Beloved in Christ
Grace and peace to you in our Lord Jesus Christ!
I pray that you are coping within the spots of resurgence of Covid, and finding that the ‘Rule of 6’ (people and 2 households) is not frustrating you too much. From what I hear from the PrimeMinister, we should be very cautious as we expect to enter a possible wave of Covid. Let us pray together for safety, and awareness of the needs of others. Let us pray too for the development of a vaccine before winter sets in. I know we are finding this time a challenge, and please know that you are prayed for by name.
I am very proud of our community, and the caution you are exercising, yet coming to church and being in communion together. For those of you shielding at home, it has been a great privilege to visit you and receive your loving hospitality. The weather has been fine enough to be able to sit outside!
Newport today is scented with the whiff of manure, so farmers are preparing for winter crops already, as they plow their fields again after the summer harvest. It is a privilege to have the country so close to us that we are a part of seasonal movement, and encounter some of the dear little animals along the way: I speak of toads, hedgehogs and squirrels, and the birds chattering away in their language of uninhibited cheerfulness. I believe that there are otters in Tayview estate! (I have
spent a lifetime of hide and seek elusiveness with them and look forward to an encounter!)
So of course we look forward to HARVEST FESTIVAL next Sunday. I hear whispers of plans and organising for the occasion, and I look forward to sharing it all with you!
This week we will be looking at the readings in the framework of James Fowler’s 6 stages of faith development. I have found it very interesting to look at this model once again and in the light of the week’s readings, after many years of studenthood, and apply those stages to Jonah, running from God, railing against God, and witnessing God’s compassion for and love of the people of Nineveh,
outsiders to the Hebrew faith. How many examples do we not have of Jesus
healing and addressinSamaritans, travelling itheir country, welcominthe outsiders, those whare reviled and outcast? Iis a salutary lesson for us. The gospel parable of the
landlord who pays those who might not have worked as long and hard as those faithful ones reminds me of the Prodigal Son, whose elder brother adopts much of the same attitude. I thought that you might like to look at your own faith path through a refreshing although challenging new lens today. See how your life’s religious path has been, whether you yearn to break out of a stale pattern of thinking and into a broader faith, or whether you know others who have moved along and a step up. It might be that lockdown has made you slip backwards, in the isolation and frustration which affects us so keenly. I also know that outsiders imagine that the Christian doctrine has either hurt them or put them off entering the main doors of the church. I do know, from Jesus, that every soul on this earth yearns for a spiritual connection, and we who have that can learn from them as to how to share it. Enjoy the exercise!
The readings are: Jonah 3: 10 – 4: 11; Psalm 145: 1 – 8; Philippians1: 21 – 30; Matthew 20: 1 – 16
St Mary’s: 224 Lead us heavenly father lead us….1,2,3; 233 O thou who camest from
above…1,3,4;104# Holy, holy, holy, holy…1,4,5;91# Great is thy faithfulness… 1,2,3
St Margaret’s:1. Be thou my vision 70; 2. Lord, thy word abideth 420; Holy, holy, holy 286 Great is thy faithfulness
Collect: Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth, and ourselves in your image. Teach us to discern your hand in all your works and to serve you with reverence and thanksgiving; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
OUR ZOOM meeting on Wednesday at 8 will look at Fowler’s model in more depth. Hope to see you there. Otherwise, let us share what you think?
Remember that the online service from the SCE is on from 11am on Sundays and the Service of the Word on Thursday evening.
May the Lord bless you and keep you
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you
And give you peace
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