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Making the most of God's Gifts to Us

On the 12th March 1994, 32 women were ordained priests in Bristol Cathedral; the first women to be ordained to the priesthood in the Church of England.

I can’t help but think of the journey women have been on for the past 30 years in the Church of England since those first ordinations. When I was born, there were no ordained women in the Church of England. Prior to March 1994 then, women were unable to fulfil their vocation to serve God in the way he had called them. They needed to use their gifts and talents for God in different ways. 

Meeting together during Lent to work through the course ‘God’s Gifts’, written by Revd Teena, has been a real eye-opener for some people. Looking at our motivational gifting in week two was in turn reassuring but also a nudge to, perhaps, offer more, not just financially, but in giving of our time and talents as well. It’s not until you compare the ways in which our paths and our interest groups overlap that we realise just how connected we really are across this town, and the impact this can have on mission work in the wider community. 

The season of Lent invites us to prepare our hearts and minds to reflect on God’s great gift to us in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. There are plenty of ways to do this, but whatever we decide to do, we don’t want to do anything simply to be doing it, even if it’s a good thing.

We don’t want to make a list of merciful works so that we can place a checkmark beside each one as we accomplish it. We should aim to inhabit whatever method we choose. 

It’s good to have a plan for doing. It’s also good to have a plan for being. How do I want to be during Lent this year? More quiet and thoughtful? More open to God’s desires? Better able to sit with people who need me? More attentive to sacred readings, whether in church or in private? Do I need to be more compassionate toward my own fears and failings? Do I need to become more courageous about using the gifts God has given me? Whatever you decide, may you make a good Lent as you prepare for the joy of Easter.

The Revd Charlotte Coles


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