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CHURCH NEWS - September 2006
Working in the garden one August evening I could hear the hum of the combine not far away, prompting me to offer a prayer of thanks for the fine weather enabling the harvest to be gathered in. Watching the corn cart trundling by on its way to the barn, carrying its precious load, always evokes memories of our farming days. There were many good days, but our last four years in farming were difficult.
Freak weather conditions badly affected our crops for four years in succession, and the worry and anxiety that plagued those days, leading eventually to our coming out of farming was something we were glad to leave behind. But, the decision to leave was not easy - it took us some time to face the disappointment and find a new direction for our lives.
We can probably all think of times in our lives when we’ve experienced big disappointments. How does this affect our walk with God and our understanding of his love for us?
Perhaps the first thing to do is to get it in perspective. This thing that has happened to us, that’s knocked us back or flattened us, is not the whole of our life. It is something along the way that has dented us, or blown us off course for a bit, but it’s not the whole story.
As Christians we believe in a God who loves us, who has promised to be with us in every situation, who came in human form as Jesus Christ to share our human experience and to identify with us where we are, with our struggles and our weaknesses. He took all that with him – to the cross – and subjected himself even to death, that final enemy that threatens to extinguish our humanity. But joy of joys, that was not the end! Overcoming death itself, he rose victorious, redeeming and transforming our humanity, so that we too can live in hope of the resurrection and know here and now what it is to live in close relationship with the God who created us.
As we experienced the trauma of leaving the farm and the life we had known, I drew much comfort from recalling over and over that, if Jesus loved me enough to die for me, he was certainly not going to abandon me in the present or the future. Also, the recollection of God’s faithfulness to us in the past, gave me courage to hope and to know that this was not the end, that something else lay beyond it.
When things don’t turn out as we’d hoped we have to take stock and review the situation. It’s a time for reassessing priorities, and evaluating what really matters in our lives. This may lead us to take a new direction. Looking back, we can see that coming out of farming was exactly the right thing to do, and has been for our good – although at the time it certainly didn’t feel like it. But in fact it was the beginning of something better for us.
God’s promises do not fail – he has underwritten them with the blood of Jesus, shed for each one of us. Through the gift of his Holy Spirit we can know the encouragement and enabling of his presence with us now – in good times and bad. As we allow his love to enter our hearts, he will transform us and the circumstances we struggle with, bringing us once again to the place where we can renew our trust and hope in him, both for the present and the future.
With love and prayers, Christine.
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 Christine (720234).
Interested in learning more about Christianity? Want to brush up on basics?
The Alpha course may be just the thing to help you. It is now run in churches all over the world and many have found it led to a life-changing experience. Each evening consists of a meal, a talk and discussion.
Locally arranged by Churches Together in Harrold and Carlton the 10 week course will start in September, either on Monday 25th or Tuesday 26th. To find out more contact Rev'd Jean Burrows (720262).
Harvest Festival in All Saints’ Church, Odell
Saturday 30th September
10am Decorating the church for the festival. Please bring along flowers, greenery and produce – everyone invited to help!
7.00 for 7.30pm. Harvest Supper in the Village Hall. Everyone welcome. Tickets from Jill Cheadle, 720261, £3.50, £2.00 concessions.
After Supper Speaker - Rev’d Jean Burrows - ‘Out of Africa’ – an illustrated talk about Jean’s 3 month sabbatical, visiting churches in Africa.
Sunday 1st October
10am Harvest Festival All Age Service in All Saints’.
Produce donated by the congregation will be distributed among the elderly of the village.
Harvest Shoe Box Appeal, Drop Inn Ministries:
For the past 5 years the churches and schools in Harrold and Carlton have been collecting shoe-boxes filled with small gifts for orphaned children living in Belarus and northern Ukraine. These children live in areas still badly affected by radioactive fall-out from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and have little or no personal possessions. In previous years local church members have been able to accompany the boxes and see for themselves the joy and hope they bring to those who have so little.
This year residents of Odell are being invited to contribute. We will be arranging for filled boxes to be collected as part of our Harvest Festival celebrations (or left at The Rectory). The boxes will then be picked up in Carlton by the lorry which will deliver them direct to the orphanages. Look out for a flyer giving you more details which will be delivered to your door during September!
Our Giving in September is to St. Luke’s hospital.
St. Luke’s was originally a hospital dedicated to serving the clergy and their families, but has now expanded and welcomes anybody who wishes to join their medical scheme. However, their first priority is still with the clergy so that they can be treated and return to work in their parishes as quickly as possible. For more information you can write to: St. Luke’s Hospital, 14 Fitzroy Square, London W1P 6AH.
Do please give generously in our collection or in the plate at the back of the church.
Farmers Market at Harrold URC
A Farmers' Market will be held at Harrold URC on 9th September from 10.00am -12.00.noon. There will be an opportunity to meet the farmers and explore how farming has changed in the last ten years. Produce direct from the farm will be on sale, and there will be samples to try out. Come along to meet local farmers and learn more from them.
Hoax phone calls
A Carlton resident recently received a hoax ‘phone call from someone purporting to be from BT. She was told her telephone account was £14.31 in arrears and her line was about to be cut off – unless she settled the account there and then by credit card over the ‘phone. Local police are aware, and BT has confirmed that this call was nothing to do with them. Please be on your guard, and do not give your credit card details over the ‘phone, unless you are absolutely certain whom you are dealing with.
