May 2018

Dear Friends,

Recently, I was privileged to visit Margaret Fairhead, one of our lovely parishioners, in her home studio. She has been working on a picture based on Dickens’s Great Expectations. This was a Churchyard scene centered on the main character Pip.

As an artist, Margaret works on multiple projects, and sometimes, she sets things aside to reflect on the progression of the work. This reflective space allows new energy and imagination to grow and inhabit her art. She uses fabric and embroidery as a medium to create her bespoke masterpieces.

While, I was reflecting on this it struck me God as an artist, who created us, continues to refine us in his unconditional love.  This is also the refining fire of love, which Bishop Michael Curry spoke of in his address in St. George’s Chapel, on the occasion of the recent royal Wedding of the now Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and the to extended worldwide audience.

As Margaret is a constant and methodical worker, so God continually is at work in us and amongst us. God never gets an artist’s ‘block’, when it comes to the sharing of his love for us, and of his purpose for us as loving human beings.

So, as we live our lives daily in our own Pentecost experience, let us open the way for God to be able to work through what we are and what we try to do. God can shape us and be present as we continue to develop from the present us. God works with what is possible… and with God nothing is impossible.

In the parish, we concluded our “Wave of Prayer” week which invited people into our beautiful church. At the heart of our prayers was the Lord’s Prayer in the words of Jesus, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done.” During this week we also welcomed our local uniform groups such as Cubs, to learn about prayer and offer prayers through prayer stations.

We were also blessed having Kate Ormerod, the Regional Coordinator of Birmingham and Shropshire, for Christian Aid, to preach on Pentecost Sunday. We extend a huge thank you to all the collectors for their generous gift of time and effort and those who generously supported Christian Aid week this year. A big thank you also to Mr. Ian Broughton our new Parish Christian Aid coordinator. We are truly blessed and are very grateful.

On 17th May, 2018 Our Churchwardens – Hugh Brocklebank and Sue Cutler were installed by Archdeacon Simon Heathfield. Our prayers are with all the members of the standing committee as they lead the work of church growth, culture change and intergenerational welcome and learning.

On Sunday 10th June, we will be offering an intergenerational welcome to everyone living and working in Mere Green and Four Oaks to our Annual Community Family Fun Day, which kick starts with Family Funday service at 10am, followed by Community Games from 11am organized by our Scouts leaders. Followed by a community celebration BBQ & Afternoon Tea. Please reserve your place through the Church office in Church Centre or call on 0121 – 3080869. We do hope to offer generous hospitality and welcome to all residents in Mere Green and Four Oaks to join us for a day of fun and celebration.

Recently we were speaking to some Godparents as we were preparing for many baptisms this summer. The reasons many parents and Godparents mentioned in our discussions was …they want their children and Godchildren to have a sense of belonging to a family of faith, love and hope. Hence this month’s Godparents Messy Church – on Saturday 23rd June, 2018 is a special one, as we welcome children with parents and Godparents christened in the last four years here at St. James. All our regular Messy Church families are also very welcome. As this is a big celebration Messy Church, please let our Church office know by a call on 0121 – 3080869 or email officestjameshill@gmail.com

As Bishop Michael Curry quoted Dr Martin Luther King Jr. , who said : “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world, for love is the only way.”

Dear friends always remember – God is never finished with us in His love.

If you want to enjoy your marriage, you have got to learn to enjoy your partner’s company right now, while allowing love to flourish in your relationship. Find a language of love to agree and disagree well.

For those who are exploring Baptism/Christening and those parents blessed with children, learn to enjoy your children, while they’re growing because there is no thing as a perfect child. Have faith and love.

And if you want to enjoy church family, there’s no such thing as a perfect Christian.  We are all made perfect in God’s love, as we value people in our midst and the places to where God leads us, so, that we may become a little more finished! Let Hope inhabit your life.

“To God be the Glory, great things he has done.”

 

With love and prayers,

 

Revds. Daniel & Judith Ramble