The Lord is Risen and has Appeared to Simon Peter! (LUKE 24: 34) and now to us.
From today, I will separate my writing into two separate sections. The Rector’s Desk will deal with the Administration and practical of the Parish and the Priests Perspective will deal with our Spiritual journey. Both are our expression of the Gospel.
Last night I met with the executive of the Two Parishes, a very representative group of individuals; we have three people on the forefront of dealing with the management of COVID 19, two working from home, and one who has two children, one working and one at home and five of them have children or grandchildren.
I was therefore able to get a sense of what people are dealing with, and how they are doing, and measure the effectiveness of our ministry to the Parish.
Anxiety is the overwhelming emotion, which comes from the uncertainty of having to make decisions that are unprecedented, because we just do not know.
As I listened, I heard God’s people crying out as we had in Egypt and asking; “God when will you return the fortunes of Zion,” as they had from Babylon. It struck me again how the people of God have always been the ones called to be a witness to the world, of God’s faithfulness to His promise that, His covenant will remain. We hear repeatedly, through the Scriptures that when this time has passed, God will restore us.
But our challenge, one which I constantly bring to our attention, but one that we are quick to read past, is that we either want to get to the next stage or return to the past. The last place we want to be is in the present. As I often say -today is the hardest day of your life. Tomorrow is the subject of your dreams and yesterday is just your experience, but today you have to make decisions based on those dreams and those experiences, today you have to get dirt on your feet and sweat on your brow. You make sense of that by not giving up on your dreams and learning from your experience, and just doing what has to be done today.
Today we need to be reminded of why this institution called church is here anyway.
One, we are to listen to the needs of the world and interpret them (see my sermon from the Diaconate Ordination 2019). We do that by listening to God’s people and so again I encourage you to interact, when we were a “gathering community” the conversations in the kitchen and outside the church were as much part of your spiritual journey as the singing and the reading of the liturgy. The more you share with the ministry team the better we can minister.
Two, we listen to God to learn His will, receive His guidance and instruction. Our preaching team is ensuring that our messages are not only vaguely relevant but are a response to the needs of our community. We might be broadcasting on public platforms, but we are building a community not simply standing on the street corner preaching to anyone who will hear. We are a church not just a ministry. We are a community not just a congregation, we are a fellowship of believers. Finding new ways of interacting and supporting each other is essential.
Three, we are a community of prayer. As I said on Sunday, we are held together by a Spiritual bond. The Social media platform is a communication tool, but it is the spiritual connection that truly holds us together and this is achieved by prayer.
Our representative sample in Council reminded us, that it is the prayers of God’s people , the sense that I am not in this alone, the knowledge that there is something bigger than my own fears, as the song says, “my fears will need to face the God I know” ( Casting crowns). We all need to know that we can lean on and hold onto each other. We are the body of Christ. The faith of others is an inspiration and a support and a necessity.
Therefore, my fellow pilgrims on this road of life be of God courage, fight the good fight of faith that you may finish your course with joy.
Every day at 08h00 and at 16h00 the parish meets for prayer. You can join that meeting very simply by clicking on the WhatsApp link that is sent on the St Francis Chapel group. You do not need to download the App. You can just join via the link it is very easy. We have also discovered how to reduce data use during this and will show people in the group how to do that. We also have a DATA support programme for people who need data to participate in the life of the Church and are struggling financially. Please contact me should you need assistance.
Again, a very big thank you to those who are supporting the work of the church financially.
Be assured of My Prayers.