From the Rectory

A Letter from Rona

January is a time of new beginnings, fresh starts, it’s the place where we can reflect on opportunities; think of all that you can do this year! The festive season can be full of joy, friendship, love and happiness, or a busy time where the frenetic pace leaves you wanting to lie down in a darkened room.

Whichever frame of mind the New Year finds you in, let’s be encouraged by remembering that the Christmas journey does not stop at the child in the manger. We have those Wise Men who travelled so far (maybe even for a year) to see the stars of a triple conjunction – with Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces, aligning between the Earth and the Sun: our Creator God using science to draw pagans to witness the Birth of the Light of the World; greatest moment of all time.

Following our story, we are led on to see the parents fleeing to safety, and their presentation of him in the Temple (the Gospels don’t quite agree on the order of this!), to find the child debating with his elders, to the young man struggling with temptation, challenging the religious, making time for the vulnerable, healing the sick, restoring the broken, performing miracles, praying on his own, giving himself to those around him. If we follow this Star – we too can find our world being transformed by his Word, his life, and his light. This light is given to be reflected and shared with others.

With that in mind, this January St John’s is announcing

A Year of Prayer.

This is a year where we want to grow more into a community that offers something different; a place apart from the frantic pace of life in 21st Century Britain. We want to be a place of peace, and an oasis of calm which will then draw people.

Come to me all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”   said Jesus (Matthew 11:28).

Isaiah in 43:19 tells us that God invites us to see him doing something new,  “Behold I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”                                 

Our focus will be on the prayer times and events which are available currently, and on weaving new ones into our week. Whether you are a regular member, or hardly ever come, we invite you to join us for a session.

On Monday morning at 9am we meet in the Quiet Room to contemplate the readings for the following Sunday. We spend time reflecting and listening to music, and then share our observations which have come out of our prayer and contemplation. Please do come along.

The Church is also open for Morning and Evening Prayer most days. Saturday might suit you to join us for Prayer at 9am or 5pm. Even if no one is there, why not be the person who prays for the parish on that day? Come into the Church and contribute to our corporate prayer in Merrow.

It is wonderful to see that so many people value the votive candles in our prayer area. Can I encourage those who come to light candles to remain for a little longer and pray for the parish, for the prayer cards and requests and all those who help to make this a special community.

We are so delighted that the Healing team has enhanced the prayer of the Parish by praying for those on our sick list. Why not join them for  Lent, or become a part of their team?

As we move through the life of Jesus in our Church year, I encourage you to reflect on his prayer life, and to seek out ways you can grow in yours. This way we can truly be ‘A Community growing in faith’.

Please speak to me if you have any ideas to enrich our spirituality as a parish, or if you would like to hear about any opportunities to deepen your prayer life.

I pray that our hearts would be set on fire with love for Him this year.

With love,

Rona