Soul Food - 6th November

Dear friends,

A happy and very fruitful day started with 30 people at the 8am communion and a wonderful and uplifting joint service at All Saints patronal festival at 10am. The singing was magnificent, and the occasion made people smile. Thank you to everyone who made the day such a success. The lunch at 12.30 in All Saints church Hall was very sociable indeed and then the tone changed in the afternoon for the service that commemorated the death of loved ones.

Exhausted by now we retired to the London Inn in Ottery to listen to a friend’s Jazz band and unwind.

For all Saints day my sermon majored on the question; “What is a Saint?” and if you’d like to read what I said just click here;

Note: There will be no email for a couple of weeks because we will be (at least initially) in Rome so Ciao for a little while.

Next Sunday is remembrance Sunday.

I am in Otterton, Karen is in East Budleigh, and Trevor is at St. Peter’s for the morning services. Then I will preside at the service at the war memorial (2pm), followed by the procession and service (2.45) at St. Peter’s in the afternoon.

As I always say, remembrance is not a Christian festival but a state commemoration to which the C. of E. lends its enthusiastic support, so the lectionary carries no specific readings for remembrance though the choices do tend do tip our hat towards the day. Each church in practice has its own dedicated readings but where the lectionary is followed, these are the set readings;

Job 19: 23-27. The words “Job said to his companions” added by the lectionary compilers shouldn’t mislead us to thinking that they were on the same page. They were at loggerheads as to the cause of his misfortune which is why Job wants his statements to be written down. But he finds reassurance in verse 25 when he says “I know that my redeemer lives” and affirms God as the vindicator of a man who has a just cause.

2 Thessalonians 2: 1-5, 13-17. We don’t know the details of why people were “shaken in mind” but it had something to do with the return of Jesus often called the Parousia. People were anxious and confused and the response was to remind them of what they had been originally taught – that the “day of the Lord” was not already here, even if it has been inaugurated. The teaching is sound in the face of fear and alarm, that we must always remind people of God’s fundamental love and care and to take confidence from that.

Luke 20: 27-38. Jesus evades the riddle set by the Sadducees ( who don’t believe in resurrection) by pointing out that they have missed the point completely that resurrection life is fundamentally different from life on earth  because the “children of the resurrection” are immortal and don’t need to reproduce. God’s future is radically different from mortal life and Jesus affirms that God is the God of the living by reference to the incident when God declares to Moses that he is the God of people who have long since died (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) in the present tense, as proving that people like them are alive in God while being long dead to this life.

Tar Barrels in Ottery-St-Mary

What a crazy night! Fuelled by beer, adrenaline and testosterone men charged through the crowds with flaming tar barrels on their shoulders wearing flame proof gloves. Crowds parted like the red sea as they careered into them. How this event keeps going in our risk averse, health and safety regulated country I don’t know but it is quite envigourating! It’s all to do with Guy Fawkes night and the evening started with a massive bonfire and fireworks. Onwards and upwards to the Bun throwing spectacle in East Budleigh today when we throw iced buns from the church tower for the local children to catch. Devon is shall we say idiosyncratic!!

Tar Barrel night.JPG

Table Talks

The last talk in the current series in the Peter Hall is on;

11th December – End of life and questions of death. A presentation we hope will be given by myself and David Boorer from Palmers funeral care offering spiritual and practical information.

Next Dinner club is this Thursday – 7th November.

Our Winter warmer with Bishop Richard Hawkins giving the address after a lovely buffet style dinner is £18.50. The sign-up sheet is attached to the pew sheet. Return them to Fran in the office.

Thought for the day

I last visited Rome when I was a teenager with my parents and remember very little apart from the catacombs with early Christian graffiti scrawled on the walls. That left an impression, but I remember nothing about the Sistine chapel or St. Peter’s generally save having to follow a man with an umbrella through heaving crowds. Being a bit of a philistine, I’ll probably still be more fascinated by the catacombs than St. Peter’s, but I’m prepared to give it a second chance, now that I am a Christian and mindful of the weight of history that surrounds this place. Having a sense of the back story and knowledge of the important place the Vatican holds in the hearts of hundreds of millions of people means I’ll look again with more knowledge and insight. However, we try and define ourselves, catholic or protestant, we are culturally all part of the Western Catholic tradition (as opposed to the Eastern Orthodox tradition). There is something unsettling also by defining ourselves as people being in opposition to something (protestant) rather than a positive term, but ancient rivalries and distrust and violence can’t be so easily overturned.   Whatever your view, the Roman catholic church must be treated seriously as it is by a million miles, the largest Christian denomination in the world. A peaceful accord must be in everyone’s benefit and I am starting by having a coffee with the local catholic priest in Exmouth!

The prayer for Today. The current Pope took the name of Francis so my prayer for today is the Prayer of Saint Francis;

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;  

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.  

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  


St Peter's C of E Primary School

Moor Lane, Budleigh Salterton, Devon EX9 6QF

01395 443167

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