I was 19 when I managed to turn a car on its side. I was doing voluntary work in rural South Africa at the time. I was following my boss’s van down a straight road, when the pick-up truck I was driving started swerving uncontrollably from side to side due to the ruts on the dry mud road. One moment I was careering
Well I guess none of us saw this virus coming our way. What terrible sadness and loneliness this virus has brought with it. I do want to look more positively though and say what amazing kindness and compassion. People throughout the village have shown at this time of need. Helping with shopping, collecting prescriptions,
I hope you are keeping well, and your near and dear ones too.
‘Heaven on Earth’ is the theme of our EFP 'video service’ today - appropriate as we celebrate the Ascension of Christ.
Two poems will be used in the service, at the start and end. They are in the attached service sheet. If you would like to read them in advance in preparation for the worship, you may find this helpful.
I've reflected further this week (sparked by last week’s reflection by Walter Brueggemann I attached) on how I tend to miss God’s perspective on the nature of time. So often the question I ask is “Is there the time for this or that?” - and often "there wasn’t the time”! Maybe the better question is “Is this the time for this?” As the ancient wisdom writer puts it in Ecclesiastes:
'For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;…’ and so on.
There is a difference between 'There is time for…’ and 'There is A time for…’. God tends to know the right time for things better than us. How can we allow this coronavirus time(!) to help us learn this more?
There have been some very moving stories this past week of those in our number helping others in particular need. There have also been stories of others being deeply moved spiritually through the current experiences. May God’s grace continue to bless and guide you this week.
Take care and God bless,
Team Vicar for Escot, Feniton & Payhembury, Otter Vale Team The Rectory Feniton
17 May 2020 - Worship video
Dear EFP church folk,
A quote about faith I read this week, which I use in today’s service:
“How long can a crumb sustain a body, how long can a glimpse sustain a faith?
To crumble, to fade is to become nothing.
Faith is then the trust that something is created out of nothing”
This offers the deep reassurance that even if our faith through these times feels fragile to the point of nothingness, that is the very point at which God can create something out of nothing before our eyes.
(Quote by Jim Cotter, in ‘Etched by Silence - a pilgrimage through the poetry of R S Thomas’)
From a week ago, clergy are now permitted to enter their parishes’ church buildings for private prayer and streaming services. This is a very small first step in the Church of England re-opening churches. There is no timescale yet for further steps.
I am continuing to record our video services mainly at home or other locations, since that is where we all are. When we have ‘Communion’, I plan to record this in one of the churches. The next Communion planned is for Pentecost Sunday in a fortnight’s time.
Reflection on isolation
Walter Brueggemann, a true elder statesman of Old Testament studies and particularly the Psalms, wrote an inspiring article this week about isolation, entitled:
'Quarantine Fatigue or Sabbath Rest: A Reflection on Psalm 31’
I recommend it for a thoughtful read. (nb I tripped up on the word ‘Promethean’ too - but the jargon doesn’t matter!)