For the first time in a while, we were able to meet face to face as a Parish Pastoral Council this week. For me, it was one of those moments where you really have to step back and look at the magnitude and shift that has taken place in our lives and our work. It was also a moment where the importance of the community we have shines out as a key to everything we are and do
The gathering was not primarily about looking back but looking forward. Time passes. We really need to listen to the pulse of the times, but the uncertainty that this brings cannot cause us to simply standstill.
There is a lot going on around us. COP26 will be with us shortly (watch out for ways to be involved – CAFOD are inviting to a petition for example – we will be praying during mass for this event too). In the Church the Pope is inviting to a Synodal process, discerning on a wider scale the promptings of the Holy Spirit who is constantly at work. In the Diocese here we have just entered Stage 4 of Hope in the future where we focus on our outreach and Evangelisation.
Interestingly, over the pandemic, we have grown. We have more people in offices and roles than before. There are still many challenges that we need help with – but progress is real.
Challenging is the continued uncertainty that we face. We talked a lot yesterday about our relationship with Church, the Eucharist, Parish. The challenges of busy-ness – all the other institutions are opening up too – parents being full employed taxi drivers to the multitude of programs they are involved in. More important than ever to make conscious choices – and Fatih and Community should belong high up on the list of priorities as you make decisions as to what to actually invest in.
We continue to discern our way. I hope you are doing well as you make the important decisions moving forward.
Keep an eye on the newsletter – there is lots to look forward to in November – our Adult Formation program looks at what this intro is pondering….
Don’t know about you – but I do have the feeling we are moving toward more normality. There is still some uncertainty in the air as to how things will progress – but on the whole – we seem to be getting there…
The month of September is the month we celebrate the feast of St Vincent – the month to celebrate our Parish life. Traditionally, we have also held our AGM in this month. As we get back to doing more things together I would like to hold our AGM as we did 2 years ago, after Mass on the weekend before the feast of St Vincent on the 27th September…. It will take about 15 minutes…
The AGM will be after Mass on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September – we will give you a brief report on what has gone on over the last year and a half. We will need to take time to share and catch up with one another after so much has happened, and we have not had the opportunities we have had now… The AGM will be the start of that process…
We are in a fantastic position. We are still here after a long absence, our community strengthened with the experiences that have shaped us the past 18 months.
We have the chance to start again with a blank slate. Not only that, but we have made new and different experiences over the pandemic that can stand us in good stead moving forward.
What do we want to get back to?
What would we like to be different?
What are new ways can we be community from now on?
With the reports, we will be letting you know about a couple of projects that are coming up on the horizon….
You are welcome to share your thoughts and impressions looking forward and looking back. Let’s see where God is guiding us…
Last week saw the resignation of the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. One of the astonishing thing for me was the general consensus – he resigned for breaching social distancing rules. Where I accept that this is true, I still find it difficult.
How focused are we on the rule of man and how much do we integrate the rule of God in our lives, our Church and our society.
Social distancing aside, we were seeing 2 marriages, including 6 children, being broken.
Of course there can be many things in the story that I am not aware of and this is not about judging anyone – just the perspective with which we look at these things as a society.
There has been certain “laws” of the Church put to one side for the time of the pandemic. The Bishops removed the obligation to attend mass on a Sunday.
When are lives now get busier and things open up – what dose it mean to us to be “obliged” to be a part of the Eucharistic community of the Chruch.
Dose the Church and my community come in 1st or last place – perhaps in between.
Going to be important how we look at things as we move forward.
It is time to get ready. Lent could be a new beginning more than ever before…
I don’t know how you are doing under the recent set of restrictions, I personally am finding this time a kind of stalemate – we are not at the beginning – but not quite at the end either. But I do think there is something to be said for starting to prepare for the end…. That is what Lent and Easter are all about…. There are many things we really want to put behind us. There are also many lessons to be learned and ground to be re-conquered. We have a chance… Lent.
Let’s do something positive We will be doing our bit from Church to bring Lent and Easter to you as best we can.
Tuesdays, we will have our **Adult Formation Zooms**. I think the theme will be around St Joseph, (we are celebrating the year of Joseph and March is the month of his feast day).
As always in Lent we will pray the Stations of the Cross on Thursdays. That celebration will also be online – so you can watch from the comfort of your home.
Our Sunday and daily Masses will take on the theme of St Joseph.
Our children should watch out for the Children’s Liturgy Zoom and the Children’s Stations that are coming up.
A Lent to remember The above is what we are offering. Be conscious in your own preparations for this time of the year, it could be the best preparation for coming out of restrictions – and into a new life for our Church – that you could make. – Do something daily Mass is available online as well as there being many prayer and meditation programs in books and apps and online. Choose something to do – even if it revolves around simply making the Sign of the Cross. – Do something Weekly Go to Sunday Mass or make a little pilgrimage on foot. There are lots of offerings online for conferences and inspiration – why not hook up with a Lenten Buddy and have a time sharing your Lenten experiences. – One off Look for an opportunity to take part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If your Churches are closed – or you are not going out as you are being careful – visit the Blessed Sacrament for a time of Adoration.
Do share what you are doing yourself and in your family. What you share might inspire others!
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