18 - May 18
As I write I am in the midst of the Covenant services, the time when we recommit ourselves to living according the will of God rather than our own inclinations and desires. A solemn and reflective time. It also reminds me that at this time last year we were deeply into exploring our Churches through the Healthy Churches programme, thinking about our strengths and those areas we needed to work at. This year we are trying to look at and develop some of those.
The Mission weekend led to many new ideas- and I haven’t forgotten we promised to get the speaker who was unwell for another session. As I travel around the circuit I hear of prayer shawl groups, prayer initiatives, study groups and people looking for opportunities; like Lea looking at becoming a retreat centre as well as a church. The host of angels knit and taken out across the circuit was amazing, not just in the work involved but the number of people drawn in who were knitters rather than church members and the diversity of how these were given away. We truly did think about our communities and how and who to reach out to. Across the circuit we are exploring spiritual rhythms to enable us to deepen our communal and personal relationships with God. The circuit services pick up the themes and we have retreat days coming.
So we enter Lent and Easter with many shoots of possibility and hope. The spiritual rhythm of the church year marks this as reflection on our journey with God, followed by the joy of reality of the love and power of God expressed in raising Christ from the dead. Then the remembrance of the giving of the Spiritpresent prompting and directing us still. There will be temptations to return to the comfort zone, but there is the prompting and presence into new possibilities.
I wish you the joy of Easter and the certainty of the presence of God in the spirit in all times and places.