T’S wonderful to be back again writing the Vicar’s Two Penn’orth after the summer break. Summer is a time for rest and recreation and preparing for the autumn and winter which lies ahead. As the nights draw in quickly, we see some amazing sunsets reminding us of God’s glory and his total power over the universe.
Scripture is full of the wonder of God. In Zephaniah 3:17 we read…
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing.
These are fantastic words to marvel at when it says “He will rejoice over you with gladness.” For me those words capture the awesomeness of our creator, yet in the midst of this it can be very difficult to focus on growing the kingdom, when so much is amiss in our world…the horror of many men, woman and children being herded from country to country, trying to find a place of freedom and security, seeking a new place to live. Our prayers and whatever help we can provide should be a priority for us who are witnessing these events.
Acts 1:14, recounting the early days of Christianity, tells us that many gathered in prayer:
They all joined together constantly in prayer.
It is often said that, as Christians, we are grounded in faith and rooted in grace; inspired by the living, breathing words of Christ Jesus. In the book of Isaiah it is asked, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? In majesty and mercy he replies. Here am I…send me.
What a watchword for our vision! Here I am…send me.
S we move through the autumn period we will continue to reach out into the community. I wrote in the Weekly Beacon last week about taking a Leap of Faith. Let me remind you of what I said:
When we made our 20/20 vision, we included in that an introduction to new services. Therefore after much thought and prayer we have decided there will be a new service called Open Worship, to be held once a month in place of Evensong, beginning on Sunday, October 11, at 6pm.
The service will take place in the Church Centre in the style of a themed topic with scripture, worship songs and open discussion. Please support this new initiative by prayer and commitment.
To be an active church in the 21st century we should always be looking outward to attract new people as well as established Christians to different ways of worshipping, and that is not by “throwing out the baby with the bathwater” as the saying goes. Importantly it is by keeping what is good and introducing and developing new approaches to worship.
I was encouraged last week when I was reminded what an amazing amount St Hildeburgh’s Church does out in the community. From care home services to Messy Church, at opposite ends of the spectrum but so very important, touching the needs of the young and old.
ITHOUT looking too far forward, Christmas is just around the corner and as many of you know we will be holding another Christmas tree festival. Your support is always needed. Please speak to me, Sue Wells or the churchwardens if you can help in any way.
All these things, from worship to outreach, are in need of your prayers, that God will guide us and bless us as we seek his kingdom and welcome his people into the fellowship of faith. Let us remember the words from Acts 28:31…
Proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
Your friend, Rev’d Paul