3 April 2024

Here we are in April – growth and life all around us, which I absolutely love.

Yet we have installed a barrier at the entrance to GAH. Barriers are not normally associated with growth and life – they stop and prevent things. Indeed, in a lot of our work, we are striving to overcome barriers. So, why?

Well, we were noticing with increasing concern the school traffic that was occurring on our patch. It was leading to all sorts of dangerous double parking that had us watching through our fingers as children were nearly run over or knocked down. It was a serious accident waiting to happen. So, in the spirit of mission and care for young people – including the children of the school whose parents were using our carpark – we decided to make it safe and prevent that accident from happening. Therefore, sometimes, barriers ARE necessary for growth and life. It’s similar in our work, where sometimes we need to put restrictions in place or establish processes, etc. so that we enable growth and development and, ultimately, life. Our reflection this month is one that I came across when linking into a favourite app of mine – Pray as you Go (also on the website: https://pray-as-you-go.org/). I love the analogy – “clothe yourselves”. I mean, my first achievement of every day is simply just getting dressed!!

How do we choose what we wear each day? How do we want to be seen? Some of us wear uniforms, so that we are clearly seen as those in charge. Some of us dress formally for important meetings, so that we are seen as business-like and are taken seriously. St Peter urges us – “clothe yourselves with humility”. It isn’t just the garments that we wear but how we ARE. How we behave and conduct ourselves which is critically important. But Peter advises – in summary – be humble, trust God, discipline yourselves, keep alert. We need a mixed wardrobe for life! And sometimes barriers/”discipline” have to be part of that. So what are you wearing today? Not just your outfit… but really, what do others see you clothed in when they encounter you? Humility? Trust? Discipline? Attentiveness? What else? As people who work for the YMCA, how do we want to be known?

In the next few newsletters, I’ll revisit some of the potential directions of travel for all this thinking, something I’ve been exploring with SMT.

Great to see a focus on some of our nursery work this month. We’re working our way around the organisation bit by bit! Thank you for all that you do in our YMCA, my colleagues. 

Warmest wishes and blessings for the forthcoming month.

Annette Daly, CEO