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CHURCH NEWS - November 2009
Pictured above are some of the Monday Club children in All Saints’ Church with the arrangement they put together for Harvest Festival
By the time you read this letter November fog may be descending upon us, with the gloriously sunny days of Autumn becoming a distant memory. (If that’s the case, then do cheer yourself up by popping in to the Fairtrade Café to enjoy a range of delectable goodies!). But hopefully, there will still be some late Autumn sunshine to get out and enjoy.
Have you ever wondered why it is we generally feel better when we are outside? That’s one of the questions that popped up in a recent ‘Pilgrims’ group when we were thinking about the creation and what, or who is its origin.
Whether it is a ‘what’ or a ‘who’ is a crucially fundamental question, which has far reaching implications for our understanding about who we are, our place in the cosmos, whether we have a purpose, whether life has meaning, how we value ourselves and others, and how that affects all our relationships.
When we go for a walk, or are out in the garden we become more aware of the created world, and are often moved by its beauty and order. As we gaze at a magnificent sunset, listen entranced to the song of a bird, or are cheered by the fragrant loveliness of a flower, it touches us somewhere deep inside and we feel better for it. Watching the nature programmes on TV, we marvel and wonder at the intricacies of natural design, each living thing perfectly adapted to its habitat – and when nature is marred or abused in someway, we feel a sense of loss, even anger, we feel that something has gone horribly wrong and we wish it were not so.
Both Jewish and Christian faiths point to a God who is the source of all things, the One in whom all things hold together, who is personally involved and present in every part of his creation. If we accept that view, it is not surprising that we feel at home in the created world, and that observing its beauty and wonder makes us feel better. It also reasonably follows that creation – including ourselves – has a purpose, has meaning and value, something of which we might begin to discern as we look at the work of a loving Creator.
The early chapters of Genesis were not written as a scientific account of how the world was made, but to show us something of the personhood of God, his desire for us to live in relationship with him, and with the created world in which he has placed us. We read that God’s view of all that he had made was ‘very good’ – it gave him pleasure, and it’s intended to give us pleasure too. So let your eyes, your ears and your senses savour and enjoy this amazing gift whenever and however you can!
With love and prayers, Christine.
‘Pilgrims’ is an informal group that meets fortnightly at The Rectory to explore and discuss issues of faith. Ring me for details if you would like to know more about this.
What is the Prayer Group? It is made up of members of All Saints’ Church who undertake to pray regularly, on an individual basis, for people who ask us for prayer support.
Who do we pray for? Anyone whom we are asked to remember; these might be people from our church, from our local community or others known to us.
What do we pray about? Anything which you would like brought before God; maybe anxiety due to illness, stress or loneliness. You can also tell us of a special day you wish to be remembered – perhaps for an interview or an exam. Any information will be treated in strictest confidence.
How can you let us know if you would like us to pray for you? You can either telephone Christine (720234), or drop a note through the Rectory door, or complete a card (anonymously if you wish) and place it in a box kept near the church door. Prayer requests will be collected from the box each Sunday morning after the 10.00am service. Christine
Amblers– if you would enjoy a walk in the country followed by a pub lunch, do join us on our next walk on Saturday 14th November – meet at 9.45am outside The Bell.
Stuck for ideas for Christmas presents?
Don’t miss ….
the Fairtrade Café in the Village Hall
31st October 10-12 noon
and if you can’t find what you want there ….
we still have copies of the Odell Recipe Book
available from any church member, The Bell pub or Tea-Zels Café in the Country Park - price £6.00.
A big ‘Thank you!’ from All Saints’ Church
to all those lovely people who help with cleaning the church, flower arranging, cake-baking, churchyard tidy-up days and who have supported our various fund-raising events through the year. Many thanks also to so many of you who have given generously to our Tea-Point & Toilet fund. We’ve just received a further £10,000 grant from the National Churches Trust, and will hear results of two further grant applications before the end of the year. If favourable, we shall be able to start the work in the New Year – watch this space!
4th 10.30am at Christine’s, The Rectory, Church Lane, Odell
18th 10.30am at Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, High St., Harrold.
2nd 10.30am at Eileen Shakespeare’s, 24 Church Hall Road, Rushden.
Christian Family Care Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning
In support of Christian Family Care
Friday 11th December
Hobbs Green Farm
Church Lane, Odell
From 10.30am to noon.
Churches Together in Harrold and Carlton
Saturday 12 December 12 noon – 5.00 pm
Sunday 13 December 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm
St Mary’s Church, Carlton
Crib figures and nativity models in pottery, wood, glass, wool and metal will be on display.
Seasonal refreshments available
Donations in aid of BECHAR
and Churches Together in Harrold and Carlton
Remembrance Day Service – will start at the later time of 10.30am on the 8th November to enable us to keep the national time of silence at 11.00am.
Odell Church Christmas Cards
Georgina Harrison has very kindly allowed the church to use one of her paintings of All Saints as a Christmas card. We are very grateful to Georgina and we will be selling the cards in packs of five at £2.50 in aid of our Tea Point and Toilet Project. Hopefully some of you will have been to the Fairtrade Cafe on 31st October and will have bought some. However if there is anyone else who would like to buy cards, please give me a ring on 01234 720348 or contact Christine.
Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunch
Odell Senior Citizens’ Lunch Club invites you to the Christmas Lunch
on Wednesday December 16th
From 12.30 In Odell Village Hall
Our Giving in November
will 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.
St Mary’s Church, Carlton
Carlton Village Hall
Saturday 21st November
Home made soup lunches from 12 – 2pm
Grand Draw at 2.30pm - Entry £1 (includes coffee and biscuits).
