If you enjoy gardening, one of the best things about moving to a new home is discovering the delights and pleasures of the garden.
Most seasoned gardeners will advise you to live with your new garden for a year before you start any radical work and at the very least, wait until the end of the first summer.
It will take this time to work out what existing plants you actually have as well as which areas do well. So don’t go cutting back everything you see – live with your garden a while to get a good idea of how it grows. It’s the best way of discovering where the sunny corners are, whether any parts of the garden become completely water logged, where the dry shade is, and which bits get hit hard by the frosts come the onset of winter
Once you have got to know your garden, it is time to make a plan. This way you have a much better idea of the kind of garden you’re aiming for and you can seasonally map out the steps to take to get there.
Well, I have been in post for a year now and as you might have guessed this advice doesn’t only apply to the Vicarage garden. It has been a wonderful, albeit busy (and sometimes overwhelming) twelve months here in the Marden Vale Team. Building good relationships takes time, as does discerning the needs, hopes and dreams of the communities I have been called to serve. Then there is the vital element of discerning God’s mission in this place and discovering how God is calling us to live out our faith.
Advent is the beginning of a new Christian year. May I encourage you to take some time to reflect, to pray, and to listen for God’s voice as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. May I also encourage you to share with me your hopes and dreams for the future and any suggestions as to how the church may serve the local community, so that together we can begin to plan a ‘garden’ where all may flourish and grow. *
A couple of projects in the pipeline are a prayer/study group where we can encourage and support one another as we seek to learn more about the Christian faith; and exploring how to take our responsibilities for caring for God’s earth seriously from using fairly traded goods, to recycling and reusing, to creating a wildlife haven in our churchyard. Also, how might we enhance our beautifully light worship space with our creative skills?
There is much groundwork and consultation to be done, and of course there are pressing practical considerations such as balancing the books. Remember “Pray, Serve, Grow”? (What do we pray for, whom do we serve, how will we grow?) The New Year seems to be a good time to revisit these questions and to address them with renewed energy.
As we prepare our hearts to receive the Christ-child may I wish you peace and joy in this season of Advent and Christmas.
As we look ahead to 2019, may we dream dreams and reach out into the future with a deeper understanding of God’s way for us.
*Get in touch with me, churchwardens or PCC members with your thoughts/ideas.