This message comes with my blessing and prayers as we head into the Autumn season.
Usually the beginning of this term brings with it a scheduled programme of events that are as familiar as a trusted friend and as regular as, well…clockwork!
Bonfire nights, Carols on the Green, Carol services, Nativity plays, Midnight communion, Christmas day celebrations…all are affected by the pandemic that has invaded our world.
We live in a time of unprecedented change. A change that is out of our control. We cannot follow the usual programme. Circumstances will not allow the ‘usual’ to take place. We notice this in our personal lives, our community interactions and in the activities of Church. As the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said, “The only constant in life is change”.
I observe two opposing instincts (in myself) as a response to change. One is ‘escapism’ the other is ‘realism’. Escapism calls me to stick my head in the sand and wait for a ‘return to normal’. Realism calls me to respond to the circumstances with hope and faith. The community needs a ‘Church for changing times.’ Realism not escapism.
In John 5:19, whilst being persecuted Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing…”
So, what is the Father doing among us? May I humbly suggest a few observations. The Father is 1) calling us to rediscover the importance of community. 2) asking us to pause to lament and repent. 3) Increasing our call to share the good news of Jesus. 4) Re-establishing an attitude of prayer and action.
We continue to open Church services to rediscover Christian community and respond to what the Father is doing. One small part of this is a plan to refurbish our Church building to build a servant hearted Christian community for generations to come.
By the end of October, all four Sunday services and Celebrations will have restarted, combining Live worship, with an ongoing commitment to Livestream to those at home.
May the Lord Jesus enable you to see what the Father is doing in you and with you.
God bless you all,