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North Kent Group of
United Reformed Churches

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Group Pastoral Letter for
April 2019


 
Dear Friends,

I have had an odd few months recently. Things have gone wrong in many different ways and I have had to do a lot of thinking. It all started when my car gave me up. I had intended to stop driving after Christmas anyway but in October I was driving home from the doctors when my car suddenly stopped on a roundabout. It started again immediately but then it did the same thing a couple more times so I took it to the garage, but it would not go wrong for them. They road tested it and left it running for several hours but it
behaved beautifully - must have been a speck of dirt in the petrol.
 
To cut a long story short - after couple of days it stopped (no noises or rattles or warning signs). It happened again three times - twice on the Darnley Road roundabout and then on a patch of very bendy two-lane road. Was God trying to tell me something? The car was scrapped, and I got myself a bus timetable. I had never liked driving and I have no sense of direction, so I wasn't all that upset. I didn't expect to miss the car, but I did and still do.
 
Everything takes so much longer, and life has lost a great deal of spontaneity, then my computer, which has not been reliable for quite a while, started to be very unreliable.

 

At the moment I have to turn it on and wait for an hour or so before it will react to any action and then wait
for another period of time before it will respond to any function. This morning it has taken one and a half hours from start up to internet.

 

Again, computers and I have never been best friends but, oh how I have missed being able to look up things quickly! Then I realized that I wasn't seeing very well - kept misreading the Bible, mislaying things and falling over. I went to the optician's and found that my glasses were very much the wrong strength and focus. They are only a year old, but I am really looking forward to getting the new ones.
 
This isn't just a moan. It suddenly came to me that we are told in the Bible that we must not rely on earthly
things but on God. I really missed all those things, but they were only things and I miss my husband all the
time but even he used to go wrong sometimes! And it hit me really hard that the only really reliable thing in
this life is the constant presence of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I hadn't realized how much I was relying on things.
 
In Matthew 28.20 Jesus says, "Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." What a
relief! I am not on my own at the mercy of inanimate objects or even fallible human beings. Jesus is with me whatever the problem. He always has the time and the solution, and He cares! I just have to stop panicking and turn to my friend Jesus - and have a little patience. I will never have to miss Him because he is always with me, even to the end of the age!

Janet


 
Group Pastoral Letter for
May 2019


 
Dear Friends,

Often we realise what really matters when we hit a significant bump in life’s journey.

Priorities will change when a family member falls ill, is made redundant or has other worries.

After Christ’s baptism he went into the wilderness for a long time. All his priorities and his hopes and dreams were questioned, and he longed to know what plans his Heavenly Father had for him. It is not difficult to imagine the mental and physical struggles he had to endure at this time and to notice the similarity with his time in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Jesus knows and feels our pain. We do not welcome suffering, but it is often at these times when we are at our lowest, that the presence of God and the peace which only he can give us is very present with us.

As we look forward to summer, warm weather and holidays, let us remember those who are struggling at this time. Within our Church family, some are grieving, others living with pain and discomfort, loneliness or ill health.

God is always with us to comfort us and help us. May we open our hearts to feel his loving presence with us, and never stop thanking Him for his love and care.

Best wishes and blessings.

Chris


 
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Last Update - 23-Apr-2019