Updated: Oct 28
Dear All Saints and St Mary’s
Diane and I have just returned from our holiday visiting friends in Germany and are now coming up to a bank holiday weekend. Placing the “Summer bank holiday” on the last Monday in August seems a little strange, until you realise that it was moved from the first Monday in August to encourage people to take holidays later in the month. (The Summer bank holiday is still on the first Monday in Scotland, for anyone reading this north of the border.)
Some of my most treasured memories of this bank holiday weekend come from the Greenbelt Festival, now celebrating its 50th anniversary. The festival celebrates the coming together of artistry, activism, and belief with worship, performing and visual arts, music and talks. Creative ways of expressing the Christian faith and challenging the injustices of society help communicate what it means to be a Christian in the 21st century.
Such creativity is not new. Song has been part of worship going back at least as far as King David in the Old Testament. In the book of Exodus, we hear about people, such as Ur, son of Hur, and Ohilab, son of Ahisamach, to whom God gave the skills to make beautiful things for worship. Prophets like Hosea and Jeremiah used their actions to teach the people in acted out parables.
This is something we are all called to continue. The Psalms call us to sing a new song to the Lord. The ordination service reminds us that the Church is to proclaim the faith afresh to each generation. The good news of Christ is eternal and never changing, However, changes in society bring new opportunities in how we present the gospel. What are the ways that we, here in Fishponds, can share the gospel with those around us? How can we combine both traditional and modern expressions of our faith? These are questions, to which we return again and again.
This Sunday, we have traditional worship with Holy Communion at All Saints at 8am and at St Mary’s at 10am. At All Saints at 10.30am we have a more creative, contemporary form of worship with Café Church, where we will be continuing our look at the book of Jonah. This gives the following services:
Holy Communion (said)
This week we have our usual selection of midweek services. Next Sunday is the first Sunday of the month, so we have Creative Church at St Mary’s and Holy Communion at All Saints. In addition, there is evensong at 6.30 pm at St Mary’s. This gives the following services:
Celtic Morning Prayer
May God bless your plans for this bank holiday weekend, whatever they may be.
Yours in Christ
Mark Simms Licensed Lay Minister Benefice of All Saints and St Mary, Fishponds