Menu Close

Pastoral Words July/Aug Newsletter

Ian Moore – Interim Moderator

When I was walking some of the Offas Dyke long distance footpath earlier this year, there was one point – coming down off Hay Bluff at the end of a long day – when I wasn’t quite sure where I was going. I knew roughly where I was, and where I should be going, but in open country and many criss-crossing half-paths I couldn’t decide which was the right one for my route ahead. And I was tired.
It turned out I’d missed a waymarker, and of course from that point you don’t get signs that say “This is not the path”! Still, a few moments later, and after some map and compass work, I’d corrected course and was relieved to pick up another waymarker.
Is your faith journey something like that? You know roughly where you are, you have some idea of what you are doing in preaching, service, mission, outreach or some other capacity (and yes, making teas and coffees does count), but you still feel a little bit lost and not quite heading in the right direction? Or a bit tired, and needing a pick-me-up?
And maybe the church as a whole feels a bit like that, following many happy years of Jennifer’s ministry. It’s quite right and proper that the church asks itself – where next, is this still the right direction? And no, there isn’t a map – but look closely, listen carefully and you will find the waymarkers that God has already been putting out for you to follow. Already I have seen and heard people talking about new initiatives, testing new things – seeing if these are the right path to follow.
What is your equivalent of the map and compass at this time? Well, it should be prayer and reflection. Prayer that gives thanks for Jennifer’s ministry, and seeks guidance for the way forward. Reflection that balances getting on with current plans and ideas with making sure they’re fulfilling God’s plans and ideas.
I’m looking forward to working with you all in the coming months as we navigate the wider church’s processes during the vacancy. There will be talents and skills we can draw on, ideas to explore, fun to be had. There’ll be moments when we feel lost, we need new direction. There may be moments of surprise. There may be a time some months away when we all feel a bit tired with the process, it’s too slow moving, not going anywhere.
Well, prayer and reflection will get us through these moments together. And as I said above, look closely, listen carefully – and together we will see the waymarkers God has already laid out for St Johns.
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11)
With love and best wishes
While I’m delighted with the way the vacancy group has come together, and looking forward to our meetings together, this is a time for everyone’s views and questions. So please, when I’m around, do come and chat to me. I’ll be very happy to explain what I can about the vacancy process, where we are on the unknown timeline, what’s next and so on. And I’d be especially pleased if you came also to share your ideas and tell me what waymarkers you’re seeing that God has been laying out – for you personally, or for St Johns as a whole.

Related Posts