‘If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb’. So goes the old saying. We’re supposed to start the month with wintery winds and end with springtime serenity. We’ll see.
What we can be sure of this year is that the start of March coincides with the start of Lent. Ash Wednesday this year falls on 1st March. Lent is an important season of the Christian year. If we want to get the most out of our Easter celebrations then we do well to make the most of Lent.
Some mark Lent by giving something up. The 40 days of Lent echo the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness without eating. So, many Christians (and others) will abstain from some luxury during Lent. Chocolate is a favourite, thus increasing the pleasure of the abundance of chocolate consumed at Easter. Others give up biscuits, alcohol or some other luxury. This can easily become just about ourselves; we want to prove that we can do it or we hope to lose a bit of weight. If you do give something up for Lent, then I encourage you to make it a spiritual exercise. Every time you crave for that which you are denying yourself, then remember the sacrifice that Jesus has made for you, and give him thanks.
You may prefer to take on a discipline for Lent rather than giving up an excess. For some this may be a daily Bible reading or attending one of our Lent Groups, for others it might be a daily act of kindness.
Lent is an opportunity to do something that brings us closer to God, maybe for the first time, or maybe to bring us back to God after we have drifted away. What will you do?
“Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.” (Joel 2:13)
Leading Your Church Into Growth (LYCIG)
Thank you to all who attended the sessions held in church during January and February as we looked at our focus, our plan and our culture. The PCC has scheduled an extra meeting after Easter to consider the issues raised during these sessions and how we move forward. Do please pray that God will lead us and that we will follow faithfully.
Then there will be three further sessions in June and July as we look at our calling, our journey and our heart. More details will be given nearer the time, but for now please do put 7th & 21st June and 5th July in your diaries. We will, as with the first sessions, run duplicate sessions in the afternoons and evenings.
Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM)
The 2017 annual meeting will be held on Wednesday 5th April at 7pm in the church. If you are not currently on the electoral roll, but have been worshipping with us regularly for at least six months (and are baptised and over 16), please fill in a form (available at the back of church) and return it to Graham Olway (our Electoral Roll officer) or to the Vicarage by Sunday 19th March.
At the APCM we will elect two churchwardens, two Deanery Synod members and five PCC members. Do speak to the Vicar or wardens if you are interested in standing for any of these posts.
Revd Andy Wilson
Vicar, Christ Church Portsdown / Joint Area Dean, Havant / Chaplain, Havant & Waterlooville FC / New Wine Network Leader, Portsmouth