July 2020

Sunday, 28 June 2020 10:55 Be the first to comment!

"Lockdown, Changes and The Fellside Focus Magazine ...."

Dear Friends,

It’s been very strange times for us all with so much of what take for granted suddenly stopped; add to that a whole new raft of things we’ve had to take on to keep ourselves and each other as safe as can be – not that we can eliminate risk altogether; and there have been those medics and care workers, those who have kept our essentials running and those caring for friend and neighbour who have all contributed to making things work notwithstanding the virus. It’s been impressive.

From the church’s perspective we’ve had to suspend services and all our other activities while discovering new ways to keep in touch though phone calls, email, WhatsApp and the postman. Even as I write, we are still waiting to find out how re-opening for private prayer and later for services is going to look like – we’ll do our best to keep you posted.

Since before this all blew up we’d been planning towards this new Fellside magazine. Though its start has been delayed, with many of our normal things still on hold, we thought it would be good to get it underway with this edition which we wanted to use to celebrate some of the stuff that has been going on around the Team during lockdown.

We hope you enjoy!

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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