Lyn

Lyn's Message for September

Lyn's Message for September

I can’t remember when I was first told the way to remember how to spell stationary or stationery, probably when I started working as a typist at Norwich Union fresh out of City college.  I can’t quite believe it but as part of our induction we (there were 3 or 4 of us who started at the same time) had weekly spelling tests with our manager.  She gave us a list of 300 words we had to learn.  Anyway, when you’re writing about envelopes or paper it’s stationery, when you’re writing about standing still, it’s stationary.  As the schools/colleges/universities re-open I like to see the stationery they have in the shops – in the widest possible sense.  Journals, planners, A4 or A5 writing or refill pads, pens, pencils all excite me and maybe others reading this too.  Being stationary, doesn’t have the same excitement but I need both in my life.

At times we need to be stationary.  We need to catch our breath and rest, wait a while to restore our souls.  Like the Psalmist says, He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.  Being still is good for you – yes even those activists amongst us.  It helps our well-being or keeping well.  Being stationary doesn’t mean you have to sit doing nothing. How many of us take the opportunity when we’re stationary in traffic to listen, really listen to some music or the talking on the radio or a podcast.  That reminds that the bible tells us to meditate on the words of the bible, to not clear our minds but to chew over words from scripture.  Savour them.  Really take them on board.  For there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.  As we enter a new season of the year, autumn, we as a church, are entering a new season.

This month we are excited to start (or maybe re-start is more appropriate for those of you with long memories of village life), youth ministry in the villages.  Come along to the playing field on the afternoon of Sunday 12 September to find out more.  Also this month we will be joining in the Big Church Read (https://thebigchurchread.co.uk/) and reading Bouncing Forwards by Patrick Regan. If you’d like to join us, get in touch with me.  In our Sunday morning gatherings we have some visiting speakers who are going to help us look at the life of Joshua from the bible.  Joshua was a man whose life didn’t stand still but like many of us, learnt that in order to bounce forwards, he had to listen and spend time with God.  The Hebrew translation of the name Joshua is Jesus, and Jesus ministered to those who he met in the same way as Joshua lived his life, having first spent time with God.  Before we could launch the youth ministry or decide what book to read in our groups, we similarly asked God and listened for his voice.  Do you want to learn to do the same?  Come and join us for there’s lots to be excited about this month – new stationery, being stationary but also Bouncing Forwards.

(Lyn Marsh)

 

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Rob

Rob's Message for August 2021

Rob's Message for August 2021

It’s Freedom Day! I write this on Monday 19th July, as the sun streams in through my window, and my phone buzzes to let me know that Covid-19 restrictions are lifting all across the country. I scroll through my diary for August, September and October, and I spot a few things. A family holiday here, a bit of quiet and retreat time there, and otherwise… not very much. Three inviting months of extended leave. 90 freedom days in a row!

I am not writing any of this to make anyone cross, although sometimes you succeed by accident. I am doing it because like you, I know that freedom isn’t quite as clear as that. I don’t know what things are like 2 weeks from here as you read this, but on Freedom Day there is a lot of concern about growing virus numbers, and whether we should all give up wearing masks, social distancing, and all the other things which have become part of life through the last year.

It’s similar with my sabbatical. Amongst the various other things that the Church of England doesn’t allow me three months’ leave from are doing jobs around the house, being the Dad Taxi, or (and somehow this is worst of all) making packed lunches. 

Hopefully when we grow into an adult, you see, we discover that freedom is about more than just doing what I want. I have the choice to limit my freedom for the sake of someone else; I might hate wearing a mask, but if my friend is really worried about meeting me without one on, hopefully I will put him first. There might be something a bit annoying about making sandwiches in the evening, but I love my children enough not to want them to go hungry. 

I suppose when you think about Christianity you might imagine it as a big long list of things you can’t do. A whole load of ways that your freedom is reduced, lots of them a lot more annoying than packed lunches. 

But in the end, I don’t follow a list. I follow a person, Jesus. 

I have a relationship with Jesus, and just like I would wear a mask if my friend asked to put them first, I am going to do what he asks and put him first. I have a relationship with Jesus, and just like I am not going to give up doing things for my children because I don’t want to let them down, I am not going to give up on doing things for him, because I don’t want to let him down. I have freedom to choose to do those things for him, and those things are what I choose to do. And first of all I remember everything that he has done for me.

I won’t be doing church jobs for a few months, but I’ll still be following Jesus, and I’ll still be looking forward to seeing you at school, and in the street. Maybe we’ll end up talking about what it might mean for you to follow him as well.

 

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