Pentecost, I remember it well..

On Pentecost Sunday, instead of the usual sermon. our Vicar interviewed a member of the congregation, opening the conversation with a question,

What does Pentecost mean to you?

A good question, and one with as many answers as interviewees.

But suppose that the interviewee was the Holy Spirit?

Pentecost, I remember it well,
I called the meeting. In the upper room,
So quiet, Peter lost for words,
So still,
Until I moved,fanned up a wind,
Took flight.
A violent wind, that’s how they wrote it down,
Excuse me, but I still have to raise a storm –
Before I’m heard,
To light a fire
Before I’m noticed.
Yet, I still come to church,
Every Sunday, invisible, unheard, unnoticed –
I slip in listen and brood as I’m mentioned in liturgy
Addressed in prayer.

Of course,
no one really expects me to do it again,
And anyway,
there is lunch, and the family are coming today,
You all really must fly…..

So must I.
One day, soon
I intend to raise a storm,
Light a fire,
Excuse me, I really prefer the gentle way,
But you don’t listen,
And you don’t see…
Afraid, you give me, no other choice,
I will just have to raise my voice …
You still have work to do,
Fish to catch,
Fishers of men,
And sheep to feed…
WE have a Gospel to proclaim…

Yes, I really might do Pentecost again!

(Words from a member of our congregation who doesn’t want to be named but felt inspired to write..)

IMG_0042

Be Still, God Smiles

Being still is something that most children find difficult, and know what, it doesn’t get easier as we get older.

In between this job and that job indoors, I popped my head outdoors to plan the job after that, and God smiled.

I thought this particular smile too happy to miss, so, popped back to get my phone.

IMG_0039

Then standing still let myself notice and drink in the warmth of the sunshine, the sweet smell of my wilderness garden

When nature smiles, God smiles.

Of course nature had been smiling and shining all morning; I was just too busy to notice. Most if the time it’s like that with the Lord, who makes his face shine on us, if only, we would stop, be still, look up, we would see God smile.

All Change for Rowley Church Summer Fayre

Change no 1: The date has been bought forward from its usual July slot

Please make a note of the new date in your Diary now, we would hate for you to miss the fun, and the “Sausage Sizzle”

Saturday 6th June 2015 is the day, the Church Hall in Hawes Lane, B65 9AL is the venue. 12:00 – 3:00pm is the time.

IMG_0035

Change no 2: Meet Jane. Our organiser this year Jane Proud, retired from a teaching post at what was formerly, Birmingham College of Food, and now is ‘The University College of Birmingham’ – After gaining her cooking/catering qualifications, Jane’s career took off, from the bottom of the ladder, (she says) as an assistant cook at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. She was just 17 back then and since those days been a bit of a globetrotting chef, other jobs include Diet Cook at Auckland Public Hospital, New Zealand. We chose this photo, despite the difficult lighting conditions, because it depicts Jane’s lovely smile. What you see is what you get. She is a warm, fun loving person. Come say hello on June 6th.

You would think that after a lifetime of standing in the kitchen, Jane would welcome the opportunity to put her feet up and rest. But, no cooks are made of stronger stuff, and since, after many years of organising the Fayre, for St Giles, Mr Brian Green needed to take a step back this year, Jane offered the considerable skills gained in her years of ‘function organising’ to what is Rowley’s principal Fund Raising Event. Many, many thanks Brian for your ongoing help and contributions to the Fayre.

On the day of the Fayre you can indulge in Jane’s renowned homemade beef burgers, at the “Sausage Sizzle” There are burgers and burgers, and Janes are the de-luxe burger.

Some familiar, stalls will be making a return this year, Jewellery, Fancy Goods, Tombola, Bottle Stall are joined a new new Soft Toy one. At the time of writing we are waiting confirmation of some events in the hall, so more news to follow.

