June promises to be a rather strange – not to say very busy month….
Of course we have the General Election looming large at the beginning of the month and while I will always encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote, I cannot help feel rather exasperated by the infighting to which it seems all our main political parties are prone!
And there is the wider topic – much in the news at present of Fake News. What can we believe in what we read in our media or see on our screens?
Then again – in the season of Easter in which I am writing this, how did those early Christians overcome the accusations that were levelled against them of spreading “fake news” when they insisted that Jesus had risen from the dead? I am sure there were plenty of sceptics around then – as now – insisting that they were making it all up. And yet, well over 2000 years later, the rumour of God refuses to go away! That in itself is enough to persuade me that the Gospel is not “Fake” in any sense of the word, and is something we should be proud to proclaim –‘ afresh for each generation’ as it says whenever someone is ordained.
Undertaking God’s Mission in the world is more than simply preaching however – if that were the case, I doubt the church would have survived twenty years, let alone 2000! Mission is also about the church acting out in the world, making God’s love for his world manifest in practical ways.
I am writing this just after our first “Who’s for lunch” which got off to a splendid start in May and will I am sure continue to grow and develop as word spreads. Mission in action.
The food and organisation were great, but what mattered far more was the buzz of lively chatter as people met and enjoyed being with each other. Putting into practice the principle we believe in at St Chad’s church, that ours is not just a friendly church (although I think it is!) but that we want to make it a church where people can make and sustain friendships. And in case anyone is in doubt, this is a deeply theological matter – the God in which we believe is a God of relationship. A Holy Trinity, one in constant communication, Father, Son and Holy Spirit – giving us a model to follow in which we know we are social beings and thrive best when we can be in society, one with another.
And on the subject of society – I have to play my part in civic life this month, not merely by voting in the election, but by serving on a jury at the Crown Court. So if I am a bit difficult to contact this month (more difficult that usual!) please be patient and if you are a praying person, please pray for me and for my fellow jurors and those whose cases we may be examining in June. Which kind of brings me back to the problem of discerning what is true and what is false?
One thing that I can be sure of is that our partner church, St Alban’s in Wednesfield is celebrating its 50th anniversary on 11th June. There will be a special service at 10am that day with the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt. Revd. Dr. Michael Ipgrave presiding and preaching, and the Mayor of Wolverhampton in attendance. We hope that some of our congregation will be able to go and share in their joy on this day. Alleluia!
And I am sure that the village will be much engaged with the preparations for the Fete on 1st July, not to mention the Scarecrows in September… like I said, a busy time!