Back to the Odell Home Page
CHURCH NEWS - November 2003
Our minister, David Streater retired in September and the Odell PCC tends to favour a continuing part-time minister dedicated just to Odell on a 'house for duty' basis. While this isn't the final decision and there is no certainty this will be approved by the CofE, we stand a good chance if we find the right person who is enthusiastic to work in this way. If you are or know of an energetic minister with an interest in spreading the gospel and being a spiritual leader in our small village, please contact <email@example.com>
Thought for the Month
The Problem of Good and Evil
In the absence of a minister, I have been asked to contribute from time to time a thought for the month from a Christian perspective. I have thought it wise to try to tackle some problems. In computer jargon, frequently asked questions.
There is no doubt that many people are put off seeking to know God because of the presence of evil in the world. They say I would believe in God if there was not so much evil. That is a fair point. There is much evil in the world. It would be a rash person who would seek to deny it. The fact of evil in itself does not deny either the fact of God, nor his wise purposes.
In the first place, the person is recognising that there is a difference between good and evil. On what does he base this? If there is no God why is there any good and what makes the difference that most people recognise wherever they are and whatever culture they come from? It is not just a question of modern people recognising this. It is part of the human scene through the centuries.
C S Lewis makes a very valid point in 'Mere Christianity’ when he writes about the Law of Right or Wrong. He states, "This law was called the Law of Nature because people thought that every one knew it by nature and did not need to be taught it." He continues that it did not mean that there were some odd people who did not recognise this but the exception proves the rule. The fact that some are colour blind does not rule colour out of the world any more than the fact that some are tone deaf invalidates all music.
Again it is argued that through the centuries different civilisations have had different moralities. This is untrue. There have been differences between the moralities and standards of conduct, but overall the standard has been remarkably parallel. Lewis deals with this in his book,' The Abolition of Man'. The fact is that some very widely spread cultures have had very similar moral codes.
In this mankind differs from the animal kingdom. In the animal kingdom there is no actual right or wrong. It is the law of the jungle. When human beings start to act in this way then there is either moral or legal condemnation. Those who come under such condemnation will seek to justify their actions in moral terms. Two very clear examples are Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union. Both sought to justily evil activities by their political dogma.
The question then has to be asked where does evil come from assuming that we accept that good comes from the Creator God? "God saw that all that he had made, and it was very good. And the evening and the morning was the sixth day." Genesis 1,31. We need to recognise that evil is not a substance. It is a moral activity of choice to follow a particular line irrespective of the harm that it may do to others. Indeed, the choice can become a direct attempt to harm others in many ways.
Here we come across the Ten Commandments, which are called moral, which set out for man the way to make choices so that primarily we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbour as our self. The moral choice not to love the Creator God was first taken by a part of the angelic community under the archangel Lucifer. They rebelled against the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity and whose name is holy. In so doing they were expelled from the presence of God forever.
It is the express intent of these evil principalities and powers to bring man made in the image of God to destruction. It is the temptation which deceived Eve and into which Adam walked with open eyes. Hence the human race is under condemnation and much evil flows from this. We can say that mankind is very far gone from original righteousness and stands in need of redemption.
It is in this context that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became flesh of our flesh in order to be the new head of a redeemed human race. It is for this reason that he was obedient in all points of the law and went to the Cross as the spotless Lamb of God. The acceptance of his blood sacrifice is confirmed by the resurrection.
God created all things very good. It is the moral choice of the fallen angels and of fallen man to do evil which is both a spiritual and moral activity. It is God's activity to maintain the good and to redeem those who believe in Jesus Christ, who himself will come in judgment at the last day.
The Prayer Chain
The Prayer Chain is there if you need prayer for yourself, for others or for members of your family. Please don’t ask for prayer outside your own family without people’s permission. To have a number of people pray just telephone Dennis (822992).
Many of you will know that because of the problems of vandalism and theft from Churches generally, the Parish Church is kept locked. Unless there is a specific reason for opening it earlier, it will be opened for Sunday and occasional services half an hour before the Service is due to start.
