Rector's November 2015 Letter

A pause to remember

 

Even though my children are now grown up, the first couple of months of the school year always seem to rush by in a blur of busyness.  September is often the obvious time to start new initiatives – ‘after the summer break’ we say blithely, back in May or June and then pick up our diaries a few months later to find it is suddenly ‘this month’ and ‘next week’.

 

This year has been no exception, with a couple of new initiatives starting around our group of churches, and more in the pipeline.  After a change of date, the first of the ‘OPENING UP TO GOD - An Autumn Course of Quiet Prayer’ has happened and been well received.  The next will be on November 3rd, so don’t miss it.  Full details are published elsewhere. 

 

There has also been the first of a new series of Bible Study group, meeting in Exton on the third Thursday afternoon of every month, when we started by looking bravely at some lesser-known and rather horrible stories from the Old Testament.  We used them to think about what the Bible really is, and how we use it, introduced by part of a talk by Lucy Winkett called ‘Reading the Bible with our Feet’.

 

We are also looking for a new way to bring the village churches of our little group together and talk about things which affect us all.  Our next meeting will be on Thursday 19th November at 7.30pm at the Woodbury Church Rooms.  We will be discussing the things which we can do better as a group and how we can work more together to save repetition and make the most of our joint skills and abilities.  Ideas from everybody are very welcome – anyone is welcome to the meeting, and it really needs all the villages to be represented.  So see you there!

 

Another thing that made my month rather busy last month was taking a week off to celebrate my 60th birthday.  These ‘big birthdays’ do rather take us by surprise, and I have yet to meet anyone who admits to feeling the age it says on their birthday cards.  Most of us hardly even feel we are properly grown-up and one of the great secrets of adult life is that nobody else is either!  But although we could feel gloomy about these ‘big zeros’, it is also a time to remember all the good things that have happened in our lives so far.  So it seems like an appropriate time to revisit the ‘Desert Island Discs’ evening that I did shortly after arriving at these parishes.  If you came before, there will be new things added, and if you didn’t, it would be lovely to see you!  It will be held at the Woodbury Church Rooms at 7pm on Thursday November 26th

 

Of course, November is always a time for remembering and saying ‘thank you’,  mingling sadness and gratitude together.  We remember our personal losses on All Souls and we gather in all our churches on Remembrance Sunday to say ‘thank you’ for those who have died on our behalf in times of war and in the upholding of peace – knowing that this is not a question of distant history, but that names known and unknown are being added to the lists read out somewhere in every year, and that now more than ever we cannot take peace for granted.

 

When times are sad or hard or frightening, we need all the more to ‘remember’ – to remember that the God we serve is a loving father who longs to love us, comfort us and support us when life is painful, if only we will let him.  So much of the Bible was written by people undergoing the most terrible times and yet managing to find glimpses of God throughout them.  Psalm 56 has this wonderful image:

'You keep track of all my sorrows.

You have collected all my tears in your bottle.

You have recorded each one in your book.'

And then in Psalm 139, in words that have comforted many over the centuries, the psalmist says to God:

‘If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.’

 

Remember to let God hold us in our times of trouble, and we will find that to be true.

 

Rev’d Karen Spray                   01392 877400             church@revdkaren.org.uk

 

 


Rector's Pages
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Webpage icon Rector's December 2014 Letter
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