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CHURCH NEWS - November 2005
November is a month for remembering. On the first day, All Saints’ Day, we remember with thanksgiving to God our church here in Odell and also God’s faithful servants who have now entered their rest and received their reward. We remember, too that we belong to a great Communion of Saints, past, present and future.
‘Please to remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.’
The Sunday nearest the 11th of the month is Remembrance Sunday when we still remember two world wars and others, and all those who died in them and those who still suffer as a result.
Then on the last day of the month, November 30th, we celebrate St. Andrew’s Day remembering the Apostle and his service for Christ recorded for us in the Gospels. He is the patron saint of Scotland and the tradition is that he suffered martyrdom on an X-shaped cross known as a saltire.
The word ‘remember’ occurs many times in the Bible. Here is one of them: ‘Remember Jesus Christ, descended from David, risen from the dead.’ These are words of the Apostle Paul, written to a younger man, Timothy, and they tell us briefly about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Of course, He is more than just a memory. Because He has been raised from the dead, He is now alive and alive for evermore, never to die again. Therefore He is more than a memory from the past, more than just an historical figure we read about and call to mind. He is, for those who trust Him, a living presence in the here and now and is with us always throughout all our days. He said as much himself: ‘I am with you always.’ In other words He is our contemporary. REMEMBER THIS!
Towards the end of John Newton’s life his memory got very bad. He used to say that whatever he forgot he could never forget two things: that he was a great sinner and that Jesus Christ was a great Saviour. REMEMBER THIS – not just in November but always.
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).
e-Round News from the Diocese of St. Albans
God's Story in Action. A new course developed by a team led by Bishop Richard will be launched in January 2006. It is intended to help people see their personal story as part of God's bigger story. The course explores God's great story in Jesus Christ, looks at our corporate life as the people of God, and then honestly faces the difficulties that Christian belief can pose today. The course will be conducted in groups with a leader, a DVD and handbook to guide participants through the six sessions. To place your order now contact Ron Upton at the Resource Centre on 01727 818158 or email@example.com
Handel’s Messiah. The Bunyan Meeting Free Church, Mill Street, Bedford, Bedford Messiah Choir presents Handel's Messiah, November 26th, 7.30pm. Tickets £8, concessions £6.50, includes refreshments, from 01234 211022 or the Central Box Office, Bedford. All proceeds to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Vision for Action: an Introduction
Over the last six weeks, there have been nine special events across the diocese to launch Vision for Action. So what is it? This article will try to explain.
As far back as 1997, Bishop Christopher set a number of goals for the diocese and its parishes, so that there would be a sense of moving forward together with a common purpose. In the eight years since then, there have been many new challenges but still the continuing imperative to proclaim the Kingdom of God.
At a time when many, especially in the media, are keen to focus on the church in decline, Vision for Action seeks to look at these challenges and focus what we do in every aspect of our church life to bring individuals to a personal commitment to the Kingdom of God. It’s not some extra initiative or imposed agenda from St Albans, but rather a catalyst to release new ideas, which can be shared with others as we seek to proclaim God’s Kingdom.
There are a number of important factors all of which have a bearing on how we continue to witness as a church:
Regular worship no longer means every week as it used to in the past.
·In the diocese we are looking at a population increase of 13% in the next seven years, something like the equivalent of 20 average sized parishes extra.
·At the same time, the number of full-time clergy is reducing by about 4 a year.
·There are financial pressures on all parishes, both in terms of daily running and maintaining the ministry as well as in the upkeep of buildings.
Vision for Action gives us five headings on which to focus with a clear aim for each: mission, ministry, church buildings, stewardship and children. The first of these is the one that in a way includes the four others – mission. Our task as Christians is to spread the good news of the love of God in Jesus Christ. If we don’t do that we are failing. So our overall aim is: ’to work together in love and commitment to proclaim the Kingdom of God.’
