God is working his purpose out.
When I reflect on my life and in particular the years since I responded to God’s call, I realise that I have had my plans, but God has had his purposes. Rarely have the two coincided! For instance, when Liz and I left Middlesbrough in 1985 and moved to
Scotland for me to serve with the YMCA I could not have imagined that we would return to my home town some sixteen years later and that I would be a priest! Our God is full of surprises!
In early May this year I attended a YLP training day in the Diocese. The opening act of worship included a DVD presentation in which a dramatized version of Sir Francis Drakes poem, ’Disturb us Lord’, was enacted. The poem was new to me and I found it very thought provoking. The echo of the poem stayed will me throughout the month of May and I included the full text in my sermons on Pentecost Sunday. In those sermons, I was asking; are we willing to be disturbed by the same Spirit that visited the apostles on the Day of Pentecost? Are we willing to be people, who by God’s grace, step out in faith?
Just two days later I received the details of a vacancy that the senior staff of the Diocese encouraged me to consider. As I pondered the details I wondered (and wrestled with the question), ‘is this the Lord disturbing me’? Trusting the judgement of those who suggested that I explore this possibility, I followed the requirements of being called to interview by the patrons (The Church Pastoral Aid Society (CPAS) and the Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral).
I am now able to say that following the formal interview, I was offered and accepted the invitation of the patrons to be Vicar of the Benefice of South Cave, Ellerker and Broomfleet in the East Riding of Yorkshire. As strange as it seemed initially I have increasingly realised that in all of this, ’God is working his purpose out’.
I will be able to give more details regarding dates of my final Sunday at St Cuthbert’s and institution at South Cave in due course. In the mean time may I ask for your prayers in all that will need to be attended to over the coming weeks. In particular please pray for Ben Norton, Sylvia Murray and Alan Proudler as they prepare for a new chapter in the ongoing story of our church. Pray also for Liz and I as we prepare to begin a new episode of life and ministry.
Every Blessing Rev’d Mike Proctor.