Hello everyone! Bertie is not back yet, having extended his tour and jumped from the Rector’s rucksack into the Curate’s as their cars passed on the way to the Motorway, so this is one of those emails which is full of facts and announcements rather than the expert and informed journalism for which Bertie is justly renowned. Here is everything you need to know for the week ahead…
Also, incidentally, please don’t forget about the Berkshire Ride and Stride– full details in email 268.
And if you have any thoughts or comments or ideas around how things are going in Church, and whether we are getting the balance right around taking care and returning to normality, please do let me know, especially if there are things we could do which would make you feel more comfortable in coming back to church services in person.
This Week in Church
The last planned session of the excellent Welcome Club is tomorrow afternoon when there is a Cream tea. Many, many thanks to everyone who has been involved with running the Welcome Club over the years, especially, of course, Jackie Alexander who has been involved throughout the whole life of the group.
Also tomorrow afternoon, the next Meditation Group: Tuesday 10th August 1.15-1.45pm
In person in St Paul’s Church and on Zoom at same time.
As always, please do come and join us, no prior experience needed. If you want to ask anything beforehand or afterwards, then please email me.
Topic: Susannah Riley’s Zoom Meeting
Time: Aug 10, 2021 01:15 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 782 5609 1229
Other bits and bobs
A Message from Quench Books
You may have seen in our newsletter or on social media that we are having a 15% off week next week, Mon 9th – Sat 14th August. We would be grateful if you could share this news with your congregations/your Churches Together contacts in whatever way suits you best eg displaying a poster, via email, on social media, in your notices on Sunday etc. Please find attached a poster and a jpg for you to use to assist with this. Please note that our opening hours for August are Mon-Sat 11am-4pm.
With kind regards and thank you for supporting your local Christian bookshop!
Also, Mary Cassidy has sent in this excellent and challenging and ultimately hopeful and faithful article on how one woman responded when she received bad news about her health: Six Lessons from a Cannonball Diagnosis – Ignatian Spirituality
A Poem sent in by John Sutton
by John O’Donohue
When you lose someone you love,
Your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you gets fragile,
Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;
And some dead echo drags your voice down
Where words have no confidence.
Your heart has grown heavy with loss;
And though this loss has wounded others too,
No one knows what has been taken from you
When the silence of absence deepens.
Flickers of guilt kindle regret
For all that was left unsaid or undone.
There are days when you wake up happy;
Again inside the fullness of life,
Until the moment breaks
And you are thrown back
Onto the black tide of loss.
Days when you have your heart back,
You are able to function well
Until in the middle of work or encounter,
Suddenly with no warning,
You are ambushed by grief.
It becomes hard to trust yourself.
All you can depend on now is that
Sorrow will remain faithful to itself.
More than you, it knows its way
And will find the right time
To pull and pull the rope of grief
Until that coiled hill of tears
Has reduced to its last drop.
Gradually, you will learn acquaintance
With the invisible form of your departed;
And, when the work of grief is done,
The wound of loss will heal
And you will have learned
To wean your eyes
From that gap in the air
And be able to enter the hearth
In your soul where your loved one
Has awaited your return
All the time.