‘The world’s favourite season is the spring. All Things seem possible in May.’
Edwin Way Teale
‘May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive.’
All things certainly seem possible in May. The natural world looks fresh and full of life. The evenings are increasingly light. People seem to have a spring in their step, mimicking the lambs we see in the fields. (I hasten to add that I am writing this letter pre Brexit – I’m ever the optimist, no matter what the outcome!)
I always look forward to May and the coming summer, although, of course, May this year is tinged with sadness. We have already said ‘good-bye’ to Fr Gary; he will be missed, but we wish him well in his new post. We are now preparing to say ‘good-bye’ to Fr Tony and Helen on the 12th. We will be showing our appreciation in appropriate fashion on that day but, in addition, I would like to suggest that we offer Fr Tony our heartfelt commitment to maintain and build on all that he has achieved in our two churches during his time with us (since 2001 at All Saints and 2010 at All Hallows).
We, the people of All Hallows and All Saints are the Church. We all have our part to play. We are blessed with so many people with varied gifts and skills: some practical, some creative or musical, some with ‘people skills’. One really important gift is the confidence to share one’s faith with others. Jesus calls us all to do this. When Mary Magdalene encounters Jesus in the garden following his resurrection, he tells her not to cling to his feet, but go and tell the disciples the news. Next month we celebrate Pentecost when Peter and the disciples broadcast the Good News to large crowds of people. We may feel this is a step too far for us; however, in the Acts of the Apostles (8.26-40) we hear of a one-to-one conversation between Philip and an Ethiopian which led to a baptism.
I suspect that, from time to time, we find ourselves in a one-to-one situation where it may seem appropriate to mention our faith. Would you like to feel more confident with doing this in an informal way with friends, family or even with the person in the queue ahead of you at the supermarket? Following the very successful Lent Course, this month, Helen Jennings, Cheryl Goddard and I are starting a monthly group called Talking Faith. We will be looking at a new Diocesan resource called Sharing Faith. Its aim is to give us the confidence to take advantage of those ’God-given’ times when, in a low-key way, it seems appropriate to make known that we have a Christian faith that underpins our daily life. There is more information about this group in this magazine. Our meetings are very relaxed (there’s always cake, tea and coffee) and people are free to contribute to the discussions or just listen to what others have to say. We look forward to welcoming you.
The quotations at the beginning of this letter talk about feeling ’most alive’ in May and that ‘all things seem possible’ which echo Jesus’ words to his disciples, ’for God all things are possible’. But I thought I would end with a quotation for Fr Tony:
I’m only wishing to go a-fishing
For this the month of May was made
Henry Van Dyke
I wish you God’s blessing.