One of the reasons I felt called to serve in Hutton was down to the placement of both churches within the community. Hutton, in some ways, has no obvious “centre” and yet St Peters’ location on the main road is a gift. It gives us great opportunities to think and deliver something creative for the parish in which the church can become a hub where local people are served with the love of Jesus Christ. All Saints Church, with its almost rural setting and long history, is a place of deep spiritual refreshment, where the busyness of life can be laid down, even just for a brief while. A place to pray, to sit and to reflect. A “thin” place where God can be encountered amidst busy lives.
Over the time I have had in church ministry, I have tried to ensure that my Christian walk is one that has balance. We’ve found it helpful to give this some shape by looking at our lives in three dimensions: UP, IN and OUT.
UP – are we spending enough time with God our Father? How and when are we praying, studying the Bible and worshipping? How often are we receiving Holy Communion? All of these things are essential to deepen our relationship with God.
IN – How do we prioritise time with our Christian family and other important friendships and relationships? How often do we share meals with others? Do we stay after church on a Sunday for a coffee? Who do we pray and build Christian friendship with? We all need each other as each of us brings different gifts to the Body of Christ and our friendship will extend to others.
OUT – Who are we serving outside of the church? Who knows that we are Christians and do they see it making a difference in our lives? Where is the Gospel being shared in our daily lives?
As Autumn progresses, I would like us all to start thinking about what UP, IN and OUT look like in our individual lives and as a church community. What is God calling our parish to do and to be? How can we share the love of God with the people of Hutton? How can we deepen our own relationships with each other and with Jesus? What gifts has God given us to use?
We have a number of situations within the church that need our consideration as we take next steps in serving God in the parish over the second half of 2017.
We are looking to grow and develop our Sunday Children’s work team at St Peter’s. Might you be able to offer to help lead or assist in the Children's Church or Crèche once a month? Can you bless our parents and children with some of your time to make their Sunday mornings easier and fun?
St Peter’s has just had a new boiler! The building is such an important part of our ministry that it was vital we got this sorted before the cold weather arrives. The hall brings in much needed revenue and without a warm place to meet and worship we would struggle to be up to much as the people of God in Hutton. The work wasn't cheap and we now are looking further improvements to the building - namely the toilets and some of the decor. Can you help the church financially for this specific purpose? Even just a small gift will help to ease the financial outlay. If you feel that you can assist then please contact Dawn Shaxon in the Parish Office for more details.
Whilst our buildings are a great asset, I am keen that we find other spaces and creative ways to gather together. We are much more than just a group of people who share Sunday mornings services! Are you able to offer hospitality in your home or act as a convenor for something which draws others together? Please pray and consider how we might together build community, being creative with our time and relationships. The possibilities are endless: a few gathering to run together, parents and kids weekend breakfasts, parish walks and picnics, watching sports together, open table dinners, musical gatherings….
Hebrews 13: 1-2 encourages that we “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” And as the chapter closes, verse 21 reminds us that God will “equip you with everything good for doing his will.”
This is my prayer for our parish in this new season: That we would grow together in love, offering welcome and love to all, trusting that God has given us all we need to live as he has called us.
Please do feel free to contact me about anything in this post or indeed, if you would like to discuss or pray about anything else. The Rectory phone number is 01277 514896 or you can email me: email@example.com
See you around!