It is hard to believe it’s May already. But time marches on and still refuses to wait for anyone. April saw our APCM and the appointment of two new Wardens, William Nye and John Blackburne. Enormous thanks to Mary Ashwin and Mary Lumetta for their sterling work over the years. Will Parry has agreed to continue to carry the mantle of treasurer, thanks to him for such generosity and also to Dunstan Speight as our Hon Treasurer.
It’s always dodgy to thank individuals who carry out such necessary and good work for fear of leaving out key persons but, my friends, be sure God does not forget!
Holy Week & Easter was for me a memorable time. I hope that wherever you found yourself it had value and meaning for you? I am pleased to report that, with the exception of Good Friday, there was a good attendance at all services. I have never understood the reluctance of otherwise devout worshippers to be at the foot of the Cross on Good Friday.
I do think that next year we ought to contemplate a proper Easter Vigil with all the ceremonies of the lighting of the new fire, the blessing of the Paschal Candle, the renewal of Baptismal vows and the resurrection Mass!
In last month’s Newsletter I defined St Cyprian’s Church as a Parish called by God to be a growing family of Christians who serve Jesus Christ by demonstrating His love through our daily lives, service, and worship. I wonder if you think that’s true?
Are we really a Mission church reaching out into the community? What does it mean to be missional and is there even such a word? In the Christian life, missional living is the adoption of the posture, thinking, behaviours, and practices of a missionary in order to engage others with the gospel message.
Church was never meant to be just a place where people gather for religious ceremonies. Neither was it designed to be a club where members try to protect the status quo. Churches ought to be dynamic places, where people encounter God, grow closer to God, and reach out to others. In short, our church should be on a mission to make authentic Christians, who become disciples of Jesus Christ.
No matter how many activities we offer at St C’s, if they’re not Gospel based and focused outward to draw new people in, we’re not on the mission God wants us to be.
To that end our Archbishop. Justin hopes to see every Church join a global wave of prayer, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, which will take place across the Church of England from 25th May to 4th June 2017. I do not think that St Cyprian’s ought to be an exception to this request.
We desperately need to pray for our church, locally, nationally and internationally. Here at St Cyprian’s we ought to be praying for renewal and commitment from each of us, that God’s Sprit will sweep us off our feet and inspire us to works of charity and to seek out the lost and bring them to Christ.
As we pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, in the days and weeks to come, let us consider what God might be calling us to do in our churches, our homes and in our own lives.
As we pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ we should expect that God would use us to help answer our prayer. God will give us opportunities to witness to Him with the people we have been praying for. God will use us to invite people to know and experience the goodness of His Kingdom and to join His family.
We know that most of us find speaking of our faith daunting. We feel ill equipped. We assume someone else, maybe anyone else is better suited, or we think that sharing faith is someone else’s job. All Christians are appointed as God’s witnesses. It is not a choice. The only choice is whether we are good witnesses or bad ones.
We might also join the National pilgrimage to Walsingham to ask our Lady’s intercession on our behalf. Our neighbours at All Saint Margaret St are organizing a coach to attend and details of this may be found on their website. It is my intention to add a Mass each day of the initiative, I will confirm the times nearer the date.
Finally, my friends may I please remind you that we need the support of each and everyone of you to be a church of growth and deepening faith.
This is especially important at this time in the area of finance. There are so many things we ought to be doing like providing access for disabled persons to the lavatories, a loop system for those with hearing difficulties, a new and more flexible website, children’s facilities and an advertising and outreach budget. Would you please review your giving or perhaps you might like to nominate a project in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving to God for a particular blessing?