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From the Vicar
Greetings on this rather autumnal day! If the trees weren't turning green rather than brown, this feels as though it could be September! But the days are lengthening, and we must keep faith that the summer will arrive! And as Christians, we should be used to living in hope: that is, after all, what we are always called to do. To live in the midst of this old world as though we were living in God's new Kingdom, and by doing so, to help bring that new Kingdom closer. And this week particularly, we are encouraged to live and pray in the hope of God's New Kingdom, as we give thanks once again for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In the nine days between Ascension Day last Thursday, and Whitsun or Pentecost next Sunday, the apostles prayed in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, with those others who had followed Jesus: the women who stayed at the Cross and went to the Tomb, and others who loved him. And on the day of Pentecost their prayers were answered, when the Holy Spirit descended, overflowing them with His love. Like them, we keep these days as a time of prayer. Like them, we do not know the full extent of what it is that we are praying for: we do not understand the Holy Spirit, how He moves, and what He is. But this does not matter: His gifts are ways of being. They are skills, attributes and ministries that will help build us up together into a fellowship of love, joy and peace. Above all, His gifts are love: it is love that underpins them all, and love that unites us all together in God. And so we pray, in the words of the hymn, "Come down, O love divine, seek Thou this soul of mine, and visit it, with Thine own ardour glowing".
On the website you will find the Cross and Crown for this week, and the order of service that we will use for this coming Sunday and for Pentecost: there are one or two places where the words are different for this week and next. The order of Service I have printed out and put in church does not have the full text of all the prayers as this sheet does, to save on paper and ink! But it does have everything you will need to say (I hope!). Depending on the weather, we may or may not sing a hymn outside at the end of the 10 am service. But whatever the weather does, the Holy Spirit will certainly warm our hearts!
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