Sunday, 30 May 2021

Holy Fear: Trinity Sunday

 

Isaiah 6.1-8, John 3.1-17

 

“Be afraid. Be very afraid!”

That line came into my head as I read our readings for today, but I couldn’t remember where it came from. It turns out it’s from David Croenenburg’s 1986 film The Fly, which is based on a short story by George Langelaan about a man who is half turned into a fly in a botched scientific experiment. At which point it all came back to me…I’ve never seen the film, but I did read the story, many years ago, and have always wished I hadn’t…  I was, indeed afraid, very afraid.

 

Fear is a strange thing. Logically you’d think we’d all want to avoid it, and yet we seem to be drawn to scary experiences whether it’s reading or watching a horror story or going on a scary ride in a theme park. Of course, in those situations, the fear is tamed by the knowledge that the story is made up and the scary ride has – we hope – been thoroughly inspected by the Health and Safety officials. Perhaps we need to play-act our fears so we are ready for the real thing, but perhaps also we know that sometimes frightening experiences can be important, a gateway to something new, a moment of growth.

 

In our readings today we meet two frightened men who discover exactly that. The prophet Isaiah stands in the Temple in Jerusalem, where God was believed to be symbolically present in the heart of Israel. It was a very familiar place to Isaiah, but on this day, something very strange was happening there. Isaiah had a vision of God “high and lofty, and the hem of his robe filled the temple.” Around him were mysterious beings, seraphim, flying with their six wings and singing to one another “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts”. It wasn’t just a cry of worship, it was also a warning. The Israelites believed that getting too close to real holiness was dangerous, not because God meant anyone evil, but simply because encountering him was lifechanging. Isaiah was rightly terrified, realising how small he was in comparison to this mighty God. What business had he to even be there, in this place where heaven seemed to have invaded earth? But as he wonderfully discovered, not only does God want him there, God even seems to need him. “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” cries God, and Isaiah answers “Here I am, send me!”

 

The Hebrew scriptures said that no one could see God and live, and although there were those like Isaiah and Moses who did, they were never the same again. They found themselves on pathways they could never have imagined, so maybe there was death of a sort going on.

 

The fear in the Gospel reading is less obvious, but I think it’s just as real. Nicodemus is afraid of what others will think of him, a respected, senior religious leader, who’s supposed to know what’s what. That’s why he comes ‘by night’ as the story tells us. Why would he want to talk to this radical preacher, just a carpenter from Nazareth whose been upsetting the traditional order? But I think he’s even more afraid of himself and his own feelings. He senses that there is something about Jesus that feels like the presence of God, something of the holiness which so frightened Isaiah. Nicodemus can’t understand or explain it; Jesus has no training, no background, no standing in society. But he can’t deny it either, and he knows that if Jesus really is from God, of God, maybe even the Messiah, it will have huge consequences for him, upending his life.

 

We’re not told what happens at the end of his conversation with Jesus, but it’s clear that he doesn’t drop everything and follow Jesus, not yet at any rate. He seems just to slip back into the darkness he arrived in. It’s all too scary. He isn’t mentioned again until after the crucifixion when he finally steps out of the shadows and helps to bury Jesus’ body. But I think we can assume that he must then have become a disciple, and part of the early church, otherwise his name and his story wouldn’t ever have been known or recorded.

 

Fear, as I said earlier, is a strange thing. It can be a horrible experience, something dark and destructive, which crushes our spirits and makes us shrink from life, but there are also times when we feel the kind of holy fear which Isaiah and Nicodemus felt, times when our fear is a sign that something is happening that really matters, when we realise we are encountering something bigger and more mysterious than we are, when we discover that we are standing on holy ground, being drawn into the life of God, into his holy work.

 

I recall coming home from hospital with my first child, and finding myself entirely alone with this tiny, fragile, brand new human being, knowing that his safety and happiness lay in my hands. And he didn’t even seem to have come with a manual… A small child, but a huge responsibility and a huge privilege, which I knew I didn’t have the resources to handle, because none of us does. I was, rightly, afraid but looking back I can see that it was a holy fear, a good fear, and I’m glad to have felt it.