News from St. Albans Diocese
Hunt for 'church-friendly' media
The hunt is on to find the most 'church-friendly' local newspaper, magazine, radio or TV station in Luton, Bedfordshire, Barnet and Hertfordshire. Churchgoers are being asked to nominate the publication or station doing the best job of covering church news. The competition has been launched by the ecumenical Beds and Herts Churches Media Trust. More information from 01727 869506.
Books in demand
Andrew Proud, Rector of East Barnet until he moved to Ethiopia two years ago, is appealing for Bible commentaries to help with Christian teaching in the African country. The Church in Ethiopia wants to equip each parish with a simple reading/resource centre, with blackboards and benches, where Bibles and commentaries would be available. If you want to help, contact the Revd Mark Bonney, 01442 864194 or
firstname.lastname@example.org who has agreed to co-ordinate the shipping of the commentaries out to Andrew Proud.
Last year's Harvest
Christian Aid has recently confirmed that more than £39,000 was raised by the Bishop of St Albans' 'Harvest for the Hungry' Appeal in 2002. Out of the £39,350 raised, half was given to St Francis' Hospital, Zambia, and a quarter to Christian Aid's work around the world. The remaining quarter was given to the World Development Movement.
The November edition of SeeRound features more details of many of the e-Round items; an interview with Sir Philip Mawer, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, who becomes a Canon of St Albans Cathedral in November; a chance to win a book of Advent readings; a report of a media training workshop for young people; a message about Justice from the Bishop of Bedford; 'sleep out' events in St Albans and Barnet; and numerous parish activities and events.`
Communications Officer Diocese of St. Albans.
Looking Back on the Fete
Summer and the Odell Fete seem a long way in the past now, but it has been brought to our notice that the final figure for the profit made by the fete in 2003 was never published. Well here it is – the grand total of £2,861.81 – an excellent result as we are sure everyone will agree!
NovemberTuesday 11th TBA
Wednesday 3rd 10.30am at Catherine’s, Manor Cottage,
High St., Harrold.
Tuesday 16th Christmas Lunch – venue TBA
Our Giving in Novemberwill be shared between the British Legion Poppy Appeal and the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society.
Many still depend on these two organisations for all kinds of help including medical care and your generous giving enables continuous support for those damaged in body, mind and spirit by the ravages of war.
Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning
In support of Christian Family Care
Friday 5th December
Hobbs Green Farm
Church Lane, Odell
From 10.30am to noon.
Please bring donations of Christmas fayre
The Bishop of Bedford Coming to Odell
We are delighted that the new Bishop of Bedford, Richard Inwood, is coming to All Saints Church on Sunday 16 November to take our morning service (BCP Communion as the previous Sunday will be Remembrance Day). After the service he will have an opportunity to meet with church members over coffee. This will be followed by a meeting with the PCC (at about 11.30 or 11.45) at which we shall be able to discuss the situation for the future of the parish following David Streater's retirement.
Please try to join us on this special occasion.
The Sponsored Cycle Ridethis year did very well with seven people (from two families) biking and a squad of helpers manning the church. We raised £192.20, of which half comes straight back to the church, and we're hoping that the Beds & Herts Historic Churches Trust will also give us something for our appeal fund. A steady trickle of cyclists (including the usual 'penny-farthing') visited our church throughout the day.
Aid for Romania
At the end of September, Tim and I travelled to Romania for our annual visit to hold the AGM of our Romanian Foundation, audit all the accounts and visit our friends and the 25 sponsored families. It was a succesful trip and we came back encouraged that all our efforts are worthwhile. Most of the people we met are surviving in very difficult financial conditions as prices continue to rise without corresponding increases in basic salaries. It's really hard for members of our families to find work, and those that do are lucky and grateful to get something unofficial, or a job working as a cleaner or serving long shifts night or day in a 24hr shop. For this they probably only receive a minimal wage of about £40 a month.
