Dear Minster and Friends,
“May the Lord cause you to flourish, both you and your children” – Psalm 115:14
I recently found out there is German word for ‘making something worse whilst trying to make it better’ – Verschlimmbesserung – that doesn’t have a good English equivalent. I have been hunting around for a good compound word to describe ‘the negative feeling of being bombarded by unsolicited emails asking you if you would like to keep receiving unsolicited emails’ – ‘reunsubscriberrung’ perhaps? The desire to ‘subscribe’ or ‘unsubscribe’ is similar to our desire to belong and stay in touch, compared to the opposite feeling when we are overwhelmed and when we long for a return to simplicity and solitude. The danger for each of us, I believe, is that when this ‘unsubscribe’ feeling hits us, it might tempt us to disconnect from everything, our family, christian community and even our relationship from God. Our flimsy connections (Facebook and marketing emails) generate in us a kind of desire to flee all kinds of connections and can even increase our sense of loneliness and isolation.
Perhaps you can relate to being stressed and seeking solitude and so we withdraw from meaningful relationships – we stop prioritising time with others, prayer, quality time with dear friends and our times of prayer…and then skirt along the surface of fleeting social media and shallow relationships.
How should we respond?
Firstly, we should realise that the connection on offer for us from God is deep, meaningful and positive. God uses His connection with us to bless us and communicates with us to bless us. “The Lord remembers us and will bless us…he will bless those who fear the Lord – small and great alike. May the Lord cause you to flourish, both you and your children.” This short blessing from God, quoted here in psalm 115, was first spoken by God in creation – when he spoke to Adam and Eve and said be fruitful and multiply…and this promise and blessing in creation still lies at the heart of God’s intention for humanity.
Secondly, remember that our relationships are intended to bear fruit, our love is meant to lead to new life – and this is true biologically and spiritually. Spiritually – our friendships and relationships with God and within the body of Christ (the church) are meant to bring life and new life to others (new birth). Whether by adoption or natural birth, each new generation is a blessing to us and makes us more fully human when we care for them and consider them and their needs and not just our own.
Thirdly, even as you ‘unsubscribe’ – do not disconnect from meaningful and positive relationships and friendships. Do not neglect brothers and sisters in Christ, prioritise relationships with those who are different from yourself, whether they are part of your spiritual or biological family. Hang out, enjoy friendships and connections where you can. Invite others over and watch the Royal wedding this weekend with friends. Buy more food than you need one evening and share the invitation. Maybe go for a walk, or have a late night bonfire up at the Minster one night. Find out if there is a way you can serve the next generation, even if you do not have biological children, you will be blessed through the flourishing, increase, multiplication and with affection, watching others grow.
Fourthly, in our individualistic age, remember that many of the blessings of God are experienced together, in community, families and extended families. Let’s listen out for them, expect them and respond when we receive them. So may I finish this letter by passing on this blessing – spoken once by God in Creation, secondly in this Psalm…and now – may this blessing go truly viral and may our connections and communications lead to the flourishing of those we meet, and the next generations.
With much love,
Women’s Gathering Conference – 16th June
9:30am – 4pm
We would love for you to join us for the Women’s Gathering Conference at Latimer Minster church. This is an exciting day for women to fellowship together, experience God and eat good food!!
To purchase tickets please go to;
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org