Minty’s July Letter

Well, we’re nearly there, nearly at the end of the vacancy! We’re excitedly awaiting the arrival of Marcus, Della, Bethany, Noah, Elijah and Jethro as they join our church family later this month. We’re looking forward to their ministry among us and with us.

I wonder if you remember Mat’s last bulletin letter? He left us with three encouragements: to pray (Philippians 4:6-7Open Link in New Window), to keep following God (Joshua 3Open Link in New Window) and to keep serving (Ephesians 4:3Open Link in New Window & 11). As I’ve reflected on these encouragements again today I’ve recognised (in the brief contacts and talks I’ve had with Marcus and in the appreciative remarks of people at St Andrew’s in Plymouth) that God is giving us a leader who embodies these encouragements: someone who is deeply prayerful, is focused on God and who has a servant heart. So let’s give thanks!

Mat encouraged us to hold onto words in Joshua 3:3-4Open Link in New Window, “Follow it [the Ark—representing God’s presence among his people], so that you may know the way you should go, for you have not passed this way before.” For the past year we’ve been journeying on the way that we “have not passed on before”: a journey that has had its ups and downs. However, that journey is not finished with Marcus’ arrival. We’re merely about to embark on a new phase of it! So we need to continue to keep our eyes on the Lord “so that we may know the way we should go”. We need to keep close to him and to keep praying. We need to pray for Marcus, Della and the family and for ourselves as we go onwards.

Mat also gave us verses from Ephesians 4Open Link in New Window encouraging us to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (v3) and for “each person to play their part in building up the body of Christ and equipping the saints”. Throughout this year I have been conscious of the enormous commitment, generosity and willingness to give of themselves of so many people at St Matt’s, often when they’ve been facing considerable challenges in their own lives. So much has gone on ‘behind the scenes’ both in working towards Marcus’ appointment and to enable us to continue to be church. I can’t mention everyone here—I’d be filling up pages—thank you to you all. We owe particular thanks to Phil and Vanessa (our Parish Representatives), to Nigel and Alison (for taking on the daunting task of being churchwardens with a vacancy looming and for all they’ve done) and especially to Richard Pendlebury (for his commitment, faithful service and all he has given, done and carried over the past year). Thanks too to you all for your patience with and encouragement for a curate on an incredibly steep learning curve!
So we look forward and journey on …

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