What a difference two weeks make! I went away on holiday and returned to a green and pleasant land; the trees laden with leaves, bushes aglow with flowers and a lawn invaded by moss! I also was different; browner, fresher and ready to face the exciting changes God has planned both in my ministry and in our Circuit.
This time next year I will be thinking about packing up the contents of the manse and hopefully know what my immediate future will be. The Circuit will be ready to join with the Chester Circuit to become the new ‘Chester and Delamere Forest Circuit’ with Rev. Neil Stacey as the Superintendent. This coming year will give us the opportunity to put the management in place but also to dream dreams and have a vision of how to work out our mission to the communities within this new area.
Recently I read a book about the life of St. Francis and was humbled by his abandonment to God and his love of all things. Francis was a member of a church which in so many ways mirrors the church of today. He chose to stay in the church and work for its renewal and strove to present the gospel in new and exciting ways. His monks danced, sang, made up poems, acted out dramas and used vivid visual illustrations in order to bring the gospel alive once more for ordinary people. It was he who arranged the first crib service with real animals and a real baby Jesus.
St. Francis’ journey back to God began as he was praying in a derelict church. He believed God spoke asking him to rebuild the church. At first he tried to use money stolen from his father but that failed and so, left with nothing, he appealed to the people of the community to bring one stone each in order to rebuild this church.
This strategy was so successful St Francis rebuilt many churches in this way. But he also wanted to rebuild the Church not just its buildings and so St. Francis founded a new order of men and women dedicated to serving God and their neighbours. I believe we each have a ‘stone’ to bring as do people everywhere. All these stones are needed to rebuild the Church of today. A Church where we can encounter God, work together in community seeking justice for all, see the beauty of God in each person, give dignity back to those in need and where we can invite people to journey with us as we seek meaning in and for our lives.
This will make us a church where the invitation is, ‘Come and See’. I ask God’s blessing upon each one of you as we journey to Pentecost and ask that through the power of His Holy Spirit we will each hear the voice of God.
Yours in Christ,
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Written by the Minister & Members