St James' Church Update - September 2019
Like a lot of churches, during the holiday season we are often missing a number of our congregation who either manage to get away for a week or two – or if you are fortunate enough to be grandparents – the holidays might be a time when your help looking after the children is
especially demanding (although very enjoyable of course) and leave you in need of another holiday! Either way, the holidays can give us a chance to catch up on a bit of reading.
This summer I decided to revisit one of John Ortberg’s books called ‘If you want to walk on water you’ve got to get out of the boat!’ And not for the first time I was struck by the story he tells about a woman who had been diagnosed with cancer and was given three months to live. Being a devoted Christian, the woman called her pastor to talk about her funeral service. She told him what songs she wanted sung, what scripture she wanted read and what words should be said and that she wanted to be buried with her favourite Bible. Then as the pastor was leaving, she called out to him: “One more thing!” “What’s that?” the pastor replied. “This is important – I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.” The pastor did not know what to say. No one had ever made such a request before. So, she explained. “In all my years going to church functions, whenever food was involved, my favourite part was when whoever was clearing dishes from the main course would lean over and say: You can keep your fork! It was my favourite part because that meant something great was coming. It wasn’t jelly – it was something with substance – cake or pie. So, I just want people to see me there in my casket with a fork in my hand, and I want them to wonder What’s with the fork? Then I want you to tell them, something better is coming. Keep your fork!
Indeed, as the pastor explained at the lady’s funeral a short time later, that for this lady – and anyone who dies in Christ – this is not a day of defeat... It is a day of celebration. The real party is just starting. Something better is coming.
It is the hope of heaven and all that goes with it which is indeed the hope of all of us who put our trust in Jesus – plus the hope of meeting loved ones who have gone before us. And that brings me to a final thought for this month which is to ask you to pray for the family of those who have recently died and who are greatly missed from our fellowship. In August we lost another member of our congregation - Shirley Millward. Although Shirley and her husband John had not been able to attend services regularly for quite some time, Shirley will be missed and we would ask for your prayers for the family and for husband John and daughter Lisa and of course for the Nutter family who must still be reeling from Andrew’s passing. Thank you.
St James’ ‘Dates for Your Diary’
Coffee Mornings in St James’ Church: 10.30am – 12pm on Wednesday, 4th September and Wednesday, 25th September.
LINK starts again on September 18th at 2.30pm in the Village Hall with a talk on Chinese Customs followed by the usual afternoon tea.
Harvest Festival at St James this year will be on Sunday, September 29th with a service at 4pm followed by the Harvest Supper – in the church.
Details from Jenny Pengelly on 01664 668095