And so the year turns. I’ve only just about got used to writing “2018” and here we are in 2019: where did it all go!!
So much to celebrate from last year – the Holiday Club at Holy Cross, Fr. Mike’s coming to us, all the Messy churches in the Belmont Centre and Isfield Village Hall, Taizé’s, Celtic Evensongs, concerts and Choir workshops, the Festival of Cribs & the amazing success of the Festival of Christmas Trees: so much to look back on and give thanks for.
But as Christians we are always called to look forward to the future with confidence and with hope, looking to where Jesus will lead us in the days, weeks and months ahead. There are shoots of growth and change in all three of our Church communities, which is both exciting and a challenge. Change is always somewhat scary, but putting our trust in God’s love for us, we know that we can journey through this coming year as a pilgrim people, accompanied on our way by Jesus, our comforter, our challenger, our brother and our guide.
In the Diocese this year has been designated “the Year of Vocations”, as a time for us to explore how God is calling us, not just as individuals but as communities. Yes, it means people being called into Ordained Ministry as Priests and Deacons, but it is a call for all of us to see how we can respond to God’s call, looking to open up Lay Vocations not just as Licensed Lay Readers, but, following the Church of England’s initiative “Setting God’s People Free”, in other ministries of preaching, bereavement, prayer – all celebrated in and integrated into our daily lives.
We don’t know what 2019 will bring , but held in God’s love and care we know that, as St. Julian of Norwich put it
“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well”
Happy New Year!
Love, Fr. John