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A warm welcome from the Rector

I love September, it’s the month where summer morphs into autumn, the evenings start to draw in and our countryside starts to turn from green to varying shades of yellow, orange and red. I love to forage for blackberries - they taste so good straight from the bush, and apples that have fallen to the ground smell sweet and ripe. Keats describes it quite well as the “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.”

It’s during September that the church celebrates this abundance of fruitfulness: the good things we have. We give thanks to God, farmers and gardeners for the harvest, and the blessing of the food on our tables and in our shops. Not only do we give thanks, but we come together with our produce to share these blessings with others at our Harvest Festival services.

In our area, the gathering of the harvest can clearly be seen going on in the fields around us, and my mind is turned to those places on our planet whose harvests have failed, and for whom the abundance we enjoy is nothing more than a distant dream. Climate change - and how we safeguard our environment for future generations - is on everyone’s mind, and as a group of churches we came together recently for a service of Thanksgiving and Concern for God’s Creation in our Countryside. The service was held outside on a beautiful evening, and we reflected upon our God-appointed responsibility to care for the planet, and what we could do practically to achieve that.

During the service we heard a statement written in 1854 by Chief Seattle, a Native American leader who was facing the sale of his homeland to the US Government – his words are a beautiful and a profound statement about our planet; an extract from that statement is below:

                       “We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters.
                        The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests,
                        the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the
                        same family.

                        The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and
                        feed our children. So you must give the rivers the kindness that you would give
                        any brother.

                        This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth.
                        All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave
                        the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web,
                        he does to himself.

                        One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him
                        and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.”

So this autumn/harvest time be thankful, be generous in your sharing of blessings, be kind to our planet and enjoy this bountiful season.

God Bless, Rev Helen.

 


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