May will as always be a busy month!
As the temperature rises and we see new growth around us then we should be encouraging growth in our church, our parish and our community.
We have had our Annual Parish Meeting, and those appointed or elected are empowered and encouraged at the Archdeacon’s Visitation Service, which is taking place this year on Thursday May 7th at 7.30pm.
May 7th is important for another reason. It is the date of the General Election. On that date we have the opportunity to express our views about who should represent us in both national and local government. It is important that we all take our part in these elections. We are the body of Christ in this place, and we must be engaged in politics in its widest sense – taking an interest in all that affects the lives of those in our communities. Christianity is a religion of incarnation. Believing that God sent his own son to live on earth with us, because he loves us, means we must care for those we live among and that has to include being involved in whatever way we can in decisions that affect the lives of our fellow human beings.
This month also sees Christian Aid Week. Christian Aid is an organization which gives vital help and support to so many in this troubled world. We need collectors as well as people to give to the cause. Please think whether you can help with the door to door collection, and give what you can to this charity.
At Easter we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus, and we have heard again the stories of his appearances to his followers. Now this month we remember the next chapters of the story.
Thursday May 14th is Ascension Day, when we commemorate the point at which the risen Christ ascended to join the Father. Please attend the service at 7.30pm at St Thomas’s if you can.
In the church’s calendar there are then an odd ten days reflecting the time when the disciples thought they’d lost Jesus again – having seen him die on Good Friday, having witnessed his risen body among them after that first Easter day, now he’s gone again.
And then came Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit in such a dramatic way. Jesus had promised he would ask the Father to send “another comforter” …. And there were the flames, the rushing wind, the breaking down of language barriers. This, then, was the birth of the church. Here of course we celebrate with the walking, the bands and the service in St Thomas’s church. Pentecost, Whitsunday, is May 24th this year.
As a community, we flourish in the company of others. We can’t be Christians on our own – we are all part of the body of Christ. Each of us has a part to play, and our absence from an event diminishes others. I ask you to try to take part in something which you haven’t before – to do something extra to encourage us all –and in so doing you will enrich your own spiritual life!
Please remember too that it is important for us to be involved in the wider sphere and vote on May 7th and help in whatever way you can in Christian Aid Week.