Bishop's Harvest Appeal
At the Harvest Supper on 26th September and the Harvest Service the following day we invited you to donate to this appeal to fund supplies of clean water to remote villages in Ethiopia. The Monday Club children added to this by doing jobs and errands, and the final total came to £356.72. Under an EU scheme this money will be quadrupled to £1,426.88 - enough to provide a water distribution point, a cattle trough and 150 fruit trees - transforming the life of a rural Ethiopian village. Thank you!
God’s World in the Question of Unanswered Prayer.
Just recently I received a birthday book from a very dear friend; the book is called ‘God on Mute’. I took it with me on my recent holiday and found it refreshing and full of inspiration. Written by Peter Greig, (author of the very influential ‘24/7 Prayer Manual: A Guide to creating and Sustaining Holy Space in the real World.’) it deals with the topic of the problems of unanswered prayer in ‘God’s World’. I would like to share some details from the book with you.
On the Earth, from the whole population of six or seven billion human beings, many millions of prayers are rising simultaneously to the throne of God. Experience assures you that many thousands of these prayers are contradicting one another. For instance, when going on a train journey we may pray that the train will be on time so that we may catch our connection or make an appointment on time, whilst yet another person, rushing to catch the train, may be praying that the train will be running late. A bride may be praying that her wedding day may be sunny, whilst her neighbour, a farmer, may be praying for rain for his crops. As ordinary individuals, most of us say a prayer at some time or another, often about relatively trivial matters. More seriously, many people around the world today in different situations will pray earnestly for Jesus to quell dangerous storms just as He did that night on Galilee. A hurricane may threaten to destroy their livelihood, force ten gales and mountainous seas may be about to drown them.
However, most of these prayers will not work, for a very important reason. The storms which we are praying against are sometimes vital to the wellbeing of millions of people. Storms are the air-conditioning system of the Earth, keeping the climate and also the eco-system delicately in balance. Without storms the Tropics would become significantly hotter, gradually causing desertification, and the Arctic would become far colder. Crucial winds would die down and lightning would become trapped in the clouds, making air travel treacherous to the point of impossibility.
You may already be aware of such happenings. However, in God’s World, He is in control of the weather. He is sovereign and omnipotent. He sent rain on Noah, drought on Ahab and peace that day in Galilee. Although it is sad, crops may well be destroyed, ships sunk, church barbecues spoilt as God says ‘No’ to many prayers for the sake of the planet.
Occasionally today, in what probably amounts to merely a few thousand situations spread between six to seven thousand billion lives, Christ will unleash His power, intervening miraculously in the weather, or in a medical situation or a financial crisis in answer to prayer. However, as C.S. Lewis explains, the very conception of a common and therefore stable world demands that these situations are extremely rare. The author Peter Greig is a bright Christian and had many painful experiences of unanswered prayer when his dear beloved wife had many illnesses. They had two lovely young children when she developed a brain tumour; this was successfully removed only for her to later develop severe epilepsy. However, in this book she writes that the painful and difficult journey on which she and her husband have travelled has enabled both of them to learn more of God’s heart and to draw a little closer to Him: to learn to trust Him on their bigger journey, through God’s World.
Birthdays in November
Happy birthday to:
Georgina Ardley on the 29th
And to everyone with a birthday in November!
..and a very special belated ‘Happy Birthday’ wish to
Sarah Jane Holden-Postles, who was 6 on 19th September! We are sorry we missed your actual birthday Sarah Jane, but hope you had a wonderful day! (Please send birthday requests to the editor by the 12th of the previous month)
All Saints’ Flower Rota
1st Carol Ormond
8th Remembrance Sunday
15th Carol Ormond
22nd Margaret Jones
29th Georgina Harrison
Bedford Messiah Choir presents
On Saturday November 28th 2008 at 7:30 pm
in Bunyan Meeting, Mill Street, Bedford.
Conductor Janet Welsh
Organ Richard Heyes
Trumpet Nigel Doggett
and Soloists from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Adults £8.50, Concessions £7.00
Tickets available from:
Barbara Fowler, 01234 720481
Ann Hudson, 01234 720587
Proceeds in aid of Alzheimer’s Society
Registered charity Number 296645
4th 10.30am Meeting Point at Christine’s, The Rectory.
4th 7.30pm Wodehill Jazz Band play at The Bell.
8th 10.30am Remembrance Day Service at All Saints’ Church.
10th 7.30pm W.I. Village Hall.
12th 10.30am Health Walk, H.O.C.P.
14th 9.45am Amblers meet at The Bell.
14th 7.30pm American Theme Night, Village Hall.
18th 10.30am Meeting point at Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, Harrold.
19th 10.00am Workgifts U.K. Christmas Sale, Village Farmhouse, Odell.
20th 8.00pm Sharnbrook Wildlife Trust presentation at Methodist
Church, Park Lane, Sharnbrook.
21st 11.00am Christmas Bazaar, St. Mary’s Church, Carlton.
26th 10.30am Health Walk, H.O.C.P.
28th 7.30pm Handel’s Messiah at Bunyan Meeting, Mill Street, Bedford.
30th 10.00am H.O.C.P. Conservation Tasks.
2nd 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen Shakespeare’s, 24 Church Hall Road, Rushden.
10th 10.30am Health Walk, H.O.C.P.
11th 10.30am Christian Family Care Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green Farm.
12th 12noon Crib Festival, St. Mary’s, Carlton.
13th 1.00pm “ “ “
16th 12.30pm Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunch, Village Hall.
24th 10.30am Health Walk H.O.C.P.
Please send all entries for the joint December 2009/January 2010 magazine to Tricia Hudson (mag1 at odellbeds.net) or Catherine Corkery by November 12th 2009 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.
PS photos welcome!