In the past week at home we have, by quirk of coincidence, had to change all of our landline and mobile telephones. The former because they had finally decided that several years of service was quite enough. The screen on one died and the other stopped ringing – a fairly important aspect of a telephone. The latter because we dropped a mobile phone last night and comprehensively broke it and, being one contract for both mine and my wife’s mobiles (long overdue upgrades), it made sense to replace them both too.
When such things happen you are reminded just how important good communication is. When something is no longer possible, or suddenly more difficult, the absence underlines what is really important.
Good communication and maintaining pastoral contact has been a significant challenge of recent times as the ‘opportunistic’ contact through our everyday lives of bumping into so and so and seeing someone at this or that event are just so much more limited. And now with a tightening again of how and who you can see socially it is thrust to the fore once more. As a family of six we have to make some creative and careful decisions!
And sometimes our faith can feel a bit like that too. That communication has got difficult. That things might feel a little silent. And when we find ourselves struggling it is even easier to perceive that silence. But that is not to say that God is not there. He is. Always was and always will be, and just like if a line of communication to a loved one becomes compromised; it doesn’t mean that person has disappeared.
Henri Nouwen has some wonderful words of comfort when we find ourselves on that plateau, as we all do from time to time;
“Is God present or is he absent? Maybe we can say now that in the center of our sadness for his absence we can find the first signs of his presence. And that in the middle of our longings we discover the footprints of the one who has created them. It is in the faithful waiting for the loved one that we know how much he has filled our lives already. Just as the love of a mother for her son can grow while she is waiting for his return, and just as lovers can rediscover each other during long periods of absence, so also our intimate relationship with God can become deeper and more mature while we wait patiently in expectation for his return.”
These are deep and profound words that speak not just to our faith, but in these times may also help in understanding that in absence from loved ones love does not diminish and as the old adage says, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.
OUR COMMUNITY WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Thursday Evening Zoom – 7:30pm – 17th September
Join us on the link below for the regular Thursday evening prayer. This week we will introduce the Examen meditative form of prayer.
Join Zoom Service at 7:30pm:
Meeting ID: 717 4519 2963
Sunday 20th September
There will be an audio recording of the readings and sermon from Tatworth this Sunday online from shortly after 11am.
The next live Online service will be on 27th September at 11:30am.
If you have missed any live services or wish to hear sermons from church services please go to the above site where you will find links and videos. Videos are also available on the YouTube channel at:
Worship Sunday 20th September:
Holy Communion – 8am BCP St Stephen’s, Winsham (Rev Philip)
10am St John’s, Tatworth – HARVEST (Rev Philip)
6:30pm St Mary Magdalene, Cricket Malherbie – HARVEST (Rev Philip)
Midweek Holy Communion:
Thursday 17th September 11am at Winsham.
Wednesday 23rd September 11am at Thorncombe
Chaffcombe had their harvest festival on Sunday 13th; many thanks to Rev Terri for stepping in at short notice to lead!
Cricket Malherbie – 20th September 6:30pm
Tatworth – 20th September 10am
Winsham – 4th October 10am
Thorncombe – 11th October 4pm
Online – 11th October 11:30am
For the services in Churches, any items for decoration will need to be in church by the Wednesday or Thursday before the relevant service. It will not be possible for harvest offerings to be presented during the services, but it will be possible to leave offerings at church on the day.
We are starting to tentatively plan some of the traditional major church events that come up through Autumn and into Christmas. As you will appreciate, we do not know what the circumstances may actually be at those times and we can only go on information as we have it now.
We will have to think creatively, and have safety uppermost, when considering how we ‘do’ those events and services that have in the past been very well attended and as church based services now would not be possible due to capacity and safety concerns.
At this time, I am hopeful that we may be able to hold a Benefice All Souls service, as we normally would, in Tatworth at 4pm on 1st November. To aid planning it would be helpful if you could indicate whether you would like to attend that service. Also, please do let myself, Jan Knott or Mary Dewar know if there are names of dearly departed that you would like read at that service.
Our Remembrance Sunday services this year will all be held outside entirely at the relevant Memorial for the parish. There will be no services inside the churches themselves. More details on timings to come in due course.
All churches will continue to be open during the week for an hour for private individual prayer.
Wednesdays – Tatworth, Cricket Malherbie & Thorncombe at 11am
Thursdays – Chaffcombe & Winsham at 11am
FOR YOUR PRAYERS:
I invite you to hold the following in your prayers this week. As always, please do let me know of any additions or changes needed:
· The people, homes, school and businesses in Tatworth Parish.
· Families, support groups and ‘bubbles’.
· Our emergency services
· Those out of work, seeking work, or are furloughed.
· We pray for those we know who are sick, and those we don’t know, including those we are asked to pray by name for:
Bishop Peter Hancock; Hannah Knott; Rob Allen; Lynne Applegarth; Phyllis Baker; Margaret Bandy; Sue Bennett; Sue Cheese; Terry Conway; Nick Frankau; Paul Glazier; David Goodwill; Mike Heywood; Joy Howard; Ann Jarvis; Mark Lindsey; Frank Long; Peter McHugh; Diana Rowlands; Ann Ricketts; Jim Tucker; Rosemary Walley; Rosemary Walton; Vivien Wheaton; Alan Wills, Anna Woodward; Pamala Young; Milly granddaughter of Jane & Alan Rudkin; Gillian Muggeridge; Chris Gould; Brian Griffiths; Peter Hathway
· For the Bereaved – The family & friends of: Barbara Childs; Percival Bale; Andrew Bullivant
SCRIPTURE FOR THIS WEEK:
Wednesday 16th – 1 Cor 12:13-13.end; Luke 7:31-35
Thursday 17th – 1 Cor 15:1-11; Luke 7:36-end
Friday 18th – 1 Cor 15:12-20; Luke 8:1-3
Saturday 19th – 1 Cor 15:35-37, 42-49; Luke 8:4-15
Sunday 20th – Exodus 16:2-15; Matt 20:1-16
Monday 21st – Prov 3:13-18; Matt 9:9-13 (St Matthew)
Tuesday 22nd – Prov 21:1-6, 10-13; Luke 8:19-21
Wednesday 23rd – Prov 30:5-9; Luke 9:1-6
Harvest Readings (for use at Harvest Festivals) – Dt 8:7-18; Ps 65; 2 Cor 9:6-end; Luke 12:16-30
A PRAYER FOR THE WEEK:
O Lord our God,
grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart;
that so desiring, we may seek and find you;
and so finding, may love you;
and so loving, may hate those sins from which
you have delivered us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Blessings to you all,