2019 and all that went into our 150th anniversary year was with hindsight such a straightforward opportunity to celebrate God’s faithfulness through the years, and to share life together in a variety of events and occasions. Fast forward through the eighteen months of covid with its restrictions and requirements as we have embraced becoming church online, and we come to Summer 2021, as we start to emerge from the isolations and the anxieties of the pandemic, but with the once in a lifetime privilege to Reset our church life. It’s a chance to recalibrate (to use Lynn Green’s word), not just to start up again, but to review and reflect where we have been and how we have done, but then to consider where we might be, where we are intended to be. The picture included here has been shared since early in lockdown, and as we have thought about resilience, we have considered whether a better definition of resilience than Bouncing Back is actually Bouncing Forwards – remember the illustration we used last month of the bouncing tennis ball and the ‘not so bouncing’ tomato(!), but where the fruitfulness of the tomato’s seeds produces a harvest, whereas the tennis ball just degrades when it is left in the soil.
The season of Reset has been with us since Easter, and indeed we really want to see our “RESET in the light of the RESurrEcTion”, and there have been various Reset connection points offered so far. We have mentioned it on Sundays, sometimes exploring appropriate Reset themes within our services; we have made a regular focus during our Midweek Worship times, with six Wednesday evening sessions specifically dedicated to exploring aspects of Reset through prayer and worship - where we rejoice that lots of people have joined in, and where yet there’s more to explore and to engage with! Our church leadership has also spent much time in prayer and planning, and we have included conversation points within recent (online) Church Meetings too. But this Sunday, 8th August, is a big step forward as we take time together to consider some of the principles and priorities emerging for us and as we consider too some of the implications. This Sunday, Reset Sunday #1, is definitely not the last opportunity to contribute to the journey, and it’s not about making decisions. Sadly too we are still feeling constrained from offering the interactive experience that we were hoping to; this is because of the number of people who still prefer to access our gathering through Zoom rather than in-person, and because we don’t want to compromise the covid-compliant measures that we are still taking, eg by moving around the church premises for conversations. Hopefully next month (Sept) we will have another Reset Sunday together, when we will be less restricted in the ways we can explore and discern together, through conversation, listening and interaction.
We have said several times recently that it may not be good grammar, but it is good theology – “We Matters!” The sense of belonging, of togetherness, of being the body of Christ, is something for us all to experience, and the contribution that each makes is important as we “share life together and show love to all because Jesus is good news today”.
So please join us then this Reset Sunday #1, 8th August - either online through Zoom or in-person, as you feel comfortable - as we continue to explore this season of Reset together. And if you are available to join us in person, please also bring a picnic lunch and something to sit on, as we hope to extend our time together over lunch in the church gardens!