I have always quite liked the month of February. Apparently its name comes from the Roman festival of purification called Februa, during which people were washed and cleansed. In early February we perhaps echo that beginning as we celebrate the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, or Candlemas, which combines the purification rite with the Jewish ceremony of the redemption of the first born. This year, of course, we will begin Lent on Feb 22nd (Ash Wednesday), which is the start of 40 days of self examination and repentance. All of this combines into February being quite a self-reflective month!
And spiritual self reflection is good. It demands that we slow down a little, take time to look afresh at some aspect of our lives, to perhaps commit ourselves to some sort of Lenten discipline whether that be attending the Lent Course or a different pattern of prayer or some new commitment in the community. And 6 weeks is a constructive time to do this. If you haven’t already, perhaps have a think as to what you might like to do.
Thinking of reflection, you can also read of Holy Trinity’s Mission Plan for 2023; a piece of work which was devised by the Vestry during their Away Day together last month. During that day we remembered what we had achieved last year, considered what we had learned from 2022, articulated where we felt we were now as a congregation… and from this basis began to explore our aspirations and dreams for 2023. I hope that in reading those pages you feel encouraged and uplifted. There is much to be thankful for in our community of Holy Trinity.
In our plans for 2023 we have very loosely taken on the focus given to us by the Province – that of a Season of Christian Living. The purpose of this, given by the College of Bishops, was to offer the church a season which would enliven and encourage our Christian Faith and life, firstly, as disciples of Jesus (being with him) and, secondly, as apostles (being sent out in service into God’s world). It is hoped that with some of the activities that might happen this year we might be inspired to deepen these two aspects of our faith and give us confidence to be able talk about what our faith means to us.
With blessings and love for the coming year,