Why do you wear your scarf differently? An explanation from Jun. Update on the Winter Night Shelter and Parish Vision day, together with upcoming events.
From the All Saints Community Newsletter Sept 2015
All Saints Choir
It has been a delight to have Andrew Reid take up the reigns of the choir as Organist and Choir Director. He would love to hear from boys and men who would like to sing. Please do contact him if you or someone you know are interested.
All Saints PCC
At its last meeting the PCC split into groups and had a discussion about church Growth. The groups selected 3 desirable areas for growth at All Saints. Feedback from the groups included a desire of growth in “Deeper connections between people’s faith and their everyday lives”, “Growing numbers of people reading and studying the Bible”, “ A growth in love within the church” and “Increasing numbers of families and young people”.
The second discussion that occurred was to select two developments that are desirable in the near future and responses included: Magazine team, welcome and fellowship team, Visiting team, an advocacy service, prayer group, Youth club and all-age non-Eucharistic worship.’
Over the last year groups have been meeting to study the new Pilgrim Course produced by the Church of England. We have now studies three from the Follow Stage. Robert Raven writes:
A new way to be a Pilgrim
Over the last few months members of the congregation have attended Pilgrim, a new course using a booklet and visual presentations to help develop discipleship on our Christian journey. We meet in the Lady Chapel in a relaxed and informal manner and group members decide if they want to say anything or not. Pilgrim approaches the great issues of faith not through persuasion, but participation in a pattern of contemplation and discussion, allowing the group to just draw on their own personal experiences and I think that is really important as we develop our relationship with God.
There are eight six-session short courses. Each session contains opening and concluding prayers, visual presentations, scripture reading, reflection and discussion. Some members were more comfortable reading out loud and others were more passive listening. The meaning seems to jump out of the page at you.
As a disciple I need the support of other Christians and to be part of a community. Pilgrim gives the opportunity to reflect and pray together and to explore the riches of our faith. It was also very nice to meet and chat and learn about each other’s Christian life and how their faith plays an important part.
To date, we have covered the Lord’s Prayer, The Ten Commandments and The Beatitudes. The next group will start soon and I thoroughly recommend each and every one of us considers joining the course. Groups are friendly and usually you will be offered tea and coffee often with yummy biscuits provided by Deirdre.
Hope to see you there. Robert
Helena del Pino has been with us for a year as part of her training for ordination. She has now moved on to experience the life at St Mark’s and she writes:
As some of you may know my time with you at All Saints has been my first sustained experience of parish life in the Church of England since I have generally worshipped in Cathedrals during my adult life. A very big thank you is due to each and every one of you for enabling me to have this warm engagement during the time of my ordination training. All I have experienced has helped me to grow in vision and understanding about what it means for the Church to be the Body of Christ.
In particular, my time here has led me to wonder about the patronal name of churches and whether they embody the aspirations of a community or whether the community takes its inspiration from the name. The word that sums up my experience of being with you is COMMITMENT which seems to be a characteristic of the Saints. I have found a community in which people are committed to each other, to worship, to fellowship and to continuing through thick and thin. So many of you are visibly (and I suspect, invisibly) giving to others, both inside and outside the congregation, through work, friendship and the generous giving of time and talents. In other words of I found in you a community of everyday saints whose light gently shines into some of the dark places of suffering in the world and in human hearts. This is something that has touched me deeply and has given me something to treasure always in my heart.
The Winter Night Shelter Project is an outstanding example of this commitment to Christ by reaching out to the marginalised of this world. It is never easy to take on something new and it can feel quite risky but the generosity of spirit was very moving and the hard work it took to establish and pilot the project despite personal cost was impressive. I was particularly amazed at the speed with which it was set up and this showed me that it is true, all things are possible with Christ and we must be venturesome in our love in his name.
One of the truly delightful things about All Saints is the numbers of children who are part of the community and who are being shown stability and nurture in our restless world of challenge and change. The world they will inhabit as adults will probably have ways of living and challenge that we cannot even imagine today and they need to be prepared for inhabiting this new world in a Christ-like way. The word commitment comes from a root which means to “send with” and I have experienced a community that is preparing to send out its children clothed in love to be Christ-like now and in the future. Their participation in the church community allows them to be educated in the way of the saints and is a joy to witness.
So, thank you for welcoming me and teaching me so much about what it means to be Church in this place. Thank you for putting up with me when I got it wrong and for being encouraging when I seemed to get it vaguely right. Thank you to Greg for having me alongside in his first year here when he had so much else to do and get to know himself.
I will pray for you and give thanks always for your commitment. Please pray for me as I journey on towards ordination and curacy that I will, by the grace of God, learn to be ever more committed to the way of Christ myself.
Park Streets Ahead Residents Association invites neighbourly people of all ages who live locally – and their friends – to
Tea & Cake & Music
at All Saints Church Hall, Park Road
2-4pm on 2nd Sundays monthly 13 Sept, 11 Oct, 8 Nov, 13 Dec
Drama workshop for age 8+…Activity table for toddlers…Welcome for everyone!
Helpers, musicians and cake donations are very much appreciated . If you need help getting to the church hall, please ring Sue on 349907 or Beki on 764130 To book your child into Drama workshop, email firstname.lastname@example.org and bring £5
The Bishop of Brixworth writes
Thank God for all his goodness
I love the story about the family who were trying to impress their dinner guests by asking their youngest child to say grace. “Just repeat what we said at breakfast”, they were told. The child prayed; “Dear God, we’ve got those awful people coming tonight!”
It’s an occupational hazard for clergy to be asked to say grace at meals. I don’t mind because it’s always a privilege to lead people in prayer, but it also acts as a reminder for me to always be grateful.
In his much-publicised papal letter on the environment and climate change, Laudate Si, Pope Francis challenges all of us to take more seriously our responsibility to care for God’s creation and protect the most vulnerable people and places. He asks; “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” and suggests that this poses the deeper questions; “What is the purpose of our life in this world?” and “Why are we here?”
Echoing Archbishop Justin’s emphasis upon Christians serving the common good of humanity, Pope Francis commends lifestyle choices which respect the integrity of creation. He also encourages recapturing a sense of gratitude and wonder, appreciating the world as God’s gift and remembering our connectedness with all God’s creatures.
In particular, he advocates a rediscovery of the practice of saying grace before meals. “One expression of this attitude is when we stop and give thanks to God before and after meals. I ask all believers to return to this beautiful and meaningful custom. That moment of blessing, however brief, reminds us of our dependence on God for life; it strengthens our feeling our gratitude for the gifts of creation; it acknowledges those who by their labours provide us with these goods; and it reaffirms our solidarity with those in greatest need”.
You don’t have to wait until the clergy visit! Try saying simple prayer of thanks yourself before your main meal every day.
With my prayers and best wishes,