View from the Vicarage (August 2018)
We are what we eat and need to exercise we are told- keep moving vigorously for just 20 minutes a day, and the discipline will keep us alert in mind and fit in body. We all know that practice is needed if we are to maximise our potential and make full use of our giftings. Practice and self- discipline help us grow in body, mind and spirit. That’s why Jesus often went off to pray on his own, to refocus on God. Practice nurtures our spiritual growth. Forgiveness, patience, generosity of spirit, sharing peace all need work if they are to become an integral part of our being, and are so important in helping one another through the good times and the bad.
Prayer is a bit like the protein in our spiritual nourishment, the bodybuilding part of our diet. Regular practice makes us spiritually stronger to stand up to temptation; to stand up against what’s wrong in the world. If we feel overwhelmed by problems that surround us, sharing with and listening to God always helps. God wants to share with us and helps sustain us through good times and bad. The more we pray the stronger we can be, through God’s amazing grace. That’s why we pray daily in our churches for individuals in need, our church community and the world. Collective prayer is immensely powerful.
Reading and study is like the fibre in our spiritual lives. Without fibre we clog up inside and can’t function properly. The Bible isn’t always easy to understand or interpret for our own context here today, but exploring scripture is one way of getting to know how people have seen God acting in our world through the ages to help inform us for our life journey.
Our worship and activities are the spiritual carbohydrate. We encourage one another when we share together. But the Spirit is the real life giver, our spiritual vitamins. Living a life of love and generosity is as essential to our spiritual health as vitamins are to the health of our bodies. We all have different gifts and different callings, but the same Spirit nourishes each of us inspiring us to use our gifts more fully.
So as we approach the new school year, why not try something new? There are lots of activities going on in our communities- there’s something for everyone. And as our church communities work out how we are going to fund all that we offer, perhaps it’s a good time for us all to review our outward giving. Did you know that it costs our parish £334 every day to keep our beautiful churches open and active? Could you give a regular small (or not so small!) sum to help support the work that we do? The Parish Giving Scheme is an easy way to sign up to regular giving- there are forms in each church and in the Parish Office, or do contact Richard Wilkinson, our Gift Aid Secretary, for more information. Do please consider supporting your churches in this way so we can continue to serve our communities as an individual parish, reaching out to those in need.