Pentecost 18 October 4th 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Chist 

Last week’s Harvest Festival was lovely, and thank you for your kind donations.  Those in need, through various food banks, will be most grateful. It was a wonderful privilege to enter St Margaret’s and St Mary’s and witness the indoor beauty of the changing season in flowers, and appreciate your gifting to the church!

What weather! On one of my sorties this morning, I encountered people actually apologising for the weather, saying, ‘It’s not usually like this….’ However, thanks to my little dog, and my son, and grandchildren, the weather is undampening to my enthusiasm! It is glorious in its own way, with rain noisily pattering on the newly-fallen leaves, brown, and glistening freshly from the goldening, yellowing rustling treetops.

I am sure we would agree that a Christian can never complain about being confined to an increase in indoor cosiness, as there is an invitation to deepen our faith through reading, reflection and personal prayer.  We have been following themes of self-reflection, particularly of our past, re-visiting phases or incidents which might provoke joy, poignancy or maybe helplessness and a sense of loss.  It is cathartic to feel the crucifixion of the unwanted traps in memory, and to arise from their tomb, feeling more free and light and positive.  For Christ comes to set the prisoner free, and make our burden light.

Herewith the video we used last week, on our Wednesday Zoom chat.  You can pick it up and watch the YouTube video, entitled, ‘Coronavirus: God can you hear us?’ by Nicky Gumbel – HTB at home (HTB stands for Holy Trinity, Anglican church, Brompton. London).  It is both interesting and provocative in terms of our prayer life which sometimes becomes stale, or we feel, even irrelevant in tough times.   Nick Gumble and his team have transformed countless people through Alpha courses (videos on Questions on Life, and then allowing time for group discussion.) I know how much congregations enjoy the course, as I have been part of Alpha for many a year.  I am finding that other denominations locally in Tayport and Newport would like the idea of joining an Alpha group together with us in the near future. (It works very well on Zoom, as we can all watch a theme video, then break into a little group, then come together to chat afterwards!  The great thing about it is that you can watch the video on YouTube should you miss a session!)

I do commend those of you who have taken the leap into using online videoing such as Zoom, wassap, Facebook and so on: our children and grandchildren, every business and even shopping is moving that way. If you would like us to help you with getting connected to join us, we can certainly help you.

The readings today are not altogether comfortable, as we are urged to reflect on how we are behaving in our world, often turning to material comforts before the comfort God alone can give us when things are not going well – perhaps at this very moment locked into Covid. There are strong images of wine farming, from the perspective of tenants, owners, workers…. bearers of cultivating a culture from cherished old stock, to bear fruit in a new land. Paul gives a striking testimony on his Christian value system and code of conduct.

Readings for this week are:

Isaiah 5: 1 – 7

Psalm 80: 7 – 14

Philippians3: 4b – 14

Matthew 21: 33 – 46

God bless and look forward to seeing you soon!
Kathy Barrable

07552 503 859