This year is hugely significant in the life of our parish – and in particular our Church building as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of its opening and consecration. A yearlong calendar of special events has been compiled and details are noted elsewhere in this Newsletter. These events have been carefully planned and scheduled in order to avoid clashing and thereby hopefully facilitate and encourage maximum support by all parishioners and friends. I would again like to remind everyone that the Church is not just a building, but it is the people who come together as a community of faith within its walls. Therefore, whilst the Church building may be an (important) tangible and visible presence, it pales into insignificance in comparison with the individuals who make up the Church community! Therefore the theme for the year if “Grace Through Generations”. As we progress through the year, we will look back in remembrance and thanksgiving for generations past, we will rejoice as we take stock of all the gifts and blessings we enjoy today and we will rededicate ourselves as we look forward to the future of our community in the faith and hope of God.
As we move into the month of February, there seems to be a general sense of anticipation that as the evenings become brighter, spring is not far away. And that is no bad thing, because despite a relatively mild winter, many are in need of something to give them encouragement to get out and get active. Gardeners especially are looking forward to the first flowers of the season – snowdrops and crocuses among them – to liven up their otherwise drab gardens which have been ravaged by storms and heavy rain. This, in turn, gives the necessary boost to get stuck into the necessary garden chores which will see spectacular results in due course. It is always amazing to see the chores which felt like drudgery in late autumn being embraced with such enthusiasm in early spring! And perhaps this cycle applies to our Church and parish life also. Our Christmas celebrations which were so special are now but a distant memory. These coming weeks will be a relatively quiet period as we progress through the Sundays before Lent. Then through Lent itself, our focus will again intensify as we concentrate on preparing ourselves for Easter, the festival which is central to our Christian faith. (Incidentally, this year Easter falls on 20th April.) This annual round of peaks and troughs in our Church calendar are essential to allow us get a sense of perspective on our faith story. It will also hopefully generate a renewal of energy and enthusiasm as we move forward on our Christian pilgrimage – a pilgrimage blessed by grace through generations.
With every blessing,
Rev. John Tanner. Mobile: 086 302 1376