It'll soon be Christmas

| Simon Bale | Vicar's Blog

I was sat in my garden on Monday, the “hottest day of the year” (so far…?) trying to imagine a cold wind, frost and even snow. I couldn’t do it. But I know that soon enough I’ll be looking out of the vicarage window at a howling whirlwind of rain and leaves and it’ll be Autumn. We know these things. In all our lives we know from a very early age that, in our part of the world, the seasons shift with an inevitability that only a fool would challenge. King Canute tried to make this point with the tides — he got a bad press and most people now seem to suggest he was trying to impose his own hubris upon the natural world. But he was a wise man trying to demonstrate our own impotence against the natural order of things.

Job too: he lived a pure life, was treated so poorly by the world and refused to blame anyone, but then God still had to remind him that the power of the universe (aka God) is beyond our control, no matter how powerful we can feel as the dominant species on the planet. It’s all too easy to think that we are on control because our society guides us that way. Job was reminded that, no matter who we think we are or what we think we can achieve, ultimately, we are at the mercy of a cosmos that can seem impersonal and disinterested.

Perhaps in opposition to this sense of inevitability we have evolved a society that encourages us from a very early age to do what we can to succeed, to live and grow. All of our lives it seems are directed towards achieving, being victors in whatever career we choose (or have thrust upon us). All around there are “professional development” programmes: whether you’re a doctor, teacher, estate agent, care worker, vicar, there is some assessment process asking you how you’re doing, what you think you should be doing, what might happen next. We are encouraged to think about the next step of our working lives and how we can do better.

And yet, it’ll soon be Christmas.

This last week I had the absolute joy to co-lead with Revd Sonya from the Baptist Church the “Leavers’ Service” at Stoke St Gregory School. It was the first whole year of school that I’ve been part of since arriving in the benefice, and I have seen the Year 6 children through their last year from start to finish. It was bitter sweet: of the twelve leavers most seemed sad to be moving on, and all had good memories to share about their tie at the school. I shed a small tear (don’t tell anyone). I found it poignant. And I remember those times of my life when the future and the past have somehow pivoted on a single moment of the present. I suspect we all have those moments.

Yet, still, the time we are here simply meanders onwards. We might think we have a plan or a strategy for how things will go, and to some extent we can be serious about these things. But, it’ll be Christmas soon. And we will all be older.

I know I might sound ever so melancholy writing in this way, but in fact my point is that recognising our journey through life in this way can be liberating. We can become trapped by our plans and strategies when we think that everything that happens to us is down to our own actions and thoughts. I prefer to remind myself that I am the creation of a wonderful God who has put me here to meander as well. As I pointed out to the younger children at school, eventually they too will be Year 6, whatever happens. Nothing can be done about that. They will grow no matter what. We will all learn, no matter what. The only thing that matters, after all, is that we recognise the love of those around us and ensure we care for our world because it’s a beautiful place to be.

Have a great August.


Covid Update

Given the significant rise in cases locally (not just among the clergy!), I think it is important that we reconsider the way we distribute communion. For the present time, until things settle down again, we will be reverting to the previous system of “priestly intinction” whereby the president offers an “intincted” wafer to communicants. Please do not feel obliged to receive the wine in this way. It is perfectly acceptable to receive only the bread: please let the president know.

Lyngfest! Saturday July 30th, 7pm

Join us in the Village Hall garden for an evening of live music accompanied by Cheese and Cider tasting. Ticket £10 available in advance only. Kids go free. A Pop up Pub will also be available with a good selection of drinks on offer for a suggested donation.

Evening of Romantic Song and Popular Favourites, Sat 20th Aug

Saturday August 20th at 7.30pm in North Curry Church: Gregory Steward, tenor, presents an Evening of Romantic Song and Popular Favourites. Tickets £10 to include a glass of wine/juice: available from North Curry Post Office or from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on the door. Under-18s free.

Lyng Harvest Supper, 3rd September at 6pm

Come and celebrate the season with friends and food. Delicious fare for us to share. Ticket £5 available in advance only to include supper and a glass of wine, beer or a soft drink. We will be collecting donations for the local food-bank.

A Pop up Pub will also be available with a good selection of drinks on offer for a suggested donation.

Lyng Quiz Night: 1st Oct at 7pm

Get your thinking caps on for a fun flled quiz evening kindly hosted by Chris Barrington. Prize for the winning team. Followed by raffle. £10 per team of 4. In advance.

A Pop up Pub will also be available with a good selection of drinks on offer for a suggested donation.

A prayer for Ukraine

Father of all,

We hold before you today the country of Ukraine and its people. We have no words to express the sadness we feel for them. We pray that your Holy Spirit will act to bring peace; that violence and brutality will have no place in its lands; that you will hold your people safe

Lord have Mercy

We pray that the people of your world will work together

To protect the poor and the afraid To heal the sick and the dying To free those oppressed and in prison We hold them all before you

Christ have Mercy

We hold before you those we know who are caught up in the situation. We pray for our armed forces. We pray for all those who stand for good in the face of evil. We pray for those hurting and grieving for their country. We hold them all in your love

And above all we pray for hope.

Lord have Mercy

Amen

Athelney Prayer

Almighty God, who made all things and sustains all things, we come together remembering the past and full of hope for the future.

We thank you for the part you call us to play in our Benefice's continuing story.

Lord, bind us more closely together and unite us in the work of your kingdom in our communities. Help us to draw on the gifts and talents in our midst and to use them in your service.

May we be a welcoming and loving community, united in worshipping you and open to your guiding Spirit.

Holy Spirit guide us and fill us with vision and energy; make us faithful in prayer and worship, that we may discover your way for the future and see your kingdom grow.

We ask these things in the name of your Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Amen

Choir practice
19 Aug 2022
04:00PM - 05:00PM

Lyng Coffee Morning
20 Aug 2022
10:30AM - 12:00PM

Wedding: Michelle and Matthew
20 Aug 2022
12:00PM - 05:00PM

Lyng a summer Fete
20 Aug 2022
02:00PM - 03:00PM

An Evening of romantic song and popular favourites with Gregory Steward (North Curry Church)
20 Aug 2022
07:00PM - 10:00PM

Eucharist: BCP (North Curry)
21 Aug 2022
08:00AM - 09:00AM