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February Pastoral Letter from Simon

30 January 2017

Dear Friends,

This time of year somehow always seems a little depressing. In fact, as I write this letter it’s a rather typically cold and dull January day  and I find myself thinking back to the days of Advent and Christmas when the church was beautifully decorated and everyone seemed to be in a happier, more joyous place. I do want to express my personal and also the community’s thanks to everyone who contributed and worked so hard to make our Christmas decorations and celebrations so memorable.

When I was a little boy, in common with many others I dreamt of a bright successful future. I can’t quite remember dreaming of being a train driver, though I knew some who did, but I was determined that I would go on and take every opportunity to achieve my ambitions. I can remember wanting to be a footballer and, at one time, an airline pilot. All of which meant that somehow I would amass a lot of money and be able to care for my family. At the time of course, the idea of being a minister of a church hadn’t entered my mind, but I had dreams of going on to do good things, as the adventure of life lay before me. Now, as I prepare for retirement later this year, whether I’ve been successful or not really isn’t for me to say, but I can say that the dream of lots of money certainly didn’t come to fruition!

We’ve just seen Donald Trump inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Much has been said about his suitability for such high office and much speculation has been and continues to be published about his skills and how he may or may not perform. What we do know for sure, whether we appreciate his methods or not, is that he is a very successful and very wealthy business man. Whether he can use his skills to benefit the American people and the world, I  guess we’ll all know and discover as time goes by. As I was reading a little about Donald Trump I couldn’t help but wonder if he, and other such successful people, dreamt of such lofty office and great wealth when they were youngsters. I suppose we all have our day dreams and our ambitions. However, whatever happens in the future and whatever President Trump’s presidency brings about, I urge you to hold dear to the words of the Apostle Paul who, when writing to the church at Philippi, said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanks- giving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Five new Elders were recently elected to serve on our Leadership Team and they will be Ordained and Inducted at our Communion Service on Sunday 19th February. I’d like to thank those who have been serving, both those who have stepped down and those who will continue. Our Church couldn’t function without their prayerful input and enthusiasm and I thank them on behalf of the Church for all they have done. To serve God in such a way is a privilege and I pray that they, and that we as a Church, will know God’s wisdom, His guidance, His love and His ongoing blessing.

In ongoing Christian love and prayer

Simon

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