We hope we shall be seeing all your familiar Rowley Faces, to catch up on your news, hear how you are doing, one thing seems not to change at Rowley Summer Fayre, year in, year out and that is the support and generosity of our friends – your help keeps your Parish Church on its feet and able to reach out and help in times of need. Thank you.

The Flower Festival- same day- same time but over in the Church, St Giles, Church Road – will be posting its programme shortly. See Tides and Tidings Facebook Page for more information

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tides-And-Tidings/450297568456350

Is There a Song in You

IMG_0031

Sometimes you just have to sing, right?
Sometimes you just have to dance, even if you are all alone rattling pots and pans in the kitchen. For many Christians there are those moments when we just have to tell the world, that we have a wonderful Lord, surprisingly, to some perhaps, even the most sedate C of E worshipper has dancing feet.

Here is how THE MESSAGE translates Mary’s Song (Luke 1:46)

I’m bursting with God-News I’m dancing the Song of my Saviour God”

St Giles has been finding a new song(s) lately, our new Music Director, Mrs Agata Beaman, it’s pronounced Agatha, has been teaching us new songs and for some of us, how to find the voice and song in us, we never knew we had. She is a good, resourceful teacher and singing practices are a joy.

From time to time, some of our gifted congregation, delight us with trumpet, violin, oboe, piano but sadly no harp yet.

Coming up, Wednesday 27th May, Agata is planning a children’s music workshop in the Church Hall. Time 3:00pm. Will share more of that later as information becomes available.

She is also planning a concert with some of us older ones – we are quite thrilled about that. Singing is always good for us and we feel we have something to sing about. If like me the bible version of your childhood was the Kings James version you may recall these words,

The Lord, Jehovah is my strength and my song.’ – Isaiah 12:3 – the modern NRSV translates might instead of song, but there is power in a song, especially a song of praise.

What about you? Is there a song in you?
Would you like to meet new friends?
There is a welcome for you at St Giles

. St Giles follow the link to our website for more information.

Springtime

Besides the main altar beneath the great east window, Rowley Church has a small side chapel .. We call it the Lady Chapel, although I don’t think it has ever been consecrated to the Virgin Mary, there are no images of Mary in there, but she is depicted twice in the stained glass window in a Nativity Scene and with the apostle John at the foot of the cross.

A short, simple Holy Communion is held every Wednesday in the Lady Chapel, 10:15 sharp .. But folk usually linger over coffee in the kitchen afterwards, this is a good time for those who are retired and on holiday to come together and say a prayer.

Every morning and early, Reverend Ian Shelton, (far from retired and with a whole day if Ministry and Service in front of him, begins his day at the small prayer desk in the chapel, saying Morning Prayer, and praying for all who attend church, their families, any one who has had contact with us, schools, beavers, Cubs. Scouts, the local hospital, doctors’ surgeries. Believe me this is a long list, but each name, organisation is faithfully remembered before God over the course of a month.

The lovely flower arrangement (arranged with love by Carole and given with love by Iris) reminds me, with its little bird peeping out of this verse:

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God,” (psalm 84 v3 NRSV)

The list of names on the prayer desk, speaks to me, saying each person also has a home in Rowley’s Lady Chapel and in the Church’s prayers.

(From one of the ‘Cleaning Team)

IMG_0026

Maundy Thursday

There are times, there are seasons, good days, bad days, but what if today was our last day, and we knew it?

If we were given a choice how would we spend it?

With family, friends, with those we love and with those who love us, I suppose that is the answer most would give, and there can be no better. It is what our Lord Jesus did, and at the end of it he shared in the Passover Meal, as he had so greatly desired to do with his friends and disciples .Many thousand, thousands will be sharing in Holy Communion, simply to remember on this Maundy Thursday

My church, St Giles, Rowley Regis will be doing just that, gathering together with brothers and sisters from nearby Knowle Methodist Church and other free churches we shall remember, and let our Saviours words, his encouragement to serve, wash each other’s feet and, to love one another settle deeply, more surely into our hearts.

Me? I’m simply a pew filler, not a preacher, not a server at the altar, but I like to think I also serve.

