Harvest Thanksgiving

Praise to You, my Lord.
Through our Sister Mother Earth
Who produces various fruits with coloured flowers and herbs

Today on a rainy day St Giles met to give thanks for the Harvest Safely gathered in and to bring all manner of foods in tins, bottles, packets and cartons for distribution through the Food Bank.

Nothing it seems, can dampen the spirits of the Lord’s people – the warmth of hearts could be felt and although Covid19 has silenced our physical voices it could not silence the Spirit’s voice the ‘noiseless’ songs of praise positively echoed around us

Reverend John gave a very apt talk illustrated with various tins of food, such as strawberries and passion fruit reminding us of the story of Christ the Bread of life, the Bread that feeds us and gives life to the world.


The captions beneath the flowers, arranged by Vera Round and Carole Annetts are words taken from the Canticle of the Creatures by St Francis, here are a few more words….

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,

In heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind, and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,

Through whom You give sustenance to your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water, who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom You light the night,

And he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,

Who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your love,

And bear infirmity and tribulation.

Blessed are those who endure in peace

For by You Most High, shall they be crowned

Canticle of the Creatures/St Francis of Assisi

Who ever you are and wherever you are in God’s great world, your brothers and sisters in the Parish Church of Rowley Regis send you their love and pray that the Lord bless you with every good gift and peace.

Summer is past

Wheatfield Near Fridaythorpe 2005
(David Hockney)

The first Sunday in October is Harvest Festival at St Giles

This year will be different. The Lord has been good the crops have been gathered in there is much to praise God for, but Coronavirus means the voice of singing will be hushed and happy smiles hidden behind Face Masks.

Harvest flowers and decorations will be lovingly arranged  gifts will be bought  tins, bottles, jars, to avoid too much handling in carrier bags, please

The thoughts of the writer of this post have been taken up with Harvest Thanksgiving  in our own home we can sing the Harvest Home, Plough the Fields and Scatter as enthusiastically and loudly as we wish… sometimes if we don’t hold a tune so well, home singing is to be preferred…. if the singing comes from our hearts that is acceptable to the Lord.

It is so very hard not to be thankful, isn’t it when we have enough to eat and are provided for? I think of Boaz and his kindness to Ruth, a foreign girl, who made the long journey to Bethlehem because of her faithful love to her mother-in-law Naomi. He provided for her and Naomi from the barley harvest and I think of where the tins, bottles, jars and boxes may eventually be received after distribution  through the Food Bank.  And I know in myself that the tins, bottles, jars and bottles are an act of worship and songs of praise in themselves


Thou, visitest the earth, and blessest it: thou makest it very plenteous

The river of God is full of water: thou prepares their corn, for so thou providest for the earth.

Thou waterest her furrows, thou sendest rain into the little valleys thereof: thou makest it soft with the little drops of rain, and blesses the increase of it

Thou crowned the year with thy goodness; and thy clouds drop fatness. They shall drop upon the dwellings of the wilderness: and the little hills shall rejoice on every side.

The folds shall be full of sheep: the valleys also shall stand so thick with corn, that they shall laugh and sing

Psalm 65: 9-14 (Book of Common Prayer)

Gracious God you have smiled on the land and blessed it. You have given strength and help to those who have gathered it and bought it safely home and in these weeks of pandemic stood to strengthen all who care of the sick as we bring our praise and thank offerings to you we remember all those who are sick asking you to restore them and all who have died, asking that they also in heavenly fields and beyond our sight may also rejoice with us and sing your harvest home. Amen

Psalm. 65 remembered as sung at Evening Prayer on Harvest Sunday.

Prayer from St Giles intercessions team

Holy Cross Day

What does the Cross mean to you?

Christians from different faith backgrounds will answer that question according to their own faith tradition. Some have a cross in their church building others do not, some will have an altar, a holy table, some do not, yet all who love the Lord give thanks for the blood of Christ poured out for us as a sacrifice and atonement for us, the sinners He came to save.

The Apostle Paul, so willing after meeting the Risen Lord on the Road to Damascus, to pour out his own life for Jesus, the Messiah prayed that he might never boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14)

14th September is Holy Cross Day. You can read more about it here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feast_of_the_Cross

Jesus told those who wished to follow Him,

If you would come after me, you must deny yourself, and take up your Cross and follow me.”

