I took the week off last week. I stayed at home, didn't access any emails or social media, and literally 'got my house in order'. It was good to inhabit a different energy, to pause, to paint garden fences, to clear out cupboards, to read novels, to see friends and family. It's also good to be back, and it feels as though we are on the cusp of something exciting as we prepare to gather regularly again.
We keep talking about getting "back to church", and I wonder if that's helpful. We won't be going "back" as we know it, for a while. However we will be going forward: to be church in new ways, some of those ways because of ongoing restrictions,on numbers and activity, also because I believe that our creator God continues to create, and will reveal a way forward.
I'm reminded of the prophecy from Joel, that "the Spirit will be poured out on the people, sons and daughters will prophecy, the young shall see visions, and the old shall dream dreams".
I believe we are in a time of visions and dreams, where we can be creative, where, as I've said previously, we can discover treasures old and new.
What is your vision or dream of how church should be? I would love to hear from you, either by telephone, or as the weather improves, over a cuppa in the garden!
The PCC are in the process of praying and discerning what God may have been revealing to them during lockdown about the potential way forward. Some of this will relate to the way we worship on Sunday morning, but this is only part of who we are as church. We are also a fellowship of believers, the bride of Christ, witnesses to the community, and as many have said over time "the local church is the hope of the world". The ongoing work of the foodbank is a visible practical response to the needs of our community. I am also extremely grateful for the work of the pastoral team who have been consistently keeping in touch with those who are more isolated during this time - perhaps a less visible response, but essential none the less.
We are also the Lord's people who gather around the Lord's table, and this week we are anticipating our first Eucharist service since lockdown, to be held in the church grounds. The service will go ahead outdoors unless the weather is torrential rain or thunderstorms, in which case we will hold the service inside the church building. It would be wonderful to gather together.
Finally I continue to give thanks for you, and pray for you, as our pilgrimage through this time continues. I also pray that you will experience, as I have, those times of gift of different energy, of sabbath and rest even if the four walls remain the same.
I also continue to pray for our young people - for those who received A level results yesterday, and those expecting GCSE results next week. I pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on that generation - wouldn't it be incredible to hear the visions of those young people, just as Joel prophesied.
With every blessing, as always