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A Letter from Fr Andy

As we head into autumn, our thoughts turn to thanksgiving in many ways.  Our churches will have their Harvest Festivals in which we give thanks to God for all he gives us and remind ourselves that, though we deserve nothing, he gives us all we need and that everything comes from Him.  Rightly too we consider those less fortunate and, through local donations of foods and through the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal, we share our blessings with those less fortunate.

 

At the end of October, we remember and give thanks for those Christians who have lived and died.  We celebrate the well-known Saints (All Saints) of the church and, at All Souls, the saints; those people who don’t have a special feast day of their own but occupy a special place in our hearts.  Both Saints and saints have combined to leave what we may, sometimes, take for granted.  These are the people who stood up for Christianity in difficult times; people who built our churches; people who guided and influenced us.  Without these people, what would the world, the Church, and our churches be like?  I am not pretending the world, the Church, and our churches are perfect or that the people we remember and celebrate were perfect: who is?  However, they have left behind a legacy that should not be ignored nor underestimated. 

 

It is good to remind ourselves of all they have done and all they have been to us and others.  It is worth reflecting, too, on what we will leave behind and on what influence we are having on the lives of others.  In years to come when people think about us, what will they remember?  What kind of world, Church, and churches will we have left?  What impact will we have had on the lives of others by our example and our guidance?  What kind of Christians will people remember us as being?

 

I ask this last question because there are many types of Christian.  There are “nominal” Christians – those who fill in the census or other forms of paperwork that asks their religion and they put Christian and that is it; their “Christianity” goes no further.  Then there are those who attend funerals, weddings, baptisms of friends and/or family but nothing more.  Some will be at church for high days and holidays (Christmas, Mothering Sunday, Easter, Harvest, etc.).  There are those who will be at church most Sunday mornings because that is what you do on a Sunday.  Lastly, there are those who go to church to praise God and give thanks for everything he has given us and then live out their faith in their day to day lives.  Perhaps we should remind ourselves of what Jesus asks/expects of us.

 

I desire mercy not sacrifice (Matthew 9:13)

Go into the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation

(Mark 16:15)

This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you

(John 15:12)

Do this in remembrance of me (Luke 22:19)

 

It is clear then that we should celebrate the Lord’s Supper/Eucharist/Holy Communion but that that should not be the only thing we do; worship alone is not enough.  Returning then to the types of Christian I mentioned earlier, I make no judgement but pose these questions?

 

·         Which type are you?

·         Are you content with your type?

·         If you would rather be a different type, what is stopping you?

·         If the last of these, would you like to have a chat about it?  If so, then please     contact me, or one of your local ministers.

 

God bless        

 

Fr Andy

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