As there is no church service in January 2019 this newsletter will apply for both months
Thought for the month
It has been a real pleasure having Rev Clive French and his wife Jeanne with us for the past few weeks. They have made a great contribution to our services and community alike. We hope that we have not overburdened Clive and that we hope to see them both at our services in Autumn 2019.
The congregation’s generosity at the Harvest Festival and on Remembrance Sunday was fantastic. The Harvest Festival raised 320€ which will be split between Restos de Coeur and Entraide Protestante Uzes. Remembrance Sunday raised 415€ through the Poppy Appeal boxes although we must also acknowledge the generosity of the well refreshed revellers at the Abba/Fish and Chips Evening in Saint Siffret. All 415€ raised will be passed to the Poppy Appeal.
The next service at Bagard is the Carol Service on 15th December at 5pm. Programmes will follow later.
Whilst researching for an homily I came across an article which had been used as the basis for a sermon in Northern Ireland. Kintsugi is a Japanese skill for repairing damaged pottery. At one point this was a broken tea bowl. How it got smashed doesn’t matter. What counts is what happened to it once it did. An artist mixed gold with the ceramic paste and made something much more beautiful than the original.
Bad things happen. The chips and cracks, the let downs that will inevitably happen don’t have to destroy us. We can accept them, acknowledge them and play our small part in helping God to turn them into something more beautiful.
Clive gave us a wonderful sermon yesterday at Uzes. He talked about Andromeda, a parallel universe to ours and spoke about creation being no accident. A powerful metaphor that Clive used was that if creation was an accident a whirlwind could blow through a scrapyard and out of the other end would land a Boeing 747.
I would like to pretend that the following is original thought but plagiarism will out! “Apart from being involved at the beginning of science, systems of government, philosophy, art, schools, hospitals, the emancipation of women, the abolition of slavery, social welfare, helping form the basis of the moral code most people live by, and introducing popular notions of justice, mercy, peace, decency and compassion what has Christianity ever done for the world?”
This time of the year between Remembrance Sunday and Christmas is the only time I miss living in Shropshire. The pheasants are starting to fly high, the National Hunt racing season is going into full swing and the banks and lawyers are starting the Christmas Party season.
On a more serious note we are moving into the season of Advent. Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. The collect for Advent is unusual in that it was written by Thomas Cranmer when he was compiling the Book of Common Prayer.
It starts Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light now ……..”
Suddenly it is not the historical past or the unknown future that is brought before our minds but the immediate present. Here in the Gard at the start of Advent 2018 it is NOW that we are to cast away the works of darkness.
We look forward to seeing you at the Carol Service.
Lay Worship Assistant
We continue to pray for all those who are sick, suffering or in need and especially for Chris Stow, David Paton.
The revised church directory of members and friends of St Michael’s has been printed and distributed.
Those friends who live at a distance have been sent electronic copies.
Advance notice re Electoral Roll
As you know, we revise the electoral roll annually but the Anglican Church rules are such that, every 6 years, we have to completely wipe the slate clean and compile it from scratch. 2019 is such a year.
Therefore in January I shall be writing to all who are currently on the roll to inform you that you will need to re-apply to come back on the electoral roll. Equally if you are not already on the roll, you may apply to be included . I will attach the appropriate form with my e-mail but would ask you to forward your reply to John Smith as he is co-ordinating the responses. We need to finalise the roll before the AGM in March as membership entitles you to vote. Details of when and where to send your replies will be circulated with the form.
Sorry to ask you to complete yet another form but it is important for lots of reasons that we maintain our electoral roll.
Electoral Roll Officer
News from Friends !
We have received a very nice newsy note from Pennie and Gerry:
It is lovely to receive the BritsNimes newsletter each month and you have certainly increased the number of clubs and areas they cover.
Just thought you would like a quick up date from us in the UK. I see from the St. Michael’s newsletter we get each month that donations are still sent to Resto du Coeur Ales branch. As a result of donating while in France Gerry started a collection here in Wimblington for the food bank in March which comes under Ely. Since starting the collection three years ago he has collected over 1 ton of produce and we now have three sites in Wimblington for villagers to leave their donations. Also Gerry and I collect twice a year at Tesco who allow the food bank a two day slot to collect from the shoppers. With redundancies etc and benefits having to be re-calculated the number of people requiring short term help continues to rise.
Please pass on our very best wishes to anyone who may still remember us.
Love to you both,
Pennie and Gerry