I find writing ministers letters in the current political climate quite difficult, with the whole subject of Europe still unresolved, our news is dominated by the forthcoming election of a new leader of the Conservative party and subsequently a new Prime Minister. I try not to vow allegiance to any single political party but feel concerned that the nation and indeed the world are more fractured than maybe ever before and that feels to be a precarious place to be in.
St John in the seventeenth chapter of his Gospel records the prayer of Jesus for his disciples, that they may be one, just as Jesus is one with God. My problem with the political scene is that we have a common problem to solve, indeed a whole list of problems and rather thank clubbing together and seeking a common route through, to bring about a satisfactory solution, political points are still the most important drivers in Westminster and until our leaders start working together for the common good, the country will remain divided.
My main motivation when I candidated for the ministry was to “win souls for Christ” and I believed that working full time for the Church, I could make a difference, holding firm to words of Jesus in Matthew 28 “Go to all people everywhere and make them my disciples” and nineteen years later, I still see that as my central calling.
During my time in circuit ministry, I have repeatedly found myself being distracted from what I believed to be my calling as I have tried to address the problems and divisions that exist in Church, issues, that often are of paramount importance to the people struggling to address them and it has been right for my time to be used in that way, but if I’m not careful, it can deflect my attention from the important work that needs to be done.
While the politicians are consumed with “Brexit” and party leadership challenges, knife crime is a huge issue, the NHS appears to be struggling, people are being forced to use foodbanks and the country feels to be in a mess. I think that the time has come, for politicians, to put their differences to one side and focus on the main goal.
I am currently working on exciting plans that can bring more people into the faith communities in Ipswich, it will involve a significant financial commitment from the Circuit, but if handled right, could bring about a cultural change in Ipswich, my work involves liaising with the Church of England, Baptist and URC communities and we will only achieve our goal working together.
My prayer for the Church is that we can be one in the way that Jesus prayed generations back.