I continue to give such thanks to you, and to this beautiful parish in Knowle. As I walk along our pavements, and walk through our park, I notice God’s creation at work, at leisure, in the “works of God’s hands” as we read in Psalm 19. I am constantly reminded of God’s presence everywhere, in all places, at all times. As I go into the beautiful sanctuary of our church building, I notice the stillness, I feel the weight of over a century of prayer, with the expectancy that we will gather again in worship in that place.
It was wonderful to gather outside to worship last Sunday, and we pray for good weather to enable us to do this again on August 16th. This time the service will include Holy Communion, and I know for those of us who have fasted for so long from receiving the Eucharist, this will be a special moment. Equally, for those who are unable to attend, the service will be live streamed and will include the prayer of spiritual communion, that you may also have the sense of receiving sacrament.
It is also so life giving to see how the food bank is making such a difference. With the initial 14 families being supported, there are over 70 mouths being fed, and we are pleased that there are additional sisters and brothers who will be supported over the coming weeks. I continue to give thanks for those who have volunteered to help with running the food bank within church, and those making the deliveries in the community, as well as the abundant generosity of the donations given. Do please give if you are able – as I shared in my reflection last week, one tin of baked beans in the economy of a Kingdom perspective is the difference between a family eating or not eating.
We also reflect on our church finances, and I am aware that some of you have been unable to make your financial offering to the church through plate donation, or to give through the envelope scheme. I would ask again that you consider whether this is something you could do online as a one-off gift, or new regular offering. We continue to have outgoings to meet and any generosity is really appreciated. Do please make contact if you need a reminder of the bank details.
As we continue to discern how God is calling us to emerge as a church, I reflect on last week’s gospel passage which concluded with the words “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” (Matthew 13: 52). I hear some people say, “we must find new ways of being church”, and others say, “we mustn’t lose the old way”. I think hearing Jesus’ words is so helpful – there are new treasures and old: there are things of such value in the “storeroom” which is the story of this church in this place pre and post Covid. I am excited to discover, with you, these treasures, and how and who our church will be.
There won’t be a weekly message or email next week, however the life of our church – you and me – continues. I pray that you will also continue to recognise where God already is fully present, to know that you are loved, and to pray for the day when we will all gather together again.
With every blessing