From the Rector - June 2017

Dear Friends

As a child I loved balloons. These of course were just ordinary balloons that had been blown up by breath.... They couldn’t fly and if you let go of them they would drop to the ground. Sophia and Tilly also love balloons - however they are now more sophisticated, helium filled. These of course float in the air and if you aren’t careful could fly away completely.

The story of Jesus’s ascension into heaven is quite an amazing picture with the disciples standing there looking up as Jesus vanishes into the clouds. The important thing to note here though, is that after Jesus disappeared in this way, the disciples didn’t stand there gazing into heaven doing nothing but wait for his coming back. They weren’t frozen in the moment. They weren’t numbed with a sense of loss... No, the disciples went straight back to the temple, continued praising God and made ready for the next step in their mission to the world.

The disciples were filled with joy, filled with hope, and filled with purpose. Just one more thing was needed and that was the coming of the promised Holy Spirit, the power of God coming among them from on high, the life breath that would fill them with God’s spirit. That of course took place at Pentecost.

Before Pentecost the disciples were more like those balloons l described from my early childhood - they were still balloons all right, they were still great fun, you could still do lots of things with them... But they couldn’t really fly, they couldn't really soar into the sky... something was missing. After Pentecost the disciples were more like those helium-filled balloons - ready to fly, ready to go wherever they were blown by the spirit.

By the time you read this, Ascension and Pentecost will have likely passed - so I wonder where you will be? Will you be like the post Pentecost disciples? Will you be like the Helium balloons - ready to soar and fly wherever the Holy Spirit sends you? I think we should resolve to follow the example of the disciples and not be people who stand still and only look to the sky towards a distant God and a faraway Jesus. but instead let’s make ourselves a people who are open to the coming of the Holy Spirit, ready to be sent out into the world in action, ready to make a difference in the name of the living God.

With that in mind, June 2017 is a busy month within the Benefice with both village and church events. I would like to draw your attention to a few of these things...

On Saturday 17th June 2017, Donhead St Mary with St John's Charlton have a Family Barn Dance from 18:00 to 22:00, and on Sunday 18th June 2017, we welcome Bishop Edward to St John’s Church, Charlton, where we will be celebrating their Patronal Festival at 11.00 am. All welcome.

On Saturday 1st July 2017, there will be a social event at The Rectory, to which wedding couples from recent years, baptism candidates and young families from the Benefice are invited to celebrate those happy occasions and also to get to know each other.

Yours ever,

Richard