God has a plan!
Yes, I know – if you want to make God laugh – tell Him your plans!
I love the story we tell on Candlemas of Simeon and Anna. It shows us something of how God is working out His plans but, more especially, in whom God is working out His plans. Be surprised just who God may use to realise his plans! Tradition has it that both Simeon and Anna were of a great age and had ‘retired’ to the Temple. Maybe they had, but God still had a plan for them. Whatever age we are we’re never too old – or too young – to be part of the God Plan. What’s God planning for you?
In his February letter, Bishop Richard writes about how we need to have a plan. More often than not parish plans are there to give God a giggle! However, if the parish plan is God’s plan, then that’s serious stuff. Let’s hope that’s what we’re planning!
“Over the next few months the Bishops will be visiting all the deaneries in the diocese. This is a less formal visit than those that followed +Martins’ appointment. However, they will afford an opportunity to listen to where we are at this stage in our diocesan life and consult together about the next phase in the diocesan strategy.
There are those in the church who are allergic to any mention of strategy. They often (quite rightly) feel that because the Church is a unique body, very different from other organisations, it should organise its life in a very different way. The language of strategy and vision is seen as being drawn from management theory and therefore not applicable.
There is some truth in this, but all strategy is trying to do is ask where we are; where we need to be and map out a route to get from one to the other. Someone once said, “to fail to plan is to plan to fail.” We need to do our strategic thinking somewhat differently to other organisations, but it would be irresponsible not to do it at all.
In our case our strategy must flow from a clear understanding of who and whose we are. This is theology proper, revealed to us in scripture, interpreted through our tradition. Our culture poses a different set of questions to us than those of former generations. We need to work out how we faithfully proclaim the faith afresh to each generation. I hope that as many of us as possible will join the conversation.”
O God, you know us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright: grant to us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptations: through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
We continue to pray for:
Clemmie, Michael Palmer, Guy Solan, Ellen Chapman, Kris Tippen and Catherine O’Brien.
And those who have recently died and their loved ones:
Tom Griffiths, David Thomas, Chris Adams, Marjorie Moate and Dan
We pray for Isabella Joberns as she is baptised on Sunday at West Wittering
If you know of anyone who needs our prayers or would appreciate a visit, please let the Rector or the Parish Administrator know.
Should you wish to contact the Rector his mobile number is 07538 011579.
Services for this weekend
8.00 BCP Holy Communion at West Wittering
At the main service at Birdham (9.30am) Sarah Manouch’s sermon theme will be “Location, Vocation, Elation”. At West Wittering (10.00) Jonathan Swindells’ will be preaching. At Itchenor (11.00) George Talbot will be preaching.
There will be Evensong at 6.00 at West Wittering
The Ministry Team are only too happy to talk through aspects of their Sermon.
Sunday 10th February
Fourth Sunday before Lent
Isaiah 6. 1-8 (9-end); 1 Corinthians 15. 1-11; Luke 5. 1-11
BCP – Fifth Sunday of Epiphany
Colossians 3. 12-17; Matthew 13. 24b-30
No Evensong – Songs of Praise for Bo
Sunday 17th February
Third Sunday before Lent
Jeremiah 17. 5-10; 1 Corinthians 15. 12-20; Luke 6. 17-26
BCP – Septuagesima
1 Corinthians 9. 24-27; Matthew 20. 1-16
Hosea 10.1-8;12 and Galatians 4. 8-20;