Most of our youngsters are doing well with their studies and passing their exams, in some cases really well. Three more have started college. They would never have been able to go on to further education if we weren't helping their families.
There are several special situations -
Maybe you remember how last year we found a family with nine children living in a one-room shack in the middle of a field? Well they are now being sponsored and are doing so much better, despite the fact that Dad has had serious heart problems and has lost his job. One of our Romanian friends has given them a little house out in the country, and thanks to a special donation here we have managed to buy some land surrounding the house and are transferring it all into their name. The house is tiny, with three little rooms and a kitchen but they are happy there and have plans to extend it. The older children have settled into the village school and the boys help Dad with the animals. They've build sheds for their hens, pony, foal, cow, calf and pigs and are digging their own well. It's an idyllic spot in summer or autumn, but life will still be very hard this winter.
Our honey lady, Mrs Porumb who works for us and has eight children, bought, for her bees, with money we lent her two years ago, a small plot of land with a tiny house out in the country. She has now repaid the last of the money with 30kg of honey so please buy some! It comes in three types - acacia, multiflower and lime - which is all for sale at £2.50 per lb. However we are short of jars. Please contact me if you have any suitable screw-top jam jars.
Her family is all doing well with the eldest two girls having worked this year as au pair girls in Germany. The oldest, Emima, would like to come and do the same work in England. Do you know anyone who wants a reliable au pair who is used to helping with seven little brothers and sisters? Ask us for more details.
One girl who has changed a lot is Mihaela, now aged 17yrs and crippled with cerebral palsy. Since we were in Buzau last autumn she has had several operations to try to improve movement in her hands and legs. There are some positive changes but on the whole things are not very different, except that Mihaela has blossomed as a result of all the contact with specialists, therapists etc. She now realises that she matters as a person and she is even learning some English. She is very keen to gain more independence and we now want to try to get her an electric wheelchair, which will cost about £2,000. We have an Occupational Therapist who is keen to go out in the Spring and see what she can do to encourage Mum to help Mihaela do more at home. Also, we took a 'banana' board which her physio will help her to use to transfer between seats and wheelchair without Mum having to lift her.
This year we went to visit Alexandru, the seven year old boy who is nearly blind after contracting a rare syndrome as a result of an adverse reaction to medication. Dr Sharma, the eye specialist in Bedford, has taken an interest and had offered to travel to Romania to assess the situation. The cost of short-term air tickets were so great (the fares for the doctor and his Romanian nurse would have paid for Mihaela's wheelchair!) that we are now looking at the cheaper possibility of bringing Alexandru and his father here. The situation is complicated and we still don't know if several operations and long-term procedures, followed by a life-time dependence on immune suppression medication, would be effective, but we are hoping to
help if we can since his sight will otherwise continue to deteriorate.
Thank you all for your continued support and interest in our group.
Although we have plans to move out of the area, we do assure you that Aid for Romania will continue. There may be an Open Day sometime before Christmas, so watch out for more information, posters, or ask. Honey, as well as patchwork cushion covers and kettleholders, are all on sale at any time you fix with us.
Please phone 720640.
Ministry to the Dying and their Families
The Diocesan Healing Group is organising their Autumn Seminar at St. Andrew’s Church, Bedford, on Saturday 1st November, from 10am – 1pm, on the subject of ministering to the dying and their families.
The speaker will be the Reverend Elizabeth Hughes, Chaplain to the Hospice of St. Francis in Berkhamstead.
Admission £5.00. This promises to be an interesting and worthwhile morning.
All Saints’ Appeal FundProgramme of events, October - November.
These concerts are part of the church's appeal to raise money required initially to repair some medieval glass. But we also want to introduce a loop hearing system, to upgrade the heating, to redecorate the interior and eventually to bring the building up to standard with kitchen and toilet facilities as well as areas in which different groups can meet.
Mozart’s Requiem– two appraisals.
