LiFT 23rd May

Good evening friends,

Those of you whom I have seen over the last few days will know that I am back from retreat, refreshed and energised, having spent a very very quiet week reading and praying. Thank you to the rest of the team for making sure that everything carried on smoothly. How lucky we are to have so many good people in our midst.

The Leading Your Church Into Growth team met this week to put together the details for our first session. We are really looking forward to welcoming you to the hall at Llanfair Kilgeddin for the start of these special times. In them we will explore the sorts of things that will help our local communities engage more deeply and widely with our churches. So many people rightly know that the church belongs to everyone, so let’s find ways of helping them want to be active in that sense of belonging. Our first session is on Tuesday 4th June at 7pm. You don’t need to bring anything with you, just a willingness to join in and give it a go. If you’ve already decided to come, I’m delighted. if you are not sure it’s for you, please please come along, just to the first one. How will you know if you don’t give it a try? It would be such a shame if you heard afterwards that it was brilliant! (Which it will be!!)

One of the books I read on my retreat was called Subversive Sabbath by A .J. Swoboda. It was a bit repetitive if I’m truthful, but the gist of it was about we get it all wrong when we work hard to earn our rest time. We should instead rest, in order to then have energy for the things that need doing. In reality that may not look very different, but the way we think about rest – it is a right, not a privilege – is critical. it certainly got me thinking. I know in the past I’ve challenged some of you to think about whether you ever take time off from church? Because we all should. it’s not about taking time from God, but actually setting aside time when we actively decide not to do the work of the church, and instead allow ourselves to rest in God. The author argued that it is in our rest time that God can work in us, so we must offer that time to Him.

The part of the book that really hit home for me was the observation that God made people on the sixth day. And what was the seventh day? Well it wasn’t a day when those people were asked to get on with the tasks before them, to work, to get busy. Exactly the opposite was God’s first full day for them – they were made on the sixth day, and then were invited, or counselled, to rest on the seventh! Now however you might choose to understand the story of creation, we cannot change the narrative that the first thing we are told that God asked of the people, was that they rested. So I leave that thought with you, because it’s a biggie! 

Please let me know if you have any prayer needs, or there is anything else on your mind, and I hope and pray that you will have a good Bank Holidy weekend, how ever you choose to spend it. 

With my love,

Sally xxx

Please note that Friday is usually my rest day. Emails received on Friday may not be responded to until after the weekend. Thank you for your understanding.