Looking out of my kitchen window, after early sunshine, the rain once more covers the paths and waters the plants. There has definitely been an abundance of change in our weather this year, from overpowering heat to wet dull days. This is of course nothing new: one of the benefits of living in the UK is the changing seasons.
These changes remind me of the words from Ecclesiastes 3, ‘there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.’ Some of you may remember the hit song of the 70’s ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’ sung by the Byrds, based on the first 8 verses of this chapter, where we are reminded that there is an order to things, an order established by God.
God is the planner and maker, and often we don’t understand our changing circumstances, but we are to trust in the balance that God brings in our life.
Thinking of change, it’s not just our weather that’s full of change; we find life at the Minster has also undergone several changes. Having seen Neal leave for Liverpool, and having said goodbye to Eve to her new role in Leeds in September, we also said goodbye to Charlotte.
As the diminished ministry team takes stock, we thank God for all that Neal, Eve and Charlotte have brought to the Minster in previous years and we look ahead to plan and pray for the future.
There are, of course exciting times ahead as our phase 3 development progresses and we welcome the great Sistine Chapel exhibition, but first and foremost we must reflect on our ability to connect with people and make sure that spreading the gospel message is at the heart of all that we do.
These changes that have taken place allow others to come forward to offer their support in the fulfilling of the Minster’s ministry. Many, for example, have offered to welcome on a Sunday afternoon to avoid our having to close the doors of the Minster during that time. Others have come forward to help with the admin, allowing myself and others to spend more time with the people we come into contact with. Dan was delighted when so many people volunteered to help on the Minster Fun Day and we have been thrilled by the number who have come forward to support the Sistine Chapel exhibition. Thank you to everyone, no matter what it is you do: we need to share the load.
We see another change as we move into autumn, so can I encourage you to look and see what is on offer to help you with your spiritual growth? We have several study groups where you can develop in spiritual depth and join with others in friendship and fellowship. Please don’t miss out: look on the web site or ask any of the team in the Minster - we would love you to come along and join us and see the change it can make when we have regular fellowship and study in God’s word.
Amidst all this change, which is exciting and challenging, there is one verse that comes to mind: this is Hebrews ch 13 v 8
‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’
There is no change there!
Blessings, Rev. Irene