 

I recall the time when I battled with the sense that I was being called to ordained ministry, something which felt impossible to walk away from. I knew that saying yes to God would have consequences for me and for those around me, and I knew that I couldn’t possibly do it in my own strength. In the ordination service, priests are told that “the treasure now to be entrusted to you is Christ’s own flock, bought by the shedding of his blood on the cross”. There was no way that I felt I was up to such a precious job, and that’s still the case. It is only by the grace of God that I’m here. The day I stop being aware of that holy fear, the privilege that has been entrusted to me, is the day I need to give up.

 

I’m sure there have been moments in all our lives like that, when we quake, knowing that we are doing something, making some decision that really matters.  

I’ve often stood at the top of the chancel steps and watched couples tremble as they say their marriage vows, as the nerves about the practicalities of the day give way to the proper, holy fear at the scale of the promises they are making, to love and to cherish, till death us do part. If they weren’t at least a bit frightened at that point, I think I’d be worried for them.

 

Chronic anxiety is a terrible thing and needs professional help to address, but a life in which there is no fear is no life at all, because it means there is no growth, no challenge, no point at which we are called out beyond our comfort zone, knowing that we are doing something that really matters simply by being ourselves. What those callings look like will be different for each of us, and they will change through our lives. Our fears will be different too, but if we can face them and acknowledge them to God, we too can find ourself in the Holy of Holies, as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, weave themselves into our lives and lead us into true joy.   

 

Amen

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Called to be apostles: Easter 7

Yesterday in Rochester Cathedral, Jess Heeb was licensed as a Lay Minister – an LLM for short.
It’s the term that now covers all those who have some authorised ministry within the Church of England but aren’t ordained – Readers like Kevin, and those who used to be called Parish Evangelists and Pastoral Assistants.  Their ministries are all different, depending on their gifts and enthusiasms and the context they are in, but they are all selected, trained, and eventually authorised by the Bishop in the same way, as Jess was yesterday. It was a lovely day, a great celebration, even if numbers were very limited in the Cathedral. I know some people watched online too, and you still can do at the Diocesan Facebook page. 

I have no doubt, though, that Jess will have felt a bit daunted at times – I would be worried if she didn’t, and I know she very much appreciates our prayers and support. Maybe, too, she is quite surprised to find herself in this position – it wasn’t something she’d envisaged, and yet, here she is, a gift and a blessing to us. It’s fortuitous, then that today we heard the story from the Acts of the Apostles of Matthias, who unexpectedly found himself chosen for ministry – in his case as an Apostle - and of Joseph Barsabbas, who wasn’t chosen.

I have often wondered about Matthias and Joseph Barsabbas. We meet them for the first and only time in today’s reading from Acts.  The Bible doesn’t tell us anything about them except this. They were both, presumably, part of the crowd of men and women who had followed Jesus during his ministry, but they weren’t part of that inner circle which the Gospels often just call “the twelve”.. When Judas’ committed suicide after betraying Jesus, they felt that someone had to take his place. Twelve was a very important number to Jewish people. There were twelve tribes of Israel – descended from the sons of Jacob - so twelve meant “all” to them, the whole people of God. Jesus came to announce a new kingdom, a new people of God which was open to all and in which everyone had a home, so of course, the new people of God had to have twelve leaders, just like the old one had. So here they are, trying to find someone to fill the gap. Their method might seem strange to us, whittling it down to a shortlist of two and then casting lots, but it didn’t seem strange to them. The assumption was that God, who controlled everything could control the way the lots fell so that he would have the final word and the right person would be selected. Jess might be a bit envious of that – no interviews, no essays to write!

In this case, Matthias was chosen, Joseph was rejected. But I wonder how these two men felt when the result was announced. Was Joseph gutted – had he always wanted to be an apostle? Or was he secretly relieved? Did Matthias rejoice, or did his heart sink at the responsibility that was being thrust upon him? There’s no mention of either of them being asked whether they actually wanted the job. It makes me wonder how I would have felt – probably completely overawed, and absolutely unready, full of doubts about whether I would be up to the task. And I’m sure I would have wondered whether I might find myself sharing the same fate as Jesus had – not an appealing thought. 

