Beloved in Christ
It was wonderful to share the Feast of St Mary last Sunday in Newport. It was a great joy to hear the happy reunion greetings of the two churches. It was a beautiful service, and I attach Betty’s homily on St Mary’s and Margaret’s homily on the Mary the Virgin. I know not more than 4 householders brought refreshments, but we will have to cancel any further refreshment sharings until we are advised that the government permission has allowed it.
I have just returned from St Mary’s, where two clergy wished to look at the back of the church meeting and refreshment space: they were so impressed by the concept and the beautiful re-use of the pews for all the cupboards. I believe it is Ann’s masterwork, yet many of you were involved in the project: sometimes we don’t stop to celebrate our achievements or thank those involved! Thank you for this lasting gift to our community! One of the clergy, Dr Carrie Applegath brought her husband, Bishop Ian, who sends you all love and best wishes, saying that he looks forward to meeting you again. It was a surprise to me, but I was so proud that all the evidence of correct compliance was there, in place. I turned on all the lights and St Mary’s was beautiful, as always!
Clergy meet on Zoom every Wednesday morning, and the group have sustained and exchanged with one other: it is that encounter that prompted today’s visit. Two thoughts stem from this:
1. Our Wednesday evening Zoom meetings have been a wonderful way of exchange. In informal meetings, we could look at each other, and enjoy chatting: it is developing its own identity, and I thank you for transitioning me in lockdown to a feel of family. I want to urge you to join us, even though it might be more convenient NOT to!!! We do not know what the future holds regarding the virus: legislation and the way people meet, so it is good to start the process our own experience and perception in small ways, together. By the way, thanks Duncan for hosting it! Also, I will be asking you if your group should continue meeting weekly, and if you are still happy with 8pm.
2. Clergy met on Zoom for an Area Council meeting, and this Thursday at 6.30pm, there is a Zoom Area Council for clergy and vestry. I implore you to set time aside: it should be Christine, Mike and Janette, Betty, David, (and who else would like to come in on this one?), Margaret and me. Please be sure the vestry secretaries know you will be joining, and that you have the right links: the participants must be forwarded to Carol, Bishop’s secretary.
DATES TO NOTE:
27 SEPTEMBER – HARVEST FESTIVAL. The readings have changed from the original roster.
I am busy working on the rota for November/December at this stage, so if there are any additions, let me know in good time, remembering that I am new to all the common traditions.
READINGS FOR THIS SUNDAY
Isaiah 51: 1 to 6. Psalm 138. Romans 12: 1 to 8. Matthew 16: 13 to 20. The central theme is Peter’s recognition and naming of Jesus as the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah: the question posed to you and I is: who is Jesus personally, to you?
May this recognition be with you as you journey into this next week.
Grace and Peace