August Diary & Jottings

July 25th, 2016

Rev Dr Julie Levett writes:pikachu

I’m writing this having just had a Diocesan Ministry Review – like a Performance Appraisal with a Company Director rather than one’s line manager. It was a little daunting as it was my first since completing my four year, post-ordination training in 2014 (same as Chrissie completing her curacy this year). It reminded me about the various people in our church, those that meet and gather within our two buildings, that are also a little daunted at the ‘firsts’ or changes they are facing over the summer period. Many face changing their homes, their jobs, their schools, their church, their friends… For others it’s facing summer holidays without a family member; someone who may have died, or who has now grown up and are holidaying with friends or spouses instead.

It’s also a time of change for the Hopkins family, who are leaving their home of the last four years. The children are leaving their schools, they are all leaving their Southampton friends and they are coming to us, to Knaphill and Brookwood, to Holy Trinity and St. Saviour’s. And, just as I had to reflect over my life and ministry for my Ministerial Review, I hope and pray that we will all take time this summer to think and reflect over the teaching we’ve had this year; about Relationships, Invitation, Welcoming, about Discipleship and Servanthood and apply that to the exciting period that is facing us in the arrival of our new Vicar and his family. I pray that God will enable us, through his Holy Spirit, to be able to be a Welcoming and Inviting church family that builds deep, supportive relationships not only with Neil but with Jules, Ethan, Daya and Seth too. That we can be, in this place, the disciples they need to help them settle in well but more importantly to enable God’s vision for us and our community to come to fruition as we reflect on where and how God’s calling us to be disciples and serve in our family, our church, our workplace and our community under Neil’s guidance.

Link to the August Diary

Jo’s July Jottings

June 30th, 2016

Jo Birkby writes: I haittakesavillageve been privileged to be in my role as Children & Families Worker in our church for almost six years and I’m becoming more and more excited about how God has been challenging me recently about what it means to effectively minister to the families in our church. With the African Proverb resounding in my head ‘It takes a whole Village to raise a child’, I’ve been studying the first century model of the church. They placed great emphasis on the role of parents, and particularly fathers, in the formation of Christian faith in their children, partnered by those in the wider community of faith, i.e. the church – not simply the leadership of the church but every member of the church family: the young and not-so-young, mums, dads, singles, couples, other kids, grandparents etc.  It’s in this partnering that discipleship can be most effective, with every generation all learning from each other. There is a huge emphasis at the moment on equipping parents to be able to talk about faith at home; and also for churches to engage whole families in worshipping together.  Grasping the vision of what it means to belong, with each feeling a sense of purpose and being part of God’s plan for our growing community, can only be achieved in an atmosphere where each one of us feels they are cared for and have the opportunity to serve and worship together, mentoring, modelling and growing.  As we reflect upon June’s sermon on the Call to Servanthood from Romans 12:1-6, also consider: how are we as a church helping (or hindering) each other with our programmes, worship and events? What needs to be changed, developed or abandoned in order for us to be the people God longs for us to be? We all need to work together to truly model what it means to be the Body of Christ and I look forward to the future that God is about to unfold before us as we enter a new era with a new vicar! Be excited, look up and keep your eyes focused upon our amazing God as we face the challenge to step out of the boat onto new waters.

Well…what can I say…this is my last jotting for you guys at Holy Trinity and St Saviour’s.  I write this to you after a bit of a crazy week.  Many of you know that I have been exploring joining the RAF as a Chaplain and therefore have been in the application ‘process’ for the past four years.  The last few days have included finding out I have been declared as medically fit to join, a summons to go through officers selection with only five days’ notice, a start date of 8th May for Officers training and then an injury which has set the whole process back by about five months…to say this week has been stormy is probably quite accurate.  And this storm has hurt.  There have been tears, questions, joy, hurt, confusion, excitement, fear and above all shock.  But over the course of three days of stormy ‘weather’ I have clung on to the rope which connects me to my anchor.  All through the storm my anchor holds within the veil.  This hasn’t taken away the sea-sickness but it has grounded me when I have started to become overwhelmed.  Remembering where my anchor is has given me a security and identity through the waves which has meant I haven’t lost it completely.  A lot of this has been through conversation with God.  Through recognising my weakness to control this storm and turning to the One who the winds and waves still listen to.  And I have also turned to those around me and the support, love and wisdom has strengthened my grip on my anchor.  So why am I spilling all of this to you…well I guess I want to encourage all of you that whether it be an individual storm, a family storm, a life altering storm or a church storm remember where your anchor lies.  Where have you planted your lifeline which will keep you secure and firm in who you are and what you need to do?  I’m convinced the RAF is still for me, I have no idea why the delay has occurred but I am not fearing the storm, the waves which are confusing and hurting me, I am trusting and fearing in the One who IS in control of the storm because I know ‘He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion’.

Rev Chrissie Lacey

Link to May Diary

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