PASTORAL LETTER


OCTOBER 2019


Dear FriendsAutumn

The colours of autumn are always a joy, especially with the sun glinting through the trees.  But we also know that soon the leaves will fall and winter will come and we need to hang on to the thought that the cold weather will pass and spring will come again.  We had a sense of that in our recent Messy Church when the children all planted tulip bulbs.  They buried them in their biodegradable pots to put into the ground, with the hope that one day a beautiful tulip will emerge.
 
Autumn, described by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr in their book, ‘The circle of life,’ refers to autumn as a ‘transitional handing over of a life that needs to be protected and restored so it may stir anew in future seasons’.  To shed leaves is to be renewed; to plant a bulb in the cold dark soil for new colourful life to emerge.  Life does not stand still, for if it did, like water it would become stagnant.
 
The Diocese is encouraging us all to use the Changing Lives Prayer Network cards that are available in the back of our churches.  This quarter, their focus is from Harvest to Advent with the theme, ‘God of Creation’.  With all that is going on around us with respect to climate change and our stewardship of God’s glorious creation, this is so apt.  As I write, the UN summit on climate change is taking place and recently hundreds of our local school children took to the streets to express their concern as to what is happening to our beautiful planet and the impact this will have on their future.  At our recent PCC, St Dunstan’s passed a resolution to become an Eco-Church.  St Peter and St Mildred’s are looking to explore more.  Keep an eye on our magazine to find out about what this means and how we can all get involved.  On 8 October, I am heading up to London for an evening to partake in the Bridge of Faith, where people of all faiths and none are expressing their concern about the impact of climate change.  Details will be in bulletin if others would like to join me.
 
As seeds are sown in the ground and bulbs planted in our gardens, may the seeds of faith take root in all who encounter the living Lord, to bear fruit for the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few (Matthew 9.37).   As we see the turning of the leaves around us with their glorious colours, may we remain ever thankful to God for the Harvest and for those who work tirelessly to produce our food, remaining forever mindful that so many go without, both locally and globally.

Wishing you every blessing

Rev Jo Richards 


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