October

PASTON ALL SAINTS CHURCH MAGAZINE  …. OCTOBER 2020

“Sharing the fun, friendship and peace of knowing God’s love with everyone.”

What is a family? 

One dictionary definition describes a family as – “a social group which lives together and provides for its members – usually consisting of parents and their off-spring”. 

 

Throughout this year many of us may not have seen members of our wider families as much as we would like, because during the pandemic, it has often been difficult – if not impossible - for families to get together. Many have tried to keep in touch by telephone or social media, but it is not the same as meeting face to face, going for walks together, laughing together andhugging each other. When we first opened the church again for silent prayer in May, it was lovely to see all the smiling faces. Most had not seen each other for weeks and we longed to throw our arms around each other, but we couldn’t do that. We still had to keep social distance. However, the smiles on people’s faces said a lot!  We were all in need of human contact!

 

Our Church Family had faced hard restrictions. During lockdown, a small group of parishioners tried extremely hard to keep in touch with those members who were housebound or lived alone by phoning regularly and helping with shopping. These calls were gratefully received, and for many, it may have been their only contact with the outside world.  (Our grateful thanks to all those who were part of this telephone circle.)  

 

We read in the Bible that we are all loved by God, as His children. He is our Heavenly Father and he cares for us. The Book of Corinthians tells us that we have been given spiritual gifts and we are able to use these gifts in order for us to grow and strengthen God’s family here on Earth.  “These are the gifts of the Holy Spirit,” we are told. “Forgiveness, love, understanding, tolerance, care and peace.” In God’s Family we are all brothers and sisters together. None of us are perfect. All of us make mistakes from time to time.

 

But we know that, if we turn to God, he has promised to forgive each one of us and He will allow us to start again. “Speak no ill of your brothers and sisters,” Jesus says. So, during this time of interregnum, we pray that we may continue to work together, play together and pray together –so  that, when this pandemic is over, we may come out of interregnum stronger, wiser and closer because, in the words of the 1979 hit by Sister Sledge; - WE ARE FAMILY !

 

PHILLIP HUTCHINSON

We were sad to hear from Bishop Donald that Phillip Hutchinson, a former lay reader of our parish, and an invaluable help during our last interregnum, died suddenly at the end of September. Phillip will be remembered by all who knew him as a valuable source of knowledge (his wife Julie was the Bishop’s chaplain) and he was always ready to helpanyone, offering wise words and encouragement. A message of sympathy was sent to Julie on behalf of the congregation. Please remember Phillip and Julie in your prayers during the coming weeks. 

 

The new normal?     …. A message from the Archdeacon

W

e find ourselves living through extraordinary and demanding times, where many things that might previously have been relied upon to be reasonably stable and secure have suddenly become quite provisional and uncertain – whether that be income and employment, education and future prospects, health and wellbeing, or even what will be able to happen in our church life and worship, week by week.

We have had to become used to lockdown, to greater working and studying at home, to wearing face masks and keeping our social distance, to being restricted as to when we can meet up with our wider family and friends, to conducting worship online and taking part in meetings on Zoom.

Life for us has quite suddenly taken on some of the precariousness and fragility that was familiar to the generations who went before us and who built many of the places of worship that we now cherish. We in the western world, perhaps rather naively, thought that we had moved on from, and escaped, the deprivations and challenges that had afflicted our ancestors (but which remain the characteristics of life to this day in many less developed, stable and privileged parts of the world). We had been encouraged to believe – or, at least, to act – as though we had ‘come of age’ and were in control of our destiny.

Now, however, the bubble has burst, the illusion has been shattered and our human vulnerability has become all too obvious to us and to those around us. Some of us have been ill, many have lost loved ones, and the caring professions have been under immense pressure.

As this has unfolded, online worship seems to have attracted greater numbers than had recently attended face-to-face worship, but whether that will lead to greater numbers of active disciples, we do not yet know.

However, whether or not our numbers have immediately increased, we ourselves have surely been chastened and challenged to recognise afresh our own need of God. We have been starkly reminded of what we really did know all along – that all that is around us is of a transitory nature, and that there is only One in whom to put our faith, and to whom our eternal wellbeing can be entrusted.

