01 Apr VICARS’ BLOG – April 2021 – Life and Hope
Posted at 06:00h in Vicars' Blog
On Tuesday 23rd March we were thankful for time to reflect on the last year since the first UK lockdown began. It is good to remember and lament together what we have lost and endured and overcome in the last year. Reflect, connect and hope were the heart of our prayers. Life and hope are the heart of Easter. We have much to look ahead to with Easter and release from lockdown both eagerly awaited!
This year, we have learned that the church is not the building and that we are quite good at caring for one another in our church family and that we can have an impact for good in our local community. So, as we move forwards, how do we build on what has been good and allow what we have learned to shape us as a church for the future? These are two of the many good questions we are asking ourselves as the leadership of the church as we consider the ways in which we might move forwards. As a first step, the PCC, ministry team and life group leaders were invited to compile lists of the ten most important questions we should be asking ourselves at this stage. They include areas such as: live and online services, pastoral care, spiritual growth and discipleship, children and families, young people, our church family unity, the neighbourhood, and local community action, our three vision priorities, practicalities like equipment and technology. Rather than jump to premature decisions, we want to ensure we are keeping the longer term aims of our church in mind. Please pray for the leadership as we take this process forward. Thank you.
A story of life and hope
Jesus said to Mary ‘why are you weeping?’ ‘Sir, if you have taken him away, please tell me where you have laid him.’ Jesus said to her ‘Mary!’… She announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord.’ from John 20.
The story of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the most remarkable we will ever hear. It is the story of redemption sacrifice and love with the power to transform lives. On that first Easter morning, God could have chosen to make the news of Jesus’ miraculous resurrection known in any number of ways. However, God chose the lips of ordinary women whose hearts were broken with grief, now erupting with joy, to be the vessels through which he would pass on his life-changing news. God chose ordinary people with personal stories of redemption and imperfect words, to tell the greatest news there has ever been. [Written by Hannah Steele.]
One thing we have learned from the ‘Fruitfulness on the Frontline’ sermons is that God continues to use people like you and me to share the life-changing news of the gospel of Jesus in love, action, and word. We can tell our stories in a way that speaks to people’s hearts and minds. We can listen, connecting their stories with God’s great story so that in Jesus they might find new life and meaning.
Easter – We really are looking forward to celebrating Jesus’ death and resurrection together in many ways this Easter inside, outside, or online, standing, sitting, early or late in the day, for young and old. Details of all services are on the back page. (Booking is required for some.)
Happy Easter to you all!
Jonny and Cathy