I don’t know about you, but June always seems like a good time to pause and reflect. Maybe it’s because we are half-way through the year, or perhaps it is because this is traditionally exam season, a time when many people are transitioning from one period of life to another, finishing school, university or starting a new job. This year is no different, for me at least, as I come to the end of my initial period of ministry (EM2).
Three years ago, I had just finished my placement in Peterborough. As I prepared to leave college, I was also exploring the call to join you, here in Bromley and Hayes. By this time, I had met with the vacancy committee and was getting ready for the exciting and scary prospect of meeting you all, both informally, and for worship at the beginning of July.
So much has happened since then. So much to look back and reflect on, perhaps with a mixture of joy and sadness. I’m sure none of us could have imagined the events of the last 18 months, as we have lived through the pandemic, but aside from that, I hope we have been able to grow together, in fellowship and in faith.
In June 2021, we are, perhaps in a unique position. It is always easier to make changes to our lives, to start from scratch, if we have stopped. There are big changes that the world needs to make, to tackle the climate emergency and the huge impacts of poverty and injustice - perhaps we could each pledge to buy more Fairtrade, or recycle more. There may be changes to make in the churches too – perhaps we could challenge ourselves by working towards an Eco-church award, or commit to engage more with other churches or in the local community.
Last week, the Bible readings for Trinity Sunday encouraged us to reflect on our relationship with God, and how we encounter him in our everyday lives. We were encouraged to let go of the past, and look to the future, to be ‘born again’ into a new relationship with God and with one another through the power of the Holy Spirit. As we move through the next few weeks, this journey will continue as we explore themes of forgiveness, community, discipleship and hope. We will join the disciples as they watch Jesus calm the storm and watch him take tiny mustard seeds of faith, nurturing and encouraging them so that they become big, strong trees, offering shelter and support to others. As we explore these readings together, I hope and pray that we will also grow in faith and commitment to God and to one another, as we reflect on what it means to be people and communities of love in these unusual and challenging times.
At my Ordination in September 2018, I reflected on my training for Ministry. I saw it as a journey, with mountains and valleys, lakes and plains. Sometimes the road was smooth, other times it was boggy and difficult to cross. The first three years of Ministry have been no different – there have been joys and sorrows, rocky paths and smooth plains. There have been mountains to climb and rivers to cross. There has been sunshine and rain. But through it all, I have felt so privileged to be joining you on your journeys, and to have you beside me on mine. I look forward to what the next few years will bring, as we continue to be guided and encouraged by God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit as we grow in love and faith together.
With love and blessings.
- 111, Pickhurst Lane
- BR2 7HU
Church Secretary 020 8462 1168