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Pastoral Letter - October 2016

  • Last Updated: Sunday, 09 October 2016 19:56
  • Written by All Saints Admin
  • 09 Oct

Dear Friends,

I try to love autumn, but for me it heralds the end of long summer days full of light and freedom from coats and boots. I have always seen it as the beginning of the end and I don’t like endings.

Then someone reminded me that not everyone sees the shortening of light as an ending; some see it as the beginning. The Jewish religion celebrates its Sabbath, beginning on Friday evening, as this for the Jewish people is the start of the new day. A new day that begins with the darkness and ends with the light. For me, autumn is the evening of the year, so can I see it in this same sense as the beginning of the new cycle of life? A cycle that asks us to let go with the trees of all that no longer serves us?, to relax our branches just as the trees do every evening and rest?

Maybe I can. Maybe now that all the work of fruiting and harvest is done for this year, it is time to rest, to breathe, to recognize our ebb and flow, to allow the earth to re-nourish us without expending all our energies.

The earth itself needs rest from producing, from constantly giving of itself, as do we.

So may this time of recreation be a time of re-creation where we discover within us the gratitude for all that this planet gives of itself and think of it in those words spoken by Jesus on God’s behalf, “This is my body given for you,” says God, “This is my blood shed for you take and eat that you may have life”

For the life of this planet is the expression of divine consciousness that shares our life and our seasons. Autumn is a time of allowing the wonder of this natural world to speak deeply of life. Of letting go into the fertile dark earth to wait for the first signs of replenishment and new birth, the true ending which is filled with light.

Rev Bev

 

stainglass window

Photo Credit: //www.flickr.com/photos/30369211@N00/3631679797/">Niall McAuley via Compfight cc

Pastoral Letter - September 2016

  • Last Updated: Sunday, 04 September 2016 11:04
  • Written by All Saints Admin
  • 04 Sep

Dear Friends,

During the summer break on a trip to Worcester, we visited the cathedral (you might want to call that a busman’s holiday). A choir were practicing and it sounded lovely, as did the sense of space. As I looked around the cathedral and in particular the sculptures, I was slightly disturbed as I looked at all these marvellous monuments to Bishops, Lords, ladies and sirs. Why did that disturb me?

Only seven days beforehand we were in another church in Malta and the sculpture and artwork were not monuments, but representations of Saints, Jesus or accounts on the life of Jesus. I remember looking at part of the stone column where Paul had rested his head before it was cut off! The art was not that cool, slightly detached English style, it was passionate, visceral and very much over the top. However, unlike the monuments in Worcester Cathedral, these were monuments that connected you to the reality of the Divine. I have to confess that I found the imagery in that Maltese church unappealing and alien, but I could sense the devotion and faith behind them.

At the start of his letter to the Colossian church Paul describes Jesus as “the image of the invisible God”. We can know what God is like by looking at Jesus, it is Jesus who connects us to the divine. What is unknown and unseen is now visible. This is no monument, but like the Maltese artwork, Jesus is passionate, visceral and over the top!

There is the story of a missionary who amongst many things taught the African village he was serving in, how to tell the time using the Sun. Before he left he built a Sundial for them. The village elders gathered in order to honour and remember the missionary they would make a monument to him. So they built a hut around the sundial!

So what do we do with Jesus, the image of God? Do we turn him into a monument, shrouding him the beauty of art and music? Or do we allow him to live and love by our devotion and service?

Ray Khan

stainglass window

Photo Credit: //www.flickr.com/photos/30369211@N00/3631679797/">Niall McAuley via Compfight cc

This Weeks Services

22Oct
Sung Holy Communion
Sun Oct 22 @10:15AM - 11:30AM