This week's letter has been written by John Patterson - one of our Licensed Lay Ministers. He writes:
Dear Church Family,
This Sunday I will be talking about focusing on our faith. I don’t know about you, but during this period of “unusual” times, I have found it increasingly hard to focus on my faith. The saying “You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian” has made me think and I believe that for many of us WE DO HAVE TO GO TO CHURCH TO BE A CHRISTIAN - or at least help us maintain a strong faith.
Worshipping together and fellowship with our church family really does help us to build on our faith. Thankfully, starting on Sunday 2nd August we have been able to open St. Peter’s church to a wider congregation and also All Saints' Church on Wednesdays. As mentioned by Father Andy, this pattern of worship will continue throughout August, so let us take full advantage of this opportunity.
So how can we focus on our faith? This Sunday’s Gospel reading from Matthew 14 v.22-33 tells us that whilst Peter focussed his faith on Jesus he was able to walk on water, but when he took his eyes off Jesus and let his faith lose focus, he began to sink. And there are many stories in the bible where focussing on faith has achieved remarkable results. Like the stories in the bible, we all have our own stories to tell and no matter where we are on our journey of life, there is a plan and a purpose to what we experience. It is clear that if we don’t include Jesus in our daily lives, if we try to do things on our own, then we are more likely to fail.
Many of us struggle with so many things and many of us are being weighed down by the trials of life. Every time you listen to the news or read the newspaper there are more tales of businesses closing down and people losing their jobs? The uncertainty of whether or not the schools will reopen in September and so on.
Instead of sitting down and worrying about all these issues, perhaps we should, first of all, sit down and pray and take comfort in knowing we are not alone. We so often dwell on negative thoughts and let them simmer in our minds instead of seeking out God. The best antidote for worry is worship and prayer.
Developing our prayer life and speaking to the Lord throughout our day will really help us to be more focused on Him. Whether it is little things or big things that we are concerned about, we can come to the Lord with anything and we should make him our first port of call.
August is usually a time for holidays, especially for those of you who have children still attending school. Maybe you already have a holiday booked and are obligated to go, or maybe you are seeking a time of vacation in Britain. Or perhaps you are taking days out, or staying at home and enjoying the sunshine in your garden, or local park and open spaces. Whatever we are doing let us include Jesus in our daily life and focus on our faith.
God’s blessing to you all,