Driving through the French countryside at the beginning of my holiday, I look out over endless fields of growing crops: wheat, corn, sunflowers; some still green, others turning into a golden yellow, their heavy ears swaying in the wind, early sunflowers turning their heads towards the sun. It is always a beautiful sight and it fills me with joy to know that, seemingly without effort, there will be a harvest later on. At the end of my stay I notice even more yellow, more sunflowers turning their heads, the pride and joy of their farmers. Of course, I know better than to assume that all this growth happens without any effort at all. Early in the year the earth has been turned and prepared for sowing. At first, the long strips of land look bare and dark, not much of a promise, we might think. But then, after the first spring rains, they begin to turn green, the land changing colour in the course of days. I have since left those scenes of new life. Does that mean that growth has stopped? Of course not; as the grain ripens, the farmer gets ready for bringing in the harvest. There will be a lot of work involved yet, before the grain is turned into bread, or cereal on our breakfast tables.
The above is a reminder for me of God’s word that, seemingly unobserved, does its work in our lives for our benefit. In the words from Isaiah 55:10-13, ‘as the rain and the snow come down from above and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread to eat, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.’
Growth, then, sometimes involving very hard work, at other times an almost leisurely spectacle for us to enjoy. In my reflection on it, I wonder how it will be for us in our community and church life. Where are the places of prepared soil, where are seeds waiting to sprout, where do we enjoy the colours of growth and the promise of blessing? Thinking back to the sunflowers, that turn their heads towards the sun, maybe we, too, can find ways to grow in the light of the Son, and shine with ever more beauty and the promise of blessing.
With love in Christ,
AROUND AND ABOUT
Informal Ecumenical Prayer
Please remember that the Informal Ecumenical Prayer meeting is held in the Church Room at Christ Church on the first Saturday of the month. The next meeting is on Saturday, 5th August at 9am.
Confirmed dates for the children’s Holiday Club at the Salvation Army are Tuesday 15th to Friday 18th August. The theme is ‘Waste Watchers’. If anyone is able to help with activities or hostessing please contact Jennie Baker on 01275 373514. Children of primary school age can register at the Salvation Army coffee mornings on 7th and 12th August. There will also be a special All Age Worship service on 13th August at Christ Church to which all the churches are invited to mark the beginning of Holiday Club week. So please come to show your support for the children of our village.
The next Café Church is Sunday, 10th September at 4pm and the theme will be ‘Keeping the Peace’. Pete Jennings will be interviewed about his role in the police force and he and his wife will also provide the music.
Christian Aid News
The Community Choir concert in Christ Church on 1st July raised over £800 for Christian Aid. Thank you to those who participated, attended and ran the event!
We shall be taking a summer break for the month of August. More details of Bible Study will be in September’s By the Way.
Next Men’s Breakfast is on Saturday 7th October at 8am at Pill Methodist Church, ‘Riding for Life’, a Talk by Mark Green. The Freewheelers’ emergency voluntary service is a courier service bringing blood products to hospitals in the Bristol, Bath and Taunton areas.
Weekly Morning Prayer
Astrid is starting this service in the Benefice. The services will be held on a Monday morning at 9am and rotate around our three churches as follows:
Monday 7th August – Christ Church
Monday 14th August – St George
Monday 21st August – St Mary
No service on 28th August – Bank Holiday
4th September – Christ Church
11th September – St George
18th September – St Mary
25th September – Christ Church
To show our support for this new venture, please ask the Churchwardens if you would need transport.
|28th May||George Withers||St George|
|25th June||Max Dawe||St George|
|16th July||Poppy Eileen Allen||St George|
|8th July||Hannah Jones and Anthony Musk||St George|
Funeral ~,Service of Remembrance+ , Burial of Ashes* & Burial in Churchyard #
|6th June||Kay Perkins-Canby+||St George|
|7th July||Patrick Alexander Holder *||St Mary|
|21st July||George Craig*||Christ Church|
WHAT’S ON DIARY FOR AUGUST
5th August Ecumenical Prayer Meeting (see page 2)
15th to 18th August Children’s Holiday Club (see page 2)
23rd August Cream Tea at Pill Community Centre from 3 to 4.30pm
NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE
Letter from the Bishop of Bath and Wells
In a magazine recently I read about a distance learning course being offered by St John’s College in Nottingham specifically for Church Administrators. It combines study alongside working, takes about 18 months, and leads to a Certificate in Christian Studies. Those who have completed the course speak of how not only has it transformed their way of working, but how it changed the way others within the church perceived them and the work that they do. I found that really encouraging.
All churches are dependent on the skills, gifts and talents of church members offering their time and expertise to help build up the Church. Valuing, appreciating and developing those God-given gifts is so important. When Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth he said; ‘Now to each one has been given the Spirit’s gifts for the good of all.’ (1 Corinthians Chapter 12) He then goes on to give examples of those gifts.
He mentions prophecy and healing, preaching and teaching, leadership and tongues and many others. But tucked away in that list of gifts and ministries we read that God has appointed people with the ability ‘to help others and those with gifts of administration’. Administrators are mentioned in the same list as apostles, miracle workers and prophets.
