Happy New Year

Fri 01 January 2016

Sarah writes

Here's the blessing from the end of our New Year's Eve Communion service last night.

May the power of God this year enable us
The nakedness of God disarm us
The beauty of God silence us
The justice of God give us voice
The integrity of God hold us
The desire of God move us
The fear of God expose us to the truth
The breath of God give us abundant life
In the name of Christ

I love that holding of the tension between silence and speaking, stillness and movement, action and vulnerability. I'm probably not alone in being prone to imagining that the next big thing (brilliant scheme for re-organising the office, taking the next great course, making this super resolution on prayer, diet, exercise, etc) will fix it all. But I notice that it's a slippery slope between fixing and organising my own life and fixing and organising the people around me. It can easily be a problematic mindset. A guest was reflecting recently that in ministry you cannot be an "expert" in the way you can in many other fields of endeavour - people's lives are just too messy. So as we look ahead to the the coming months for our own Community, and walking alongside the many guests who will be entrusted to our care, I hope we will remember to keep returning to the paradoxes of this prayer.

We currently have a fairly full house for our New Year R5 plus other guests on private retreats. From Monday we will be closing Sheldon for the rest of January. We have a lot of behind the scenes work planned for the next few weeks - the things that enable us to run Sheldon reliably for the rest of the year. This year the practical list includes 12 month remedials on the Community GreenHouse, a complete refurbishment of the Houskeeping Office, some software and other computer training, annual accounts audit, deep cleaning of guest accommodation, new carpets in two meeting rooms, routine PAT testing, fire alarm testing, etc. We will also be able to spend some important time together as a Community for a retreat, and to reflect and plan for the year ahead.

Thank you to all our Friends who have supported and encouraged our ministry over the past year. One of our New Year Resolutions is to be more regular in writing blog posts, so watch this space!

Winter sunrise

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We'd love to hear your thoughts ...

Sue Kendall - Jan 05, 2016

Lovely photo, and the prayer is one I shall write on a bit of card and stick to computer desk - I so agree with the blog comment!

Hope you all have a wonderful January. I will be praying that the jobs all seem 'light' and the rests and 'times out' long, the retreat time inspiring, refreshing, affirming and challenging and helpful to your community life.

Sarah Horsman - Jan 04, 2016

The picture is Exeter ship canal a couple of years ago - glad you like it. Sheldon is soggy but not flooded thankfully. Just an annoying culvert blockage meant the stream jumped the theatre stage dumping mud and gravel all over it, but frankly these things are relative.

Found the prayer on a website of Irish blessings and just changed "day" to "year". There wasn't any author or copyright shown so glad to share.

Lesley Barrett - Jan 04, 2016

I also loved the photograph, so subtle-good for a bedroom?

And the prayer! Please may I use it in my parish mag. Editorial meeting tomorrow for February edition!

Daphne Norden - Jan 04, 2016

That is a really beautiful photograph but I hope that it does not mean that the whole area is underwater. I was in York for Christmas so floods are beginning to dog my path, or at least to prevent me from going where I have arranged to go! That has happened before once when coming to you so I hope not again!

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