See Matthew 10.38)

Please, think about the Cross; close your eyes and try to see Jesus carrying it , it was heavy, and He was already weak, He stumbled and a stranger was forced to help Him to carry it, ..

Think about that, forced to help the Suffering Servant of God carry the Cross He died on that we might never die.

I do not like to think that I would have to be forced to carry my cross after Him

Lord, keep me following in the way of the Cross, if I stumble in my weakness lift me up in your Grace and when we come to the Hill of Difficulty let me know the strength of your arms that I may know and sing the Victory Song of the Redeemed. Nothing is holy, nothing is strong except through your Blood shed on the cross. Your life lost that mine might be found and won

One Day at a Time

One Step At a Time

“One day at a time sweet Jesus, one day at a time …. for my sake, teach me to take one day at a time”

How many new beginnings have there been in our life?

One of the most important new beginnings in any person’s life is marriage. Which Christian teaching says is a lifetimes commitment and should be thought about, prayed about very carefully before that step is taken

Other beginnings are smaller, new jobs – to make that one we have to leave off an old one; new hobbies mean leaving off an old one…

Coming to Jesus means leaving of an old life, forsaking all ..

It means not looking back

It means weighing up the costs because Christ is not a commitment that can be dropped. Its like a marriage not to be taken lightly .

And like a marriage there will be bad days, stormy days and it is then that we need to call on Grace, Amazing Grace and reach out to take His hand

One day, one step at a time always remembering that Christ did not enter into Glory without first encountering rejection, abandonment, denial, betrayal and the Cross

Posted in love, sympathy and prayers for all for whom today is hard and the next step feels impossible for them to make.

Always, always remember today is only ONE DAY, THE NEXT STEP IS ONLY ONE STEP.

Put your hand in the hand of the one who walked on the water

WALK WITH GOD

To Pray is Not to Be Weak

FINALLY BE STRONG IN THE LORD

To pray is not to be weak-but strong
Strong in the Lord of Hosts whose Angel stands with us. Neither are we defenceless. We don’t trust in ourselves; in prayer we are clothed with the whole armour of God

Always remember not one of us who prays – prays alone

Finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power

Put on the whole armour of God so that you can take YOUR stand against the devil’s schemes

Ephesians 6. 10-12 N.I.V.

The battles against the ills pains and evils of this world are not won by politics but by those on their knees

The battle is the Lord’s

Back to the very beginning

The Bible Reading Fellowship

Children go back to school

And my Bible is opened again with the Book of Genesis. The very name of the very first book of God’s Torah means in Hebrew beginnings.

The beginning of God’s word, the beginning of Creation…. His beginning with us, the extending of the divine hand of grace to me, you and all mankind…

Whatever, where ever, who ever, we are today,

Let us pray that all children all men and women may be blessed by the call of God to return to Eden that in His goodness God will bless them in the reading and study of His word and in the love and patience, gentleness of good teachers..

September Musings

First day of September always brings thoughts of a fresh start

Our Patron Saint

This may be associated with a fresh start in my own life and walk with the Lord as a very much younger woman, or perhaps with the beginning of a New School year in the U.K.

Outside in gardens Blackberries, Rose Hips, Rowan Berries are all bearing witness to the change that will arriving in the course of the next few weeks. A life without change would be a very unnatural life. Change is nature’s way, and the way which God ordained even as He spoke Creation into being

As it is with all green and growing things, with birds of the air, fish of the sea, with every animal kind so it is with humankind, we are conceived, born, grow into maturity, and blessed are those who know many years; yet like every other created thing we all come to die

Yet, Saint Giles, kindly hermit and holy abbot together with all Saints gathered in heaven and throughout out the earth have one message, one witness and shout aloud to us today;

God our Creator has for us a better Way … and that we might find it follow it and have, and enjoy it forever – because He so loved the world, has given His only begotten Son that who ever believes in Him should have everlasting life”

As the Apostles believed and trusted, as Giles believed and trusted so does the Church of God today. Amen!

