This Sunday at 10.30 am we are giving thanks to God for the harvest. Although harvest celebrations might seem more appropriate in the Shropshire I so love, watching the combine harvesters cut and sort the crops in the fields, it is equally important in our urban and city locations to remember and to give thanks for God’s provision. In an age when we are questioning the need for so much packaging and when it is difficult to visualise the source of our food, harvest brings home to us the reality of food production – just what it is we eat. It is good to be grounded in the reality of our food sources. Food production, takes time, energy expertise and commitment, for this we also give thanks. When there is so much hunger, surely it is incumbent upon each of us to examine how we can reduce our food waste and use these limited resources more wisely. It is also vital to say Thank You, for as God gives so generously, we need to learn to distribute wisely.
On Sunday we will also give thanks for our Planned Giving campaign, for the time, energy and commitment of all those who have organised this campaign and for the pledges we will receive on Sunday and offer to God. If you want to support the life of the church and have not yet signed a pledge form there will be material for you to pick up and read at the back of church on Sunday. Can I also commend to you Mother Eileen’s excellent sermon which she preached last Sunday, you can find it by clicking here. Please take time to consider your contribution to support the life and mission of our St Nicholas family, we receive so much from God, this is our opportunity to say Thank You.
“Yours, Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the splendour, and the majesty; for everything in heaven and earth is yours. All things come from you, and of your own do we give you.” 1 Chronicles 29:11
The heart of the Christian faith is a relationship, with God our creator. Like all good relationships it is strengthened through conversation and encounter. Prayer in all its forms is a vital component of faith. It is proposed that next year at the beginning of Lent we join with other local churches in a week of accompanied prayer. The idea is to help our prayer life grow and develop. Each person meets daily for a confidential conversation with a guide to reflect on their relationship with God and their experience of prayer. The guide’s role is to accompany and support, listening and helping the participant see how God is at work in their lives. This is a gentle exercise, there is no pressure. If you are interested please can you talk to one of the clergy.
At the same time I am interested in the possibility of holding a few sessions on the art and practice of Christian Mindfulness, it is a form of Christian meditation. If this is something that interests you please talk to me.
One of the privileges of being a priest is to accompany people through the times of their greatest joys and their deepest sorrows. Not long after I arrived at St Nick’s I had some shocking news – a lovely young girl in a family I had known well when I worked in Fulham had died very suddenly in tragic circumstances. I was invited by her family to take part in her funeral, one of the most difficult I’ve ever had to do. Last week an inquest was held and the case of the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse as a result of eating food to which she had an extreme allergy received publicity in the national media. What saddened me particularly was the response of the vendor of the food who denied responsibility for not labelling the contents and blamed the inadequacy of food regulations. Do we really need to have laws before we will do things that are socially responsible?
Elsewhere in this bulletin Fr Simon mentions the possibility of holding a week of accompanied prayer. I took part in one some years ago, along with other members of the congregation at St Michael’s, Bedford Park. It might sound a little intimidating, but it was actually a very positive experience. Do have a chat to me if you’d like to know more about how it works.
With every blessing