To Love Christ
and
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The Leith-Lyvennet Parishes
in Cumbria

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News from Morland Vicarage


A Statement on the EU Referendum

Like a lot of people, I stayed up to watch the results come in on the EU Referendum. What is clear, in the immediate hours after the result, is that the country is split down the middle and already a lot of bitter accusations are being thrown around, no doubt driven by hurt, fear and uncertainty.

EU PrayerIn my May newsletter article, I pointed out that there was no single Christian view on this vote, but that there were Christians issues which would help inform us in our decisions. However, there is now a clear and urgent Christian concern for forgiveness, healing and reconciliation and our community and nation needs us as Christians to take the lead in that work.

In the first few hours after the result, there were accusations of racism and xenophobia on one hand, and of lack of patriotism on the other. Neither of these positions stand up. It cannot be the case that half the population were motivated by xenophobia. By the same token, to accuse EU supporters of lacking patriotism entirely misses the point of the debate. As Christians, we are called to see beyond blame and name-calling and to relate to each individual as Christ does himself. The reality is that most voters found this decision difficult and voted honestly. You will remember that we were encouraged to work out what proportion of us was for remain and for leave. Most people were only marginally one way or the other, but had honest reasons for their assessment. That is worth bearing in mind, however hurt we are about the result, as we face each other again in the post-referendum world.

That is not to say that we must bury our passions and beliefs. Rather we must now channel them positively as we forge a new relationship with the world and with each other. I would hope that all Christians believe passionately in unity, fellowship and peace. But if we believe that, we must also remember that these qualities begin not with our political structures, but in the relationships between the individuals who make up our local communities and in turn create our national and international identity. Charity begins at home and charity, in its true sense, simply means love. Now, more than ever, we need to live by Christ's commands to love one another, to forgive as we have been forgiven and to show mercy as we have received mercy from God. Every act of forgiveness between individuals, every step towards reconciliation will be of supreme value in the hours, days and weeks ahead.

But politically too, we can play our part. The official Leave campaign was at pains to point out that they were not advocating isolationism, but rather a new relationship with Europe and the wider world. And in his post-referendum speech Boris Johnson pledged to work for a close relationship with Europe and an outward-looking generous approach to the world. It is our Christian duty to hold them to that. It appears that we will no longer be relating to the world as members of the EU, but we can all model and promote an attitude to the wider world of generosity, welcome and care. As our membership of the EU draws to an end, new treaties, alliances and relationships will form. As Christians we can continue to use our democratic right to ensure that these promote unity, fellowship and peace between nations, care for the poor and marginalised and the welfare of the whole of God's creation, including all peoples, all creatures and the environment which sustains us all.

Lastly, but actually of first importance, let us be people of prayer. Ultimately our allegiance is to God's kingdom and our God is sovereign still. He will accomplish what we cannot and only he can bring true peace. At this time, we all need to take to heart the exhortation of St Paul:

"Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." (Romans 12.9-18)

Stewart Fyfe, 24 June 2016


Sandy Pearl

Sandy Pearl has been accepted for ordination. Sandy will train for a year and be ordained next year as as a permanent Deacon.

Many congratulations, Sandy.


Katharine Butterfield

Katharine, a long-standing member at St Barnabas, Great Strickland, is to become our first Curate in years. She will be a self-supporting minister, relying for her income on her optometry practice. With great generosity, she will be offering 3 days per week plus Sundays.

Ordination

Katharine was ordained a Deacon in Carlisle Cathedral on Sunday June 28th 2015.

Welcome Service

Katharine will be welcomed at a special service at Great Strickland Parish Church on Sunday July 5th at 6.30 p.m..
Regular local services will continue, but please join us in the evening, if you can, for this momentous occasion.


Iona Trip 2015

Read the Vicar's report of the Group's trip to Iona.


The Future of our Parishes, our Group, our Deanery, our Church.

Follow this link for the Mission Community Shaping Group report on this matter.

We are all aware that the clergy, and specially the stipendiary clergy, are getting more and more parishes to look after, and that we all find ourselves being asked for more and more money to pay the bills.

In other words, we are apparently being asked to pay more and more for less and less. This cannot go on. The clergy are stretched to breaking-point and few of us feel willing (even if we are able) to contribute any more to the coffers. We might at one time have thought that ‘it’ll see me out’. I don’t think that is an option any more. We must do something!

You will remember that there was a consultation, parish by parish, some months ago. Following that, a working group was set up, including representatives from all parts of the Deanery and also from our Methodist and URC friends, who are in much the same position as we are. The working group has spent many hours sifting through your responses. As a result, a draft plan has been produced. It is important that we all have a chance to see the whole thing at one go: we must all be able to see how the findings have been arrived at, and we must all have a chance to ask questions and formulate our future together.


Keep up with Annie May

See Annie May's blog. ALSO look at the message from Father Christmas specially to Annie May! The link is on her blog.


I am busy redesigning our pages to be mobile friendly. This will take time so bear with me if some things don't work as well as they should.


Click here to see a report on the recent trip to Durham.


Click here for a page on Morland Fête, with a photo of Morland School Choir.

 

Every blessing to you all
Stewart