Soon my church will be celebrating its 100th birthday, it has known lots of times and seasons, good days, bad days but in 1923 it knew a special day, it’s day of consecration, the day when those gathered, dedicated this special building to the worship of God.

Just as it is with buildings so it is with people, if we sit and think about it we also had a ‘consecration’ day – a special day when we gave ourself to God. some might say, ah yes, the day I was confirmed or baptised, the day I was licensed as a lay reader, ordained, the day I was married. Please share your special day with “Tides and Tidings’ if you wish, I am sure the editors would love to hear about it.

Maundy Thursday reminds us of the Consecration, the Sanctification of the Lord Jesus, just as clearly as his desire that pew fillers and followers should love one anther, just as he was consecrated and sanctified in the Truth and to his Father’s will and purpose, so he prayed that we should be.

“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” – John 17:17</strong

Today's world is a busy world, time rushes on, gathering together as church, grows less important to many, who no longer feel the need to make time or to belong, could it be they are forgetful of their Consecration Day, the purpose to which their life was dedicated?

Prayer

Father,
I abandon myself into your hands,
Do with me what you will,
Whatever you may do,
I thank you.
I am ready for all.
I accept all,
Let only your will be done in me
And all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord,
Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you
With the love of my heart, for I love you Lord,
And need to give you myself,
To surrender myself
Into your hands without reserve,
And with boundless confidence,
For you are my Father.
(Charles De Foucauld 1858-1916)

IMG_0022

From a Rowley Church Pew Filler and lover of Jesus

A Golden Rose For a Golden Lady

IMG_0017

Leonora ‘Nora’ Vine, softly spoken, worked as Parish Secretary to 5 Vicars of Rowley, Reverends Coley, Byford, Russell, Eve and Nightingale, always discreet, always quietly efficient and tactful. She was a good helmsman when the Captain of the Ship wasn’t around, could be relied on to know just what to do.

Muffled bells, yet joyful bells pealed out in her honour, as she came into church for the very last time, her funeral service this afternoon, Monday 30th March 2015, Our sincerest condolences to Michael, Sandra her grandchildren and family.

It is Lent and the custom is no flowers in church, but her sisters in Christ placed golden roses for a golden lady on the chancel steps, believing that the Lord wouldn’t mind at all.

Some followers of Jesus are more to the fore, each serves in their own way, as the Body of Jesus has need — Nora’s was a quiet way, unnoticed, but always there, faithful, patient, persevering, a follower of Christ a bearer of the Cross. She carried it well and with honour. May all the joys of heaven be hers.

We shall rest and we shall see

In St Giles Baptistry there is a really beautiful window, not by the renowned artist, Burne Jones, although it is sometimes mistakingly thought to be, but by Benjamin Warren a student of his.
The reds in this window are stunning and this is just one of the six scenes depicted, it is the bottom half of a panel entitled hope It’s subject of course is the empty tomb, and there can be no better symbol of hope – sometimes it is good just to sit and let our stained glass speak to us in their quiet voices

He is not here, he is risen!”

Because He is risen, so are we, although it is difficult to know this fully now, we are risen our life is hidden with Him in that most glorious of places, the City of Gold. Here are some words from St Augustine’s book, The City of Gold:

We shall rest and we shall see,
We shall see and we shall love.
We shall love and we shall praise,
In the end which is no end”

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter!

IMG_0013

Getting Ready For Mothering Sunday

    • 

    Barbara and Iris, true English women out and about in Rowley’s Churchyard on Saturday 14th March, armed with pruning shears and buckets collecting greenery to make up Daffodil Posies. Every lady who attended St Giles on Mothering Sunday received a posy. Many thanks to Barbara, Iris. Pam, Nellie, Vera, and Carole – love went into each the tying of every yellow ribbon 

    Many thanks also to the Ladies and gentlemen if the new St Giles Singers for bringing a touch of freshness to our worship under the musical direction of Agata Beaman.