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by ben last modified 01 May, 2021 12:10 AM

The Bishop of Sherborne, Karen Gorham

Making it a Welcome Break

The opening up of our churches at Easter has provided us with much joy. Resurrection hope has entered once again into our hearts and once again we can celebrate within our buildings and sing hymns just outside them.

What is interesting about the resurrection accounts from the Gospels is that they take place both indoors and outdoors; in a garden and in a locked room, in a house and by the lakeside, on the road to Emmaus and up a mountain. Inside and outside is how the good news spread and the early church was born.

Throughout this last year the church has also been inside and outside, making a difference in local communities through significant social action, and enabling worship via zoom, YouTube, Facebook, and as small gatherings in church. It feels though that we have moved into a new phase, and during this month when we celebrate Ascension and Pentecost, we have an opportunity like no other before us.

Ever since Easter many people are booking up a staycation as the country opens up once again and according to the news Dorset and Wiltshire are going to be on many holiday makers lists of places to visit.

If we really believe in our risen and ascended Lord, and the power of the Holy Spirit we have the hope we all need in moving forward, not just for those of us who worship regularly but our neighbours, friends, and strangers also. Engaging with those who have attended worship online will be important going forward as will our hospitality and welcome to those who call in, pass by, and come to stay in our towns and villages. People are also going to be looking for space to reflect, to pray, to worship, to give thanks, for meaning.

So, my challenge this month is that we fully prepare for the tourist season. Let us really go to town in demonstrating God’s hospitality and welcome inside and outside our buildings, and in doing so share the hope that we have in Jesus Christ abundantly and openly.

Bishop Karen

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