Fr.Adam writes

Dear friends,

As I write this letter I'm aware that it's been two years since I moved to Kingswinford and almost two years since my licensing.
Back then we were still very much in the grip of the pandemic with numbers being restricted and masks still being required vesture.
It's taken all of society and the church some time to return to some sense of pre pandemic normality, if indeed this can ever happen, but our parish has recovered well and it feels like we are pretty much back to a pattern of church life like that which we had before the global crisis and so now is the time to focus on the future and the God's mission which he has entrusted us to join in with.

Often when I preach on the Trinity - of our God being Father, Son and Holy Spirit and yet one God - I talk about how this resembles a dance of relationship and community.
The Trinity is not a restricted, private relationship but one where there is space for everyone to join in with and be part of It's a dance which goes back throughout time, a dance we are both called to join but to also draw others into.
And this is where we now stand. On a crossroads of choice.
Do we want to share the dance with others or do we want to be the people who conclude the dance in our bit of the kingdom and allow the lights to come up and the music fade? I know I want the dance to continue with pace, gusto and life-giving joy here in Wall Heath and Kingswinford, and I hope you do too.

So, we must now turn our faces to mission and growth.
And whilst social media, posters, fliers and banners all have their part to play the best way of any church growing is through a personal invitation.
It's even there in the Bible, the words “come and see”.
People are more likely to attend something if they think their friends are there and that they'll be supported and have someone to welcome them when they arrive, sit next to and encourage them. I can't do this alone.
We all need to play our part in this and so I ask you all to invite someone to church with you in the coming months.
Arrange to meet them beforehand so they don't have to walk in on their own.
Bring them through for coffee afterwards and don't rush off. If everyone in our congregation invited one person to church, and they continued to come, our numbers would double, and so many more people would be brought to faith and to know the love of God in their lives.

And it's not just to Sundays at 10am.
We have our Tuesday mid-week Communion. We have Mainly Music for our pre school children.
We're about to launch 'Singing Angels', a primary school age choir which also teaches children about God.
We just need to get the word out and gently say, “come and see”.
As I explained in an open meeting recently, we are going to be supported in doing this after a successful bid to the national church by our Diocese.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our parish, one where we will be able to employ (for a set period of time) a children and families worker, an operations manager and an administrator.
As part of the bid, we will also get a full time stipendiary, 'pioneer priest'.

A pioneer is someone who goes to where people naturally are, coffee shops, estates, parks, community centres and talks to them about how they can celebrate God there, rather than them necessarily having to come to church.
All of this combined will mean we have additional resources to setup new worshipping communities and different expressions of our faith.
There has never been one way of worshipping God.
We are all made beautifully different and so we will all have approaches to worshipping God within this difference.
So watch this space over the next few years as we try different types of worship from quiet, meditative time to charismatic, incense fuelled Rock Mass.
The choices are as varied as God's people are varied.

All of this is part of that dance of God I wrote about a moment ago, reaching out, drawing in and being God's people right now, in this place.
I pray you will all embrace this and want to be part of it, not for me or because I ask you to, but because God wants you to be part of it.

Years ago, there was an advert which said, 'the future is bright, the future is orange'.
I want to take a little poetic license with this ditty and say 'the future is bright, the future is God's' and we all need to stand up and be prepared to respond to God with a resounding 'yes'.
Mary's 'yes' to God all those centuries ago changed the world, part of the dance of God is that we join in with that 'yes' with the same gusto, the same passion and the same openness to being led where the Spirit leads.

So, say yes to God and commit to being part of the future of our churches bringing people into the divine dance of God.

With love and blessings ...... Fr. Adam