PASTORAL LETTER

From the Minister

Rev Jane Wild

Dear Friends,

Recently we were driving along the M55, past a pedestrian bridge and surprisingly there were two sheep waiting in the middle of the bridge. This took me by surprise as they must have climbed steps to get there. Sheep climbing stairs is not a a sight you normally see.

They were standing very still, obviously not panicked by the traffic going under them or the very fast lorries making the bridge vibrate. Did they feel safe? Were they waiting to be rescued? Where they confused by the situation they found themselves in? Were they trying to work out which way to go to get down?.

As Christians we are approaching Advent. We use it as a time of reflection to ask questions, reflect on our present and look to the future. It is time to stop. How would we answer the questions that passed though my mind about the sheep. What are we waiting for? Have we stopped where we are because it seems safe? Are we waiting to be rescued, are we confused by the situation and not moving in case it gets worse?. Is our question "Where to next?"

Advent can be reassuring. We know that at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus incarnate in the world, the saviour, who speaks of Godís presence in the world. We know that as we approach a new year we are gifted with forgiveness and renewal. Assured of the presence of Gods spirit with us, we recommit ourselves in the Covenant Service to a God who guides his people.

It can also face us with all the questions and doubts of a sheep on a bridge.

It is during Advent that we have an opportunity to think about these contrasting ideas which we hold in tension. For this reason our Advent theme is light and darkness and where we find God in both.

I pray that, as we prepare for and celebrate Christmas this year and move into a New Year, the Grace and Peace and Joy of God will bless you all.

With Best Wishes,

Jane