Together in Prayer – July 2024

Whether we like it or not, change is a constant part of our lives. Sometimes change can be so gradual that it is imperceptible, and at other times it can bring great upheaval.

It is comforting and tempting to think that in an ever-changing world the church is one organisation that remains the same. The attributes of God remain the same but that does not mean that the ways in which we praise, witness and serve will never alter. We are called to engage with the world of today, not the world of the past and that means using language and methods that resonate with those around us.

The American theologian Phyllis Tickle identified a series of upheavals in the Church which had a profound impact on it. The first was the fall of Rome, the second the split between Catholic and Orthodox, and the third the Reformation. It seems that an upheaval has happened every 5-600 years so by my calculation we are due for another, and it may even be happening now. Scary.

There will always be a place for the people of God in God’s world. The way in which we do things may change as the needs of the world change around us. We are still the body of Christ, called to do his work and God is still there with us through all the changing scenes of life.

One of my favourite hymns is by the Methodist hymn writer Fred Pratt Green which you can find as 636 in Rejoice & Sing:


The church of Christ in every age

Beset by change, but Spirit-led

Must claim and test its heritage

And keep on rising from the dead.


May God be with us in this ever changing world, enabling us to be the people we are called to be. Amen.

Reverend Ian Kirby