Ministry Team Reflection Nov 19

To be or not to be: that is the question

We are all very good and proficient at being busy: busy at home, busy at work, in our communities, helping others; generally busy in body, heart and mind. The church is no exception to the rule: the church as a whole gets incredibly busy, especially in the changing seasons.

Holy scripture, however, reminds us that we are also called in our daily lives to be still. In Psalm 46 verse 10 says ‘be still and know that I am God’.

What a challenge for us all—but equally what an opportunity too. The invitation to be still is to know of our true worth before God. We are more important than what we do or don’t do, or how busy we are. God truly understands the danger that when we become too busy in life, we forget that life is a gift, life is precious and so often it is too easy to become distracted and forget who we are and importantly who we are before God.

The invitation to ‘be still and know that I am God’ is to stop, to take a breath and pause for moments across the day. It means, as we would with a friend, to sit with God, to quietly wait upon Him and listen to God speak with us. There, in stillness, is a real opportunity to re-connect with who we are as individuals, in belonging to a community and in having our place in the wider world. Moments to align ourselves and our wills with the Will of God, knowing we are truly precious, loved and valued by God, as created beings and God wants us to know this our true worth.

In the month of November we think a lot about the value and worth of human life as we approach Remembrance Day. It is the time we do stop and count the cost of those precious lives lost in the two world wars and from recent and current conflicts. Remembrance Day is a day we stand still in silence together, in remembrance, in love and respect for the self-giving and sacrifice of so many in winning the freedom we so enjoy today.

The invitation from scripture to be still is to know of God’s presence with us every day, in busy or in quiet, in turbulence or in peace, in grief and in joy. For God so loves the world that he would never abandon nor forsake us, but willingly chooses to come to us in his Son Jesus Christ, that we might know him and live our lives through him.

Rev. Gemma Turner
Visiting Priest

 

Ministry Team Reflection Oct 19

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

 

September 2019 Ministry Team Reflection

All Things New

We are moving into a new season as the final third of the year dawns at the beginning of September. Holidays have been enjoyed by many, the beginning of the school year heralds new opportunities and challenges, and the rhythm of life begins to return. Echoing in my ears as I write this is a line from the end of the Book of Revelation: “See, I am making all things new.” Words of Jesus which have inspired generations of Christians to see the world we live in and the age we inhabit with different eyes.

 

In the Minster in the coming weeks we will be welcoming many visitors from near and far. They will be coming to see ‘A Different View’ - the magnificent paintings of Michelangelo displayed for the first time in a church in this country. There will be opportunities to explore his extraordinary talent as an artist, seeing in close-up the paintings which can only be seen at a distance in their original Sistine Chapel setting. We will be privileged in this time to see the stories which the paintings portray—they are nearly all biblical scenes—with the eyes of faith. Throughout the six weeks of the exhibition we will be exploring what the paintings tell us about who God is and what impact faith in Him has in the 21st century. We trust that the promise of Jesus will be fulfilled among us, and that for many of us, worshippers and visitors alike, we will see “all things new”.

 

At the heart of this is a call to prayer. No great endeavour is accomplished without a renewal of this practice which is our privilege as Christians. The exhibition is one aspect of our life together, and as a new season starts in the Minster there is much to invite us to renewed prayer. This monthly prayer bulletin demonstrates this.

 

Finally, the churchwardens and the Parochial Church Council will be working hard through the autumn, ensuring that the Minster is ready for the appointment of a new Vicar. Do keep the whole church in your prayers daily as challenges come our way and we explore what it means to belong to God and with one another. “See, I am making all things new,” is a promise to us all and for us all and for the city we are called to serve.

 

Frank White
Interim Minister, Hull Minster

 

Eve's Final Reflection - August Ministry Team Reflection

I write this before my final Sunday in August as I prepare to leave Hull and move to Leeds to begin my role as Associate Rector at St. George’s Leeds in September. It is hard to sum up all that Hull Minster, its people and community, has meant to me over the last three years. I have been so encouraged, released and inspired during my time here! Working with this team, both the staff and the many wonderful volunteers, has been an absolute privilege and I’ve learnt so much from everyone I’ve worked with. I hope I have offered something too.

 

Hull Minster is a distinctive place  - we have continued to be the ‘civic’ church, offering prayer, presence and a prophetic voice to the city. I have been so chuffed to see the visitor numbers increase, and to be part of Minster Making, and many other events which see thousands of people enjoying the amazing space, and finding a moment of quiet and peace in their busy lives. Alongside this important role, we have seen congregations increase as new members have joined us, some from no church or faith background at all – this is so wonderful! Baptising new believers and seeing others confirm their faith is one of the favourite parts of this ‘job’, when it feels much more like a vocation than tasks to do! We worship in a diverse range of styles and traditions that I’m confident to say is unique in the UK, and such a significant demonstration of God’s people worshipping in His Kingdom, many members, One Body. Everyone has a part to play, everyone is valuable.

My prayer for Hull Minster as it continues as a worshipping community into the coming years is that you stand confident in your distinctiveness (in worship, in diversity of community, and in your role in the city), knowing that it is Jesus Christ that unites you, and that it is following Jesus that give you your calling as your serve the city. With God, we lack nothing (Psalm 23). Without God, we can do no good thing (John 15:5; Psalm 16:2).

 

Worship God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is everything.

Enjoy the amazing community this place offers – and pray for one another.

Explore your faith (however deep, or floundering), with enthusiasm and purpose. God won’t disappoint you.

Belong with others, and invite others to belong. So many are longing to be part of what we are

July Ministry Team Reflection

July Ministry Team Reflection

As a fair number of you will know, I’ve recently returned from a long trip to Japan. Back in 2015, I had the privilege of working with a church in the town of Yotsukaido and I visited them again on this trip. Reflecting on my visit got me thinking about the history of Japanese Christianity, its modern expression and how that impacts how they view their faith.