Hopes for a church-plant
The geographic scale we enjoy has been a welcome throwback to my wonderful year working with you in Stamford. Being young in our marriage, we credit what the close geography has given us in a simpler, richer life, giving us back much time and margin within already full plates of responsibilities and relationships. In the end, as we anticipate starting a new Anglican church, our hope is that we might be able to plant in a similarly-scaled place, whether within an urban setting or within a smaller or medium-sized town centre.
Mentoring James’ principal duties are
leading the Saturday night service as well as overseeing and training the parish’s small group leaders. On Saturday nights, James has greatly enjoyed the invaluable we ek- in, we ek-out training of leading worship and preaching that, as with any job, you only learn by building up hundreds and thousands of hours. As The Falls Church is a very large parish, with 11 full-time c l e r g y , h a v i n g “ownership” over the Saturday service has been meaningful in that, more than in other services, he is in a position to be “their” pastor. During the week, James has many early coffees and lunches with small group leaders, knowing them, helping them become more
Marriage that lasts a lifetime
From Rob Parsons: Care for the Family
As I write, preparations for the marriage of Prince Wi l l iam and Kate Middleton are well under way and by the time you read this the wedding will be over. As well as the thousands of people who will flock to London to catch a glimpse of the couple, millions more will have watched them on TV screens around the world.
I wonder what marriage will have in store for this young couple. We all wish them well and I am sure that both bride and b r i d e g r o om h a v e prepared themselves as much as pos s ible, particularly in view of the fact that their high-profile will bring many added
But how can we be prepared on our wedding day for what lies ahead? It is understandable that the main feeling is optimism. We believe that we are so happy together that we will be protected from the difficulties that others face; our love will always triumph over everything.
Yet the vows, ‘For better, for worse,’ ‘For richer or poorer,’ acknowledge that all of us will go through difficult periods in our marriage – nobody is immune from this. It could be f inancial
effective leaders, and providing a long requested and much appreciated resource point within the church.
Worship and Support
Anna continues to provide vital support to the Worship and Music ministries as the Assistant Director. In addition to coordinating over 150 volunteers, she helps plan services both liturgically and musically. Anna has enjoyed implementing new admini s t rat ive systems needed to run a large church, and has continued to grow in her worship planning and leading. On Sunday mornings she sings in and helps lead the choir and also leads worship. She is also finishing the first year
traumas, problems with children,
bereavement. And I believe that in almost every marriage, there will come a period when at least one of the partners will not feel in love.
A wedding day is a time for hope, joy and optimism – no-one would want it to be otherwise. But I believe we need to have a culture that allows couples to be prepared for the possibility of difficult times and, more importantly, to feel they can share those struggles openly and honestly with others.
Dianne and I have been married for almost forty years and we have gone through some difficult periods in that time. There have been times when we have not felt in love and when it seemed that love had almost died. And when we began Care for the Family it wasn’t just to provide
of her two year Masters in Christian History and Theology, with the hopes of possible further study in a program of Theology and the Arts.
We are about midway through our three years at The Falls Church. We are very privileged for the training each of us is receiving in our respective posts, and for future work of planting a church in the new, emerging province, the Anglican Church in North America. We greatly anticipate seeing you this June in Stamford, and for continued partnership with St George’s, Christ Church, and your various other congregations.
From James and Anna
answers – though we want to do that, of course, but just as much, we want to tell those who are struggling that whatever their situation, whether it is incredible joy right now or unbelievable pain, it is not unique – others have walked and are walking that path.
It’s then that we need a determination to love – not because of, but in spite of the circumstances and how we feel. It’s a resolve to love, not just with the heart, but with the will and the spirit. It’s a refusal to let go easily of something that had been precious – and a hope to see love rekindled – as it once was – only stronger.
That’s one of the main reasons why Care for the Family exists – to help one another make relationships that last a lifetime.
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