One thing about life is that, no matter what, it has its ups and downs. Everything can go right one day and terribly wrong another. But as life goes on we realise that we have to keep going, no matter what.
Life at the parish church has been good of late. We may have no resident priest but as I reported at our annual meeting in April, everybody, and I mean everybody, is rallying round to help and support - and that is great to see. Services, house groups, money raising activities, social activities and the like are continuing seamlessly.
So who needs a priest I hear you say? Well we do, but at the moment one is not forthcoming. And that, if we are not careful, might just be a reason to get us down. We have been through the process of producing our parish profile, advertising the position and allocating an interview date. But all to no avail. There have been enquiries, and there have been applications; however it was not felt that any of the applications were worth following up to the interview stage. Nine months further down the line and we don’t seem to be much further forward.
But, as I said at the beginning, we have to keep going, no matter what. We have to continue with the process and believe that somewhere, somehow, God has the right person just waiting to leap out and make themselves known to us. It has been shown that a vacancy of a year or so in many ways is good for a parish. It makes us reflect inwardly and examine what we do and who we are without the vicar trying to influence us. But it has also been shown that if the vacancy goes on for too long the members of the church can get down hearted, disillusioned and slowly drift away.
We at the parish church are determined to keep going, to keep strong and confident that the vacancy will soon be over. And one way in which we can do that is to pray. So I invite all of you who are in the habit of praying to join with me and perhaps use the following:
Lord, call to our church
a true shepherd,
a person of God,
a minister of Christ;
and make us, with him or her,
a church joyful in worship
and united in witness,
working, caring, praising, loving,
to the glory of your name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thank you so very much.
With best wishes to you all.
Chris Miller - Licensed Lay Minister and Churchwarden