For all of these priorities there are resources available in terms of Diocesan officers, a CD-Rom that was distributed at the launches to parishes (if your parish hasn’t got one call Anna McCrum on 01727 818143), the Diocesan web site http://www.stalbans.anglican.org/visionforaction/visionaction.html and SeeRound. Most of important though is what we in this parish are doing – if you don’t know ask your PCC secretary or your vicar!
Anna McCrum, Communications Officer, Diocese of St. Albans.
Wednesday 2nd 10.30am at Jill’s, Rectory Farm, Odell.
Wednesday 16th 10.30am at Eileen’s, Corner House, Wymington Park, Rushden.
Wednesday 30th 10.30am at Doris’s, Goodly Heritage, The Bury, Pavenham
Tuesday 6th Christmas lunch. Meet at 11.30am, lunch at 1.30pm. Venue TBA.
Our Giving in Novemberwill be shared
between the Royal 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.
Looking to Jesus
You Need A Shepherd
‘The Lord is my shepherd’........Psalm 23:1
Let's take another look at Psalm 23. Of all God's animals, sheep are least able to care for themselves. They're dumb! - Ever see a sheep roll over and do tricks? They're defenceless! They've no fangs or claws so they can't bite you or out run you. They're dirty! Your cat can clean himself, but sheep? They get dirty and stay that way!
Listen: 'All we like sheep have gone astray' (Isaiah 53:6) 'I don't like
being compared with sheep' you say. Alright, then take this simple test: (1) I can control my impulses (2) I never play the victim (3) I can't relate to Jekell and Hyde (4) I'm always upbeat and upright. Does that
describe you? Lets try a few more: (5) I always make peace (6) Every
relationship is harmonious; even old flames speak well of me (7) I love all and am loved by all. Is that you? No? Then how about this? (8) I've no fears. Stock market plunges - I'm cool; malignant growth - yawn;
terrorist threats - just the problems of lesser mortals. No? Then how about this? (9) I don't need forgiveness (10) My life's an open book (11) I've never cheated, lied, or lied about cheating. No? Sounds as though you do need a shepherd, otherwise you might wander off some cliff's edge or get devoured by the wolf.
Today, instead of saying, 'The Lord is my Shepherd....', try saying,.....’the One who is my Shepherd is also Lord over every area of my life.'
Taken from 'Word for Today' with kind permission of United Christian Broadcaster Ltd PO Box 225 Stoke on Trent ST4 8YY
" Come into our hearts, Lord Jesus, there is room in our hearts for you."
Thank you Lord for the sound of Odell Church Bells on the 11th October; those of us who were in the area were delighted to hear them being rung. What a beautiful sound. Thank you to those who were giving us the pleasure of hearing a long lost sound. Also on the 15th October it was a pleasure to speak with The Rev.David Payne who was visiting Odell with his two children Richard and Allison. Odell holds a very special part of their hearts and it's always a pleasure to see David who is always remembered so fondly here for his love that he shared in the community.
Heavenly Father we really do give you our heartfelt thanks for all that you provide for us here. As November comes around again, we look back on a wonderful summer and thank you for the long hot summer days which went well into October. An abundance of fruit in the garden, blackberries on the hedgerows and the birds trilling away in the gardens. We have so very much to be thankful for.
When we look at the mess the hurricanes have left abroad, lives being lost in those awful landslides and floods, we give great thanks at just how protected we are right now in this haven of Bedfordshire. But we would ask your protection as the news worsens on the 'bird flu' and pray that you would keep us all safe from it.
Where would we be without telephones, electricity at the touch of a switch, running hot and cold clean water, and our televisions, and of course the computer. We give thanks for the sound of the children playing in the lane coupled with the sound of innocent laughter. We are blessed with two really efficient doctors’ surgeries locally, and wonderful hospitals within easy reach; we want for nothing. Oh Lord how you love us and we truly do appreciate it.
