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Group Pastoral Letter for October 2017

This picture is of a sculpture at Ely Cathedral just on the left wall as you enter the sanctuary. It is a sculpture of a cross with a path; some may see a path that leads to a cross roads, for others it may be the cross of Christ with a path leading towards or away from.
 
It might be a symbol of resurrection or it could be symbolic of Jesus passion, with twists and turns echoing Jesus steps of Holy Week.
 
On the wall beside the sculpture is a window and depending on the time of day, the sun light catches different parts of it. I have seen the sun so brightly focused on the central point of the crossing point that you could not see the mismatched centre section. I have also seen the sun shining on the very end or beginning of the path (depending on your perspective) at the bottom of the sculpture. And whenever the light shines there are also part in shadow; echoing life in all its glory.

 

As I sit and write this letter, I am reminded of this sculpture.
 
I have over the past two months been reading and re-reading chapter 14 of John’s Gospel; I passage which is often hear read at a funeral, and a passage which I have myself selected verse from to read for such a service.
 
There are words of comfort in the face of death, of hope that death is not the end. But it should also offer words of hope and comfort for those not affect by death.
 
Jesus is calling the disciples back to the fundamental relationship with God, back to basics of trust and assurance.

Jesus said to him ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father expect through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’
 
Jesus is offering comfort to his disciples during a time of uncertainty – for this passage is a part of Jesus farewell discourse, he has just shared a final meal with them and is now explaining what is ahead.
 
But they are not to worry for he will always be with them, they do not need to worry about finding a map to follow, or a guide book or directions, because Jesus himself is the way, he will guide them just as he has done from when they were called to be fishers of men.
 
This promise is still true for us today, as friends and disciples of Jesus, we can be assured of the same promises.
 
Jesus is promising to be with us through the power of the Spirit, to work in and through us to accomplish his purpose in the world. To continue bring people to know God’s love and abundance generosity, grace and mercy.
 
It is in the small actions of love to a neighbour, kindness to a stranger, forgiveness to an enemy, that the work of God is witnessed.
 
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.’
 

May the peace of the Lord which passes all human understanding be with you.

Samantha
 

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November 2017 Pastoral Letter image Group Pastoral Letter for November 2017
Journeys happen with one foot in front of the other, sometimes slow and steady other times with haste.
 
We all journey each and every day; to school and college, or to work, to meet friends or to the shops, even to go on holiday and to church.
 
Journeys happen on foot, in cars and buses, on trains and occasionally by boat or aeroplane, taking from a couple of minutes to a day or more.
 
We all travel with purpose, for a reason, even if it is just to get out of the house for a wander around the block.
 
We are told in the book of Exodus the story of the Israelites freed from slavery in Egypt, journeyed for 40years in the desert. They seem to take a rather roundabout route via the southern Sinai Peninsula, rather than the more direct northern caravan route between the wilderness’s of Shur and Etham.
 
It was a journey of purpose, it was a journey to the promised land, a journey of salvation. But why oh why did it have to take so long…
It was a journey with God’s purpose, with God’s direction and with God’s protection.
It’s easy for us to conclude various reasons why this happened – was it because their faith was being tested, was it to build trust, or even as punishment for their doubt and lack of faith – these are often some of the reasons given. One thing we can be certain of is that it was a journey of discovery, a journey of faith, and a journey of covenantal proportion.
 
We all travel along our personal life journey, sometimes we feel it has a purpose, we are in control; but at other times we feel adrift, not really knowing where we are going, wandering in a roundabout way instead of on a direct route.
As a church we are journeying towards God’s kingdom; hoping that we are helping to make it a reality for the community today. At times it might feel like we are a little adrift, not too sure of the way ahead, pondering God’s direction for us. Uncertain of the future of the Grouping and how it might change.

But we continue forward together, placing one foot in front of the other in faith of the God who will go with us and guide us.

As each journey begins, the Lord stands ready with us.
As each path unfolds, God’s presence comes travelling with us.
As each question comes, signposts along the way echo with God’s Word.
This is the reliable promise,
God was, God is, God will be. Within. Around. Beyond. Always.

Blessings, Samantha

 
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Updated: 10-Oct-2017  
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