The Digest, our Parish magazine, comes out monthly. Here are a couple of articles from November’s edition. To read more, pick up a copy from Church when you are next there
Di Lammas our Hon.Associate Priest writes…
Remember, remember, the 5th of November’ runs the rhyme – but as well as remembering the 5th we have good reason to remember the 1st as it is All Saints’, Nov 2nd, All Souls’ Day, Nov 11th, Armistice Day and the 12th, Remembrance Sunday. Something about the dying months of the year makes us instinctively look back and remember.
Memories are a mixed blessing. They can be too painful to contemplate and that stops us from moving forward in our lives. We can cling to them, even wallow in them, so that we are happier living in the past than the present. We can enjoy them, like the company of friends whom we visit from time to time but don’t see every day. They can also be very positive building blocks in our lives – they were vital in making us what we are now, but there are new parts of life to be built onto them every day.
On All Saints’ we remember our Christian brothers and sisters all over the world, (past, present and future) We celebrate our new life given by Jesus and we remember that ‘saint’ is simply the New Testament term for a Christian. We’ll do this at our Wednesday Communion in church, and have Patronal Church Café on the Fridays either side of this. At All Souls’ we remember those we loved who have died. We want to thank God for all that they mean to us, and so, on Sunday 12 Nov at 4.00pm there will be a quiet reflective service when all who’ve been bereaved can come along to look back with thanksgiving, find courage for today and hope for the future. If you know folk who’d find this helpful do invite them, or better still, bring them along to it.
At 11.00am on 11/11 with the national silence we remember the armistice agreement signed then in 1918 to end WWI, and next day we’ll have a church service and act of Remembrance by the War Memorial. There will be time to remember all who’ve died or suffered through war and terrorism, and to pray for peace in the world. We can so easily take our freedom as a nation for granted, just as we take our new life in Christ for granted, and, with so much remembering, November is a great month to think about these things, and commit to living both freedoms to the full.
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Two Minutes Silence
In the month, when we think about those who have given their lives in war, the two minutes silence is a familiar act of remembrance. We can use the silence to reflect on those who have suffered in war or on what it means to work for a peaceful world. Or do we end up thinking about lunch or panic that we haven’t switched our phone off?
Victor Frankl, a victim of Auschwitz, suggested that the most intolerable of all human conditions is not imprisonment or hunger, but lack of meaning. The two minutes silence enables us to connect with Jesus’ message, which offers true meaning to our lives and world. He spoke of giving ourselves in love for each other and the world, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you’ (Matthew 5:44). He also demonstrated such love in sacrificing His own life, ‘Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15:13). In observing the silence, let’s use it to reflect on this sacrificial love, as we remember all those who have experienced pain and conflict.
Of course, we should be serious about silence and stillness in the whole of our lives, not just for two minutes at an act of Remembrance. In busy lives where so much is clamoring for our attention, silence enables us to reassess our priorities and rediscover true meaning in our lives. Jesus made a habit of withdrawing to experience silence. He did this before choosing his disciples, after He heard of John’s beheading, after feeding the 5000, after healing a leper, at the Transfiguration and to prepare for His death. ‘The seeking out of solitary places was a regular practice for Jesus. So, it should be for us.’ (Richard Foster).
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