September 2019

From the Minister’s Desk

Can you believe that we are already halfway through August, which is often seen as the month of greatest transition in the liturgical calendar.  Perhaps some families are already thinking about settling back into a predictable routine in preparation for back-to-school activities. We are also looking forward to harvest celebrations.  I hope that the summer holidays have given us opportunities for respite from regular, busy routines. I believe that that the change of pace may impact the spiritual and ecclesiological rhythms of our lives. It is precisely for this reason that the month of August can be a wonderful season to reignite faith communities.

Having spent some time in Zimbabwe at the end of July through to the beginning of August, I have been reminded of the importance of justice and joy as two elements which must coexist. My experience of the Zimbabwean context was one of mixed emotions from, joy, sadness, sorrow, gratitude and despair. The social, economic and political situation remains of great concern.  While I only stayed in Zimbabwe for two weeks, I struggled with the lack of running water and the subsequent difficulties of getting safe drinking water, lack of electricity, inadequate healthcare and the unpredictable food prices. I was reminded of the immense privilege that I live with and the range of things I have to thank God for.

I was encouraged by The Rev. Doug Ruffle, who suggested that “Joy is found when we, as the people of God, put our faith into action by pursuing justice and championing the oppressed.”  In addition, I drew a lot of inspiration from the Church in Zimbabwe as I worshipped with hundreds of other Christians. Women, men and children attended Church Services as early as seven o’clock in the morning. I am still wrestling with the reasons why people living with such challenges, still look joyful and glad to be in the house of God!  It has made me reflect on my own privilege and how that impacts my exercise of ministry and mission. I invite you to continue to pray for the people of Zimbabwe, and indeed all who are living under such difficult circumstances through the world.  Nearer to home, I continue to reflect and pray for a favourable outcome with the Brexit Conversation. In that respect my prayer is that those leading these conversations may place the poor and the marginalised at the centre of their decision making.

I am also minded of the liturgical colour for ordinary time, green, a symbol of hope and growth.  We as Christians are called to live out our faith with an expectation of a harvest of hope, faith, and grace.

 

Rev Charity Nzegwu