Everything seems to pale into significance doesn’t it when we consider the terrible events that have unfolded in Israel and Gaza in recent weeks. War is always a terrible thing but there has been a particularly horrible brutality which threatens to destabilise the whole region aside from the suffering of those innocent victims, ordinary Israelis and Palestinians, caught up in this escalating crisis. As I write humanitarian aid has been allowed to come through from Egypt and I pray that by the time you read this letter, more will have been able to have been achieved. We continue to pray for peace and for humanitarian solutions to be found knowing that all our hearts and minds go out to all those affected by violence and war. I think our traditional services of remembrance will be especially poignant this year as we come together to remember all those who have died as a result of war, whether as service men and women or the many civilians who lost their lives. Please see the church calendar for further details of our Remembrance Sunday services.
Last month we celebrated our Harvest Festival and collected much needed produce for Dorking Foodbank and Leatherhead START. Our lovely village school Scott Broadwood really boosted our donations of foodstuffs and we had a wonderful harvest service with the children in church talking about all the good gifts that God gives us. As we celebrated all that God provides for us we were reminded that God also needs our hands to do his work to bring the harvest in and to give to those who do not have enough to eat.
This month we begin by celebrating All Saints when we are reminded of not only the remarkable men and women who lived their lives in such a way that others can see God powerfully at work not only in times past but in the present too. This includes famous saints that we might know through the scriptures to famous martyrs who died for their declaration of faith in Christ to the many ordinary saints that dedicate their lives to serve others today. Knowing this inspires us and reminds us that no Christian is solitary. We are surrounded by the company of saints whose mutual belonging not only includes us on earth but transcends death into heaven.
So Remembrance Sunday goes on to explore the theme of memory, both corporate and individual as we confront issues of war and peace, loss and sacrifice, memory and forgetting. Finally the annual cycle of the Church’s year ends at the end of the month with the Feast of Christ the King. The year that begins with the hope of the coming Messiah ends with the proclamation of his universal sovereignty. And so next month December we start our new Church year with Advent Sunday and the countdown to Christmas!! Talking of which Christmas comes early here in Capel as the wonderful Christmas Fair takes place in our village halls in the middle of the month. Suzanne and her team find unusual and inspirational stall holders for us to browse and of course it is all for a very good cause – to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease and our parish churches.
So plenty for us to be thinking about and to pray for as winter creeps in once more. God bless.
With my love and prayers as ever
Post expires at 10:45am on Monday October 28th, 2024