On Sunday October 5th The Eagle Choir from Bedford came to Odell Church and gave a performance of Mozart's Requiem (K626). The Requiem was the last work that Mozart wrote in the final year of his life but in fact it was never completed by him. The sketches that Mozart left for the final sections of the work were studied and added by his contemporaries some years after his death. Questions are still being asked as to whether Mozart had his own impending death in mind when composing the work.
The choir executed the work with the confidence that it required and took the audience through the moods of fear, hopefulness and confidence to the final conclusion. Charles Martin accompanied and directed the choir from the keyboard to give a performance which never faulted in delivery and was very much appreciated and enjoyed by all present. Proceeds from the evening are to be given to the current Restoration Appeal.
The Eagle Choir was formed over five years ago by Charles Martin, Director of Music at the Bedford School Preparatory Department. The choir is comprised of parents, staff and boys of the school and they have been performing a wide variety of works at venues throughout the area.
Sunday evening October 5th saw the Eagle Choir from Bedford under their leader Charles Martin sing the Mozart Requiem in Odell Parish Church. The Requiem is Mozart at his best. The music is magnificent with its harmonies for the various voices. This is not Mozart and the musical comedy, The Magic Flute, which is hilariously funny. It is not Mozart with his concertos for piano and horn. It is Mozart at his most serious as he faces the fact of the inevitability of the end of life and then the Judgment. The tunes and the harmonies are there but the mood is essentially sombre. This is a demanding work but the choir responded well and with the great acoustics of the parish Church it was a memorable evening. We shall look forward to a return of the Eagle Choir.
Music Correspondent, All Saints Parish Magazine.
The Lost Art of Wooing.
A selection largely of English songs sung by Jeni Melia, accompanied on the lute by Chris Goodwin. Jeni and Chris delighted a packed Harrold Church in 2002 and have been singing together widely, but Jeni admits to being glad to be back on home territory - she lives in Harrold and was brought up in Sharnbrook. Not to be missed!
Tickets: £10.00 and £7.50 concessions, to include a glass of mulled wine, available from Philip Lewis 01234 781796 or Jill Cheadle 01234 720261
6.00pm in All Saints’ Church, Odell.
Songs of Praise. A chance to come and sing.
4.00pm, All Saints’ Church, Odell.
A Heartfelt Thank Youto David, Douglas and Dennis for sharing the testimony of their Christian lives with us on Sunday 28th September. The three Ds certainly had three very different stories to tell of how they came to know Our Lord and give their lives in service to Him. It was a moving occasion full of joy and praise, not forgetting how much a part their wives had played in their many years of ministry. We all enjoyed the appetising meal served at the Village Hall afterwards - a 'Valerie and Molly special'. Thank you Valerie to you and all the helpers and lots of love to you and David in your new home in Buckingham.
Looking to Jesus
He Can Be Trusted
Read Psalm 84 "O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts you. (Ps 84 :12)
I was sitting in my chair by the window, staring out through fir and spruce trees to the mountains beyond, lost in thought. I looked down and saw a young fox, staring up at my face. She was as still as a stone.
Days before, I had seen her at the edge of the woods, looking nervously over her shoulder at me. I went to the kitchen for an egg, and rolled it toward the place I had last seen her. Each day I put another egg on the lawn, and each day she ventured out of the trees just long enough to pick it up. Then she would dart back into the woods. Now she had come on her own to my door to get an egg, convinced I suppose, that I meant her no harm.
This incident reminded my wife of David's invitation: "Oh, tasteand see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8).
How do we start doing that?
By taking in His Word. As we read and reflect on His compassion and loving-kindness, we learn that He can be trusted (84:12). We lose our dread of getting closer to Him. Our fear becomes a healthy respect and honour of Him.
You may at times distrust God, as the fox was wary of me at first. But give Him a chance to prove His love. Read about Jesus in the Gospels. Read the praises to God in the Psalms.
