Rector’s News April 2024

A better life for all

With Easter upon us, after recalling the events of Holy Week, we are reminded of that first Easter which changed the course of history.

The euphoria of Palm Sunday was soon replaced by hostility beyond measure, there was the heartache of Good Friday and the Crucifixion, then on the Sabbath the loss of all hope and despair that the Disciples must have endured, then the following day as they pondered and tried to come to terms with the events of the previous few days, their world was rocked once more with that Resurrection Morn; joy, excitement, disbelief, fear, a range of emotions must have been experienced then, the thought of what next?   Jesus had tried to prepare them for what was to come, but they could not comprehend, as time passed and Jesus appeared to them again, they began to get the picture.  This was for real, there was no turning back, for a time they lived in fear and trepidation, however once the Holy Spirit had come upon them they were totally transformed.

Having returned from my time at Canterbury there has been time to process the enormity of the endless possibilities of networking globally with new found colleagues where transformation can happen.  There were 27 of us, 16 nationalities all newly, or nearly ordained ministers from all corners of the world, literally thrown together, for God’s work, reminding us of how Jesus’ Disciples were thrown together, not knowing the way ahead but through the Holy Spirit equipped to go forward in God’s strength.  The reality for us was recognising, like the first Disciples, in the power of the Spirit all things are possible With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible,”  Matthew 19:26.  Throughout the Bible, God’s people accomplish unfathomable tasks. God is most glorified by bringing an event to pass which seems impossible.

One aim of the Conference was to learn more about what is happening around the world within the Anglican Communion, for example, representatives are working within the United Nations, bringing people together across divides, working with peace keeping forces, helping to keep perspectives on climate change; what may be a lifeline for one country can create a disaster elsewhere.  We were encouraged and able to build relationships, trust and understanding of each others cultures, contexts, joys and difficulties within parishes.   Worshipping together 4 times a day was so powerful especially when saying the Lord’s Prayer, all languages at the same time, realising the enormity of being part of a worldwide church.  We studied together, discussed sensitive issues, visited various sites, listened, did a lot of singing in various languages and had a lot of fun together.  Many had never set foot outside their own countries and language and communicating was a challenge at times, especially for our dear friends from Korea.

So what next for the intrepid enthusiastic delegates?  Firstly we are supporting one another in prayer, this is where technology comes into its own.  Sharing ideas and practices of outreach, below are just some of the issues that have been tackled in the last few weeks by networking.

Father John, Zambia, 7 parishes, furthest 42k away, he was walking there, 4 hours each way,  he now has a motorbike, the parish were saving, but it would take at least a year, so worldwide we sorted it.

Noel, from Malawi, ordained the same day as me, spent time at the Conference collecting any spare pens lying around, even in their Cathedral back in Malawi they sometimes cannot complete paperwork as the Verger does not have a pen.  A consignment of pens from Worcester Diocese will be going there with a member who is visiting that area next month!

The African countries may have a lack of material resources, but continue to teach us a lot about spreading the Good News!  There are plenty of testimonies that could be told.  God is amazing.

There are certainly enough resources in the world to go around, but we all need to share evenly.  ‘God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.’  Philippians 4:19

Written by Assistant Curate, Rev Sandra Collier