Finding a voice

Oh dear. My poor neglected blog. As I write regular Parish Magazine letters, help update Facebook and website for church, and find myself preaching every week (and so writing a sermon every week) there seems less and less time to write and reflect here. But I suspect this outpouring of words increases the need for reflection and pondering.

As a curate, I did all of those kinds of writing, but only from time to time, and always conscious that I was communicating under the auspices of the Vicar (my ever wonderful Training Incumbent). My voice was, to a (very small) extent not my own within the parishes. Here however, the buck stops with me, and there is something both terrifying and liberating about knowing that. So my blog during curacy was “my voice”. Now it perhaps needs to serve a slightly different purpose, to be a place of consideration and pondering – not that it ever wasn’t!

So, Christmas. It happened, it happened beautifully, and it happened mostly according to plan. We did something new – a Christmas Tree Festival, which brought in people to decorate trees as well as people to admire them. It was wonderful to see the church being re adopted by the community, and it made me more determined than ever to get it open regularly soon. Plans are afoot.

I’m also much more aware of the need to plan ahead. Lent Group dates are published, and I need to start thinking about Holy Week and Easter. I am in the happy position at last of approaching a season where I know what is ‘normal’ round here, where I have already seen it once. That is a huge relief, knowing that the learning curve will begin to be less precipitously steep, at least on the routine stuff.

It is perhaps time to start thinking harder about how we do things, about the impact we have in the community, and about the ways in which we learn about, serve, and love God. Prayer, growth of faith (and numbers), service. That’s the plan for 2015. It’ll be fun, love filled, life giving and challenging. There may be changes. But if I can keep focussing on God in this place, keep thinking about what we do, how we do it, and its impact on others, then it might just be OK. There’s my voice.

PS #Janathon approaches, and so I will be doing my best to blog daily through it, but probably briefly. You Have Been Warned!

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One response to “Finding a voice

  1. Christmas Day was the first anniversary of my joining All Saints. One year and so much has happened since. Having now done a full year, been involved with the PCC, taken on several new ministries and now training for Licensing Lay Ministry. A huge sea change from the past, but one that I’m most grateful to God and to the whole Community, including my Vicar, Jane for their support with and in.

    Tomorrow, I preach for the first time at a main service. I’m going to rehearse from the pulpit this evening so that I can get used to the sound from there. Last time I preached from the lectern, which isn’t quite the same. Also that was a short sermon, this is full length abt 12 minutes. Holy Innocents provides a link to my distant past. When I was in care in a catholic institution in Kent in the fifties, Holy Innocents was our parish church – and we were steeped in the story due to that link. Off course, in an Anglican context it’s different, but no so much as I had thought.

    As a parish we’re doing much of what you are looking at. Our most recent initiative a monthly lunch club for the elderly, lone or bereaved has really taken off with 48 diners coming for the pre-Christmas lunch on the 19th December. We’re meeting people who will probably never come into church, but can just about put up with the church hall as a safe space. This is where my vocations seems to be taking me, some form of local chaplaincy, outside the church walls, involving these and other groups, who are unchurched or never churched, but are receptive to community building. We’re not alone, others are working with us and it really feels as if God is blessing and placing his touch upon everything that we try.

    Next month it’s funeral ministry as I become involved as Verger for in-church funerals – and so much to learn about that role and dealing with bereaved families is such a challenge and a privilege.

    God is good every day, that’s the one certainty that i hold close to my heart all of the time and hope to witness it to others.

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