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Newsletter April 2024

April 2024

Dear Friends,

It seems hardly possible that it is four years since that strange, out-of-routine, away-from-family-and-friends, technology-reliant event called Lockdown began and we found ourselves living with the uncertainty of how long it might be before things would seem normal again.

I suspect we all had peaceful days when we felt content with the simplicity of life; days when we were anxious for ourselves or others known to us; times when we were bitter or angry about the decisions which have been forced upon us by the will of others; times when we felt ourselves drawn closer to God with fewer distractions than usual. These seemed to be universal experiences for everyone – from our humblest neighbours to the biggest celebrities; a reminder that, as a human race, we are all in the same boat, and the usual distinctions and privileges don't cushion us from those most basic reactions to difficult situations.

Those times of limitation and struggle there were also times of preparation and growth. We learned about our wants and needs, about what drives us and what controls us. We learned from experience, had time to think about what to change, and to consider how we might choose a future different from our past.

There are parallels here to the experience of Jesus' disciples after Easter, still barred in for their safety, yet finding hope in the Risen One who sends them to the ends of the earth with good news of grace and joy for all people. In the waiting and the praying, they were working for the coming of the Spirit and a fresh start for the human race.

Perhaps as a society, as a world community and as Christ's Church we are in the same kind of place, caught between fear and hope, waiting for something significant to change, unsure about what that might be and how it may come about. Deep down we know that change is needed. We know from experience that change is inevitable. Like those early disciples, can we wait prayerfully and watch hopefully for a new vision to arise?

Covid reminded us that community is important, that we all need a place to belong and to find and offer support. Covid reminded us that society runs from the bottom up – that the carers and cleaners and service workers are the ones who keep the country moving, rather than the movers and shakers. And Covid reminded us that our individual actions have consequences which we often don't see, that we are the keepers of our brothers and sisters, and their well-being and ours are tied up together.

In a world of threat and danger, wonder and opportunity, the New Testament is full of reminders to be alert, to be considerate, to be generous and to be wise. May the Holy Spirit teach us and guide us in how to be what his Word calls us to be.

Grace and peace,

Dave Bonny

original dave
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