My dear friends,


Growth is a miracle that never ceases to amaze me. How on earth has my son managed to transfer a diet of pot noodle and chocolate spread into size twelve feet? I guess it just happens, perhaps the time is right. The voice deepens, legs get hairy and suddenly our 14 year old ‘little boy’ is taller than either of us!

 

We’ve just had a wonderful series of Harvest celebrations, a joyful Wakes and a hearty and happy Harvest Supper. I am reminded without
doubt that there is a mystery, a wonder and a miraculous blessing in earth and rain’s transformation into the rich harvest of fields and flocks. Witnessing this awesome miracle of growth is one of the blessings of running our Alpha/confirmation course. Those of us who lead the different age groups (children, youth and ‘wrinklies’) have the great privilege of seeing transformation. We obviously do our best as group leaders, but if we are honest, the change and growth we see amongst the candidates always seems disproportionate to the quality of our input. Somehow, emerging from our faltering discussions on Christ and Christianity we have stories of encounters with God and growing faith.

I remember back to my own confirmation course; for some reason the Curate seemed to spend a disproportionate amount of time telling us about the theology of the Swiss Anabaptist movement of Ulrich Zwingli, to this day I cannot tell you why. But I also remember the excitement of that early dramatic growth in my knowledge of God. When the course was complete and I was confirmed I remember someone turning to me and saying ‘you look radiant’. I felt a little like Moses, I had met God on the mountain and my face shone! Somewhere along the way, a seed had been planted; it had taken root and grown in the care of a healthy local Church; now it had grown to bear fruit.

Our Church is growing. Our total Sunday attendance has increased by about 50% over the last 5 years. A great proportion of that growth is amongst young people and families as anyone attending our increasingly vibrant Family Communions and Junior Church will know. People are meeting with God all over the place... and if I am honest, part of me is utterly astonished! It’s the miracle of the Harvest. We work hard, sure. We take faltering steps along the road of making our services more accessible, our welcome genuine, our mission practical - but we must be under no illusion, it is God that gives the growth. It is God that is meeting people in the privacy of their night-time prayers, or the questions they ponder in their quiet moments of reflection.

Do join us in our special Confirmation Service at 10.30 am on 7th November. And continue to pray with us that just as we are surrounded by some of the best farming land in the world, the field of human hearts would provide a spiritual harvest just as rich and abundant.

Jeff Cuttell






 

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