There are those who do not know you, those who so need to be loved and sadly look for it in a bottle or a drug, the homeless and the wanderers. Protect them as they sleep rough on the streets and other places. We thank you for those who run the 'soup kitchens' to help these poor lost souls to survive.
We think too of those celebrating with fireworks and ask your protection and safety on them. Today Lord there are still people content in maiming others, and we pray that all these people will be put under your care, the bombers, those on drugs so intent to kill and do anything to get their fix. It seems right now Lord as if the world is going crazy. Please bring back love into people’s hearts, into their homes and families and the workplace. May Your Spirit, Your Love, Your Peace and Your Joy reach down to all people, and in return we pray for a huge revival to come to touch these hearts that they in turn will then look to You as it seems to be
coming towards the last days before Jesus comes back to this earth. Only You know Father, how long. How Long! But what we do know is, it will be when all the scriptures are fulfilled. So much now is happening as is foretold in the Bible. Your word! Only the hearts that are Yours will be taken up to Heaven.
We continue to pray for those living alone and those needing a healing touch. Florence Shellard, Edie Surridge, Hilda Wright and Joan and Maurice Thompson. May the Lord continue to uphold them with His goodness. Amen.
Four things to freely give away: Love, a Hug, a Smile, a Word or "Hello how are you?" Give one away and it will come bouncing back sevenfold.
Thought for the month: Lord Jesus be my Saviour. Remember me today.
Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning
In support of Christian Family Care
Friday 9th December
Hobbs Green Farm
Church Lane, Odell
From 10.30am to noon.
I see the buzzard soar and wonder why
He finds such easeful passage through the sky.
Why when we earthbound creatures heave and plod
Should he ascend so lightly up to God?
Easeful he soars above on outstretched wings,
Circling upon the thermals, rising brings
All heaven and earth within his orbit round,
Why Lord should he ascend and I be bound?
"Child I have given you wings of faith and prayer,
Why don’t you spread those wings, why don’t you dare
To reach those pinions wide, then you shall ride
The heavens, and like the angel host
Circle the heavenly place; then you shall coast
Like buzzards on the soaring air;
The upflow of my Spirit then shall bear
You to my dwelling place, and on the tide
Of my great love you too shall ride.
Borne as on eagle’s wings, you too shall see My face
And soar with me in realms of endless grace."
So when you see the buzzard in the sky
Soaring majestic, easeful upon high,
Know that you too who earthbound plod
Are called to spread your wings and mount to God.
The PCC is planning to pollard the Horse Chestnut trees in the churchyard along the High Street boundary. The work is necessary as a matter of safety and permission has been granted by the Borough Council. The work will be carried out by a professional tree surgeon sometime in late November. The waste will be reduced to chippings and left in the churchyard; if you would like some as garden mulch, you will be very welcome to take what you need. Also the larger branches will be cut to convenient size and stacked; if you would like some logs for the fire, please take what you want. Donations in exchange will be welcome.
2nd 10.30am Meeting Point at Jill’s, Rectory Farm, Odell.
4th 2-5, 7-9pm Viewing of Wind Turbine plans, Village Hall.
8th 7.30pm W.I., Village Hall.
16th 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen’s, Corner House,
Wymington Park, Rushden.
19th 7.30pm Quiz, Village Hall.
20th 10-12 noon Organised walk in Harrold/Odell Country
21st 8.00pm Odell Parish Council Meeting, Village Hall.
28th 10.00am Friends of Country Park working day.
30th 10.30am Meeting Point at Doris’s, Goodly Heritage, The
6th 11.30am Meeting Point; Christmas lunch at 1.30pm.
9th 10.30am Christian Family Care Hamper Coffee Morning,
Hobbs Green Farm.
14th 12.30 Senior Citizens Christmas lunch, Village Hall.
Please send all entries for the joint December 2005/January 2006 magazine to Tricia Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by November 12th 2005 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.
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