Ministry Team Letter for the Month
I find it hard to believe that I have been here for over half a year already. Thank you for making me feel so welcome in Wareham: while the time has flown by, I also feel very settled, as if I have lived here a long time. Getting to know people has been complicated by lockdowns and masks, so please be patient with me as I try to remember names and faces.
In preparing to preach on Colossians, I have been reminded again that St Paul spent quite a lot of time in various forms of imprisonment and that he used every available means to carry on being in relationship with the wider church during those times. He wrote letters to individuals, to churches and to groups of churches, and exchanged messages and objects via his friends and fellow workers. I imagine that in our lockdown he would have explored every avenue of communication to try to keep in touch with other believers and to spread the gospel message.
So let us think about our communication. Here are some questions to ponder (and obviously whatever answers you come up with need to be carried out in an appropriately socially distanced way):
Are there people I know who are particularly lonely and isolated at the moment? How could I get in touch with them?
Do I know my immediate neighbours? If not, can I look out for opportunities to make contact with them?
Are there people I know who have the technology to use zoom or to connect with others on social media, but who need someone to help them get started? Could I be that person?
Does lockdown give me extra time? How could I use that time to encourage other Christians and to pray for them?
For those of us who use social media: are there ways in which I can be salt and light on whatever platforms I use? Can I mention my faith from time to time so that my contacts can ask me more about it?
This year Ash Wednesday is 17th February, marking the beginning of Lent, when we remember how Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness. Traditionally Christians mark Lent with fasting, prayer and giving to charity. As we find ourselves in different circumstances this year, I suspect the way we live Lent needs to be different from normal and that will be different for each of us. Some people will be more short of time than usual because they are working hard in essential occupations while others have more time on their hands. Some will be more short of money than usual because they are unable to work while others will have saved money they couldn’t spend on holidays. We should all pray for those who are finding life really tough at the moment, and let us each ask God to show us how we should use this season. Perhaps it is time to do something new, rather than to give something up? Maybe it is an opportunity for more Bible reading, or to read a Christian book, or to find out about a particular charity and support them by praying or giving, or time to commit to a daily walk when you pray about something in particular as you walk. And do prayerfully consider whether you should join one of our Lent groups: you will find more details in a separate article.
May God use this Lent to draw us closer to himself,
Yours in Christ,
During the Covid-19 pandemic our services and activities have had to be curtailed. We hope that this difficult time will soon pass but, in the meantime, please refer any questions to the Parish Office.