It gives me great joy to be able to bring this weekly message. It allows me to stop, pause and reflect and to notice where God is and has been and share with you.
I have found that as this new school year has begun, I have felt busy once again, my diary certainly has a lot more ink in, my email box is filling up and I am enjoying new meetings of praying and talking about our next steps as a church. These are all good things, things that make me excited and inspired- yet, I am noticing it is easier, when life is busier, to forget those foundational elements of faith – to take time to pause, to pray, to walk in creation, to read my Bible; it is inevitable that life would feel fuller again after our time of a stricter lockdown eased, but I am reflecting on the importance of ‘being’ before ‘doing’; spending time with God, just ‘being’ for a little while each day allows us to enter whatever we find ourselves doing more peacefully, more connected to God. I wonder if anyone else feels the same as this?
We kicked off our month of generosity last week and it felt great to come together and think more deeply about a specific theme. As a church, we have felt God nudging us for a while about this topic of generosity, over lock down a number of us prayed how we could be more present in our community- to which the following week we started the foodbank. It felt like God was encouraging us to pray into this and to be led into new adventures around generosity.
We hope you have been able to connect with our first week’s theme: Being Generous with What we Have. As per last week’s email, there are different ways to get connected during the week, as well as Sunday- we really hope you feel welcome to join any of the following sessions:
On Monday evening, Becky is hosting a ‘going deeper’ zoom session from 7pm- 8pm, on Wednesday Becky and I will be doing our weekly conversation,
on Thursday evening Chris will be hosting a zoom session from 7.45-9pm for an informal time of chat, conversation and prayer and on Friday, Morning Prayer will be back at Church at 9.30am. And on the 21st October, the second Community of Acts meeting will take place followed by a service of Contemplation- more info to come and all are welcome if you want any more information on the Community Acts please email Laura.
I am also very excited this week because on Saturday 10th October at 5pm I will be ordained Priest in the Church of England. This occasion has been postponed from July and so I am feeling very ready and raring to be ordained. Being ordained as a Priest feels hugely exciting- one of the aspects that I am most looking forward to is being able to preside at the Eucharist table with all of you. St Martin’s has taught me so much about the Eucharist, the mystery it holds, how uniting it is and I love seeing people doing business with God at the communion rail- I’m so excited to hold a space for people to connect deeper with God. It feels like I am stepping further into the calling that I believe God has placed on my life- to create space and opportunity for all people to meet with our amazing, all-loving, inclusive God.
Many of you came to my ordination last year at the Cathedral and you will know I have to write a short bio for the order of service, as you won’t be able to come to the
service this year due to COVID restrictions, I thought I’d include what I wrote for you to see:
‘St Martin’s Knowle is the best place to be a curate, I promise I’m not biased. I remember not knowing what to expect when I began curacy; a different context, a different spirituality and I had to try and not trip over my robes on a Sunday! However, the family at St Martin’s has lovingly welcomed Jack and me- they’ve been patient when I walked the wrong way in a service, they’ve been supportive when I had the idea of transforming our Church into Narnia (!) and most incredibly they have trusted me as they’ve shared their faith journeys with me. This year has been challenging yet exciting as I’ve stepped out into God’s calling for me. I’ve had the privilege to experience God’s presence in different ways; my prayer is that I am always open to infinite ways in which God moves and works.’
If you would like to watch my ordination it will be live-streamed from the Cathedral at 5pm. Please watch live from either Bristol Cathedrals Facebook page or from Bristol Cathedrals YouTube page.
I really do believe St Martin’s is the best place to do a curacy, working with Becky and the ministry team, the diversity of services and most importantly the amazing people- you! We have only been with you all a year, yet Jack and I feel part of the furniture- in an amazing way like you feel when you’re with family. Thank you for making us feel so welcomed and included in all parts of church life. I am so excited and blessed to be walking with you for at least another 2 years.
I look forward to seeing many of you on Sunday for my first Eucharist with you all! With love and prayers,