Minister's Letter for January 2017

by Rev Ben Clowes  |  Posted at 03:28am on 14th January 2017

Dear friends

'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.' (Hebrews 13:8)

It's that time of year, as I write, we're beginning the process of looking back through 2016 knowing that as you read this we'll be past New Year and beginning to see all that 2017 has to offer to us. 2016 has been an interesting year in so many ways. As a church community this time last year we were heading into my Sabbatical not knowing that within a couple of weeks of me being unavailable Jackie would be heading off sick. We have journeyed through good times and not so good. We have lost some wonderful friends who have been promoted to glory and we have been through the uncertainty of stationing.

As a family 2016 has been an interesting year for us too. It was the year Sam passed his AS levels and his driving test, Joel grew into a proper teenager, Catherine tested a call to the Diaconal Order, feeling very much after District Committee that the time wasn't right to progress this year, and it is the year I took on Co-Superintendency. It was also the year which took us into stationing as we decided God was leading us to move on from Alderley Edge and Knutsford.

Looking back is one part of New Year but lots of thoughts look forward to all that the coming year will bring. We wait and wonder, knowing some things that will happen but most we don't. Obviously one thing that will definitely happen is a new minister beginning here in Alderley Edge and our big news which many of you know is that although our Round 1 match of stationing wasn't right, our Round 2 one was! So after my farewell services here in July 2017 we will move for me to begin work on 1st September 2017 in the Nidd Valley circuit. I will have two churches, Trinity (Harrogate) and Pannal alongside the superintendency of the circuit. Thank you for your prayers and do continue to pray for us as we come to the end of our 10 years here and please do also pray for Sue as she prepares to become your minister in September.

New Year also teaches us that the moment, the now, is important. It is very easy to get caught up in the past, what has been, to worry about the future, what is to come and yet forget that the only time we have is now. The actual moment of year is a second and it has gone. Our now is all the work that God is calling us to do now. As a church I do believe that our past has guided us to where we are now but we cannot dwell solely in the past. I believe that God is leading us in a particular direction and giving us hope for the future but the danger is we overlook what God is doing in Alderley Edge now. We have just been through Christmas where the same rules apply - Jesus came into the now (not the past or the future). He came and filled life with the warm reality of being a baby, God with skin on and yet the verse from Hebrews at the top of this letter is important to note - in Jesus our yesterdays, todays and tomorrows all find their home.

Whatever has been in our lives good or not so good and whatever has been between individuals inside and outside the church, our example is of a God who has already dealt with our past, present and future. Whatever 2017 holds for each of us, I truly believe that it is best walked with God. Maybe this year we can let go and let God guide us each step of the way, walking in the here and now.

On behalf of all the Clowes family can I wish each of you a very happy and blessed 2017.

Yours in Christ

BEN

Blog Tags
    Prayer for the day
    For another memory of an important character in history, when we think of The Lady of the Lamp, Florence Nightingale, who was sent to the Crimean War with only a group of 38 nurses, and bring our minds into sharp focus as we think of nurses everywhere giving of themselves to help, care for, and treat those who are suffering and are in need of medical attention, all given with love—we honour them all.
    Events & Services
    Sunday 27th October
    11:00am - Morning Worship
    with Mr. Tony Judd