My dear groupies,
Fr Richard and I are just back from a short and enjoyable retreat at Launde Abbey in Leicestershire. It was fab. They had hash browns for breakfast and cheesecake for tea and as much coffee as you could drink. The only downsides were the midges in the garden and the fact that the Abbey is in a valley/ bowl and surrounded by hills which meant that wherever you tried to run was uphill. And I prefer going downhill to uphill, if I’m being frank. Still, I got to try lots of local cheeses and the good thing was that Richard could just roll me down the hill on the way home at the end of the day. Usually cheeserolling happens with the cheese outside the people playing the game- it turns out that it can also work quite well with the cheese inside a slightly rolly young mouse. It was a good job I kept some of the rind to be a small crash helmet. And it was a good job that the flock of sheep I scattered got out of my way and did not decide to play football with me. I was a bit worried for a moment, but all’s well that ends well as someone famous once said.
PS- thank you to those who entered the Caption Competition last week- Jane Kraft offered “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine” and Jane Bingham had “I wonder if it will reach the peregrine falcons.”
Anyway, to business… Here is the News…
Coming Soon to a Church near you…
Pizza and Games, this Sunday evening, from 6pm in the Parish Rooms- everyone welcome- please do let Louise know in the Office that you are coming so we can make sure there are enough pizzas… this is an event which is meant to make newcomers welcome so do particularly come if you are new to Church or if you would like to be there to make people welcome, or just because you’re free that night, or like games, or pizza…
The next meditation Group:
Meditation Group 1.15-1.45 Tuesday 10th May in St Paul’s.
Concert for Ukraine in St Paul’s Church: Sat May the 14th
Concert to raise money for the Ukraine Fund at St Paul’s a week on Saturday on 14th May.
The music will include a cappella music by: Tomás Luis de Victoria; Orlande de Lassus: William Byrd: Charles Villiers Stanford; Cecilia McDowall; Kim André Arnesen; Gustav Holst; John Rutter and others. The evening will end with arrangements of some well-known favourites! We are hoping to get a good-sized audience so we can raise a large sum for the Ukraine Fund. Tickets are £15 (£5 for U16s) can be obtained in advance by going to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/readingphoenixchoir/t-nokkxvq
If you buy tickets online you can make additional donations which the choir will also pass to the Ukraine fund (including any gift aid).
Evensong Sermon Series: Preaching through the Psalms
The first in the Series is on Sunday the 15th of May at 6.15pm. It will be brilliant to have this back in the diary for the year after two years without- see you there!
Other things and thinks
Here is a thank you note and update from Pauline about Rhona, her Mum:
I would like to thank the congregation for all the support and prayers that have been shown to my Mum – Rhona. She is settled into her new home at Abbeyfield, just off the Reading Road in Winnersh where she is safe and well cared for. She has a room with an outside door which means that she can walk in the secure grounds whenever she wants to. She has been happy to see visitors in her room and take them for a walk with to show off her new environment.
Here is a new report from Soulscape, one of our three charities at St Paul’s and St Nick’s: The video link is here for those who would like to find out more: https://youtu.be/YJKtGmwTulI
A number of people asked for a copy of the poem I used on Sunday in the service at both St Paul’s and St Nick’s, which Cara wrote. Here it is:
I met God in the middle of a field and she said,
Honey, I’ve been waiting for you.
And I said why did you not try to find me before, I could’ve used you, you know?
And she gazed across the valley with such tenderness and said,
My darling child, do you see those lambs, those calves, those piglets, those goslings, those foals?
Do you see how they move on wobbly legs, running together before they scurry back to their mothers?
Do you think any amount of rushing could’ve made them learn how to walk any faster?
And I said no, I didn’t, they had to do it in their own sweet time.
And she considered each of the plants and trees growing and said,
My dear one, do you see how each of the trees is budding when they’re meant to?
Do you see how each leaf is unfurling when it’s ready?
Do you see how in a few months it will be time for one harvest, then another, then another and another so that each crop will taste it’s best and keep you fed?
And I said yes, I saw how the timing made sense so that nothing was wasted and there would be enough for the days ahead.
And she came next to me as we stood, side by side, delighting in all she had made and all she had declared good and she said,
Honey, I’ve been waiting for you to be ready to just come and chill with me awhile, I’ve been waiting for your heart to be still.
And I said, yes, I know, I’ve been waiting too.