At the start of a new year it is natural to look ahead and wonder what the new year will bring. We may have some plans that we are looking forward to seeing come to fruition. There may be some things that we’re less certain of, but are hoping for. Equally, there may be some things ahead that scare us, or possibilities about which we worry.
The truth is that none of us know exactly how the future will unfold. We have to deal with what we know today and how we can best love God and each other within that.
Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, reminds us how we should respond to our uncertainties.
‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.’
These are words that are worth remembering as we think about our own futures, the future of our nation, and the future of our church.
January marks some major changes for me personally and, linked with that for Christ Church. On Sunday 13th, I will be licensed as Priest-in-Charge of St John the Baptist, Purbrook. The service begins at 10am, and so there will be no 10.30 service at Christ Church that day.
From that date I will be leading both churches. Obviously I can’t be in two places at once. We’re fortunate to have Revd Tyrone Hillary as part of our church and he has offered assistance. Plans are in place to grow the team further, but for a while we will be dependent on external support for our services.
A few days after the licensing Jacqui and I will move into the Vicarage at Purbrook. This will be a personal change for us, although having spent ten months living in Denmead, Purbrook will seem very close to Christ Church.
One impact on Christ Church is that the postal address of the church will need to change (as all post for the church is received at the Vicarage).
There will be other changes for us to get used to, some of which I won’t have foreseen. Change should always be part of our journey. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that God is constantly changing us, moulding us, shaping us, like clay in the hands of the potter.
‘Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.’ (Isaiah 64:8)
The irony here is that the one who never changes is constantly changing us; not on a whim or of fickle mindedness, but out of a desire to bring us closer to Him. Through 2019, may we be ready to change and be changed.
Church Contact Details
From 16th January, the contact details for Revd Andy & Mrs Jacqui Wilson, and therefore the principal contact details for Christ Church Portsdown, will be:
9 Marrels Wood Gardens
Andy & Jacqui’s mobile numbers remain unchanged.