Pastoral Letter

 

The February Pastoral Letter from Fr Kevin

My Dear Friends,
In the Chichester Diocese on the 12th January we, along with the other parishes, celebrated the beginning of The Year of Vocation. On that Sunday we recalled not only Christ’s baptism but gave thanks for our own baptism into the life of Christ.
My dear friends,

On that day Jesus began his earthly ministry at the River Jordan, recalling the moment that the Holy Spirit of God descended upon him. At baptism we too received God’s gift of the Holy Spirit to help us in our journey of faith.

Jesus’ baptism was a turning point in his life and our baptism is a turning point in our life too; a new beginning on an amazing journey with God. For God loves us so much and wants to journey with us.

This Year of Vocation is a focus for us to discern what God is calling us to do, both as individuals and as a community of faith. We have been blessed in our lives with different skills and gifts, which are unique to us and we must use them to the glory of God. We have a vocation to pray, to worship, to be and to do for the Lord. Our vocation is to love God and to be a reflection of that love wherever and however we live our lives, and to be witnesses to him in the world.

In the Lent course this year we shall look at vocation in the Old and New Testaments and reflect upon what vocation actually means to us in our daily lives. I do hope you will come along and take part in them. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 6th March.

The Church year is punctuated with various festivals that celebrate the life of Christ. The next great festival takes place on Sunday 3rd of February when we shall celebrate the wonderful feast day of The Presentation of our Lord in the Temple.

The occasion recalls that time when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord in the temple, as was the custom, forty days after his birth. This festival is also called Candlemas and takes one last reflective look upon the crib before we turn towards Lent and the Passion. So as we journey through the year with our Lord, let us celebrate together and seek to deepen our love and vocation in the Lord. 

God of mercy, by whose grace alone we are accepted and equipped for your service: stir up in us the gifts of your Holy Spirit and make us worthy of our calling; that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love and joy and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

With my love and prayers to you all. 

Your Priest and Friend, Fr Kevin

 

PARISH NOTICES:

Stewardship Sunday 10th March 2019

Stewardship Sunday is the day when we review and renew our financial pledges for the coming year. Giving financially is part of our spiritual life, and is the giving back to God, in gratitude, a proportion of all that he has given us. It is good to review our giving each year. Planned Giving is a scheme whereby we prayerfully consider the amount we wish to pledge to God’s church each week or month and is a vital enabler to the mission and ministry of our work together at St Mary’s. If you do not currently contribute through the Planned Giving Scheme then please have a word with either Alan Benstead, Iona Taylor or one of the ministry team. Please pray about your offering as we approach the 10th March. Further details will be in next month’s magazine and weekly sheets.

Church Electoral Roll 2019

Every 6 years the Church Electoral Roll has to be revised.Therefore, this means that if you are on the current Church Electoral Roll you will need to re-apply by signing a new Electoral Roll Form.

Electoral Roll Forms will be available from Sunday 10th February and can be found at the back of church, or obtained from Rosemary Rowett, or the Parish Office.

Forms must be completed and returned as soon as possible to either the Parish Office or Rosemary Rowett.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 25th March.