Published by Paul Wicks on Fri, 23 Apr 2021 13:31

Vicars/ Wardens Report from October 2020

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

This is the passage that we have pondered and reflected on before many a meeting over the last few months. 

What has struck me is that we find Jesus on a cushion asleep in the eye of the storm, I have regularly found myself asking during this Covid storm for Jesus to be our peace. 

Before describing and commenting on the journey of the Church from October 2020 until now, I have to start with grateful thanks to everyone that has joined in on the way. For whatever you have done, or said to encourage and support us, we as Wardens are so thankful. We thank God for you all.  Jo Tatum especially has given her time, has committed to preaching twice a month.  Her perspective and support has been life giving to both of us as Wardens and the Standing team and the Church, thank you Jo.

We were fortunate to be able to run 9am services in Church until Christmas, under an organised team, who created a Covid secure place to come and worship and take Communion.

The journey through Advent to Christmas saw a wide and varied team of people creating areas of engagement and excitement to share the Joy and Comfort of the Christmas Season. Behind all of it lay the ever changing landscape of Covid, and our obligation to track a path that was secure for our Church communities.

January 6th saw the third lockdown hit us, and this was perhaps one of the hardest, coming as it did during the weeks of winter. It was cold and dark, and yet the light of Jesus shone through the cracks; there hope in the form of a vaccine, and through the regular meeting together of our online services. And through people taking up leadership, exploring and experimenting with what we could do next.

We ventured into another round of Vicar interviews, engaging with technology as we used Microsoft Teams for the first round. This was all very helpful and something which I think has helped us hone and refine our thoughts on what we need for the next Vicar of Wilford. We go to the Mark passage and although it seems like a storm, Jesus is that Peace, he has gone before us and prepared the way, we will have a new Vicar, we are just not sure of the time frame, as that is up to God!

Easter plans were made after we had taken time to reflect on our Christmas Services and connections. Patterns were noticed. Where did we most see the energy? That excitement and connection with our communities within our lives and Parish?

As a PCC we are now asking ourselves those sorts of questions as we move out of lockdown:

What has surprised you during this last year?

Where have you seen energy and passion?

Where have you seen God at work?

Where have you seen challenges?

Where have you been discouraged?

Perhaps you too want to reflect on these things too?  As we move to a time where we will be able to meet up and see people, have services in Church, and step out into a brighter day, please be mindful that everyone will have had a different experience. Lockdown had bought a mix of pain, joy, grief comfort, sorrow and hope. 

 Let us hold each other in prayer, journey together, and remember Jesus always wants to offer Peace in the Storm.

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