Sunday 24th October
10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)
God’s word is incredibly powerful! God created the world by speaking. Think of that for a moment. “Let there be light!” Those were his first words, and they brought something completely new into being.
God sends his word into the world, not randomly, but with purpose. We do not always understand that purpose, as we have a very limited, time bound capacity for discernment, but we can learn to trust God and his ways.
To learn that trust we must seek him. There are many different ways to do that. One way is watching out for all the signs of God’s creative activity in the world around us. The rain and snow that falls, the seed that sprouts, the harvest that ripens; all signs of God’s word in action.
But God’s ultimate word to us is Jesus. God sends him into the world, and he does not return to God before he has succeeded in the thing for which he was sent out: Salvation of the whole world through his death on the cross and his resurrection!
Easing of Covid restrictions in public worship(Effective from Sunday 25th July 2021)You will be aware, I'm sure, of the lifting of Covid restrictions by the Government from the 19th July. In a nutshell, the Government have lifted all the restrictions on public worship........ and put the onus upon individual churches to decide what they want to do and how we keep everyone in our churches safe!The churchwardens and I have been looking through the 12-page document from the CoE Recovery Group, and working out what we think is the way forward for our three churches in the benefice. Where possible we have tried to be consistent across the three churches, but the physical layout and other factors are different between the churches so there are some parts of our guidelines that are specific to each church.We have tried, through all of this, to tread the path between wanting to ease restrictions, considering the anxieties of those who will feel vulnerable if there are no restrictions whatsoever, and being aware of the rising Covid numbers nationally/locally and our responsibilities to everyone. Inevitably there will be differences of opinion on what we have decided, but this will be continually reviewed with experience, feedback, and any changes to the guidelines from the Government or CoE Recovery Group.The detail is in a leaflet available at church and is on the Coronavirus page of the website. Here are the salient points:
Face coverings: optional
Social distancing: optional
(In both cases, please respect other people’s wishes)
Please use the sanitiser on entry and exit
NHS Test & Trace:
Please use the QR code, or the Register.
Congregational Singing - will take place
“Safe zone” – use the far right hand side
Peace: non-contact exchange
Communion: bread and wine by “simultaneous administration”
Refreshments: served after the service
Direction Finder : TN17 4DL
“Services” and Prayer:
Please make use of the beautiful quiet space in St. George's Church any day for individual private prayer; prayer resources are available. If there is something particular you would like prayer for, please send me an email or give me a call.
Services:3rd October: 8am St. Nicholas Sandhurst; 11am St. George's Harvest service, followed by lunch in church10th: 8am St. George's; 10am St. Nicholas Sandhurst17th: 8am St. Nicholas Sandhurst; 10am St. George's (Deanery "pulpit swap"; Revd Pete Deaves, the incumbent at Frittenden & Sissinghurst is preaching and presiding at St. George's. Revd David is at St. Mary's Frittenden.)24th: 8am St. George's; 10am St. Nicholas Sandhurst31st: 8am St. Nicholas Sandhurst; 10am St. George's
Mid-week Communion: 10am, Tuesday, Mission Church
Tuesday 2nd Nov: All Souls' Day, 7:30pm St. George'sMorning Prayer takes place, in church, at 8am on Mon, Tues, Wed and Friday.Monday and Friday are at St. George's. Tuesday and Wednesday are at the Mission Church Sandhurst.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength . . . Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
Now is still a time to care for your neighbour. Please, pick up the phone, speak to them. We are a strong community, a caring community. Together we are getting through this.
Finally, I encourage you to use these prayers when you get up and when you go to bed:
A prayer in the morning:
Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples, ‘I am with you always’. Be with me today, as I offer myself to you. Hear my prayers for others and for myself, and keep me in your care. Amen.
A prayer in the evening:
God our Father, by whose mercy the world turns safely into darkness and returns again to light,:we place in your hands our unfinished tasks, our unsolved problems, and our unfulfilled hopes, knowing that only what you bless will prosper. To your love and protection we commit each other and all those we love, knowing that you alone are our sure defender, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Keep safe. Keep well. Keep praying. God bless you. With love, David