The work of the Spirit
Associate Rector's letter - June 2006
I am writing this the day after the splendid parish dinner at the Clarendon College, which many of us enjoyed. Although our technological age has provided so many means of communication there really is no substitute for sitting down together and talking as a way of gaining insight into each other’s lives and understanding where people are coming from.
Early in June we will celebrate Pentecost; in my mind I always see it as a colourful, exciting, and thought provoking festival; in the biblical account on the day of Pentecost people are gathered from many places but as a result of the action of the Spirit they can understand one another; and they rejoice in what they see and hear. It is a huge challenge to us to keep good communication flowing, for the sake of the building up of our common life and for us to have something to offer those around us in the city.
The month of June presents some of those kind of opportunities to communicate, celebrate and rejoice in being the Church; we welcome visitors from Natal who will experience life in our parishes and local area; we will hopefully bask in the sun at St. Mary’s garden party and give thanks as St. Peters celebrates its patronal festival; an urban seminar at All Saints exploring the place of the church in the inner city and various concerts, baptisms, weddings, will give us many opportunities to welcome those who see themselves as on the fringe, or loosely connected with our churches.
The work of the Spirit cannot be boxed neatly to fit our individual wants and needs; the Spirit is the generous outpouring of God to all; a generosity that we are called to co-operate with and emulate. We need that Spirit of generosity to guide us for the coming year as we work out together a shape for the future; we need that Spirit for our city, for all our dealings with people we get on with and those we don’t; and if we think we have anything to say to our world it must be done as those prepared to also hear how we are perceived.
Pentecost says to us “Listen” – for if you listen carefully you may hear the voice of the Spirit in a new way – from a different mouth – from an unexpected source – what you hear may be welcome; what you hear may be difficult; but keep listening.
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