Taste and see that He is good! - David Roper
For Further Study to learn more about the love God has for you read the online booklet ‘How has God Loved Us?’ at www.discoveryseries.org/q0102
No-one is beyond the reach of God’s love!
Taken from 'Our Daily Bread' with kind permission from Radio Bible Class Ministries
PO Box 1 Carnforth Lancs LA5 9ES
Congratulationsto Mark and Sally Ann Holden Postles on the birth of their baby daughter 'Sarah Jane' born on 19th September. A much loved sister for Jack. God Bless you all.
We are pleased to know that Avril Saunders is back at home recovering after her recent operation. We send our love and prayers to her and to Roger and trust that it will not be too long before she is fully mobile.
Father God we continue to pray for All Saints’ Parish at this time of interregnum, for those involved in keeping the church running and the Word of God flowing. For everything that makes our church 'tick' we thank and praise You Lord.
There are still many people sick in and around our village, and we continue to remember them in prayer for God's hand to be upon them as His will is being perfected. For those with terminal illness, the sick, housebound and the lonely, especially as the nights and days are darker and shorter - please put your angels around their houses and keep them safe with a spirit of joy in their hearts.
We continue to pray and be thankful for the children in our village, and those who come into 'All Saints' to learn more about you. For we know in this dark world it is well that they should know that you are their friend. A friend who is there twenty-four hours aday, and the best friend anyone could ever have.
We praise you for the roofs over our heads, the water in our taps and think of those who have neither of these. Also for the warm beds we sleep in. Father we are truly blessed, may you bless those who are less fortunate.
Father we also pray for the protection of youngsters against the dangers of the Internet. Thank you for keeping our local children safe and well. May their faces glow when they see the fireworks on 5th November; please keep them protected on Guy Fawkes Night.
Thank you for Jesus, our 'forever friend'. Amen
Don't forget if you have Sky T.V. that you can receive the God Channel on 671 and 672. You can receive some really uplifting blessings by watching this. Why not give it a try? And, don’t forget that UCB Radio have 24hour broadcasts on Channels 875,886,891, and 890. ‘The Word is Music’ is onwww.thewordismusic.com
All UCB can be received through the Internet as well as through Sky TV.
All Saints Odell Flower RotaNovember
2nd Carol Ormond
9th Jane Eshelby
16th Jill Cheadle
23rd Margaret Jones
30th Nikki Freeman
Please contact Jill Cheadle, 720261, regarding the key for the church and if you have any problems please contact Jane Eshelby on 01933 410959. The only flowers that need attention are the two vases up by the altar and the large vase behind the lectern.
A belated ‘happy birthday’ wish to Lottie Robinson who was 3 on 18th October – we hope you had a lovely day.
Also, ‘happy birthday’ to Georgina Ardley who will be 4 on 29th November.
1st 10.00am Ministry to the Dying and their Families, St. Andrew’s Church, Bedford.
1st 10.00am Churchyard clean-up.
2nd 6.00pm The Lost Art of Wooing, Jeni Melia and Chris Goodwin, All Saints’ Church.
8th 10.30am Corner Club Coffee Morning and Sale of Christmas Cards, Linden House, 93 High St.
8th 7.30pm Ceroc evening, Village Hall.
9th 10.30am Remembrance Sunday Service.
11th 10.30am Meeting Point, venue TBA.
11th 7.30pm W.I. Village Hall.
16th 10.00am Bishop of Bedford to lead Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church.
16th 11.30am PCC Meeting, All Saints’.
16th 4.00pm Songs of Praise, All Saints’ Church.
3rd 10.30am Meeting Point at Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, Harrold.
5th 10.30am Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green Farm.
16th 10.30am Meeting Point Christmas Lunch. Venue TBA.
Please send all entries for the joint December/January magazine to Tricia Hudson (email@example.com), Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by November 12th at the latest. May we remind you that the editorial team exercises the right to edit, shorten or alter any items that are submitted. Also, the opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and are not the responsibility of the editorial team.
electronic mail address is <firstname.lastname@example.org>