Janet`s February 2016 letter to the Community


I hope you will forgive me for being a little personal this month. My mother died in the middle of December.  It was not a tragedy; she was 87, had been suffering from moderate dementia for some time and was ready to die.  But all the same, she leaves a gap in the lives of all of us who were close to her.  I’ve also just returned from a few days with a close friend who has advanced Motor Neurone Disease, which is leaving her increasingly dependent on the help of others.  The course of the disease is uncertain but the outcome is not in doubt, and living with the knowledge of impending death poses considerable challenges, even for a person of strong faith, such as my friend.  These personal experiences have made me think more than usual about the transitory nature of our lives and the adjustments we need to make as we go along.

For all of us this year will bring changes – that is the nature of life.  For some there will be painful experiences of illness or bereavement or redundancy.  For some there will be the joyful experiences of a new relationship or the birth of a child or a new home.  Some of our young people will be entering new schools, or college, or leaving home.  For every one of us there will be the “little things” to get used to: the change of a bus route, new stores where a favourite shop once was, a tree cut down … I could go on and on. 

The message is clear.  Life does not stay the same.  We grow and change and the world changes around us.  With God’s grace and a bit of commitment, we learn and develop through our challenges and our joys, bringing richness to our lives and to those around us.  Finally at some point we move on to the next phase of our lives, the phase that comes beyond death, into the new life that God has for us.  Life is a journey and change is an inevitable part of it.

But there is one thing of which we can be certain: while everything else is transitory, God’s love for us and his commitment to us, is unchanging.  As the writer to the Hebrews put it: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.  It was Jesus’ love that took him to the cross and that same love does not change.  Whatever we face in the coming year, God goes with us.  May you know his love surrounding you as you journey on.

God Bless,   


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