Dear friends across the parish and beyond,
We have now entered the season of Lent and there seems so many situations that require repentance and transformation. As I write this the news from Ukraine is getting more serious and distressing with the fire at the nuclear power plant and the on-going attacks by Russian forces on various targets within that country. In other parts of the world there are further examples of human made and natural disaster. Our prayers abound with holding such suffering before God.
As we approached Lent on the final Sunday of February, and at the Ash Wednesday service, I spoke of the need for deep self-examination and the building of community. These are intimately linked for it is only when we become aware of what is truly in our own hearts can we begin the serious quest to repent and transform our personal thoughts and behaviour. And it is only when we have begun this journey of self- discovery that we can begin to positively influence those around us.
My prayer for the next 40 days of Lent is that we get to really know ourselves more thoroughly so that we can then invite God to remake us in His image. As we then move into the joy of Easter we will be more fully equipped with a Christlike character to build stronger neighbourhoods and ultimately nations.
Whilst we must never under-estimate the power of prayer, those who also like to take practical action may like to donate to the UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) that is working with a number of charities to provide relief to the people of Ukraine. To make such a donation you can go on-line at www.dec.org.uk and follow the link.