In recent weeks we have been in the midst of various storms, bringing strong winds and a large amount of rain. As I look around the garden, I am surprised at what has fallen victim to the wind and what has survived. Often, a somewhat weak looking item has survived, where what appears to be a more substantial structure may have succumb to the storms.

Jesus used the image of storms to focus on where we build our foundations in his parable about the wise and foolish builders. He tells the story of two builders, one building on the sand and the other on the rock. When the storms come the house on the rock stays firm while the one on the sand collapses. Jesus goes on to say that the one who builds his house on the rock is like the person who hears God’s commands and does what they say.

This fits with some work we are looking to do in the church over the next few months – where we are listening to what God is saying and seeking to do what he calls us to.

What is God calling us in OFP to do and who is He calling us to be?

Dave GardnerOn February 9th it was a pleasure to welcome Rev Dave Gardner, the Director of Mission and Ministry in the diocese, to OFP at St Peter and St Paul to begin to explore what God is calling us to do and how He is calling us to be over the next five years. This is the beginning of the process where Dave will be working with the PCC, the congregation and the Parish as we seek to discern what God is saying to us. In speaking from Matthew 5, Dave explored three key words that he believes God is saying to us at this time in this place.

The first was a call to be Distinctive. We are called to distinctive and to make a difference. What does that look like for us at this time?

The second was a call to be Effective. Is what we are doing the thing that God is calling us to do? Are there things we need to stop or do differently? What effect is what we are doing having?

The third was a call to be Resilient. There are times when doing God’s calling is challenging and we need to stick at it. Dave shared the story of Caleb from Exodus and Joshua who went to seek out the promised land. They saw there were giants in the promised land but knew that with God on their side they could be overcome – others simply saw giants – Caleb wasn’t listened to and the promised land wasn’t entered into for a further forty years. Are we relying on God as we head forward to overcome the challenges?

I am looking forward to exploring these themes together over the next few months. Please do pray for the PCC as they consider where God is leading. Further work is planned and there will be opportunities to be a part of this. Any questions, get in touch.

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