5 January – Rev’d Josh Thomas, Petersfield and Liss United Reformed Church

Let’s Celebrate!

2022 is a big year for us as a church and as a Christian denomination. For us as a church it marks 300 years of a non-conformist presence here in Petersfield. The very first sermon preached by this group of Christians can still be found and is dated 13th February 1722. As a denomination, the United Reformed Church celebrates 50 years since its foundation in 1972 and there are big celebrations planned to mark both of these monumental milestones.

As a nation, we are desperate to find good news to celebrate after two years of Covid related restrictions and I believe this desire to celebrate together is because God has created us to be relational beings. My sister has just brought Guinea Pigs, and these must be brought in pairs because, they, like us, need friendship and the company of another creature to thrive.

For us to live in isolation is a very difficult thing and we have seen over the past couple of years the devastating realities on people’s mental health and wellbeing that can be caused by times of separation from our everyday lives and routines. Jon Bon Jovi once famously penned the lyric – they say no man is an island and this is true! We rely on other people to pick us up when we feel low and to encourage us on the many dips and turns of life’s journey.

Celebration is important, it’s good to have occasions in the diary when we know we can be joined by others, enjoying company, laughter, and friendship. So, as 2022 starts, I want to encourage you to take whatever opportunity you can to celebrate together whether it’s a significant birthday or anniversary or just the dog’s 7th birthday! Jesus knew what it was to celebrate, and we were created to be in relationship with one another so let’s celebrate that together!

A very Happy New Year to you all.