Happy New Year! I wonder how many people you have been saying that to this week? The New Year is a time for looking forward, for casting vision and for setting a plan in place for the year ahead. As a parish we have seen a number of changes over the past few years. These have included the core structure of the parish, the service patterns and the teams that head all this up. I hope that 2018 will see a consolidation of this. We have a good strong leadership team in place, we have a newly trained group of Pastoral Assistants to help with visiting across the parish, we have a good group of lay people involved with helping to lead services and preach, as well as people who are fully trained and licensed. Exciting times ahead. But “unless the Lord builds the house – we build in vain” Psalm 127 v1. So what should we do? I have two main suggestions that need to be central to all that we do in this coming year. First, we need to pray, individually and corporately and second, we need to ask God to fill us, each one of us, afresh with his Holy Spirit, so that He guides and leads us into all that He is already doing and also wants to do. It really is that simple. But it requires again two key elements – Obedience and Trust. Just as Jesus quite simply came forward for His cousin to baptise Him in Obedience and Trust that His Father knew best. He trusted that this step, baptism, was the first step. The first step is often the hardest but without the first step we can’t go forward. What is the first step that you and I need to make at the start of this New Year to be open and available to all the wonderful things God is longing to do in our lives? Why not let us as a parish make a renewed commitment to seeking to be prayerful and spirit-filled disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ as we seek to work together to build God’s Kingdom in our villages.
Happy New Year!