Parish Magazine September 2021

Dear Friends across our Parish and beyond 

As I write this newsletter, I am preparing to go on annual leave. Given the many tragic situations around the world that have occurred over recent weeks, I consider myself blessed to have this opportunity to spend time with my family in safety and comfort. Indeed, the terrible news of natural and man-made disasters that have been the main news items recently give all of us reason to count our blessings. 

Holidays as we know them are not mentioned in the Bible of course, but ‘holy days’ were instituted by God as part of the Law of Moses. They celebrated God’s presence among the people and the blessings that they received. Alas, the Bible recounts the many times the people forgot these blessings, neglected worship and failed to acknowledge God’s provision for them. 

We all need reasons to celebrate and times to set aside our daily routine. It is when we clear our minds and our diaries that we have time to see the real blessings of life: the comfort of our homes, discovering new places, the financial security most of us enjoy, the companionship of other people and the beauty of the natural world that surrounds us. These are but a few of God’s good gifts, the blessings that we might overlook day by day. 

Some of God’s greatest blessings are not directly visible to the naked eye but are discerned and experienced through our relationships with those people around us, these are the Fruit of the Spirit which St Paul writes about these in his Letter to the Galatians (5:22) and which Heather included in the May 2021 Magazine. The gentle and patient kindness of others can be easily overlooked in the hurly burly of life, similarly the self-control needed when we test people’s generosity and faithfulness so that the joy, peace and love are not sucked out from our very existence. These are true blessings to be cherished and shared as widely as possible with all around us. 

I hope the summer months have given you an opportunity to see and acknowledge blessings you have received. I leave you with this wonderful blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. 

Prayers and blessings,

Canon Janice