I expect that many of us would rather be Joseph than Matthias, left in comfortable obscurity rather than being thrust into the frontline. But let’s not be too quick to heave our sighs of relief, because the truth is that we are all chosen, all called to bear witness to God’s love. The word “apostle” literally means someone who is “sent out” and that means all of us are apostles, because we are sent out “to love and serve the Lord”, as the communion service puts it, in whatever situations we find ourselves. We say in the creed that we believe in an apostolic church, a church that is outgoing. We might not be asked to be great leaders, or stand on street corners sharing our faith or go to the ends of the earth or do something that seems grand and noble, but we are all placed daily in situations where we find ourselves challenged, “sent out” beyond our comfort zones. That might be at work or at home, as parents, children, neighbours or friends.  Are we able, when push comes to shove to do the loving and good thing, despite the fact that the selfish thing might be infinitely easier? The small choices we make in those situations often have a far deeper and wider impact on those around us than some heroic gesture would. We all notice and appreciate those around us who act with integrity and trustworthiness, those who show us genuine love and care, those who go the extra mile. We wonder what inspires and strengthens them. There is nothing that speaks more powerfully of the love of God than the loving lives of those who claim to follow him. 

So we are all called to be apostles. The lot has fallen on us. But if we feel daunted we would do well to remember the words of Jesus in the Gospel reading, because he seems to have a great deal more confidence in our ability to live lovingly than we probably do ourselves. This Gospel reading is part of his final words, his farewell message on the night before he died. He prays for his disciples, and for those who will follow him in the future too –us in other words. “The words that you gave to me,” he says, “I have given to them”. His message is that whether we know it or not, whether we dare to believe it or not, we have what we need, the word of God, working deeply within us. 

That should be an encouragement for Jess, but also an encouragement for the rest of us, if we can take in and ponder Jesus’ promise. Do we feel that we have what we need to deal with the situations we face? If we don’t, Jesus’ words invite us to turn to God, to turn to his word, to turn to one another, and find the wisdom and strength we need to do what he has called us to. 

Amen



Thursday, 13 May 2021

Ascension Day


Ascension Day is often a bit puzzling to modern minds. 

The images of it can look very odd – Jesus disappearing into the clouds, with just his feet showing, hauled up by angels on clouds.

And after all, we have sent people into space. 

We know that the sky isn’t a blue ceiling with windows for the rain to fall through, and above it a heavenly realm, so the whole imagery of Jesus going up just doesn’t work in the same way for us.

But that doesn’t mean Ascension Day isn’t important.

We’ve had 2000 years of thinking of Jesus as the Son of God, a good man. We’re used to thinking of his crucifixion, as “Good” Friday – something ultimately good, not bad. But for those who were there at the time, both friends and enemies, that would have seemed a very strange idea. 

To them, Jesus was just a carpenter from Nazareth, an ordinary man from an ordinary family, no one outwardly special, certainly not Messiah material. There had even been rumours about his parentage – his mother had been pregnant when she shouldn’t have been. People knew that. No one seems to have known anything about shepherds and angels and wise men during his lifetime. And then he had taken it upon himself to wander the countryside preaching and stirring people up, mixing with sinners, when he should have been at home looking after his family. He’d got into arguments with religious experts, people with proper theological training and positions in the community. No wonder he’d been crucified. He had it coming. A disgraceful death for a controversial man who seemed intent on upsetting the apple cart and bringing the wrath of Rome – and maybe the wrath of God – down on his people. Whoever he was, there was no way he could be the Messiah – that’s what the average man or woman on the streets of Jerusalem would have told you. God wouldn’t have chosen him, and his shameful death proved that to them. 

But within days of his death, instead of slinking off home, his followers were saying that he was alive, that God had raised him from death, that far from being a disaster, the crucifixion had been the beginning of a new way, a new kingdom. You couldn’t make it up, or at least, you wouldn’t choose to. For them, the Ascension was the culmination of that story of triumph, and the proof to them that God had turned the world upside down in choosing and using Jesus; Jesus the crucified one, Jesus the one who had been beaten to a pulp, disfigured, mocked, left to die in ignominy, Jesus the failure, the loser. In the resurrection God had raised him to life, but in his Ascension, God declared that this bruised and battered person, still bearing his wounds, was his right-hand man, the son of the Almighty, worthy of honour, with a place in heaven.

