A regular message to the congregation from St Peter’s Vicar, Rev John Rainer
I am very pleased to be able to pass on the news that, at our Parish Meeting last Sunday, Mervyn Silva was elected to the post of Churchwarden for 2021-22, and will serve in that role alongside Hazel Wilmshurst on the Staff and PCC. Hazel and Mervyn will be officially sworn in at the Archdeacon’s Visitation for Aire and Worth on 29th June.
Mervyn has already been bringing his skills and experience to the group directing repairs to the Hall Roof, and so this appointment is especially welcome at this time.
As I emphasised at the Parish Meeting, I want to encourage all of you to be praying for Mervyn and Hazel as they start to pick up the role, and to be patient with them whilst they are on that fast learning curve.
Raising the Roof
We have now instructed a builder to proceed with the work on the Hall Roof, which is to include the installation of solar panels. We are hopeful that this work will be straightforward and will soon begin to contribute to lower energy bills and a lower carbon footprint for the church. Because we have had to focus on raising money for this project, we have so far paid very little in Parish Share this year. The Diocese understand why this is, but we again ask for your prayers over the coming months as we seek to pay as much as possible towards the cost of ministry here.
God Calling! (A new teaching series)
Beginning this coming Sunday, and lasting through the summer months, we will be looking in our services at stories in both Old and New Testaments in which God calls a variety of people into ministries which prove vital to the wider story of salvation in Jesus Christ. From a very early stage in the Bible, God speaks to individuals who may not be expecting Him, but who are nevertheless prepared to listen to Him and respond.
In the past we have tended to think about “calling” as something which happens to clergy, or possibly to those entering specialised professions such as medicine or nursing. However, I hope we will see that the Bible sees ‘calling’ as something much broader than this. Rather, God begins to speak directly to very ordinary people – sometimes at quite inconvenient moments or at very late stages of their lives – stirring faith in them to believe that they can be a part of God’s unfolding story and that God Himself will equip them for the task.
The New Testament is clear that God calls all Christians at their baptism to say ‘yes’ to following Jesus, and to be prepared for anything. Some of the first disciples of Jesus found themselves leaving their family businesses and instead involving themselves in healing the sick and in the ministries they had seen Jesus doing.
As the church both locally and nationally emerges from lockdown and the restrictions we have lived with for many months, I believe that God will be speaking clearly to all those of us prepared to listen to Him. God – who was not surprised or shocked by the pandemic – wants to bring a different sort of church into being, and is prepared to use anyone who will listen to him and respond. So the process we will be studying in various Bible stories is not just an interesting piece of history but a present reality in which we are drawn into God’s amazing story if we respond and obey.
With love and prayers,
In my heart I have known
such intimacy with you Lord,
known you are always within my reach.
I have heard your glorious whisper
breaking through the clamour
of the world in which I move,
spent time in silent worship
in places of tranquillity and peace.
But there are moments
when deep in my soul
you seem so far away,
when the moments of my day
are consumed by my own self-interest
ambition and pride,
when my heart judges
and declares my guilt.
Draw me close again,
restore the love I first knew
that I might worship you
in spirit and truth
not only with my lips
but with each moment of my day. Amen,