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November letter

 

All Saints’ Day falls on 1st November and will be celebrated on the first Sunday in November. Remembrance Sunday is the following Sunday - 12th November and then the month ends and the new month begins with another season of remembrance as the season of Advent creeps in.

Paula Gooder has written a book called ‘The meaning is in the waiting’. The idea is that as one waits and listens - meaning, clarification and enlightenment comes.

There are four seasons in the book: the first talks about Abraham and Sarah waiting for a child. The second season is Isaiah and the prophets waiting for judgement and redemption. John the Baptist waiting in the wilderness until the prophecies are foretold and realised is the third, and finally, Mary, whose waiting pregnancy begins her story, until she stands at the cross watching her son die - an event of such significance.

Waiting has at its core the ability to listen. I wonder as the world’s activities seem to be in the fast lane of change, whether this is an art that has become minimised by impatience. One of the requirements of a pastoral church is this ministry of listening. There are still people around who are good listeners, people who have the time to listen and are not possessed by ‘keeping an eye on the time’. Spending time in waiting and listening can be very rewarding and it is not wasted time, but rather, a staying in stillness for the Holy Spirit to move us into deeper meaning.

At the end of the Christmas season we are reminded of two inspirational characters, Anna and Simeon who recognise and proclaim the Messiah at the feast called ‘The presentation of Christ in the temple’. They, and others were known as the ‘Quiet of the land’: ready, waiting and listening for the advent of our Lord.

So, may we use this season to check our listening skills and to be found waiting and ready for all that the Lord calls us to be, and do.

 

Every blessing,

Kate

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All Saints’ Church

Silent Prayer

Eyes closed, we sit in silence,

Three women praying.

Seeking your voice, we go within.

Silent, we hear our breathing.

I see you on the cross,

Arms open for the world.

Your body suffering for us all.

I understand your humanity.

I believe your divinity.

As always, I pray for strength,

Strength to overcome timidity,

Strength to do what I must for family,

for friends, for you.

I am still; I listen.

I hear you say, “I am your strength.”

I say to you, “You are my redeemer.”

My Lord, my God.

 

Mrs Sallie Cheavens Verette