All Saints and All Souls November 1st 2020

Beloved in Christ

I can understand how the Celtic god of death, Samhain, saw how the season of winter represented cold, darkness and death. I drove in the countryside near Kingskettle at 4am and thought of our ancient, fused traditions, particularly, the way the church combined many festivals and days of recollection with  ancient pagan observances. The term used for this ‘absorbtion’ is ‘inculturation’ and many coutries are  striving to re-establish links, oft-lost, with the forebears of the lands they have come to call their own. 

However, as people of the light, I, rather, chose to celebrate my bubble of dryness and protection and communed with God, and those saints who have shaped and influenced my life. I gave thanks for the confidence they gave, give and will continue to give me. Today I am naming so many people who are now in the ranks of the white-robed worshippers mentioned in the Revelation reading. Included among those, there are some who in my opinion might still be working on their entry into holiness, and I pray for them too.  It is impossible for us to condemn others, as Jesus frequently tells us: our tradition does not adopt the theology of purgatory, so I pray for those others with ongoing work in the next world too.  This is the special time, in the fellowship of the Christian church,  to remember them. Should you not be able to join us at church on Sunday, pray with us at home, or email me names of the faithful departed you would like us to pray for.

Though it is cold and dark, we are not beset by woes and curses.  The Matthew readings speaks clearly of the blessings we do not fit the mould of the western perception of ‘hero’. The non-material values of our Saviour Jesus Christ are the ones we strive for, and for some of us, it is a contrary cost contrary to the ways of the world. It is the joy we share in worship, in togetherness, in being taught by Christ, that sustains us.

No person, no Covid, no season, no grief or misfortune can separate us from the love of God. Shall we help each other to keep courage and to run the race with a goal in mind – to witness, and contribute to an increase of faith, hope and love, together?

I continue to visit the Larick Centre on Thursdays, and Manna on Fridays at 1pm. Should the time come where there is no one there from church, I shall still enjoy others and use it as a time for praying for each of you. On Friday it was fun to meet with a friend from outside church, and to have a chat across tables to others from church.  Do try to make a date and come, if you feel comfortable to do so.

Zoom continues on Wednesday evenings at 8pm.  You are welcome to join us, or send the link to anyone, anywhere. Last Wednesday was a free-range chat and we shared some interesting views on lockdown and the status quo, as well as re-told some delightful earliest childhood memories. At some stages, we intend to invite newcomers to lead discussion on a topic.

Regarding Alpha, we are opening into ecumenical meaningful discussions as we plan for January. We are thinking it should extend beyond the Alpha programme, into other burning questions Christians in our towns or further afield, would like to chat about. More news to come.

Bishop Ian Paton is visiting us on the 6 December (apologies that I got ahead of myself last week and said November!)  and it will be a wonderful chance to hear his reassuring voice and message. I will request his sermon in writing for those of us who cannot attend).

Readings for this Sunday are:

Rev 7: 9 – 17

1 John 3: 1-3

Psalm 34: 1 – 10

Matthew 5: 1 – 12

I include the Collects for All Souls and All Saints for you:


Father of all,

We pray for those we love but see no longer:

Grant them your peace,

Let light perpetual shine upon them,

And in your loving wisdom and almighty power

Work in the good purpose of your perfect will;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Who lives and reigns with you

In the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, world without end.


Almighty God

You have knit together your elect in one communion

In the mystical body of your son\Jesus Christ our Lord grant that we may attain, with all your saints

The whole measure of the fullness of Christ;

Who lives and reigns with you

In the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, world without end.

God bless in all you do

Kathy Barrable