Monday, July 22, 2019
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
To save paper I am sending it out electronically. Please bring a device with you so you have the words.
Wide is our circle, Christ is the head, he is the honoured guest.
Learn of his love, grow in his grace, pray for the peace be gives.
Here at this meal, here in this place, know that his Spirit lives.
Once he was known in the breaking of bread, shared with a chosen few.
Multitudes gathered and by him were fed, so he will fed us too.
Sunday, June 9, 2019
have been risking everything to draw our attention to the climate emergency we
are facing. They are using non violent means with high impact. I had been challenged
once again to consider the impact my sense of entitlement has on my environment.
also the litter of government decisions, namely war. In the last week this place has
seen events marking the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings, of which this was
one of the launch points. You can see the remnants of concrete bases, and piers.
75 years later, the litter of war is not so easily erased and put in a bag. However,
over time, the land has been reclaimed for conservation and enjoyment.
Love has taken the place of fear and death.
or used the item - not standing in judgement, but sending them love. We asked
for forgiveness for the ways we all have used and abused the gift of creation.
And reflected on our own responsibility for change. We were invited to ask God
how we might take action in line with Jesus’ own non violent methods of getting
his message across. How might we challenge our own assumptions about what
we are entitled to do, eat, and connect with our environment?
had experienced conflicted feelings about others - those who have consciously left
behind items that could be harmful to others, as well as the environment. It was a
challenge to send love and prayers for those people. We wondered what it would
take to be non violent in our thoughts as well as our actions.
getting involved with Tearfund's Rubbish Campaign? Or perhaps eat one less meat
based meal a week? Drive one less journey a week? Write to your MP?
Join Extinction Rebellion? Become a Friend of Lepe and litter pick here regularly?
We finished with the following prayers -
May the Spirit bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths and superficial
relationships so that you will live deep in your heart.
May the Spirit bless you with anger at injustice and oppression, the exploitation of
people and earth so that you will work for justice, equity and peace.
May the Spirit bless you with tears
to shed for those who suffer so that you will reach out your hand to comfort them.
May the Spirit bless you with foolishness to think that you can make a difference
in the world so that you will do the things which others say cannot be done.4
To deal with the pain of it.
To feel the joy of it
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Our theme was the awe-inspiring beauty and intricate patterns to be found in even the tiniest parts of creation - like a bracken frond uncurling to reveal all the smaller leaves within it. On the day, though, the mathematical patterns were what we talked about, this being one way in which God's fingerprints are revealed.
We started off passing round a basket of pine cones and permanent markers. The challenge was to observe and draw in the spiral patterns we could find in the patterns of the scales. We mostly counted 8 or 13 spirals, but the number 21 was also found.
Looking at these numbers some people recognised them as belonging to the Fibonacci sequence, which starts 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21... Each number in the sequence is generated by adding the two previous numbers in the sequence together. These special numbers pop up in the natural world everywhere, in petals, leaves, branches and pine cones! These numbers also draw a very nice spiral as you can see from one of the photos. The result of dividing adjacent Fibonacci numbers converges on an irrational number called the Golden Ratio that begins 1.61803398875 and this number is deliberately used in art, architecture and design as the proportions are very pleasing.
We discussed how beautiful these patterns (of form and number) are, and how for some of us finding out about these patterns turns our hearts towards worship of our Creator God. Romans 1:20 says "God’s eternal power and character cannot be seen. But from the beginning of creation, God has shown what these are like by all he has made."
It seemed to strike a chord with quite a few people, that “Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe”, to quote Galileo Galilei, the Italian astronomer and physicist. We then spent time either looking for patterns in the leaves, bracken and flowers to be found or studying the tadpoles which were teeming in the nearby "mare" (pond). The weather was glorious so we were in no hurry to return back to the car park for refreshments!
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
We each took two pieces of the New Forest Forest Church jigsaw (see pictures) and equated one piece to the moment in which we find ourselves in life at this moment. With the things which are in the forefront of our minds, the joys or sorrows which flood our being at this present moment in our life journey. The second piece of jigsaw which we each held in our hands we equated to how we, as individuals, fit into the greater whole of any body we belong to, whether that be family, friends, church, nation, or simply humanity. We contemplated how each piece is different, yet all fit together to be one whole picture.
Then we spent time wandering a part of the New Forest where we could see vast scenes of hills and heath, and a great big sky. We looked at a small section of the natural world as we past it, and then looked at it in its larger setting.
So often we can get caught up in the single moment that we find ourselves in at this present moment in our lives, and forget that there is a bigger picture. That this moment is just one moment in all our moments which make up our life.
We can also very easily forget that we are not alone, but part of a collective, that we have an innate sense of belonging because we are designed, like a single piece of jigsaw, to be part of something bigger together with others.
In the midst of the Babylonian exile God spoke to the Israelites through the prophet Jeremiah saying "I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a hope and a future" (29v11), reminding them that God has the bigger picture in his sight.
Friday, March 15, 2019
Sunday, February 10, 2019
We were standing on the Quay at 16:20. Second high tide was due at 16:28, after which 126 M tonnes of water would slip silently away due to the hidden influences of bodies vast distances away and often invisible (cloudy days/nights).
Then we considered three scriptures that hinted at the invisible influences in our spiritual lives:
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139: 7-12
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Psalm 34.7
We then had about 20 mins to wander, to watch the tide tip from flood to ebb and to simple watch and listen. It was too cold to share when we gathered together again so we reassembed at Fairwinds for food and drink and a chance for people to share their thoughts and reflections. As usual, it was a privilege to hear people share. I won't attempt to summarise their reflections - they could do it better in the comments below if they read this but thankyou to all who came. Looking forward to seeing people in March one at the Rufus Stone near Stoney Cross in the New Forest where Mike and Julie will be leading.