Recently, along with others in our churches, I attended a
meeting of St Helens network of churches via zoom. It was great
to hear of the work of some of our sister churches … how Revd
Alison Claxton and Peasley Cross URC have developed messy
church online and create messy church activity bags to give to
local children. I also learned how Revd Diane Barrow, and the
church at Toll Bar and at Newtown have recently, like us,
reinstated face to face worship. A little while ago, Revd Diane
led a healing service at Newtown URC which can be seen on
their youtube channel.
It was good to be reminded that as well as being a three-church
pastorate, we are also part of a wider network of churches in St
Helens all worshipping God and seeking to serve their
Churches and individuals, all of us, are part of the whole body of
Christ and as such we are connected to each other, working
together for him, sharing our joys and sorrows together. How
important is that connection with each other in these days.
As the country and our region face more government
restrictions, how important it is that we are able to share with
each other how we are feeling, and any practical needs we
might have, but also that we are able to encourage one another
and build each other up.
One of the bible verses that comes to mind are some words of
Paul to the church in Thessalonica:-
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, as
indeed you are doing.” (1 Thess 5:11).
There were those in the early church who thought that Jesus
would be returning soon after his death to herald the coming of
his kingdom. They were waiting for Christs’ return. They wanted
this in-between time to be over, for the waiting to be over, and
yet, time was stretching ahead and still the day hadn’t come –
Paul reminds them that what they hoped for would come to pass
and until then to encourage each other and build each other up.
As brothers and sisters in the faith, in our uncertain days, we too
are called to encourage one another and build each other up in
the faith. May God help us to offer encouragement to each other
and to those around us as we go forward.
Perhaps one encouragement for all of us may be the positive
news of the rebuilding of Haresfinch church hall. This month,
there are hopes that the rebuilding might finally be completed.
All will happen in Gods time, but we can be encouraged by this
work, and that this journey of rebuilding may be coming to a
close, and the next phase of work of furnishing and preparation
We give God thanks for His encouragement, and for His
presence with each one of us, every step of the way…
Your friend and minister.