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St Mary & St Michael’s Church, Urswick
URSWICK CHURCH LA12 0TA
URSWICK BELL RINGERS
JOHN 3 : 16
I write this in the liminal space between Christmas and New Year, days of peace and slight confusion as to quite which day it is and wondering what I ought to be doing (ans: resting mainly!) it has proved a help, then, to have the #followthestar prayer guide through the twelve days of Christmas to remind me where I am on the journey between Christmas and Epiphany which, in many respect, marks the start of my next year in ministry as it falls on the first Sunday of January.
As it occurred that I needed to pen this letter for the Benefice News my first thought was that ‘New Years resolutions’ would make an obvious theme or point...trouble being that it is many years since I made a firm decision to resolve never to make New Years resolutions. So I’m not well placed to preach about them really! I made my decision because, in self reflecting over a number of years, I had to admit that I never stick to them. The problem? To start, I was never very realistic when making these resolutions (I won’t eat chocolate/drink alcohol ever...I will lose loads of weight/go to the gym 3 times a week at least...) Secondly, in my heart, the things I chose to make resolutions about don’t matter to me enough to motivate me to achieve these goals.
The things that really matter to me are God, my family, friends and all the people whose lives I am affected by and, in turn, affect. I could go on...the environment, justice and reconciliation are also things that matter to me. I don’t actually need New Year which, let’s face it, is just a date, to motivate me to do anything about these important things. For example, I have in the course of the last year adapted to my new job in such a way that I find time to spend with my family and keep contact with good friends...I haven’t needed to wait until 2019 to implement this. I have already changed to using shampoo bars instead of plastic bottles out of environmental concern (yes, for the eagle eyed....it’s one of the reasons my curls have regained their strength and presence!) ...I didn’t wait for January 1st to make the switch. I often hear people sharing their New Year resolutions and think, like me before, they are destined to fall flat because they address trivial concerns, or strive for something that the world tells us that we need to have/be/want. Rarely, if ever, have I known anyone make New Year resolutions that they clearly understand as aligned to God’s will for them, or have discerned as a spiritual discipline needed for the year ahead.
So here is my challenge to you: if you are minded to make New Year resolutions then try praying about what they should be this year. If you’ve never considered making resolutions as a spiritual discipline then try to do this rather than think of things that put unrealistic pressure on you. We would all do well to ensure we look to God, and not in on ourselves, to guide our choices and our actions in the coming year.
Day 5 of #followthestar cites the journey of the wise men to the manger, noting that they had to adjust their both their course and their expectations, ending up in a palace instead of the stable when they used their heads rather than where God was leading them. ‘Course correction is part of the journey. Getting things wrong is normal. It will not stop God for leading us as long as we are ready to adjust’.
What Guidance do you follow in life? How willing and open are you to having your course corrected?
Wherever and however you journey through 2019 I wish you all a Happy New Year and pray that our paths may cross in the light and peace of God’s love.
Yours in Christ,
An introduction by Reverend Lucie Lunn, Priest in Charge of the churches of Low Furness serving the parishes of Aldingham, Dendron, Rampside, Urswick with Bardsea
I hope you enjoy visiting us, and return to keep updated on “What's going on!” not just in our Church Community, but also in our nearby Churches and wider community of Low Furness, and beyond. We live in an amazing part of South Cumbria, bordering Sea, Morecambe Bay, and South Lakeland; comprising villages and hamlets; a rich and ancient history still visible, or just a little imagination away; where communities are growing together; where Community and Church are strengthening the whole.
It is our desire that you will find God’s hand and touch in this web site through all that is happening.
You can find out more of what we are getting up to as a family of Christians in the pages that follow. Likewise, something of our history and the things inherited from past generations that have influenced where we are today. We are on our common journey to grow in knowing God – who loves each and every one of us. You will find, too, our hopes and dreams for the future, that we in turn will hand on to the next generation of Christ’s followers, a happy, healthy, prayerful, and encouraged family of friends and neighbours with God invited into our lives. A family that gathers in Urswick, in Low Furness, in our County, and across the world – growing where we are planted, thriving, blossoming and bearing good fruit. That sounds good ! It is ! Together, with each other, and with God’s blessing and grace, we are equipped to get there. We would like you to come with us on that journey too, from wherever you are.
You will find contact details for us, links to other Churches and organisations,
and so on, in the following pages. If you know of “Good” places to link to, please
tell us. If you have comments bad or good (we prefer good, but need to know the bad
to put it right too), please let us know. We would really value any comments and
thoughts you may have on our newly re-
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