Monthly Newsletter

Dear Friends,

This year we begin Lent by looking at the dualities of self-righteousness and repentance.   The self-righteous spirit says , “I thank you God that I am not like other people”; while the repentant spirit says, “Have mercy on me Lord Jesus Christ for I am a sinner”.  Jesus warns us that the while both the self-righteous and the repentant pray to God, the one who asked for mercy is the one that went home justified.  Jesus’ words speak volumes about how we are to live our lives and encourage us to look carefully at our attitudes and motivations.

During this Lenten season, there are plenty of ways to continue deepening our journey of faith – individually and collectively.  We have two Lent groups meeting over the next 5 weeks.  One Lent group will meet at St Peter’s Church, Havenstreet on Monday afternoons at 2:30pm; the other Lent group will meet at Holy Cross Church, Binstead on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm.  Both groups will be following the course, Christ and the Chocolaterie.  This course is based on the film Chocolat, which explores issues about God, the world and being human, as well as what it takes to change and go deeper. The 5 sessions include: Giving up as a prelude to change; Giving out as recognizing the power of a gift; Getting wise as allowing the possibility of change; Getting real as the power of acceptance; and Growing up as the process of change.  I hope you will attend one of the groups.  If you need a lift to the sessions, please let me know.

We have two Lent lunches planned:  10th March and 21st March at Holy Cross Church.  These will support the Bishop’s Lent appeal for A Rocha and local charities in the Portsmouth and Isle of Wight area where our money can be well used to sustain and heal our environment.

A Rocha has a special project in Ghana where Portsmouth Diocese has strong links and many friends.  A Rocha is a charity with a presence in many communities in the UK and internationally.  In our diocese, churches are agreeing to become Eco Churches (an A Rocha scheme). In countries on the hard end of climate change A Rocha projects are helping communities by providing environmental education, helping to restore mangroves, and protecting forests as well as empowering women to integrate into lake management projects and providing communities with resources to build resilience to climate change.  I hope you will contribute to the Bishop’s appeal.

May God’s faithfulness and love give you hope and encouragement to dig deeper.

All blessings