Behold, I Make All Things New!

Happy New Year

Dear Friends,

I hope that the reflections on the Christmas story over the last couple of weeks, and the O Antiphons before that were helpful as we celebrated Christmas.   Now, hovering on the edge of a New Year we have our hopes and fears for the year ahead to ponder. 

Elections in America, Russia, Taiwan and, probably, the UK all look set to dominate news stories.  In some places democracy itself is under threat, in others it’s long gone; last week two poets were sentenced in Russia to lengthy prison terms for simply reading out protest poetry.  Mr Trump promises to exact revenge on his detractors if he’s re-elected, the Chinese are more than interested in the result of the Taiwanese elections and here in the UK the election looks set to feature debates about our duties under the Refugee Convention.  We hope and pray for some sort of just resolution of the war in Gaza but are tempted to despair that our leaders will ever hear the angels’ song of peace.  We’ll need a lot of prayer and patience to navigate 2024 together.

Tomorrow we start a short Daily Devotion series reflecting on the New Year with some themes about hope and renewal.  After that we’ll read through St Mark’s Gospel together which will take us to just after Easter.  Then we have a short series looking at how Jesus has been depicted in art, a couple of weeks on Evangelism with Eddie Boon, five weeks looking at how Congregationalist Minister, Graham Adams (who teaches at Northern College) has reworked the Five Marks of Mission, and then we will spend a couple of weeks looking at and praying for the situation of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar.  Later on in the Summer John Proctor will lead us through Hebrews.  As ever we continue our way through the Psalter on Sundays.

In what might be a challenging year I hope that as we read, pray, reflect and discern together we become more faithful disciples, more equipped to proclaim good news to a hurting world.

With every good wish for the year ahead


The Rev’d Andy Braunston
Minister for Digital Worship

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