As I sit writing my Two Penn’orth I can see the wonderful autumnal colours from my study windows - they seem exceptional this year. I feel truly blessed to be living in such beautiful surroundings.
My thoughts return to the morning news on TV and the appalling situation where great numbers of tired, cold, and hungry people are moving across Europe. They are trying to find safety, and a place of stability to lay their weary bodies, many are displaced from their immediate families wondering what will happen to them next, truly an atrocious situation.
Europe is facing its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War. More than half a million desperate people have made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea this year alone. For those who survive the treacherous journey, the terrifying ordeal is not over. People often arrive in Europe scared and exhausted. Many have seen and experienced untold horrors during their journey.
Three weeks ago we began a new service called ‘Open Worship’ at six o’clock in our church centre: Together as a Christian community, we discussed and prayed as we tried to address the ongoing crisis in this more informal style of service. This was both appreciated and accepted as a real attempt to do something different and meaningful. The Open Worship service will continue on a regular basis with a different topic for discussion every second Sunday of the month. Please do try and support this new initiative. I am reminded of the words from Isaiah 25-4 “For You have been a defence for the helpless, A defence for the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless Is like a rain storm against a wall.” As we keep in our minds the refugee problem please do pray that a solution may be found that will alleviate the ongoing difficulties.
It is so very important to pray through these difficult times individually and corporately, prayer is our powerhouse.
As the clocks have gone back, we move into a period of increasing darkness which can be problematic for some - especially the more elderly.
I frequently make an appeal at this time of year for those of us who are more able; who are living near to those who are on their own to keep a weather eye on their neighbours. It is very easy for those who are less agile to take a tumble and find darkness approaching with no one around to give them support. So please be vigilant as the darker morning and evenings approach. Matthew 7:12 reminds us “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” It is very important for us as a worshiping Christian community here at St Hildeburgh’s to be aware of local issues as well as more global. Being able to provide support by various means, helping in ways that are not always obvious.
It is our responsibility, as we grow the Lord’s Kingdom, that although we may follow differing paths we should do so in the spirit of unity. St Paul writing to the early church in Ephesus said this “Therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, “ It is with those words ringing in our ears that we can continue to the grow the Kingdom here in Hoylake.
Your friend, Rev’d Paul
All Saints’ Day (1st November) 2015