Minty’s May Letter

It was wonderful to welcome Marcus, Della, Bethany, Noah and Elijah when they visited us last weekend and we look forward with anticipation and excitement to them joining us in July (along with their new baby).

As I sat down to write this, I just happened to come across Mat’s last bulletin letter (July 2014). In it he offered us three encouragements: to pray (Philippians 4:6-7Open Link in New Window), to follow the Lord (Joshua 3:3Open Link in New Window) and to “maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace: (Ephesians 4:3Open Link in New Window). It struck me that we need to keep hearing these words now and as we move forward into a new phase in our life together.

Mat reminded us that praying is obvious but that “it is so often forgotten in the busyness of getting things done.” I know how hard so many people at St Matt’s have worked during the vacancy, giving generously of themselves and their time—there has been a lot of busyness! However, in the midst of this we need to remember that prayer, being with God, seeking to listen to him, following his leading and bringing our concerns to him is vital: it’s where our doing flows from and on what grounds it. It’s why I’ll be away on retreat next week: I’m not just going for a nice rest (although hopefully rest will be part of it!) but because there’s no way I can do what God calls me to without taking time out with him.

Praying together helps us in our discipleship and is a huge encouragement to each other. As we follow Jesus we have to listen to him and to be open to the Holy Spirit, then people will hear and see God at work in us, in both our words and actions. People will see the unity and love we have in God and he will add to our number (Acts 2:43-47Open Link in New Window).

Those words about unity quoted by Mat were drawn to the attention of Deanery Synod yesterday evening as we looked at Ephesians 4Open Link in New Window in the context of the developing Diocesan strategy. We were reminded of Archbishop Justin’s words that we are “at a critical point in our history to which we must respond” and that doing nothing is both a choice and not a choice! As Christians we need to reach out to, to listen to and to communicate with those around us. In doing this we will face change which will not necessarily be easy or comfortable. We need to learn to work together and share resources as churches within this Diocese and with other Christians. So as we enter into a new phase at St Matt’s we’ll also be entering a new phase within the wider church. Exciting times!! So let’s pray, follow and seek to live together in unity.


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