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Part of a Worldwide Family ...

a message from our Team Rector, Revd Dr Jeremy Worthen.

Do you read our weekly email newsletter - Good News for Ashford - right to the end? I know there’s often quite a lot in it, but then there’s actually quite a lot happening in our parish! If you do scroll through to the bottom, you’ll know we offer weekly ‘points for prayer’, and we always begin with the worldwide Anglican Communion, and a particular ‘Province’, national church or group of churches within it. We don’t pick this ourselves. We’re following the international calendar of prayer for the Anglican Communion. My eye was immediately drawn to it this week, because we’re praying for the Province of Alexandria. That includes the Diocese of Egypt, where, as many of you will know, my younger daughter and her family are currently living, and they’re part of the vibrant church there. One of the amazing stories of the last 150 years is the way that Christian faith has spread and taken root around the world in new ways. We are part of a worldwide family, and it’s really important that we embrace that, and recognize the glorious diversity of God’s church on earth today. Last Sunday, we heard the story of what happened to the disciples on that first Pentecost after the death and resurrection of Jesus, and how people from many different places marvelled that ‘in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ It’s a picture of what the church could and should be like: drawing together all humanity, with its amazing and creative variety, into one great symphony of praise. And we see that picture being given expression today, perhaps greater expression than ever before. Do please pray for the worldwide Church, and for our own Anglican Communion. Churches in different parts of the world face different challenges, but those challenges go very deep, for all of us. The strains and tensions between our churches are also serious, and that’s not going to change any time soon. But do pray with thanksgiving. There is so much faith, hope and love, in so many different nations and situations, in the one body of Christ worldwide.

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