Address by Mary and Sandy – Pentecost 2018

Address by Mary and Sandy at the end of the Parish Vision Weekend, which was also the weekend of the royal wedding

 

MBWe have a hard act to follow…..

“Jesus of Nazareth taught us that the way of love is the way to a real relationship with the God who created all of us, and the way to true relationship with each other as children of that one God, as brothers and sisters in God’s human family”.

Looking at the media last night and this morning, there’s a palpable sense of shock, and whilst for some its about the fact of Bp Michael Curry being invited to speak at the RW at all, for many it’s shock at what he said – the radical nature of the love he preached, right at the heart of that most traditional of institutions, the British establishment.

I’ll be honest, when I heard that the RW was on the Saturday of our parish vision weekend, my heart sank: hat competition or no hat competition, I saw it as a distraction from the “real business” of the day…..

I was wrong.

30 or 40 of us watched the wedding together in the Link, and so we were together when we heard that sermon – all 13 spell binding minutes of it. When it was over, there was a burst of applause….. how amazing to have heard those words together as we pondered our own calling as a parish.

If you cannot preach like Peter

and you cannot pray like Paul

you can tell the love of Jesus

how he died to save us all….

just tell the love of Jesus, how he died to save us all.

 

SCThe question we have been grappling with this weekend, as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, our eternal connection with God, is how we do this, how we tell the love of Jesus…. telling is so much more than words.

 

Preach the gospel at all times: use words if you must

What would that look like?

Focus now on our vision statement as we show you one way of expressing it.

We’ve thought a lot about the mustard seed this weekend – the 9 words of the vision statement grow out of it, are rooted in it….

Together in Christ

Growing in faith

Serving in love

Like this…… again…. now you……

 

Sandy has led the vision team and masterminded the weekend – a bit about thinking and process…..

 

came up quickly with mustard seed idea – so many good things about it…. small beginnings….strong roots and trunk…. spreading branches…. offering shelter and sustenance for any bird who passes by…..

What is distinctive about our particular tree?…..

identified branches and spent yesterday morning looking at them, at the twigs and leaves…. many healthy, some a bit brown at the edges, some needing to be pruned?… some just waiting to sprout and unfurl….. all fed from the same source – rooted in the love of God.

 

A few phrases from yesterday’s workshops….

Being together in Christ

Teams not committees

Making time to pray together

Including everyone in our worship – looking again at our all age provision

Making use of modern technology and media (projector….)

Recognising that pastoral care – looking after each other – is the job of every one of us, not just the PC team.

Supporting the wardens in holding everything together when Mary leaves next year – and praying for the person God is calling to be our new rector.

 

That’s only a sample – so much more came out. People brought their experience, gifts, passion, problems and ideas, ways for each of the eight branches to grow and flourish. PCC and others will be thinking about what comes next….. and how we are going to be able to pay for it, with giving still below what we need.

 

The disciples waited in the upper room, not knowing exactly what they waited for, but confident in Jesus as their messiah, friend, brother.

 

We never know exactly what we are waiting for, but we too wait in confidence and hope, and as we wait we do all we can to tell the love of Jesus – in words, in actions, in the way we live our lives, individually and as God’s people here in Haslemere, in our parish.

 

Together in Christ

Growing in faith

Serving in love

 

Shall we all do the action…..?

 

just tell the love of Jesus, how he died to save us all.

….love: this is the way of Jesus. It’s a gamechanger.

Imagine our homes and families when this way of love is the way.

Imagine our neighbourhoods and communities when love is the way.

Imagine our governments and countries when love is the way.

Imagine business and commerce when love is the way.

Imagine our world when love is the way.

No child would go to bed hungry…

Poverty would become history….

We would treat one another as children of God, regardless of difference….

We would learn how to lay our swords and shields down by the riverside, to study war no more.

There would be a new heaven, a new earth, a new world

a new and beautiful human family

the very dream of God.

 

Our part in that dream is this, here, today, to be

 

Together in Christ

Growing in faith

Serving in love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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