The Season of Lent is an important time for all Christians – a time to deepen our relationship with God through prayer, reflection and study, as we prepare for Holy Week and our annual remembering of the Suffering, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For many years now we have offered a full schedule of different services, groups and talks to help us in all of this. Alongside this programme of discussion and worship, we once more want to offer a special opportunity for every adult at St Mary’s to have a 45 minute conversation about their faith.
This year I’d like to offer that conversation to be with me. That isn’t because other members of the Ministry Team were not available or were unwilling to be involved. Not at all. But I am left wondering why so few people have taken up this opportunity in previous years and wonder whether the uncertainty about who you might meet with has been part of that. There can be nothing more important that I do in my working week than to help us as a congregation and as individuals to grow towards God. I’d love the excuse not to be doing paperwork and admin for much of Lent because lots of people have taken up this opportunity to meet and we’re having these conversations!
It is a considerable commitment on my part to do this but I hope it clearly demonstrates just how important I think it is. You might like to talk about what you struggle with about prayer and believing in God. You might like to talk about what is worrying you in your life about family, health or money. You might like to use it to talk about your life and faith journey. Or you might like to use it to ask questions about why we do things in church the way we do and what things mean but never had the chance or the confidence to find out until now.
What I can guarantee is that it will be positive and fruitful, that whatever we talk about will never be shared with anyone and will not be referred to again by me (but you’re welcome to follow it up with me if you want to – but you would need to initiate that), and that there is no such thing as a dumb question, except the one you never asked.
As people of faith, our spiritual health and well-being is something we should take seriously, but often we don’t have the chance to think about our faith and prayer life, or talk it through with someone. Well, we have that chance this Lent with an opportunity for you to talk about whatever you want to discuss in your faith – in total confidence and as a way of being encouraged, listened to and supported in your relationship with God, and without any sense that you’re being judged or tested in some way.
Please fill out the slip enclosed in this leaflet and return it to Church as soon as possible so that I can fix up a convenient time for us to get together over the coming weeks.