Go back to normal view
Once again, we are at a point of beginnings. This month, children will be going to school for the first time, students will be going to university for the first time, people will be leaving home and starting new ventures. Even for those of us whose formal education lies a long way behind us, September usually marks a beginning, a “gearing up again” after the more relaxed month of August. But when you stop to think about it, the year is punctuated with new beginnings. There’s September – and January. There’s springtime, when everything seems to be bursting with new life. And then, for those of us who are Christians, there’s the beginning of the Church Year on Advent Sunday at the end of November, and there’s Easter, the ultimate new beginning, marking Jesus’ victory over death and our new life with God. We all have our own individual marker-points too: birthdays and anniversaries of different kinds, times when we might take stock and perhaps aim for a new, or renewed, direction.
That’s a lot of beginnings! This fits well with central themes of the Christian Gospel: God’s love is always new, he is both the beginning and the end of all things, and with him there is always the opportunity for a fresh start. Whether we are about to embark on an exciting new venture, struggling in what seems like an impossible impasse, or simply trudging through our daily routine, God is with us, ready to encourage us and support us to become the people he longs for us to be.
We are having our own new beginning this autumn at St Paul’s. In October we begin a new pattern of Sunday Evening Services, in a range of styles to meet different worship preferences. In principle, the first Sunday of the month will be a new-style Healing Mass – though that’s not starting until January; the second Sunday will be Messy Church; the third Sunday will be Evening Prayer, led by a member of St Paul’s congregation; and the fourth Sunday will rotate through a programme of Sung Evensong, Benediction and a meditative service drawing on the traditions of the Taizé, Northumbria and Iona communities. The detail can be found on our diary pages. Why not try something new and come and experiment? It could be the beginning of a new beginning!