I hope you had a joyful Christmas and were able to find time to reflect on all it means that God came to be with us to enable us to have a relationship with Him. It was a joy to celebrate this amazing news in a whole variety of ways, from the Nine Lessons and Carols, Civic Carols, to school carol services, Christingle and a crib service to name just a few. Thank you to all who participated and enabled such a warm welcome to be offered at all we hosted. It is wonderful to be able to show God’s love in such a generous way.

I’d like to take some time at the beginning of this year to acknowledge all that is happening in our church and community and say Thank You to God and all involved. It’s easy sometimes to drift into the habit of always looking for the next thing to do and not reflect thankfully on all that happens to ensure we seek to be faithful in our call to be salt and light in our community.

In order to help us think this through I want to think about our life as church in four areas and give thanks for all that happens in each of these.

The four areas are UP, IN, OUT and OF. I’ll explain how these can help us to think through all we do as Old Felixstowe Parish. I’m not going to attempt to list all the things that happen but simply name a few examples and ask us all to pause and give thanks for all involved. Over the next few weeks, I want to take time in our services to acknowledge and give thanks for all that happens.

This is how we relate to God through our worship and teaching. Take a moment to pause and think on all that has to happen to ensure this occurs – and then give thanks. It involves everything from making sure the church building and grounds are welcoming, to the music, tech and teaching and much more.

This is about the fellowship that happens in church and how we grow together. Think on all the ways this happens throughout the week. Link groups, coffee after the services, craft groups, Ladybirds, Men’s breakfast – this list goes on and we should be so thankful to all who make our church a place where we can belong.

This is all of the things we do to show God’s outrageous love and grace to our community. Pause for a moment and think about the various ways the church here in Old Felixstowe shows God’s love. The Pop-Up Shop, work in schools, Singing, Signing & Stories and Parish Nursing to name a few. Let’s give thanks for all that happens and pray for this work to be fruitful.

This is all about how we connect to the wider church beyond our parish. We give thanks for our support and involvement in Churches Together in Felixstowe, BOOST, Hope Trust, and CAP locally as well our support for Tear Fund and OMF further afield. There are other ways we are a part of the wider church and we give thanks for all this involvement.

Please do take some time to give thanks for all that happens and to pray for the amazing work that happens. If you would like to know more then be in touch.

And perhaps we could make thankfulness our New Year’s resolution for 2024.


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