01 May Vicars’ Blog – May 2018 – New Season, and next steps towards welcome
New Season, and next steps towards welcome
It’s May and Walton on Thames is looking lovely with the magnolias and cherry blossom putting on a particularly good show. It’s wedding season in the Blair family, with our son and eldest daughter marrying in the next five weeks. Wonderful milestones in our lives and a new season for them.
God is a God of the old and the new, tradition and innovation. The ANZAC service on 22nd April reminded us again of the value of countries cooperating in times of trouble and the sacrifice that many young men made for the sake of peace for people they would never even meet. Giving up what we count as precious for an eternal goal is and always has been at the heart of the Christian faith. We are called to serve others as we follow Jesus, our saviour, and he promises us his Holy Spirit with the same power as it was poured out at Pentecost. We look forward to the joining with the national “Thy Kingdom Come” prayer initiative from Ascension day to Pentecost and to a final celebration at Guildford Cathedral from 4 to 8pm on 20th May.
It is a new season for faith and trust. At the Annual Meeting on 18th April, we were sharing how it feels that as a church we are “On the edge” in terms of the precarious nature of our finances and people resources. Did you know? It costs £23,725 a month to run the Parish; Currently, our income is £3,650 a month short. Can you help financially by giving monthly on a regular basis to the running of the Parish? For details of how to give, see https://waltonparish.org.uk/how/
As people of faith, it is not a bad place to be “on the edge” because actually God wants us to pray and depend on him for our needs. We have already seen God provide in terms of people stepping up to serve him. We had 9 vacancies for PCC and 8 of those were filled at the Annual Meeting. Praise God! He can do more, if we have faith and trust. Please do pray for the leadership team including the new PCC members, to take the church forward in this new season.
Taking our next steps: How welcoming is our church? I wonder if you were a “Mystery” worshipper how friendly you would find our services. As welcome is a major strand of our Vision and strategy for this year, we are inviting EVERYBODY in the church to participate in the course “Everybody welcome” which will show us where our strengths and weaknesses are in this area. It runs for four weeks starting on 4th June with a choice of sessions, morning and evening. More information on page 4.
We could all consider what our next step is towards deeper faith in Christ, welcome and belonging or shining God’s light. If it’s deeper faith, we have a thriving network of small groups who meet on different days of the week, at different times of day all around the Parish. It’s a great way to make friends, share prayer and study the Bible. Or consider the Alpha course in September.
In this new season, may God bless us all and bring us closer to him.
Jonny and Cathy