And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10. 24-25)
We began our Easter celebrations this year by gathering the Team’s nine Paschal
Candles together in one place for the Easter Vigil. Those nine new lights then journeyed to our nine churches carried by a mixture of lay and ordained people, by ministers and Churchwardens. Those paschal candles reflect the light of our Risen Lord at the heart of our worshipping communities. They burn brightly in these churches; they burned very bright when they were together! And to see them together brought me – personally – renewed hope for our future.
In union with Bishop Nicholas the Team is seeking the renewal of our hope by the strengthening of our prayer life, by the joyfulness of our service and by the anticipation of abundant growth. I peddle a Vision and Partnership document to anyone who is even vaguely interested, or doesn’t step back fast enough! It is a work in progress, something borne from on-going conversations across the Team and through the developing relationships we enjoy.
Our Easter celebrations, which we began together, conclude on the Feast of Pentecost, when we give thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit. That will be the moment when our energy shifts from reflecting in worship the story of our salvation - telling people what God has done for us - and we focus again - on what we can do for God?
The Vision and Partnership we glimpsed at the Easter Vigil will continue to grow from our shared purpose and values: through the generosity of our interactions, in the sharing of our talents and wisdom; as
we honour diversity and as we listen, hear
and engage with one another: because we are stronger together than apart.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Canon Thomas Woodhouse
Team Rector of Dorchester and The Winterbournes