Message From Our Minister April 2018

You may know that for the majority of April I’m off to Australia to see my family and friends. We fly out on April 2 and then going to spend a week with my mother. After that we go to Brisbane and I’ll be giving a lecture for the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane where we’ll be launching my book [Transfaith: A Transgender Pastoral Resource]. After that it will be a few days in Sydney before flying back.  It’s always fun to go back and catch up and it isn’t going to be all that hot as it’s going to be in autumn.

But it’s also always a time to take stock about what’s happened since I last saw my family. They’re always very interested in what’s happening… so what am I going to say?

Firstly, that we’re in a good place. That all the churches are busy, doing good things. That we’ve started new things and some of them have worked well and some haven’t. We’ve become more pragmatic about trying things and not being afraid to say that something isn’t working. That you’ve all been very supportive and we all recognise that there’s too much for me to do and you’ve tried in a million ways
to make my job easier.

That Noah, Anja, Rosina and Janos [the gap year students from Time for God who are with the Team for one year] have added energy and that they’ve made all sorts of things possible. It’s been rewarding working with them and it’s going to be a very sad team service at the end of July when we say goodbye to them. I’ll also say that next year we’ll have to start thinking about the ongoing future of the project when our three year funding runs out.

That I am worried about some of the bigger issues that are affecting the URC including the huge problem of deployment and the real need for us to get a handle on our future and look at our to how we resource smaller, older congregations. I’ll also say that I’m hopeful that we’ll continue to hold our own and by continuing to try new things, attract people…… but we know that the next few years will continue to create change.

But most of all I will talk about the good people that I have been called to be with. That the greatest treasure we possess are our relationships and friendships and how life giving they are.

On a more practical note I’m not planning much for the end of April because this is the first time I’ll be gone for so long since Simon left  [Revd Simon Swailes, previous Team Minister, who retired in August] . I would prefer to restart things in May when I’ve had a chance to get my feet under the table again and sorted anything that’s come up while I’ve been away.

Anyway, enjoy those first few weeks of Spring and I’ll see you all when I get back.

Chris