Wisdom of Scientists

Dear Friends,

I do not doubt the wisdom of scientists, but the top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy and to deal with that we need a spiritual and cultural transformation — and the scientists don’t know how to do that. That is OUR job!

To bring about such a transformation is the mission of the Church, but any Church is only as strong as its members. If we as individuals don’t contribute the Church will become a silent voice with idle hands waiting for something to happen rather than making things happen.

What we have done over the last 18 months as an Eco Church and with the development of the garden is a remarkable achievement, but is only the beginning. It’s like the first day of a creation and God looks, I am sure, and thinks “it is good” but there are still another five days of hard work to be done before we can take a rest.

Sadly, I only have a few weeks remaining but I hope you will plan a service of blessing in, and for, the garden thanking God for the beauty of creation that it mirrors. The garden can grow to become a witness of our commitment to caring for the planet especially if the front of Church can attract people to make a prayerful journey round our little paradise!

The plants and flowers that grow however are symbols of the gardens that we become when the seeds of faith find a fertile place in our hearts and minds. We can transform that spiritual wilderness that surrounds us when the Spirit blows like the wind from here, there and everywhere to pollenate society with our new cultural attitude to God’s most precious gift. The scientists can debate a lot of questions about creation, but when our attitude toward each other and the planet changes then all things will be transformed into something new.

An image that has come to mind having returned from three days with ministers reflecting on how we care for creation is that the Church can play the tune, but unless the members do the singing and the dancing our witness won’t be seen or heard in the community. Who will join the choir and sing a new song for the Lord and lead the dance with creation?

If people won’t come to us we have to go to them. It is an old, old message, but I was reminded of it last Saturday at our successful mini-fete. To continue the theme above we don’t have to wait to be asked for a dance, but can go and ask partners to dance with us. I was one of those who didn’t like asking and no-one asked me so I rarely danced! Perhaps that is also why the Church isn’t dancing with community.

On Saturday Gospel Bell were playing some wonderful music in our back garden, but only a few people were sitting and listening. Everyone was socialising and inter-acting in the front around plants, cakes, bric a brac and books, but people didn’t come to the music.

I decided to pick up the pa system and speakers and take them to the front where Gospel Bell continued to sing and some people danced to their music on the High Street while others gathered to listen. People will hear us and dance with us if we go to them so we can’t sit in our buildings or be hidden away in our gardens and expect our message to be heard and our light to be seen.

For those who measure success by money raised the total was over £650 — but the conversations and inter-action were of far greater value!

The Elders have given prayerful consideration about inviting someone to preach with a view and will make a statement before the service on Sunday.

One stressful suspense was ended this week…. We haven’t been sure where we would be living next month because there have been tenants in the Lymington Manse. We knew we would be looked after somehow but the thought of temporary accommodation and having to put furniture into storage didn’t fill us with enthusiasm! So it was a relief to be told that we can move into the Manse on October 5th, packing up in Broadway the day before.

Please drop us an email or give us a call for our new address. Mobile number and email will remain the same.

There is a general invitation to anyone who would like to attend the Induction Service at Lymington United Reformed Church on Sunday October 10th at 3pm. Please let me know.

As we prepare to move I remembered the many Afghan refugees arriving in the country and how the Church could help accommodate them temporarily in empty manses. There will almost certainly be a requirement for a charity to obtain a market rent that would make it impossible! What is it they say about the law….?

Sunday’s service from the United Reformed Church Daily Devotions team is being led by the Revd. Jayne Taylor. Jayne is a URC minister in the Cotswolds. Hymns include Brian Wren’s Great God your love has called us here, Just as I am without one plea, and Caryl Micklem’s Give to me, Lord a thankful heart.

PANDEMIC PRAYER

We think of those who are still afraid to go out of their homes and feel trapped and uncertain, loving God give them peace and reassurance. Bless those who care for these vulnerable and frighted people.

We ask that you guide us in all so we do what we need to do to protect the vulnerable from this virus and from all else that can cause them harm. 

We thank you for hearing our prayer in Jesus’ name

Amen

By John Collings, Lay Preacher, Rutherglen URC

On Sunday we welcome Revd. Chris Collins, the new Methodist Minister, to Broadway at our joint service at which Kika, the new outreach worker, will also be welcomed. Please pray for them both in their new roles.

I hope some of you are using the Pray Like Hannah guide I sent recently:

There is a prayer diary with 4 weeks of prayer topics and ideas available here https://bit.ly/3lSlm3Q

“Listening God,
you hear us when we pour out our souls before you;
give us faith like Hannah, to pray to you for the life of our church,
that we may be a place and a people where your children are present,
welcome and valued, meet us in our prayers,
in Jesus’ name.
Amen”

The URC Daily Devotions from 20 September are written by our Synod Evangelist, Rev Nick Stanyon.

Please pray for Sheila Lovibond who has not been well.  Remember Michael Eden and continue to pray for Vicky, Susan Nuttall, Pam Peters, June and John, Jean and John and all those who work hard for Church and Community without any recognition.

Pray for children and teachers — including Megan — who have returned to school and for university students who are preparing to return.

God Bless, Richard