However you picture it in your mind, the Ascension is the moment when earth with all its ordinariness, all its pain, all its decay and death is declared to be one with heaven. The early Christians valued the Ascension so highly because in it they saw that their own human experiences, however mundane or squalid, were part of the experience of God. In truth, I think heaven and earth were always far closer than people thought, that God was never more than a breath away, but we all have to discover that for ourselves, that God knows us and loves us far more than we know and love ourselves. But the Ascension of Jesus dramatically demonstrated that there was nothing that humans could do or go through which was alien to God, because his own son had gone through it too. 

That matters for all of us. When we feel far from God, when we can’t speak to God, can’t think what to say, can’t face him, the Ascension tells us that he knows anyway. All of that shame, doubt, anger has been taken up into the heart of God. When we feel insignificant, too small for him to bother about, the Ascension tells us that our little lives, like that of a humble carpenter, matter. Our ordinariness has a place in the heart of the Almighty. When Christ ascends and sits down at the right hand of God, he takes all of us with him, every person, every experience, every emotion. So, although this may seem a time for saying goodbye, a time of loss, it is nothing of the sort. It is the time when heaven and earth are united in one unbroken whole, and every person, from the least to the greatest comes home with Christ to find themselves made new in God’s presence.

Amen


Sunday, 9 May 2021

Abiding love: Easter 6

Listen here

Acts 10. 44-end, John 15.9-17

‘Abide in my love’ says Jesus to his disciples on the night before he dies. Last week we heard the passage before this, when Jesus used the image of himself as the vine, and us as branches grafted into it, with God’s life flowing through the whole. Now he goes on to talk about what that life, lived close to God, is like. It’s a life, he says, that is marked most of all by love. We don’t just abide in God, we abide in love, because love is God’s deepest nature. ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you: abide in my love’.

That little word ‘abide’ is a powerful one. It means to stay put, to stick with, to remain. An abode is an old-fashioned word for a home, a place we live in, not just visit. We have ‘abiding’ memories of things, memories which endure. And there may be things we ‘can’t abide’, things we recoil from. Jesus doesn’t just tell his followers to love here. He tells them to ‘abide in love’ to stick with it, to keep on loving, until love is second nature, a basic attitude. 

It’s one thing to do something kind now and then when we happen to feel like it or when we think someone might be watching. It’s quite another to keep on seeking the best for someone when it’s inconvenient or costly, day after day, week after week, year after year. We’ll usually only do that for people who are very special to us, our ‘loved ones’ as we call them. And that’s what Jesus calls his disciples – and us - here. The translation says ‘I have called you friends’ but ‘loved ones’ is really more accurate. ‘Friend’ can mean anything from a casual acquaintance to a bosom buddy, but to call someone a ‘loved one’ implies that our lives are bound together, that we couldn’t forget each other even if we tried. ‘I would walk 500 miles’ sang the Proclaimers. Who would you walk 500 miles for? Who would you let your life be turned upside down for? Who would you not be able to sleep for worrying about? Who would make your own heart swell with pride because of something they’d achieved? Those people are our ‘loved ones’. We breathe more easily when we know that they are ok. 

And in this Gospel passage, that’s what Jesus calls us, his ‘loved ones’, the ones he’d do anything for, even lay down his life, the ones he can’t forget or walk away from. He sticks with us, remains with us, let’s his life be bound up with ours. Our sorrows are his sorrows. Our joys are his joys. And as we abide in that love, letting it sink in, learning to trust it, we should start to find that our own lives and attitudes come to be shaped by it, so that we naturally want to share it with others.  

What does that look like in practice when we do that? Perhaps our first reading can give us an illustration. It’s the tail end of a much longer story from the earliest days of the Church. Jesus’ first followers were Jewish, of course, like Jesus, but they’d begun to embrace his message that the Kingdom of God was open on equal terms to everyone, Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, saint or sinner, male or female.  On the Day of Pentecost, filled with the Holy Spirit, his followers had spilled out onto the streets of Jerusalem, speaking of Jesus in languages they didn’t know, but which the crowd, from every corner of the world, could understand. God was at home – abiding - everywhere, with every person, whatever their culture or native language. 

