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From the Rectory

  January 2018  

Like it or not - the Church is becoming more managerially-minded, with many bishops involved in MBA-type courses. Opinion is divided about it - but there's one aspect of good managerial practice that does need taking seriously by all of us. And that's about changing our mindset - to see Problems as Opportunities.

One of the most important questions each of us can ask at the beginning of a new year is: What sort of person am I? Glass half-empty? - or Glass half-full?

We can probably all think of people who define themselves by their illnesses, and are forever talking about them. Just as we can probably all think of others who choose to make light of whatever medical problems they've got, and simply get on with things.

Similarly, we can probably all think of those who are forever on the go - defining themselves in terms of their incessant activity, and wearing their busy-ness as a badge of pride; feeling stressed and put-upon, but unwilling (maybe unable?) to step back. And then there are others who simply do whatever needs doing, without making a great fuss.

One element of this, is whether we see ourselves as God's gift to others - or others as God's gift to us. Whether we see ourselves as so important we're virtually indispensable, so that everything depends on us. Or whether we see ourselves as simply part of a group of fellow workers in the vineyard.

It's also to do with whether we choose to see the future as an unending ser ies of tasks to be done, problems to be gr appled with, and hurdles to be surmounted. Or as an unending flow of opportunities and occasions of Grace.

One of my favourite prayers includes the wonderful line 'God give you work till your life shall end; and life till your work is done'. Which says it all really.

Every single new year comes with the alluring prospect of fresh possibilities, as we try to live out the gospel, and do our bit to make the world a gentler, kinder and more loving place. It's all too easy to see our lives as a battle and a struggle: something we have somehow to get through.

There are bound to be times when things do pile up - and we hope to tick them all off the to-do list before we run out of steam. But grim determination mustn't ever be allowed to become the default setting. Otherwise we're missing out on the whole concept of Divine Grace - which is that every single day is an amazing gift to be cherished.

Think of those wonderful words from William Blake:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand, And a Heaven in a Wild Flower; Hold Infinity in the paim of your hand, And Eternity in an hour.

Or these from William Henry Davies:
What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows. No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass. No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night. No time to turn at Beauty's glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance. No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began. A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.

If you're the kind of person who makes New Year resolutions - how about one that emphasises the need to be less busy, less fraught, less stressed? Given my imminent departure, it would be easy for those with responsibilities in our different churches to see the period until a replacement is found - as a long, arduous slog.

But whilst there obviously will be all sorts of things that need dealing with - it doesn't have to be a desperate time. Opportunites not Problems needs to be our watchword, as each of us looks to make our bit of the world a gentler, kinder and more loving place. Something that never, ever happens through gritted teeth.

A Happy and Love-filled New Year to you all!

Revd Tony

Any enquiries relating to the Week St. Mary Circle of Parishes should be directed to:
Revd Tony Windross, The Rectory, The Glebe, Week St. Mary, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6UY
Email:  • Telephone: 01288 341600

For local enquiries relating to Week St. Mary Church matters please contact either of the Churchwardens:  Lesley Booker Tel: 01288 341221  or  Richard Sowerby Tel: 01288 341348

For enquiries relating to Week St. Mary Methodist Church please contact
Rev Doreen Sparey-Delacassa • The Manse, Canworthy Water • Telephone: 01566 781854

© All of the content of the Week St. Mary website is the copyright of David Martin & Linda Cobbledick except where stated 2006-2018