Although as anyone who has ever been involved in Church work knows administrators often are ‘miracle workers’ ensuring that all the necessary administrative tasks of the church are done efficiently and effectively.
The word Paul uses for ‘administrator’ is the same word that is used for a pilot of a ship, whose task it is to steer the ship safely through the rocks and the shoals to the harbour. Administrators seldom stand in the limelight, they work in the background and shoulder the routine but essential work on which everything else depends.
We don’t always know who counts the collection, produces the service sheets, takes the minutes, or staples the church magazine together. But God knows and without all those people the mission of the church would not go forward as it does. Hurrah for administrators.
The Right Reverend Peter Hancock
Bishop of Bath and Wells
Taste the Harvest
The Diocesan Rural Affairs Adviser, Rob Walrond, is offering schools in the diocese the chance to take children to a local farm to experience everything involved in producing the harvest.
The children will be able to speak to local farmers and learn about the work involved, see the machinery that helps to produce the harvest – from sowing to reaping – and to learn about all the wonderful foods produced from wheat and perhaps even to cook some! If you are interested then please email Rob on firstname.lastname@example.org who will help co-ordinate a visit to a local farm. Perfect timing for Harvest Festival celebrations!
Christ Church Pill
Verger: - Maggie Robbins Tel 374534
Soup and Chat at Christ Church
The Soup and Chat lunches will not be taking place during July and August but will recommence in September. For further details telephone Maggie Robbins on 01275 374534.
We intend repeating the Crib Festival at Christ Church again this Advent. More details to follow, but if you’re looking for a job to keep you out of the baking August sun, get up in the attic and start looking for those cribs, or even make one from scratch! Have a look at http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/handmade-nativity-scene.
St George’s Easton in Gordano
Verger:- Ian Crichton Tel 372698
6th August Mrs Kelly & Mrs Willcox
13th August Mrs Petty
20th August Mrs Ramsay
27th August Mrs Beswick
The team for this August is Mrs Mortlock, Mrs Goodfellow & Mrs Webb.
St Mary the Virgin Portbury
Vergers – Dick Talbot & Valerie Marshall
Contact Valerie on 374201
6th August Mrs Marshall
13th August Vacant
20th August Vacant
27th August Mrs Hawker
Mrs Wilmott, Mrs Green and Mrs Marshall
There are no meetings in August, except for a tea afternoon at 4 Caswell Lane on Tuesday 22nd August at 2.30pm; I hope to have the new programme for 2017/8 by then.
The new programme will start from Tuesday 12th September and will be a ‘Tramps Fish & Chip Supper’ at 4 Caswell Lane.
There will not be a Community Café in August and September. From October to March the ‘Café’ will be in the Village Hall, then return to St Mary’s Church for the summer.
From 7th September to 10th September St Mary’s Church will be ‘Open’ to view the Heritage project/tours; refreshments available. There will also be an opportunity to view art work. Artists interested to exhibit/sell their work should contact the Churchwarden, Ann Longstaff, on 07752629928.
Nine people turned up for the wall pointing course on the Saturday and Sunday. We did about three metres and it looked good, but it is estimated to be two or three years work!
We do not have a meeting in August, but you are all welcome to join the Portbury WI in the Portbury Village Hall. If you would like more details please contact Daphne Vise – 01275 372644
|BENEFICE NOTICEBOARD FOR AUGUST 2017|
|Church Services for August|
|Christ Church Pill||St George Easton-in-Gordano||St Mary Portbury|
8th Sunday After Trinity
|10am Morning Worship MS||10am Parish Eucharist VB||10am All Age Worship Team with ATS|
|9am Morning Prayer ATS|
9th Sunday After Trinity
|10am All Age Worship
|6.30pm Evening Prayer Team/ATS||10am Family Holy Communion PB|
|9am Morning Prayer ATS|
10th Sunday After Trinity
|10am Family Holy Communion NW/ATS||10am Family Service MS||8am Holy Communion ATS|
|9am Morning Prayer ATS|
11th Sunday After Trinity
|8am Holy Communion* ATS||6.30pm Evening Prayer Team||10am Morning Worship MS/ATS|
12th Sunday After Trinity
|10am Morning Worship MS||10am Parish Eucharist ATS||10am All Age Worship Team|
|9am Morning Prayer ATS|
|Abbreviations Used: * BCP; + by extension; H C Holy Communion; ATS Revd Astrid Tiesema-Samsom ; NW Revd Nick Williams; PB – Revd Peter Bailey; VB Revd Victor Barley; MS Margaret Samuel; Team – lay team at church.|
|Taizé and Christian Meditation Services: Christian meditation continues most Thursdays at 6.30pm at the Vestry at St Mary the Virgin, Leigh Woods. There is a Taizé service on 27th August at St Mary, beginning at 6.30pm. View www.theparishchurch.com for more details.|
CONTACT DETAILS FOR THE EDITOR who is Donald Davies; e-mail: email@example.com; tel: 01275 375127; post: 3 Star Lane, Pill, BS20 0AG