It's snowing! Looking out on my street pavements are white and snow flakes are sticking to the branches of trees. it's lovely.
Finished my Ministry Today article - it should be in the next issue (which is nice) and launched our first new series of 2009 - a six month journey through Mark's Gospel. Our other new series kicks off next Sunday.
I've reached the first working Monday in January - apparently the worst day of the year (but then BBC Breakfast was in hyper-panic mode this morning!) - feeling in need of a holiday!
I think 2009 is going to prove challenging in a number of ways. Over the weekend I had my first conversation with a church member who is beginning to struggle as a result of the economic downturn. I'm sure there will be many more as January unfolds.
Our family service yesterday asked us to get into groups and talk about the kind of church we think God wants us to be this year. it was interesting talking to people afterwards to hear how many groups talked about pooling resources to help people through difficult times. We need to find ways of not only keeping such ideas alive, but also making them a reality in practical ways.
Monday, January 05, 2009
The challenges of the New Year
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Happy new year to you!
I began preaching through Mark when I arrived here, so during September to the end of November we covered the first four chapters. We're going to have a second series before easter, then another later in the year.
I'm sure it will be timely for the folk there.
There's something about the pacing of Mark that pays dividends when preached through. The immediacy of the writing, and the building up of key themes like the growing following, the resistance of religious and secular leaders and the increasing revelation of the authority of Jesus is best seen by looking at it for consecutive weeks. I hope you all have a blessed time, and hear God drawing you deeper into His mission there.
We've been thinking of you there with regards to the financial difficulties the nation faces. Our prayers are with those whose livelihoods depended on the flow of money. May you have wisdom together to plot a future that sees the kingdom realised in new and surprising ways!
Grace and peace
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