Later this month we're looking forward to welcoming James, Katie and the rest of the Porter family to Cromer. Exciting times as we look forward to finding out where God is leading us in this new chapter of our church's life.
It's natural that we ask ourselves, "What will they do?" and "What will they be like?" More important for us to answer, though, are other questions: "What will we do?" and "What will we be like?" How about some words from Paul's letter to the Colossians:
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12 NIV)
As excited as I'm sure the Porters will be to be here, and as pleased as we are to see them, we need to remember that moving with a young family and settling into a new ministry is a big step for them. We need also to remember that James and Katie are not David and Ann - some things will be the same, and some things will be different.
How can we as a church family proactively be kind and thoughtful to them; in the first few weeks and beyond? How can we be gentle and patient, especially as we give them time to settle in properly?
Let's consider how we can continue to be a church family in which it's such a delight and privilege to serve and minister. Above all, let's commit to upholding James, Katie and the family in our prayers - both now and for the years ahead.
Revd Dr Peter Herbert