Dear Church member
I write this on the Feast of St Matthias. Not to be confused with St Matthew, Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as one of the Twelve Apostles. Matthias comes out of the shadows - is brought on from the subs bench - during the time of waiting between the Ascension of Jesus and the 'harvest' Day of Pentecost. He served his apprenticeship as a disciple of Jesus and is commissioned just as the Church is about to spring into life and explosive growth when the Holy Spirit is poured out.
Even in the strange times in which we are living there are signs that something is afoot. In the last couple of months across the nation many people are turning to prayer (3 million new people according to one survey), many more than they were attending services in church buildings (almost 1:4) have 'attended' online church, sales of Bibles have increased, and public opinion and media reporting of Christianity is seemingly much more positive than it has been for some time. We could - please God! - be approaching a season in which we will need to be recruiting many more 'Matthiases' to help with God's harvest.
Something that will hopefully be of interest to a number of people (and do invite your friends!) is an online (Zoom) Alpha Course that we are planning to run on Thursday evenings from next week, 21st May (Ascension Day). Alpha is brilliant for both enquirers and believers, with a engaging video followed by discussion/questions (or to just to listen to others!), and it is free. Why not try out the first session? If you would like to register for the Zoom link (or find out more), please let me or Deborah know.
Something else that a number of folk might be interested in is taking part in Harwell and Chilton's very own virtual choir and orchestra, being organised by David Evans in time for our online service for Pentecost. Please contact David for instructions/music or further info; recordings need to be in by Friday 22nd May.
This Sunday within our online service we will be including parts of our familiar Communion Service and an invitation to make 'spiritual communion' with God who comes to meet us wherever we are; more information about this attached (with thanks to Jan). Whilst unable to join together to share the one loaf and one cup, spiritual communion can provide comfort, and also encourage a godly desire for the time when we can be meeting and sharing together again.
There is much waiting at this time, but we can also be sharpening our tools for the coming harvest, and limbering up and honing some ball skills as we prepare to join the game! And as the other apostles prayed before choosing Matthias, so we should seek the Lord's face with expectation and faith, and pray for God's great harvest and our part in it. News and resources on 'Thy Kingdom Come' which begins next week to follow.
Yours, in Christ,
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton