Ministers’ Page

From Rev. Anna Bishop

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Many of you are aware that this Connexional year I have committed to a theme of gratitude for devotions at all the meetings we hold in the life of our church community. Before we begin the business of each meeting, we take time to reflect  on the things we are grateful for in our own lives and in the life of this church. And it is extraordinary how, in spite of the testing times we are living through, we are
discovering so much to be grateful for.

When we welcomed the Rev’d Dr Tim Macquiban to lead worship for our church anniversary, it was such a delight to hear him say how “vibrant” he found our church life, both in worship and in service. As a gifted musician himself, it was especially lovely to hear him praise the quality of our music and singing group.

And it’s true: we are a church that puts its heart and soul into its worship. We are a church that delights in God’s love for us, is brimful of love for one another, and overflowing with love for the world. We are also so thankful that this loving way of life is attractive to others, as we have welcomed new members of the congregation over the past year and delighted in the gifts they are bringing. And with the same
generosity and thankfulness, I know that SMc will welcome Mark, Mariet and Nathanael when they join us in September, and we look forward to getting to know them.

For gratitude creates what we might think of as a ‘circular economy’: the more we notice all the goodness and creativity in our church, the more we are thankful; the more thankful we are, the more we love God and others; the more we love, the more we long to offer ourselves and all that we are to God and to others; the more we give our gifts, the more the vitality of the community grows. And so on…

And so Christmas can be a source of new energy. There will be much joy in the giving and receiving of gifts, and our hearts will be opened to one another. And in the birth of Christ we receive not only the gift of God made touchable and knowable, but a Saviour who is self-giving itself, and who, in love, transforms us into his likeness.

So when we come to renew our Covenant in the new year, I pray that we will be filled with reinvigorated commitment to ‘Our Calling’ (worship, learning and caring, service and evangelism) and fresh vision to discern how we respond to God’s calling at SMc.
But first, may you each know the intimate and intimate love of God, born in your hearts and in your homes this Christmas.

With love,
Anna.