Minister’s Pastoral Letter August

Dear friends,

As we are all aware, on the 19th July  ‘Freedom Day’ took place. This was the day that all mandatory Government restrictions came to an end but as with all the stages through the pandemic it wasn’t quite as we envisioned. Numbers of infections from the Delta variant are still high in our area and so we proceed as we have done all the way along, with caution.

However, we are making progress in the right direction, even if it does feel slow as we sing with our masks on at present, continue some social distancing and sanitising and track and trace. We do this not for ourselves but through our care for other people as we consider those who remain vulnerable and those who don’t feel as confident as others.

Some of you may be aware I attended URC General Assembly (on zoom) for four days in July and I’ve put together a little round up of assembly news in the magazine.

One item I thought was of particular note was the report from the synod moderators. It is called ‘Where are we- wisdom in liminal times.’ The moderators recognise we are in liminal times – those ‘in between’ times where we have moved away from the security of what was but are unsure of what will be. This state is a bit like walking in fog where you can’t see the way ahead and this unknowing can feel uncomfortable.

They suggest we need to slow down and wait, not frantically rush for a solution. We need to deepen our communal discernment by listening for God together. We need to remind ourselves who we were and what our deepest guiding values are and then clarify our purpose by asking God who God wants us to be now, as an expression of God’s love in the world.  Our hope is to see green shoots of new life emerging from the chaos. Our greatest need in these liminal times is to trust God for wisdom because the eternal God is our dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms. May God help us grow together through these liminal times, trusting God we might discern and see green shoots ahead.

One green shoot is the receiving into membership of Pat and David O Neill taking place on Sunday 22 August. Pat and David moved here from Malta and have been faithful worshippers with us on zoom and in person over these past months and we are delighted to welcome them amongst us.

So, as we look ahead to August, traditionally a time of rest and refreshment, may you gain restoration, recreation and refreshment in the coming days. Hope it’s not too hot though!

Your friend and minister



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