Several times this week I have had cause to reflect on the glue that binds us together as a parish community. Also on what difference the Holy Spirit, whose coming we celebrated last Sunday, makes in our lives (individually and collectively). Looking forward to Trinity Sunday has proved a powerful backdrop to those reflections – reinforcing the experience of God as (or in) relationship. One of the classic images of the Trinity sees the Holy Spirit as the love the flows between the Father and the Son with such intensity that the three are one.
It has been a real joy to see the enthusiasm with which all those who volunteered to take forward particular aspects of ‘future development’ in our common life that emerged at the recent Vision Day. A tremendous release of people’s gifts that blesses us all – the effects of which are already being felt. Yet in the excitement we need to remember that it is a common life – we are all part of a community, in relationship with each other, and that what each does affects the whole. We have a responsibility to consider how our ideas and actions will impact on others – by tidying away this or changing that, we may inadvertently create difficulties for another group or person. By the same token those affected have a responsibility for encouraging (offering solutions not just criticism!) those who are volunteering. How we manage accountability and co-ordination as these ideas (the Spirit?) flow and find expression is one of the things the PCC will be considering in the light of discussion about the Parish Plan on Tuesday. But we can be sure that if we ground our relationships in God’s love, that has been poured into our hearts, we will promote mutual flourishing – reflecting and being bound into the divine relationship.