Thoughts from the Vicarage 77

Dear Friends of The Valley

Greetings and as the week draws to a close I trust that you and yours are all safe and well.

A shortish letter today – so let’s begin with a few lines from Christine who writes following the funeral of Dennis last Tuesday.

Thank you so much for the messages of love and support that I have received since Dennis’s death. My thanks to Julie and all those who were involved in preparing for, taking part in, and attending his funeral on Tuesday. Also those who, while unable to attend due to the current restrictions, held him and us, his family, in your thoughts and prayers.”

Swearing in … tomorrow morning at the close of Morning Prayer Amanda Marchant and Bruce Laurie will be sworn in as churchwardens for St Michael & All Angels Lambourn. It would be lovely to have a good Zoom turn out to join the small number of us who will actually be in church. The morning office begins at 8.30 and will end by 9am.

Thanks to Paul Tame here is the Zoom link – you would be very welcome to join in.

Meeting ID: 904 205Click to Join Zoom Prayer Meeting 7860; Passcode: Enru0Bmal

Thank you – our churches remain open for private prayer thanks to the care and attention of those keeping them sanitised, cleaned and covid safe.

Thank you to the family of the late June Crook who gifted these beautiful flowers to St Michael’s following June’s funeral this week.

They reflected the light and the hope of which I spoke at the funerals this week – the sense of death as being a journey rather than a destination.

All over the world people are being kind, gentle, helpful, courageous, creative. Are these signs of resurrection hope? Yes, I think so. Christians have no monopoly on these things. But as Christians, we can stand alongside as witness to the mysterious hope to be found in God’s own suffering, death and resurrection. This is what makes hope tough – the reality that hope not only emerges from suffering but also, that hope is emergent and endures.

The hope emerging from the earth – the birth and re-creation we see as bulbs push up and as we see the snowdrops emerging news brings a smile to the face as does this picture from a reader who obviously thought I needed a hedgehog to keep us smiling!

Are you interested in learning more about the Christian faith during lockdown? If so do take a look at the attachment today which is an an update from the Diocese about an event this Wednesday January 20th introducing a new way of helping people learn about the Christian faith which is happening between now and Easter- do sign up if you would like to go along … or use the link in the attachment. If you are uncertain simply ask me for more information! All are welcome to attend and join in with our Bishop Olivia and hear what she has to offer on the subject. The group which has been meeting on Wednesdays during Advent is going along and all are welcome!

 

And finally,

A prayer for these times … written by a friend Cara Smart.

Loving God, we thank you for all who are working hard to care for those who are sick.
We thank you for their compassion, strength and diligence,
for all the labour that is visible and for all that goes unseen.

May you surround all those who work in hospitals with your love and compassion,
encourage and strengthen them in the days ahead,
calm any fears and anxieties,
and may they find rest and comfort in your loving presence. Amen.

With love and prayers

Julie