As I look out over Vicarage Lane at a bank of cheerful daffodils and crocuses that some other family have planted for me to enjoy, I feel that spring is in the air!
We have just returned from a week’s holiday feeling refreshed and encouraged to join the second week of the Lent course at St John’s. We have been using some material called ‘Transformed by Jesus’ and we had a good turn out last week in the evening and a smallish, but thoughtful, group in the morning. Do join us, each session is stand alone and we would love to see you. Today I just led the morning session at St Paul’s called ‘Waiting for Jesus’!
On my return I have been reflecting on the Hope for Hyndburn mission. We were able to host five girls in the Vicarage (although we were away for most of the week!) and I was able to join the students for the Youth Event on the Thursday evening and then the Friday morning talking to shoppers in the town centre and then some communication training with Tony Vino in the afternoon, watching him perform in the evening for the final comedy night – I laughed ‘til I cried. This week we launch a three-part follow up course for those who are interested in faith called Hope Explored on Thursday evenings in the Town Hall. Do join us!
As we move towards Easter a group of us are meeting to plan how we might encourage prayer in our churches as part of the prayer initiative launched by Archbishop Justin a few years ago – Thy Kingdom come: ten days of prayer between Ascension day and Pentecost. One idea we have is to create a prayer room for 24 hours of prayer. Two people have already signed up for the graveyard slots! I love to pray and believe as we seek to find ways to encourage people back to church that it will be prayer that will break up the dry ground, so that the seeds of the Spirit will germinate in people’s lives.
Finally, we are very nearly at the end of the month of consultation before we become a single parish; very exciting. We are looking at logos, our website and creating sub-groups of the PCC for prayer, fabric, outreach, finance, pastoral care, etc. If you are interested to join a sub-group, do let us know, you don’t need to be on PCC. This last week I met with Steve Heskett from the Parish Renewal Programme, who is going to help us to find ways to improve our buildings and finances. We are also exploring the ‘Parish Giving Scheme’ with John Massey, our treasurer. Do pray for both of these important meetings.
As we journey through Lent, let us hold firmly to the hope set before us. Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again, so that we might know him and receive his gift of eternal life. Life in all its fullness is available for all and it can start right now. Please be praying about who you can ask to our Easter services – full details are in the magazine.
I pray that God will bless you on your Lenten journey towards Easter, Amanda