Dear Church Members and Friends,
Last week I wrote that the Pope had expressed his appreciation for many “grass roots” initiatives that are emerging all over the world, and voiced his hope that they may “foster a citizenship that is increasingly aware of this essential common good.” and I spoke about one possible grass root initiative we could all be involved in and this week I have another for you to consider. St Paul wrote “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come”(1 Tim 4v8). Here is a new local initiative which combines the two.
The Parish Church of Chantonbury has felt led to encourage people in our area of the world to walk on the Southdowns from July 1st to August 31st as individuals in families or in households with the intention of praying as we go. Prayer walking has been practiced for centuries. Think of the ancient pilgrimages which are part of the original meaning of the word holiday, they were a holy walk going to a Holy place. They go back to over 3,000 years. We have Psalms written around that time to accompany those walking to Jerusalem to worship, see Psalm 122. This year, at the time when people often have their main holiday, but are restricted, we can all still have one, all be it home based one with holy walks, short or long, praying for whatever is on our heart for ourselves our neighbours and our world. Chantonbury Parish Church has actually been planning this for two years!! They have a website that you can register on. They will seek to inspire and equip you with resources, and you can also give them feed back regarding the experiences you have while walking and praying. See: https://southdownsawakening.com
In our own Parish Bernise and Steve Bourke have been producing excellent illustrated walks to follow around our parishes for us all for some time now. We could use these if we are unable to get to the South Downs this Summer. I myself hope to put a short reflective walk, that I have been preparing, in the August Parish Magazine so that families can walk, think, and have fun as well as pray on a circular walk from All Saints Church during this Summer holiday period. If you are unable to walk for one reason or another you can still pray and be a part of this initiative, you can still do something that has ‘value for all things’ as St Paul says. Here is the inspirational poem Footprints: One night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord. When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma. "Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I'm aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don't understand why, when I need You most, You leave me. "He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you." Bible passages for us to reflect on: Psalm 121, a pilgrimage Psalm. The walk to Emmaus Luke 24v13-35.
Readings for the week ahead:
Sunday July 5th
AM Ps 45 Matt 11v16-end PM Ps 56 Luke 18v31-19v10
Monday AM Ps 145 Matt 9v 18-26 PM Ps 86 Romans 14v13-end
Tuesday AM Ps 103 Matt 9v32- end PM Ps 89 Romans 15v1-13
Wednesday AM Ps 115 Matt 10v1-7 PM Ps 91 Romans 15v14-21
Thursday AM Ps 105 Matt 10v7-15 PM Ps 94 Rom 15v22-end
Friday AM Ps 80 Matt 10v16-23 PM Ps 102 Rom 16v1-16
Saturday AM Ps 51 Matt 10v24-33 PM Ps 104 Rom 16v17-end
Services on Radio and TV Each day there is a worship service on Radio 4 Long wave at 9.45am Sunday Services On Sunday Radio 4 has a service at 8.10am, and BBC1 Songs of Praise at 1.15pm, celebrating Florence Nightingale and the NHS. Also everyday The Church of England has fresh services for you to follow both AM and PM on their website:www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer
There is also a phone-line that the Church of England has launched during the crisis which is available 24/7 to support those without internet access. It is a free service with hymns, reflections and prayers togther with a message from the Archbishop of Canterbury, particularly for those feeling alone or in need of encouragement. The number to ring is 0800 804 8044 This Sunday 5th July at 10am we plan to have a Family Service at All Saints Herstmonceux. Please only attend this service if you are well and are not extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 and should be at home shielding. We will have social distancing at the service and we will not be providing refreshments. However if you wish to bring your own refreshments and a cup you will be able to sit outside the Church after the service for fellowship with others, weather permitting.
At 6pm there will be an online Service which will be similar to a Home Communion Service. We will be giving thanks for the NHS at both of these services Monday. We have a prayer meeting in the Rectory garden and online at 6pm. Thursday. We have an online home group meeting at 7pm. Please contact me if you wish to join us with any of these meetings online or by phone or in the garden here. Also please email or phone me if you would like a pastoral visit in your home or garden. Sunday week. We plan to have a 10am Service at Wartling Church on 12th July. Our July
Please pray for one another using the church prayer sheet, and please pray especially for: Frank Beeney, Brian and Joan Clark, Helen Ford, Jackie Fuller, Sue Freeman, Brian Goulder, Constance Martin, Alan Ticehurst, Joy Underhill, Sue Freeman, and Derek Wells. Please contact me if you require any assistance of any kind, God Bless from Richard Steven Tel: 01323 833124 e mail: email@example.com
Please continue to pray for one another using the church prayer sheet, and please pray especially for: Brian and Joan Clark, Helen Ford, Jackie Fuller, Sue Freeman, Brian Goulder, Constance Martin, Alan Ticehurst, Joy Underhill, Sue Freeman, and Derek Wells.
May the road rise up to meet you.