Week beginning Sunday 7th August 2022

Now, we are not afraid although we know there's much to fear 
We were moving mountains long before we knew we could

Miriam, Prince of Egypt

Dear All Saints and St Mary’s

As we settle into the school summer break, we may feel a little thin on the ground this Sunday. This might make Jesus opening words in our gospel reading even more reassuring than usual. Addressing his disciples, he says “Do not be afraid, little flock”. He reminds them that numbers don’t matter. God wants to give us the Kingdom and invites us to live out its values in our daily lives, always aware of what God is doing in us, through us and around us. He calls us to live the life of faith, stepping out beyond the boundaries of our own culture, as Abraham stepped out from his own country to travel to the Holy Land, as is described in our epistle.

It is through the eyes of faith, when we look at the world in the light of Christ, that we can see past the headline stories of doom and gloom to see that there is still much good in the world. It is how we respond to the cost-of-living crisis, the climate emergency and war and oppression in the world that matters. Do we believe that the gospel has something to say about generosity to the poor and vulnerable, care of creation and seeking true peace and reconciliation? Do we have faith that living out that message in God’s strength in our personal, community and political lives will bring the Kingdom closer?

In the words of Stephen Schwartz’s song from the film, Prince of Egypt, “there can be miracles, when you believe”.

We will have a little more time to reflect on a few of these thoughts on Sunday at All Saints at 10:30 am and at St Mary’s at 6:30 pm. In the morning at St Mary’s, we will be thinking about thanksgiving, with the opportunity to make thank you cards. In summary, Sundays services are:

10:00 am – St Mary’s – Open/Creative Church

10:30 am – All Saints – Holy Communion

6:30 pm – St Mary’s – Evensong

We have our usual midweek services this week, with Celtic morning prayer at All Saints on Wednesday and Holy Communion at St Mary’s. Next Sunday, we have our usual second Sunday pattern, with Holy Communion at 8:00 am at All Saints an 10:00 am at St Mary’s. The 10:30 am service at All Saints will be Messy/Muddy church. This gives the following services for the coming week:

Wednesday 10th – 9:00 am – All Saints – Celtic Morning Prayer

Thursday 11th – 10:00 am – St Mary’s – Holy Communion

Sunday 14th – 8:00 am – All Saints – Holy Communion (said)

10:00 am – St Mary’s – Holy Communion

10:30 am – All Saints – Messy/Muddy church

Last week we said goodbye to Janey and welcomed Diane into her new role as our priest. While Lizzie is away, Diane will be presiding at all our communion services for the next couple of weeks. Please pray for her as she grows in this new phase of her ministry.

It was Bishop William Temple who said, “when I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t”. Let us go into the world, praying in faith and looking for those coincidences.

Mark