Vicar's Letter

VERSE OF 2017:

 

“Christ in you, the hope of glory!”

 

Colossians 1:27b

(New International Version)

 

Dear Friends,

 

‘Summertime and the living is easy.’ George Gershwin’s words could be aptly applied to August, when many of us take holiday. It’s a month to focus on summertime: family time and barbeques; the beach and ice cream; long days with no school! It is time to wind down from the frenetic pace of our normal routines. However, while summer is a season, it is also a state of mind. How can we walk by faith in the summers or good times of our spiritual lives?

 

Summer Distinctives: When we go through times of sickness, financial pressure, difficult relationships and other problems, we more easily focus on God. In a spiritual summer season, we can subtly find ourselves enjoying the gifts without acknowledging the Giver! The greatest danger in the summertime season of life is to forget who is responsible for the good life that we are enjoying.

 

Summer Distractions: Our normal routine revolves around clocks and calendars, but we can easily get distracted when we break these disciplined routines. In the spiritual summer seasons of life, there is a temptation to miss out on our regular times with God in Bible reading and prayer! Things that make summer seasons enjoyable can also become big distractions.

 

Summer Directives: How can we make the most of this summer season and keep focused on God? We need to maintain a gratitude attitude: thankful to God for all His blessings to us. So, stay close and stay grateful to God in this summer season of life!

 

A couple of other things this month

 

(1)         Churches around Romsey Deanery are being encouraged to ask their local population what they think about their local church, and what they want their local church to do for them. For better future planning, we want to know what our local community really thinks about its churches. People have till just 16th August to respond.  This is an occasion when we’re particularly interested in the views of those who DON’T attend church regularly!  But it may well be that you can help to spread the word about this.  Encourage people to look at Sue’s letter in the August Village News, if they live in Nursling and Rownhams.  We really want people if possible to do the online survey (www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/yourlocalchurch ) as it makes much less admin for the Deanery team who will be analysing the results.  But we also have lots of paper copies of the questionnaire. Please pick up as many as you want from either church, or contact the Parish Office on 8073 8293, or email office.twinspires@gmail.com.  You might find that asking non-church friends to do the survey is a good conversation-opener about faith.

 

Do we have people who might approach local pubs, clubs, parent and toddler groups, local shops, doctors’ surgeries, etc., with copies of the survey for users to fill in, and would you be willing to collect the results in again by 16th August?

 

As Tim our Area Dean says: “Throughout much of the ministry of Jesus, he would always ask questions. He would listen first, and let people say what was on their heart and mind. He would then speak into those situations so that he could meet their needs appropriately. So in a similar, way, this is a listening exercise, to hear what our communities and the Spirit is saying to the churches.”

 

(2)         Please pray for our children’s Holiday Club (29th-31st August, St John’s Church), for all who are going to be working hard, and for all the children, and their families too.

 

Yours truly,

Julian