Wed 6th 10.30am at Eileen’s, Corner House, Wymington Park, Rushden.
We are sorry to report the death of Carole Shipp, formerly of Church Lane, who passed away on Sunday 30th July after a painful battle with cancer. Carole moved to Odell in the 1970s, and became very involved with village life. Along with Janet John and Winifred and Trevor Knight, she helped to organise the village gymkhana, which ran for several years. She also helped regularly with the village fete. After Carole moved from Odell she continued to keep in touch with all the village news and always had the magazine sent to her. She will be much missed by all her friends in Odell, and our sympathy goes to Jim and Nicky at this sad time.
Maurice & Joan Thompson
Many will remember Maurice and Joan Thompson who lived for nearly 20 years in Sharnbrook and worshipped in Odell for most of that time. Maurice was a keen and a very capable photographer and had built up over the years a library of thousands of pictures of the Bible lands. In their retirement they made the slides into sets of ‘tours’ around different areas such as the Sea of Galilee, and Journeys down the River Jordan with written and taped commentaries which have been widely used by churches and individuals in many parts of England and Wales. Maurice and Joan enjoyed showing their slides to interested groups of people and gave a series of fascinating and instructive illustrated lectures at evening school in Sharnbrook and Oakley. In the course of researching accurate material Maurice built up over the years an extensive library of reference books, many of which are to be given to the theological library at Tyndale House, Cambridge.
As well as assisting Maurice in producing an Update magazine to back up the content of the slide sets, Joan was forever knitting for Oxfam and was tireless in visiting others.
As the use of slides gradually gave way to computer generated presentations a partnership was formed which led to the setting up of the Emmaus Roadshow. Contained within two large trailers this offers visitors the experience of a ‘trip’ to the Bible lands without leaving the venue. Devised mainly for children in school years 4 –7 it has travelled many hundreds of miles and taken ‘on board’ more than eighteen thousand young passengers.
In 2001 Maurice and Joan moved back to Yorkshire to be nearer their families but continued to take a keen interest in the many friends they had in this area. Shortly before last Christmas Maurice died after a short illness in hospital and Joan moved into a nursing home where she was well looked after until she too died in June. Right to the end they both shone as Christians and spoke at every opportunity with visitors and carers about their Lord, Jesus Christ. Their lives were wonderful examples of Christian living and they will be missed by many.
Holiday Club - Seaside Rock 14th – 18th August
What a wonderful week! Holiday club this year was on the theme of Seaside Rock and we were learning about Peter "the rock" and how he came to know Jesus.
The children were placed in rock pool groups which were called: "The Terrific Tiddlers", "Shocking Shrimps", "Crafty Crabs", "Lively Lobsters", "Laidback Limpets" and the "Prawn Crackers".
Every morning each group would make something to decorate their rock pool. This ranged from fish to seaweed, bubbles to ice creams. By the end of the week each rock pool was uniquely fantastic.
Each day had a different scenario involving the lifeguards (Jean Burrows and Joanna Steer), which would be linked with and followed up by a video story from Peter and a memory verse. There was a continuing drama throughout the week called "The Golden Palace", and Simon the ice cream man came everyday. We also made different crafts such as coasters, magnets, crosses, painted rocks and rock cakes.
Over all, it was a brilliant week, filled with fun packed activities, team games and learning. The children enjoyed themselves and have been learning loads about Jesus Christ, as have the adults and teenage helpers.
A great thank you to all who made it happen with special appreciation to Jean Burrows, Joanna Steer and Hilary Tuohy who took time to organise and set up the holiday club so that it ran smoothly.
All Saints’ Flowers for September
3rd Jeanette Roche
30th Decorate Church for Harvest.
Birthday Greetings to
Christy Vyvyan who will be 7 on 13th September, and to everyone else with a birthday in September.
From time to time the elderly and infirm in the village need help with transport to Harrold or Sharnbrook surgery for appointments or to
collect medication. If you think you can help with this occasionally, please let Jill Cheadle know (720261) as it would be useful to draw up a list of names and numbers which could be called upon when necessary. All help would be very much appreciated.
3rd 11am Joint service at Harrold URC
3rd 6.30pm Prayer and Reflection, All Saints’.
6th 10.30am Meeting Point Eileen’s, Corner House, Rushden.
9th 10am Farmers’ Market at Harrold URC.
12th 7.30pm W.I., Village Hall.
13th 10am Art of Photography, Harrold/Odell Country Park.
16th 10am Spoon and Spatula Carving, HOCP
18th 8pm Odell Parish Council Meeting, Village Hall.
20th 12noon Senior Citizens Harvest Lunch, Village Hall.
23rd Judging of sunflower competition and disco.
25th 10am HOCP Conservation Tasks Day.
25th/ 26th Alpha Course (contact Rev Jean Burrows).
29th 10.30am Interpreters Course, Bedford Central Library.
30th 10am Church decorating for harvest.
30th 7.00pm Harvest Supper in Village Hall.
1st 10am Harvest Festival All age Service, All Saints’.
Please send all entries for the October magazine to Tricia Hudson (email@example.com) or Catherine Corkery by September 12th 2006 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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