Easter 5

  Beloved in Christ
I wonder what consolations the past week has delivered at the doorstep of your heart, this week. From the sound of those in our Zoom discussion, it seems as if most felt that lockdown has been a healthy, life-giving period: yet I know of many who are now steeped in despondency.  That is what Ignatius describes as desolation. It is deep and dark and we have all touched that reality at some stage, hopefully not now. Yet, according to those who guide us, desolation, once accepted, is the time for real self understanding and knowledge, a time to re-assess and re- grow, The extremes and way in which we move from one to another, consolation and desolation, might sound like a different turn of phrase but in fact it is Ignatian.  
In clergy discussions and in our Wednesday Zoom meetings, I re-introduced  Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ 5 stages of dying: anger, rejection, bargaining, depression and ultimately, acceptance. Be kind and gentle with yourself as you reflect on where you are on the scale, and where is the grief cycle you have spent time.  What I do know is that God is wherever we are, closer than our breath, and seeing us as the ‘apple of God’s eye’ God’s Imago Dei.  I also know that there are some, maybe many, who we can reach out and be as Christ to them, giving assurance and comfort.  Keep some of that for yourself.
It is leaftime early summer and this season is very beautiful, and invitational.  Let us grow deeper roots and support those who need, like the beech trees, to cling to sloped ground, and, once rooted, stay stable. Just look at the magnificent rootedness in the attachment!
I will be at St Margaret’s tomorrow and love our Eucharist and time together.  Soon, soon we shall meet.  I almost wept when I saw church in action once again, in Germany.
I’m delighted with the way Zoom is enabling us.  St Mary’s, set up by Betty, had their first, very satisfying vestry meeting, and the Wednesday group met, discussing Elizabeth Kubler Ross and how that impacts on our status quo.  We all desire the group to enlarge, as each of us make a difference to one another. I certainly felt nourished and enriched, having see your faces once again, and learned from your wisdom. I’m also delighted that these weekly emails are on our respective websites! Well done Christine and Betty!
Hoping too that you are enjoying the SEC Sunday Eucharists. I thought our Primus was wonderful, talking about his crozier as something to lean on whilst he blathered to others.  I just love that picture.  I also picked up his Monday brief reflection on YouTube.  We have great praying joyful and real leaders! 
Tomorrow, Sunday: Acts 7: 55 to 60; psalm 31: 1 to 5 and 17 and 18; 1 Peter 2: 2 to 10; John 14: 1 to 14.  See you from St Margaret’s and know you are prayed for! Follow the SEC online service at the same time. 
A lovely Collect you could pray this week is:Eternal God, your son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth ad the life for all creation:Grant us Grace to walk in his way. Rejoice in his truth, and share his risen life;who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,one God, now and forever.Amen, 

MONDAY Acts 14: 5 to 18                            Psalm 115:1 to 11                         John 14: 21 to 26
TUESDAYActs 14: 19 to 27                           Psalm 145: 10 to 13, 21                John 14: 27 to 31a
WEDNESDAY Acts 15: 1 to 6                              Psalm 122                                     John 15: 1 to 8
THURSDAYActs 15: 7 to 21                             Psalm 96: 1 to 3, 10 to 13             John 15: 9 to 11
FRIDAYActs 15: 22 to 31                          Psalm 57: 6 to 12                           John 15: 12 to 17
SATURDAYActs 16: 1 to 10                            Psalm 100                                      John 15: 18 to 21

Let’s be reminded of Jesus’ own words,’No one puts new wine into old wineskins; if they do, the skin will burst, and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are kept in good condition.’ Let us help each other to make newness and healthiness!
Grace and peace Kathy