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Clive Collier writes

Today is Father’s Day. Often considered a commercial add-on to a historical Mothering Sunday to balance the books. It has however significant merit. Fathers are important (as are mums) and the reason is that God is, by definition, a parent. We are called to be Children of God.

Sometimes people think we have chosen the model of God as Father based on human experience but it’s important to recognise that God is primarily a relational God who desires to grow a family in relationship with him.

(Ephesians 3:14) For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family (father) in Heaven and on Earth derives its name!

This is one of the reasons why we (my wife Helen and myself) are so committed to parenting initiatives which help all parents reconnect with who they are as parents and how to parent effectively. When we do this, we stand in that line of spiritual life and DNA of a father God who loves his children and wants both the best for them but also has a purpose for their lives.

Also today, Gill Gifford will be sharing about the Holy Spirit in our lives and, of course, it's by that self-same Spirit that we become children of God - become part of the family of God whatever our human background or situation.

Being a father for me has been and still is one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of what is now becoming a long life. I've been so blessed when someone has come alongside me and encouraged me or even challenged me in love. To this end we are inviting all with a father’s role to gather for an evening on 14th November to encourage and equip (a mums evening is planned for 17th October) so put the date in the diary as well!

Family is on God’s heart. Fathers are on God’s heart. Absence of fathers can be challenging and unfortunately many fathers have not reflected well the fatherhood of God in raising their own children. So today - on Father’s Day - let’s support and encourage those fathers who are trying to be both loving fathers but also godly men and encourage them in that role - in that calling!