Dear All,

Month by month, little by little…are you, like me longing and hoping for easing of COVID restrictions?  This is of course dependent upon the responsibility of all of us to make good the progress in the health of our nation so far and build on it.

How we have been tested!  And who knows how many more corners we need to turn in order to truly prosper once more as a nation.  Our prayer is, of course for the whole world to be a better place, where there is justice, freedom, love and peace.

You may ask, ‘Where on earth do we start in trying to put things right?’.

In May we are meeting in our Annual Parochial Church Meeting. It comes 3 days after Pentecost Sunday, when we remember the Event of the Coming of the Holy Spirit in power at Pentecost in AD33. Where we start in attempting to put things right must be in our own households, first of all.  So, as the local parish church, we are a ‘household’.  The APCM is a great time for review, giving thanks, and taking stock.  The Holy Spirit is the Enabler of wisdom and good decisions as we move forward.

At the time of writing our PCC is working on a fresh vision document.  This is in the light of the Transforming Church exercise, which we have undertaken as a PCC and invited all our church community to take part in as individuals.  In many ways this vision forming process resembles business plans.  The SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and then the SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).  But unless we have God’s Spirit invited into our hearts and lives, then our best plans are going to be fruitless.

Proverbs 16 has three verses in particular that can help to remind us of sound processes for the way forward.  I commend these to you, in the context of the whole chapter and book.

Proverbs 16: 1 “The plans of the mind belong to the human being, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.”

Proverbs 16: 9 “A person’s mind plans their way forward, but the Lord directs their steps.”

Proverbs 16: 20 “The one who gives heed to the Word will prosper, and happy is the one who trusts in the Lord.”