A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on Friday, 23rd August 2013, 17:26

Amanda Collinson

Priest-in-Charge

St John the Baptist Church

Northwood.

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Tel: 01983 294913

Email: revamandacollinson@virginmedia.com

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HELLO THERE!

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As the month of September starts, if you listen closely the air is full of sighs – relieved sighs from parents and grandparents who know the time of looking after the children for another summer is nearing an end and sad sighs from children and teachers alike knowing that the new school term is fast approaching. I have a ‘sad’ teacher in my house (who has only just returned to ‘normal’) but I am also a little resigned as my support with the children also disappears. As a Mum of two small children working full time I am so appreciative of any additional help with the boys and I am sure there are many people reading this article now who are similarly grateful for additional help they have received over the summer. You partners, grandparents, friends, whoever you are that have helped with children over the summer – on behalf of all parents may I say a BIG THANK YOU!
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Because whilst I know parenting is one of the greatest and fun rides anyone can take, it is also the most exhausting, bewildering, sometimes frightening journey as well…It can bring senior consultants, intellectual professionals and brain surgeons to their knees: and sometimes the thing that breaks you only reaches your knees!!!! So thank you for all your support.
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And I also want to thank all the parents that have brought their children into church recently – for family services, junior church and baptisms. You have done something really, really important. I know it’s not easy. I watch you bounce and sway trying to keep the baby quiet, juggling changing bag, toys and a bottle or try and quieten your toddler when they ask a question in their ‘quiet voice’. I am sure you’re wondering, is this worth it? And quite simply I say YES!!! When you are in church, the place is filled with a joyful noise. When you are in church, the Body of Christ is more fully present. When you are in church, we are reminded that this worship thing we do isn’t about personal, quiet contemplation but coming together to worship as a community where all are welcome. I know it is hard, but I want you to know, it matters. It matters to me. It matters that everyone learns that worship is what we do as a community of faith, that everyone is welcome. Sometimes us Christians need a reminder of this and take stock of what we should be doing in our lives and in our community.
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When I was a University student I worked in good old Woolworths to earn some money and every 3 months or so we were required to do a stock-take – in one day (and normally long into the night) the staff counted and checked every item on the shop floor and in our stockroom. This was to ensure that things were in order, errors rectified, processes clarified and so on. It brought a line under that particular period of sales and new targets etc. were set for the next period. It made sense; we needed to see where we were before we could decide where we were going.
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However, how many of us do that in our own personal lives, particularly those Christians amongst you? We are continually striving to get things ticked off our list of things to do, or catch up with our letter writing or see friends….but how often do we stop and see where we are, find out what we need to do for where we want to go. Just as much as any business needs a regular stock-take, so we also need a stock-take, and it is not just a spiritual one.
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Children starting a new term check their school bag – do they have their pencil case, reading books, packed lunch, gym stuff? They, or perhaps their parents, check that they have all the things they need for the day and week ahead. I cannot imagine them picking up their bag from where they dropped it in July, not bothering to look to see what’s in it, and taking it straight to school. Many of us returning to work after a summer holiday do the same with our work bags, documentation – we stop, look, check. And yet we do not do this for our everyday lives.
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Just as the farmers will soon be harvesting the fields and taking stock of the crops they have grown this year, so too must we take stock of where we are in our lives, in our journey of faith, in our relationship with God – Am I stuck in a rut with my job/life? Am I stretching myself? Am I expanding my knowledge? Am I holding onto things I should let go? Do I need to change anything in my life? How is my relationship with God and as a Christian in the community? I know that I need to spend more time listening to God and making sure I am doing what God wants me to do…..
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So as we start our journey through Autumn let us all take stock: let us stop and see where we are, decide where we are going and make sure we are as prepared as we can be for the adventures ahead.
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Wishing you all a healthy, happy and productive month!
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Rev’d Amanda

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