Ninth Sunday after Trinity
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It’s a beautiful sunny morning this Friday as I write to you
and the words of Psalm 24 fills my mind, ‘the Earth is the Lord and the
fullness thereof, the World and all that dwells therein’. Sometimes in the challenges of the time, we
can forget to look up at the beautiful world that God has made for us, and all
the goodness that fills our world. In
your prayers this week, I would like you to sit within this thought for a
time - reflecting and just loving the goodness that God has brought into your
The news has yet again fed us with a steady diet of tragedy. Beirut, Covid out of control in the U.S., Africa, Brazil, India and creeping back up in many other places. This is overwhelming, and I’d ask that you not spend too much time dwelling in the awfulness of it all. Instead, bring this to God in prayer. And I’d like you to try a different kind of praying. Instead of just asking God to be in those places of suffering (where of course God is already helping people in ways we can never know) I want you to bring those people, those places in your mind. Let your love for those suffering pour out of you in prayer. Rest assured that this prayer will be enabled, emboldened and entwined with God’s Love through the Holy Spirit. Pick only one place this week. They will be your field of action in prayer. A great mistake we often fall into is thinking we have to carry the whole world in our hearts and in our prayers. We simply cannot - God knows this, and God uses each of us for a particular task. So pick up the place God has given you to pray for this week. You will know which place if you pause for a moment and think of where in the world your mind has been most drawn.
This week also contact someone you’ve not been in touch with
for a while. At the beginning of the
pandemic lockdown we were madly reconnecting with people, checking on them,
talking with them, praying for them. It
has now been literally months, so its time to check in on people that may have
fallen off our regular contact list again.
This is our vocation in the present time, to be God’s hands, feet,
voices, ears, hearts and minds in this place.
As that most beautiful hymn reminds us, our proper response to God is:
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go, Lord, if you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart
We said goodbye this week to Hilda Oakley, in our first service in All Hallows since the lockdown. She will be much missed. This week we will also say goodbye to Jill McConnell at St Michael and St Helens this coming week, please hold that congregation, Jill’s family, and her friends in your prayers this week. Both services follow diocesan guidelines for holding funerals in church, and I’m sure you will agree with me that it is important to support grieving families in this way and to make this a priority in our churches at this time.
We continue to aim towards a September resumption of Sunday services in our churches, praying that the Covid numbers will have dropped enough in our area to allow us to move forward with this in confidence.
The work towards advertising for a new Rector carried out by the wardens and other volunteers has been moving ahead quickly these past few weeks. Pray that God may send us someone who will love and lead our parish and wider community. That person is out there, though he or she may not know that God will be giving them the Gift of the parish of Almondbury and Farnley Tyas in the near future.
With all Blessings,
Revd Professor Jessica Malay
Almondbury with Farnley Tyas