Minister’s Letter

Dear friends,
As I look out of my window, the sun is shining and there is no frost and no puddles on the ground. Today
feels like the first time in a long time that I could say that. This has been a cold, wet winter, not helped by a gloomy outlook economically and a great many other clouds on the horizon of our world.
It’s at times like these that we most need the light of the hope that our faith and our church family bring to us. It’s also at times like these that we most need to share that light in whatever way we can.
Many of you are doing that in practical ways, whether by supporting Urban Outreach and foodbanks, or by providing the light and warmth of your presence both within the church building and way beyond it to so many who are finding life difficult at this time. Paul urged us to share one another’s burdens. (Galatians
6:2) and whilst he was not really talking physically, that is a good starting point.
Nevertheless, we need to go much further. We need to recognise that the hope we have in Christ is not
only especially needed at times like these, but also that many folk will be more open than ever to hear
about it. So what can we do about that?

A lot of church members tell me that they have no idea what to say to a friend or neighbour to make them want to try coming to church. All that you have to do is to tell them what a difference your faith makes to you. Why do you come to church? Perhaps it’s the hope offered by Christ through these dark times or the warmth that you feel from the fellowship. Maybe the worship sets you up for the week or makes you think or feel differently. Whatever brings you to church will appeal to others too.
You don’t need to answer any awkward questions – if anyone quizzes you on your faith and you don’t
know how to answer or feel that you can’t explain, just be honest and then simply ask them to come and
see. All you need to do is to offer to pick them up one Sunday, or to walk with them. It’s God’s role to work on their response and it’s for the rest of the fellowship to work on what happens when they get there.

Jesus said ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’
(Matthew 11:28). It is that lightening of even heavy burdens that we have to offer in Christ. It’s a gift worth
having, so don’t hide Jesus’ light under a bushel. Be open about your faith with those that you know and
you will be offering a gift whose price is beyond pearls.

May the sun shine on you this spring and may the light of Christ be seen wherever you go.

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