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May 2024 Clergy Letter


When I last wrote in March, I was anticipating the birth of my first grandchild. Little Levi William kept us all waiting. He was due on March 13th and finally arrived on the 23rd; fit, healthy and eagerly taking in this new strange world and the faces smiling down on him. My son said how difficult he found those 10 days of waiting; not knowing how or when things would happen; struggling to concentrate on the everyday demands of ministry in his 3 Cumbrian parishes. For first-time parents it is truly a paradigm shift when new life arrives; a couple walk into the hospital and a family walk out... life will never be the same!

This month we celebrate 2 church festivals: Ascension and Pentecost, also known as ‘Whit Sunday’. Ascension occurs 40 days after Easter and marks Jesus’ return to his Father in heaven. Before he left his disciples, he instructed them, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4-5). He had indeed talked about the Holy Spirit at the Last Supper. He described the Spirit as a Counsellor and a Comforter, who would guide them into truth, remind them of his teaching and be God’s presence within them. After Jesus’ ascension, the disciples including the women and Jesus’ mother and brothers gathered in the Upper Room to watch, wait and pray. For how long? – they did not know.

Ten days later at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came as a rushing wind and tongues of fire. It brought such a change that these disciples would never be the same – new life; new spiritual life welled-up inside them and overflowed in word and deed to the world. They were bound in a closer fellowship or family. The church was born. The Holy Spirit works in 3 main ways in a believers’ life, it draws us closer to God as our Father ‘Abba’; it builds relationship between believers despite our differences, and it sends us out to witness to the world; to show and tell the Good News of God’s forgiveness and love.

The 10 days between Ascension (May 9th) and Pentecost (Sunday 19th) have become a time of waiting on God and praying for a fresh gift of his Spirit. We try consciously to bring ourselves, our family, friends and community before God and simply pray in the words of the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’

Wherever you are – at home, at work or at church – we invite you to join us in this simple prayer. More things are changed by prayer than this world dreams of.

Rev Becky, 22/4/24

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