From the vicar...
There is a really interesting story in the Old Testament (2 Chronicles 19) whereby a king named Jehoshaphat, a less well known Bible character, is considered unusual for bringing social reform to Jerusalem. He has a tough political life and struggles to make a difference, even though we are told he reigns for 25 years. He is steadfast in wanting to do right by God and deeply convicted of his faith led politics and he doesn’t give up. That was 3000 years ago.
It has been impossible to avoid the political commentary taking place on the television and radio over recent weeks; just the other day, after the election statement came out from our Archbishop, I was asked for an opinion on the forthcoming General Election, the question I was asked being: “should the church keep out of politics?”
My answer was simple: the church cannot remove itself from the world and therefore has a place within it, and, as a part of the world, it must have opinions on contemporary issues. If we see our faith as being only relevant in the world of religion and the church as being kept separate from the ‘real’ world, then we may freely argue that there is no place for faith in the discussion of politics. However, if we were to view life as interwoven and an all-inclusive
experience in which no strand may be separated from another, we would agree that faith must be present in all areas, and cannot simply be pigeonholed into the world of the church.
Jehoshaphat told those he appointed to his government to ‘act faithfully, and with a good heart. Be courageous and bring glory to God’. That is an interesting mix of values, leadership and faith. Jesus himself lived in highly politically volatile times. Pilate offered Barabbas, a rebel leader, or Jesus to the crowds for release; something which, by any century’s standards, would be considered an injustice. Jesus was also no stranger to the issues of tax, governance, war and peace, poverty, or other social injustices. As Christians, we are called upon to seek justice, defend the weak, carry peace in turmoil, make a difference to the world in the name of Jesus and enable all to thrive.
Romans 13:1-3 reads, “Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen.”
Paul never intended this passage to be a blanket endorsement from God for all those who are in power. He simply stated that legitimate authority comes from God and that Christians have responsibilities in the process of electing leadership and government.
So yes, it is right that we as Christians engage with the political process, prayerfully using our vote, and I encourage you to do so. However, we are also called to wrestle with the issues and injustices our society faces daily, both politically and biblically. And to pray. Pray for our local candidates and those elected. Pray for our national government and our global leaders.
Perhaps you might join with us locally as we pray during the week commencing 29th May to 2nd June – 6pm – 7pm each day in church?
The parishes of Epperstone, Gonalston, Oxton & Woodborough, Notts.
Anglican Church Services in June
8.00a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)
10.00a.m Family Service (W’b)
11.00a.m BCP Morning Prayer (Gon)
5.00p.m Tea & Praise (Ox)
9.30 a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)
9.30a.m Holy Communion (Ep)
11.00a.m. Holy Communion (Ox)
9.30a.m Holy Communion W’b)
11.00a.m. BCP Holy Communion (Gon)
6.00p.m Prayer & Reflection (Ox)
12.30p.m Mid- week Holy Communion, plus bring & share lunch (W’b)
9.30a.m Family Service (Ep)
9.30a.m.Morning Prayer (W’b)
11.00a.m Family Service (Ox)
The Resolution Meeting for Woodborough W.I. was held on Monday 15th May at Woodborough Village Hall. Unfortunately the Speaker booked for that meeting was forced to cancel her demonstration at short notice, and a Beetle Drive was quickly organised in its stead, which was very good fun. The Shirley Hoskins' Cup was awarded to Jill Russell for a most beautiful, intricately knitted Nativity Scene.
The next W.I. Meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, June 19th at Woodborough Village Hall. Before the main theme, a short song recital will be given by Sarah Fairfax. The main theme will be "Flower Arranging with a Difference; " the Speaker being Chris Biddulph. The Competition will be "An Unusual Flower Vase."
The next W.I. Walk will take place at 10 a.m. from Woodborough Village Hall on Monday, 5th June. Please bring a picnic with you! The planned route will be Roe Hill\ Calverton\Fox Wood\Park Farm\Westfield Lane\Main Street\Home.
The next Committee Meeting will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 13th June at Brenda Chapman's.
Woodborough Street Market will take place on Saturday, 15th July.
Woodborough W.I. Meetings are held at the Village Hall at 7:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month. Visitors and new members are most welcome. For further details contact Jenny on (0115) 965 4186.