Jesus says;

“Ask, and it will be given to you;

Seek, and you will find;

Knock, and it will be opened to you”

Matthew 7:7

Have a holy and blessed September as you ask, seek knock in prayer like Giles and all those who have passed through the seasons of life before us into the Living Presence of the Living God


Image: Exciting Holiness/Pinterest

Scriptures: John 3:16 and Matthew:7.7 (NKJV)

The Flowers Return…

The Flowers have been absent from Church since the 26th February, which was Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent. Normally they would have returned with joyous fervour to greet Easter Day, but 2020 has been like no other year in the history of our little Church.

The year of the Coronavirus Pandemic left churches alone and empty through Lent, Easter and June. Our yearly flower festival didn’t happen like so many other things. Yet the Lord has faithfully sent the Spring Flowers, the Trees have blossomed and in our hearts we have heard, at the dawning of each new day, His invitation to come, see,

“See! The winter is past,

The rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth;

the season of singing has come,

the cooing of doves

is heard in our land.

Song of Songs 2: 11, 12 (N. I. V.)

Well, our Sunday voices are silent as yet, but, our hearts are not and, you can be sure many a melody is raised within them and that their hymns are being heard in heaven. Meantime the flowers are back, arranged with care and love by St Giles flower ladies, Vera and Carole.

The Flowers sing their own song, they have their own colourful tones and voices, and these are perfectly in tune. Each petal, each leaf a ringing chord of love in praise of their maker.

“Lord we lift our hearts and songs to you at all times, in all places it is right that we should praise You, who loving us so dearly sent Your only Beloved Son so that all might have Eternal life. Accept our praise and thanks for the loveliness of flowers 💐 and all of your creation

Amen

Tides and Tidings

The Day We Met Again

Today some of St Giles family attended a short service in church for the first time since closure under Pandemic Measures. It was a strange experience with no hymns sung, and a wave replacing a handshake, hug or kiss at the Peace. But it was good. Very good to see much loved faces finally. Not virtually but in real life time.

So much was said in that wave! So much expressed in carefully, socially distanced conversations out in the open air afterwards…. Just a precious few minutes.  The first photo is St Giles, it was taken on a sunny, I think spring day.  St Giles is not a rich church, Rowley folk have never been rich. The rebuilders in the early 1920s. Following the Great War would have been hard pressed to feed their families, let alone raise money to rebuild a burnt out shell, but the miracle is they did! Inspired by the Revd. Cheverton, they rolled up sleeves and set to work

St Giles on a sunny day

Our new Vicar, Revd John Bridge met, at a distance some of his new congregation for the first time this morning. There were no fanfares blown at his induction…our lovely plans all shelved by Coronovirus… the documents were signed in front of a video camera with carefully chosen prayers and words from Arch Deacon Jenny Tomlinson, witnessed by Parish Representatives Yvonne Owen and Ken Hadley online at home.

Such an inauspicious beginning to a ministry?

But was it?

Witnessing happy people arriving this morning and the sheer determination on the part of many just to be there and just to get started again I am minded that the Rowley Spirit is engaging with the Holy Spirit in a new, fresh way. At the moment it feels like we are one with our great grandfather’s and mothers, every bit determined to pick out the best bricks, the children of the 1920s actually did this, out of the rubble, and begin again.

But, oh I did miss the singing.

Duke of Hereford Knob.. Eric Ravilious 1938

This painting depicts a Baptist Chapel at Capel-y-ffin, Powys, Wales. Where I imagine no singing in church quite an unheard of thing.  But it is the melody that’s ringing in our hearts that is the most important thing

In my heart there rings a melody,

There rings a melody with heaven’s harmony:

In my heart there rings a melody:

There rings a melody of love.

Ellen M Roth (Redemption Hymnal?

One day Coronovirus will be consigned to history but we are told and it is our faith, that three things will remain forever:

These three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

St Paul: 1 Corinthians 13. 13

Lord, so loving this world you gave your only dear Son, who laid down His life so that we might have life and enjoy Your Presence for ever –

Grant to us, in these uncertain times

The certainty of your love holding us and all whom we love, safe in the palm of your hand.

We give you thanks for today and all we have shared it with and for the Bread which truly comes down from Heaven

Amen

Tides and Tidings