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Vicar's Letter for this month

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Dear Friends,

One of the great joys of recent months has been the gradual re-gathering of our church community – welcoming back some people who haven’t worshipped with us ‘in person’ since the first lockdown. Some we have seen on Zoom, but that has not been possible for everyone. It has been wonderful to see so many familiar faces back in church. I like to think of it as a family reunion, which is just what it is, of course!

We have all been experiencing special reunions since lockdown – getting together at last with those who we haven’t been able to see (other than virtually, or at a distance) for so long. Long months of lockdown have made us appreciate those family members and friends we so easily take for granted in ‘normal’ times.

I have really missed seeing all of you on Sunday mornings! – the ‘buzz’ and chatter before and after services, the rousing singing we enjoy together, our shared worship and fellowship. Yes, many of us have been able to share worship via Zoom, or share other on-line services on offer; but nothing quite compares with God’s people gathering together on the Lord’s Day, around the Lord’s Table, to worship, to be fed by both Word and Sacrament, and to be sent out again as the Body of Christ to serve God in our daily lives.

This re-gathering should feel like a family reunion. Through our baptism, we become part of the Body of Christ, the family of the Church. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, travelling together on the journey of faith; we need one another! As with our own families, we don’t choose one another; we may be very different from each other, yet we are drawn together by our baptism and our faith in Jesus Christ.

I know that I can’t keep going on the glorious adventure of following Christ without the Church, and particularly without all of you, my church family in Cox Green. I need to walk with others on the journey, to be encouraged and challenged, to share the joyful times and the tough times, to support one another – isn’t that what families do?

You will have heard the story about the old man who hadn’t been in church in a long while. His Vicar went to visit him to see how he was. The old man was someone of few words, and they found themselves sitting companionably together in front of the log fire. In time, the roaring fire died down and the two men watched the glowing embers. One of the embers rolled off the fire and they watched as the glowing coal turned cold. Then, slowly, the Vicar took the tongs, picked up the coal and put it back amongst the glowing embers of the fire. Both watched in silence as the coal gradually warmed up and caught light again. The old man said, ‘Ok, Vicar. I’ll be back on Sunday!’

Looking forward to continued re-gathering and welcoming more people back, including our young families, in September.

With my love and prayers,

Joan