February 2012

Let’s Celebrate

2012 is supposed to be an exciting year. There are two events that only come around every blue moon. In June we celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and at the end of July we have the Olympics. Most people haven’t got any of the overpriced tickets to the actual Olympic events, though street parties are again being organised in many a neighbourhood for the Jubilee. When the Olympic torch is carried through Rayleigh on the 6th July, I’ve already heard that many intend to line the streets.
Both events have so much promise and both events will have so much media coverage that during the build up and on the actual occasion, there is likely to be an information overload. Just how much wall to wall sport or how much royal minutiae can a person actually take in?

It is also likely to be a busy year in the life of the congregation. In the November Church Meeting we decide unanimously to look at the URC initiative ‘Radical Welcome’. It asks fundamental question of the true welcome we give to friends and strangers and the unspoken expectations that we all have of anyone who crosses the threshold. It has the potential to be a ‘game changer’ for the congregation.
The Radical Welcome initiative requires 7 sessions to explore the material. Though details are still being finalised, after Easter, it is intended for as many of us as possible to gather for an evening meal at the Church, after which our ‘companion’ Rev Ken Forbes, from Lion Walk URC in Colchester, will facilitate the discussion. It promises to be an exciting time of getting to know each other and learning together. Why not decide now to be part of this initiative?

And finally, the date for Rayleigh Churches Family Day is now on the 21st July (note the change from the 14th) as it is, surprise, surprise, on an Olympic theme this year. The Fun Day is another example of all the Rayleigh Churches coming together to serve the community in a non-threatening and enjoyable day. We hope that the weather this year will be more amenable than last year’s washout!

Overall until the summer, both our nation’s and the church’s lives promise to be busy, but I hope we can celebrate being a community of faith.

February 2012