LETTER FROM THE RECTORY
Each new year brings a raft of exciting opportunities and some challenges! I hope you look forward to 2018 with eager anticipation of what God has planned for us this year, as I do! 2017 was a roller coaster year in many ways in our parishes. We faced some difficult issues and a few church members worked so hard that they deserve a year off now (but we know they won’t get one!). There are many people who work exceptionally hard to keep our churches running and vibrant, and I am very grateful to you all. Thank you for all you did last year - and please keep doing it this year, as you are serving God and your community!
Jesus told the parable of the mustard seed, which shows us that a tiny seed of faith can grow into a large bush, which then offers shelter to other creatures. I believe that seed has been sown in all of us, and that, if we expose ourselves to the right conditions, it can grow into something wonderful and attractive to others. Another parable of Jesus, The Parable of the Sower, speaks of each of us as different types of soil, when we receive God’s word. We can be well-dug, soft and healthy soil, and therefore ready to produce fruit, or we can be unyielding, shallow or distracted by ‘thistles’. One of the joys of 2017 was the way in which a number of people engaged with my preaching themes, sometimes continuing the discussion and reflection throughout the week. They were prepared to work on the soil, so that the seed of faith could germinate and grow. Home Groups are another place where we wrestle with scriptural teaching and our understanding of God and his plans for us. Why not give one a try his year? You don’t have to be a church member or know your bible.
We have been blessed with new church members during the last year, including our Ordinand, Matt, who is already helping others to see their potential for growth. We don’t know what will happen in the coming year, but God does! There will undoubtedly be happy times and times of sorrow, but we shall grow through both, if we focus on increasing our own receptiveness to what God is doing in our lives and communities.
My prayer for you all for 2018 is that you will allow God to grow his seed of faith within you, as you open yourself to his love. Come and talk with us about how that can happen!
I wish you a very happy and blessed New Year. Anne