Monthly letter

Dear Friends

Well, here we are, nearly in the middle of the year – where did that time go?

It has been a very busy year so far, including a Royal Wedding (although I didn’t have to officiate at that one, there are quite a few booked in the Benefice this year) and a brilliant visit to the Diocese by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

There is some debate about whether time seems to go quicker when you get older, or is it just that we are all getting busier?  Certainly, the advent of e-mail, mobile phones and social media means that we are expected to be available 24/7.  It is interesting to note that devices that were supposed to make our lives easier have, in some cases, made it so much more complicated.

It has felt like the winter stayed a bit longer than usual this year, despite burst of spring sunshine, but finally we are benefitting from the warmth of early summer and the promise of better weather to come

It has also been busy in the church calendar.  The season of Christmas ended just before the season of Lent, then Easter itself and the season of Easter that lasted until Pentecost on the 20th May.  And now, breathe, we are in what we call Ordinary Time.  Phew! No more special services or festivals for a little while, we can just relax into the rhythm of worship that sustains us week by week.

In Godly Play, a system of teaching sacred stories and liturgy, we call ‘Ordinary Time’ the ‘great green growing weeks’.  A time for embedding what we have learnt and deepening our faith, so that when we reach our next festival we are ready to rejoice and embrace the celebrations.  So, I wonder, in our busy, busy lives, when are your ‘great green growing weeks’?

Do you have a time that feeds and sustains you for all that life has to offer?  Sometimes it can be something we do every day – maybe a hobby, a walk or a trip to the gym.  Sometimes it can be our holidays. If we are lucky, 2 weeks spent in the sun, or having adventures that will sustain us for the rest of the year.

One of my ‘great green growing weeks’ is when I go on retreat.  I try to go once a year for a few days.  Some time away from the busyness of life in ministry, time to turn off the mobile phone and ignore the call of the Internet.  A time to spend just ‘being’ instead of ‘doing’.  A time to spend recharging the batteries in God’s presence.

So, my prayer for you this summer, is that you make the most of your ‘great green growing time’, whether that is a special time or a special place to make time for you and for God.  Let the peace that comes from time to be a ‘human being’ rather than a ‘human doing’, sustain you, recharge your batteries and nurture you for the seasons to come.

With love and prayers

Ali