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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

24 May 2013: Dom Clarke - Church leader - St Matthew's, Blackmoor and Whitehill

Happy Birthday, dear Church ... !

This time of year is an exciting time for the church - in fact it is our birthday! Pentecost is the time of year when we remember an amazing, incredible event that was experienced and recorded nearly two thousand years ago. The disciples and followers of Jesus had been on a roller coaster ride with him through good times and bad over the course of three years. After Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection his friends had enjoyed time with him, seeing glimpses of his great glory and watching him do all the things he had promised to do. They must have all been on a huge high. Then he left, as dramatically as he had arrived, but with a promise that something even more wondrous was coming.

That thing was the Holy Spirit and it rushed through the disciples and followers and indeed through everyone in the neighbourhood literally like wildfire. Nothing would ever be the same - God was not just with them, he was in them, he was them. No more convincing was necessary, Jesus had proved that he was both God and man and that the power of God was unbeatable and undeniable. This mad and shocked rabble of folks: women and men, young and old from all different corners of the world decided that they had better stick together. By sticking together and devoting themselves to the worship and praise of God and by following Jesus' teaching and example they became the Church itself.

This same Church still remembers that time ... and still experiences the amazing power of the Holy Spirit every day in some incredible experiences, in miracles, through worship and prayer. The invitation to receive that same spirit is always open. Perhaps now is your time to come and experience it?

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Herald on 24 May; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

Read about the Saying Goodbye Service in Chichester Cathedral on Saturday 8 June

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