June 2019

Friday, 17 May 2019 12:40 Be the first to comment!

"Welcome Susan ....."

Dear Friends,

It is with real joy that we look forward to Susan Salt’s arrival with us in the Team. These past months she’s been disengaging from her previous career as a Consultant in Palliative Medicine and Medical Director of Trinity Hospice in Blackpool. She has been moving house with Neil and the family to the new Vicarage in Grimsargh where Neil is Vicar, and she has been finishing her theological training, something she’s been doing alongside the day job. And now she is preparing to join us as a Curate.

New people to meet, a new job to take on board, on-going training to be undertaken, and a whole new community to understand. I found that daunting when I began as a Curate and I only had one parish with which to cope. Susan has all that to handle and five parishes, five churches, five schools and ............ it’s a lot to take on board and for us to help her to get to grips with.

Susan will bring many gifts to the Team, new perspectives and new ideas, but we have to allow her time to get to know us, and time to explore and develop her gifts and her ministry. Over the next 4 years, providing Susan with good training experiences and opportunities for ministry will be one of the most import things that we do as a Team, and it is something to which we all have a contribution to make.

Make Susan welcome; enjoy the new dynamics she will bring to the Team; bear with her when things don’t go as well as she would hope; encourage her in all the positives she will bring and create; and let these years be ones which set her up well for her future ministry.

So let that all begin as we continue to pray for her in these last weeks of preparation; as we support her at her Ordination at Blackburn Cathedral on Saturday 29th June at 10.30am; and in our Fellside Welcome Service at St Mary’s Goosnargh, on Sunday 30th at 3.00pm.

God Bless,
Rev’d Stephen Cooper

Dear Friends,

The moment when we acknowledge the presence and reality of God – that he is the creator and we are his beloved creation – we open up a whole new set of questions: If God is God, then what does that mean for me? How do I live in relationship with God? What is God’s will for me? Of course, these are questions not easily answered.

A good number of years ago a friend of mine was wondering whether God might be calling him to ordained ministry, and asked me what I thought? My reply was twofold. Firstly, to pray for the idea to go away – if it was of God, then it wouldn’t go away, whereas if it was of him it would soon pass. Second, he that was too good a Christian to be wasted on ordained ministry – there would be much more important things for him to do for the Kingdom of God.

As it turned out, the idea went away and instead he went to the US to do post-graduate studies. Now he’s a professor of theology in a US university where he teaches hundreds of students each year to think about the God questions in the complexities of the modern world – a much more important role for the Kingdom of God than being a Vicar!

So what might the will of God be for you? for me? A couple of years ago we did a course called ‘Life on the Frontline’. The premise of the course was that everyone is on the frontline of the Kingdom of God, whether at home, down the pub, at work, with the children or grand-children, at the gym, with our friends, or wherever. First and foremost, where we are is where we’re called to be the Body of Christ, his presence in the world. Though it may change as we journey with God, where we are now is where God is calling us to be his people, on the frontline of the Kingdom of God – for now this is his will for us, each one of us.

It is tempting to put the idea of special ministries on a pedestal, vicars and the like, as something to be looked up to. The truth of the matter is that our first calling, above all others, is to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus. Living that out is always the will of god for us.

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