July is a time of endings, for those with children at school, it is the end of the school year. Changes happen as children move classes, schools or even, after taking exams leave school all together and step out on the next stage in their lives.
In church life, July signifies the coming of the summer time and a change in services as we move to Family Church Celebrations for the duration of the summer holidays. These times of ‘doing church differently’ give us a chance to worship together, to grow together and to have time together.
This year we will be taking a special Sunday to ‘do church’ very differently – On the 12th August we will be meeting at 12 midday at Abbey Gardens, instead of having a morning service we will meet together (bring a deckchair) chat, walk, share some food and enjoy each other’s company for as long as people want to stay. Please put the date in your diary. More details closer to the time.
By the time we are in September the interior of our church building will hopefully be taking shape again. There has been a huge amount of work going on so far, mainly ripping everything out, but as I write this message some preparation work is starting to put in the new floor. At the church meeting in July we hope to be able to show you some photos of what has happened so far.
Of course one of the biggest changes for us as a church and for me personally, will be Paul leaving us. As I am sure you are all aware, Paul Goodliff is leaving us in July to go and become the General Secretary of Churches Together in England. As a church we will miss him, his expertise, experience and wisdom have been greatly appreciated by us all. I have to say on a personal note how much I have appreciated Paul’s friendship and his wisdom as we have pastored the church together.
Please pray for Paul as he starts a big job, but also pray for the leadership team as we seek God’s will for the future and start to consider how we replace Paul. (if that’s possible!)
So over the next couple of months as we enjoy this summer time take a moment to thank God for all that he has done so far this year, and let’s pray with expectation for the rest of 2018!