First Word - March


Church Alive As I write this I have just returned from sharing in worship with over 100 people in celebration of our 21 years together as a Group of Parishes and sitting down with 70 people to Sunday lunch in the Assembly Rooms on Sunday 18 February. All too often the media report an image of a church with declining numbers and struggling to survive. Thankfully that is not the case in the Nar Valley where we have learnt that by doing things together we gain much strength and vitality to sustain one another and to enable others to do things we could not contemplate if we were working alone. I hope and pray that what we have learnt over this day, in coming together, is that we are amongst friends who want to support and encourage and welcome us. Each of our churches belong to all of us and although there may not be an act of worship in our particular village building our worship is carrying on elsewhere in one of the other churches and we are welcome – to go and join with them. Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world often have to walk miles to go to church or to collect water. We are accustomed to having everything immediately to hand. Let us be sure to add our presence and our support week by week to all who gather in the name of Christ wherever that may be. As we move from March into April we shall celebrate again the truth of Easter that death is defeated and Christ is risen – never to die again. May we live out that resurrection life in our faith and in our actions – knowing that God stands in the midst of the storm with us and desires to lead us through the storm to the experience of new life – resurrection life. It is the distinctive Christian truth by which we live and it is a treasure that we long to share with others and for others to come and share with us. We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song. Let the alleluias sound from the roof tops and in the streets below as we rejoice in the promise of resurrection in Jesus Christ our Risen Lord.