A monthly update from Rev Deborah Kirk, Superintendent Minister

Letter from Rev Deborah Kirk, Superintendent Minister

God who sets us on a journey 

As write this, I can hear the incessant hooting of horns which is a typical feature of Indian life ... the sounds of people going about their business, each of them on a journey to somewhere or someone.

I am in Berhampur, a busy town with narrow streets and tightly packed shops, stalls and humble homes. The roads are shared by cars, auto rickshaws, motor bikes, pedestrians, cows and dogs. The traffic weaves in and out in an unwritten code of conduct; if you need to cross the road, you hesitate at your peril.

The title of this letter is taken from a hymn written by Joy Dine (1937- 2001) and on the Singing the Faith website, which came into my mind for several reasons over the last few days.

Firstly we are, each one of us, on a spiritual journey taking us through the 40 days of Lent, an annual reminder in the rhythms of our days to slow down, reflect and pray with a deeper intention, and many of us will be embracing a discipline of some kind, which will help us to make that inward journey to deepen our relationship with God.

Secondly, I, and the other 7 members of the District team, have been on a long physical journey of 5000+ miles to the Diocese of Cuttack, our partners in the Church of North India. While we've been travelling around, our journeys have intersected with others and we have travelled together for a short time, sharing our stories of the road.

I want to share one of those stories with you.

On my very first visit to this area in 2012, Alison and I stayed for a night or two at a retreat centre, used by students from the nearby Orissa Christian Theological College. One was the young lady in the picture, Rangeeta, whose father had died. The ladies of a nearby town church 2 were supporting through her training, each of them contributing 1 Indian rupee a day towards her costs. Alison gave her a Bible. After her training finished, she worked at the Christian Hospital in Berhampur offering spiritual comfort to the patients. Last Sunday she was ordained as a minister in the CNI church, and our paths met again as I and other ordained colleagues of our group were invited forward in the service to join the presbyters. I recognised her as the young lady we had met all those years before and was so glad that for a while our paths had connected.

There will be plenty more stories to share from our visit, and I can't wait to tell you about them. But for now, whether your walk today is along a familiar path or one you have never ventured before, may you be blessed by travelling companions who walk with you with care and respect. And may you always be conscious of the presence of our God of love beside you.

Peace for the journey