Newsletter (February 2017)

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Newsletter for February 2017 from Settle Vicarage

Dear Friends,

Last month I ended this letter by writing 'Will you come with me as we try to live as the people of God, walking untried paths, sailing uncharted seas?' I wrote of the need to find new ways of working, and especially of loving generously, not in our own strength, but in that of the God whose nature is love. It was good to know at least someone took seriously what I wrote, as they asked 'But how? What are you asking us to do?' Well, here is the manifesto.
We have the rest of this month before Lent is upon us to prepare and take stock,  ensure we know our destination and direction of travel if not all of the exact route. Through Lent we will be paying attention to our own spiritual health as we prepare to celebrate afresh the mystery and glory of the core of our faith: Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead. See elsewhere for information on that.
As we enter the Easter season we will be putting into action plans that have grown out of our Lent journey, as we seek to be the Body of Christ, a blessing to one another and to our communities, in the power of the Spirit through whom we are blessed with all we need.
'Yes, but what should I actually do?' I imagine being asked. Well,

Pray with earnest intent. A few of us of different denominations have been meeting for months now on the first Monday of the month at 7.30 in Settle Church for an hour or so to pray for our communities and the churches which serve them. Not everyone can be there, but we now have a weekly prayer diary which is available to all and in which I invite you to share.

Love in the power of God. Our 'Away Time' gave us a message that when God's love is felt and at work in our church communities (The Father's House full of the Father's love) those who have left (the Prodigals) will return. It is so easy to become self- rather than outward-focused in our actions. Let us think what love looks like and pursue that. Which leads to…

Encourage and support all who are working for the Kingdom. Churches are communities full of human beings with limitations of self confidence, physical and emotional energy and personal health issues. Only in the power of God's love can we overcome personal likes and dislikes, jealousies and much more, and we need one another to make that possible. The absolute certainty of God's love for us can help, for if God loves us then we MUST love one another. Let 1Corinthians:13 be our core text for a while and see where that leads us.        Love from Hilary


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