April 25<sup>th</sup> is Vocations Sunday, which encourages each of us to think about how our lives are a response to being known and called by God. As Christians we are all being called to focus our lives on the knowledge that we are created by God: for a relationship with God which is rooted in prayer and worship; for a relationship with others which shares that love, and the truth that all creation is made and held in being by God and our fullest flourishing can be experienced when we are conscious of that relationship; and to express that love in the service of other people and our planet. What that calling means for each one of us will be different – as each of us has our own role in the body of Christ – and as we mature and life changes, the way we express that calling may change too.
As we begin to return to more outward activity in our churches it is a good time to review the activity and organisation of church life to enable us to be sustainable and to be fully focused on our reason for coming together: to worship God, draw others into our life together as Jesus’ disciples and to serve our communities. At a personal level it is also a good time to review your own contribution to the life of the Christian community which you enjoy. It is a time for each of us to listen for Jesus’ guidance about where we are called to give our time, talents, energy, money and prayer in the ways we are gifted now, presently, without anxiety that it might be different from the past. We need to pool our current talents, and vocations to be the churches of the Lyn Valley Jesus is calling us to be today. You might like to listen to a brief introduction to the courses to support varied church roles that the diocese now provides to give some ideas of the kind of things that are vocational tasks, and how you can be supported in pursuing them, or to come up with creative ideas of your own:
Because we have to complete our APCMs before it will be possible to gather in person in numbers, the APCM’s will be held online with only essential business, adjourning much to a date later in the summer when we can all meet in person (God willing). These later meetings will be a good opportunity to explore together how we shape our church life according to what each of us is called to share, so I really encourage everyone to spend some time wondering about how life in the church enables you to flourish as the person God made you to be, and how you in turn can encourage others to flourish in a church which values everyone’s gifts.