We are delighted to have welcomed Matt Gorton, together with his wife Beth and their children, Sophia and Josh, to our Mission Community. Matt is an Ordinand, which means that he is training to be a priest, and he will be a part-time student and part-time assistant in the parishes for a period of nearly three years. He will not be ordained until after he leaves us, but he will be able to lead or preach at some services. He will also use his considerable experience of youth work, to help with our ministry to the young, and he will gradually become the coordinator of Together@4 services.
I will officially become Rural Dean of the Ivybridge Deanery on 5th October, having been Acting Rural Dean since March. This means that I have oversight of the ten parishes in the deanery, particularly the two which are currently in vacancy. Yes, it DOES mean more meetings and a bit more time spent outside these parishes, but it has been manageable so far. I believe that when God calls us to a role, he equips us for that role, and that includes providing the man/womanpower to cover all work which is essential. Thank you everyone who works so hard in running our three parishes – your gifts and labours are highly valued and appreciated!
We shall celebrate Harvest Festival in our churches during October and I hope you will join us for the services and the feasting which follows them, making this a very special time of year. Thanking God for his generous provision for us is particularly poignant, when we see the effects of climate change and poor harvests or devastation by weather events on some countries around the world. We also remember the poor in our own locality, as we support the Shekinah Mission and local foodbanks with our Harvest produce. Please give generously, as God has given generously to us.
As we watch the leaves turn to gold and brown, and eventually fall from the trees, we are reminded of our own mortality and of the seasons of life through which we pass. Change is a fact of life which cannot be stopped and we try, in our church year, to celebrate each season as it comes. As Autumn is necessary, to allow for the new growth in Spring, so the Crucifixion led to Resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. We may also have to let some things die, in order to grow new things. God is at work in our parishes, sending us new team members and leading in new directions. Let’s celebrate that and work together for a bright future for our churches.
With love, as always, Anne