Sunday, April 23, 2006

July 2005

Dear friends

I am never sure exactly how many parishioners actually read this diatribe of mine, but I am encouraged by occasionally overhearing something from it being discussed before a Sunday service. It is said that if time flies past, one must be having fun: if the speed at which this month has flown is anything to go by, life is one great party at the moment! I suspect it has a lot to do with growing relationships as I settle more fully into parish life.


I understand that part of my ministry to you all is to be available, be it for specific ministry in times of crisis, ongoing support in dealing with complex issues of life and relationships, or just shared social time together. Part of why I responded to God’s call is that I enjoy people, and I gain great pleasure from being able to help individuals and communities find greater wholeness and abundance in their relationship with God and in their relationship with life as a whole. Like many of you, I struggle with the many calls on my time, and have found a diary a useful tool for giving some direction and priority to how I steward my time.

If you wish to see me, the key is to ask! I know from previous parish experience that it is easy for parishioners to see the Rector as “busy” (and I would certainly be busy rather than idle!), and to allow this to stop one from attempting to obtain some of the Rector’s attention. I am busy with the affairs of the parish, and the affairs of the parish include you. So, please do not hesitate to include yourself, your family, your needs, and your social occasions, into my schedule. Dawn is often happy to accompany me on social occasions, and appreciates being included; she does, however, hold down a demanding job that requires its pound of flesh, and so we do have to prioritise her involvement in my weekend activities to enable her to have some time for personal recreation before the new week and its demands hits, which I am sure you will all understand.

Presently my diary is most easily available during Office hours, but can be unearthed at other times if the necessity is great!


If you are aware of anyone in the parish who is feeling ignored – for whatever reason, legitimate or illegitimate – please encourage them to get hold of the parish office, myself, the churchwardens or council, members of the ministry team, so that we can rectify the problem. If you know of anyone in need, please also take the time to care by letting us know. Although we are on occasion prescient, generally we rely on normal everyday communication! I’d rather we receive twelve calls about the same issue/need rather than no call because everyone thinks someone else has already let us know!

Vision, and the Future

Some of you will have noticed on the Pew Leaflet that we have a Parish Vision Afternoon set for Saturday 20 August 2005, 14:00-17:00. This is an opportunity for us to do a number of things: review where and who we are as Corpus Christi Anglican Church (visit our origins); contemplate the horizon (where we are going – our vision); reflect on the journey (how we will reach the horizon – our mission); plan the trip (visit our values and objectives). This afternoon will probably be too short to do the above justice, but my hope is that it will begin a process that Council and the Ministry Team can take further. This afternoon is open to any and all members of the parish, and your attendance will be valuable in helping us look to what we become in the future. The Rector’s Questionnaire that some have taken the time to fill in will be used to inform our task for the day.

Diocesan Involvement

Every now and then the Diocese makes some demands on our time, which we too-often sadly meet with an unenthusiastic attitude.
Our most recent experience of this was the Diocesan Youth Assembly called by the Bishop on Youth Day, 16 June 2005: we were not represented. While I understand the many excuses given by our young people – exams, long-weekend away, planned family-time – my concern is that they reflect our parental attitudes, and our unwillingness, often, to push our children and ourselves in involving ourselves beyond our own areas of comfort and parochial-ness. My sadness – apart from a very uncomfortable conversation with the Bishop about our absence – is that I know from previous experience how valuable these times with the Bishop are for our young people. He has an amazing gift of relational interaction with them, and I believe this Assembly was no exception.
Our next opportunity for Diocesan involvement as a Parish will be the Diocesan Family Day Service on Sunday 4 September 2005 at St Alban’s College. I am requesting that we put aside the morning (and our lack of enthusiasm!) from about 9am till about 2pm for this occasion, as it will involve a Eucharist followed by a bring-and-share lunch together. The benefit of this occasion is that it gives us an opportunity to celebrate our membership of the wider Church, and to enjoy the variety of worship that exists in Anglicanism in this Diocese. I do not necessarily expect unbridled enthusiasm, but would greatly appreciate an attitude of openness and a willingness to participate – even if this is not quite your “scene”. There will be no services at Corpus Christi on this Sunday.


Perhaps this is then the point to reflect briefly on sacrifice! Over the last few weeks this has been an ongoing theme through our Sunday Collects and Readings. At the end of the Eucharist we pray the following: “Father Almighty, we offer ourselves to you as a living sacrifice in Jesus Christ …”. It has struck me that to be a “living sacrifice” is to be the place in which others can meet God.
What is the nature of the environment of our lives in which others meet God? Is it a place of welcome; of enthusiasm for life, for God, for the things of God? Is it an environment in which belief is combined with trust to create faith? Is it a place where our true humanity – with all its imperfection – is allowed to experience the transforming processes of God in Jesus? Is it an honest environment in which others in their imperfection will meet our imperfection, and receive hope that their imperfections can be transformed?


You are cordially invited to attend the “Rector’s Birthday Bash” on Sunday 10 July 2005, 12:00-15:00, as we celebrate my and Dawn’s 40th Birthdays with the Parish – the Best 40 x 40’s x Far – in the Church grounds. It is a Bring-and-Braai-and-Share! Salads, crockery, cutlery and glasses will be provided. If you have not yet replied, please could you do so to the Parish Office before 12:00 on Wednesday 6 July 2005.

Yours in Christ


No comments: