Sunday Services – 20th August

Dear friends

It is good to be writing to you after a break.  I hope you are all well and the damp summer hasn’t been too much of a ‘dampner’!
During the midweek Eucharist at Thorncombe this morning we heard Deuteronomy 34 as our first reading.  It is the last passage of Deuteronomy, which itself is the last book of the Pentateuch – the first 5 books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,  and Deuteronomy).  Traditionally these are referred to as the books of Moses and broadly constitute the Jewish scripture of the Torah.
Moses is the great leader of the Israelites who, discovered as an abandoned baby, goes on to become the person who saves and leads the people from slavery in Egypt, and then through 40 years of journeying in the wilderness before arriving at the promised land.  It is Moses who parts the Red Sea, receives the 10 Commandments, meets God through the burning bush, and against all the odds (and not a little dissent from the people), manages to bring the Israelites to the border with the Promised Land.
But this is where his journey ends.  Dt34:4; ‘The Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”’
We go on to hear that Moses then dies, aged 120, and is succeeded by Joshua who then leads the people into the Promised Land.
I feel sorry for Moses, who never saw the total fruition of his labours.  But his legacy is quite extraordinary and found in the foundations of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
There are so many times in our lives when we embark on new things, or journey through the familiar, and suddenly realise that despite our best efforts we may not see the thing to completion.  That can be deflating – we like neatness, we don’t like loose ends!  Perhaps the more important thing though is embracing the present and not worrying about what comes next.  Perhaps that is for someone else to finish; to pick up our baton and run on with.  Enjoy today!  See the poem at the end of this email which speaks into the treasure within, the bright pearl in our midst.
Sunday 20 August:
10am – Morning Worship; St Stephen’s, Winsham
10:30am – Holy Communion; St John’s, Tatworth.
6:30pm – Service of Light; St Mary’s, Thorncombe.
Wednesday 23rd August – 9:30am Holy Communion; St Stephen’s, Winsham.
Sunday 27 August
8am – Holy Communion; St John’s, Tatworth
10am – Holy Communion; St Mary’s, Thorncombe
6:30pm – Evening Prayer (BCP); St Michael & All Angels, Chaffcombe
6:30pm – Service of Light; St Stephen’s, Winsham
WILD CHURCH – SUMMER BBQ – 19 August 3pm.
The next Wild Church is at 3pm on 19th August outside St John’s, Tatworth.  This is our summer BBQ!!  ALL WELCOME.  It would be helpful to have a ballpark idea of numbers coming for catering purposes, and also of any dietary requirements.  No cost, donations only.
Please hold in your prayers all you know who are struggling in any way, in body, mind or spirit.  We are asked to pray by name for:Dave Boyland; Wendy Cotton; Mary Marsh; Tony Taylor; Margaret Bandy; Di Nicholls, Hester Down, Stella Hutchison; Oskar Lee; Margaret Shields; Andrew de Pury; Cyril Larcombe; Valerie Palmer, Lynn Ranson, Keith Legge, Margaret Golesworthy, Karen Martin, Christopher Butcher.
                    We remember all those whom we love but see no longer; particularly at this time: Cynthia (Tup) Gummer; Lawrence Dunning
A prayer for Trinity 11:
God of glory,the end of our searching,help us to lay asideall that prevents us from seeking your kingdom,and to give all that we haveto gain the pearl beyond all price,through our Saviour Jesus Christ.
POEM – The Bright Field; R S Thomas:
I have seen the sun break throughto illuminate a small fieldfor a while, and gone my wayand forgotten it. But that was thepearl of great price, the one field that hadtreasure in it. I realise nowthat I must give all that I haveto possess it. Life is not hurryingon to a receding future, nor hankering afteran imagined past. It is the turningaside like Moses to the miracleof the lit bush, to a brightnessthat seemed as transitory as your youthonce, but is the eternity that awaits you.
The Reverend Philip Butcher
Rector – Two Shires Benefice (Tatworth, Thorncombe, Winsham, Chaffcombe & Cricket Malherbie)
The Vicarage
3 Home Farm
TA20 2SH
01460 221286
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