Click on the link above to see the Parish of Denbigh Magazine for June and July
A MESSSAGE FROM THE RECTOR
As you read this the summer is drawing to its close, the days are noticeably shorter and after a short pause the church year is starting to crank up again. I suppose we all feel that September is really the beginning of the year as that’s when school always started up and the football season began. Oh happy days!
Now, of course, football restarts in early August and this year, I was dismayed to hear that my granddaughter, who is 13, was starting in her new class for the coming year, two weeks before school broke up for the summer.! So the anticipated is already upon us, before the present has become the past and we have had time to draw breath and rest.
This is a familiar moan with me, – the pace of life. Or is it me? Am I just getting older and s-l-o-w-e-r? people seems to be driving ever faster on the roads. A study a few years ago agreed that on the whole people were driving 10% faster than they were in the 80s. Perhaps it’s the music we are playing in our cars, encouraging us to go faster, to keep up with the tempo. That is not as daft as it sounds. I always remind newly married coupled to walk out a lot slower than the Wedding March is playing, otherwise they will be jogging down the aisle..
I have always encouraged the churches under my care to have August off, to be quieter and to rest from the normal round of activities; which isn’t easy as we are so programmed to be active – all of the time. One church I attended used to joke that even God was on holiday in August! This means that I have discouraged meetings, have not sought out work but have let it come to me. (And of course it does!)
I have thought that August should be like Lent used to be- a time of quiet and reflection, of stillness with a quality of waiting and anticipation. Of course Lent itself has lost that quality long ago as it is so busy but August offers that opportunity for us instead. There is a natural pause in the season, when the plants and trees are at their most extended and before they begin to retreat, to bed down for the winter. It is a natural hiatus in life that we could emulate in our churches.
We are fortunate in our Anglican tradition that we have the liturgical seasons to guide us through the year. There is a rhythm to our church life that is good for us to follow. By keeping to the church seasons in their due time we are giving ourselves the spiritual space that we need. And it is becoming increasingly difficult to resist the demands of our society to rush ahead on to the next event, or next season before we have appreciated the one we are in. The most obvious case is Advent but we will keep that for nearer the time!.
For now – well, August is over and we will have to wat until next year to try again to keep it quiet. But perhaps we can still, as the autumn days unfold, find some time to consider and think on God’s goodness and the blessing of the natural rhythm of life around us.
Yours in Christ