Thursday, June 30, 2011

So there's a God, what to do about it..................

I am always surprised when I hear the results of surveys that consistently show around 70% of the population believe in God. I wonder how much people who assert in such surveys the presence of God, have thought about the implication of their answer. God’s existence must surely elicit a response of more than passive acceptance. If any single fact should make you sit up and want to know more, then acknowledging God’s existence must be the most supreme of stimuli.

So what should be our response to acknowledging there is a God. The existence of something completely outside our understanding? What else can we do but worship….that surely has to be our first response, the response of mortal humans to a vast eternal God must be to show that we respect and cherish God’s existence.

Yet so many want to just nod in God’ direction, give a passing glance and carry on as if nothing had changed. Hang on a minute, you’ve just acknowledge the existence of someone who is powerful beyond your understanding, is time it’s very self, is the universal constant behind the whole universe and you’ve just carried on living as nothing had changed? Let’s put it another way.

I love my science fiction, and of course a common theme in lots of movies is the visit to this planet of a lifeform not as we know it, a lifeform that is more powerful than us, a lifeform that is  cleverer than us, a lifeform that will destroy humanity. What is the usual response, well it is defiantly not a vague nod and life carries on, it is usually panic on a mass scale when we realise there is someone around that is more powerful than humanity!

So why, when we acknowledge the existence of God, who is even more powerful than any alien species, do we carry on as if nothing has changed? Should we not at least be trembling at the knowledge that God exists? From there should we not be moved to show that we respect and cherish God’s existence.

There was a point in my life when I did not believe there was a God but when I changed and realised there was a God, my first response was to bow down and worship because what else could I do? In the face of a vast eternal God what else can you do……..

Acknowledging God’s existence is not a private matter it must be a public declaration of thanks. Christians have always done this by gathering together and worshiping together. Offering our praise and thanks to God for our very existence.

Think of it this way. If you fell in a river and were drowning and someone rescued you. What would be your response? If you had an operation that saved your life, what would be your response? If you had a heart attack and someone revived you, what would be your response? In all these examples my response would be overwhelming gratitude. Big thanks are usually public affairs. A desire to shake their hand and ask could I do anything for them? Yet these acts are nothing compared with the gratitude we must have for our existence! Every day we should remember the gift of life that God has given and we should be grateful.

I urge everyone reading this to think deeply if you believe there is a God and if you do, think even more deeply what your response must be…… Alun

Friday, June 3, 2011

June Something for everyone......

During June we see the Church Season of Easter draw to a close as we celebrate both Ascension and Pentecost. We shall be using Book of Common Prayer for our Ascension Day celebrations at 7 pm on the 2nd June at St Katherine’s Church Loversall. It will be trip down memory lane  for many as we celebrate Ascension day with a Choral Evensong and Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion. The Singing Group who have formed to sing at Weddings under the watchful direction of Ted Wetton have been practicing hard for this service. So it would be great if you could join us and for those who have never experienced it, a chance to see how we worshiped in the past.

During the period between Ascension day and Pentecost we will be doing 4 prayer walks. Each will take an hour. Is there anything local you would like to pray about? Don’t know how? Come and join us, we can help! You may have thought it was only possible to pray when you are kneeling or sitting, but the Christians have always prayed when they are on the move.  

Rogationtide is an ancient festival to invoke a blessing on fields, stock and folk which  involves praying while walking the parish boundaries. It is commonly been called “beating the bounds”. It also helped everyone to remember the boundaries before maps were commonplace. Along the way prominent trees often became places for preaching ­ and were called Gospel Oaks. Locations of various landmarks - stones streams, hedges, ponds were impressed upon the children.
The rogation days traditionally fall on the four days from the fifth Sunday after Easter but we are going to alter this ancient custom and walk around parts of the parish on 4 days.
5th June           2:15     Walk from Woodfield Plantation to St Katherine for 3pm                                              service.  Kids welcome.             Meet outside shops.
6th June           7:30     Woodfield Plantation              Meet outside shops
8th June           7:30     Alverley                                   Meet outside shops
11th June         2:00     Wadworth                               Meet outside church

A packed June continues when, once again, both of our lovely churches will be open during the Heritage Inspired Weekend.  Both Churches will be open on:
Saturday 18th June 2 - 4
Sunday   19th June 1 - 3

Then we finish a busy June the following weekend when we celebrate St John the Baptist with what the church calls a patronal festival.
Friday 24th June 7:30                        Wadworth Community Centre
Sing a long a Show….stopper
Saturday 25th June 2pm         Wadworth Church Community Centre and Churchyard
Garden Party with all your favourites Lucky Dip, Tombola, Raffle, Books.
Sunday 26th June 9:30am      St John the Baptist Church
Holy Communion and celebration of St John the Baptist

Last month I mentioned commemorating the 95th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. Details are still being finalised but there will be a short act of remembrance at 11am on Sunday the 3rd of July.

June has something for everyone and I hope you can join us for at least one of the above events.