Clergy Message for March & April

LENT 

Spring

Dear Friends,

Spring!

As I write this, I am spending a few days in the country. The parish where I am staying recently celebrated Plough Sunday, praying for God’s blessing on soil and seed.

As we step into Lent (starting on Wednesday 6th March this year) it’s worth considering Lent in farming terms…

1. Preparing the soil… sowing the seed… Sister Anne Lawson wrote these words in “Turning the sod”:

“Holy Spirit, sharp ploughshare for our hearts

Turn the dull bare earth of our lives

In preparation for new starts

Nourish us with your word

Prepare us for

New beginnings,

New life: new growth

2. Sowing good seed - the poem/prayer speaks of the word. Jesus told a parable of God’s word being like a seed. When sown into good, prepared soil, there can be great results. This Lent, we at St. Clement’s are offering extra opportunities for studying the Bible - a Bible Society course on Thursday lunchtimes, with an alternative time on Friday evenings. The truths that we believe, follow and base our lives on are vital - to get our minds round them, to plant them deep into our conscientiousness, to practise living by them is life-changing.

3. The “fruits” of our lives matter: the things we say and do, all that we achieve and accomplish, the way we behave (alone and in company), the difference we make, the prayers we say (and take part in answering). Do we live what we claim to believe in?

As individuals and as a community we all face great challenges and changes. May these next two months be a time of stock-taking, ploughing up the earth of our souls; sowing the seed of God’s word in our lives by reading, studying, discussing and then putting it into practice.

All around us, in the next few weeks, new life will be appearing: how can we nurture and encourage new life within ourselves?

On a practical note and thinking of new life, we will be continuing to tend the churchyard for the benefit of local residents and wildlife. Thank you to Steve Beare, Pete Allen, Ivor Bartlett and Robin Sowter and others who are doing the bulk of the work.

If you would like to help in this please contact the church office on 01202 733390 for news of our next Saturday morning working party on 2nd March, 2019. Come along at any time from 9.00am to 12.30pm. Please bring your own equipment and gloves.

With very best wishes

Jonathan Foster