PASTORAL LETTER JUNE 2013
Writing this right at the end of the Easter Season, our overriding theme during the Eastertide services has been 'New Life'. Well, we will certainly experience some new life on June 17th when Canon Martin Onions is Instituted and Inducted as our new Rector.
In the last book of the Bible - the Revelation to St John - in his vision of the future St.John hears the voice of God saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Behold, I make all things new."
So if we want to ask what it is that God does, it is making things new. The most obvious place is in the world of nature, especially at this time of year. The whole natural world is totally dependant upon a continual renewal of life. The cycle of birth, growth and death in plants and animals has no exceptions. Without that constant new life, in every part of creation, all life would soon cease to exist.
The fact that we wake up from sleep each day with new vitality is another example of God continually making things new in the world.
At a more personal level, we experience God making things new when we consciously turn towards Him, and open ourselves to His presence. Jesus described it as being like an inner spring, welling up and bubbling over: 'Behold in your life I will make all things new.' The life of the Church (or indeed any human institution) is no exception to this. And new life brings change, development and growth. Without it we are only left with the alternative - inertia and stagnation. But changing the way we do things can be uncomfortable and challenging. Giving birth is a painful process, as is the death that must precede resurrection. Even clearing unnecessary baggage from the loft can face us with difficult choices.
In our parishes, the past 20 months has been a trying time for everyone, not least those who have taken on major responsibilities during the interregnum. Some of us, quite frankly, are exhausted. In a couple of weeks that will be over, and we look forward with great joy to welcoming Martin to our parishes of Uckfield, Isfield and Little Horsted. I know he will bring the new life, energy and enthusiasm that we all need.
We all thank God for his appointment, and look forward to playing our own part in generating new life in our churches and the wider community.
Please pray for him and his family as he takes up this new post.