It’s amazing what life throws at us, and the surprises that God weaves into the mix as we go. Many of you have approached me recently with concern about my epilepsy. I had a couple of seizures at the end of August and have been struggling with the side effects of increased medication. I’ve been frustrated, disappointed and angry with God about it, but God can take it and I’ve been blessed with support from all angles and excellent medical care. Thank you for your prayers for me while I’ve been away, I think I’m on the upswing now.

Prayer and community have always been an essential components of the Christian life. I have seen that anew in the formation sessions this past week learning that I am not the only one wrestling with things I don’t want to face. The book we have been discussing, Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don’t Belong To by Lillian Daniel has got me thinking about formation and ministry here at St. James’.

One of the things that I value most about gathering with you to study scripture, talk theology and explore different ideas, is that we get to know one another in a way that is not possible in the happy chaos of coffee hour on Sunday. Ask yourself, who do you know here? Would you say you have someone at church that you could call a friend? Is there someone here you would feel comfortable to ask to pray for you? If not, I encourage you to take a leap and have a conversation, join a group or come to a formation session.

I have found that in conversation with one person or a dozen I am learning and my faith is strengthened and deepened.

Speaking with one of you this week I thought of Jesus comforting his disciples by say that “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20). I think it was an encouragement not just for when the church was beginning with small numbers, but for us now. When we meet in small in small groups for ministry or to learn and study together, Jesus is there with us.

This has been my week. I’m looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.

Mother Lucy