01 Mar VICARS’ BLOG – MARCH 2018 – Pause, pray, witness and the Archbishop of Canterbury
Pause, pray, witness and the Archbishop of Canterbury
What a wonderful Sunday lunch we had on 4th February, to celebrate the new church vision. We had a wonderful time talking to people from all our congregations, many of whom met people they didn’t know before and what great food! Well done everyone! Next time it will be first come first served for tickets.
Cathy was recently at the General Synod of the Church of England and was privileged to hear Archbishop Justin’s Presidential Address which begins “Change unsettles us individually and collectively…” He goes on to talk about the value of the Christian tradition as well as the necessity for innovation to continue to occur. “Traditioned innovation” or “Faithful innovation” is the way of God’s people in the Bible and right down to today. “People who bear a tradition are called to be relentlessly innovative in ways that preserve the life-giving character of the tradition.” It means that scripture, and our history and our tradition remain key parts of our thinking, along with reason. It also means that in reimagining collectively what it is to be God’s people. I was so struck by the quality of thinking and the relevance to us in Walton on Thames that the whole address is transcribed in this monthly publication. I hope you enjoy it!
Following a moving service on Ash Wednesday (and pancakes on Shrove Tuesday), we are now fully in the Lent season. Some of us are using this time to “take our next steps towards deeper faith in Christ ”, as our vision encourages us to. It’s not easy to know exactly how to pray or read a Bible more, or even at all. The little purple booklets produced by the Archbishops are a marvellous help to read a bit and pray a bit every day with the encouragement to “Pause, pray, witness”. (Jonny and Cathy are doing this). Do let us know what you are giving up for Lent or taking on positively to deepen your faith. Good habits only take six weeks to form and can last a life time.
The third reference to Archbishop Justin is to say how much we are being stimulated by his book “Dethroning Mammon” and the sermons which are ensuing from it this month. Anyone wishing to catch up with a missed sermon can listen via the web-site. Sometimes it feels like we are so entangled with the culture around us that it is hard to enjoy the simple things in life with freedom. Jesus came to set us free from everything that holds us captive or keeps us back. When Jesus was sent by the Holy Spirit into the desert, he probably spent a lot of time thinking about God’s people who had been set free from slavery in Egypt and were about to enter the Promised land. He was about to start his own ministry which would culminate in setting people free for all time, yet it would cost his life. Let us remember that as we approach Easter with deep gratitude in our hearts for God’s great and personally sacrificial love for us.
Jonny and Cathy