Message from Rev Ruth Midcalf ref 'The Week'
I am so sorry not to have been able to join you this afternoon for what I know will have been the most amazing service – and its not over yet!!
Some of you will know that an accident on Tuesday has left me a little ‘hors de combat and although I made it as far as yesterday morning, a mixture of rest and gentle exercise have had to be the order of the day since then. Hence be reassured I am writing this from a recumbent posture, exercising my fingers! As I have been reminded by today’s events in London, life is a marathon, not a sprint …and some resting now is necessary for all that God is calling me – and us together to do in the future. I have the Order of Service and have been singing and praying alongside you…and my yellow Sunday socks are on too!!
Enforced rest to heal has provided a good opportunity for reflection on what has been a truly amazing week and I’m grateful to David and Maria for allowing this to be read this afternoon. I have spared you the video!!! I know you will be going out with joy shortly to the usual wonderful Emmanuel hospitality – please save me some cake!!…so I hope you will allow me just three brief points of reflection on this week – my three penny worth as David would describe it. All three points revolve around joy.
Firstly, this week has been about the joy of being together and sharing together. It has been such a joy to see so many people involved in so many ways during this week. Whether you have shared in worship, workshops, surgeries, big questions, prayer and praise, or all of the above, thank you for being inspirational. Many have met new people in the sharing, many have commented on how good it has been to share together with those from churches across the Circuit, we have prayed together, asked searching questions together, shared openly with one another -it’s been incredible. To all who have provided hospitality and hosting, sat on panels, or helped in any way to enable this amazing sharing and being. – thank you. But I couldn’t finish this part of reflecting without thanking two people who have been absolutely pivotal.
The first is Marion Young – whose career in logistics is just beginning! Without Marion, so many of the practicalities would simply not have fallen into place…thank you Marion - it wouldn’t have happened without you!.
And the second person is Andrew – who has shaped this week with us from the District and prior to that has spent many hours with me in the planning – so be sure to give him your sympathies before he leaves!! Andrew – for all you have done for us this week – our heartfelt thanks - I look forward to sharing more as we look at next steps together.
So this week has been about the joy of being together and sharing together. Secondly its been about the joy of glimpsing God at work.
God at work in conversations, God at work in new possibilities, God at work in answered prayer, God at work in very, very many wonderful ways.
In the power of the Holy Spirit, conversations have been taking place about possibilities, potential, creativity - and you know at this point I’d be leaping in the air and saying Praise the Lord!! We’ve set aside time to seek God’s way forward and I truly believe that God has honoured that in so very many ways.
And finally, this week has been about the joy of knowing this is only the beginning…the joy of knowing that God has so much more in store for us. Plans are already afoot to get your feedback about the week and for you to receive feedback about it but that all sounds a bit formal. Most importantly friends, let us not lose the momentum, the joy, the passion, the love, the togetherness that we have seen this week. Let’s continue praying for one another, and continue keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus – lets continue seeking God’s way forward and doing so with joy.
Much love to you all and my deepest thanks for the privilege of having been part of ‘The Week’ – the joy of the planning and the joy of the realisation. I’m looking forward to the joy of what follows from this week and all God will do in us and through us.
I’m sure that’s much more than threepennyworth but I’ll close with words of Paul, which I echo in abundance. – I thank my God every time I think of you and every time I pray for you I pray with joy.
Rev. Ruth Midcalf.