It was very special to be able to hold the Leavers' Services for Parracombe and Lynton Primary schools in their respective churches last week. Teachers took the opportunity to tell those leaving just how much they had valued sharing in their school journey, especially through this really challenging last year, and just how special each child was, clebrating all they had contributed to school life. The West Exmoor Fedreation vision is "Educating with love for life in all its fullness" and the warmth and range of memories the children shared wonderfully reflected that. At the end of the service I invited them into a form of prayer which we also used at Countisbury last week, so I offer it to you the version I used at Countisbury at the end of this note as part of the Growing in prayer series.
It has been good to begin discussions with some of you about plans for worship and church opening in the coming weeks. As I indicated, we won't change anything at Holy Communion services this week but I will let you know when each church has a plan for how they want to adapt to the current circumstances.
Services this week:
9am Holy Communion (BCP) Brendon
11am Holy Communion Lynton
8.30pm Epilogue (Following a discussion with those present last week we will be given singing hymns a try, remaining socially distanced and with face covering still worn )
9am Holy Communion Parracombe
11am Holy Communion Lynton
Growing in prayer:
I would like to offer you an image to carry into prayer.
It is of a set of concentric circles – through which we might offer God’s love.
At the centre is you – God’s beloved creation made just as you are in God’s delight. Treasure yourself, take care of yourself with the love that reflects God’s love for you.
Then around you, those closest to you who it is easy to love and take care of with their best interests at heart
Then those who are familiar and friendly, it is probably not difficult to act with their well being in mind.
Then those with whom you have little in common, those perhaps you find it hard to love. Remember the Good Samaritan who became a neighbour by focusing on an enemy’s need – how might thinking of what the difficult people in your life need, help you extend love to them?
May the love of God and the love of our neighbour guide us in peace through the coming days.
Allow God to see you now just as you are
Ask God for what you need in the coming week……
Father, you know what we need before we ask, and are more ready to give than we are to ask. Show us your grace and love in the needs we have offered you now. Amen
Hold those closest to you in your heart….
Ask God for what they need in the coming week…..
Father, we ask your blessing on our families, our friends, all those who are beloved to us – meet them in their need, and bring them your protection and peace
Think about your acquaintances, those around us in daily life in our community
Ask God for the good things you desire for them……
Father, we give thanks for those whose lives touch ours. You know better than we do what they long for and need. May our actions towards them share in fulfilling your loving purposes for them.
If there are people or groups of people that you find it difficult to care about, name them to God.
Ask God for help to see their needs, and desire their well being
Father, may we see more clearly your image in all those from whom we feel estranged, and find in awareness of their needs and fragility a seeding ground for love and true neighbourliness.
May we be willing too, to find grace when they extend friendship to us in our vulnerability too.Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy