New Year, New opportunities….
With ‘school zones’ back in operations on our roads it’s time to acknowledge the holidays are over and the year has well and truly begun, and nowhere more so than in the life of our churches.
The summer sermon series, camps, conferences & missions are done for another year and now the regular groups, kid’s church, youth and Bible study groups, resume. Also the New Year brings new opportunities for service and is a time when new people may have joined church. All in all a new year is a great time for enthusiasm, excitement and anticipation in the life of our churches.
As I reflect on the ministry year ahead I am particularly thankful for the numerous women around the diocese who are once again giving themselves in sacrificial service for the sake of the kingdom of God. Those entering the classrooms to teach SRE, running playtimes, leading Bible studies, visiting the sick, caring for those in difficulty, opening the Bible with other women week by week, those who are bold and share their faith on campuses, in the work place, with friends and family. How God has blessed us through the ministry of women.
One area of church life that’s come under the spotlight over the summer is the weekly sermon and the role that women might have in contributing to that ministry. Three e-books, one written by local Anglican minister, John Dickson titled ‘Hearing her Voice’ explore the issue (from different angles) of whether women ought to participate in giving the Sunday sermon. There have been numerous interactions regarding John’s book on social media but Lionel Windsor’s blog offers a thoughtful discussion between John and Lionel on some of the key points of the book.
While the issue itself isn’t particularly new for our diocese, these books again cause us to carefully and thoughtfully place ourselves under Scripture and examine what God has revealed in his word.
Yet even with the renewed concern in this issue, the beginning of a new year is an opportunity to once again give thanks to God for the diversity of ministries undertaken by women in our diocese. May the Lord bless our endeavours for him, so his name is glorified and the name of the Lord Jesus becomes known by more women across our city. I hope in the year ahead to profile some of the women serving in our churches, and we can continue to give thanks for the wonderful opportunities God gives us to participate in his work.