Reflecting on his former appointments in East London and Newcastle-on-Tyne of working as Methodist Minister, Hospital Chaplain and part time tutor with the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield, Stephen is clearly committed to encouraging individuals and communities to be honest about their hopes and needs and finding how faith in God can help them be met in Body, Mind and Spirit.
Stephen is our Minister but is already known to us and well known on the Fylde Coast having lived and worked in Fylde for 18 years and prior to that he was a Minister in Blackpool.
On Monday it was as though a big sigh of relief was released as everything got back to normal. Lovely as the Christmas and New Year ‘shut down’ is, many are glad to be back in the familiar routines of school runs, packed lunches, work, house to ourselves ……
Two weeks have passed very quickly but somehow or other we find ourselves ready to be thankful for the working week.
Christmas decorations packed away for another year. The chocolates and treats consumed. The Sales have tempted us and assisted us to reach, if not exceed, spending limits. We have made, and broken, New Year resolutions and are ready to admit we are glad it is the second week of January. Is it too late to wish each other a Happy New Year?
I must admit our poster never reached the Notice Board this year. Bad weather and then a problem with the cabinet have prevented us displaying it so I am sharing its words here because when writing Christmas cards to people who have experienced more downs than ups ‘Happy Christmas’ felt wrong. I know too well that for many Christmas and New Year are painful reminders of happy times in years past, never to be repeated, while for others they are times of rejoicing and optimism.
I spent much of New Year’s Eve alongside someone I have known and respected for many years as they peacefully passed from this world to the next. It was very sad to let them go but they left behind a shining example that the words of the poster are true. Their life was well lived, with Jesus at the centre.
Oh the words on the poster – “Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.” - Happy New Year!