March 2018

Dear Friends,

We have been reading Archbishop Justin Welby’s new Book “Reimagining Britain: Foundations for Hope.” In this book Archbishop Justin lays down the building blocks of hope, openness and generosity of spirit as well as a belief in the power of politicians to create the conditions for a self-confident and outward-looking country. The Archbishop uses three areas to re-imagine society as community, courage and stability. These are not simply concepts for debate but as foundations for practical change.

 

This is in some sense the story of Easter. Jesus’ challenge to the authorities of his day was to speak truth in hope, love and grace. We as disciples of Christ are called to be people of Hope and Love… The Hope that is needed is not a facile optimism. It is the resilience to go on working for God’s Kingdom for every individual, whatever the setbacks. And love, which is unconditional builds – inclusive church, inclusive community and inclusive compassion.

 

 

Inclusive Church Highlights:

We had a wonderful turn out for the Messy Easter, which involved activities of Easter Card making, Palm Sunday procession with Cardboard Donkey and Easter Egg Hunt. Once again, a big thank you to all the leaders, volunteers, and parents for your help and support. You are all very welcome to our next Messy Church on 28th April 2018. (3pm – 5pm)

We concluded our Lent course: “Building on the Rock: Faith, Doubt and Jesus” this weekend, which attracted some 25-30 people from our parish as we journeyed through Lent. One of the participants reflected… “…it was the first time, when we could talk about doubts in our faith journey and discuss openly and in a healthy way the question about death, bible, God’s saving grace and hope for our future.”

Inclusive Community Highlights:

During the Lent Season, we have carried this Easter Hope by offering Thursday Lent lunches with the help of another amazing team of volunteers under the leadership of Margaret Nicholls and Anita Betts and generous donations and contributions of many. All proceeds will be going towards Sutton Coldfield Stroke Club.

 

Inclusive Compassion Highlights:

During the Lent Season, the Hope café prepared soups for the Lent Lunches and worked with the memory café. We welcomed students from Mere Green School as they came and made personalised cards and windmills for people living with Dementia and their carers.

Our Annual General Meeting of the church of St. James will be taking place on Sunday 22nd April, immediately after the 10am service. Please continue to pray for all who will be discerning God’s will and prayerfully taking special responsibilities in the running of the parish.

 

During the Spring months, we hope to run, the Confirmation preparation days. ‘Faith Confirmed’ sessions. It is open to those who would like to get confirmed in a joint Deanery Confirmation service on Thursday 10th May 2018. Also, to those who would like to know and learn about what we believe and how to live life and be assured of God’s love. Please let Judith or myself know if you would like to join us on Saturdays  21st & 27th April and 5th May – 10 am till 12 noon in the Roughley Suite.

This Eastertide Jesus our teacher, saviour, conqueror of death, our lord and brother inspire confidence in all of us into a personal relationship with him. And we conclude with this prayer from Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1109 AD).  “I Do not seek to understand, so that I may believe, but I believe so that I may understand; And what is more, I believe that unless I do believe, I shall not understand.” AMEN.

Happy Easter and All God’s Blessings to you and your family

With Love and Prayers,

Revd. Daniel & Judith Ramble