But it was one thing to preach that, and another thing to live it. Inclusivity is easy until we have to include someone who presses all the wrong buttons for us, who feels that bit too different, alien, ‘other’. The beginning of Acts 10 tells the story of St Peter praying on the rooftop of a house in Joppa where he’s staying. As he prays, he has a vision of something like a sheet, lowered from heaven, filled with all sorts of animals his faith forbade him to eat - pigs, shellfish and the rest - things that felt viscerally yucky to him, because he’d been schooled to call them unclean. And there they all are, squirming away on this sheet. And then Peter hears a voice from heaven, the voice of God, saying ‘Kill and eat these, Peter’. ‘ But I can’t!’ says Peter. ‘Why not?’ says God. ‘Because you’ve told us not to!’ ‘’Hmm’ says God, ‘but this is me speaking to you, and telling you different…’

While Peter tries to get his head around that, some messengers arrive, sent by Cornelius, a Roman centurion, a Gentile, a member of the occupying army. He’d heard about Jesus and the message he had preached, and he wanted Peter to come and tell him more. But Peter knew what that meant. If you went to visit someone, they would be sure to offer you something to eat. Hospitality was a sacred duty. But the equivalent duty of the guest was to accept what you were given, and it almost certainly wouldn’t be kosher, in keeping with those Jewish food laws he’d been brought up with. It might be any of those things he’d in that vision of the sheet full of unclean animals. Even to go into this Gentile house would have made him unclean in many people’s eyes. What should he do? 

It was hard, strange, disturbing, but Peter went anyway - into another culture, another world. He chose to ‘abide in love’, to stick with his conviction that God’s call was for all people, rather than recoil and run away from it, to trust that God had this situation in hand, that he knew what he was doing, that somehow, it would be ok. And so he discovered that Cornelius, and all those Gentiles he’d been so wary of, were also God’s ‘loved ones’ just like him. God was already in residence, abiding with them through his Holy Spirit, so Peter could abide with them too. 

Diversity and the challenges it brings are often in the news these days. However inclusive we like to think we are, all of us can discover that we have unconscious biases, deep-rooted, unthinking prejudices about people based on a whole host of things that are just part of who they are – race, gender, sexuality, disability, age, social class. Inclusivity is fine in theory, but then we come up against that one issue, that one person, which triggers something deep in us that makes us want to avoid them. But when that feeling sweeps over us, God calls us to abide in love, to stay where we are, to breathe in and out, to look, listen and wait, because if we do we’ll discover that the God who is present everywhere is present in those people who seem strange to us too – and maybe they will be equally surprised and delighted to find the same about us. 

That’s an especially important message for the beginning of Christian Aid week, when we’re reminded that we are all one family, whether we know it or not, whether it feels comfortable or not. Jesus calls us to ‘abide in love’, to stick with it and make it a habit, so that little by little, strangers – however strange they are -become ‘loved ones’,  and we come to recognise that they are part of the one vine, sharing with us in the life and goodness of God. Amen 


Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Water & Fruit - Easter 5

 

John 15.1-8, Acts 8.26-40

They are familiar words and images to many aren’t they, the vine, the vine grower and the pruning to bear more fruit.

I expect your thinking ‘here we go again, we’ll be listening to him spouting on like an episode of Gardener’s World’.

It is difficult to talk of these words and not feel a real affinity with the life that surges through plants, I’m sure Jesus intended that, but I promise to avoid an excess of agriculture.

What Jesus was aiming to do was to draw upon this familiar imagery and enable the listeners to feel and understand holistically what he was explaining.

The life giving sap runs into the branches as the spirit runs from Jesus to us.

When the prophet Isaiah spoke of the vine as an image of Israel he said that it produced wild grapes and needed re-establishing. So when Jesus says ‘I am the true vine’ it’s clear that he is the way to God and his followers are now God’s people.

As God’s people, abiding in him, grafted to him and dependent upon his grace for our very existence we are then able to bear fruit. Some will judge our dependence as weakness yet we know it to be life giving.

There will be a wide range of ideas what this ‘fruit’ might look like and how we would recognise this in each other but it will include acts of kindness, generosity, self-sacrifice and service.

This year I resolved to use the lockdown period that coincided with lent in a positive way and engage in course with people I don’t know from a different region, as after all it wasn’t as if I would be travelling to any meetings in person so I may as well have discussions with some different talking heads on screens! I thought I’d found any interesting course in the USA but then worked out that the sessions would start at one o’clock in the morning. I therefore decided upon a course run by Leeds diocese.

One of the most distinctive impressions from this was to hear an elderly and unassuming chap, when pushed for a contribution about his faith share how he was going for long walks over the Yorkshire moors with ex-offenders. He found that given time and space to talk without judgment that most were looking for something better than they had found thus far, more meaning, more belonging, and he was prepared to help.

