Dear friends across the parish and beyond,
We are entering exciting times. The TT races will happen for the first time in three years, we will greet thousands of visitors to our island, and we will offer hospitality to several hundred biking fanatics at Marown Church. Much of what our guests love will still be on offer-plenty of homemade cake and gallons of tea- but somethings have changed as we strive to be more environmentally aware of our ‘footprint’ upon the planet. We have taken steps to buy more local produce, to use our energy more effectively, to reduce, reuse and recycle where possible.
This environmental effort sits within the diocesan vision which I wrote about last time, especially in the area of Renewal. As the TT begins again we have looked at our engagement with it and made adjustments. I am sure there will be more things we can do next year and lessons to be learnt from these races in 2022.
Spiritually, Easter is all about renewal, the resurrection of Jesus offering a fresh hope for the future.
I write this letter on the eve of Ascension day when we celebrate Jesus’ return to heaven. This is a joyful time because we know Jesus has conquered death and sin and can return to the Father having completed the plan for our salvation. The Ascension marks the close of the post-resurrection appearances and signifies that Jesus now reigns with God and always falls 40 days after Easter Day i.e. the 6h Thursday after Easter.
The priest and theologian Henri Nouwen said that the post-resurrection appearances changed the lives of Jesus followers completely, what seemed to be an end became a beginning, what seemed cause for fear was a cause for courage, what seemed a defeat was a victory and what seemed the basis for despair became the basis for hope. This must surely be a sign of true renewal, a re-creation of the world and our place within it. We need this renewal in our lives now at every level of society.
May the renewal that is the grace of God working in us touch us all.