Dear Friends February 2012

You may already know that we moved into the Manse in time to spend our first Christmas in Yorkshire there. And I have had to learn quickly that Christmas cake has to be eaten with cheese, but that is not the only thing that I’ve learned. You see, I came to Yorkshire with certain ideas about how my ministry would work across the churches and with all of you in SPACE. One major part of that idea was the ability to easily get around to the churches and in the visiting and building of relationships that I had hoped to get done during my first 6 months in SPACE. Driving was to play a major part in how I intended to work. It is amazing to me that I am having difficulty passing my driving test, and this difficulty has caused me to do some reflecting. So,let me share my thoughts with you.

I have realised that things need to change, not just my attitude to how my ministry should work, but also to how I approach my driving test. My daughter Greer-Aylece suggests that because I feel such an urgent need to pass the test, I am over-compensating and so, making silly mistakes.

The reasons for not passing are:

1) Not checking the mirrors before making signals; this has to do with seeing

2) Crossing the double white lines; this has to do with boundaries

3) Entering a roundabout in the wrong lane; this has to do with positioning

4) Going over the speed limit; this has to do with observation

As we come to a new year and new challenges, we all need to pay better attention to how we see things, and how we push at the boundaries without going beyond them. We need to look at how we as a group of churches position ourselves to face the challenges ahead and to observe how these challenges that will come, due to the various changes within the pastorate will affect us. We need to build on each other’s strengths, learn from each other and keep our focus.

Our focus is on God and the knowledge that there is unfinished work to attend to, both in my driving and what we are called to do in SPACE. We need to support and encourage each other, I am very thankful for the support and encouragement I’ve received – some of you have given up your time to accompany me, taking me out to practice my driving in and around Heckmondwike, Cleckheaton and Dewsbury. And yes, as the churches in SPACE, we need to consciously and conscientiously check our mirrors to see how, when and where to proceed.

Sometimes we get so intense and feel such an urgent need to get the job done that we forget that God is in charge, and we need to allow God to take control. (I need to remember that too!)

May God Bless you and Keep you today and always.

Mark

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