The spirit had found the Ethiopian man before we heard that Philip found him.  It’s one of the earliest times we learn of someone outside the Hebrew community being baptised into the Christian faith.

The man was clearly seeking out God and had made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to pursue this, but as a eunuch, Hebrew law, set out in the book of Deuteronomy, forbade his participation in temple worship.

As a court official of the Queen’s Treasury the man has the means to travel and possess a scroll of Isaiah as well as being educated enough to read and ponder its meaning. Despite this he sits outside the accepted norms of the time by appearance, background and sexuality.

Perhaps in the lamb led to the slaughter, humiliated and denied justice the man recognises enough of himself to seek out the true meaning of these words and in his yearning finds the humility to accept help.

Philip meets the man where he is and brings the words to life as he tells him this is the story of Jesus.

An American theologian, Willie James Jennings says of this story: “Faith found the water.  Faith will always find the water.” 

People looking for God are wanted by God and sometimes we could be privileged to be used as the facilitator, directing people to the open door they need push only very gently.

Tentatively push that door and it will open to a warm welcome, come on in.

Where we are able to help others deepen their relationship with God we should follow Philip’s example, even if “Do you understand what you are reading” is a question for the right place and time.

It’s a reminder that we can’t sit back and wait for people to find God alongside us in our place of worship but have to help others find him wherever our lives take us.

If Philip were to ask us “Do you understand what you are reading?” our answer is likely to range from ‘I haven’t got a clue to…I could always do with some help. Of course we have a few more resources now. If Tesla had made chariots they would probably have large touch screens and we could just do a search on Isaiah but it still wouldn’t come near to a first hand experience with one of Jesus’ disciples!

Do these words seem familiar to you?

Whoever you are, you'll find a warm welcome at our services and activities.  We believe that everyone is loved by God and is part of his family. Whatever your background, age, ability, disability, gender or sexuality, whatever your level of faith or doubt, whatever the story of your life, we'll be glad to see you.

We’ll also be glad to find you, glad to help you in whatever setting we find ourselves.

They are on the website for this, our church. It’s affirming to think that we aspire to live the same spirit led openness Philip demonstrated not only because we know that this is right and is Jesus’ teaching but also because in doing so there is the potential for our own faith to be enriched.

In his actions Philip showed that he understood how the true vine has changed everything. This is a reflection of who Jesus is and that his invitation is for all. Jewish rules which previously could exclude people ,had become and remain unacceptable to followers of Christ. His eyes were opened to what this looked like in reality.

Thanks to the wonders of technology I was able to watch a live stream of Colin Brown’s funeral this week. A school teacher, lecturer at Spurgeons Theological College after retiring from school and 12 years director of Reader training in Rochester Diocese I was privileged to benefit from his significant wisdom, alongside many others.

He had the ability to encourage and criticise in a way that was hard hitting. You would take the, sometimes quite blunt criticism, because you knew he was on your side, trying to help you be the best you could become.

His written feedback to me included ‘I suggest that you rethink the final two paragraphs, it seems that in comparison to the rest of the sermon they are fairly mundane’. Cheers Colin, it’s never good to end with the mundane!

His daughter made clear the fact that he knew life was a muddle, often a compromise with unresolved grey areas. He didn’t think that he could put everything right but he could point people in the right direction and equip them to help others do so.

I looked back on my notes from Colin and found this ‘ the life of a minister of the Word can only be lived in temptation and chaos. (That’s a relief to hear). Simple, slick answers indicate an escape from the complications of life.’

Words that have rung true over the 20 or so years since I first read them and which are true for all of us on our Christian journey in the sense that we know we are not offered slick solutions but a relationship with the living God.

After his baptism was life a bed of roses for the Ethiopian man?

More than even before the various lockdowns we need to reconsider what service, faith and love look like, not always seeking neat definitions that reassure and comfort us.

If we will only be happy when pews are filled, previous ways sustained and the coffers overflow then I suspect that we are headed for disappointment.

If a core of people find God’s love, space for worship, learning, contemplation and reenergising in this church, If we take this out into the world and make it real for others, then we will truly be people who have borne fruit.

Amen

Kevin Bright        

2nd May 2021