Silence won’t be so golden if we are silent!

Dear Friends,

Silence won’t be so golden if we are silent!

It wasn’t so long ago that we could complain about the ’sound of silence’ concerning the abuse and pollution of the planet, but now some people want to ’silence the voices.’

It won’t be long before the ’sound of silence’ won’t be so golden as it will be the sign that nature has disappeared from the fields and trees so as a community we need to raise our voices and make sure we are not silenced.

I joined the YourChurch service on Sunday evening and if you liked Simon and Garfunkel, as I did, please take time to listen and watch the following video and the World Appeal.

The Change of Climate – Lyric Video – YouTube

Runrig World Appeal – YouTube

The Eco Church and Church in Society groups also led our service last week with a reminder of our responsibility to care for each other and the planet. To love our neighbours also demands that we care for the planet because if we neglect it our neighbours will suffer through the natural disasters caused by climate change.

It is in the silence that I hear the sound of God speaking through the breeze in the trees; the raindrops on the window pane or the birds in the trees and I am also reminded of Simon and Garfunkel’s first verse::

“Hello darkness, my old friend

I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence….”

The vision planted in my brain I must sing (or shout!) so that everyone can hear.

I didn’t realise that there are seven grades of plastic that all require a different form of recycling until Chris used it as one of the confusing aspects of recycling during his talk on Sunday. There MUST be simpler, and cheaper, ways of recycling one of the worst culprits of polluting the planet.

Why can’t plastic containers simply be collected, washed, refilled and relabelled to be used again for the same purpose they were made for? Am I being to simplistic? The manufacturers of plastic containers might not support such a vision, but is it more important to save the planet or keep big companies alive? Jesus did warns us that those who want to save their life will lose it, but those who are prepared to sacrifice their life for him will save it. He came to save the world, not condemn it, and if we are meant to be following him we should be singing, “take my life and let it be….” Rejoice and Sing 371(and many other hymn books or google) to say as a prayer with your love being poured out at the feet of Christ like a treasure-store. Amen.

Sunday’s service from the URC Daily Devotions team will be led by several members of our Green Apostle network ahead of Climate Sunday on 5th September. Appropriately, we will be looking at creation, climate change and other environmental issues, liturgy for this has been prepared by The Revd. David Coleman, chaplain to Eco-Congregation Scotland and Green Apostle for the National Synod of Scotland. Hymns include Jesus is Lord! , God the maker of the heavens, a hymn written specially by the Revd. John Campbell, URC minister in Thames North Synod.

The Tree of Light will be lit earlier this year with a special service on November 7th at 5pm to also remember those who have died during the covid pandemic. Broadway has a Tree of Light each year to commemorate those who have passed away and this year it will shine on the Village Green from 7th November to 6th January and bring the community together in remembering those who have died during the pandemic.

If you would like a light on the tree in remembrance of someone forms are available online at www.stmichaelsbroadway.org or from Dominique Hardiman who will deliver a form to you which should be completed and returned by 1st November to Dominique Hardiman CTIB, St Camillus, Broadway, WR12 7DE. Please include a minimum donation of £5 per name and proceeds will support Air Ambulance.

Welcoming Strangers: is everyone genuinely welcome? This is the theme of the Yourchurch service on Sunday at 6.30pm. In both the Hebrew Scriptures and Near eastern cultures generally, welcoming the stranger, providing food, shelter and protection from enemies is a sacred duty. That is the case whether or not the stranger is a friend or enemy.  After a week in which our screens have been filled with harrowing pictures of citizens absolutely desperate to escape the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, just how welcome are we going to be as a nation, local communities and churches to refugees and other strangers and foreigners? Revd Ruth Watson will help us explore this topic for discipleship on Sunday evening. Please contact us for the login.

Pray for the people of Afghanistan and for Haiti this week and consider how we can respond as a Church to the situations in both countries.

You are invited to tell us about your favourite hymns and readings so they can be sung and said with story shared at a ‘Songs of Praise’ service on August 29th. If you attended the service last Sunday you received a slip asking you to tell Marion or Judith about your favourite hymn or reading and why it is important to you. If you would like to attend the service on the 29th and would like to sing or hear your favourite please let one of them know.

Pam and Alex and family want to say thank you for prayers for baby Elliot who is now home. Alex also thanks everyone for many birthday greetings from a few weeks ago. (He said it before but I forgot to pass the message on!)

THE PANDEMIC PRAYER

It’s August, holiday time for some.
Perhaps the Sun shines fiercely
on a bright summer’s day,
or maybe the rain falls hard,
watering the crops, preparing for harvest.
Perhaps today you feel hope 
for a new, brighter future of freedom, 
or maybe you feel dragged down by what has been,
and by grief for people who have gone. 
Loving God, however we feel today, 
be alongside us in the sun or the rain.
In joy or sadness, bring us hope. Amen

By the Revd Nick Jones, Minister, Heswall URC & St. George’s URC, Thornton Hough

God Bless, Richard