I wish you every blessing as we adapt to the evolving nature of the ‘new normal’, and as we seek to witness afresh to our unchanging and dependable God, and to his love for all people and his desire for them to be in a conscious living relationship with him.

For them and for ourselves, we pray: 

The Lord bless you and watch over you,  the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord look kindly on you and give you peace;  that we who are wearied                                              

by the changes and chances of this fleeting world, may rest upon his eternal changelessness.

 

                                                                               

Gordon Steele
Archdeacon of Oakham 

HARVEST AT PASTON ALL SAINTS

 

On Sunday 4th October over 30 people turned out for our Harvest Festival Service, including several children. The main reading for the day was taken from the Book of Genesis and re-told the story of The Creation, reminding us of all the many gifts God has given to us.  We were surrounded by many such gifts as families brought in huge bags full of food, which they kept with them on the pews. During the service, members of the congregation were encouraged to delve into their bags to hold up gifts of red, orange, yellow etc - as we made a “Harvest Rainbow” reminding us of God’s covenant with Noah.

 

Following our theme for this year, we were looking at God the Provider. We highlighted the wonderful gifts of creation and the spiritual gifts of love, friendship, peace and forgiveness. We decided that we have so much to be thankful for!

 

As always at this time of year, our church looked beautiful, decorated with skilful and beautiful arrangements in the porch, around the font, the pulpit and at the altar. Children of the Sunday School had produced a prayer tree with leaves shaped like hands. 

 

A huge thank you to Christine Hall and her skilful team who produced such wonderful displays. Many people said afterwards how much they had enjoyed the service. The following day, after the morning of silent (and socially-distanced) prayer, all the produce was delivered to the Food Bank t

 

Our gifts to the Food Bank, weighing a total of 109 kg , were gratefully received. 

 

 

VISITING CLERGY  -  Interregnums are always difficult and interesting times. They arealso very time-consuming for church wardens as they endeavour to find and book visiting clergy to cover all the services. We are pleased (and relieved) to say that all our Sunday morning ten-o’clock services, from now up to Christmas, are covered. Several priests have already visited us on two or three occasions, and all have said how much they have enjoyed being with us. They have travelled from places as far away as Oundle and Yaxley and all seem keen to come back. Weddings, funerals, burials of ashes and baptisms are also being covered. A huge thankyou to all our visiting clergy, to Yvonne and to all who are supporting us at this busy time.

OUR VISITING CLERGY THIS MONTH  ….   

11th October ….  Rev Gordon Limbrick, from Yaxley, joins us again. 

18th October ….   Rev John Harper, also from Yaxley, will lead our service for a second time

25th October …..  Rev John Harper joins us again.

1st November ….  All age Family Service.                          (all services are at 10am.)

 

Our Rural Dean, Rev Michael Moore, will lead our first wedding service on Saturday 17th.

We are also grateful to Rev Gillian Jessop (former Rural Dean and rector of All Saints) who is doing so much to help us during the interregnum. She is helping wedding couples prepare for their big day (we have 2 weddings coming up) and also helping us to locate ashes plotsand leading services for the burial of ashes.   A huge thank-you.

 

 

This month’s puzzles

Hidden in each of these sentences is the name of something you may see when you visit Paston All Saints Church. (They may be inside or outside.)

Can you find them all?

1. Mary brought some organic vegetables to the Harvest Service.

2. John was inspired when he saw Captain Tom on television.

3. When reading the Collect, Ernest forgot to turn on the microphone.

4. This sauce is best made using plenty of salt, a red pepper and one hot chilli. 

5. Major Barbara is leading the procession on Saturday.

6. There was once a yellow roof on the Pier Restaurant.

7. Thomas won the race just in front of Alec and Lesley.

8. When the trapeze artist finishes his act, you are invited to clap or cheer.

9. “If we win, do we have to run a lap of honour?” asked the twins.

10. “Is this the right way to Werrington?” asked the old man.

 


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