The July 2019 letter, written by Fr Chris Giles, for our monthly parish magazine, Trinitas, follows:
The gesture of welcome is probably the most important act we can offer to another person, this is so relevant whether it is to friends, work colleagues or strangers. When we receive a warm welcome it enables us to feel as though we belong even if we initially feel out of place. In our Christian lives, with Jesus as our example, we should never be hesitant about welcoming others, especially the stranger.
One of my favourite verses from the bible is from Hebrews 13:2, in that we do not know who we are welcoming!
While he lived on earth, Jesus always welcomed everyone into His presence. One element that was a defining part to Jesus' welcoming to others, was the way in which He showed that He always had the time for those who needed His help. For my short time here at Holy Trinity it has been wonderful to witness the joyful welcome that exists to each other and strangers alike.
We can then, all continue to make an effort to follow in Jesus' footsteps by devoting more of our time to friends, strangers and those that are seeking Jesus who we may encounter. For myself, coming into the church for morning and evening prayer, I have discovered a beautiful ministry of welcome from just being in our churchyard to those who come to visit and tend the graves of friends and loved ones.
The bible contains many verses about welcome, in fact the entire bible is the story of how God has welcomed all of humanity.
As we now enter summertime, which is a time of year that brings a smile to the face of almost everyone. It is a time of year when children are released from the responsibilities of school work. A time when families and friends gather together for picnics and share moments of love and friendship. As summer begins, we should all take a few moments to reflect upon the meaning of this special God-given season and thank Him for it.
God created the world in six days, and rested on the seventh. Summer then, often acts like a Sabbath for the year. Where our school children and those who work hard through the year, find that summertime provides a period of holidays and rest.
I pray for us all, that these days of well-deserved summer rest and relaxation, will also be a time of inner enrichment , and that God will bless each day. May we emerge from this season with a deeper faith in the God that loves us, more rested to do His work here on earth, and committed to welcome and serve all God’s people,
Fr Chris Giles