Building for the Future
Building for the Future

STEPPINGSTONES

 

 

 

From the Minister

 

November is the month for remembering. Conveniently, the national act of remembrance at the Cenotaph (and in towns and villages) coincides with the church’s season of All Saints tide. The feast reminds us of the ‘faithful departed’ whom we remember with affection and thanksgiving. There are some saints who are ‘great names’ in the church’s history, for example Martin Luther the reformer of the sixteenth century and his namesake Martin Luther King Jr of the twentieth; Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the opponent of Hitler and the Nazi regime, Dietrich Bonhoeffer There are saints who have greatly impressed me, I cite one in particular: the journalist, broadcaster, and Christian apologist Malcolm Muggeridge. In my earlier Christian formation, I read two Fount Paperbacks by Muggeridge: Jesus, the man who lives, and Christ and the Media. Some people leave an enduring mark on us. They can be famous people, or they can be saintly individuals whose Christian witness have impressed us, for example, a schoolteacher, or an aunt, or a minister. To mark this special time of year I am inviting you to join me for a Service for All Saints Day. It will be held on Sunday 1st November at 4pm on Zoom. I realise that that may preclude some. Nevertheless there will be Sunday morning services and a weekly ‘Worship at Home’ sheet available to all. 

 

From the Editor

 

Eco Tip from Eco-Church Greening your home this Autumn. With 40% of UK emissions coming from households, our homes have an important part to play in meeting the UK’s 2030 emissions reduction targets. As temperatures drop in an increasingly warming world, you can help to tackle climate change and reduce your heating bill by testing how draughty or leaky your home is. Find the gaps that let the cold air in and warm air out (think keyholes, letterboxes, gaps around the edges or bottoms of windows and doors, loft hatches, floorboards etc.). Homes are really important, and God calls us to play our part in giving nature a home too. Is your garden lacking a bird feeder ahead of the long winter months when it’s particularly hard for wildlife to source food? Could your balcony or windowsill do with some plant life? How about installing a bird box or hedgehog highway? (Though in the latter case, do make sure the neighbours are happy for you to make a small tunnel/hole in your shared fence!)

 

For Remembrance Sunday this year the British Legion recognizes that most of its poppy
sellers are in vulnerable groups due to age and have made available on their website
(britishlegion.org.uk) a downloadable poppy for a donation as well as one for children to
colour in. The idea is that, like the rainbows, people can put these in their windows. I hope
to be able to print some off for people who do not have access to the website, which I will
distribute with the Sunday service sheet.

Finally, I would like to share with you a poem from a Celtic Daily Prayer book by John Philip
Newell, which I find very comforting in these days when we feel isolated and alone. God is in
the face of all we meet and in our own face too. God made us in His image, but He is present
in all His creation.
Whichever way we turn, O God, there is Your face
in the light of the moon and patterns of stars,
in sacred mountain rifts and ancient groves,
in mighty seas and creatures of the deep.
Whichever way we turn, O God, there is Your face
in the light of eyes we love,
in the salt of tears we have tasted,
in weathered countenances east and west,
in the soft skin glow of the child everywhere.
Whichever way we turn, O God, there is Your face,
there is Your face
among us.

 

 

 Diary Notes for October Well I’ve had a mixture of activities & outings this month starting off with a walk to a local Church for Evensong. The children helped with action singing and we even had musical instruments to use along with the music. I was invited to meet my daughter at a Retail Park to browse the carpet & furniture shops for ideas for her new home. It was fun to meet up and actually see so much & have so many choices. Sadly our browsing went on a little too long and we both received parking fines for £100! So, with Dentist & Optician appointments, it’s been an extra expensive month. My son was about to throw out a sweet little chest of drawers that I rescued just in time. Repainted grey & pretty patterned knobs bought on line it’s now a smart piece of furniture & is most useful. Continuing my make do and mend theme I tackled a complaint from ’him indoors’ regarding the shortness of his pyjama bottoms. All went well with my needlework; although he was first bemused, then amused to find that the jacket now has short sleeves. Oh! I thought he wouldn’t notice that. I’m sad to learn that my neighbour & friend of more than 40 years is moving away to be near her family; but hopefully we shall remain penfriends. One very pleasant outing has been with a dear friend, recently widowed, when we walked around the Bobbingworth Reserve, that her husband worked so hard to get transformed from original landfill use. We both enjoyed the peaceful time together & sat and meditated on the colourful view of the autumn trees. I’ve found it very difficult to know how to support this friend in her grief under current rules. Walking and talking seems to be the best option at the moment. Enjoy whatever time you have with your families & friends in whatever form you can. Take care and keeping smiling, it’s good for you. 

 

 

Thoughts from a friend.

 Just like to thank everyone for my birthday wishes and cards. It was a significant birthday as I can now have a bus pass! Bit of a shame I won’t be going on a bus for a while! We took advantage of one of the sunny days during the “birthday week” to re-visit Anglesey Abbey. We have been there several times over the last six months and this time we enjoyed the autumn flowers. The dahlia garden was still doing very well. We saw swans with their cygnets on the river leading to the Mill. They were getting quite big but still keeping close to mum. When walking through the wooded area we came across an amazing display of cyclamen, I found this quite breathtaking. (It had the Wow! factor). We are now looking forward to going back later in the year to see what the winter gardens look like. The puppy has now arrived and her name is “Hettie” She has been to play in our garden a couple of times which has been good fun for us. She dashes around exploring, wears herself out, then falls asleep on someone’s feet! More tales from Hettie next month when we start looking after her during the week. Autumn “Come little leaves,” said the wind one day. Come down to the meadows And we shall play. Put on your dresses Of red and gold, For summer is past And the days grow cold, Dancing and leaping The leaves went along, Until winter called them To end their sweet song, Soon fast asleep In their earthy beds The snow lay a cover Over their heads.

We are located at:

ONGAR UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

HIGH STREET

ONGAR

CM5 9EA

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