Good News, of Great Joy, for all People

Dear Friends

As the waiting through Advent nears its end, we anticipate with growing excitement, the celebration of Christmas, the coming into the world of Emmanuel—God with us, Jesus our Saviour.

This will be our first Christmas with you as a family since I started as vicar of St Matthew’s only three months ago, and we hugely look forward to meeting many more members of our communities and visitors to St Matthew’s during this time.

We have greatly appreciated the warmth of your welcome and your prayer for us—thank you. Thank you too, to all who give so much supporting the ministry of St Matthew’s.

At my institution as vicar, Bishop Lee Rayfield shared what was on his heart for St Matthew’s, that we would go deeper in our relationship with God, with each other and with our communities. In my conversations with many of you, I am hearing this same desire—to strengthen the foundations of who we are and what we do: firstly, by going deeper in our knowledge and experience of God’s love. Vital to this is prayer. Secondly, by strengthening our relationships with each other. This will form the basis for reaching out into our communities.

This is a wonderful message of hope for the future, both for our church family and also for those with whom we long to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

Christmas gives us fresh opportunity both to continue deepening our own relationships and also to share what is so precious to us with others. The coming of Jesus is good news—the BEST news, of great joy, for ALL people—and especially for those who struggle, those who feel lost and numbed by life, and those who grieve.

As we understand more about how we totally and utterly rely on God’s grace for all we are and all we do, we build that strong foundation for all that God has in store for us.

Thank you—to all of you, for who you are and what you bring to the life of this church family.

We are truly blessed to be together, and I am filled with hope for the future.

May you, your friends and families know Emmanuel, God with us, this Christmas time and in the year to come.

Ian

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