The Digest, our Parish magazine, comes out monthly. Here are a couple of articles from July’s edition. To read more, pick up a copy from Church when you are next there.
Labels and Names
As I write this, I am surrounding by boxes, with labels on them; big boxes marked ‘fragile’, smaller boxes marked ‘*heavy books*’. Soon we will be locking our door here in Burton upon Trent for the last time and saying goodbye to so many people that we will probably lose count! Then the cats, the removal lorry, Russell and I will be travelling the 192 miles to Pakefield, to make our home with you, at The Rectory. By the time you read this, we hopefully, will be unpacked and be all sorted, or at least that is my hope!
So, let me start with an apology, I am really bad with remembering people’s names, until I know some extra bits about you, so please keep saying who you are when I see you and eventually it will sink in…I may even insist on name badges for a few weeks to help me!
There is a difference between having a name and being labelled. You see, God says ‘I called you by name you are mine’ (Isaiah 43: 1), it doesn’t say you are labelled. You have a name and you are known by intimately by God. This is echoed by Jesus who tells us (John 10) that he calls us by name to follow him, and uses the analogy of a shepherd and sheep.
So, our names are important, what we are called is important. But being labelled is completely different. Labels can often be negative, they can be destructive and often full of un-truth. Sometimes we are guilty, aren’t we, of putting labels on other people too.
So, let us try really hard not to label others, with negative labels. But rather, call them by the name that they were given, the name that God calls them by.
Also, let us try really hard not to be affected by labels, that perhaps other people give to us. Let us too, remember we are named and it by that name that God speak to us.
So, talking of names, let me introduce myself properly: I am Sharon and married to Russell, we have 2 grown up children Aden and Bethany, and 2 (rather pampered) cats, Kia and Rio. We have spent most of our lives in west Shropshire, in a little village, where we ran the church youth group.
Before God called me to become a Priest I worked for the NHS, as a Midwife, for 23 years. I am so looking forward to being part of the Community here in Pakefield and getting to know you all much better
Revd Sharon Lord
* * * * *
Don’t Stay away from church
… because you are poor. There is no admission charge.
… because you are rich. We can help you cure that.
… because it rains. You go to work in the rain.
… because it’s cold. It’s warm and friendly inside
… because it’s hot. It’s hot at your house too.
… because no one invited you. People go to the cinema without
… because you have little children. We have a nursery
… because you don’t like the preacher. He/she is human too.
… because your job makes you tired. You may lose your job
… because there are hypocrites. You associate with them daily
… because you have company. They will admire your loyalty if you
bring them along. Or tell them to wait until you get back.
… because you need a little week-end vacation occasionally. If your
Soul takes a vacation from God, it’s not good.
… because your clothes are not expensive. Our church isn’t suppose
to be a fashion show anyway.
The Rev. R.F. Palmer, S.S.J.E. (Society of St John the Evangelist)
* * * * *
When my daughter, Kelli, said her bedtime prayers, she would bless every family member, every friend, and every animal (current and past). Then for several weeks, after we had finished the nightly prayer, Kelli would say, “And all girls.” This soon became part of her nightly routine, to include this closing.
My curiosity finally got the best of me and I asked why she always included the part about ‘all girls’. She replied, ‘Because everybody always finishes their prayers by saying ‘All Men.’