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Dear Friends,
This is my first letter to you. Greetings in the name of our Lord! Margaret, and I and our children Andrew, (11), Susannah (10), and Rachel (8), have been helped to settle into our new home, Church, and Town by your very warm welcome, which started so marvellously at the beautiful and very moving Institution and Induction service on the 4th June followed by your overwhelming welcome in the Lecture Hall.
We thank you for your kindness, both those of St Mary's and those from the town.
I am sure that, with God's help through the Holy Spirit, we shall go forward in this new chapter in the life of St Mary's, as we follow Jesus Christ and witness for him. The last Sunday in June saw St Peter's day, We can learn much from Peter that will help us.
  1. His natural strength was broken. Although naturally strong and a born leader, he had to learn through Christ's rebukes and his own denial, not to put any confidence in himself, The person God uses must learn to be a failure; without the grace of God we can do nothing.

  2. His faith was built up. This happened slowly but surely. Looking at Jesus Peter could walk on the water; looking at the waves and trying to work things out was too much for him. Sadly, though understanding is important, so often people only believe what they can understand. Christ calls us to trust him. Later Peter spoke and acted with great boldness.

  3. He learnt to listen to God. At first Peter was impetuous, saying and doing things before understanding what God was saying to him. Later, by listening to God he learnt to move from his traditional ways of thinking, as he was lead by God's Spirit. The Holy Spirit always wants to do new things in us.

  4. He was totally committed to other Christians as well as to Christ. All who believed were together and Peter knew the importance of coming together like living stones in God's building.

  5. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. The difference in Simon Peter before and after Pentecoat is amazing. Not all of us are called to be leaders; but every Christian can and should be someone whom God can use to bring his love and blessing to others.
If God could do all this for Peter, he can do it for you and me. Do we let him?
With love in Christ,

Ernest Hepworth.


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