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The Vicar's newsletter:  20 September 2020

Dear friends,

 

It’s been a sobering week with respect to COVID-19 and several people I’ve spoken to have expressed either their concerns about the situation or their weariness and frustration when it comes to changeable and complicated guidance.  And yet all around us the harvest is being brought in and we ourselves are reaping the fruits of our gardens (or our kind neighbours’).  It is a wonderful, colourful and rich time of year.  It makes me think of Jesus saying to his friends: ‘You did not choose me but I chose you.  And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.’  It’s a timely reminder that God still has a future and a rôle for us, that his choice is not invalidated or compromised even by a global pandemic and his purpose in choosing us is fruitfulness.  So have you had a fruitful week?  Do you think you have been a fruitful person to be, work or live with?  It has challenged me to consider whether the things I have said, done and thought this past week have borne good, nourishing fruit for me and for others, or little, sour, hard fruit – good for nothing.  Thank you to those who have shared the luscious fruits of their gardens with me and Kevin; thank you to those who have shared the fruits of their skills and experience in helping us to serve our community and church family; thank you to those whose friendship and encouragement have produced in us the fruits of thankfulness, strength and joy.  May the coming week be fruitful for you in all aspects.  ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him.’  (Psalm 34:8)

 

Please see below for information and reminders about forthcoming services and events.

Church services

We are continuing with our Sunday 10am shorter version of Holy Communion.  If you would like to join us, please register with Margaret Goodchild 01483 890773, margaretg.goodchild@btinternet.com, by 12 noon the previous Thursday.  (You can, of course, just turn up on the morning but due to the restrictions on numbers, you will only be able to come in if we have space.)  Please note that it is now mandatory for those attending services to wear a face covering at all times other than when receiving communion, unless you are exempt from doing so; this should be a face covering not a visor.  We regret that we are not yet able to resume our children’s and young people’s activities but we are keeping this under regular review.

 

This Sunday: 15th after Trinity

I invite you again to take some time this Sunday to join in our worship and prayers.    

Online service: you can find this Sunday’s recorded service online here including voluntary, hymns and reflection https://youtu.be/w8cx1IvzSDw.

Collects, readings and reflection (Click Here).

Cathedral: service and order of service available via their website https://www.guildford-cathedral.org/.

Families and households: the excellent resource Roots, which is what we use for Sunday Club and Wholly Youth as well as our all-age services, is now offering a single weekly web page containing resources for a whole household based around this Sunday’s readings www.rootsontheweb.com/athome6Sept.

Diocese: Bishop’s sermon available here https://www.cofeguildford.org.uk/resources/clergy/sunday-sermons.

Cathedral: service and order of service available via their website https://www.guildford-cathedral.org/.

 

Help needed

We urgently need to grow our team who produce the online services.  If you are comfortable with the technology or willing to embrace it even in small ways, do please get in touch.  We have all learnt from scratch, indeed are still learning, and there is more we can do if we have a few more people on board.

 

Harvest Festival: don’t forget to bring your gifts

We will not be able to hold our usual all-age celebration in church followed by lunch this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.  However, we do not want to give up our distribution of food boxes around the parish as well as of pot plants to church members now living in care homes, particularly as we feel the need for this kind of contact and support is even greater this autumn.  If you would like to contribute, you can leave gifts of non-perishable food items (with a reasonable ‘Use by’ date) on the Vicarage doorstep or at the village shop up to Wednesday 30th September.  This will give us time to parcel up and ‘quarantine’ the boxes before delivery at the beginning of October as usual.  (The Vicarage is on the opposite side of the road to the church, through the car park.)  If you know of anyone who is in need due to the current crisis and would appreciate a food box, please let me know.

 

Parish magazine

The September edition is now available (Click here to view).  

 

Annual meetings: don’t forget to register if you want to attend

Our annual meetings will take place by Zoom on Tuesday 13th October at 7pm.  At these meetings parish church officers are elected and reports and accounts are presented for the past year.  NB Only those on the electoral roll of the parish or who live in the parish and are on the register of local government electors are entitled to vote at the first meeting at which the churchwardens are elected; only those on the electoral roll of the parish are entitled to attend and vote at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, which follows on immediately after, when we will be electing members of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) and lay representatives of the Deanery Synod.  If you would like to attend, you MUST register with PCC Secretary Clare Stevens pcc@shamleygreen.net by 5th October.  She will then send you the link to join the meetings together with the papers.  If you are not able to use Zoom but would like to attend the meeting, please contact me now so that we can discuss what is possible and make suitable arrangements.  We are always keen to welcome new people with different skills and ideas onto our team so if you would be interested in serving as a church warden or member of the PCC, please speak to me as soon as possible.  

 

Remembering those we love who have died

It is unlikely that we will be able to hold our annual All Souls ‘Celebration of Life and Love’ in church at the beginning of November to remember those we love who have died and to celebrate their life.  However, we do plan to record a special online service which will include lighting the Easter candle in church and reading out the names of those who have died.  If you would like a name included, please let me know no later than 22nd October.

 

Prayer of the week:

My God, may I let the fruits of your Spirit grow in me this day.
Spirit of love, abide in my ears, as I listen to stories different to my own.

Spirit of joy, beam in my eyes as I meet the gaze of another.
Spirit of peace, breathe through my attitude.
Spirit of kindness, blow through the words I speak.
Spirit of patience, breeze across my frustration before I say or act.
Spirit of faithfulness, guard me when I’m tempted to stray.
Spirit of generosity, spill over in all I think or do or say.
Spirit of gentleness, be fragrant in all my dealings with the world.
Spirit of self-control, do not limit, but channel the abundance of your fruits,
as I partake in your transforming ways blowing through these days.  Amen.

(Tess Ward, in ‘The Celtic Wheel of the Year’)

 

With my love and prayers as always,

Sally.

xx

 

 

 

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