Thoughts from The Vicarage with Confirmation, a road trip and a Bishop
Greetings towards the end of a full week here at The Vicarage.
This week’s news from both home and abroad features many issues for prayer. As always, I’m attaching Pews News with some suggestions. Please use these as you will and if you wish, please drop me a line with any prayer requests you may have for inclusion either in quiet private prayer or for Pews News.
What a joy it was to welcome Lola into the church as she was Christened last week – it was at her request and she responded herself to the questions addressed to her parents and God parents! Many congratulations Lola on taking that first step in faith!
If you are interested in either being Christened or Confirmed please don’t hesitate to have a chat. Bishop Olivia will be coming to the Lambourn Valley in the late Autumn and it would be very special to be confirmed in your local church along with family and friends. Please let me know if you’d be interested or simply want to find out more. There is no hard and fast rule but candidates for confirmation are usually year 6 and above! No upper age limit!
Confirmation is a special church service in which a person confirms the promises that were made when they were baptized. If you were baptized at a christening when you were a child, your parents and godparents made these promises on your behalf. As a young person or adult, you may be ready to affirm these promises for yourself and commit your life to following Jesus Christ.
At a confirmation service, you make these promises for yourself. Your friends and family as well as the local Christian community will be there to promise to support and pray for you. Bishop Olivia will lay her hands on your head and ask God’s Holy Spirit to give you the strength and commitment to live God’s way for the rest of your life.
A keen-eyed reader spotted that the psalm is included in the readings for the week and asked why because we, sadly, don’t read them in church. It is precisely for that reason that I include the psalm so that we may read it if we so wish.
An invitation – please think about joining me for a road trip on Saturday 23 September to a Rural Day Conference. It’s clear that there is much going on in not only the Lambourn Valley but in all rural churches. It is great that we, each church, each worshipping community is active and present in our villages.
We need to see how we can build on all that is good and energising in our own lives, in our communities and parishes, and what it means here and now, making Jesus known to all around in our worship, our friendship and our service to others and to our planet.
I’d be delighted if you could join me for the diocesan Rural Day Conference in September, taking place at Waddesdon School (HP18 0LQ). The gathering is a great chance to be re-inspired about mission and ministry in the countryside and to meet rural church leaders. Our keynote speaker is John Plumb, Chair of the Agricultural Christian Fellowship, and a trustee of Village Hope. If you are interested in going and would like to know more please do ask me or register here at the booking link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/2023-oxford-diocesan-rural-day-conference-tickets-626995689987
My apologies as I did not credit the prayer shared in last week’s Thoughts – it was written by Peter Graystone of Southwark Diocese.
And finally, it so often strikes me how quickly news comes and goes. It’s true to say that of the calamitous situation in the Sudan and South Sudan where Bishop Edward Thombe writes of his Diocese of Rejav which encircles Juba town (cue, rush to our atlases or google!). Bishop Edward is a member of Bishop Olivia’s Lambeth cell group and writes of how his Diocese is very rural, very poor and of how there is a great deal of insecurity caused by the years of South Sudan conflict. So if you are able please spare a prayer for those suffering the ongoing effects of war which is no longer news.
With prayerful best wishes,