Fifth Sunday of Lent, 6 April 2014, St Matthias, morning

Readings  Ezekiel 37: 1-14; Romans 8: 6-11; John 11: 1-45

Preacher  Revd David Gardiner

 

We’ve had quite a year. A lot has been going on. We’ve had lovely baptisms and some really joyful weddings, we’ve put on some great all-age services and re-started our Sunday School, we’ve been refreshing our worship and our building.

But we’ve also had some hard times. We’ve had some good friends move away, and some have passed from this world. The vacancy at St. John’s has caused us to think and act as a team once again, and afforded us in this church the opportunity to repay to our brothers and sisters in St John’s the debt of care and prayer that they gave to us in our last vacancy.

But even when things have been difficult, we have worked together to support each other, and to break through to the new light on the other side.

Everything that has been good in this church in this year has happened when we’ve pulled together and trusted in God. No one person can make Sunday School happen. No one person can encourage new folks to make our home their home. No one person can make it possible for us to bring this building back to a state of such beauty, quite possibly the best condition it’s ever been in.

Those all-age services only happen because of the planning meetings that take place the month before, with input from those interested in music, in the way we worship, and in the teaching we share with each other. And we’ve had great help on a number of occasions from our relationship with 1st Richmond Scouts.

The Sunday School has only been made possible by the work Judith Pearson has done in organizing the wonderful volunteers who have stepped up to mark to invest in our youngest generation.

The decisions about the future of this church and the directions we take have only been made after discussion of information and ideas among the very able church committee, who meet regularly throughout the year, and who rely on you to let us know what’s on your hearts.

The restoration of this beautiful building wouldn’t have been possible without the fundraising efforts of the Friends of St Matthias, generous donations and legacies, the vision of Peter Bowyer, our architect, and the skills of the many different people he brought in to work on our project.

The welcoming of new friends and the comforting of those in grief would be impossible without the care of people like Geoff Bates and the rest of you who so often work without recognition or thanks.

No one person can make any of this possible; It takes us all, working together and trusting in God, and it has been a privilege to minister alongside you this year. May God bless you in your ministry to one another, this church, and the people of God beyond the church in Richmond and our wider communities.

Amen.

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