Monday, 15 December 2008

Heather’s Leap of Faith

What is faith? What difference does it make? What’s the link between what we do and what God does? How much of it is a mind thing — what you believe — and how much the total package about how you live? In various ways this autumn, I have been feeling the Big Issue for the church is faith — getting real about it, getting involved, actually doing it.

A joy of this job is several hundred confirmations a year. People of all ages come, each with their own special story, seeking the laying on of hands with love. They tell me about many steps backwards as well as forwards on the way, but where people tune in to God’s music and develop their own ear for it, finding a voice, learning to sing with others brings real joy.

Someone showed me a picture this year of a bungee jump off Bloukrans bridge in South Africa, 216 metres. It’s a personal ride — others can inspire you that its doable, but for the full adrenaline, you do it for yourself. Like faith, it’s a corporate enterprise — just chucking yourself off the bridge, you'd get the thrill, but not for long. And just like faith, the better anchored you are the more exciting the ride.

I said this during a confirmation at Iver parish Church recently not knowing that there in the music group was Heather Harper. On 27 December last year she took her own leap of faith at Bloukrans, having gone to SA to celebrate a personal reinvention in her family — Click here to see a Video of her feat!
Heather says:
I couldn’t edit it and there is one ‘oh s…’ but nerves were pretty high up there!! As you can hear at the beginning I did ask God to look after me – he not only did, but enabled me to have a brilliant jump. It’s a long story as to why I was there, why I chose to jump off the Bloukrans Bridge, S.A. on December 27th 2007 (the film date is wrong) as it was the anniversary of one year of my sons recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. The more I think about your sermon last Sunday the stronger my new faith grows especially the power of prayer – I know I keep repeating it but it is quite frankly Awesome – and it makes me very happy.
And in this context I recognised the corporate reinvention we are currently unfergoing in Victoria Combe’s piece this weekend in the Financial Times, appropriately called Leap of Faith, based on an interview with Richard Chartres, Bishop of London.

Speaking of whom, many congratulations to Paul Williams, Rector of Gerrards Cross, who is to be the new Bishop of Kensington. Over my time in Bucks I've developed tremendous respect for Paul and for the prayer, discernment and hard work that goes into team and leadership development at GX, as it thrives and grows. I’ve also been with Paul at Willow Creek. I know that Paul has leadership wisdom and grace to offer the whole Church, and want warmly to congratulate him, and the Kensington Episcopal Area and the Diocese of London.

1 comment:

kevinburns55 said...

I'm glad this leap of faith worked for you. When it came to my sobriety from drugs and alcohol I found god didn't help. I needed to get myself under control and Narconon Vista bay
did that with me. They told me I didn't need to surrender my self to anyone or anything. I just needed to except control was in my power and I got it.

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