Farewell and a prayer
Last month I spoke about the mystery of the Trinity and this month I’m thinking about time which seems appropriate as my time as Vicar of Barrowford and Newchurch in Pendle is coming to an end.
When Mike and I arrived (from the other side of the Pennines no less… Yorkshire born and bred!!) in October 2017 we were made very welcome.
The Bible has over 140 verses about time, one of the most famous is Ecclesiastes 3:1 ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens’. (NIV)
As humans we attempt to order our lives and make plans but sometimes God has other ideas. I was convinced that we were going to be in Northumberland and we ended up in Lancashire but it was always my intention to return to the North East at some point. I had a plan and they always say if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans as so often he has a different plan. This has been the case this time as I was thinking of looking elsewhere once a significant birthday had been reached in 2024 but my timing is not God’s timing and so we find ourselves returning to the North East where I shall be the Vicar of Marske by the Sea.
In my time here it has been my privilege to conduct baptisms, weddings and funerals and to be involved in Confirmation services. I have learnt about sheep (Thanksgiving for Lambing services) and Rushbearing. Easter and Christmas services have been a joy and there has been the pain of the pandemic amongst other sorrows. I have thoroughly enjoyed the time spent in the two schools and so much more besides.
Always whether in times of joy or sorrow there is a constant in my life and that is the fact that I know I am a beloved child of God and that God always has time for me even when I don’t give him the time he deserves.
I pray that as Newchurch in Pendle Parish begins the process to find your next Vicar that you will each give of your time, both to God in prayer, praying that the right person will be found and to each other helping and supporting everyone in the time of waiting.
Day by day, God leads us:
to the deep, deep pools of peace,
to the green, lush lawns of grace.
Day by day, Jesus calls us:
to pour out ourselves in service,
to anoint the stranger with hope.
Day by day, the Holy Spirit shows us:
the community we could be,
the family we are called to become.
(Written by Thom Shuman on Lectionary Liturgies.)